Hawak-Kamay (Holding Hands) #atozchallenge2014

I know, I know. I discussed about my theme songs recently. But there’s one I forgot to add, which is just okay, because this song I am about to share is not something that’s simply meant for me. It is something that I dedicate to two important people in my life, my sister and my future husband. This song is called Hawak-Kamay. “Holding Hands” or “Hand in Hand,” in English. It is by Yeng Constantino.

Yeng was the grand prize winner of the first-ever Pinoy Dream Academy show. This was a song that she composed before she entered the competition. While at that time, she was not my favorite, this song elevated my respect for this then-teener. Originally a song she created for her cousin who was undergoing some sort of problem, this song speaks of going through the journey together, courageously, through good and bad times, with hands held. Considering how young she was at the time, the lyrics seemed to have been written by someone way beyond her years.

Very touching and meaningful, it is the perfect message for beloved people in your life, be they family, friends or special someones. Yeng may not be a favorite artist of mine, but I think she writes some of the best Filipino songs in this generation. Her song is one of my most loved Filipino songs.

Here’s the song and a translation I found below. I have had no time to do the translating myself so I tried to find one and found a non-Filipino’s version of the song (I think I can translate it better, though, if only I have the time). If you want to hear his version, click on his name.

“I’m By Your Side”
English Version/Lyrics Written by: David DiMuzio
Original Tagalog version written by: Yeng Constantino

Sometimes you’re pinned to the ground by the weight of the problem
Sometimes the world can spin you around, till you could scream out
Why won’t it end now?

You could look up to the heavens
Someone up there’s listening to us
Or maybe you could call on me
You always know at any time

I’m by your side
Through the rain, though the night, every fight
In a world that has no guarantees
I’m by your side
Hand in hand through the days that see us laugh and cry
Sa mundo ng kawalan

Sometimes the world breaks apart, underneath
The trust upon which you set your weary feet
The current pulls you towards disaster, you swim to break free

You’re not alone now, I’m not that far
Always know that you’re a shooting star
You’re never alone, Never Alone

 

My big sister and I grew up always arguing, so who would think I would dedicate something like this to her? Well, maybe we did not get along well, but it did not mean we didn’t love each other. When she began working, I decided to show my respect to her as a legitimate adult and didn’t argue much with her anymore. I knew she was still fond of me in a certain way because she surprised me by gifting me with stuffed toys and books, especially my collection of the Anne of Green Gables series. You know, love doesn’t always have to be shown grandly. Sometimes, it’s in the little things, if you only know how to see things in a deeper perspective.

Meanwhile, unlike most couples who have their theme songs (well, I assume that most couples do have their own), FH (future husband, okay?) and I do not have any, unless we count the first songs I ever “sung” for him, which were recorded a capella versions of Part of Your World and The Journey (he asked me to sing this again to him recently, saying he missed it). That said, this song is now officially our theme song, though he doesn’t know that yet, he he.

 

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I hope you liked that song because I love it!

This is my “Y” post for the…

a-to-z-challenge

I guess you did not notice, but I’ll confess anyway. I skipped my “X” post for now. Why? ’cause I couldn’t think of a thing! And it’s keeping me from writing anything, so I decided to postpone that one 😉

My Five Theme Songs to Live By #atozchallenge2014

I’ve had the draft for this for daaayssss…Anyway,…

Let’s talk about THEME SONGS. Not just any theme songs from movies or shows. I mean those that currently define, describe, and/or I, hopefully, will follow in the years to come, maybe in my lifetime. Basically, these are songs that help bring me back to my senses and make me push through with life and push on.

So, let me share to you now…

 

My Five Theme Songs to Live By

1. Defying Gravity by Idina Menzel

This also serves as my LSS or Last Song Syndrome fave. I play this in the office practically every work day, and play it non-stop a lot of times, too (you can ask my officemates). As I shared in my WICKED post, the song is from the musical. Maybe I am ten years late in really appreciating this song, but I have fallen in love with it now. Maybe because it holds more meaning to me now, too.

The song speaks of breaking free and flying high, escaping from things that hold you back or down from becoming the best and happiest you can be. As Idina’s Elphaba says, it’s time to defy gravity. Below is Idina’s album version of the song:

I’m through accepting limits
‘Cause someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I’ll never know!

…I’m defying gravity
And you can’t pull me down!

I guess Idina’s Elsa’s “Let It Go” is in a similar vein (not really the same), but I can relate more with “Defying Gravity” and identify more with Elphie. I know you most probably have heard the song already or seen the movie — I’d be surprised if you haven’t yet — but if you just want to compare, I’m posting the other song, too, and this one’s got sing-along lyrics on it:

2. The Journey by Lea Salonga

Not to be biased or anything because Lea is Filipino and a favorite stage performer, but this song is one of the best songs I have ever heard. It’s not just due to the melody, which may not be the best, but how the message is conveyed. Just watch the video and maybe sing along with the lyrics…

I may be in love with song #1 right now, but this remains as Top 1 in my list of theme songs. It serves as a reminder for me to keep being positive and keep going, to enjoy life and love the journey. Does my blog’s name tell you anything? Forward, always forward, onward, always up, we must go 😉

From what I know, this song was recorded as part of a concept album for the Little Tramp musical that is based on the life of the great Charlie Chaplin. Incidentally, he originally composed the music for the next song for a movie he was making, the words added later on by lyricists.

3. Smile by Nat King Cole

How beautiful! I am not sure about the first time ever that I heard it in my life, but I remember when I actually took notice. That was when I was a kid and my sister and I used to watch old shows on TV (for some reason, we were fond of watching shows that were even way beyond our time) and one of those was the gag show of Jerry Lewis. He would always sing some parts of it at the end of every episode. I immediately understood and fell in love with it.

It is something that anyone who has ever felt sad and lonely can relate to. There is a certain sense of melancholy in it, yet there is the positive message as well that we can hold on to.

4. For Good by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth

Alright, it’s still WICKED and Idina, but you can’t blame me. It just so happens that the show has really good songs in it. And since I am someone who values friendship very much, this duet by Idina and Kristin really spoke to me. The best thing is, it doesn’t necessarily have to be simply about friendship; rather, it can be about relationships in general.

I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives
For a reason, bringing something we must learn
And we are led to those who help us most to grow
If we let them and we help them in return…

It well may be that we will never meet again
In this lifetime so let me say before we part
So much of me is made of what I learned from you
You’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart.

When it was sung live onstage, I noticed how quiet the people from the audience were. Not a few hearts were touched by this song. Every time I listen to it, I can’t help but feel a lump in my throat and want to cry. You should have seen me the first days I was listening to it — I did cry. Then I tortured myself and played it over and over. Crazy, eh?

Those first two lines of the second quoted stanza gets to me every time! I am reminded of friendships lost due to distance or falling-out, reminded to be thankful for the great people in my life, and especially reminded of my parents to whom I was not able to say “so much of me is made of what I learned from you” (oh man, I’m tearing up right now..sorry…).

This song has become my most favorite friendship/relationship song and I think it will be hard for any similar song to dethrone it from my list.

5. You Gotta Be by Des’ree

Last but not the least, we have this perk-up song, at least that’s what I’m calling it. Ever since I learned and memorized it, I have regarded it as a self-advice song. Depressed, worried, anxious? Sing it.  Simply enjoying the moment? Sing it. Apply it anytime, anywhere!

Basically, it’s about keeping a positive outlook, being courageous in the face of hardship, and believing in the power of love.

You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day.

In fact, on the few times I get to sing in front of a videoke machine, I almost always sing it. It’s like my default song or something (well, along with song #2).

 

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That’s it, the five theme songs of my life. In other words, guide songs. Do you have yours? What is it or what are they? I invite you to share 🙂

This is my belated “T” post for…

a-to-z-challenge