Sweet Abundance: Food for the Stomach and Soul
By Kay Habana
I admit, it has been very rough the past week.
My concert in Carnegie Hall is fast approaching. Yes, the process has truly been exciting, challenging, inspiring, and both mentally and emotionally draining.
The concept for this concert had long been conceived, but my wish to do it in one of the most celebrated halls in the world was prompted to me at an arm’s length, at a much earlier time. I have made known of my plan to execute this concert some time in 2020, to my family and few closest friends.
God, indeed, works in mysterious ways! Once again, He reminded me that my plans are never just my own. I would have never thought to be granted the opportunity and privilege to perform in Carnegie this year, much more, to have this wonderful support not just from my Fil-Am community but those I consider indefatigable patrons of music and arts.
My out of bounds gratitude to my dear friend and co-producer, Sir Elton Lugay, for your tremendous trust in me. Didn’t I tell you to give me at least 5 years? You just couldn’t wait, huh? Well, I’m glad you decided this concert when you did. I certainly didn’t trust me well enough. Thank you for the push, the encouragement, and the cheer. Whether from near or far.
Now, the show nears. In less than two weeks, I will be rendering these heartfelt songs I have prepared for my loved ones, friends, and the many lovely faces of those whom I fondly call my new-found chums.
An unexpected event in my family just a shy of two weeks ago—that of the death of my maternal grandmother. It was a sad day for my family.
Amidst my rehearsals and voice training, the world crumbled upon me! Well, that was what it felt like. And quite honestly, I did stumble upon the questions:
“Why should I go on? How? Why now?”
The upcoming event is my tribute concert to elders in the community– to lolos and lolas. The passing of my grandmother didn’t seem to make sense when all this time, I was excited about dedicating my performance to her that evening. At the back of my head, I was aware she had already lived a full life. However, it just felt…a little too early. A tease of fate.
After that all that’s been said and done, I closed my eyes and prayed. I prayed for courage to get through the sadness and accept the fact that Mamang had gone home to the Lord. I prayed for peace of mind. I prayed for wisdom to discern the necessary steps to accomplish my goals for the concert. I prayed for my family, loved ones, and friends. I prayed for my colleagues, my artists, and everyone involved in the upcoming concert, that we may be blessed with a harmonious relationship in order to tackle the tasks at hand.
Because… prayer heals, leads, and works.
On a much happier note, I was able to go to the premiere of Manny (a documentary film) with my closest friends.
Of the many aspects of life explored and lessons taught by the film, what moved me the most was Manny Pacquiao’s complete surrender to God.
A man who’s at the pinnacle of his career, praised and adored by not just his fellow countrymen but by the entire world, and whose duly attained ridiculous wealth can dictate many deeds that are self-gratifying and self-serving, decided to step away from that which was ungodly and sought not to conform to worldly pleasures. Pacquiao fully resolved to please only God.
Betwixt the scenes that were outright hilarious and caused the audience to giggle endlessly, I was profoundly affected by the conspicuous change in Manny’s demeanor and lifestyle, idiosyncratic to the nature of many celebrities that I know and read about.
I couldn’t be any happier for him and his loved ones. I wish them many of God’s favors and continuous blessings!
Pleasantly, I capped this week off with delectable treats availed by a new Filipino-owned restaurant in Williamsburg called Manila Social Club, through a tasting event. I’m not exaggerating when I say, “I had the best sweet longganisa, ever!” You also ought to try their duck lumpias (duck eggrolls). To the awesome Chef Bjorn de la Cruz—I will most definitely come again! Thanks to you and your family for the warm welcome. More power!