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Monday, November 29, 2010


You creep in
Quietly, unknowingly
Like cold wind
That sends shivers
Down my spine.

You show your face
When you’re uninvited
And linger, bring me down
On my knees
In fear.

I try to shut you out
Lock the door
Hide under the sheets
But you’re the ghost
I can’t run from.

-Katherine Lopez
29 November 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

M2M and Memories of Tween Life

It's been a week since I've been on M2M mode, listening and downloading their songs. This Norwegian duo got popular in 2000, and how I loved their songs! I was 12 then, and I found their songs catchy and easy to sing. The lyrics tell stories that I think young girls (and boys? :) ) can relate to. And since I was 12 when M2M became famous, I was the perfect audience for M2M's genre of music: bubblegum pop.

I still love their songs even if I'm now 22. Here are my top five favorites, all from their album, Shades of Purple:

1. Mirror Mirror

This is my ultimate favorite M2M song. It speaks of how you can't deny the truth to yourself when you're faced with it. Hence, this line: Mirror, mirror hanging on the wall. You don't have to tell me who's the biggest fool of all. The gray, cloudy weather type of lighting in the music video reinforces the sad lyrics of the song.
Favorite Line: Aside from the one I've mentioned above, it's this: If only wishes could be dreams and all my dreams could come true, there will be two of us standing here in front of you.

2. Don't Say You Love Me

This upbeat song is M2M's first hit. It was included in the soundtrack of Pokemon The Movie, so the music video shows parts of the movie. What's the song about? Pretty simple: a girl telling her suitor/admirer/whatever to take it slow.
Favorite Lines: Don't say you love me. You don't even know me. If you really want me, then give me some time.

3. The Day You Went Away

For me, this is the saddest song in the album. The cold in Norway, as shown in the music video, goes with sad lyrics of the song. The title pretty says what the song is all about: the day the girl in the song and her boyfriend/significant other broke up and parted ways.
Favorite Lines: I remember date and time. September 22nd, Sunday, 25 after 9. In the doorway, with your case, no longer shouting at each other, there were tears on our faces.

4. Don't Mess With My Love

The song speaks of betrayal by a friend because that friend stole your boyfriend (what a very high school-ish scenario, although it happens to grownups, too). So the song intended for that friend. The title says it all: back off!
Favorite Lines: I thought you were a friend of mine, but I was wrong. You tried to fit into the arms where I belong.

5. Girl In Your Dreams

When I said earlier that M2M's songs tell stories, this is one with a very clear story. As I did my surfing about this song, I found out that this is Marion Raven's (the one with long, dark, wavy hair in M2M) first composition, and that this is for her first boyfriend who broke up with her.
Favorite Lines:
Maybe I don't have the blond hair you like. Or maybe I don't have eyes like the sky. And I'm not sure if I'm the girl in your dreams, but I can show you what love means.

Pretty Boy used to be among my favorites, too, but I think I've outgrown that song already. :) I love the acoustic version. And speaking of acoustic version, I have cassette tapes of both the acoustic and non-acoustic versions of M2M songs. Haha! I bought the two even the songs are just the same.

I find it a little weird that their voices doesn't sound so little during live or acoustic performances. Maybe the editing for the album does something to their voices, which is sad because they have beautiful singing voices.

Too bad the duo separated. They now both have careers as solo artists. I wish there would be a reunion, and they would have a concert or tour here in the Philippines. I would definitely buy tickets and watch, and enjoy their songs as well as my trip down memory lane.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


“Wear this,” they say.
And she strips off her clothes,
Puts on the ones
She is asked to.

“Look like this,” they say.
And she changes her face
As they paint it, hides it
Behind a mask.

“Work it,” they say.
And she smiles, frowns,
Laughs, stares, acts
Like someone else.

“It’s a wrap,” they say.
And she looks in the mirror,
Wipes her face, finds her way back
To her old, real self

Her bare face
Clear, soft, free,
Touched, caressed
By the cold breeze.

Her  hair down
Flowing and full of life
Swaying, dancing
To the rhythm of her walk.

It lasts the night.
The sun rises
And she is in
For another day of pretension.

-Katherine Lopez
07 November 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Late Dinners

I’m starving.
But I dare not
Get something
To eat
That would pass
As a decent meal.
A small pack of crackers
Will do.

I’m waiting
For this night
Like I always do.
My stomach moans,
Begging for food.
But I patiently, silently
Wait for you,
Not minding the clock,
Nor the grumbles I hear.

It’s time to go,
I hear you say.
Dinner is served
At last.
I slowly take in
Morsels, savoring them,
Like this night
That I’m with you.

-Katherine Lopez
21 November 2010


Grilled Chicken Rosemary
during one of our late dinners.
Thank you.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Hair

Last week, I've decided on a new look. I would still  keep my layered hair, but I would add full bangs. The type that would cover my huge forehead entirely. Here's my new look:

My friends in the office have reacted positively to my new haircut. They say it's nice and it suits me. It took me around three days to get used to how I look. :)

The last time I had bangs like this was when I was in kindergarten, that's why I used to call this kind of bangs "kinder bangs." Haha.

So this is the second change I did in how I look; the first one was my shorter-than-my-usual-hair-length haircut. So what would be next? Highlights? I don't think so. I love my black hair, but who knows? I might change my mind. :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

When the wind gets cold

Cold air, especially in the morning,  is a sure sign that Christmas is around the corner. With the cooler temperature, we struggle to get out of bed every morning because burying ourselves beneath the sheets seems the most wonderful thing to do in times like this.

When the wind gets cold. Paglamig ng Hangin. How I love this Christmas song, and when I was still in college, I would look forward to singing this with the ICTUS choir for caroling. Its poignant lyrics and melody can warm, move, and touch hearts in one way or another. Whenever we sing this song, I ponder on the lyrics, and I always think that Paglamig ng Hangin is a song of longing. Nothing can be colder than Christmas spent away from the ones you love.

Paglamig ng hangin, hatid ng Pasko
Nananariwa sa 'king gunita
Ang mga nagdaan nating Pasko
Ang Noche Buena't Simbang Gabi

Nostalgia. You look back at the past, recounting happy memories with the people you treasure: family, friends, your other half, significant others.

Narito na ang Pasko
At nangungulila'ng puso ko
Hanap-hanap, pinapangarap
Init ng pagsasalong tigib sa tuwa
Ng mag-anak na nagdiwang
Sa sabsaban ng unang Pasko

The song's refrain sums up the longing that is felt. By whom? The song's composer, the singer, people listening to the song. You. The sense of longing intensifies when you realize it's already Christmas day and you're not with the people you want to be with.  So you continue to look back at times bygone - your cherished memories keeping you company as if to make up for the absence of the ones you love.

Sa pag-awit muli ng himig Pasko
Nagliliyab sa paghahangad

Makapiling kayo sa gabi ng Pasko
Sa alaala'y magkasama tayo

"At Christmas, all roads lead home," says American writer Marjorie Holmes. People go back to where they came from - to their families. Bus stations are packed with passengers going home to the provinces. At the airport, hugs and kisses await the family members going home from abroad. And for those who have no province to go home to, like me, going home is looking forward to going to church and attending mass as a family and to the Christmas meals shared with cousins and relatives (yummy pasta! This is a holiday staple in my family :) ).

Paglamig ng Hangin. The holidays are fast approaching. We get excited and sentimental at the same time. We look forward to spending it with our families and loved ones. But no matter where we are, and no matter where are loved ones are, I believe Christmas resides in our hearts (cheesy as it sounds), so we'll always be connected, whether we live in one house or we're miles and oceans apart.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Excited to sing again!

The participants for our office Christmas Party in December were emailed the lineup of songs this morning. I got thrilled seeing my name in the email. Not that I only knew this morning that I'm going to sing, but I got thrilled when I saw who's going to sing what, the solo assignments even if they're still temporary, and the songs we're going to sing.

It's going to be Glee-themed Christmas Party, so, of course, we're going to sing Glee songs. I remember my officemate, Steph, and I auditioning for the intermission number. We prepared a duet, which is not even a Glee song (and we kinda insisted that we're going to sing since it's what we have prepared). Haha! Then, we were asked to sing individually any song we like. Steph sang Defying Gravity, and I sang my all-time favorite, Someone To Watch Over Me. After we sang, one of the "judges" said, "Very nice." It was enough to make me smile all day. :)

Not that my voice is impeccable like Lea Michele's. But I really love to sing. Bursting into song is like second nature to me. Plus, the last time I sang was during my last year in college (minus singing-in-the-shower sessions of course) when I was part of my organization's (UP ICTUS) choir.

Speaking of the choir, here's a photo of the choir taken in December 2008 during one of our caroling nights:

At Nikka Munion's House

Ooooh memories... :) I wonder how the ICTUS Choir is doing now. It's that time of the year again, when in a few weeks, they'll go caroling again to raise funds for the kids and scholars. I want to hear them sing again (but they don't have to go all the way to my house because of the heavy traffic). I just want to visit our tambayan, and leisurely listen to their voices. Maybe during the homecoming? Why not? :)

Monday, November 8, 2010


I had the chance to draw when I was on sick leave last month (I couldn't walk properly so I didn't go to work for a couple of days). Armed with my then unused oil pastels, I picked up my sketchpad and immersed myself in the therapeutic effects of drawing. Aside from forgetting for a while that I was in pain, I was able to come up with this:

October 01, 2010

Why did I name her Nicole? My inspiration for this drawing was Nicole Fox, America's Next Top Model Cycle 13 winner. She's my favorite among the 14 contestants, and I'm so glad she won. Cycle 13 was being replayed for the nth time on Star World when I drew this. I know my drawing doesn't look like her (I didn't intend for it to look like her), but her red, wavy hair prompted me to draw a red-haired girl as well. Plus, Nicole Fox loves to draw portraits, so I thought of trying it as well since I couldn't think of anything else to draw.

The following day, I drew another face. Here it is:

October 02, 2010

I started drawing this the day after I drew Nicole, but I didn't finish this on the same day (I forgot when). Anyway, I named the girl in the drawing Clara because my inspiration for this was Clara Perez, the main character in Arlene J. Chai's novel, Eating Fire and Drinking Water. It was the book that I was reading that time, and on the cover was a girl with a brown, wavy hair. I didn't copy it, but it prompted me to draw something similar.

Speaking of faces, in the November issue of Women's Health Philippines, my face appears! Haha! I was featured in the magazine's beauty pages for their makeover article. Here it is:

Yup that's me! To all those who gave me nothing but compliments about the photo, thank you! :) Feeling ko ang ganda ko. Haha! (I feel so pretty. Haha!) This was shot a couple of months ago. The day before the shoot, Denise and Kim from WH asked me if I'm free the next day and if I could be given a "makeover" for this article. I said yes, and two months after, my photo appears in the magazine.

I remember what Sam Gallardo, the makeup artist who did the looks for the makeover article, told me while she was doing my makeup: Yung mga hindi palaging nagme-makeup, sila yung mga magaganda talaga. Maganda kang bata (Those who do not usually wear makeup are the ones who are really pretty. You are a pretty girl). To which I couldn't say anything but thanks.

So it's not really what you put on your face. Whether you're a makeup junkie or a girl who prefers the "no makeup look", what matters is how you see and carry yourself and how you deal with other people. That, I think, is real beauty - one that's not only on the outside but on the inside as well.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga (I hope you're the one)

I dream of singing this song with an all-girl choir. It speaks of how one hopes that the person s/he has finally met and whom s/he is together with will be the person s/he will be spending the rest of her/his life with. It's an emotional song, and if sung in the context of true love, I guess one can't help but shed a tear or two (or buckets?).

It's a song composed by Cecille Azarcon and originally sung by Filipino balladeer Basil Valdez. The Filipino lyrics are beautiful, and if I translate them into English, I think I won't be doing justice to the song (I'm not an effective translator). So for my readers who don't speak my language, I hope you appreciate the song's beautiful melody.

Kindly click the link below to download and listen to the chorale version . I don't know who sang it, but I love it that I can listen to it over and over again. I hope this song moves you in the same way that it moved, and continues to move, me.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Images of Inspiration - Buildings

My recent trip to Hong Kong had me clicking away at every chance I get. Now, I have a bunch of inspiring images to post and share with you. Here are the photos I took on my way to the airport for the flight back home. I don't know what the names of the buildings are because I didn't have the chance to ask and take down notes. But I love how they stand out against the blue morning sky. Enjoy!

It was a pleasant sight to see before leaving the city. I'm so thankful to have been given the opportunity to visit Hong Kong and get a glimpse of what it has to offer. Like what I've said in my previous entry, I hope I'll get another chance to visit Hong Kong (plus other countries as well :D ), stay there longer, and have more experiences and stories to bring back home.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Images of Inspiration - City Lights

Still fresh from my recent trip to Hong Kong for an event, I'm sharing with you some photos of the city I took. I love how the streets are so brightly lit because of the light coming from the various shops. The cold weather made walking on the streets even more pleasurable. I wasn't able to take note of some of the street names. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy the photos.

Gloucester Road

Immigration Tower along Gloucester Road

Harbour Road

The colorful lights stand out.

Approaching the bridge

Outside Langham Place in Mong Kok, Kowloon

A busy street in Mong Kok

Just one of the many shops lining the street

View of Hong Kong

I couldn't help but marvel and get envious at how progressive the city is. Transportation is efficient, and the streets are pedestrian-friendly. I love my experience in Hong Kong, and I will do my best to visit it again in the future.

P.S. It was my first time to go abroad. Finally, my passport had been stamped. :)