The Listening Room: The Smooth Sound Of Quietstorm, The MVP Collection

Next in The Listening Room series is all about Quietstorm: The MVP Collection, an online podcast dedicated to smooth jazz, easy listening, and the like. As of this writing, the website is no longer updated (the recent podcast is from May 2013) and most of the earlier podcasts are no longer available for download.


I was searching for a particular song by Dave Grusin back in 2008, which I thought was hard to find until I stumbled upon this site offering a programmed list of songs played during that weekend, provided with a download link so you can enjoy the podcast anytime, anywhere. I happen to find that song in one of the podcasts, and I discover some interesting smooth songs on that podcast as well.

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An online podcast website managed by meteorologist Michael V. Padua (who also managed Typhoon2000.com) and based in Naga City, Camarines Sur, Quietstorm: The MVP Collection offers a wide variety of smooth music such as smooth jazz, rhythm and blues, new age, chill-out music, bossa nova, and everything in between. It is then heard via RMN DWNX 91.1 in Naga City on weekends from October/November 2006 to October 2007. Since then, it continued as an online podcast until 2013.

There’s a playlist of songs in a scheduled podcast. The list of songs in a scheduled podcast shows the name of the artist and song title, as well as the album title and the year of release (enclosed in brackets). At the end of the song’s title/artist/album are some remarks about the song. It usually indicates whether the song is a recent release (and at times, for recent smooth jazz tracks, displaying its chart position on the Smooth Jazz charts), a classic track, or an OPM track. And yes, it also indicates the requested song on the podcast.

At times, the online podcast also features the syndicated radio show “Chill With Mindi Abair”,  playing chill-out music.

Keeping you smooth all the time.^ This is truly a weekend escapade featuring smooth music on the net.

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Here are some of the songs I discovered (and heard) on the online podcast site:

  • Earth, Wind & Fire – Wouldn’t Change A Thing About You
  • Michael Franks – Barefoot On The Beach
  • Checkfield – Rainforest
  • Sam Riney – Pacific Coast Highway 1 AM
  • The Rippingtons – Katrina’s Dance
  • Al Jarreau – (A Rhyme) This Time
  • Stacey Kent – The Ice Hotel
  • Lionel Richie – Love Will Conquer All
  • Kalapana – The Real Thing
  • Yanni – Whispers In The Dark
  • Incognito – We Got Music
  • Patrice Rushen – When I Found You
  • David Benoit – Looking Back
  • Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto – Só Danço Samba (I Only Dance Samba)
  • Gregg Karukas – Catalina Wind
  • Lee Ritenour feat. Gonzaguinha – É (Yeah!)
  • Sitti – Tayo’y Mag Samba (OPM)
  • El DeBarge – Love Always
  • 3rd Force – Straight From The Heart
  • David Benoit & Russ Freeman (The Benoit-Freeman Project) – Moon Through The Window
  • Hiroshima – Daydreamer
  • Michael Jackson – The Lady In My Life
  • Yutaka – Warm And Sunny Sunday Morning
  • Lee Ritenour – Color Rit
  • Fresh Moods – Aground
  • Green Lemon – 11 O’Clock
  • Michael Franks – Scatsville
  • George Jinda & World News – Code Of Silence
  • David Foster – Movie Montage
  • Chi – Sail The Midnight Sea
  • Norman Brown – Missin’ You
  • Najee – Out Of A Dream
  • Shakatak – Can’t Make The Night
  • Julia Fordham – Caged Bird

 

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The Listening Room: High On Smooth Music… The Radio High 105.9 Experience

Next in the TLR series is all about DWLA-FM Radio High 105.9 (now Retro 105.9 DCG-FM ), from the man behind Joey/xFM 92.3. Anyway, while 106.7 Dream FM went off the air in June 2011 and was replaced by a Hot AC/Top 40 station called Energy FM, another smooth jazz station is making its way into the airwaves during that time. Yup, that would be Radio High 105.9, with the slogan “Not For Everyone”.


105.9 on FM band. It’s a blessing in surprise for us jazz listeners since we just lost another great smooth jazz station, Dream FM. Hot AC (masa) stations are dominating the radio nowadays, and it’s starting to lose variety. But back to the highly anticipated smooth jazz station, they were conducting test broadcasts and the name of the radio station is yet to be revealed. By the time it began broadcasting, it was already called Radio High 105.9… and yes, it’s really not for everyone.

Just like its predecessors Joey and xFM, it has a nice selection of songs ranging from the usual smooth jazz to world music, OPM (Original Pilipino Music) included. Anyway, here are my observations and facts about this station:

  • Its programming is generally divided into fifteen-minute segments (about three songs per segment) depending on the specific genre (e.g., smooth jazz covers, standards, bossa nova, world music). This was eventually scrapped in favor of the usual programming, save for a few special programs and segments.
  • The station follows a “four commercial per break” rule, meaning more time for music and greater impact for advertising messages.^ Their commercials are generally aimed at a specific (upscale) demographic.
  • The station airs 24/7, just like Joey and xFM. Also, it had the same voice-over talents as its predecessors.
  • Its website also displays the title of the song [being played on the station] and the song artist. It’s essentially helpful for those who wanted to know more about the song being played on the station.
  • Jazz and bossa nova music from Brazil and Europe are often heard on the station. New age music, which is often heard on late nights on its predecessor Joey, is sometimes heard during the afternoons (especially in its first year of broadcast).
  • There were a few radio programs aired on this station, one of which is “Inside 5-Star” by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts (Philippines) aired from April to July 2013. “Inside 5-Star” features hoteliers giving inside information on their respective areas of expertise.^
  • The station is known for bringing jazz artists Renee Olstead and Chris Botti to the country. It also sponsored Jennifer Lopez’s concert (Dance Again World Tour) at the Mall Of Asia Arena in November 2012.

After roughly three years in the airwaves, Radio High bid farewell and was replaced by Retro 105.9 DCG-FM, a classic hits station. We lost another great radio station, but it was a real high experience listening to this station. And so, Crossover is once again the remaining smooth jazz station in the Metro. And yes, I’m still listening to 105.9 (as Retro DCG-FM), as I’m also into classic hits as well.

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Here are some of the songs I heard on this station:

  • Ive Mendes – Você
  • Iara Negrete – Pra Que Chorar?
  • Coralie Clément – L’ombre Et La Lumiére
  • Anthony Koudele – Was It Love Or Play
  • Clémentine – Un Homme Et Une Femme
  • Deni Hines – I Like The Way
  • Lisa Stansfield – 8-3-1
  • Mama’s Gun – Pots Of Gold
  • Matt Bianco – Altozano
  • Ariella – Gamine (Hey Nineteen)
  • Govi – Abundance
  • Towa Tei – Private Eyes
  • Steve Tyrell – I Say A Little Prayer
  • Sabrina Johnston – Reasons
  • Robert Palmer – Witchcraft
  • Stacey Kent – They All Laughed
  • Jennifer Lopez – Should’ve Never
  • Gabriela Anders – Wanting
  • Tim Weisberg – Is This Magic
  • Alec Milstein – Samba Saudades
  • Suzanne Ciani – Eagle
  • Dave Grusin – History Lesson
  • Kevyn Lettau – Whenever Your Heart Wants To Sing
  • Spencer Day – Till You Come To Me
  • George Michael – Amazing
  • Prince (The Artist Formerly Known As) – Betcha By Golly Wow
  • Ray Parker, Jr. – I Don’t Think That Man Should Sleep Alone
  • Sergio Mendes – Pipoca
  • Ramsey Lewis – You Are The Reason

The Listening Room: The Comfortable Sound Of Dream FM

Next in the TLR series is about DWET-FM 106.7 Dream FM (now Energy FM), another radio station playing… smooth jazz, of course! This station, together with 105.1 Crossover and xFM 92.3 (as a smooth jazz station after ditching the station’s electronica/house/trip-hop format sometime in 2008), are the stations I listen to back in college.


It was 2010. Yes, I’ve been listening to Crossover and xFM for a while, but I rarely listen to radio nowadays. Besides, I started discovering a lot of smooth jazz music, as well as the online podcast “Quietstorm: The MVP Collection” (now inactive).

I decided to tune-in to Dream FM and I immediately fall in love with this station. The selection of songs ranges from the usual smooth jazz favorites to samba, pop, neo soul and R&B. And I often hear some great OPM songs as well. At times, they also feature some classic songs (via The Early Years), and a mix of soul, Motown, and R&B (Soul Candy).

Some of my observations from almost a year of listening to this station:

  • Most of the songs they play on this station are generally smooth jazz and easy listening, hence it was often referred to as “Manila’s Smooth Jazz Authority” and  “Your Comfortable Choice”.
  • Like Crossover, Dream FM also airs from 5:30 AM to 2:00 AM daily.
  • The station’s signal is much clearer than the other smooth jazz stations I already featured (considering I lived near the station’s studio and transmitter complex in Novaliches, QC).
  • I was amazed that this smooth jazz station was then owned by a major commercial broadcast network, ABC-5 (now TV5). Other radio stations owned by rival broadcast networks are of Hot AC/Top 40 format (often referred to as masa stations).
  • At times, there are DJs onboard, usually during weekdays.
  • They also played a handful of OPM songs, usually Boy Katindig and APO Hiking Society. Other OPM artists include Side A, Richard Tann, True Faith, Jacqui Magno, and Chad Borja.
  • Aside from The Early Years and Soul Candy, there’s also Saturday Spin (featuring house music), Totally Fresh (featuring the latest smooth jazz songs, aired during Monday nights), Different Takes (featuring different versions of a classic song), The Rhythms Of Rio (featuring samba and bossa nova music), and Standard Sessions.
  • At the top of the hour, before the station ident, you’ll hear the familiar message: “The Family Who Prays Together, Stays Together. Please Pray The Rosary”. Yes, it is the message from the Family Rosary Crusade. The same message was also aired on ABC-5 as well, years before the switch to its current branding, TV5.
  • The station used to air a syndicated program, The Smooth Jazz Top 20 with Allen Kepler. It is aired on Sundays, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM. Since the station’s demise, it now airs on Boracay Beach Radio 97.3 (which is now the only remaining radio station under the Dream FM Network).

The Manila station ended its broadcast in June 2011, with the last song “Till We Meet Again” by Eric Benet (if I know correctly) played on the station. It was replaced by Energy FM, a Hot AC/Top 40 station. Of course, we jazz listeners are displaced by its departure. Well, that leaves Crossover as the sole radio station playing smooth jazz… or so I thought that time.

For now, the comfortable sound of Dream FM (as well as The Smooth Jazz Top 20 with Allen Kepler) can be heard on Boracay Beach Radio 97.3 (formerly DYKP-FM 97.3 Dream FM Boracay). Until then, we’ll be waiting for its return (hopefully) on the Manila airwaves…

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Here are some of the songs I heard on this station:

  • Al Jarreau – Distracted
  • Tom Grant – The Dog Park
  • Akira Jimbo – Our Sweet Melody
  • David Benoit – Stages
  • Mishka Adams – Where Do We Begin
  • Lee Ritenour – Bahia Funk
  • Hiroshima – Thousand Cranes
  • Kem – Golden Days
  • Boy Katindig – What I Feel
  • Basia & Matt Bianco – Ordinary Day
  • Pizzicato Five – Sweet Soul Revue (yes, I did hear this song on that station)
  • The Sax Pack – Fallin’ For You
  • Espirito – Canto De Orfeo
  • Michael McDonald – I Keep Forgettin’
  • Robin Thicke – It Starts With A Kiss
  • Matt Bianco – Hi-Fi Bossa Nova
  • Lisa Nilsson – Vad Du Ser Ar Vad Du Far (a Swedish pop song)
  • Sade – Soldier Of Love
  • Swing Out Sister – Breakout
  • David Benoit – You Never Love Me The Same Way Twice
  • Fourplay – I’ll Still Be Lovin’ You
  • The Jones Girls – The World Will Sing Our Song
  • El DeBarge – How Can You Love Me
  • Eric Benet – Feel Good
  • Angie Stone – No More Rain
  • Lee Ritenour feat. Djavan – Asa
  • Joe – Can’t Get Over You
  • Deodato feat. Al Jarreau – Double Face
  • Sergio Mendes – Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing
  • Steely Dan – Deacon Blues
  • Torcuato Mariano – I Can’t Help It
  • Chad Borja – Let My Love Inside
  • Aquarela – Boracay
  • Stevie Wonder – Golden Lady
  • Madonna – Cherish
  • Kazu Matsui Project feat. Robben Ford – Standing On The Outside
  • Jeff Lorber Fusion – Pixel

The Listening Room: Crossing Over To Crossover

Up next in The Listening Room series is dedicated to another smooth jazz station, 105.1 Crossover. As of this writing, it is the only radio station in Metro Manila playing smooth jazz and anything related. And yes, the station celebrated their 20th year in the airwaves in 2014.


Since the demise of DZRU-FM Joey 92.3 in 2007, I decided to search for another smooth jazz station to satisfy my craving for smooth music. I eventually settled on DWBM-FM 105.1 Crossover.

The station has a nice selection of songs, ranging from the usual smooth jazz music to soul and R&B. Unlike Joey, the station’s playlist doesn’t include new age and world music. But they did feature some great music from Incognito, Earth Wind & Fire, Bob James, Earl Klugh, Workshy, Dianne Reeves, and a lot more.

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My observations for listening to that station (for more than 7 years):

  • The Manila station used to have segments focusing on a particular genre of music or songs performed by a certain artist. Some of these include Soul In Motion (playing soul, Motown and rhythm and blues), Crossover Classics (first as a segment featuring an hour of songs from one artist, and later as a weekend segment featuring the classic songs played), and Retro Grooves (featuring songs from 70’s and 80’s, I think). Provincial stations (Cebu, Bacolod, and Davao stations) still have these segments.
  • One notable segment, The Crossover Weekend Recall, was revived and is the current weekend segment featuring the classic songs. The Weekend Recall replaced the Crossover Classics segment since more than a year ago.
  • Crossover Manila’s programming is different from its provincial stations (based on the station’s website, but it is yet to be updated).
  • The station broadcasts from about 5:00 or 6:00 AM until 2:00 AM the following day, different from Joey’s 24/7 broadcast.
  • There were [at least] a handful of OPM songs played (most notably Boy Katindig’s “I’ll Always Stay In Love This Way”).
  • A few unique commercials (plus some magazine commercials) are aired on this station.
  • The station finally had its DJs after almost a decade of absence (sourced from its Wikipedia page). Previously, the station is usually automated, with voice-overs and station idents every top of the hour.
  • At times, I also hear some of the songs which do not fit the smooth jazz and R&B format, but are staples from the station’s earlier branding, such as David Gates’ “Never Let Her Go”…

Just like Joey, Crossover is another great radio station to listen to. It is still the smoothest place on the radio, twenty years and still counting.

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All right, I’m going to feature the songs heard on this station:

  • Joe Sample (feat. Take 6) – U-Turn
  • Bobbi Humphrey – Years From Now
  • Minnie Riperton – Back Down Memory Lane
  • Bob James – Friends
  • George Benson – Living Inside Your Love
  • Yutaka – Dreamland
  • Workshy – Fascination
  • Dianne Reeves – Never Too Far
  • Paulinho Da Costa – I Believe You
  • Seawind – Follow Your Road
  • Incognito – Still A Friend Of Mine
  • Shakatak – Let’s Start Over Again
  • Michael Franks – Now I Know Why (They Call It Falling)
  • Eric Tagg – Never Too Far
  • David Benoit (feat. Dianne Reeves) – Land Of The Loving
  • Kevyn Lettau – Sunlight
  • Sergio Mendes – All In Love Is Fair
  • Gary Paxton – Living In The Shadow Of Your Memory
  • Patti Austin – All Behind Us Now
  • George Duke & Stanley Clarke – Sweet Baby
  • The Jones Girls – Nights Over Egypt
  • Kenny Loggins – This Is It
  • Deon Estus – Spell
  • Akira Jimbo – Love Will Make It Better
  • The Miracles – City Of Angels
  • Nielsen & Pearson – If You Should Sail
  • Basia – Promises
  • The Rippingtons – Into You
  • Bob James – Sign Of The Times
  • Bobby Caldwell – Show Me Your Devotion
  • Lee Ritenour – Keep It Alive
  • Shakatak – Easier Said Than Done
  • Randy Crawford – Time For Love
  • Anita Baker – No One In The World
  • Swing Out Sister – Don’t Give Up On A Good Thing
  • Linda Lewis – More Than Enough
  • Raven-Symoné – Grazing In The Grass
  • Spyro Gyra – Little Linda
  • James Ingram (feat. Michael McDonald) – Yah Mo B There
  • Quincy Jones – I’m Gonna Miss You In The Morning
  • Nolen & Crossley – Nice To Have You Back
  • Hilary – So In Love With You

The Listening Room: It Begins With Joey

The second post in The Listening Room series is dedicated to my favorite [defunct] radio station, Joey 92.3 (at times, as 923 Joey). This fueled my love for smooth jazz and easy listening music, which continues up to this day.


It was 2005 when I was introduced to a smooth jazz station DZRU-FM Joey 92.3 (now DWFM 92.3 News FM) by accident, on board the bus during a school tour (I brought a pocket radio with me that time). It has an impressive choice of songs, ranging from smooth jazz to easy listening songs, European style jazz, and world music. It is one of the few radio stations that time which caters to the higher echelon crowd, mostly affluent people. But of course, jazz lovers and anyone seeking refinement from the [unfriendly] mainstream radio stations should benefit from this.

Since I was intrigued by the station’s unusual choice of songs (including some commercials, which complimented the radio station as well), I decided to listen to it for a week. And then for a month… And then I’m on it until its sudden change in the format a few years later. I never switch to any other radio stations, for the time being, thinking that Joey is the perfect radio station to listen to.

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I listened to Joey for almost 2 years, almost accompanying me with smooth music while sitting in front of the computer. Within that period of listening to that station:

  • I started listening to a handful of smooth jazz and easy listening music, particularly those from David Benoit, George Benson, Hiroshima, Yutaka, George Duke, Michael Franks, Basia, Lee Ritenour, The Jones Girls, The Manhattan Transfer, Angela Bofill, Everything But The Girl, Paulinho Da Costa, John Kaizan Neptune, Swan Dive, and a lot more.
  • I remember hearing the catchy song “Paper Mache” by Rita Calypso playing on this station a few times, which was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and originally performed by Dionne Warwick. I liked that version of the song so much, and it took me so long to figure out the singer and the song (as well as downloading it).
  • Some of the songs played are smooth covers of the originals, some of them translated in a foreign language such as French. Some of these include The O’Jay’s “I Love Music” (covered by Rozalla), Aretha Franklin’s “Until You Come Back To Me” (covered by Basia and Miki Howard), and Barry Manilow’s “Could It Be Magic” (covered in French as “Le Temps Qui Court” by Isabelle Antena). A lot of jazz standards and bossa nova songs are also covered by various artists.
  • There are a few segments dedicated to a specific musical genre. Some of these include Solid 70’s (featuring disco music), Totally 80’s (featuring new wave), and Planet Beat (featuring world music from Putumayo). There is also an informative segment called This Week In History, featuring notable events from the past that happened exactly on that week.
  • I loved the idea of the station being automated and all, but that makes it difficult for us to figure out the title of the song and the artist. I did figure out the song’s title a few years later by means of the lyrics, or by luck. Some of the songs, however, are obscure and are hard to find (and a simple search won’t do at all).
  • They also play a handful of OPM (Original Pilipino Music) on this station as well. Some of these include Side A’s “Windows Of Our Soul”, Boy Katindig’s “I’ll Always Stay In Love This Way”, and Tillie Moreno And Ray-An Fuentes’ “Umagang Kay Ganda”.
  • Most of the commercials aired in this station are aimed towards a specific market. Some of these commercials include Fruit Magic, De Original Jamaican Pattie Shop, Osim, and Adobo Magazine. At one point though, they also aired a PCSO commercial (the Walang Kupas commercial). Pretty unusual for a smooth jazz station, but I wouldn’t mind.

Too bad the station reformatted to an electronica and trip-hop station called xFM (not to be confused with the British radio station of the same name) in 2007 after the Holy Week, but the memories of listening to that station will remain. Just thinking of those times make me wanna go back to the past decade. It was a great radio station worth listening. Definitely a groove thing.

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All right, I’m going to list some of the songs that best remind me of that station. Some of the songs featured are the ones I heard first on this station.

  • David Benoit – Promise Me A Carousel
  • Dave Grusin – Haunting Me
  • Lee Ritenour – Is It You?
  • The Jones Girls – At Peace With Woman
  • Lori Perry – One Chance
  • Isabelle Antena – Le Temps Qui Court
  • Rita Calypso – Paper Mache
  • The Spinners – Could It Be I’m Falling In Love
  • Quincy Jones – Setembro (Brazilian Wedding Song)
  • Al Jarreau – Spain (I Recall)
  • The Love Unlimited Orchestra – Easin’
  • Ive Mendes – If You Leave Me Now
  • The Manhattan Transfer – A World Apart
  • Everything But The Girl – Letting Love Go
  • Natalie Cole – This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)
  • Michael Franks – One Bad Habit
  • Barry White – Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love
  • The Fifth Dimension – Ashes To Ashes
  • Grover Washington, Jr. (feat. Patti LaBelle) – The Best Is Yet To Come
  • Paulinho Da Costa – Real Love
  • Jim Photoglo – When Love Is Gone
  • Ramsey Lewis & Nancy Wilson – The Two Of Us
  • Burt Bacharach – Living Together, Growing Together
  • Rupert Holmes – Answering Machine
  • Hiroshima – Holidays
  • David Benoit – Life Is Like A Samba
  • Basia – Reward
  • Steely Dan – Rikki Don’t Lose That Number
  • Lee Ritenour – I Once Had Your Love (And I Can’t Let You Go)
  • The Temptations – Get Ready
  • John Kaizan Neptune – Soft Melody
  • George Benson – Lady Love Me One More Time
  • Jeffrey Osborne – Eenie Meenie Miney Moe
  • Randy Crawford – Rainy Night In Georgia
  • Gregg Karukas – Three Wishes, One Desire
  • David Benoit – Take A Look Inside My Heart
  • Joe Sample (feat. Michael Franks) – Leading Me Back To You
  • Angela Bofill – This Time I’ll Be Sweeter
  • Robbie Dupree – Make It Easy On Yourself
  • Ronnie Laws – Stay Awake
  • Kenia – Celebrate The Night
  • Matt Bianco – More Than I Can Bear
  • Hiroshima – The Door Is Open

The Summer Series – Part Two: 2007-2010

Continuing The Summer Series, I’m going to feature the next four years of summer fun. Well, almost.

2007: Near Independence And Challenges

Definitely not a good summer year for me, but there are still a few great things to be thankful for. Anyway, let’s proceed.

A few personal/family problems make it nearly impossible for me to continue enjoying my great summer. I’m not going to divulge any details, but there’s a previously published article for that. Moving on, I know how to run the house, so… that makes me feel independent somehow. It’s the beginning of a painful (but positive) journey.

There are a few instances wherein I sneak out of the house to visit my mom without my dad’s knowledge. Why should I tell him where I’m going anyway? Well, I wanted to avoid any more arguments.

I usually find myself in front of the TV, either watching a telenovela or drawing on numerous bond papers and colored papers. I’m also in front of the computer, writing stories and playing RPGs. At times, I go out and head to the nearest internet café to check my Friendster account, uploading pictures (FS) and downloading all sorts of things. I also read and collect books, an impulsive habit I don’t do nowadays…

2008: Lounge Music And The Beach… Plus Upcoming College Life

So here I was, at home playing Midtown Madness and listening to some lounge music (not exactly lounge, but more of jazz and bossa nova combined). Does this mean I’m heading to the fun summer life?

The more I think of going to the beach on a summer day, the more I want to go there. And yes, it did happen. Despite the rainy weather in Manila the day before, our destination (Puerto Galera) remains sunny and hot. That makes a perfect summer vacation for me, and I’m more than ecstatic.

Going back to Manila, it’s about time I start heading for college. After the entrance exam and the enrollment process, I’m officially an English Major student. Now, isn’t that amazing?

2009: My Weird Summer Vacation… And My Fashion… And More

The first year in college, that was a fun start. The battery exam (see another previously published article for more details) is okay, more than average. I managed to pass. Somehow, it makes sense that I should be happy considering that I can continue to my second year in college.

All right… hang out with my classmates, discovering new literature (including a book of poems from a remarkable author) and swimming at the pool and at the beach. And of course, story writing for my former blog. And by the way, I started my habit of dressing nicely during enrollments and end-of-semester days. I’m more into layered clothing that time so there goes raiding the wardrobe for a nice mix-and-match, along with my black slacks.

My first camera phone is a slider one. Considering how cool it is, the lack of memory is my primary concern. I was able to take a lot of photos with it… including myself, and play a lot of mobile games with it as well. The term “selfie” is not yet in use. For music, there’s FM radio… but wouldn’t it be nice if I were able to store and play my own tunes on my phone?

2010: Movie Marathon, Discovering New Music, And My First Unpublished Novella

The second year college sure is one tough school year. Lots of activities, lots of pressure. And after a momentary period of depression, I’m back to my old self.

I continued blogging and writing the somewhat depressingly dark-themed novella with a morbid ending. I posted the finished novella as a PDF novel on my blog for a short time. I still went on with the usual habit of managing my blog and posting articles and new stories.

And since we had our own internet connection, I’m more into downloading music and movies, something to keep me entertained outside the usual habit of checking Facebook and e-mail, as well as playing RPG and puzzle games. I discovered some tunes, most of them are the ones played on a smooth jazz station. And about the movies? I’m more into classic films of the late 70’s and the 80’s, at times I’m into the more recent (and unusual) titles.

Nothing special, I guess. Enjoying light to heavy rain in the summer is the best thing to do since the rainy season is on its way anyway.


Watch out for the last part of this series soon… as I feature some interesting summer memories that include summer internship and my mall hopping escapades.

The Listening Room: Choice Of Music

The Listening Room series features music-related articles and my fascination with various genres of music such as contemporary and smooth jazz, easy listening, bossa nova and the like. And of course, radio and its issues.

All right, so the first in the TLR series is all about my choice of music and how I started listening to these songs. It may sound strange to you, but it takes a little appreciation to enjoy what I listen to. After all, we all have our own preferences and tastes when it comes to music.


You are what you listen to. For music lovers, their choice of music defines their lifestyle. It’s not about the genre or the lyrics or the melody… but it’s all about interpretation.

As a well-refined listener of the aforementioned genres of music above, I know how to choose great music very well. A few seconds of intro makes me want to listen to the entire track, and I loved listening to it over and over again by playing it on loop.

Back then, I didn’t mind listening to various songs playing on the radio. But as I grew up, I’m quite aware of what I listen to… anything too mainstream can be cheesy and anything novelty can be cheap, something you can live without. I don’t know, but by the time I started listening to smooth jazz and easy listening music on the radio, I feel relaxed and well-refined and I’m more comfortable listening to this format that I finally stop listening to mainstream (masa) radio stations for good.

The more I listened to these great songs on the radio, the more I want to have them for off-the-air listening. And that’s how I started discovering Lee Ritenour, George Duke, Basia, Lisa Stansfield, Spyro Gyra, and the like. They’re always a part of my playlist ever since.

Later on, I started listening to bossa nova, and that adds some local and international acts like Sitti Navarro, Astrud Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Sergio Mendes, and much more into my growing list of favorite artists.

And then there’s lounge and chillout music, a nice compliment to my growing music playlist… and then new age… and expanding to include music from all over the world, mainly from Europe and Japan. And whatever easy listening songs I can include to compliment my music playlist as well, including Original Pilipino Music. And voila, a great collection of songs to listen to, just like your own personal radio station with a customized playlist suitable to your listening needs.

Anyway, I was just starting to see how long will this list go on. Besides, I couldn’t stop discovering new tunes, hence it keeps expanding. Sounds impulsive… but then, does it matter?

The Summer Series – Part One: 2003-2006

All right! It’s time to recount my past summer memories in a series of posts. It only comes once a year so I’m enjoying every bit of it, and as much as I can.

Where should I begin first? Of course, the year 2003 which I consider as a transitional summer. For me, that was the time I decided to start over after graduating from elementary and leaving my former school of six years.

This series only covers what I did during these two months: April and May. Any other month? The Timeline series has it. So let’s move on.

2003: Transition

Well, the best thing I remember about that summer is that… it came at an unfortunate moment. You see, my PC broke down and it took a few months for it to be fixed (it was an older PC, a surplus). In the meantime, there’s a visit to my cousin’s house just to play RPG games…

Nothing special, except for the remarkable school transfer moment and the time I started wearing glasses. So that really makes a good transition period, isn’t it?

2004: Cellphone And Late Night… TV

What about that? After visiting some of my classmate’s houses and spending a great time with them… plus having my first phone (only for a few months), I started watching a few Asian dramas. But what makes me get excited the most, is that Asian drama which was aired at around 10:45 PM (unusual time-slot at that time) and my eyes are glued to the screen. Oh wait, did I really stay up late, at that time? Wait till I reach college, that’s what I’m up to nowadays.

2005: The Most Wonderful Summer Of My Life

After that terrible school year with some devil classmate of mine, I finally got to relax inside my comfort zone… right at home. RPG games are my inescapable vice and I’m right in front of the computer screen for like two to three hours per session. I loved screen grabbing some interesting scenes and events and keeping them. I also listen to music while playing that game. That emotional love song while on a picture perfect, the pixelated place makes a great combination.

Aside from that, I get to visit a park (a watershed) somewhere nearby and nearing the end of that summer, I did help my relatives in clearing a lot. Even more interesting is watching a re-run of my favorite Asian drama, as well as an anime show. That summer is pure bliss, I guess.

2006: RPG, A Smooth Jazz Radio Station, Anime… And Writing

The follow-up to a great summer vacation, this time I’m listening to a smooth jazz station instead of listening to CDs like what I did that previous summer [2005]. What I’m playing is a poorly translated bootleg of a great RPG. It was great. It was mysterious. The screen grabbing habit continues.

This is the time when I started drawing some of my favorite anime characters and a few imaginary ones. And then there’s writing… practice writing I should say. Writer moment, I thought… that’s what I probably wanted to do in life after graduating from college. It’s difficult at first since I keep getting writer’s block. I was far too ambitious.

After clearing that lot, it’s building the house. I did help occasionally, though at times I prefer to stay at home. And then a few more anime shows and some TV programs… and riding the bicycle in the afternoon.


So there! That was the first part of the Summer Series. And yes, I decided to have short and concise summaries of my summer memories, four summer seasons at a time.

More to come on the next part of this series.