Thursday, September 29, 2011


When I'm feeling low or less than energetic, I spray some of my favorite cologne (thanks, mumzy!) and remember last summer in Manila and laughing-myself-to-tears silly with my sisters, L and J.  We all got ourselves a bottle each during one of our many sisterhood shopping sprees.

One of our very first photos together, 1978.
Photo by Dad 
Davao City

I've been wanting to get some really extravagant lavander soap to use in the shower in the mornings, an idea I got from her.  There's something about lavender that makes me feel all happy-calm inside.  I am on the hunt for the best one.

My husband J thinks I have the nose of a bloodhound.  I remind him that I am a woman and we all have a keen sense of smell.  He argues that mine is fiercer than others. 

coffee and eggy bits, 2006
© Chiqui Pineda-Azimi

I love the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning.  

I love my new Nescafe Dolce Gusto/ Melody 2 by Krups that can rival any of the best coffee places in the world.  I call it my Nescafriend.  ^_^ . Another fun discovery while staying with L during vacation last summer - single-serve makers are better than the pot.  My good old coffeemaker has been sitting idly in one corner of the kitchen for a month now.

I can get instantly transported to another time and place at the whiff of somebody's perfume, the smell of places like a restaurant or lobby, a corner bakery,

or the latest baking experiment like this banana bread in my kitchen which reminds me of a time in my mom's kitchen when she used to make all those baked goodies - angel food cake, moist chocolate cake (w/ mayo!) and the ceasar salad made with the freshest ingredients stirred in a wooden bowl with a wooden spoon!

These days, I always light a scented candle in the kitchen first thing in the morning.  It is like my mini meditative moment and welcoming Spirit into my home and my life.

Are you particular about certain scents?  What are you faves?  I'd really like to know.  So many to discover out there!

Next up:  Flavors and Spices!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why I Do What I Do - and some 100+ words that keep me motivated

“People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.” ~ Zig Ziglar


I'm very good at starting things.

I'm very bad at keeping at it.  
I so want this project to go on until the 100th song.  ("Be a finisher, Kat!" I can hear my coach Julie's voice and the gentle thud is the sound of her lovingly kicking my butt.)
But the low-energy, the sagging momentum, there's so much to do, there's not enough time to do all of it...and so on and so forth, the chorus of gremlins go singing ye old, sticky, neenerneener-you're-no-finisher song.

To counter and remedy this, I listened to the the Voice's nudge to share EE's email here.  Then, I said to myself, why limit it to just one, throw in the whole enchilada (now I'm really hungry!) and share other lovely peeps comments, too!  

So here it is folks, the 100+ wonderful words from some fabulous folks who have been touched, geese-bumped (!) and tear-induced by this almost-did-not-happen project.  Imagine that.  How less richer my life would have been if I got all chicken empanada instead of Chiqui Pineda over the Muse's command to JDI.

 "You have no idea how much you have inspired me with your creativity, and you being the most humble celebrity I have known. You got to know how much I appreciate the friendship. You presented "you", being the creative one and not the Ms. CP that the whole OPM industry has known and love."  ~ EE (Mr. E now wants to begin his own brand of artistic expression.  Watch this space for that!)

"It is a dream come true, yet again...I got to sing with the legendary, the one and only, Miss Chiqui Pineda. Wow...(still gushing). I am really glad to have found a friend in you and I hope we continue to be such. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will treasure this forever... ~ ATD (Who now shares his art with so many adoring fans - friends and strangers alike.  Case in point, we were having brunch once and the server-lady saw his artwork (I did the proud mama bit and showed it to her) and she ended up bringing the iPad where it was to her co-workers.  A bright spot in their busy day, I bet!  Rock on, Mr. T!

YOU MADE MY DAY, kumare! Love you with all your creativeness that you should be proud of!!! ~ ALT (A music and voice teacher and kumare who continues to inspire me because she is the perfect example of the Do-What-You-Love rule.)

You always get my heart. Thank you for making this morning truly beautiful. ~ CMD (as you did mine, ms. c!)

I so needed to hear this. I am struggling through something which I know, I know, shall also pass, but Ireally needed to hear this. Timely and of course, beautiful. ~ MVM *Ms. M has been a long-time (think decades!) mentor and inspiration of mine.  To be able to return the favor in this very special way just blows my mind.

I got carried away. You are such a musical genius, that I had another "geese" bumps moment. ;) And I heard your heart singing louder at the end of the song, too. So beautiful:)) *and here's to learning new words while we're at it!  thank YOU, Mr. Mavster!

I am once again, starstruck.
No one can deliver a classic song like you! Yes....YOU.;) Much love and respect for you Ms. CPA, looking forward to our next one;))

YOU always give me the courage and conviction to try on new things, putting no limit to age and status...thanks to you... ~ COP *Ahhhh....this one is so heart-warming for me.  Ms. C is my earliest inspiration.  Ok, no need for secrecy on this one, COP is Corazon O. Pineda, my mommy!  My earliest and original fan, no less!!!  So biased itong comment na 'to.  Please ignore.  Hahahahahaha!!!  Love and thank YOU, Mamay!

Oh my, kinilabutan ako sa nadinig ko!! Ang ganda!!!!!!!  ~ ZJ (An inspirator (?) who gently pushed albeit lovingly and with such fierce faith to just go for it once, not too long ago...)

Grabe, ano ba ito...galing, umakyat balahibo ko (balbon pa naman ako). Enjoy din si Mommy ;).  *she always makes me laugh...and think deep thoughts...

and then

Ay hello...naiyak naman ako.  ~ VMR  *and in return i make her cry.  fair is fair.  LOL. 

Chiqui P - you inspire me. ~ MC  *and i am so very grateful for having been given that chance...

ChiquiP, you truly are inspiring!! And you even have the time and energy to launch this project, continue with your drawings AND lose weight (!!!) as you do your 101 chores at home! Galing mo. When I listen to you sing, divang-diva pa rin!... the soul never disapears. ~ CCL  *awww....this has got to be the most humbling one of all the comments of late.  coming from a fellow mom who truly understands the meaning of "making time for something you love" she puts it so tenderly and truthfully.  now if only i can wiggle my way out of the "lose weight" part!  LOL

I am humbled, encouraged and energized by all your kind and very generous words.  I give back all the credit, glory and gratitude to God and Her Muses from where all things come.


Courage In Creativity,
Chiqui Pineda-Azimi
Creator of the *100im.perfect.songs project*

011/100: life is like a river

10TriviaAtbp. (w/ some random bits thrown in just because...i'm hungry. :p)

1)  I'm happy to share the photos on this song #11. 

2)  These images - I like to call it my Loonie Lake because of the Canadian Geese (AKA Loons or Loonies) that hang out there - were taken in a span of four years.

3)  It changes from season to season, my Loonie Lake, so magestically.  It doesn't matter to me that its man-made.  Water is water and I love it.  Sometimes, its magnificence takes my breath away especially when the fog sits there just so or when the light shimmers on the surface.

4)  It's been a physically and emotionally draining week for this domesticated diva.  (I'm embracing the title fully now, as you can see, and the 3L's are calling my name as I type as fast as I can...hold your horses, labada!!!  :D)

5)  Prayers go to some beloved family members who are going through a very difficult time.  To MJ and her family.  To SA and his family.  To JF and her everybody going through challenging times, I pray for peace in your hearts and minds, in God's mighty name, amen.

6)  I haven't had breakfast.  It's 12:15PM.  Ironic because this is the theme song from the iconic movie "Breakfast At Tiffany's" w/ the legendary Audrey Hepburn.

7)  I want some Chinese take-out but don't know of a good enough place to call.  

8)  I have two dear friends (who do not wish to be recognized...the buggers!) with guest performances on this project.  I'll be posting those fun recordings soon.  Such a hoot to have spontaneous sing-alongs here at home.

9)  There's a quote atop the Music Museum in Greenhills that make me and Leslie laugh ourselves silly.  It's makes sense and makes no sense all at the same time.  It says:  "Life without music is a mistake."  Um...yes, MM, I see what you mean.  Music certainly makes life richer, more colorful and an otherwise dull moment more alive.  But, really...a MISTAKE?!  More like a sad thing, if you ask me.  But who's to say it's a right or wrong thing?  Where's the red pen to check or 'x' my answer?  Anyway, it's just one of those off-sounding, sorely juxtaposed word play up on a billboard that, thankfully, in a fun way brightens my day.  And Mumzy's too.

10.  And yes.  Life without music IS a mistake.  So here's my part in making it an UN-mistake.

And always...ALL ways ~

Courage in creativity,

Song: MoonRiver
Music by Henry Mancini
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Piano Accompaniment by Eric Evangelista

You did it again, Kuya Eric!  (kuya daw o!  LOL)  Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for first suggesting this lovely song and then playing and patiently RE-playing it again to fit my vocal range!  What's next, Mister Mavster? ;)

Friday, September 23, 2011

010/100: RAMAniscing by ChiquiSita


1*  Best showbiz experience ever.
2*  I was starstruck every single day of rehearsal and all-throughout the performances. 
3*  This was my first and last major play.  It happened on the 10th year of being in the business.
4*  A lot of people didn't understand my "leaving" then.
5*  Most comments were to the tune of "but you're at the peak of your career and now you're letting it go?!?"
6*  Life Learning:  Sometimes the Outside doesn't match the Inside.  And when you're heart's not in it...
7*  I was feeling so out of place, burnt-out, disillusioned.  Sometimes show business (or any kind of binis for that matter) can do that.
8*  I do miss the bling-ness of it all - the trappings, the entourage, the yayas,...the illusion.  But my life has its own version of bling now.  One that's more organic and definitely more genuine in its shine.
9*  And I am struck in a way where I would literally give my heart to the stars of my life.
10*  As the title of the song goes "Sana Siya Na Nga" which translates to "I Hope He's The One".  Well,  turns out The One was never out there but in here.  With two, three, four and five completing the circle!

Here's to you the journey of finding YOU if you haven't began yet...
And if you have...YOUhoooooooo!!!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

008/100:all i ask of you-a duet

Hi!  Chiqui Pineda for the 100im.perfect.songs project.

and some Toddbits, too!

1.  This is the first official duet on the 100songs.

2.  Todd has an amazing story to share - one that speaks of the great power of the human spirit.  I'm one of the lucky ones to hear it.  Hope he shares it with you, too.  (Your call, Toddster.;))

3.  This is one of my J's favorite songs.  The Phantom of The Opera being his favorite musical ever, I'm not surprised.  (How many times did you watch it, hun, 7?!?)  I've asked him to let me record and share the duet we made.  He's still being 'shy' about it.  One day...

4.  This was a Take 1 recording.  (Galing mo, Todd!  And don'tchaworry about that "Anywhere you go..." bit.  Anything goes!

5.  After recording, we had painting session pa with matching Nerf bullets flying around, thanks to little J.  In case you haven't discovered yet, Todd is an excellent painter and doodler, too, having studied art.  But then he stopped.  He's now beginning to let his artist breathe fresh air again.  Thank Muses for that.

6.  It was lots of fun having a fellow artist jam in on the 100songs for a change!  Change IS good.  (Unless it's FB tinkering with the features again.  Happening today.  So many unhappy FB'ers, me included.)  I'm thinking of dragging inviting other friends to join in!  Right now I'm imagining some friends sing and plays the guitar so beautifully and soulfully.  (Anna, Darna, Coach Neil?  Are you there? ;))

7.  I love watching plays but don't do it often enough.  Must pencil it in and make more time for it.

8.  I no longer believe in the "But there's not enough time." line.  This is one of the reasons I love the 40's.  Less capacity for BS- from others and more importantly, from oneself.  ;)

9.  I want...need my own car.  The family car is beginning to cough blood. :(  There's oil blots on the driveway.  Rainy day came.  Rainy day left.  So what now?  Back to work-y day, that's what.  Just want to bravely put that one out there.  I can almost see Coach Julie gently and wholeheartedly nodding in agreement.

10.  Grateful beyond words for the gift of Friendship and the icing on the cake, CREATIVE friendships!

Courage in Creativity,

Monday, September 19, 2011

006/100 : are we listening yet?


1.  I'm actually getting better at this 'letting go' business!!!  And if you're anything like me and have struggled w/ this evil called perfectionism, this is cause for a celebration!  Bravely left all the 'sablays' - the flats and sharps, darn cheap earphone noises getting picked up by the microphone (Lee!  I know what you mean now.  Fullylee! LOL  *click-click*)  

2.  Lee, my superfriend and vocal coach gave me this Barbra Streisand version (originally from the play "Into The Woods" by Stephen Sondheim) to sing during one of our lessons.  Lee said the song idea came to him when I was ranting and raving like a loonytuney person on email about my latest parenting fail moment.  I think I went all momster at the poor little bunsoy J over a small thing (which back then seemed like a 'big' thing.) 

3.  In true sentimama form, it took me about half a dozen earnest attempts before I could finish this song back then.  I had to desensitize myself in preparation for the concert in which this was Song #8 or 9.  It turned out okay as my three munchsters came up on the stage with me and provided enough distraction while I sang.  Photos here.  (Thanks to Mr. Rene Sevilla)

4.  I had a choice this morning - to power nap or sing.  The obvious choice won.  I feel energized just the same.  ;)

5.  I made a mistake saying "Day 7" when it's only Day 6.  I'm leaving that in, too.  No biggie, as J loves to say.

6.  I got an email from Mr. Mavster (Eric Evangelista of the 100songs's Kahit Ika'y Panaginip fame :)) which makes me happecstatic!  He's given me a choice of four very good songs and since I couldn't make up my mind, I picked all of the above!  Yay, CoLOVE.

7.  I'm going to include old vids, one of which is another collaboration, for the next post.  It's the very first one I did on Facebook with another amazing young talent, Bobby Leynes who plays the piano like a dream.  Part of that coLove-story HERE.

8.  Meeting a dear friend for some Me-Time lunch today.  The weekend was a tiring one for this 2-childrens'-bday-parties +chauffer services+shopper mama. 

9.  This was the same video which was featured in Putting It Together, The Concert and it contains some of my best and most beloved photographs of my kids and my niece and nephew, too.  God bless and protect all our children!

10.  And may God bless and protect you, my dear friend, and here's wishing you a God-centered, courageous and creative week!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

100im.perfect.songs project:005:friday's firework

The beats behind the song~

*  I put together this slideshow back in June, a grateful collage of photos from our vacation in Florida and other end of school year days.

*  I first heard the song Firework back in January and had goosebumps galore ('geese'bumps according to Eric kasi marami) because of the words of encouragement ("You don't have to feel like a waste of space, You're original, cannot be replaced, If you only knew what the future holds, After a hurricane comes a rainbow..."  Amen!) and that video!

*  This was the last song added to my last concerts' repertoire.  According to Direk Rey, we needed a fast song and this was the first and only one that came to mind.  It turned out to be the favorite of so many.  Jawaid loved it so much he listened to it all the way home from KCCC and the week that followed.  Emma, too! (Katy Perry who???  :*)  Although the tweens of Josie and Bong, Marikit and Julia caught on the wrong lyrics to which Bong said "Give her a break.  She only learned the song this week!"  Thanks, Dad!)

*  My favorite line in the song has got to be this:
Maybe you're reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow
And when it's time, you'll know...

And I know YOU know.

*  The month of June was a month of performances for me, three!  One for the Fiesta in Brampton, the second in KCCC and the third in downtown for GMA 7's Pinoy Independence Day Celebration in the Toronto Convention Center.  It was such a thrill to be singing/performing again.  But I must admit the most 'kilig' part was when those kids came up to me backstage to get to sign their little autograph books.   Thanks for recording the moment on your iPhone, Toddster!

Happy Weekend, my friend!

It's time,

Thursday, September 15, 2011

100im.perfect.songs: day004: this too shall pass


1~  This song was inspired by a very dear friend's relationship story, you know the one where there's a huge misunderstanding and breaking up and all that drama that we all inevitably go through in one way or another.  It all happened last year.

2~ I wrote this entire song in no more than 30 minutes.  Still brings tears to my eyes when I sing it because it bring back the memories of growing pains...and love.  Oh, the LOVE.  In the end, it's all that really matters.

3~  It's 9:31PM.  I'm normally done by mid-afternoon.  But good old Resistance was really strong with this one.  I think it's because it's "my" song, my words, my innards! which makes me feel more vulnerable.

4~  As if that wasn't issue enough, I dared myself to do a Take 1, you know, just for fun (and because I was off by a couple of hours on chores!) and so I left in all the choked-up, cracky, drippy bits which I would have normally edited out.  I am braving emotional honesty and vulnerability. 

5~  Happy thoughts!  Happy thoughts!  I am so happy, so very grateful for the response of friends and fellow artists on this little project I've got going here...more collaborations, which I like to call CoLOVEborations.  Because that's what this is all about if you think about it.

6~  Requests for certain songs and genres are beginning to come in, too!  I like.

7~  Some friends are complaining that they can't open the link to the songs.  Hmmm...must check up on that.  No, Marjo, you are not tech-challenged.  :p

8~  Yay, Friday na bukas!  I'm so excited to sleep in!  Sleeeeeeep, I love and miss you.

9~  Is it too early to sing Christmas songs?  Ok.  Don't answer that.

10~  It was so darn cold today when I picked up the kids from school.  We had to wear gloves when we went biking around the block.  Summer is definitely over in these parts. 

Aaaand my day is now over.  And out.  Goodnight, fellow creatives!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

100 im.perfect.songs: day003: kahit panaginip


1.  I fell head-over-heels in love with this song last winter.  I liked it before as with almost all of Mr. C's songs, but for some reason this one hit my harrrrt this time.  I was in the process of building my repertoire for a show and considered including it in my lineup.  Didn't happen.

2. I love to sing.  I've loved it since I had any semblance of memory.  In fact, my earliest memories are those of singing along with Donny and Marie.  "I'm a little bit country...and I'm a little bit rock and roll..." ;)

3.  Eric "the mavster" Evangelista, the amazing talent behind the cool and heartfelt piano accompaniment here has been a friend of mine on flickr for many years.  We both love photography and I was a fan not only of his pictures and videos but his piano music posts as well.  Hoping for a live concert with him one of these days - in Seattle or Toronto or BOTH.

4.  I didn't sing for many years for reasons I'll share later.  Or not.  The reasons don't seem to matter now as much as the doing it.  JDI.  ;)  No matter how full my life was - with family, friends, work, possessions or lack thereof, comings and goings and the whole fun bag - it still felt like something was missing, like there was a hollow space in my insides that could never be filled by anything or anyone.  That whole sad story officially ended at a concert in our community center KCCC on Feb. 27, 2011.  And to this may I say Yay, ME!  And You.  Yes, YOU.  

To be continued...I promised the kids their trip to Mc Donald's this afternoon. ;)  

5.  And I'm back.  While I write this at 7:31PM, the kids are getting ready for bed, one is taking a shower, the other getting her clothes for school ready and I've got my rosé wine chillin' in the fridge waiting just for me.  Life is good.  Now if I can find the right lotion for these very dry hands then life would be just perfect. 

6.  It's been two full weeks since O and I got back from our vacation w/ my parents and siblings back in Manila.  14 whole days.  I've got a really nice video summary - my parting gift to the Barangay Pineda (what my dad calls the fam) of the fun times which I couldn't bear to watch yet.  It gives me a heavy feeling in my heart and really pinches.  So I'll probably wait another week...baksayon engrande withdrawal symptoms suck.

7.  I'm thinking of doing my original songs next.  Enough of covers for now.  I don't know if I'll ever include HDYK in this hundred.  Maybe that's be the finalé post.  100 songs.  A song a day.  What was I thinking???  LOL.  

8.  I have my dear superfriend Leander Mendoza to thank for my home studio set-up.  He was the one who encouraged me to JDI.  We went to this music store and got the studio-grade mike and the wires and the cables and the mixer and spit screen thingies (to avoid the popping sounds ^_^) - stuff I would never have had any idea how to put together by myself.  I'm so grateful for fellow artists, beloved kindred spirits who have come to my aid, my 'rescue' really and Lee (Lablee on Gallo-fueled days) is one of the best of them!  I hope to have a CoLOVEboration with him on this project.  Lablee, hint-hint!

9. Remembering yesterdays RE-learning:  When I do that which I love to do, the 'unlovables' become more tolerable and therefore I am more peaceful and joyful.  More joyful equals less 'momsterful'. :p

10.  Did I say "I love singing" yet?

Kahit Ika'y Panaginip Lang
Composer: Ryan Cayabyab
Piano Accompaniment: Eric Evangelista

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

100 im.perfect.songs; day002: i like someone like you

One fine day at the breakfast table during my summer vacation in Manila ~

Leslie/Mumzy2:  I sent you a song.  Have you checked your Facebook yet?
Me/Mumzy1:  Yup.
L:  Have you heard?
Me:  What?
L:  The song.
Me:  What song?
L:  Oh, so you haven't gone on FB, have you?
Me:  Yup.
L:  Hay, naku.  Just check it out, k?
Me:  Check what?
L: Mumzy?
Me: Ya?
L:  Here.  Have more coffee.

I love and missssssssshoo (and mamay, daday, zoeygirl, rands, etc.etc.etc.) so much, Mumzy Leslie!  

Thanks for Chadeling with me....always and forever and ever.  Love.

Mumzy/Até C./Chadele #1.


1*  The calling each other Mumzy started when we became moms - first me and then her and then it stuck.  It just felt rightfully fun to call each other that instead of our real names.  Although it kills me everytime someone, when we'd go out shopping or pasyal/hanging out at ATC and people eagerly ask "Daughter mo?!?" referring Leslie my sister who just called me "Mumzy!" being my daugh....ugh!  Makeover!  Makeoverrrrrrr, BILIS!!!  It doesn't help that Leslie looks years younger than she actually is.  Like...50% off!  Right, Mom...Tita Myrna?  LOL.

2*  We listened to Adele's songs - and watched the SLY video - a hundred and one times during my vacation (dining table, bedroom, den, living room,  in the van, during our Manila Hotel weekends, by the pool, in the bathroom!...) thus the phrase "Let's Chadele." was born.  Chadele, of course, means "to channel Adele." ...and please use your bedroom voice while speaking. 

3*  I learned how to play SLY via YouTube.  I had a baby grand piano - thanks Pet and Les! - to practice on and  I thought it was the coolest thing!  Love YouTube for that.  Love you guys more.

4*  I sang my "Thanks for everything!" songs on the piano on my last day with the Albanos - family, staff and all.  I didn't have a thank you gift so I gave of my talent instead.  This song, plus my original composition "This Too Shall Pass" and HDYK, of course.  The real gift, of course, was to me.

5*  I almost didn't share this song.  It's been six days, almost a whole week, since I've said I'll launch.  I have grand delusions of untruths such as perfectionism, shame, massive resistance, not enoughness and a host of other War of Art issues.

6*  I don't know how long I'll be able to keep this up - what with the struggle of birthing the project but I do know one and only one thing:

7*  That I enjoy singing and sharing my songs with others, and that's the truth.  A Truth.

8*  So for as long as I know (and remember) this, then the project will stay alive and well.

9*  And right now it's 12:29PM and as I promised my Coach Julie that I'd commit to posting this  by 1:00PM, I'm beginning to feel anxious and my insides are searching for another 'excuse' not to.  I have many to choose from.

10*  Resistance is alive.  I acknowledge it.  I move over/under/around it.  The important thing is that I pass through it. 

So here we go!

Courage in creativity,
Chiqui Pineda-Azimi

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A hundred imperfect songs

Without further ado and no fanfare except...maybe...this one ~ Tantararaaaaaan!!!


Song 001:  Upon This Rock, Sandi Patti Version. 
Piano Accompaniment by my Superfriend Leander "Lablee" Mendoza.

And always, courage in creativity,
for you and for me!