fantasy. world. perfect.

Monday, March 6, 2017


MIKA The boy who knew too much album cover
Mika helps design his album covers
with his illustrator sister.
Where was I in 2007? Why didn't I hear about this beautiful man and his music? The first time I remember seeing Mika was from a music video with Ariana Grande called Popular. However the video was too interesting that I didn't pay any attention to the song itself.

Two weeks ago I was having a Boyzone marathon on Youtube (including their ghost-hunting adventures in Edinburgh) and came across Gave It All Away again, one of their last with Stephen, and such a heartbreaking song. I looked up the album details in Wikipedia because I knew Boyzone didn't write their own music. That was when I saw Mika's name, one word. He wrote Gave It All Away. I got curious so then searched for his other works. And man was I glad to have done that albeit ten years late!

I have always been looking for artists who make happy-sad, upbeat, and inspirational songs that have great melodies. I'm a melody type of person; that's what first catches my attention. So these are basically what I like about Mika: his music, his falsetto voice is a welcome relief from all the screaming these days, his personal style, but most of all his personality.

Some compare him to Freddie Mercury...and it shows, musically, sometimes. (Although no one can compare.) Personally, he reminds me of Gary Cherone, lead singer of the band Extreme of More Than Words fame, who by the way made an excellent  performance of Queen's songs in the 1992 tribute concert for Freddie (Highly recommended if you're a big fan of Queen; YouTube is your friend.). But then it may just be the hair.

Here are some of Mika's more famous songs:

I listen to his full albums on Spotify and don't skip any songs. Why? Because Mika's music is like the sum of all things my generation listened to growing up. It sounds both familiar and new. Some of his musical influences can clearly be heard: from the Beatles, Queen, Michael Jackson, disco, to others reminiscent of 80s and 90s pop/rock. In fact there was one song that I was sure to be TLC. My brother also likened some songs to emo/punk of the early 2000s.

We have the same birth year! Lol I like finding gems my age.

Really, where have all the good guys (slash gays) gone? The music scene today has a shortage of superstars, like those really great ARTISTS we grew up listening to in the 80s and 90s. Honestly, for someone with Mika's talent, I don't understand why he's not more popular.

Mika is one of those rare composers who write about taboo topics, too. Storytelling is obviously one of his notable strengths. And if there is one thing more memorable than his melodies, it's the characters and experiences he tells you about.

(Bonus Boyzone Trivia: In that same album I mentioned earlier (Brother), Matt Hales a.k.a. Aqualung also wrote a song. Then Ollie Jacobs of Arkarna produced the one written by Mika. Both of these guys are favorites!)

Friday, February 24, 2017

Did Not Survive

When my sister told me there was a place downtown where you can solve puzzles and other mysteries for a time limit, I could not get it off my mind. I googled it and found MysterEscape, located in Lanang. It is called an "escape room," a live adventure game where players are locked in a room and have to find clues and solve puzzles before the time runs out to escape, usually within 60 minutes. Apparently businesses like these have been popping up since 2006 and it's only in 2015 that it's reached Davao.

Being a fan of this genre from movies, to series (Sherlock, Survivor), books and games, I really wanted to go. The problem was my sister thought it was too expensive. The other people I could do something like this with would be my college friends, and our reunion plan last January was cancelled so this would be a great quick bonding activity. I posted about it on our fb group and one of my classmates already heard about the place and wanted to go for months. So she set our meeting immediately on the coming Saturday (Feb 18).

There were 3 rooms at the site: Girl in the Mirror (for horror fans), The Survival Game, and Redrum: a (murder) Mystery. I would have chosen to play Redrum, but when we arrived at about 5 in the afternoon, the Survival Game was the one immediately available. So we had no choice.

The Survival Game's story goes like this: we were kidnapped by an unknown group and sent to a locked room where we have to find our way out before the hour is finished. We kind of started great. Ten minutes in we were already finished with the first two steps. But the third clue consumed a lot of our time and by the fourth clue I felt like we were going nowhere and needed new ideas. Too bad because the last few puzzles would have been easier. In the end we didn't make it alive with two locks still unopened, so we just took our picture before our kidnappers finally get rid of us. :)

AMAT2K at MysterEscape Davao
Clockwise from top left: moi, Eds, Annie, Eds' husband Francis and their son Red.
P.S. 34 yesterday yeehaw!