[OWLS Blog Tour]: Soundtrack to My Life

For as long as I can remember, music has always been apart of my life. Maybe it’s the influence of my parents, or just the exposure to music in Disney films in the 80s & 90s (I am TOTALLY dating myself right now), but I’ve always been drawn to music. Music, much like how I feel about architecture, can affect one’s mood and emotions. Sometimes, music just speaks to our souls. It can express the things we cannot, or put into words the feelings we feel can sometimes be indescribable. I’ve used music as an outlet both in playing it and in listening to it.  My iTunes library is eclectic to say the least. Music has almost been an extension of me over the years in which I’ve gone through phases on phases of genre’s of music.

When I was younger, I played the piano. But instead of going the classical route, I learned a lot more Pop Music because that appeared ‘cooler’ to me. I learned how to play ‘Nsync, Jessica Simpson, Richard Marx, Righteous Brothers and random Disney tracks. Yes, from more classic pop music to more 2000’s pop music were my jam on the piano.  It’s only now that I regret not having been more classically trained. On top of my Piano experience I devoted 8 years to playing the clarinet in middle school and high school. So yeah, I’d like to say that I’m a fairly musical person, and that music has played a crucial part of shaping who I am.

I hadn’t planned on participating on this month’s OWLS tour, but I couldn’t pass up something that’s essential to who I am.

April’s theme is “Melody”:

In one way, music is form of healing and self-expression. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring some of our favorite musical pieces (anime/drama OSTs, movie soundtracks, music genres and etc.) and how it has impacted our lives and/or reasons why we enjoy listening to it.

Have you ever had a song be a milestone marker for specific things in your life? Do particular songs emit a certain nostalgia when you chance upon it again out of the blue? Over the years, songs and and genres have been added and subtracted adding more layers to the soundtrack of my life. Songs have been attached to moments and individuals; individuals that have since left. These songs have remained as reminders of both happy and bittersweet memories. I wanted to look at a few of the phases/genres that have continually ebbed and flowed over the years bleeding into one another from one instant to the next, and some phases that signified a very specific chapter of my life.

Sophisticated Sounds of Classical/ Original Soundtracks (Movies, Shows, etc.)

Part of me wonders if this is because I’m growing older, but this is the most current phase of my life. I’ve gotten back into my classical/instrumental roots for quite some time, probably since 2015? It’s what I started off listening to at the office because I deemed it to be “work appropriate”. But lately, I’ve really gotten into it because of anime also. Great OST’s have come from anime’s as of late, Welcome to the Ballroom, Haikyuu!!  My Hero Academia, and Attack on Titan just to name a few. (Though three of them are from the same composer).

But my absolute favorite OST is actually from the movie Gladiator. I was so obsessed with Elysium. So I’ll just leave you with that:

Chopin, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Yuki Hayashi

The Hyphy Movement**

The bay area is known for a lot of things San Francisco, Silicon Valley and the Tech Giants, but nothing prepared me for The Hyphy Movement. Having emmigrated here from the Philippines at the age of 3, I’ve only known the bay as my home. I love the Bay, and anyone from here will probably say the same thing, despite the incredibly high housing costs. I’ve lived in L.A, and spent time in Tokyo & the Philippines, but at the end of the day, nothing beats being in the Bay. There really is truth to the song, “I Left my Heart in San Francisco.” There’s something magical about this place, which is my case in point with the hyphy movement.

Hyphy culture is something that has been evolving since the 1990’s. It was and still is a movement in which bay area rappers were responding to the world of hip-hop for the lack of acknowledgement for their many bodies of work that have influenced other mainstream hip-hop artists. The term ‘hyphy’ derives from the term “hyperactive” and can be correlated as the counterpart of the south’s version of “getting crunk” or the more modern slang “lit.”

I was JUST starting my academic switch to architecture and enrolled in a local community college called Chabot (the same one Tom Hanks went to!) when the hyphy movement had finally inched it’s way into the mainstream if not for just a few seconds. At the time I had befriended two very unlikely friends in my english class. I had zero in common with them, but every day we’d chat, and they would incessantly talk about E-40 and about the hyphy culture. E-40’s newest album My Ghetto Report Card had just dropped. It had the hottest track filled with the sickest beats that embodied exactly what hyphy culture is titled: Tell Me When To Go.

Tell Me When To Go, was the track that introduced me into everything Hyphy. I started to branch my bay area rap knowledge because of this track. A new resurrgence of pride of hailing from the bay had been awakened, like I was part of this unknown incredible musical movement that everyone else was missing out on.

So imagine, me, re-locating back to the bay as the rise of the Golden State Warriors was about to hit a new high. World Championship, the rise of the stars: Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Steph Curry. They’re all signing major contracts for all kinds of endorsements, but nothing hit me harder than Draymond Green’s commercial for Beats by Dre featuring none other than Tell Me When To Go. Again, I felt another surge of pride like I was in on a secret no one else knew about; how much it meant for something local to become mainstream.

Artists I was listening to: E-40, Keak the Sneak, Too Short, The Federation, Turf Talk, Mistah FAB

The Angsty Post-Hardcore/Metalcore/Nucore Phase

During my schooling at SCI-Arc in LA, one of my closest friends decided to join a band on his free time (I honestly don’t know how he managed it on top of all our school work). I went to one of his shows as support, and he was opening for this band in this little club just outside of the city of Ojai, CA. That band happened to be Memphis May Fire. 

There was something about this bad that I just really loved that night. I was so into their performance that night. Especially the vocals of Matty Mullins, how could someone sing so well, yet switch into that dark metal scream? It didn’t hurt that the guitarist Kellen McGregor was a major hottie.  The lyrics just spoke to me, I was completely obsessed with their music. Little did I know they were a Christian metalcore band. Listening closer to the lyrics, I can see the influence in some of it.

Their album The Hollow is my go to album when I’m feeling angsty, angry, or need to blow off some steam. This helped me cope with the stress of school and with some of the things I was dealing with in the relationship realm. I ended up listening to a lot of bands under the Rise Records label, and one of my favorite bands from way back in 2003 actually recently joined Rise Records!  Personally, The Hollow was their best album and is my favorite. The following video is one of the singles from The Hollow: 


Memphis May Fire, Sleeping with Sirens, Issues 

Smooth Sounds of R&B

R&B is my bread and butter. R&B is my everyday jam. I can’t live without it. I listen to it on my commute to work. I sing at the top of my lungs, especially those love songs. R&B was something I stumbled upon when I was a kid. Boyz II Men’s album “II” was my most coveted album growing up, because it was one of my first CDs ever, and the first R&B album I really wanted more than anything. I’m totally showing my age to ya’ll right now.

The mid 90’s also got a lot of similar groups to Boyz II Men. We got 112, Jagged Edge and Blackstreet to name a few. Further dragging me into the Depths of R&B and then opening up my world to Rap and Hip-hop. 90’s R&B will always be the best era of the music for me. So much nostalgia to be hand in this musical era for me. I related a lot to R&B because I was so boy crazy when I was younger. But let’s be real, that part of me hasn’t really changed much to be honest.

So with that, I will leave you with the song that started me on this R&B journey.

Boyz II Men, New Edition, Babyface, Jon B., 112, Jagged Edge, Lauryn Hill, Faith Evans, Aaliyah.

These 4 genres make up a part of who I am over the years, and I have distinct memories that are associated with each of these phases. It’s pretty crazy to pinpoint a specific memory associated with a particular song, a particular line or lyric that just brings back a rush of emotions. These four genres make-up the soundtrack of my life. I had plenty of other genres mixed in, but these 4 were the most prominent to me.

So, what kind of genres did you listen to over the years? What kind of songs would you include to the soundtrack of your life? Let me know in the comments below along side any other thoughts, comments or questions! 🙂

And don’t forget to check out Auri’s OWLS post on Lyrics and K-Pop here.

And look out for Lyn’s post on her site: LynLynSays

Also, if you haven’t don’t forget to follow us on facebook as well as our twitter @OWLSbloggers and our official blog as well as our YouTube channel! And if you’re interested in becoming an OWLS member, you can contact us here.

* I don’t really have a good reason for using the boys of Free! For my header image except that, I’m obviously obsessed with them, and I couldn’t find one of just Makoto alone. I wanted to use Mako solely because I feel like he’s my animated counterpart. Lol.

**This portion dedicated to LynLyn, with whom I sparked a discussion with which prompted her to ask if I was going to write about this. I said I would try, and I did, this was definitely an integral part of my life at the moment.

[ED] Datte Atashi no Hero | Sunday Salutations

Good evening everyone. It’s been awhile since I had a Sunday Salutation/ED of the week.

Posts have been scarce, and unfortunately it may continue this way for a little bit longer. But more on that in a little bit. First, let’s talk about my ED of the week.

With the spring season around the corner, and the highly anticipated Season 3 of My Hero Academia (and with the help of Mel) it was fitting to feature an ED from one of shows I’m looking most forward to this coming Spring. I haven’t done one of those “What I’ll be watching this season” type posts in awhile, and I think I’m okay with that.

This week’s ED comes from the second season of My Hero Academia, and is the second ending featured in episodes 14-24. The literal translation of Datte Atashi no Hero is “After all, You’re my Hero.” It seems to be set in a fantasy AU, with Deku posing as the protagonist traveler running into a few people on the way that help him in his quest.

Okay, let me just say, I literally picked this because, how can you NOT love everyone in these AU costumes? Especially wheny ou have a princely Todoroki who is riding on a white horse. I mean, how much more fantasy fairy tale can you get? Also his cute smirk, and the deadpan look on his face when his horse runs away from him.  Also, most of you know I’m just a die hard Todoroki fangirl, but there’s someone surprisingly slowly climbing up that list, and has ALREADY surpassed Bakugo. But I’ll save that for another day. Speaking of Kacchan, he’s looking pretty fierce as a dragon rider with a tattoo sprawling on his left arm. Forgive me for fangirling over his manliness. But yes, I’m leaving you with this ED.

Title: Datte Atashi no Hero | Artist: LiSA | Anime: Boku no Hero Academia S2

So, okay, there’s another reason as to why I’ve chosen this song. After listening to the lyrics, I just.. *sigh*. I’ll cut to the chase. This song makes me think of you guys, after having looked at the translation of the lyrics.

“I can’t imagine you ever giving up,
Though I’m sure even you have empty, miserable days.
If you think you might be facing any number of monumental efforts—
The kind that come only once in a lifetime—I wanna be there to see it!”

So many of you guys have been really great friends to me, whether it being regular visitors that engage with me in the comment section, fangirling with me on twitter/line/discord, or collaborating with me on posts, OWLS and the iNAP podcast. I’ve been so thankful for everyone’s kindness as I try to struggle on my path to architectural licensure and the never ending support from all of you has been nothing short of phenomenal. That being said, many of you guys have said similar things to me to the quote to the right (I’m looking at you Mel, and my iNAP podcasters), you’re all cheering for me and rooting for me to get through my exams. And I hope that when I do,  you’re all around to celebrate. 🙂

“Our many tales of failure… versions of ourselves we couldn’t love… if we can just embrace them, we’ll be unstoppable!”

It’s with a heavy heart I have to tell you, that I did not pass my exam a few weeks ago. I’m not gonna lie, I could’ve studied harder, but with work projects ramping up and tons of overtime, I struggled to find time to study. It’s hard to sit at a desk again when I get home after a long day of work, much less sit a desk on the weekend to study. I’m just mentally drained. I’m trying not to make any excuses for my failure, but this fail won’t deter me from continuing to pursue my goal. I’ve found some helpful study guides and post-vacation I’ll be back in studying mode pursuing the next exam date.

Hurray! Hurray! You have a talent for making me say it again and again!
So keep standing your ground. I’m getting my courage from you.”

So yeah, these are snippets of the translated lyrics of the songs. I just want to reiterate how thankful I am for all of you guys that continue to support me as I balance my career/studying and the blog. I won’t be giving up this blog any time soon it’s a great hobby. Because of everyone’s support I can keep a brave face and keep moving. So yes, I get all my courage from every single one of you that have impacted me in terms of friendships. I never thought I’d find such a great support system via an anime blog, yet here we are. I love all of you guys.

I’ll be going on vacation at the end of this week and I’ll be away for about two weeks. I may or may not update the blog outside of a few scheduled posts. I’ll be on twitter updating, and IG posting. I’ll still have the interwebz so I’m sure a lot of you will still be hearing from me.

When I come back, I’ll be making a few adjustments to the blog. My posting schedule is still TBD as I try to get some reviews out that have been sitting for awhile. May will also be an exciting month as I’m planning something with a couple of other bloggers. And well, I’m prepping to do something special as well in July for….obvious reasons to you, maybe they’re obvious maybe they’re not. You’ll have to wait and see.

If I’m not writing on the blog, I’ve actually been writing a lot of short story fanfictions based on a few of the otome’s I’ve been playing. I also have been writing fanfiction. But only so very few people have been reading it. I’m shy about it.

Also, I’ve gone and created a Ko-Fi account to help me out with the site. Hopefully you guys will buy me a few coffee’s when I make a full return to the blogging realm post-vacation and get quality content out.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Hope all of you have a wonderful week ahead of you. Speaking of vacations, is anyone planning on going anywhere anytime soon? Have any fun anecdotes you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!

[OP] Ash Like Snow | Sunday Salutations

Good evening guys! This post is late – I’m going to have to apologize for the lack of activity. I just have a lot going on, between work and studying  (well at least trying to) and getting ready for my trip,  my mind’s been really cluttered and not really sure how to go about writing anything at the moment. That being said, I may be off and on the blog, but you can still find me on twitter, line, discord and of course e-mail. I’m on a bit of a hiatus I suppose, sorry about that. So you may only be seeing my Sunday posts for the time being as they’re the easiest. I’ll get back into the swing of things eventually!

This week’s OP comes as a follow up to last week’s Daybreak’s Bell. I’ve been on a real Gundam 00 kick since I restarted the series a few weeks ago. Carrying over into the mecha world, I also binge-watched Season 4 of Voltron: Legendary Defender over the weekend.  I couldn’t find a youtube version, so please enjoy the Soundcloud version (and hopefully you can listen to it! :D)


Title: Ash Like Snow
Artist: The Brilliant Green
Anime: Gundam 00 Season 1

It’s a really great song, that I think really captures what’s really going on in the second arc of the story. All the character’s are forcing to face some part of themselves amidst the reality of the war they’re living. Here’s the last bit of the lyrics in English that I found.

Every scar that I have and every time the shattered pieces sting
Closing up my heart and who can doubt what I chose
I only wanted to be stronger in my regret
And I’ve come this far now

Anyways, I hope you all had a great weekend. (At least better than mine!) What did you guys get up to? Any future plans coming up? 😀 Let me know in the comments below 🙂

[OP] Goya no Machiawase | Sunday Salutations

Good Evening! Today’s post is a bit late. Due to the three-day weekend, I’ve resigned myself to be lazy and binge watch as much anime as I can.  This post will also be fairly short, as I’m continuing to cross off “on-hold’s” from my list.

That being said, one of the anime’s I finished this weekend happens to be from Noragami. I won’t say much other than I really loved it. I’m seriously thinking about how I want to go about writing about the anime.  So of course, the opening song would naturally show up as my OP/ED of the week.

Title: Goya no Machiawase | Artist: Hello Sleepwalkers | Anime: Noragami (Season 1)

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Did you guys do anything fun? Accomplish a goal maybe? Let me know in the comments below!

[OP] Nostalgic Rainfall | Sunday Salutations

Good evening everyone!! Sorry I’m super late with today’s post. I’ve been seriously grinding away in FFXV, so yeah, that’s why I’m lagging in the content.

I hope you all are in good spirits and ready to take on the week! I kinda am, and am not. But, I did manage to squeeze in some anime in between gaming, and recorded Episode 3 for the podcast. Yes, I know Episode 2 isn’t up yet, but we’re trying to get on track with a regular schedule so please bear with us!! Continue reading “[OP] Nostalgic Rainfall | Sunday Salutations”

[ED] Kyokyo Jitsujitsu| Sunday Salutations

Good Afternoon! I’m back with another ED this week! First and foremost, I want to address the elephant in the room: my lack of posts. I’m still trying to get myself sorted out so please bear with me until I get my usual schedule back.

Continue reading “[ED] Kyokyo Jitsujitsu| Sunday Salutations”

[A Year in Anime] 2017 Archi-Anime Awards

2017 has come to a close! And that means another year of blogging has been completed. I will probably do a 2017 review of what the blog has been up to as well as announce some awesome stuff this week! Sorry I’ve been MIA over the holidays, work shut-down for the week and I have found myself enjoying reading and watching, and inadvertently took a small break from blogging. But, I digress. Let’s get down to what I’ve found to be the best of the year!

A few of the rules:

  • It had to have aired in the year of 2017.
  • I have finished watching these shows 100%.
  • I’ve split this up into categories, much like last year’s and again I modeled it after the Oscars and ripped Leth’s (for the most part)
  • There may or may not be runner-up’s/close-calls for every category.

Here we go!

Continue reading “[A Year in Anime] 2017 Archi-Anime Awards”

[OP]: Haruka Mirai | Sunday Salutations

Hey guys! Today’s post is gonna be fairly short. I was busy all weekend with some family stuff and well, I was really busy today working on some graphics for that secret project that’s been underway with several bloggers I teamed up with! We’ll probably be making that announcement sometime Monday morning!

Anyways, I’m a bit behind on the anime intake again, and actually binge-watched this Netflix original called Kentaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman. It’s like, if Food Wars was a live action. No clothes explode, but the guy essentially on the brink of ecstasy over desserts. It’s weird, but it’s pretty hilarious. And well, the food is directed very well, very much like how we see it in anime.

But I digress, today’s song is from this season’s Black Clover. I’m only 3-4 episodes in, but I do like the series so far. I have a bit of catching up to do, but yeah, that’s nothing new.

Title: “Haruka Mirai” | Artist: Kankaku Piero|Anime: Black Clover

How was your guys’ week/weekend? Are any of you gearing up for something special over the holidays? Let me know in the comments below!