Tuesday, October 25, 2011

now we're stronger than before

we made it through

for you, you brave soul you.

  017 100 Til They Take My Heart Away by chiquipineda

Words and Music by Claire Marlow
Guitar accompaniment by http://www.youtube.com/user/pinoynagitarista // Brian
No infringement intended.
Please support the original artists. 

10TriviaAtbp (maya-maya.... ^_^)

Monday, October 24, 2011

16/100: may you find some comfort here

My dearest,

  016/100: Angel by chiquipineda

Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it okay
There’s always some reason
To feel not good enough
And it’s hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
Oh beautiful release
Memory seeps from my veins
Let me be empty
Oh and weightless and maybe
I’ll find some peace tonight

In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

So tired of the straight line
And everywhere you turn
There’s vultures and thieves at your back
The storm keeps on twisting
Keep on building the lie
That you make up for all that you lack
It don’t make no difference
Escaping one last time
It’s easier to believe in this sweet madness oh
This glorious sadness that brings me to my knees

In the arms of the angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

Words & Music by Sarah McLachlan

Sung by Chiqui Pineda-Azimi
for the 100im.perfect.songs project

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

015/100: beautiful like a rainbow

© Chiqui Pineda, 2012

  015/100-Beautiful Like A Rainbow by chiquipineda

True Colors
for the 100im.perfect.songs project


You with the sad eyes
Don't be discouraged
Oh, I realize
It's hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And darkness still inside you
Makes you feel so small

But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors,
True colors, are beautiful,
Like a rainbow.

Show me a smile then,
Don't be unhappy,
Can't remember when I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you've taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I'll be there

And I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors,
True colors, are beautiful,
Like a rainbow

True Colors
Glee Cast Production
Original Words/Music: Tom Kelly,
Billy Steinberg, Cyndi Lauper
Denise Barry Music, Billy Steinberg Music,
Rella Music

8 im.perfect.shares.atbp.

1.  As I was singing this song, my heart was just broken in a hundred pieces.  Proof that no matter how ‘broken’ you feel, you can still create.  Yay, me! ;)

2.  I’ve always signed w/ “Courage in Creativity”.  As in the movie Evan Almighty where ‘God’ was speaking with the distraught lady in the restaurant, He said something akin to this...and paraphrasing now: When you pray/ask God for patience/strength/faith, God doesn’t just give you hope/strength/courage in a neat little package.  Instead, God gives you life experiences, chances and opportunities for you to exhibit these things that you wish for.  And before you know it, you've got the patience/strength/faith that you've asked for from the experience you just went through.  

3.  WaPOW.  I just got that.  Again rinse and repeat.  I think it may be time to change my signature.  Hee!  Hmmm...esep...esep…thinking...thinking….Money in Creativity?  Now, that my Mom would like very much.  LOL.  Hi, Mamay!  <3

4.  The old adage “Be careful what you wish for…” is true.  

5.  I realize this now:  If you can take a beating - and by take you know I don't mean to be an idiot masochist/martyr about it, right? - be it a harsh word, a skeptic eyebrow raised to the ceiling, an affront to your very nature and character, or even an almost imperceptible psychic vibe full of “who do you think you are?” hatred - from the ones closest and dearest to you, all the  seemingly big and scary “them/they” (as in the tiresome “what will they say/think/do?”) monsters out there will not hold a candle to you anymore.  Not ever.  EVER.

6.  This is what courage in creativity looks like for me.

7.  Don't get me wrong.  It still hurts like hell, oh you know it!  But you use this hurt as fuel to keep going in the path you want, wait...a better word is choose to go which is YOUR path.

8.  And a BOO! effin HOO! to you too!!!  Your scare tactics are old hat and no, thank you very much to that.

I'm done here.

Courage (and Money!) in Creativity,

The Sisterhood Shares

My Dearest Sis,

You and I both know that the contrabidas/antagonists in our lives are put there for a good reason, right?  In my case, it is to practice my wish for “Courage in Creativity” on. 

What, in your life, do you think feel is the purpose of the contrabidas in YOUR life?  Pang-inis lang (plain annoyance) is not an acceptable reason.*  LOL.  Dig deeper, sister!    Here’s an example from The Sisterhood: 

The purpose of X in my life is to push me out of my comfort zone.  I’ve always been scared to try new things.  Because of X’s lack of resolve (read: katamaran) I’m forced by  my life’s circumstances to push beyond my levels and go do the things I’m ‘afraid’ of like call/talk to people (sales/promote), get that license (I procrastinated forever), launch my business!  ~ MZ

Speak.  I hold this sacred space for you.  If you’re ‘shy’, email me.  I’m here to listen.  My <3 is open. 
Love & Light,

*Ok, I get that perhaps if you're praying for "Patience" then the "annoying/irritant" just may have a good reason to be there, yes?  Peace.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Friends on Facebook have been sharing this.

This is one of the main reasons I love FB.

And Thank YOU, Emmanuel Kelly!

it's all about beginning

It's all about beginning.

Starting again.  And again.  And AGAIN.

It's all about accepting that, Hey!  I haven't done this or that or other for whatever reason there be - unexpected stuff, (there's always unexpected 'stuff') sickness, fatigue, distractions, other priorities.

It's picking up where I left off.


There is no real harm done.  No Capital Punishment awaiting me.  There is only a gentle Start-Up.  A peace-filled "It's okay, child".  Pick up your pen and try a second, third, ten thousandth time.

It's alright.

It's all right.  It's all right.

It's all about beginning again.  And again.  And AGAIN.

And seeing  new things in the process, in this case, that cool little symbol on my favorite pen there that I've never seen before, never noticed in the many years that I've been using these and suddenly revisitng the old lesson, ever so gently and simply yet profoundly:  There's always something new in each and every thing - be it a person, a place, an experience.  Even in those that seem old and familiar.

It's all in the seeing.  And the beginning.  Never stopping.

And hearing the gentle voice within say:

There are no real endings.  Only beginnings disguised as the end.

Because it's all about beginning.

Starting again.  And again.  And AGAIN.

Courage in creativity,

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

14/100: revisiting rain

Tuwing Umuulan At Kapiling Ka
Words & Music: Ryan Cayabyab

And since I've been gone for a bit, I'd like to share two songs today.  Yay!

I recorded this beautiful OPM hit song entitled "Tuwing Umulan At Kapiling Ka" (Everytime It Rains and You're Beside Me...tama ba?) in 2008, right smack middle of winter (hindi siya ulan...isnow siya! :))

This was a special request from my good friends at my Pinoy Kodakero flickr.com community.  An excellent suggestion particularly from our resident chef, Zeetz Jones who happens to love this song.  (Theme song niya?  ^_^)

I didn't have a proper set-up then so this was recorded straight into my iMac from my Yamaha PSR1500 around midnight while the kids slept.  I didn't have a microphone either. :p  I was hoping the photos in the slideshow would make up for the low-tech.  LOL.

The fabulous images you see in the video are not mine.  They belong to the very talented, generous and fun flickr peeps, some of whom became friends of mine.  I had the good chance of meeting them in one of the PK Tagaytay meet-ups back in 2009.

So, sa mga mahal kong Kaberks ng PK, salamat sa magagandang ala-ala. (at mga obra!)  Umuulan po dito kaya heto at sentihan time ulit!

Til our next collaboration.  Keep shooting!

Courage in creativity,
Chiqui (aka ikat115 on flickr)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

13/100: Ngayon Na! Ngayon Na!

  Ngayon At Kailanman by chiquipineda

Hello!  Hello!  Welcome to the new visitors to the 100songs!*  So good to have you over. 


1.  Among the perks of my singing career in the 90s was getting to know some of the music industry's legends.  One of them was the great composer, Mr. George Canseco.

2.  Nini Valera wrote on November 20, 2004 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, as a tribute:  The songwriter, who wrote some of Pinoy pop music's most enduring classics, died of liver cancer at 10 a.m. yesterday at the Kidney Institute. He was 70. His enduring ballads -- all sad, sentimental songs about having loved and lost -- will forever be part of Filipino pop culture. Like his song says, "Ngayon at Kailanman."

3.  The late Mr. Canseco and I had coinciding stints  at a music lounge in Quezon City.  I'm trying to remember the name of the hotel but couldn't.  What I do recall is that the facade of the building had a castle-like structure.  Camelot!  Mr. C had the earlier set and I had the later one.  I didn't last long.  I didn't like the feel of the place, too many interesting characters.  I have dozens of  stories about my lounge singer days.  One day I'll tell you all about it.

4.  Ngayon at Kailanman became a very popular movie theme which starred one of my favorites, Sharon Cuneta.  I remember going to the theaters with my mom and sisters because we were such fans.  I still am.

6.  I got to meet her too, during the height of my showbiz career.  I remember being invited to a karaoke party - the launch of a movie - one with Ms. Cuneta and Rudy Fernandez in it.  I got to sit in the same table as the Megastar but was all tongue tied to say anything.  Mega fail. :p

7.  I love OPM (Original Pilipino Music).  Tagalugin mo, hija.  Mahal ko ang OPM!  I think I'll stick to it for a while for the 100songs project.

8.  It's all spring-like again.  From a very cold, rainy couple of weeks ago to this warm, 24ÂșC during the day.  The vegetation's getting all confused!  The leaves are all "Should we fall or stay in our branches?"  and the birds frustrated with the 'to migrate or not to migrate' routine!

9.  Recovery rocks!  Still a bit hoarse but getting there.

10.  Thanksgiving  was a whole lot of happy indeed, beginning with feeling better and coming together with family over the weekend.  Finally had a chance to meet the newest addition to the Azimi clan!  I was able to hold baby Olivia and change her diaper, too.  That brought back a flood of sweet baby memories, some I'd like to keep that way.  :D

Today's Creative Quotable is from Michael Nobbs of Sustainably Creative~

Don't compare yourself to others, just get on with YOUR important work.

As always, my dear creative kindred spirit, here's to courage in creativity!


*I'll be using this title as a shortcut from now on to save time and space and...:)


Thursday, October 6, 2011

How Steve Jobs Saved My Life

I pride myself on being a Mac pioneer.  Back in 2000 Manila, Philippines, when the Apple was not yet the computer to buy, when it was known as the maarte (snooty) choice, the one that's all for show and nothing more, the one that "You'll regret buying since you won't be able to connect with other users, said the husband." I didn't care.  I just wanted one.  It was one of those gut purchases, you know?  You just know.  It did help that my cool visual artist friend, XanthĂ©, had one.  She was the only one I knew who had a Mac back then.  Everyone else had a PC or at least a clone.

I've used an IBM computer, some for my very short nine-to-five work life and then later bought a boring Vaio laptop as suggested by my then boring ex-boyfriend which was such a boring piece of equipment (the laptop, not the ex-bf but then again...). I ended up using it like a notebook to store entries in, not much else.

Fast-forward to my birthday in 2000.  I asked my generous and loving albeit doubtful pro-PC husband Jack to get me one and off to Megamall we went.  I remember pushing Sol in his baby stroller into the brightly lit exclusive Apple distributor, there were no Apple Stores then, yet it looked very different from all the other computer stores in the whole 5th Level of the mall.  That early in Apple's evolution, they already knew style, class and presentation.  I looked around for a bit and then I saw it.  A tiny white laptop caught my eye.  It was love at first sight.  Hello, iBook!

This is a photo of the later model.  I had the earlier, simpler one, the G3.

My iBook looked immaculate and was just a beauty to behold.  We were in and out in all of fifteen minutes.  I was so excited that I even gave the car keys to the bored baby in the stroller which was a stupid idea because we ended up going home in a cab that day because the bored baby dropped and lost the keys. 

The curious thing was this:  I hardly used the iBook for the first few months.  I was just blown away at the prettiness of it and all that it could do - What?  Edit photos?  Wow!  Make movies?!  No way!  And create my own songs and then, THEN burn my own CDs?!? System overload!  System overload! I was buzzing with excitement I kept the shiny white toy in its brand new computer bag.  For months.  This you will find is my reaction to anything overwhelming.  Shelve, store, see you later. 

I put up with the behemoth IBM desktop, the husband's, for a bit longer...until we moved to Canada.  We left the behemoth.  I hand-carried the iBook.  Hello, Toronto!  Happy to see you or so I thought I would be.  The life of a recluse in this freezer of a country soon got on my nerves and mind and spirit.  I was struggling to adapt!  Somehow I knew I needed to connect with other people.  That or die.  And when I use the word "die" and you are an immigrant mom like me with none of your own family members (and alalays!) around, you know exactly what I mean.  Most days it was simply too cold to go out.  When I say Toronto is cold, man, it's COLD.

Solution: The Internet.

But, see, this meant I had to overcome my apprehensions and get friendly with my pristine iBook. Thankfully, this was the easiest thing to do!  All my initial fears were baseless (aren't they all?) and I discovered a whole world out there that was so vast and hey, through mom and womens' groups online realized that people out there were having the same experience as me?  Wow.  I'm not alone?!  Halleluiah!

Two of my favorite toys: My iMac and my Moleskine.

Then came the fun discovery that I could share share my photos online.  Hello, easy-peasy iPhoto and with that, an amazing community of friends on flickr.  Then came my home movies phase starring the kids.  I would sit and create and enjoy whatever free time I could squeeze out not spent on just cleaning, breastfeeding or washing yet another kid.  I enjoyed that I was able to easily share this with family and friends back home and all over the world via my iWeb.  I was able to listen to my music and audiobooks more with iTunes and was able use ease the 3L's/linislutolaba pains by using my iPod.  In a nutshell, life became more bearable and even enjoyable because of these gadgets.  But no, sir.  These were not just gadgets.  These were actually lifesavers.  

It's been eleven years since my first Apple computer and over a dozen Mac crossovers later including one very stubborn husband who kept insisting IBM/PC was the way forward because Mac was just not business savvy enough! But I'll give you one guess as to who couldn't let go of my MacBook when his... erhrmp...P.C. broke down and waaay after it got fixed?  :p

As I type on the keys of my present-day MacBook Pro right here at our kitchen table with my iPhone sitting like a loyal pet beside it, I hear the boys on the desktop iMac upstairs watching a video while my girl listens to music on the iPod.  My first Maclove, the iBook, is safely tucked away in one of the drawers of my bedside table along with baby booties and a decade's worth of memorabilia, I think about how far we've gone, my Apple and I.  How many photos and movies have been created, music and life stories shared, how much life has been infused into me and how much more will be via Steve's once-upon-a-time crazy ideas which included "a computer in every home".  This is why I say the man who was a genius and a visionary is also my saviour.   Steve Jobs saved my sanity, my life really, by touching it in the simplest yet most profound ways.

Crazy Man, I thank you.  I don't know you but when I look at your photos and listen more intently to your words now, I realize something:  I do know you.  I know you and your brilliant mind through your creations.  And it makes me so very happy to be a witness to a life so well-lived, very sad because you will be missed and most of all so very grateful for you have touched my life in ways that will continue to keep on giving,

and the beautiful cycle will go on and on because of you lived, truly lived, and gave us your crazy-beautiful-brave ideas.

Rest in peace, Crazy Man.  I miss you already.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"thank you! i won't let you down."

With special thanks to Ms. Danielle LaPorte for sharing this along with a perfect gem of an article on her blog.

After watching Rachel do her thing, go and read her post.  It's amazing, too.  She won't let you down. ;)


Monday, October 3, 2011

12/100: and it all began when?

12/100: and it all began by chiquipineda1

Words & Music: Jim Paredes (Thanks, Jim! ;))

Song #12 of the 100im.perfect.songs project.


1)  Song #12 was sung with the pesteng ubo (a bad cough) and in PJ's too. :)  It's such a gentle arrangement of a lovely song so I went for it.  The multi-talented and legendary Jim Paredes of the Apo Hiking Society is a friend (but I'm still starstruck as ever.  Ano ba hija?!?) not from showbiz but from my one Tubataha Dive week which he and the late Redford White invited me to.  I hope I did the song justice, Jim. :p  I may re-record when I'm feeling much better.  But in the spirit of im.perfect.ion...

2)  Rediscovered this gem via a bunch of minus one CDs - a gift for Tita Fe and Rita - that was supposed to be given last Saturday.  I wasn't able to make it to the bday celebration and the CDs were sitting on my work table - Charice, Vina Morales and Sarah Geronimo songs - before handing it over.(Sorry, Tita Fe.  Binuksan ko siya! :p)  Happy*accidentally found so many great songs there!  Yay, more for the 100!   This When I Met You version was done by Sarah in her earlier years...I believe 2004.

3)  I did two versions of song #12.  Version 1 sounded very un-GLEE-ful.  Parang tulog at halatang halata ang lowbatt-ness.  LOL.  So I had to amp it up a bit for Version 2.  I've been on a The Glee Project marathon since Saturday (watch the whole first season all throughout the weekend til tonight!) and laughed, cried, cheered and LEARNED lesson after lesson on being an artist from and with the whole Glee team.  Love the creators of that show.

4)  Top lesson (re)learned from the show:  More vulnerability please and thank you.  That was what was missing from the first recording.  I hope it came through in #2...without the plema sounds.  Ergk.  And the sablay phrasing and lyrics.  And tentative pauses.  Ahhh...so imperfectly perfect.  Hayluvet!

5)  Completely unrelated to the song but significant to singing...I must MUST begin eating right, to be more conscious of my food.  This painful, energy-draining cough is due to bad eating habits.  Bad eating habits equals low resistance equals ubo at sipon!  Urg.  I've been on a junk-filled binge since I got back from Manila last Aug 31.  My excuse:  homesickness.  (Emo-eating daw o!  Translation:  Katakawan.)  Now no more.  Back to fruits, lots more vegetables and precious vitamins and Omega 3 stuff.  Grocery day tomorrow.

6)  It's getting so very cold here in TO these days.  We started turning on the heat which I don't really like because it makes the house stuffy and dry.  There goes my skin. :(

7)  Just spoke with the Hubster J.  and heard great news.  As we speak, another Azimi baby is being born!  WOOHOO.  This time an angel for my bro, Mike (J's youngest brother) and sister, Daniela.  Welcome to the world, Baby O!  What a wonderful world indeed, more so now that you're here! ^_^

8)  It feels good to be singing for the 100songs  again!  How long has it been since the last one?  Five days.  EE, wag na manghawa ng flu-ishness ha!  LOL  EE is musicman/pianist/artist/a Mr. Eric Evangelista of the Panaginip (Day 3) and River (Day 11) fame.  He had the ubo't sipon right before I had mine.  He passed it on to me.  He lives in the U.S.  I'm in Canada.  I therefore conclude germs transmute via garageband.  You know I'm kidding, right? 

9) When I Met You reminds me of my U.P. (Diliman) days.  Kasabayan 'to (in my mixed tape anyway :p) 'to with Joey Albert's A Million Miles Away and Basil Valdez's Ngayon At Kailanman (which my very first boyfriend C used to sing to me on the piano...oooy!)  And the Ikot jeepney rides.  And a ride w/ 'Bruno'.  Correction: 'in' Bruno da truck. :D  And isaw at fishballs.  By the A.S. steps.  And our very own 'Glee' called the Ecosoc choir led by the radiantz Brenzz.  :D And, and, and!

10)  I'd like to end my imperfect blabberings with this perfect quote from Walt Whitman:  “Re-examine all you have been told...
Dismiss what insults your Soul.”

Courage in creativity,

P.S.  Thanks, Pongsky da Techsky for showing me soundcloud.com! ;)
P.P.S. and Toddster for teaching me the "all in one" key.  Haay, the kindness of friends. :) Love it. 

When I Met You
Words & Music: Jim Paredes
Minus One Arrangement and © Viva Records Corp.

On Surviving The Upcoming Winter


While the fire in my throat is still raging, (pesteng ubo!) I thought of sharing something cooler with you today.  (Note to self:  More Vitamin C, Chiqui.  Vitamin C for chimay.  I need a housekeeper.)

I made this on a whim back in 08 - I swear...I was just playing! (aren't we all...just playing, really? ;)) - with my tiny camera on an early evening walk around the neighborhood.  It was a toss up between sitting by my Loonie Lake to sketch or walk around and take photos of autumn colors.  It was way too cold to sit around immobile so I chose the latter to generate some heat.   

Cabin fever was hitting hard and it always does as winter approaches.  Here in Canada, one gets tempted to stay indoors when the weather gets cold.  Lalu na mga sanay sa init na tulad ko!  Binder.  Dandat.  :p  This I've learned after over a decade of being Kanadyan: (as in "Maglinis/luto/laba kanadyan!")  Push/Force/Kick! yourself out of the house.  Daily.  Even for just 15-20 minutes.  I have the kids' 3:00PM pick-up time to be thankful for.  I have no choice but to go get them.  I get my fresh air, a bit of exercise and hopefully some sun in the process.  Kulob takes on a different meaning here.  It can literally drive one mad (sa ato pa, buang ba!) if you choose to be indoors too long.

Hope you enjoy the on-a-whim 'One Autumn Evening in 2008'.  And if you can send me some chicken soup or bulalo, that would be perfect, thank you.


Courage in creativity,