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Music and ME

Sa taglay mong lakas, di ka matitinag

Sa pagnanais mong maibahagi ang saya

At kapangyarihang taglay ng musika,

Di ka maliligaw. Kung alam mo kung

Para saan at kanino ang musika mong taglay

—  Kuya Mel


When I was a boy in the midst of being a big brother, I was learning how to dance. I listen to the music and try to jump around dancing, but my feet keep tangling just as my life became tangled with another boy which is my brother. I cannot follow the beat of the steps just as I cannot follow and understand the sacrifices I have to give for him. The responsibility that was given to me was just like the dance I was making, for it couldn’t be called a dance, it was unacceptable for me. Just when I was just a boy, I was a brother to no one and a dancer to no tune.

I gave up understanding the whims of a child but not seeing the whims I make was just like the first. I gave up dancing and turned to singing. In the days of my life when speech and communication in our home is more subtle than the chit chat of mice, I tried to reach those notes with my voice. The higher the note the louder it got but with no luck, it went from bad to worse. As I try to recall, I’ve hit more flat and unnecessary notes than I’ve said my please and thanks. I’ve tried more to reach higher notes than I’ve tried to say I love you to Mom and Dad. With my throat now dry and voiceless, I refrained from singing; maybe there is still something else.

Fitting into music was just not for me. Pretending that I love it wasn’t even close. Why fit in when I can make my own. I picked up a guitar and tried so hard to play it. As those strings embedded blisters and calluses on my fingertips, I learned the value of hard work, as I practiced my chords on a ruler (for I have no guitar) I learned the lesson of contentment. I practiced to be better before I bragged a little, I learned how to be patient, I was applauded for the first time and I learned how to appreciate and be appreciated. This was the music for me… the music that I will love and I will wield.

Now I’m in college and I went back home to take a look. I looked at the music I thought I didn’t fit into; I looked at the things I ran away from. Turning on the music on the radio, I followed the beat and took a few steps, I took actions on my responsibilities as a brother and as a son and I learned how to dance. I opened up my voice to the family and God, we became closer than ever, and I learned how to sing. This was the music I thought I could never love bur here it is, Music and life loving me more than I loved it.

As a new verse in my life unfolds, I understand my music more. It’s not just the piece that people shower with applause, but the way I plotted every note just as I learned every value in life I needed to know, the way I danced to the beat just as to follow my responsibilities,  and the way I voiced out the way I sing those songs. The notes, the beat, the voice, it all added up to a piece. That was me, I know now why I am here, and I know now why my music plays.