Vinyl records and imported CDs sale » Manila Bulletin Entertainment

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Great news to all music collectors and enthusiasts out there! Last Thursday, MCA Music started its first ever super sale of select vinyl records and imported CDs. It ends July 31.

It’s a very timely event for kids who are looking for a nice, thoughtful Fathers’ Day gift idea. Look no further thanAstroplus/Astrovision and get those hard-to-find titles for up to 40%-60% discount.

Katy Perry (AFP/Rich Fury)

Participating stores for the vinyl super sale are Astroplus, SM Megamall; Astroplus, SM Mall of Asia; Astroplus, SM Aura; and Astrovision, Greenbelt 1. For the imported CDs super sale, check out the following: Astroplus, SM Megamall; Astroplus, SM Mall of Asia; Astrovision, Glorietta; and Astrovision, Greenbelt 1.

Lorde (AFP)

Lorde (AFP)

Among albums part of the sale are from MCA Music artist like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Lorde, Lana Del Rey, Zedd, as well as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Elton John, Eric Clapton, ABBA, Pearl Jam, Tears For Fears, and more.

Artists from the prestigious Blue Note label such as Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and Oscar Peterson are in the sale. Also available are rare Jazz titles from Chick Corea, Diana Krall, Gregory Porter, Snarky Puppy, Esperanza Spalding, and José James. Brand new records from Bastille, The Lumineers, Jack Johnson, HAIM, Banks, and Feist are also available.

Getting personal

Very early on June 2, in the wee hours of the morning, I received very sad news – the death of a very, very good friend of mine, my San Diego, California-based high school and college freshman classmate Maritess Bondoc-Lalangan.

Tess Bondoc-Lalangan (left) and the author in 2013

Tess Bondoc-Lalangan (left) and the author in 2013

She succumbed to complications of leukemia after a short battle with it that started in September. Tess was survived by her husband Max and their four children Alex, Austin, Cassidy and Caitlyn and her mother and siblings. Viewing of her remains in San Diego was yesterday (Friday) and her interment is scheduled today (Saturday).

Tess was very special to me and my husband. We all finished high school at Tomas del Rosario Academy in Balanga but Tess and I went on to become classmates at the University of Santo Tomas during our freshman year in the Faculty of Arts and Letters where we forged an even deeper friendship.

She joined her family in the US shortly after the first semester but we kept in touch as much as we could. Needless to say, we kept each other close in each other’s hearts despite time and distance. It was so easy to rekindle our bond every time we see each other. It’s so easy to pick up from where we left off. That’s just how it is with real good friends, I reckon.

My husband and I, we keep a very close small circle of high school friends but most of them live in different parts of the world. That is why every time we travel, the highlights include lots of get-togethers with old friends. A reunion that sparks reminiscing well-preserved memories of shared history and youthful adventures. If you have heard someone say that high school friends end up to be the very best friends in your lifetime, that person was probably thinking of us.

We had the best reunion at Tess’s San Diego home in 2013. Tess toured us in downtown San Diego and brought us to her favorite places there including the Lighthouse and Coronado beach. She even pointed to me the bench she wrote to me about, where she said she sat and cried thinking about what she missed most about the Philippines during her first year in America. I remember coming back home after this vacation thanking the Lord for giving me the most wonderful, loving friends. We just couldn’t get enough of each other.

It is so hard to imagine Tess gone from this world. She was so full of life, of giggles, of infectious laughter, of poetry and beauty. When I was in the US in 2016 and couldn’t make the trip to the West Coast, we spoke for two hours on the phone and she ended up telling me that it was alright not to see each other after all.

“Because I know you breathe the same air I breathe and you are looking at the same big sky I’m looking at,” she said. She always had a penchant for words and I always encouraged her to keep writing those poems and publish a book someday. I even promised I’d write the foreword to that book.

When we saw Tess at the hospital in April 26, she was very happy. Max, her husband told us she couldn’t sleep the night before and couldn’t contain her excitement at our arrival. She had no voice but she managed to speak to me volumes of what was in her heart through whispers, sign language and notes on her small white board. She just went on and on talking about how much she missed me and appreciated me for being there for her and for listening to her always. She was especially fond of the time we spent in college. “You always made me feel appreciated and loved because you listened to me with your heart,” she told me.

Thinking back on that conversation, all there was ever in that heart of hers was love, pure love. She told me about how much she loved her family, her husband, her kids, her mother and her siblings, her friends, all of them. Most importantly, she told me just how much comfort she derived from her faith in God. She was going through so much battling her disease, but she assured me that prayers all around her carried her through the rough patches and she understood God’s sovereign will. I will miss her for sure but I rest in the knowledge that she has Jesus in your heart and therefore, I am so sure, that I will meet her again, my dearest friend, Lylars.

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