1. Singing lessons
I took up singing lessons in U.P. Diliman’s College of Music when I was in high school or was it grade school? I don’t remember anymore. My recital piece was “Climb Every Mountain” from The Sound of Music.
I enrolled in Center for Pop twice. Once when I was in grade school or high school and again after I graduated from college. I did not join the recital during my first try because it required a fee and my mom found it too expensive.
For my second time, I joined the recitals and sang Lady Gaga’s “Telephone”, Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel” (group number), Lady Gaga’s “Speechless”, Kelly Clarkson’s “Behind these Hazel Eyes”.
2. Art classes
I took art classes in Vargas Museum when I was in grade school and another art and acting class in my school JASMS (Jose Abad Santos Memorial School). My mom always tells me that after my first art class in Vargas, I went to her and said, “Mama, I’m so happy!” We were taught crayon etching where you add different colors on the paper, then you cover all the colors in black, then you use a toothpick to scrape designs into your paper.
I also enjoyed melting crayons. You put the piece of crayon on a bottle cap connected to a stick, then you place the bottle cap over a fire. Once it is melted, you pour it over your paper and let it flow into several shapes.
I also remember doing bubble painting where you mix paint and detergent, then you blow into the liquid mixture until bubbles form. You press your paper on the bubbles, and the painted bubble formations will transfer to your paper. I remember my teachers telling me that they liked my bubble artwork, but I didn’t get why they liked it. I was kinda bored with it, but my mom framed it, and it still stands in our living room.
3. Terra cotta classes
When I was a kid, my mom took me to the house of a terracotta artist. There she sold some clay and she also taught us terracotta. I was so proud of my creations that I submitted one of the terracotta candle holders as part of a project at school. It had swirly shapes and it looked so beautiful to me, but when I grew up, I realized that it looked like feces.
4. Ballet classes
When I was in kindergarten until grade 3 (I think), I took ballet classes. My mother wanted to be a ballet dancer, but her grandmother (my great grandmother) thought it was obscene because the dancers were “showing their panties”. So maybe that’s why my mom enrolled me in ballet.
I enjoyed ballet, but I was also aware that I was living my mother’s dream and not my own. When I was in grade 4, my mom didn’t have money anymore to pay for my ballet classes. So I stopped, and I wasn’t so torn up about it. The next year though, she had money already, but when I tried to enroll again, I was told that I had to audition again. I got scared to audition, so I didn’t pursue ballet anymore. I regret that.
Sometimes I think about taking up ballet again, but I don’t have the money, nor do I have the time.
5. Piano lessons
I took piano lessons twice. I wasn’t really interested in the instrument, but I was hoping that learning piano would correct my sintonado voice. Sadly, I didn’t become too adept at piano, nor did it help me with my voice.
6. Bought a guitar
I bought a guitar because I was inspired by Taylor Swift. I said I’ll try to learn how to play, but I never did. I ended up giving away the guitar.
7. Acting classes
I took acting classes from PETA the summer before grade 5 and the summer before second year high school. I really enjoyed them and they boosted my confidence. In grade 5, I had my first barkada. In second year high school, I became the leader of a class play.
8. Grandma was a singer
My grandma was a singer. When she was young, her father would bring her to Manila once a week so she could sing on the radio. She didn’t pursue a singing career though as she opted to be a housewife.
9. Dancing family
Many of my cousins are dancers. One aunt was a member of a folk dancing group. Many times, my cousins would show each other the new dance moves that they learned, or we’ll all dance together to celebrate the holidays.
10. Mother is a writer
My mom is a frustrated writer. She took up English and she said that her literature teachers placed such high regard for writers. It was as if only geniuses could become like them. She was published though as one of the writers in one book, and she’s been my editor for years. She’d check my writing assignments while I was at school, and we’d argue about how to change the piece. When I was younger, I wouldn’t let her make it too good because the teachers might not believe that it was me. Later on, I became more stringent than her. When she’d say that my piece is already ok, I’ll still look over it and find things to improve. Nowadays, my mom doesn’t check everything I write, but if I don’t feel confident about something, I let her look over it. If I have a question about grammar and usage, I still consult her. I would not have become a writer if not for my mom.
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Check out my other blog categories.
Note: For some entries in this blog, a few names and details have been deliberately and willingly changed by the author. This is a personal decision made by the author for specific reasons known to her and is not an endorsement for censorship.
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