What role does music play in your life?
I am what most people would call an audiotard. In 2006, I was still listening to Air Supply, the Backstreet Boys, Avril Lavigne, and Bread. Yes. It was THAT bad.
When I was 8 or 9, Tito Rey, my father’s kumpare stayed with us for a couple of months. He brought with him two things, chess, which I played with such enthusiasm back then, and the Beatles, which I play with enthusiasm still. When he left, he presented me with the complete anthology in cassette tapes. I’m not sure what happened to those tapes, but I’m afraid they may have perished in the house fire that took everything in 2001.
Flashforward to 2007, and my friends had taken my musical re-education upon themselves. Rica introduced me to the emo bands, you know, Goth make-up, bleeding angst, and pants so tight I hoped they had no plans of procreating. Oh, and the hair! I caught a younger cousin sporting a haircut like that around the same time, and I accompanied him immediately to the barbershop. I also bought him acetone and supervised while he cut and de-colored his nails. “Sure you can play the music,” I had told him. “But find your own style.” My titas, his mother included, loudly hoped that I’d take him to a department store for new pants too, but I had to leave him with something, God bless him.
Rica also introduced me to Jason Mraz, and in 2008 he provided me with the perfect anti-lovesong to play in the background during one of the worst breakups ever.
I played and sung it until I was hoarse.
In 2010, Mabie introduced me to Sugarfree. In 2011, the band broke up. I had played their albums enough by then to feel like I was experiencing another bad breakup.
Around that time, I had been on a collision course, one that had taken me completely by surprise. It had been brewing for a while, sure, but the first time I realized that not only is a giant asteroid heading for my world, at a trajectory that can best be described as “straight at my ass”, but also that I wanted it to hit was when Mabie took Remi and me to watch a screening of the movie Once, with Glen Hansaard and Marketa Irglova.
The year before (2010, September), I had joined Mabie in a day of Misery, and Remi had to drive us home. Mabie fell asleep in the backseat, and Remi introduced me to The Cardigans. She promised to make me a mixtape to round out my re-education and 7 months later, she did give me one.
To answer your question though, let’s go back to 2005. I was on an ill-fated out of town trip with my Happy Friends. The van’s radio and air conditioning were shot, and we only brought 2 CDs – Nina Live! and MYMP – to a 5-hour trip to Batangas. After the upteenth replay of Piano in the Dark, I was wondering how soon I could die of heatstroke. We stopped at the only bank we could find, its ATM was stuck in the age before digital printing, and fanned ourselves while we took turns getting money. One Happy Friend was checking her phone and this song filled the air:
Suddenly, all was well in the world. We were in no danger of killing each other, we were okay. We were more than okay, we were singing, dancing, laughing at a stretch of highway in Batangas. All was well in the world. 
1. Writing prompt from The Daily Post.
2. Other credits: Lei gave me JPop – and eventually Nihonggo. Mabie, the music pusher, tried pushing Urbandub, but I was still too torn over the Sugarfree to like them.