Tuesday, October 13, 2015




ON Sept. 21, 2015, we have 6 American guests that occupied part of my space for playing keyboard at Breeze Bar of Palau Royal Resort. I set the keyboard about 2 feet back to accommodate them. They are all male and one of them looks like Asian and he asked me if he can play with me but he needs a guitar.
I said I have a guitar in my room and it will take me about 4-5 minutes to get it. And then here comes a lone, beautiful, sexy lady that sits next to their table. When I get the guitar, the Asian-looking guy started playing with me with some songs like “Tears In Heaven” by Eric Clapton, Hotel California (Acoustic version), Stand by Me, and some more popular songs. The lone lady is taking a video of us.
The guitarist gets tired easily because he hasn’t played guitar for a long time. But you can tell he’s really good. Later, he told me that he’s from Guam and his name is Ben. I told him that I know some Chamorro songs because my former employer of 13 years—Margarita Borja Dalton, is half Chamorro, half Palauan and half Portuguese. (That’s 3 halves! You might say. But she’s a BIG woman!)
When they left, the lone lady sits at the table close to me while I’m playing “Careless Whisper” by Wham! After finishing the song, I asked her if she would like to request and she requested “Take It Easy” by Eagles, which I have to look at the lyrics of the song to be able to sing it.
Before 11pm, (closing time for music), we have some conversation. That she is from France. I showed her my French songs and she requested “Ballade Pour Adeline”. I told her that her accent is not purely French. She said she lived in USA for a long time.
I also told her that I’ve been to other European countries like Istanbul, Turkey, Russia and Norway but haven’t been to France yet. That my teammates (Menandro Manuel and his wife Elizabeth), in 2012 World Chess Olympiad in Turkey were able to visit Italy and France after the Olympiad. And that I was able to go to these countries (including Australia in 2009) because of representing Palau to chess competitions.
Before she left, I asked for her name. She said Leo. I said it’s a guy’s name. She said yes. I mentioned to her that the mother of one of my music student has a name Noel, because her father wanted to have a boy and named her Emmanuel with Noel as nickname. I said to her that I write in Tia Belau Newspaper about chess and have some Music and Me column at http://palau-chess.blogspot.com where I featured lately some people I met with different nationalities like
     We had a photo taken that I promise her to be featured in that website one of these days. HERE IT IS!
In Philippines, most guys names end in “o” that when you change it to “a”, it will become a girl’s name like my name Roberto will become a girl’s name if it’s Roberta (like Roberta Flack, the singer of “Killing Me Softly With His Song”). In Japan, many names that end in “o” are ladies names like Michiko, Kimiko, Yumiko, Yuriko, Kikuko, Kikiko Mikuto, Gwapo Kamukako, etc.
I have some arguments with my wife regarding this. She is calling our Pastor Susan Lopez as Pastora, referring to a lady pastor. They used to call a lady doctor—Doctora. But it’s not found in English-Tagalog dictionary that these are inaccurate because a pastor can be a man or a lady. I told my wife that if she will insist in calling our pastor as “Pastora”. Then how would she call a lady painter, when the male version of it is “Pintor”. If you will add “a” to it, it will become “Pintura”, which means “paint”.
And how about the “magpuputo”?, which means vendor of rice cake. If she would call it “magpuputa”, it means prostitute (or the f… word).
Two days later, Leo came back at Breeze Bar with her parents. I’ve learned from Devie Guimbal, our cashier/bartender, that her complete name is Eleonor.
There are some Japanese guests at that time and Leo asked me for the title of Japanese songs I have played, the last one is “Oribia O Kikinagara”.

Sources: Music and Me
              By Roberto Hernandez
              Tia Belau Newspaper
              March 15, 2012 -- April 2013
              April 2013 -- October 08, 2015

             Chess and Music (Perfect Combination)
             The Beginning of Chess in Palau
             By Roberto Hernandez
             To be published as a book in the future 


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