It was two days prior to Christmas.  The year was 2012.

Only a few minutes into a deep sleep around four in the morning somewhere over the Indian Ocean at some 35,000 feet above sea level the Singapore Airlines PA system comes up and a sweet shrill voice of a female cabin crew member says, ‘For those of you who might be interested to witness the break of day you may please pull your window shades up.’


Half awake I did as the PA announced I lifted my window shade open. Well, at first it was a mix of curiosity and cynicism, though more of the latter (Yes I’ve read and heard all about it but the cynic in me keeps asking whilst knowing the obvious answer, ‘Is there really such a thing as a ‘breaking of day’ that one can actually see?’) that suddenly turned into excitement.  I have been flying for a long time over a decade and a half then but never for the life of me have I seen the break of dawn.  For some reason usually because I was asleep or whatever other reason?

And there it was… that lining of light that slowly breaks up into a tiny sliver and yet even less slowly gets bigger and bigger. Until.. a new day has completed its genesis.

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Some things in life, and indeed, in nature are there for us to experience along with the emotions and the many abstract feelings that come with that experience.

So when the opportunity that makes us live through new things in life presents itself, let’s go for it and be grateful for that opportunity.

Images: author’s own as taken aboard the Singapore Airlines Airbus A330 aircraft en route to Singapore from Abu Dhabi


“The Chinitong Crooner”

Chris Miranda - Jeddah Pop Icon Season 4  Image credits: Julius Domingo
Chris Miranda – Jeddah Pop Icon Season 4

This Pop Icon contender may be a newbie in the singing competition arena, but 25-year old Christian ‘Chinito’ Young Miranda from San Fernando, Pampanga simply does not make light of the word competition as he is determined to give his best to make it as the next Jeddah Pop Icon.  He stands by the words – ‘Do my best so that I cannot blame myself for anything.’   This is exactly the same fighting spirit that our “Chinitong Crooner”, together with his singing talent and that distinctive K-POP Star appeal, is going to bring into this contest. His favorite musicians are Sugar Free and The Calling both of whom are bands in the alternative music genre – Chinito’s genre inclination.

Image: Jace Domingo | Jace’s Portraits

The Emotional Soul Performer

During his auditions this guy was noted to be full of emotions as he sings from the heart – which fittingly goes with the moniker  “The Emotional Soul Performer”.

Dennis Mamac - Jeddah Pop Icon Season 4
Dennis Mamac – Jeddah Pop Icon Season 4

Dennis ‘Dhen’ Mamac was born on December 10, 1986 and hails from San Pedro, Laguna.  He claims ballad as his favorite music genre and lists Gary Valenciano and Sarah Geronimo amongst his top favorite artists.  Dennis shares his biggest musical influence is his family. Dhen previously had the feel of being in the spotlight when he was pitted as one of the finalists in the recent JPOP 2014, a singing competition also in Jeddah.  He believes joining Jeddah Pop Icon 2014 presents an avenue for him to show and share his music – a Gift from God – to others, while trying to be the ultimate winner.

Image credits: Jace Domingo of Jace’s Portraits

Oh! Oh! Lime!

I woke up to this awww moment. 👌😻

This is a repost of an Instagram post by my brother @wherejoyresides:

‘ They say that, “when we’re away, our #pets actually miss us more than we miss them.” I just left four of ours back home. Meet the very playful, Lime. #GoldenRetriever #dogs #doglovers #lovinglife #mansbestfriend ‘

The Gifted Protégé

Eugene Manimtim - Jeddah Pop Icon Season 4
Eugene Manimtim – Jeddah Pop Icon Season 4

Representing Camarines Sur of the Bicol Region is Eugene Burog Manimtim.  Eugene, the singing barista is also known in this competition as “The Gifted Protégé”.  This 29-year old Pop Icon contender is no stranger to winning singing competitions both in the Philippines and abroad.  His previous stints include: ‘The Voice of McDonald’s Philippines 2005’ Nationwide Champion, Finalist in GMA TV Network’s ‘Protégé 2011’, a nationwide reality-based singing talent show for television in the Philippines, ‘Himig ng Kalayaan KSA 2012’ Grand Champion, and ‘Talentadong Pinoy Dubai 2013’ Semi-Finalist.  In addition to these decorated achievements, Eugene will try and make it once again and become the Jeddah Pop Icon 2014 grand winner as he believes he has both the talent and the personality deserving of that Pop Icon status.

Image: Jace Domingo