Mission Statement

This blog journals my quest of art, whether it is a piece of work that is inherent in nature or one created by artists known or unknown or that I created myself. During this search, I have come to appreciate the magnificence and generosity of God who in his infinite wisdom surrounded us with exquisiteness everyday...everywhere and inspired our human spirit to create beauty that feeds our bodies and souls. Come join me on my journey to find art through my travels and my own creative endeavors. Maraming salamat.

All rights to all posts and contents on this blog, including photos and artwork are reserved by jojo sabalvaro tan.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Songs of My Life

A high school classmate of mine was here a couple of weeks ago visiting from the Philippines and we went on a road trip from Chicago to Orlando, Florida. I lent him my IPod to amuse him on the long trip. I had about 3000 songs in it and during the trip we had lots of discussions about my choice of music. We shared memories that some of the songs brought back, especially from our high school and college days. It led me to thinking about what my top favorites are. It was hard to narrow down until I decided to concentrate on which one evokes the memories that I hold most dear in my life.

Here goes: (Double click on html to see video of song. To go back to my blog just hit arrow back.)

I Love You More Today Than Yesterday by the Spiral Starecase - This song is my husband's and my theme song. When we were dating we used to play it all the time on the 8 track player in his green Mercedes Benz 200. The summer of 1970 was especially memorable, we were happy, carefree, in love with each other and with life even in the midst of the rising storm of the student activists movement.

I Love You More Today Than Yesterday

Blue Moon by The Marcels is a song we sang in our Glee Club in my first year of high school and has since become the theme song of my freshman homeroom, Everlasting. To this day we sing it whenever a group of us get together. Nobody really recalls why this song caught on to being our class song but we all feel very nostalgic about it. This year we celebrate our 45th high school graduation anniversary and I am sure it will be a feature in the reunion. I am even writing a novella entitled Blue Moon as a tribute to my classmates on the occasion of our 45th graduation anniversary and almost 50 years of friendship.

Blue Moon

American Pie by Don McLean - This song and Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers always remind me of the cross country road trips we used to take in the 1970s.These played constantly on the car radio that my mom thought they were broken records since American Pie is epic and especially when Bill Withers starts singing the coda on Ain't No Sunshine - "And I know, I know, I know, I know, I know , I know ...." almost in perpetuity. Everytime we hear these songs, we laugh and reminisce about those days when we started our journey to discover North America. Although, for the sake of time, I must admit that we travel more by air now, we still try to schedule a road trip to the different States and Canada at least once a year, even revisiting many of our favorite areas.

American Pie

Bayan Ko by Freddie Aguilar always brings tears to my eyes, It is considered by many Filipinos as the second national anthem of the Philippines. My dad loved this song and had us singing it at the piano when we gather together (which is often!) especially during the martial law days in the Philippines. The song was originally written in 1929 as a protest song against American occupation of the Philippines and became more meaningful in the 1970s and 1980s during the Marcos dictatorship years when basic rights and liberties were taken away from the Filipino people.

Bayan Ko


Once I Loved and other songs by Astrud Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim, along with the music of Sergio Mendez, The Brazil 66 and Santana, introduced me to Latin jazz rhythms that I now love. This genre is my number one favorite. My love for this type of music has expanded to Afro-Latino rhythms and dance. I enjoy dancing to lively latin music, particularly the merengue, salsa and mambo.

Once I Loved


Cherish by the Associations will always remind me of my college years, my fickle heart then and all the boys I had crushes on. I can't remember most of their names now but I vividly recall the feeling of happiness from just a glimpse or a word from the boy du jour and the dejection when they don't even know I exists. This song never fails to tug at my heartstrings and bring back those feelings.



Somewhere from The West Side Story - I love Broadway plays and this song may be the first one that introduced me to that genre. I now have many, many more favorite show tunes, including those from movies. Somehow, this particular song is the one that I burst into when I just feel like belting out a song anytime, anywhere. It must just be swirling in my head waiting for the moment of release. I must sing it a lot unconsciously because when one of my admin assistants who came directly from India was asked during a team building exercise what song is constantly in her head, she sang, "There's a place for us......" Do you have a song like that?


I Saw Her Standing There by the Beatles - My first favorite Beatles song and the one that made me a fan, I remember dancing , more like bouncing, to the 45 rpm playing on my little portable turntable with my cousins and friends. We felt very carefree, a gift, I believe, the Beatles gave our generation. Thank you, John, Paul, George and Ringo.

I Saw Her Standing There


Fur Elise by Beethoven is the first piece where I formally became aware of classical music. The piano teacher played it to inspire me to pursue piano lessons. I tried, but I guess I can not corner the market on talent. Of course, what I did not know as a child is that classical music was everywhere. It has since opened for me the world of opera and the beautiful arias that I enjoy so much today. My current classical favorite composer is Puccini.

Fur Elise

On Eagle's Wings (Church Hymn). This song is based on Psalm 91 and is a sad one for me as it reminds me of the death and funeral services of my mommy and daddy. It was sang at their services. I started to cross stitch the lyrics of the song after my mother's death and finished it right after my father's demise 10 years later.
On Eagle's Wings

I invite you to come up with a similar list.

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