Archive for Videos

NOLITA: My Favorite Neighborhood in New York

NOLITA (acronym for North of Little Italy) is my most favorite spot in New York and I have a song for it!

NOLITA is the area bounded by Broome, Spring, LaFayette and Elizabeth streets in Downtown Manhattan. I lived in this area for some time and these were among the happiest days of my life.

 Map of NOLITA
    The song is composed and sung by Vanessa Carlton who also once lived in the same neighborhood. The video is shot on location at NOLITA and NOHO (North of Houston). CLICK HERE FOR THE  ==> NOLITA FAIRYTALE VIDEO COMPLETE LYRICS I know, you know, we don't see We sow our truth, wait patiently I walk the streets with a song in my head We ebb and we flow so Got my toes on my pup at the foot of my bed My heart always seems to know Now take the glitz back, I want the soul instead 'Cause I found some kind of fairytale I used to hover outside my truth Always worry of what I'd lose Take away my record deal Go on, I don't need it Spent the last two years getting to what's real And now I can see so clear I hope you feel just like I feel I found some kind of fairytale Want a garden by the ocean tide Because I lose my way searching for stage lights Well, Stevie knows and I thank her so 'Cause it's your seeds I sow and now I know Nolita, flat on rent control, that's the life I choose And you drag me to the fashion show The poses that I see through The movies in the afternoon 'Cause I found some kind of fairy, tale, hey Nolita Fairytale (Ba da da da da da, ba da da da da da) Nolita Fairytale (Ba da da da da da, ba da da da da da) CLICK HERE FOR THE  ==> NOLITA FAIRYTALE VIDEO

For a While

One of the most touching songs  for those who have love and lost but never really moved on is  'For a While'. Listen to the perfect combination of simple lyrics and soulful rendition of the great Nina Simone.
Listen to the song here. Nina Simone - For A While
Watch the video here.
Nina Simone was an Americansinger, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music.

Iloko ‘Bourne Legacy’

Inspired by the movie 'Bourne Legacy ' (2012) that has major scenes shot in Manila and Palawan, this amateur group creates a parody  using Ilocano and English. It's funny how twigs and stones become high-powered machine guns and grenades. Originally shared by Robert Dalimara on Ilocano York's Facebook wall.

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

As a young girl, I always heard my mom play this song.  Although I wasn't really paying attention to the lyrics, the rhythm and the sentiments of a woman unsure was never forgotten. Looking back, I place my mother in a different light now that I have grown to know the feelings that has long been burning inside her. She might have wondered then if her husband -- my father and the only man she ever loved -- will still love her until the very end. Apparently not ... Everything has its end. Love, regardless of  its breadth, width and size, also expires. 

Nonetheless, despite it's romantic impossibilities, the song is still emotionally captivating. Written by New Yorker  Carole King and originally recorded by The Shirelles, this has been recorded by many artists and was ranked among Rollingtone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time at #125. My favorite versions are Roberta Flack, Amy Winehouse and of course, Carole King (with James Taylor).

Click here for an older Carole King singing one of my favorite songs.

Amy Winehouse

Kuratsa, a Waray Courtship Dance

One of the best things about New York is diversity. In this City, variety is the trend and in most cases, cultural differences are admired and celebrated with proud enthusiasm and vigor that may match its homegrown sentiment.

A popular version of the Waray folk dance was the cultural  highlight in the  send-off party held at the Father Demo Hall of the Our Lady of Pompeii Church in honor of Fr. Mike Lagrimas, a native of Samar in the Philippines. A big contingent from Samar was present that passed the authenticity of the said traditional dance performed that night. This dance is called the kuratsa or curacha, a popular Waray cultural element that grew side by side with the Philippine national dance, the tinikling that also traces its roots to that region.

According to Samareno Robert Bacaycay, Curacha Waray is ideally danced 'amenudo', which means only one couple at each time. The idea is the man chases the woman as they dance around a cloth while fellow revelers, in the olden times the wedding guests perhaps, participate in the dance by throwing in money or valuables into the cloth. The man makes downward swooping gestures that teasingly aim at the woman's skirt as he tries to lift it a bit to expose parts of the midcalf. The woman tries to evade the partner's advances as she ironically does flirtatious movements like swaying of the hips that further teases the man, while at the same time securing her skirt. The climax is the 'gapus' part wherein one of the revelers tries to restrain the determined man with a cloth tied around his waist. The dance is very joyful and has later evolved as fundraising activity wherein any willing partner may perform.

For detailed information about 'kuratsa', click here.

As many willing partners may dance and in the modern times, it need not be a couple. At the event, there were 5 to 6 pairs who did their own versions of kuratsa. After the dances, the dollar bills were generously piled up on the cloth. The event in New York has raised enough money for a cause in a joyous fashion reminiscent of festivals in the Philippines.

Click here to watch an impromptu Kuratsa featuring Samareno Yorkers Fr. Mike Lagrimas and Liza Delos Santos

Click here to watch an impromptu Kuratsa featuring Fr. Mike Lagrimas and Liza Delos Santos

For actual pictures featuring kuratsa, click here.



"‎Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English. It means they know another language." Whenever speaking in English, many times my closest friends would catch me mispronounce a lot of words. They would laugh heartily as they constantly ask me questions leading to answers that would require me to speak the mispronounced word repeatedly. Slow to realize it, I would fall for the language trap several times. Initially irked, I would later see the mistake for all its worth. I realize that such paux pas isn't an insufficiency from my part, but a disadvantage stemming from a competency in another language. Phonological confusion is a production failure common among mutilinguals who speak languages that have varying phonological structures. A lot of times, in the most excited moment, a word is blurted out wrong even if the speaker has already attained fluency in a second language. Recently, I overheard a friend say, "hamberjer". Many times I said "iskars" to mean scarce or very little. The local priest says "tenk yu" to everyone, while a Marian devotee invited me to a "sinakel". My linguistics professor in college often corrected me whenever I say "etch" for letter H, instead of  "aitch". To a lot of Ilocanos I know, table becomes "teybel", edible is "edibel" and there becomes "dear". P sound  is interchanged with F, B with V and TH-sound with D. Filipinos lose the aspiration (or the air coming out of the mouth as one speaks a sound) when pronouncing words with initial sounds like T, B, P and K. Being mutilingual, though a gift, sometimes have its compromises. But it's okay. Mispronounced or not, I think I am luckier than my American neighbor who only speaks one. Here are YouTube videos about Filipino accents: Video 1 Funny yet informative language lesson with Mikey Bustos  Video 2 Russel Peters'  joke on Filipino Accent Video 3 Tim Tayag's stand-up act about ESL Video 4 Archiezzle on Filipino Accent

Paalam, Sampaguita: Love Off-shored

A riveting Tagalog song about a man left behind in the country as lady love migrates to American shores. Man sings acceptance of the harsh reality, a migratory phenomenon that saw 11% of Filipinos living abroad. This is written, composed and performed by 1990s punk band Yano, a University of the Philippines-grown group known to sing about social and political issues that beset the country. Dong Abay's Paalam, Sampaguita For Full Lyrics of Paalam sampaguita, click here.

Noel Cabangon, soulful and Pinoy

Here's a great song from an Ilocano popular folk singer in the Philippines, NOEL CABANGON  of Rosario, La Union. Be touched  and lulled to sleep. Great sleep companion as we keep our pillows close. *sigh* ANG TANGI KONG PAG-IBIG