A Successful Undergrad

Hi. I’m Tep, 25 years old. Stopped attending school in 2012 and I got a lot of effin awesome things to be thankful for!

JOB OFFERS

Besides me managing our music school, handling around 45 students with different courses such as drums, guitar, ukulele and violin… I got a lot of job offers without me even applying for the position!

1. Hotel Manager in Subic. This was way back 2010 and my dad’s partners entrusted me with that position.

2. Marketing position in an airline. How awesome is that? I did an event for cancer institute of St. Luke’s and their head was really impressed with the impact of my work.

3. Music Teacher at a private pre-school inside White Plains (A subdivision for rich people cause of their mansions their).

Sometimes, I get too overwhelmed with what I can do that sometimes it seems like normal for me because I’m talkative, sociable and not shy to strangers. It’s just really flattering… everything! Considering the fact that I was a music student. I don’t have a background with the other positions.

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This Is What I Want

I think I never felt so sure in what I wanted until now.

Why should I be chosen to be part of the 5th ELEMENTS MUSIC CAMP 2014?

Well, I don’t know how to answer this exactly. I’ve got a lot on my mind and I’m not quite sure which are the reasons and which are just about my problems in life. I can’t really tell the difference. So how can I ever enumerate them? Whatever. Here it goes…

1. If they ask me this question, I might just answer BECAUSE I REALLY WANT TO. I NEED TO. Music is basically my life and I can’t imagine having another outlet. Music somehow keeps me sane.

2. The instructors are my inspiration. I look up to them. I am motivated and inspired whenever I watch them play or sing at their gigs. And even just listening to their songs. I appreciate every ounce of it. I am moved by it. Sometimes songs give me chills.. I even cry and I can’t tell how it happens. Lyrics are goot but the music, it strikes me through the heart and stays in me like a drug. I like how it feels and I want to let it out through my own music. It gives me passion to my craft. They inspire me and I would really loved it if I become one of many others’ inspiration too. It’s like changing the world… scratch that! It’s like saving the world .. exagge much? Well at least makes the world somewhat a better and lighter place to live in.

3. I’m not that good. I know I have something and I want to be better. There’s this chaos in my heart fighting with my head and I want to let it out through music. I can’t make everyone appreciate what I write. In fact, I don’t care what they think. I want to express myself. I want to make music and I want to be good enough to give justice to my thoughts. I want to produce music. I am in love with it and I can’t just let it slip away without trying hard enough. I know it’s a bit silly but this is what I want. I believe in myself and I want to make myself better by learning a whole lot more — seeing through others’ perspectives, beliefs and passion.

4. I am a music instructor but who teaches me? I teach mostly kids violin, guitar, ukulele and high school bands. I love what I do and I love how they look up to me as their teacher. But I feel like I am limited. I think I stopped learning when I focused in teaching. I can’t study for now because of lack of funds. My band and I broke up. No gigs. I have limited sources to grow. I want to be better. I want to be better for myself and for my students. I don’t wanna ever stop learning and this right here is an opportunity to learn from the masters and it is for free.

Wow. I never realized I wanted this thing bad. I’ve never been so sure of something for a very long time. Please pray for me to pass the auditions.

I’m Falling In Love On How People Fall In Love… With Music.

It’s so indulging. I am in a sort of magnet that draws me closer to those people. I find it inspiring how they fall in love with something and finds a way to live with it every single day.

I’m a late bloomer. I learned a lot of instruments when I was young but never had I learned of music I wanted to play and listen to. It was always my dad saying PLAY THIS. PLAY THAT. THIS IS GOOD. THAT SONG IS BETTER. I believed him. I don’t blame him. It was my choice.

But then it was when I stopped studying (Conservatory) that I started being exposed to music that I really wanted to listen to. I search for bands, artists to artists, songs after songs and it was endless pattern. I liked it. No, loved it.

I like watching live performances, going to gigs, singing along with the crowd, staring and figuring out bass lines, getting into falling for ad libs and drum beats. Every performance is different from another, may it be frome a single artist or different bands. I like seeing through them that they love what they do and they are happy about it. Those people getting along just for the love of music… no pressure!

I’ve met a few of them and believe me when I say, they are effin awesome and surprisingly humble. Most don’t care about popularity which is only limited to wanting people to connect with their music. Some would go to gigs without talent fee because they just want to play/sing. Some would practice so late at night even after dragging pressure at work just so they could make music. They don’t care who’s who, which band is better, or that guitarist studied at the conservatory — equal.

I falling in love with the idea. And I know for a fact that I am making compositions just so that I can write one but to spread it to the world. In time, I’ll find that place where I get to be on stage again and not just be one with the crowd.

Here’s a video of my band playing one of our original songs (I’m the vocalist; wrote the lyrics and melody).

DARK ROOM (ORIGINAL) BY RIDDLE ME THIS

It’s just a bit sad that finding bandmantes is like finding the love of your lifr. You just have to put a lot of things into consideration… and it’s a commitment.

BUT EVERYTHING, I PROMISE, SOON.

Waiting (Original Composition)

How long will I be waiting for you to be in my arms?
It’s so unending waiting for nothing

Stanza 1:
When we meet again,
I guess I’d stare at your face
The on that I can’t erase
There’s a missing page
Of the book
And I can’t complete the story

Refrain:
It’s not in me and I’m figuring it out
Let me ask you a question please

Chorus:
How long will I be waiting for you to be in my arms?
It’s so unending waiting for nothing

Stanza 2:
When we keep on running in circles
Too fancy enough like in a circus
Not laughing at all
Pushing and pulling and different directions
And I don’t know where to go

Repeat Refrain and Chorus

Bridge:
A happy thought inside my head
Smiles silently and whisphers goodnight before I go to sleep
Let me ask you a question please

Repeat Chorus

Written last December 3, 2013.

That Hurtful Place

I don’t know why it feels like it’s still haunting me but I don’t think I can ever go back to that place again. It gives me that feeling that I can’t even describe and that I am just sure that I don’t want it at all. But it’s weird that I have this longingness to go back.

I miss how I was when I was there. I miss the experience studying there. I miss the restless days and nights of practicing a dozen etudes and piece. I miss how it feels like when people around you overcriticize everything you play so intellectually and passionately. I miss how it feels to go on concerts on recital halls and auditoriums too boring enough for ordinary people. Mostly, I miss to have those kind of friends having the same passion and I miss that kind of someone who would always be there on a right timing.

But I can’t beause IT HURTS and it still does. Calling it (memories) a lie would be stupid enough for me to say just because I am hurt so won’t say it. But I am hurt. I can’t risk it. I don’t want that to happen again. I feel like there’s really a damage in me. A big part of me was broken in that place and I am just starting to fix myself again.

But I like those memories. I loved it and I miss it. But that’s what hurts most – the happiest and most precious time of my life. And I am starting to miss her again. I hate that I miss her (ex) again. I hate that I miss them (ex-friends and ex-bestfriends) again. I hate that I hate it.

To tell you frankly, I can’t even recall the details of what happened. I think my brain automatically deleted those parts because it’s just too painful for me too handle. I just know that I’m hurt and I don’t want to get hurt anymore.

Am I Procrastinating?

Oh, this is one of the questions that I never want to answer but maybe I am. Am I?

I’m currently in this situation that I need to work harder as a musical director (at our music tutorial center) and do some other business which I can get money from. My dad isn’t working, my mom doesn’t have enough income and my sister is graduating. That leads to me providing for my family. Appently being the musical director and an instructor (violin, drums, guitar and ukulele) can’t pay all the bills since my dad had stroke. So I me and my guy bestfriend decided to do a business – a t-shirt business. Oh wait, there’s more. Me and my bandmate decided to make productions and produce gigs for local and foreign artists. So that’s a total of 3 things I need to work on. But under those 3 are branches of list that I need to finish.

As a musical director (I am actually acting as the overall director), I do the marketing, meetings to clients and business partners. I do the teaching – I make the curriculum, modules and lesson plans. I study, arrange and write the students need to play and usually this is for quartets, ensembles and ensembles. I also do the financing and computing of all the money in and out. And even the posters and flyers – I design and edit them. Oh, and I handle all the networking sites of the school. Yes, I am superwoman.

For the t-shirt business, I need to canvass a lot of stuff – from different wholesalers of shirts to machines. I need to study costing and make designs!!!

For the production – this is actually exciting!!! Hihi. I’m good with handling events. I think I’m that person who likes everything organized much more if I am the one in charge. So I have no problem with this but…. same as the t-shirt business, we still need to do canvass the perfect venues, talk to artists and technicians and all other stuff like that.

So where’s the procrastinating part? I know there’s a long to-do list on my paper but I slept the whole day. Scratch that. Not whole day. But I sang and played. I even started to make the music of my original composition (see previous post). Maybe I was really so tired for the past months since my dad got sick. I’m really longing for a break but then I still can’t because if I stop, no one can pay the bills. Or I know what I want to do, it’s I just can’t… for now.

People Stared

I sang last night. It felt really good. I know I am not the best singer in the world (and not that I am competing with anyone, haha!) but I still have insecurities and I know I sing flats and sharps. It’s been a while since the last time me and my band had a gig and I never sung a song in front of people since then.

But last night, it felt really awesome. We were at my uncle Henry’s birthday party at a bar. He closed the whole bar for his party if I may add. There were musicians playing in trio – a guitarist, a singer and a percussionist. And my titos (aunts) and titas (uncles) requested for me to sing since they never heard me perform on stage.  So there I am, I couldn’t say no but really am scared cause I don’t have any practice at all.

People stared. I got the guitar and sang Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn and Bic Runga’s Sway. When I started singing, people started to pay attention. I just said to myself, “Shocks. This is so embarrassing. I didn’t practice at all and maybe I’m out of tune.” or something like “Ah, they’re looking cause they noticed that there’s a different singer in front of them.”. But then when I got to the chorus part, people stared and watched me the whole time. I was really flattered because I got their attention. It was a long time since I last believed in my singing and I took courage to share them to the audience… turns out they did too. I’m so happy! 🙂 

The Silly Thinking Of Me

I suddenly have this urge to play the guitar again. I missed it. After 2 or 3 years of running away from it, I miss it and I miss it so bad. It’s like a drug that I haven’t gotten in a while and it’s right here in front of me. It’s just the feels – more like I am longing for it and I want to be one with it.

I was so afraid. I played the classical guitar when I was at the conservatory. I fell in love with it – so with the people around it. Life there was practice, practice, practice then perform… repeat all throughout the school year. But things changed and it suddenly became a bad memory.

I have this fear that I brought everywhere I go. I can’t even get my guitar out of my case, more so playing it. Cause when I do, flashbacks hit me like nuclear canons, bombs, guns, knives that strike directly to my heart… and I feel the pain all over again. It sounds so melodramatic. Well, don’t judge because it hit me big time.

Through my escape, I tried lots of different stuff. But to tell frankly, I can getaway far enough from music. So first, I composed (bad memories can be a great source for original compositions). Second, I found myself composing and singing with a band – which I didn’t have for a long time. Third, I indulged myself and tried ukulele but don’t get me wrong, I met a lot of great people in an awesome community but sometimes I look for something deeper. Lastly, I tried going back to theater. It did brought me joyous moments and gave me a fresh start – awesome new found friends and mentors. In between those steps, I keep handling and teaching our music school. Yes, that’s the moving on me.

But lately, I find myself longing for it. Playing and practicing for hours, days and restless nights. My fingers long for the numbness and hardness of the callouses on my left hand. On my rifght, the long finger nails that is carefully shapes by a sand paper. I miss the addictive way of analyzing pieces and overthinking how it should be played. I miss criticizing every tone I make.

I miss it so bad but I think I still can’t go back. It’s weird that what I do now is play and play the guitar. I keep on arranging songs and make it an instrumental – close enough that I can get to classical music.

Will I ever go back? Can I ever handle going back? Because once I do, I think I am risking myself to be screwed all over again and my heart says enough and my heart wants more of it. Half of a half? A quarter of a half? I don’t know who wins the battle against this silly thinking of me.

I Don’t Wanna Be Ordinary… Nor Special.

Today, I realized that I don’t wanna be ordinary… nor special. Is it weird for me to think that way? I really don’t know how to explain it. When I was younger (maybe 10 years younger), I wanted to be an icon – an actress, a singer, a musician, a painter or just someone famous. Apart from me being talkative and really out going, I have no problem with people at all… singing, playing, talking, acting on stage is nothing and I love being on stage, no nervous breakdowns or anything similar, I wanted to make a difference – jeez it’s lame and this is overused already. Let me put it this way, I have this thing called perception in life. And my theory is that if only people look at life the way I do, things would be simple, easy and beautiful. But at that time, if I try to say anything about “it” and open words or realizations and reflections, I would be super duper uncool. That is why I wanted to be famous. I wanted to establish a name and/or a reputation so that I wouldn’t be judge. Silly, am I right?

But after all I’ve been through, problems in my family, relationships, friends, school, career, work and everything else in between, I don’t want to dream the same dream. Now, I think that I’d like to work behind curtains and cameras in life. I know most of us wanted the spotlight, it’s a good feeling but I think it’s far too complicated and my life has been a mess and there are a lot of consequences that comes with it. I am longing for simple and care free life. Though we can’t avoid problems along the way, I couldn’t care less at all. I realized that I love living backstage at life. I am a family kind of person whatever I dream of, I dream for them. I never had a dream (the usual one, like I want to be a doctor someday stuff). I was and always be contented just as long as my family is safe, healthy, happy and we can eat three times a day… that’s that. Today, I realized that whatever it is I dreamed of doing, I keep coming back to that simple thing and I am always joyful and contented with that. Other than that, I’d like to make a big money so that I can go volunteer and provide on charities and different foundations… or maybe start one. I like it the way it is.

I don’t want to be cool. I don’t want to fit in. I don’t want to stand out. I don’t wanna be ordinary. I don’t wanna be special. I want to be in somebody’s (a family, a friend, a lover or anyone) life, never leave and make sure I love more than anyone could possibly do.