This story is about me, God… and Gary V.

Sometime in the late ’80s…

There we were, my friend and I, two teenage girls pulling an all-nighter. No, we were not finishing a paper or a project, or anything close to that…

We were doing what normal teenagers do on sleepovers — chat the whole night. We were listening to our favorite songs and we chatted. At times we giggled a lot… certain moments, we whispered to each other about our secrets, fears and dreams. 

It was a long night.  At some point, we decided to pretend that we were making a music video of a favorite Filipino song. The artist: this singer popularly known as Mr. Pure Energy, Gary Valenciano. The song: Di Bale Nalang.

Di Bale Nalang. Still the best dance song in my book up to today. Best dance song ever. (Insert Gary V. dance moves here…)

***

I was  am a huge Gary V. fan. The very first live concert that I watched was Gary V’s. I was in sixth grade then.

Hmm, now that I am thinking about it, I think I watched an Air Supply concert prior to that… but that doesn’t count because I never really liked them (I can belt out most of their mushy songs, though. But, duh!). So yeah, I will stick to my story — The first concert that I watched live was Gary V’s. And I have been a fan ever since. 

You know how teenagers can memorize the lyrics of the songs they liked? Well, I was once a teenager, too… And I practically memorized most, if not, all of Gary V’s songs then. Yes, even the ones which were not that popular, both fast and slow. 

I can proudly say that I still remember most of them up to now… Insert Gary V. moves here again... 🙂  

***

Was there ever a time in your life when everything seems to be going right, yet you know that there is still something missing? Or how about that time when nothing is going right and you don’t know where to look for that one thing that can or will sustain you? 

The year was 2006. On the outside I seemed to have everything I needed in life. I had a family, I was raising a wonderfully gifted child, and we were living comfortably. Things seemed perfect. But they were not.

I was not happy. There were times when I felt dead inside. My relationship with my husband was in shambles. I was exhausted. I felt I deserved more from life. I didn’t know if I wanted to be where I was.

I had everything and I had nothing.

One evening over dinner, my husband told me that his friend, an old schoolmate, invited us to his Church. I remember my husband saying, Let’s try something new… It won’t hurt. 

I just shrugged and said okay. Whatever.

His friend’s name? Gary Valenciano.

***

That following Sunday, we attended Church service at New Life Christian Center for the first time. 

And there he was — Gary V., in the flesh. So while everybody was singing, worshiping, I was there watching him.

gary v

One Big Fan

I think a Gary V. album was playing in my head the whole time. I didn’t know any of the worship songs, anyway. 

Besides, I also didn’t really know what I was doing in that Church — or what was expected of me.  I was happy enough to see my idol.

I was fangirling quietly.

After service, my husband introduced me to Gary. We talked a bit. Actually, he talked more because I was so starstruck that I couldn’t think of anything smart to say. I just mostly smiled.  

I was a totally different person the weekend after that. We went back to Church the Sunday after, and I came prepared. I told myself that if Gary was there and I’ll be introduced again, I will be friendlier. 

He was there again. And this conversation transpired right after service:

  • Gary: Hi! Good to see you guys again here in Church! (Or something like that)
  • Me: *while fanning my face with my hands*  Hi Gary! Oh gosh, I am a big fan!!!!
  • Gary : *Smiles and turns red*
  • Me: *still fanning my face* No, really. Bata palang ako, Gary Valenciano ka na!!! (You were already Gary Valenciano even when I was still very young). I know the lyrics of ALL your songs!
  • Gary: *still blushing, and probably thinking, How old are you, anyway??* But now you’re not a fan anymore, we’re now friends!
  • Me: No, I’m still a fan!! I will always be a fan!!!
  • Husband: *practically pushed me away before I embarrassed myself — and Gary– more* Bye Gary! See you next week. (Or something like that. I really don’t remember because I was still reeling from excitement.)

My husband apparently never took me seriously when I mentioned before that I was a big fan. He only realized it that day.

But God knew. And God also knew how He can get my attention. 

***

We have been going to the same Church — from that Sunday up to today, for almost eleven (11) years now. 

We rarely saw Gary V. after that because he is, after all, a celebrity and a busy guy. But we met a lot of people and made new friends. We grew spiritually as a family. The Church became our second home — the Church people, our second family. 

In that Church, I found what my spirit was searching for. I found the relationship that was lacking in my life. I found the God Who provides me with strength and sustenance during trying times. The same God who gives me peace and joy, whatever season in life I may be in.

We often mistakenly see God as this Almighty Being, Someone Who is way up there… Some Authority Who will judge or punish us for every wrongdoing. Someone unreachable.

But God is a Father. And like any father, He wants a relationship with us. He knows what we need and He wants to give us every good thing. Yet we have to heed His call. 

We have to want to know more of Him.

God knew how to get my attention… He used a Gary Valenciano.

Gary v NL

        Finally, a picture in Church!!           (taken just a couple of years ago)

God also made me realize that yes, He has been watching me all these years. He knew what makes me smile, what makes me listen and pay attention. 

God saw where I was and He called me to lead me somewhere better.

Gary V concert

See? Gary and I are friends now! 

I also believe that God has a sense of humor. 

❤ ❤ ❤

Where are you in life right now? Maybe you should allow God to surprise you, as well? 🙂 

***

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” – Psalms 32:8 

*****

photos are all mine 🙂

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Friendship, South of France

Today was errands day.

My agenda for the day included: Picking up Les Miserables tickets (done! so excited!); Do the groceries, buy food for the family (bought more than necessary… but then, what else is new?!); Get son’s picture from the photo shop; Pay some bills (some?!); Buy salad for lunch (perpetual diet but keeps cheating with dessert)…  And the list went on.

Walking at the mall, on my way to the supermarket, I bumped into an old friend, Elle — someone I haven’t seen in a long time. Continue reading

#followyourroad

Something light and easy on a Thursday morning…

Have you wondered where your road will lead you?
Maybe to a bright day of sunshine or a starry night in heaven
Or it might be you’re afraid to go afraid to go,
But you’ve got to follow your road or you’ll never know, never know…

***

Credits: Follow Your Road by Pauline Wilson, video via Youtube; lyrics via lyricsbox.com

 

That ’80s Music Blog

what’s playing?

Ahhh, Friday…

There are so many reasons to love Fridays — last day of the work/school week,  Friday sales at the mall, prelude to the weekend…

One of my favorite radio stations plays nothing but ’80s music every Friday.  How can I NOT love that?  I am an ’80s girl (okay, there goes my age) so listening to ’80s music never fails to lift my spirits up or put a smile on my face.

***

I know I promised I will try to avoid reblogging old posts… but I can’t resist doing it (again) this time.

I wrote the following blog post back in the day– in another blogsite, when my followers were just my cousin and another friend (both of whom I always had to pester to check my site just so I’d have hits for the day).

Sharing this ’80s blog with you while  Madonna’s Where’s the Party blares in the background.  How can I resist?!

… Welcome to my world!

*PS. Feel free to comment.  If you grew up in the ’80s, share your thoughts, please!!

*****

Tuning in to the ’80s

Music, indeed, has the magic of transporting you back in time.

I was sitting in front of the computer this morning when I heard the radio blaring from the neighbor’s lot.  There’s an ongoing construction and it seems the workers are hard of hearing that most of the time, the radio is in full volume.  This particular morning they were playing mushy love songs from the 80′s.

Ricky Martin rocked my world!

Before long, I found myself humming along to Menudo’s ”If You’re Not Here.”  Okay, I admit, it was more fun belting out the song.  Humming doesn’t do it justice.  And as if Menudo is not enough, the next song was from Air Supply.  I didn’t sing along anymore this time, but truth be told, I do know the lyrics to the song, as well.  Shame shame shame.

To the young ones reading this who have no idea who (or what) Menudo* is,  Menudo was a Puerto Rican boy band formed in the ’70s but achieved success and became really popular in the ’80s.  Long before the Backstreet Boys, NSync and 98 degrees, was this boy band.  This was where the ultra hot Ricky Martin started (he was still a young and cute Ricky Martin then, though I always knew he had the potential…).

Going back to the main point of this blog, music does have a way of zapping you back to another time.  Sometimes when I hear certain songs, it feels like I’m back in time… at the same place, exact same moment.  Being an 80′s girl — I was in high school during the latter part of the decade — I truly get a certain sense of ’high’ whenever I hear 80′s music (mushy or otherwise).

80’s music rocks!!!

Allow me to share some 80′s songs that still transport me back in time and the reasons why…

1)  You to Me are Everything by the Real Thing.  “I would take the stars out of the sky for you…Stop the rain from falling if you ask me to..“    How can you not like that?

I remember our school fair, sophomore year.  My friend and I requested this song to be played for this senior guy I really, really liked.  In secret, of course.  Senior guy saw me sitting on a bench while the song was playing, walked straight to me while singing along.  I was on cloud 9.   I was 14… and I thought I was in love.

2)  Upside Down by Two Minds Crack – One morning after a marathon telephone conversation the night before with senior guy, I woke up and heard this music playing on my radio.  The weather was cool, the day showed so much promise.  It was a moment I wouldn’t mind reliving.

3) Take On Me by A-Ha.  Loved the song. Loved the video.

4)  Melt with You by Modern English –  My sister’s anthem. Because of the number of times that I heard her playing said song over and over and over again, of course it stuck to me.  Recently I saw again on tv the movie Valley Girl (where the song was played).  Couldn’t believe that it was Nicholas Cage who starred in said movie!

5) Borderline and Crazy for You.  One word: Madonna.  Along with Like a Prayer, favorite karaoke songs ever.  No shame!

6)  For Just a Moment (Love theme from St. Elmo’s Fire).  “We laugh until we had to cry and we love right down to our last goodbye…”

I remember one afternoon in a house in San Diego, my best friend/person and I were in a room and we were singing this song.  I remember one of us holding a piece of paper with the lyrics (so we can do it right).  I think I was about to leave in a few days.  We were both teenagers then.  Fast forward twenty years, we are still the best of friends.

lookin’ for the love getaway…

7)  Love Shack  by B52′s.   ”I’m heading down the Atlanta highway, lookin’ for the love getaway…” 

Moment in time: Me singing and dancing to the song… while someone on the other end of the phone patiently waits — and listens.  Best guy friend I ever had.  Still holds a soft spot in my heart ’til today.

~ * ~

It’s nice to reminisce.  It’s nice to sing and still know the lyrics of the song.   Whenever I hear 80′s music, I remember my friends… I remember my growing up years… I remember having fun.   I think about the people I shared those moments with and I am grateful that my friends then are still my friends up to now.  Well, at least most of them.  I remember about past loves and heartaches and realize that I have outgrown them all.

We hear these songs and we remember… and we relive the moments.  We smile, laugh, we cringe, we get embarrassed.  But mostly, we feel good… and the feeling stays somewhat.

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

Note : *Menudo is also a traditional Mexican dish made with beef stomach in clear broth.  May also be the traditional stew from the Philippines made with sliced pork and calves’ liver (reference: wikipedia)

**Info on Menudo band from Wikipedia

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photos via google images