Green Shopping on a Budget

I’m always hunting for bargains on green products, organic produce, and green/vegan/vegetarian eats. And I like to share my discoveries with friends and family. In fact, my father told me the other day that all he and Mom ever hear from their daughter is “organic this…organic that.” He calls my music organic as well!

Today I’ve decided to widen my green circle. Welcome to the Green Bargain Shopper Network…now I’m including you!

I’ll be posting discoveries here on my blog…so come back often.

Today’s Discoveries:
SOAP — Who would have thought that corporate behemoth Rite Aid would have some really great (and green!) soaps?

  • 100% pure vegetable oils, 100% pure shea butter, paraben free, phthalate free, sodium lauryl sulfate free
  • 98% plant-derived
  • $2.99

  •  paraben free, phthalate free, sodium lauryl sulfate free
  • $1.59
The soaps come in a paper package, which is biodegradable.
Suggestion to the Manufacturer: It would be a greener product if the packaging were made from recycled materials.


A Reminder

 I spent much of the day driving in heavy rain and heavy traffic from one birthday party to another one 35 miles apart. As most of you know by now, I don’t like using my car. In addition to my usual environmental concerns, saftey issues (compounded by driving during a pouring rain) added to my concern and frustration. But then I arrived at the birthday parties! One was a double celebration for two very old friends who knew me before I became a full-fledged singer, and the other was for a new friend that I’ve become very fond of, someone I’m looking forward to knowing more. My spirit lifted.  I was able to reconnect with a long time friend I hadn’t seen in years. Though I was frustrated and concerned about harming our Mother Earth by adding to the destruction of our ozone layer, I was reminded today that sometimes,  in a few  rare instances, using my car to make human connections feels less oblivious and unconscious than using it to merely get from one errand to another. Today my soul was caressed by the beauty of friendship. But I remain aware that all my actions, even a 35 mile drive, have consequences.


The Pursuit of Life

 It is 4th of July, Independence Day. Most people would say that I am accomplishing a lot, living a dream. I gave up physical therapy to pursue a career in music. And I am doing well, of course not without challenges. However, there are still some yearnings in my heart that I want to pursue such as travel to places I’ve never seen, learn more, actively do more toward the environment, toward the global issue of water, learn more about indigenous music and instruments from my country and document them, write, teach. Oh, so much more! And today, on Independence Day, as an immigrant to this country, I am reminded that I have the freedom to pursue my passions! I am in a country that not only allow the pursuit of life but encourages it.

It is never too late.

Happy New Year!


 To slightly misquote the High Priestess of Soul, Ms. Nina Simone: It’s a new year, it’s a new day, it’s a new life…and I’m feelin’ good! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! May 2010 bring all the blessings of life — including the fellowship of music. If you haven’t yet heard the big news in my neighborhood, please see below…

I look forward to a magnificent 2010 in your company!

your funny brown pinay,


For more than a year, I’ve had to keep a big secret…Now it’s official: In February, Nonesuch Records releases "Here Lies Love," one of the most talked about recording projects of the new year. A disco-pop song cycle about Imelda Marcos (seriously!), the double CD and DVD is the result of Talking Heads frontman David Byrne’s collaboration with Fatboy Slim and 22 female guest stars, including Cyndi Lauper, Tori Amos, Martha Wainwright,Natalie Merchant, Santigold, Sia, and yours truly!

All the details on Mr. Byrne’s Website!

4th U.S. Album in Production

My fourth U.S. release is currently in production and will be coming out later on this year. 


Happy 2009!

This year is starting out great for me. January has been filled with wonderful gigs in the U.S., then I go back to the Philippines in February for the Manila International Jazz Festival. This month I’m on two magazine covers: Jazz Improv and Filipinas Magazine. Unbelievable! Most of all, I am staying healthy (pesco-vegetarian) and living green as humanly possible. I have not blogged in a while and I just want to connect with all of you again. Thank you for all your support and positive energy. It is much appreciated. I wish all of you a prosperous, healthy, and exciting 2009!

I VOTED (7:31AM)!

Wow, what a great feeling! I stood in line at 6:45AM and about a dozen people were already ahead of me. At 7:15 AM I cast my vote. People did not take long at all to vote. It appeared that they knew what they want for this election. I saw some neighbors in line and we visited. I saw a line up to the end of our block when I got out of the polling place. I have never seen a turn out like this for an election before. Very inspiring!

I am Proud to be an American!

The result of tonight’s election brought back my trust in our country and my pride to be an American. We were able to look outside our differences and UNITE for a better future together. As Obama said during his speech, this is our victory. His election is an opportunity for change but we need to pull together as avid servers of our country to bring about the real change that we all need.

Ella Konik, 1993-2008

Ella Guinevere Konik died peacefully last night at home in her bed,
surrounded by family. She was close to 15 1/2.

Frank Sinatra once told an interviewer, “They say you only live once.
But if you have a life like mine, once is enough.” Ella’s time on
Earth was like that. A white-lab and greyhound mutt, she was adopted
at 3 months and spent much of her adult years spreading joy. Ella was
a licensed therapy dog and the subject of the book “Ella in
Europe” and the Animal Planet TV show “Ella & Me.”

She was friends with everyone, a beautiful soul encased in white fur.

We miss her terribly.