Skip to main content

DVD et imperi

WITH the opening chorus of “Jellicle Cats” filling in the silent calm of morning, passing palaver over the phone with my grand daughter Musa took more than the usual three minutes.

She was in a bubbly mood, plying phrases as any child would blow bubble after bubble… or babble that should make sense and stir sweetness into a heedful grandfather.

For months, the strains and ditties off “Cats” she had grown familiar to, did passable ballet leaps and passes as she sang along, those were missing. Kids can’t handle a DVD with kid gloves… it must have been her claws or paws that scratched her only copy, a hand-me-down from her old geezer’s collection.

Without her “Cats,” she had to turn to “Phantom of the Opera” and sing “Think of Me.” Or do a gibberish version of “On My Own” from “Les Miserables.”

She was fed a steady diet of U2’s “Joshua Tree” and “Rattle and Hum” plus generous portions of Johann Sebastian Bach concerti when she was still in her mom’s womb… ay, one Albert Einstein was a huge fan of Bach’s.

Ah, young Einstein fared very poorly in academic work that the teacher told his parents to take him out of school and get him a manual labor job as he was “too stupid to learn-- it would be a waste of resources for the school to invest time and energy in his education.”

The parents didn’t give up on their kid. They bought him a violin. The kid turned good at it… and in later years turned up the all-too-familiar E = mc2.

Einstein gives credit for his fiddling for gaining tons of smarts—just like a Thomas Jefferson who would tickle out tunes on his violin whenever he couldn’t turn up apt phrase and prose for the Declaration of Independence… he wrote that.

There’s indeed a fiddler on the roof—“certain types of music such as Mozart's Sonata for Two Piano's in D Major or Bach’s Air on The G String (nope, that doesn’t translate as “utot ng nakabahag”) releases neurons in the brain which help the body to be at ease.”

Other fiddling findings: “Mozart's and baroque music, with a 60 beats per minute beat pattern, activate the left and right brain. Simultaneous left and right brain action revs up learning and retention of information. The information being studied activates the left brain; music activates the right brain. Also, activities which engage both brain hemispheres at the same time-- such as playing an instrument or singing-- max up brain capability for data processing.”

Perhaps, all I wanted was having meaningful chit-chats with my grandchildren… our Oyayi is picking and will likely catch up with Musa’s ear for music… a sensible conversation is a joy.

Light and delight, too.


Popular posts from this blog

Every single cell of my body's happy

I got this one from Carmelite Sisters from whose school three of my kids were graduated from. They have this snatch of a song that packs a fusion metal and liebeslaud beat and whose lyrics go like this:

"Every single cell of my body is happy. Every single cell of my body is well. I thank you, Lord. I feel so good. Every single cell of my body is well."

Biology-sharp nerds would readily agree with me in this digression... Over their lifetimes, cells are assaulted by a host of biological insults and injuries. The cells go through such ordeals as infection, trauma, extremes of temperature, exposure to toxins in the environment, and damage from metabolic processes-- this last item is often self-inflicted and includes a merry motley medley of smoking a deck a day of Philip Morris menthols, drinking currant-flavored vodka or suds, overindulgence in red meat or the choicest fat-marbled cuts of poultry and such carcass.

When the damage gets to a certain point, cells self-destruct. T…


Viagra au naturel

IT LOOKED eerie—a blaze of fireflies pulsing like stars in the nippy air, throbbing with mating passions. That show of lights somehow eased the shadows of a Holy Thursday night on a dry river bed a few kilometers trudge up Mount Makiling.

It’s likely that no river has lain in sleep for months on that moss-grown, boulder-strewn bed—except my 20-year old kid Kukudyu and I. We were out to spend the night, do on-site learning sessions by the next day. Usual father-and-son bonding. As the late Benjamin Franklin once begged: "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."

Past noon from the foot of the mountain’s northern section, it took us four hours ploughing non-stop through prickly bushes and forest undergrowth to get to that site. We got there in one bruised piece. By then, dusk was falling; the sylvan air hummed with a trill of crickets, cicadas, critters nameless in choral orison. That incessant “sh-r-r-e-eemmm---“ layered with “k-kr-r-eeengg--” …