Category Archives: chiquipineda

Super Serendipity Sunday (or When It’s Time…)

The day was Friday, and just like any other morning, I woke up thinking of the following things: what to pack for the kids’ lunches, which coffee to brew, Vanhoutte’s hazel vanilla or Nescafe’s house blend, and how the heck I can overcome the daily resistance of the dreaded morning workout routine which seems to get harder and harder every year!

Oh, there’s another thing that’s been added to my morning’s running script in my head: What songs am I going to sing for my show in California in November?!?

So  I went to the bathroom, but before going, I glanced at my phone’s prompts, a daily habit now, and briefly saw it: (paraphrasing)

 On Twitter: It seems like the red-headed cat is alive and well.  Thank you @chiquipineda for sharing…. and I thought to myself “Hmmm…Twitter.  I’m hardly on there.  Who could be tweeting me this early…” and then let the phone go, went on my business and didn’t think about it until later that morning when I was more awake.
It turns out, this tweet was from my favourite kick-a** teacher, Steven Pressfield’s team!
The full story is right here.
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Today, another serendipitous moment hits me.  Of all people that my favourite speaker of inspiration, Oprah, no less, would have in her SuperSoulSunday for today, it would be, who else, but Steven Pressfield, but of course, right?    Like, can it be anybody else?!?  😀
Everything Mr SP shared in today’s show I’ve heard at least a dozen (and a hundred and two) times already.  I’ve had his book, The War of Art by my bed, in my bag, and in my iPhone – yes, I got the audible version as well – for years now.
Last week, I excitedly grabbed the follow-up which is Turning Pro.  I was, at first, momentarily disappointed.  The book was not on my Audible.com which is my go-to source of books.  I hesitated.  I was going to wait until it was up.  It was going to be up sooner or later.  But something inside me said “Go.  No more waiting, Chiqui.”
And so I did.
I got the substandard – no fancy audible techie tags (read: a bit disorganized) and more expensive version on Kindle.  But I remembered this, too: When the (God) Voice says “Go.”, you go.  So it’s 3x the price, so what!  I put Thrifty Chiqui to sleep.
I haven’t stopped listening + reading since that day.  I haven’t stopped getting nudges since that day.
This now brings me to the moment of Universal Truth that Mr. Pressfield and many other life teachers share about one’s passion, from William Hutchison Murray ~
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

I’ve been ignoring my signs for a very long time.  My closest and dearest will tell you how many excuses I’ve made, how often I added all sorts of drama to the mix and frankly, it gets boring after a while.  Thank YOU, to you who have listened, supported, put up with me.

And the signs are everywhere.  They are always strong and super-soul*full if and when we allow it.
The KEY is exactly that:  Allow it.
What signs are you noticing in your life?
What keeps popping up over and over, again and again, like a broken record CD?
And more importantly, this:
Are we paying attention yet?
And if I may have your attention for a few more…here is my very personal love offering to the world these days ~ Our California Show is a go. Nov. 15, Friday, Dance Pavilion in Fullerton, OC is a go!  To reserve your tickets, you can call/viber Ms. Gigi Villavert Borromeo @ 1(714)699-6143. It’s a small venue (150-200pax) so grab your tickets now! 😊👍💃🎶
Always, above all else ~
Love and Courage in your brand of creativity,
Chiqui Pineda-Azimi
Thank you, Ms. Oprah Winfrey and Mr. Steven Pressfield for the Work you do in this world.
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Yakap (:Embrace)

“Ako ay nagbalik
Sa init ng iyong yakap
Parang ibong sabik sa isang pugad
Nadanas kong lungkot
Nang kita’y aking iwan
Na di pa dinanas ng sinuman”

Yakap, A.M.B Junior (composer)

Let me try translating this into English:

“I came back
To the warmth of your embrace
Like a bird missing her nest
I experienced intense sadness
When I left you
A sadness never felt by anyone else…”

Antonio Morales Barretto, the original singer/songwriter of this beautiful song, probably dedicated this song to his special girl.  Or guy.

Anyway, back to the song, one that’s so easy on the ears and so deliciously sing-able, I’m singing..and more importantly, sharing this warm embrace with you ~

Artwork by Katie Daisy on Etsy.com | thewheatfield 

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this is how a song gets written by one chiqui pineda

this is how a song gets written

i’m high on pure adrenaline!  and the reason for this rush is because there’s a ton of it pumping in my veins from hearing the professionally arranged version of a song called “Borrowed Time” a song i wrote last month! wait…excuse me for a sec while i…

AAAAAAAAAEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

ha!  ok, now that i got that out of my system…

it all began in a private group i started on Facebook called Inarté.  actually, it started in my old, beat up Land Rover, last winter, on the way to the gym when the gym-going was still possible. anyway, i digress. (focus, chiqui, focus.)  so, on the way, i heard a bidding from a Voice that said that i must (not perhaps, not maybe…MUST.  aba, demanding?!)

as i was saying, i must start a writers’ group within that group i mentioned above. to have the moms/sisters/caregivers share stories, incognito, about Life Stuff/Kwentong Buhay, you know, the ones we don’t share on our shiny front pages because we’re either ashamed of them or just plain too mortified to do so.  interesting thing is this stuff, we all go through it in one way or another.  also, the sharing of this stuff makes us feel better.  but, that’s a tale for another time.  back to the main story…

so, to the Voice, i said “Yes.”  i always do.  in all my years, i’ve finally discovered that when i don’t, i get into a lot of trouble.  didn’t stop me from procrastinating though.  remember, that was winter.  i finally got 8 out of the 10 that was to be formed for the group of writers (aptly called Inar10) Springtime of this year.

gear-up.  ready, GO, set! mode na me.  i asked one mom-friend who’s already a seasoned blogger first. she, thank goodness this brave soul loves writing already, said yes. then another one, a lawyer, albeit hesitant at first kasi busy, but said yes, too. and another, an home executive 😉 with a flair for writing, said Yes-But.  there was hesitation because-because (i’m not a writer. i don’t know what to write about. i’m not sure…), really, because of fear. but then, when she chose to share her story…kaBOOM. it hit hard and rang true and connected with so many of us.  definitely made me feel less alone in this journey to wholeness.

long-backstory-short, one story stood out for me.  i don’t know how it happened exactly but you know how it goes when the time is right.  a wruddy sent me quirky artists one morning singing their quirky songs, one Inar10 writer shared a story that didn’t leave me alone, and one Yamaha electric piano calling my name one late, rainy evening in august and Tadah!  a song was born, lyrics plugged in the next day while sitting alone in the middle of a busy Starbucks inside one of my favorite place on earth.

this is why i love this thing, this magic process called creation. from nothing to something. but then again, it’s never really “nothing” because, as a favourite author says, when you imagine a box, eyes closed and imagine you opening it and what do you see? there’s always something.

Along with one LoveLikeWeDo on our Inarté Group on Facebook ~

And together with one super talented, generous, cute and cuddly to one SG ;), a master arranger who at 25 is still a kid but is  so  good at his craft I am in awe everytime he  does his thing: Jokko Peña, for sprinkling your brand of magic all over my humble story-in-song, SALAMAT.  Maraming salamat, Jokkolabs!

Here it that something, without further ado-do-be-do-bee-do…

And the very raw version here, too!  Just so you can see how it goes from barok to PATOK!

LIKE if you like and

LOVE and Follow Me on SoundCloud if you love my music and would like to hear more!

Thank you for keeping me company on this journey to 100im.perfect.songs and here’s to Courage in Creativity, always and ALL ways!

Love,

Chiqui

Borrowed Time, Version 3.0

Composer: Chiqui Pineda, Ms. LLWD

Musical Arranger: Jokko Peña

I’ve got paper and my piano
I write to light but see the shadows, oh…
She tells me of her endless sorrows
And how she knows her time is borrowed,

I’ve got some paper, cups of coffee
I see her tears and It’s so hard. she tells me
I listen with a heart that’s open
I hear because I, too, am broken

To be in love with yours is easy
To have to love another, that’s when it gets crazy
But you made a vow
You made a vow
What are you gonna do now

Be fair, she wants to be, she’s got to be fair
She tells me that she needs to share
This love and life, this rollercoaster ride
Of missed Valentines
Learn to read between the lines

Be fair, she wants to be, she’s gotta be fair
She tells me that she needs to care enough to fight
Turn this dark to Light
Promises unspoken
Tender words lost and forgotten

I’ve got some paper and her story
One brave heart in all its glory
Her words are hers but the pain is mine
Because like her I’m living on borrowed time

Moving to the rhythm and the rhyme of borrowed time…

Day 26 | Taking a breather

The 100im.perfect.songs project is on Song #30 today.

Look at that!

When I started this little project in my corner of the world and literally, in one corner of the house (because this room is actually located in the front south-west corner) I had no idea where it would go.  Nor how often.

Now it’s on its 30th and building momentum daily.

I’m going to take a breath with you and share this ~

Fell in love with Sia along the way!

“Breathe Me” is a 2004 single by Australian singer Sia Furler featured on the album Colour the Small One.
CREDITS
Original Singer/Songwriter: Sia Furler
Piano Instrumental : Jamie Cleaton
www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXjhY5xLhnc ]

Inspiration: Runt + Sia Furler

Ready…Sing! ^_^
Help, I have done it again
I have been here many times before
Hurt myself again today
And, the worst part is there’s no-one else to blame
Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me
Ouch I have lost myself again
Lost myself and I am nowhere to be found,
Yeah I think that I might break
I’ve lost myself again and I feel unsafe
Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me

Day 24 | And here’s another one* for "Throwback Thursday" and a throwback song, too!

Ang big hair!  Ack!!!  😀 | 1992
I was not more than 23 here but, man, the stylist made me look older than my mom!  Hahahahahahaha!!!

The above photo was my very first ‘glamour shot’ for a newspaper article they were going to write about me.  It was a feature on the San Miguel Beer Ad’s Centennial Jingle – 100 Years of San Mig – which featured the late great Fernando Poe Jr. as the hero on a horse.  I got to sing the jingle.  I don’t have a recording of it.  Sayang.
Continue reading Day 24 | And here’s another one* for "Throwback Thursday" and a throwback song, too!

Light

Around the Block
Canon 40D
2009



What bright light.  

The sunlight reflecting on the broken street lamp harasses me with its attacking shimmer as I sit and write at our kitchen table.  I squint at its sharpness.  It’s like the emergency beacon of a lighthouse signaling for help, I imagine.  It’s been broken, half-open for some time now, this glass casing dangling from it’s black foundation roofing.  High up there it threatens day and night to fall down on pedestrians.  But not just yet.  Maybe never.  For now it reflects the sunbeams.  
Sunbeams.

Oh, how I’ve missed you.  I’ve missed you so much that I’ve gone momentarily insane.  Crazy with very real fears that I called 911 at midnight two nights ago.  I described the pain to the operator and said it started as a strange stomach pain and I felt it slowly rising in my belly towards my chest.  The website didn’t help as there were too many “signs” to look out for in case of the dreaded heart…I don’t even want to say it.  The calm yet urgent voice of the dispatcher and the many questions he asked made the thumping in my chest go faster.  In less than fifteen minutes – but felt longer in my worried state – the ambulance arrived.  


Recall: My DH is ushering the paramedics in but not before tidying up a little bit.  Discarded toys on the floor, too many glasses of water and candy wrappers on the living room table.  He looks relaxed in his just awakened state.  My DS who stayed up with me, isn’t as calm.  The paramedics, a man and a woman, both white, find me seated on the leather couch.  I am weak from worry.  It is the holidays after all, says Allen who is clearly gay and the lead guy in this quick check.  Final diagnosis:  Indigestion at best, anxiety attack at worse.   Allen is now inquiring about the decor and the mirrors by the entrance.  He is also clearly interested in my DH more than his patient.  The lady who didn’t introduce herself, is taking off the wires from the sticky thingies on my ankles and wrists after monitoring me for a few minutes.  “Your heart and blood pressure are looking beautiful.”  I wonder about her choice of words.  Beautiful blood pressure.  Hmmm…odd.  I beam a little just the same.  “It may even be better than mine!” she says smiling.  She did look overweight, and Allen was too, but much slimmer than her.  DH and Allen are chatting about feng shui now.  He lives in a condo and didn’t have to worry about that, he intimates to DH.  TMI, Allen.  TMI, I thought.

I am much calmer now having been told my vital signs are “beautiful” and listening both amused and annoyed at Allen.  He gives me the option to go with them to the hospital for a fuller check or to see my doctor the soonest possible.  I choose the latter and sign the pink release forms that he hands over to me on a brown clipboard.  He gives me the standard words of advice: relax, observe, etcetera then goes on to lecture me about my tight pants.  I just changed from my frumpy jammies to decent blue jeans just in case I needed to be whisked away.  “Wear something more comfortable, Cathreen.  Sweat pants or pajamas.  Your jeans are way too tight.”  I think he just told me I was way too fat in so many words.  He goes back to chatting up my DH about the wooden horse by the door now.  We say our thanks and goodbyes.  I walk up the stairs, one slow step in front of the other with my DH and DS behind me.


Single Leaf
Canon 40D
Winter 2009

This is me.  
The nine-out-of-ten on the Worry Wart Scale me.  I dared my DH to be honest during our after-dinner couple time on the couch last night.  “So you think I’m a worrier?  On a scale of 1 to 10, where am I?”  He didn’t even skip a beat.  “Nine.”  NINE.  That’s almost a perfect 10, I thought.  “Oh, a bump.  Could it be cancer…”  He’s mimicking me now.  “Oh, my hands are pale…” and he looks anxiously at his hands like I do when I don’t feel like myself and does short, deep breaths.  We both laugh.  His in amusement.  Me in more worry.  I’m a 9.  Damn.  And I thought I was the calm one.  But then again, that’s his opinion. 


This brings me back to my University years in Diliman when Cynthia, my friend from freshman year in HRA school tells me the same thing while we are on the Ikot jeep to our next class.  I was sharing something I don’t even remember anymore.  “Chiquita, you are such a worry wart.”  Probinsiyana me didn’t even know what “worry wart” meant.  She was laughing when she said this so I thought it was a joke.  I think I laughed along with her.  Just going along.  I did a lot of these going alongs when I was younger.

Back to the writing exercise.  Keep the hand moving.  This is me.  Broken open and emptied to my present life.  Wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend.  Lover.  Hater.  Distant.  I’ve become what I once feared.  Ordinary.  Or so I feel.  The Ordinary Woman.  Feared it and longed for it at different times in my life.  Always, always the dichotomy.  My friend Jeannie once told me “The duality of good and evil shows very strong in your cards.  The fight between angel and demon, light and dark.  Do or don’t.  It’s almost two people in one.”  Doesn’t everyone feel this way?  I thought.  Jeannie, the archeologist.  No, not archeologist, arthritic…architect…what was it…that study of sun signs and the stars and moon…astrologist/numerologist!  And I am dumb again.  My diploma from the State U, my Iskolar Ng Bayan status, my 99+ on the NCEE and all my accomplishments combined are nothing now.  They look good on paper.  They are useless in real life.  In this lifelong search for authentic living. 

Snowy Branches
Canon 40D
Winter 2010

I am broken open.  
I am both my best accomplishment and my greatest failure.  I love with all my arms, hands, fingers, my very breath and then I hate with all my entrails, loins, blood boiling.  Overflowing.  I see everything and nothing.  I walk my morning walks for days, weeks, giving and sharing with my all my heart and then one day I am comatose on the coach, in hiding, eyes closed to the shimmering, twinkling light of the Christmas tree.  I stay this way for too many hours, withdrawn into this shell of emptiness.  Homesickness.

Hello, Winter Solstice.  I see you.  I feel you.  I honor this hell that arises with you in me.  I see me.  Finally.  I’m free from the darned, doomed, devil-hold.  How did I get here?  I refrain from analysis.  No more paralysis.  I look and listen instead.  It.Just.Imperfectly.Is.

I see you.  More beautifully, openly, crystal-clearly, your glass prism showing off all colors no longer the imitation Nescafe glass of your younger days but a crystal cut and formed by the tender hands of your later years.  I take all of you only because I take all of me, too.  The emptying of the shoulds and shouldn’ts.  It feels good to walk again.  In the sunlight.  To live and breath in the open space and wet grass and brown mud and cold air.  

To have died and live again.
I’m new to hearing this piece of music that goes la, dee, dum, dee, daaa today and bom, boomb, booom, crashhhh the next.

I’m gripping the red Parker pen too hard again.  I’m feeling my fingers, hand, right arm getting strained.  I loosen my grip, loosen my hold.  I loosen control over how this should be.  I hear Natalie’s voice: Keep your hand moving.  I hear the others, too.  Still there sitting by the rafters, speaking four different languages – Filipino, English, Cebuano and one that I’m not familiar with.  The one I don’t recognize is pure venom, vile and vulgar with its grunts and pfffts and eye-rolling hisses.  My heart races again.  Is this another anxiety attack coming on?  No.  I decide it is adrenaline pumping in my veins from the fresh morning walk in the sun earlier today.  I embrace the discomfort slowly growing in my chest.  I choose excitement.  Over being reborn to this new day.  Again, born in Manila, Davao, Pasig, Makati, Toronto.  Born in every city I’ve ever lived.  Born in every home, fifteen as of last count, I’ve grown up in.  If and only if I allow it to happen.  I am brand new, brewed fresh daily just like the Tim Hortons coffee advert proudly says on the radio.

The voices of urgent chores are getting louder now – the gift-buying, the clothes exchanging, the birthday greeting, Xmas dessert-making – all still undone.  I gently, tenderly loose the voice.  Always gently and tenderly.  I notice the hard light that shimmered earlier reflected on the broken lamp light casing is gone.  The sun has moved higher in the blue, cloud-smeared sky.  It has been fifteen minutes since I began writing my heart out on this beloved Moleskine notebook.  I feel good.  And tired.  Full.  And  Empty.  Spent.  And Energized.

I feel.  Light.

Free Flight/Lamp Light
Canon 40D
Winter 2008

Courage in creativity,
Chiqui

020/100: the sweetest days

  020/100: the sweetest days i’ve found with you by chiquipineda 

Through the Years” 
Written by Steve Dorff and Marty Panzer
Original Recording by Kenny Rogers.
Minus One Produced by Star Records for Charice “My Inspiration” Album


No infringement intended.
Please support the original artists.

Dedication : For Cora and Bert Pineda, just because.

Welcome to Song #20 of the 100i.m.perfect songs project!!!  My 20th recording!  YAY, ME.  And on to the good stuff ~

This song happens to be my mom and dad’s theme song!  Sweet noh?  Married forty five (forty six?) years now.  Feel na feel nila yan – every word, every sentiment.  Kwento daw ng love story nila.

Makes me smile to think about my parents’ love story.  You know how when you get to a certain age and you realize that everything…well, almost everything your mom and dad told you (especially the stuff you rolled your eyes over) was true?  I get it now.  Well, most of it.  Now the smile is a big laugh when I think about how the kids are towards me and J.  And they’re not even teenagers yet!  The other day, I was helping my girl O with her guest list for her birthday celebration.  After calling everyone on her list, I said to her “Honey, make sure to follow-up on those who we only left voice messages to, okay?”  “Okay, Mommy.” my 8-going-on-9 sweetheart says.  Then I added “On those ‘follow-ups’, put an F and a U next to their names.  So you remember…F/U for follow-up.”  She starts giggling.  I smiled and asked her “What’s funny, bella?”  She looks at me and says “Mommy, you said the F.U. words!”   At first I didn’t get it.  Then it slowly becomes clear to me how my innocent little girl is now in school and exposed to all this.  Sigh.

I’m so grateful for my folks, my “Mamay and Daday”, for being the best teachers I could ever have.  Admittedly, I didn’t always feel this way.  I was very head-strong as a young adult and that made for a whole lot of interesting exchanges between my very strict and conservative mother and me.  Dad was more easy-going with rules but a strict organizer/time-manager.  But that’s a story for another time!

Let’s go back to the Love Story of Mom and Dad Here’s proof-in-photos.  May they continue to be each other’s best ally and wisest teacher and may their love continue to grow stronger every day!

I love you, Mamay and Daday.  Missing you.

xox,
Chikay

 Mom and Dad, Baguio, 1966
Boracay, 2004
Edsa Shang, 2006