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Archive for December, 2010

Smells Like Baby Spirit

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010
NOW let’s talk about babies. Not that it’s Christmas, although we’ll get to that later, but because I’m an expectant father and everything that’s in my head right now are images of babies and baby stuff as I watch The Partner’s tummy grow bigger each day. In three months’ time, we will meet our firstborn face-to-face, and I expect our baby to flash me the Devil’s Horns, or the rock-and-roll hand gesture, as his/her first official act as the newest member of the human race.
Before calling me unfit for the noble task of fatherhood awaiting me, the Devil’s Horns is actually an ancient gesture to ward off evil spirits before a 1970s rock vocalist suffering from identity crisis started flashing the sign while entreating the Devil in his songs. So leave us alone with our Devil’s Horns as we continue to respect you with your V-sign.
I’m talking about rock songs because for the past weeks, our baby has been listening to Nirvana, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, U2, The Beatles, Metallica and practically all the other rock bands that matter in the past 50 years. These are the music we, the parents, grew up with and continue to listen to. Now we’re introducing the music to our baby following the testimonies of veteran parents that babies should start learning their do-re-mi inside the womb.
But the testimonies didn’t mention rock songs – the “Music of the Devil.”
“What? Nirvana?” a shocked cousin exclaimed after we told her what our baby is listening to 24 hours a day. I understand her concern. After all, Nirvana is that ‘90s band whose vocalist sang of rape and guns and drugs and angst and the general stupidity called life. That’s no baby stuff.
And Black Sabbath, too? Isn’t it the one with Ozzy Osbourne, the man who eats bats for breakfast? And why would you feed the baby with “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC? The Beatles will do, but still the arrogance of John Lennon might rub off on the baby!
I’m new to fatherhood, and the thought of finally starting a family scares the hell out of me, I said. But of course I would not feed our baby with Green Day singing, “I went to a shrink/ To analyze my dreams/ She says it’s lack of sex that’s bringing me down.”
The songs our baby’s listening to right now are actually part of a collection called Rockaye Baby Lullaby CDs. The collection strips the hits of Guns N’ Roses, U2, No Doubt, Pink Floyd and others down to their barest essentials and transforms these timeless rock songs into beautiful instrumental lullabies.
I remember head-banging to the original version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” every time it got played back in the 1990s. But the song’s glockenspiel-and-vibraphone version in the lullaby collection never fails to lull me and The Partner into a sweet slumber. I know our little one too.
As a musician, I’m aware of the power of music to bond individuals, expectant parents to babies in the tummies most especially. Why not Baby Mozart, Baby Chopin or Baby Tchaikovsky? Because we, the parents, don’t like classical music. It lulls us to sleep for a different reason. The only music we feel sincere about sharing with our baby is the music we love.
And besides, do you know how the most popular lullaby of all, the “Rock a Bye Baby,” is one creepy song yet we sing it to babies? “Rock a bye baby on the tree top/ When the wind blows the cradle will rock/ When the bough breaks the cradle will fall/ And down will come baby, cradle and all.”
For a Christmas ending to this piece, I wonder what lullabies parents sang to their kids long time ago in Bethlehem, because one child from up there grew up to be a real nice boy.
(Sun.Star Cebu, December 21, 2010)

My Rock Star Baby LogoNOW let’s talk about babies. Not that it’s Christmas, although we’ll get to that later, but because I’m an expectant father and everything that’s in my head right now are images of babies and baby stuff as I watch The Partner’s tummy grow bigger each day. In three months’ time, we will meet our firstborn face-to-face, and I expect our baby to flash me the Devil’s Horns, or the rock-and-roll hand gesture, as his/her first official act as the newest member of the human race.



Insoymada’s top 10 Pinoy komiks characters

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

barokCHANGE your profile picture to a cartoon character from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same. Until Monday (Dec. 6) there should be no human faces on Facebook, but an invasion of memories. This is a campaign to stop violence against children.

But we’re sorry to tell you that you can’t use Pinoy cartoon characters because they are so ewwwww. You are the children of this generation with Justin Bieber as your cultural icon, so please don’t use anyone from this list called “Insoymada’s Top 10 Pinoy Komiks Characters:”

1. Kenkoy–Tony Velasquez’s Kenkoy is the first komiks superstar. This hilarious portrait of the Filipino, trying but always failing to keep up with his American mentors, was born in the Liwayway comics in 1929.

When you say, “I so love my BF because he is so kenkoy,” you now know where the word came from. And you jejemons out there, Kenkoy’s been there, done that with his trademark lines like “Halo, how is yu?”, “watsamara” (what’s the matter), “dats oret” (that’s all right), “nating duwing” (nothing doing), “okidoki” (okeydokey), “lets tek ewok” (let’s take a walk), “is beri nesesari,” and “bay gali.”



Through the lens (not) clearly

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

insoy-glassesYOU know the moment has arrived when you look at your food and you think you’re having balbacua when you’re being served caldereta.

Me: Wow, balbacua! My favorite!/ Host: Ahm, sir, it’s caldereta. / Me: Really. Oh, I love caldereta too.

This bothered me because only a few years ago I could tell if it’s ants on my adobo or black pepper. Now, I have to use my sense of smell to make sure it’s pan de sal I’m dipping in my coffee instead of some round and brown tropical fruit like chico zapote.

So I did what any normal guy scared of the prospects of poking his nose into the world and living the rest of his life like that would do: I went to have my eyes checked by an eye specialist.

If you haven’t met one yet, an eye specialist is an extremely well-trained medical professional who lives in a mall, preferably in a dark corner of an optical shop, who thinks she’s a dentist in that she has this huge, scary-looking chair and all those scary looking equipment on standby in case she needs to gouge your eyes out.





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