3 of 31: Plug Out

I had a lot of firsts last week. One was my first time to travel in long hours without an earphone plugged in.

photo source: kulturistra.hr

My family loves music. I used to wake up each morning with my father's cassette tapes being played. I grew up listening to Pinoy novelty songs and there were the classic oldies sang by Engelbert Humperdinck, Matt Monroe, The Platters, The Carpenters, Abba and more artists to mention.

We also love karaoke. From minus-one cassette tapes to Magic Sing, from a solo karaoke practice to birthday parties and from being young to getting old. In fact, one of the precious memories I had with my late father was the time he was karaoke singing and he’s having a hard time to read the lyrics on screen but still he continued to sing his heart out. He was recovering from mild stroke back then and his having crossed-eyes. Talk about his passion on singing!

Our family is used to play music while doing random activities. Well I could not even stand reviewing for my exam and finishing my plates without background music.

I got my first cassette player when I graduated elementary. It’s my brother-in-law’s and he gave it to me because I got an award. Also, my other sister usually bought me blank cassette tapes for me to have my own mix tapes. I remember the first albums I bought with my own money (from Christmas Aguinaldos actually), it was Madonna’s Ray of Light, The Corrs’ Talk on Corners and then there’s Britney Spears’ …Baby One More Time in cassette tapes too.  And while in college, I received a Sony CD player as a gift and then I started to buy several CDs until I was able to buy my own MP3 player with 128MB memory ;) Oooh those were the early days! And we were allowed to listen to music during our drawing and painting classes.

So an earphone/headset plugged in my ears while I travel and do something is a necessity until today. I can hardly work without my favorite music. I grew up listening to AM stations for my father liked to be updated about the news. While I usually listen to 702 DZAS, a Christian AM radio station and at the Edge Philippines via Positively Pinoy online. I seldom listen to FM radio but I learn about the latest hits through Youtube or music charts. We know that music can help us in so many ways such as to help us focus, imagine, feel the moment, uplift, be happy or sad or just let time pass by.

My headphones are like my own personal "Do Not Disturb" sign.  ~Anon.

But since my HTC One+ phone got stolen, my ears can now rest every time I travel. Lately, I was able to get through my backlog of books to read, finish and review. But of course, there were times I felt so irritated when I can’t have my own music while commuting and there’s an awful music played inside the vehicle. Errr…

But congratulations to me for surviving a no-earphone/no-own-music of six and a half hour trip to Lucban, Quezon province to experience Pahiyas festival and visit my mother. And another six and a half hour going back to Manila the day after. I slept a lot during the travel though hahaha and also read a book from time to time. But what made me glad was I had some moments to reflect about what I’ve just read then to daydream to appreciate the view to observe people to watch Manny Pacquiao’s documentary played in the bus and to pray and count the blessings from the good Lord. I can’t believe that I could have a quiet time such that inside the bus.

The quieter you become, the more you can hear. ~Anon.

I was reading Connected Ka Ba? How to Pray Kahit Lo-Batt Ka Na? book by Rei Lemuel Crizaldo when I felt that the Lord was talking to me through it. Perhaps that was the only time I was actually vacant to have a conversation with Him, finally. I could feel His presence while I was thinking about how blessed I am to have wonderful loving and hard working parents. He made me remember that I took advantage of so many things and people in my life. I forgot that life is actually short and there’s no room for ungratefulness. It’s just by His grace that I am still breathing and living by my own will at times.

Prayer is when you realize and take God as your environment. He is always there, always speaking. It is a matter of paying attention. ~Dr. Melba Maggay

And so today, I just shared a plugged out moment of mine. I'm not promoting a headphone-less generation here for I do love to hear music most of the time too but we also know when it's already replacing our priorities. We neglect living in authenticity. There are tons of things that steal our focus and our time, not just with our "own do not disturb sign item" But we can still do something about it, start by plugging out. Engage on what and who matter most in our lives. 

Sometimes, do yourself a favor. Plug out!


What I wrote above, consists of 800+ words, is part of My 500 Words Daily Writing Challenge by Jeff Goins