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angela singing on star - Newest pictures

a slim chance

09.12.2011 08:38 EST
hello friends, this time, i'm not posting a short simple rhyming verse as i feel like sharing a story with you--actually, my high school story of rejection and success. this event in my life made me realize how important friends could be. i will not make my intro wordy anymore, so to you who have recieved or spotted this blog entry, happy reading!
A Slim Chance
G.E. Altamerano
a rainy morning made me bounce off the walls. it was the first Monday of June. grade school days were over and my school was no longer a few steps away from home. i was already miles and miles away from my adored hometown. my parents had decided that i must spend my high school days in the city, where the quality of education is a lot better. being away from them didn't matter at all but a there are just so many things, particularly questions, which continually distracted me. "is studying in the city really meant for me? will my subjects be tough? will i be welcomed just as i was in my country elementary school? will i still have some time for music?," these questions and a lot more kept on bothering me. but upon completely fixing myself, i decided to leave all thoughts and questions behind, for i knew that in a matter of minutes, a jeepney would take me to Iloilo City National High School. oops! i was not going to travel alone. i am a totally blind person, and so it is impossible (talking about the philippine streets) for people of my situation to go elsewhere by ourselves. Jean, my 23-year old personal assistant (now she's 31 and still my PA) had to be with me in almost every travel i make. it took us 30 minutes to reach school.
the first hours of my first day in high school were spent in getting acquainted with new teachers, classmates and friends. after attending a class in mathematics (which happened to be my last period in the afternoon), jean and i agreed to roam around the campus. we had been strolling along for 5 minutes when jean suddenly asked me to pause for a while. "are you getting tired?," i asked in all astonishment, knowing we had never even walked that much. "no georgie. it's just that something interesting is written on the bulletin board." without wasting a single minute, jean read it aloud: "ang iloilo city national high school youth choir nagakinahanglan sang mga estudiyante nga may kinalain nga talento sa pagkanta kag may mapag-un nga ispirito sa entablado. kun isa ka sa ginatumod, palihog makigkita kay Ms. Ofelia Buyco sa biyernes, alas kwatro sang hapon sa kwarto nga pangmusika." (Iloilo City National High School Youth Choir is in need of students who have an exceptional singing talent and a firm spirit onstage. if you are one, please see Ms. Ofelia Buyco on friday, 4:00PM at the music room). what i just heard made me think for a moment. jean noticed my silence. "hey! what say you? i think the announcement doesn't thrill you to bits." "no jean, ofcourse it does! it's just that i'm still half a mind." "half a mind? come on! you sing very well, and i can find no reason for you not to join the choir." i was then out of my mind as i said: "i think we have to go home now. this has been a tiresome day for us and we need a lot of rest." i attempted to puzzle jean's thoughts but i failed. she only agreed to go back home, yet she never stopped convincing me to join the choir. eventually, she won my nod.
four days swiftly went by. that most awaited friday afternoon came and so jean and i went to the music room where the auditions would be held. there were 45 of us who came to try our luck. everyone had to perform in turns so we did the draw lots. i had picked out number ten. we were allowed to sing any song as long as it's classical, opera, or broadway. tension arouse as Ms. Buyco got started. witnessing the first nine performances was such a hope-crushing experience. the performers never had the chance to finish a song. they were simply given embarrassing remarks. and the worst thing was that none of them passed! it made my toes curl! then came my turn to face the terror choir director. i took a deep breath before jean assisted me in front. like any other auditionee, i made a brief introduction about myself. the introduction should have been succeeded by my performance, but Ms. Buyco interrupted me. "Ms. Altamerano, have you any achievement in singing?," she ask. "i'd say i do, ma'am," i replied, "i have won some amateur singing contests in my hometown." "oh! amateur country-standard singing contests? that's hopeless! but have you been trained in classical singing?" "i have not taken formal voice lessons since no one in my home town is capable enough to teach. i only learn songs by myself." "what a pity! well, i admire your courage Ms. Altamerano. but you know what? Iloilo City National High School Y Youth Choir doesn't need a green horn! for your information, this group has been winning the CFM (chorale fiesta musica) for five consecutive years, and what we need are squared away singers to maintain the name. i don't think you will be able to compete equally with others. your situation can be a set back and i refuse to take risks just to be generous or considerate." i remained silent, waiting for some last shot from her. "well anyway, since you are courageous enough, i am giving you the chance to sing your song. whether or not i will be pleased by your performance is another matter." somehow, that gave me a little hope and possibility, so i never hesitated to sing. after i did, Ms. Buyco had a moment of deliberation. then she said, "for someone who has never been trained in classical singing, such a performance is satisfactory. i must admit i am surprised. well, you are now part of the group. i just hope you will never be a burden to anyone." i went back to my sit feeling like a million.
when the audition was over, somebody came to shake my hand. "congratulations Georgiana!" she exclaimed, "welcome to the group! by the way, i'm Claudia Francisco." "so pleased to have met you claudia. i know you are not a new kid on the block as i never heard you in the auditions earlier." "well, yes, i'm already in the fourth year." for an hour of chit-chat, i was able to know a lot of similarities between us. to name a few, we both love to listen to opera and broadway music, write our own songs, and talk too much on the phone. moreover, i found out that Claudia is the choir's lead soprano. claudia and i became good friends as days went by.
it was on the last Friday of June when i joined the choir in a performance for the first time. our formation onstage was rather simple. we were divided into two groups: the sopranos and the tenors are in the front row (that's where i was) while the altos and bases are at the back. i was assisted by the person next to me. i never had problems in coming up the stage, but as we were leaving it, a messy step caused me to stumble. and yes, the audience had definitly witnessed it! i was out of sorts. jean and claudia cheered me up until we got to the music room.
as soon as everyone in the music room was finally settled, Ms. Buyco outrageously expressed how dismayed she had been. "what happened was such a severe embarrassment, and i will never ever let it happen again! i'm sorry Ms. Altamerano, but i have already made up my mind. you are not joining the CFM, yet you still remain a member of the choir." "but ma'am...," claudia interrupted, "what had happened was not her fault at all! why should you put the blame on her?" "Ms. Francisco, i never asked for your opinion! and as for you Ms. Altamerano, you don't need to be back in this room starting next week. i shall see you here again by the time CFM is over. to the rest, you will be busy rehearsing for the weeks to come. Iloilo will be hosting the CFM, and so we are expected to perform well. remember, we have to strain every nerve in order for us to keep the crown! we are supposed to make headway as we go along. anyway, that's all for today. we shall see each other next week."
i departed from the music room with a long face. i found myself so helpless. i was completely down, yet i never thought of giving up. i chose to the belief that if i was meant to join CFM then there would surely be a way for it to happen, and if doing nothing already satisfied me, then i would probably have regrets in the end. being so, i chose to be open to possibilities, even without any idea on whether or not there would be any.
another week had come and it was expected to be tough for the choir. ofcourse, i must keep myself updated on everything that took place in the music room. to do so, i stayed near the music room where the choir rehearsals were audible enough (fortunately not a room in the campus was sound-proof). a few days later, i found myself doing it regularly. not a single soul in the choir knew about it except Claudia. what a great fortune that all my sacrifices paid off. at least i was able to memorize all their pieces including Claudia's solo parts. somehow, i was happy about it, yet i knew that everything i did proved to be of no use after all. i had realized that having learned all of the pieces was an achievement itself, and that would keep me happy enough without joining the CFM.
the remaining couple of days had been so restless for Claudia, who rehearsed more than anyone in the choir. her voice was overused and she badly lossed it. she tried every remedy but her voice only got worse and worse until the day of competition came. the competition was to be held in the evening, so the choir still had time to meet at the music room in the morning for their final rehearsal. i got to see to it that i never missed the final rehearsal, accepting that i was not meant for the competition. in silence, i sit at my hidden corner near the music room, wondering why the choir was not yet rehearsing. i could hardly hear what everyone inside the room was talking about since the microphone was used only when they rehearsed. suddenly, Claudia came where i was sitting, and without explanation, she hurried me to the music room.
as expected, Ms. Buyco welcomed me in astonishment. "Ms. Altamerano! you know when to come back here, do you? look, we are in the middle of a crucial situation at the minute. tell me, what are you here for? Ms. Francisco, what is this ...

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