beauty within
My name is Rachel Ann Cauilan and I just want to make a testament of my life growing up, from all the people, places, things, and feelings I’ve known, and to give a little piece of myself, and my love, to you. I hope you enjoy.

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I Am Who I Always Have Been

It’s strange to look back on photos. Photos you deemed noteworthy or life-changing during that moment’s notice. You transport yourself back into that state of mind in which you found yourself in the photo, during that moment of your life. You remember how you were feeling. How young you were. How shy and insecure you were. And maybe how you still are.

It’s strange to look back on these photos and find how much you have grown. Your childish innocence and sweetness hardened over the years as you grew up, matured and opened your eyes, ears and mind to the world around you. The lines in your face slowly became more defined. There grew a worry in your eyes. A coldness. What were once clear, hopeful and doe-eyed eyes, now turned cool and “realistic.”

It’s also strange to look back on these photos and see so much of your innocence, sweetness, shyness and quietude still a part of all those photos. How a part of that has never quite left you.

You can now see why so many people “loved” or “adored” you. Why so many saw goodness and wonder in you.

Sure, maybe it be your innocence. Your guilelessness. Your sweetness. Your kind-heartedness. Maybe your ambition and dream. Your liking towards others. Mysteriousness. Creativity.

But looking through these photos, a part of you sees your weakness. You were so insecure. So uncomfortable with yourself. So quiet and shy. Too stiff in your stance and never feeling fully relaxed around others. Others just wanted to know you and get you to open up to them. They wanted to see you for you—your true colors and all—like there was this magical quality about you that they wanted to uncover for themselves.

And, as much as you may have tried to resist and break out of being that shy, weak, timid and quiet girl that you have known and been for your entire life, a part of you still knows that that part of you will always remain. You will always be that girl. As much as you have grown and matured and “come into your own” in college, you know a part of you will always be her.

At the very core of us all, we have always been who we ought to be.

Which reminds me of what writer/druggist Aldous Huxley once said: "Our goal is to discover that we have always been where we ought to be. Unhappily we make the task exceedingly difficult for ourselves."

I have always been a firm believer in knowing and staying true to yourself. Owning your independence; expressing your womanhood; thriving on your individuality. I believe a part of me was always so adamant about that because I secretly wanted to be like those confident women who were so full and confident and sure of themselves in my life growing up; and I always knew I was so shy and insecure, even though I had a good understanding of myself and what I wanted.

"Our goal is to discover that we have always been where we ought to be. Unhappily we make the task exceedingly difficult for ourselves."

Everything we want and need to do is right here, right in front of us. And staying honest to your will, your way, your friends, your loved ones, your career, your ambition, your love and your life… That’s the hardest part.

But your spirit’s still the same. It always has been. Trust that. And accept yourself for who you have always have been. That’s the only way to move forward, within and without, with honesty and fortitude, faith and love, and love in all.


"Biking Rachellllll" (Feat. Patricia)

Today, I learned how to ride a bike… and earned a new theme song!
All copyrights to my theme song go to Patricia:

Biking Rachel, look at her go!
She’s going faster and faster
Look at her
Go, in the breezy weather
Her shirt is flowing
Biking Rachel!
She is!
She’s about to hit a hill
But it’s ok, she doesn’t care
'cause she's biking Rachel
Rachel is biking down the [hallway]
She’s about to go *CRASH* into something
No she’s not
There she goes
In this parking lot
And we’re gonna see light
In the biking Rachel
Biking Rachel
She’s got this
Believe in yourself!
This is the farthest you’ve ever biked in your life!
(Do do do do, do do dooo)
You got this!
Don’t fall!
Oh my God I better get the f*** out of the way
You got this
Rachel is biking
Look at her go
What a pro
Look at her
She is so attractive
When she is biking
Biking Rachel (do cha do do)
Where is she turning?
You got this
You got this
This way
This way, this way, this way
I trust you!
I trust you, I trust you!
Stop it!

Almost exactly three years ago. Freshman year. Priceless. :’) @huongbinhkim

🎃 🎶 🎸 Late night lullabies. #meganddia #megdia #frampton #halloween #acoustic #guitar #acousticguitar #girlguitarist #girlguitarists #music #love #throwback #fridaynight #lullaby #lullabies

"This Love Is Over" by Ray LaMontagne & the Pariah Dogs

Goin’ out of my mind
Don’t even know my own name half the time
How’d I get so blind that I couldn’t see
What was right in front of me?

This has always been one of my favorite Ray LaMontagne songs… And I’ve been really feeling his tunes lately. This is why.

🎸 One of the trickiest but most soothing songs out there… Learning #SilverWheels by #Heart. Nancy Wilson, you’re a guitar goddess. @heartofficial #heartmusic #nancywilson #guitar #acoustic #acousticguitar #classical #fingerpicking #picking #guitarsolo #music #girlguitarist #girlguitarists #guitargoddess #womeninrock #classicrock #mistralwind #crazyonyou #practicing #learning #exercisingmymind

Purpose: passion / mission / profession / vocation

#purpose #passion #mission #profession #vocation #life #goal #ambition #motivation

Purpose: passion / mission / profession / vocation

#purpose #passion #mission #profession #vocation #life #goal #ambition #motivation

Sweet Rock ‘n’ Roll Mood Music with Singer-Songwriters Andrew Belle and Sugar & the Hi Lows (9-17-2014)


If you love the charm of small artists, up-and-coming musicians and the culture of singer-songwriters, you may find yourself walking through the doors of a little music venue called the Brick & Mortar Music Hall in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Hailing on the culture of lesser-known artists and mildly successful singer-songwriters, the blue-eyed folk/electronic singer-songwriter Andrew Belle returned to this venue last month with fellow friends Amy Stroup and Trent Dabbs of Sugar + the Hi Lows on a cool September night. Although both very different in sound and style, they proved to have quite the credible background to make them two artists that belong in your music library.

I have to admit that while I was looking for local concert listings in the area (because I missed my concert fix for the late summer), these two artists caught my eye after several Google searches. It turns out that Andrew Belle once did a little indie-pop tune with the soft-spoken wistfully refreshing singer-songwriter Katie Herzig in a song called "Static Waves." I don’t know about you, but this song brings me right back to 2010’s rising culture of indie-pop singer-songwriter loveliness. (And, this was the sole song by any of the two artists in my iTunes at the time.)

Andrew Belle performed a slate of his “hushed” songs, accompanied by only his keyboard, an electronic drum set and a looper. Simply sitting up there playing his mellow tunes away, he almost put me into a sleep spell with his charmingly ambient tunes.

Though, the real winner for me at this concert was opening act Sugar + the Hi Lows. Rising from Nashville, Tennessee, these two rockabilly souls brought back a culture reminiscent of the foot-stomping tunes of the early 60s with the sweet, rocking and rolling of blues. A real vintage duo, their highlight of the night for me was covering the June Carter and Johnny Cash classic "Jackson," which pretty much captures the spirit of what their music feels like—danceable, rhythmic and swoonfully country.

Sugar + the Hi Lows are definitely doing something different, but entirely special in this time and age. Paying homage to vintage classics in a time of overly trite electronics, their music tastes like sugar, sounds like rock & roll, and is handsomely mellow all at the same time.

Sometimes, it feels nice to go into a concert with blind eyes and ears with the intention to simply enjoy musicians doing what they do, while finding their charm. You may find yourself pleasantly pleased (or maybe even lullabied away).

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Genevieve (Company of Thieves) premieres new music at the Satellite, Los Angeles (9-30-2014)


After the long arrival of late Company Of Thieves‘ frontwoman Genevieve‘s new music, local Silver Lake-ians and Los Angeles attendees were treated to the premiere of Genevieve’s new music, set to be released sometime early next year.

With stage jitters and nervous laughs, Genevieve’s uncanny stage presence and infectious smile still shined through at the intimate Satellite lounge, as she giggled her way through her set with energy, enthusiasm and pure fun.

“Come up and hang out with me,” she said before beginning her set, motioning the audience closer to the stage.

Performing an array of upbeat pop-tunes alongside a live band, full with a pianist, guitarist, bassist and drummer, Genevieve hopped her way through each song, singing while bending backwards, holding the mic, and unafraid to let herself totally loose to her tunes.

“I’m so nervous to play these songs for you,” she reflects.

Realizing that everyone in the room is going into her show with blind eyes and ears, about to hear absolutely new material and are only familiar of her because of her previous material (Company Of Thieves, presumably), she wasn’t afraid to let us in on her nervousness.

But, that is also where she was absolutely grateful for her listeners for coming out and continuing to support her music.

With plans to tour with her new EP in the new year, which is currently still a work in-progress, you can definitely expect to hear tunes very different from her whispering indie-rock, angst-ridden alternative Company Of Thieves days.

Having also been busy collaborating with musicians of the likes of electronic-music producer Jimmy Giannopoulos in a project called G (check out “Outer Space”), it seems that Genevieve has kept busy writing and recording new music–to be released very soon.

Heading on-stage at 10:30pm after her two opening-acts Le Swish (Bob Morris of The Hush Sound) and Zac Clark, she performed an intimate one-hour set with giggles, marching, vocal-pulling, conversations with bandmates and audience participation (in which to choose what kind of song to hear next–“upbeat or intimate”). You could tell Genevieve was totally in her element and having a lot of fun up there; and it was a treat to be able to hear Genevieve in the very beginning stages of releasing her own solo material–finally!

Here’s one of my favorites from that night, in which she performed as her last song (we chose to end on “intimate”). Here’s Genevieve performing the very stripped-down “Start Over” (view the rest of my concert footage here):

I also had the opportunity to meet and chat with Genevieve a little after her performance and it went a little something like this:

Genevieve: “Hi! Have I met you before…?”

Me: “Umm no… This is actually my first time meeting you!”

The power of social media, I tell ya!


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Kababayan at UCI’s “Aming Pangarap: Our Dream” - PACN XXXV Highlights

What a journey it was last year to produce something like this…

"Yuna-Versity" Interview: Malaysian Singer-Songwriter on College, her Muslim Identity, Women and a New Album

Photo credit to Chrisline Raymundo

Yuna onstage at UC Irvine’s Aldrich Park After Dark Concert, 9/30/2014. Photo credit to Chrisline Raymundo.

“Those were the best years of my life, so far,” Malaysian singer-songwriter turned international sensation Yuna reflects, sitting on top the grass in the middle of UC Irvine’s Aldrich Park.

It was well past 8 o’clock that Tuesday night. On only day two of UCI’s Welcome Week, hopeful incoming students and returners were readjusting back into the school grind, entertained by an array of performances from UCI student organizations, collegiate dance teams and aspiring singer-songwriters alike.

“You learn so much about yourself and that’s where you find friends who will be there for the rest of your life, you know?” she continues.

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This is about one of the NICEST things I have ever received on any of my articles/posts/videos/blogs, etc. For the past years I’ve written about what moves and motivates me, and the individuals and artists responsible for those feelings, but nothing touches me more than when I am able to tell my own story, and someone resonates. A million million thanks of my gratitude. ♡ 🙏

Read my post alongside this tweet “GUINNESS AND GROWTH (and How I’ve Grown Into Myself” here:

#thankyou #thanks #gratitude #blessed #article #writing #journalism #wordpress #musicjournalism #interview #interviewing #kinagrannis #yuna #milogreene #real #authentic #genuine #me #soul #passion #gift #bliss #guinness #beer #growth #growingintoyourself #comingintoyourown #dowhatmovesyou #dowhatmakesyoufeelalive #followyourbliss

This is about one of the NICEST things I have ever received on any of my articles/posts/videos/blogs, etc. For the past years I’ve written about what moves and motivates me, and the individuals and artists responsible for those feelings, but nothing touches me more than when I am able to tell my own story, and someone resonates. A million million thanks of my gratitude. ♡ 🙏

Read my post alongside this tweet “GUINNESS AND GROWTH (and How I’ve Grown Into Myself” here:

#thankyou #thanks #gratitude #blessed #article #writing #journalism #wordpress #musicjournalism #interview #interviewing #kinagrannis #yuna #milogreene #real #authentic #genuine #me #soul #passion #gift #bliss #guinness #beer #growth #growingintoyourself #comingintoyourown #dowhatmovesyou #dowhatmakesyoufeelalive #followyourbliss

Guinness and Growth (and How I’ve Grown Into Myself)

“I feel like you’ve really come into your own,” a friend said as I sipped on a Guinness.

There I was, standing in a room full of party-headed alcohol-infused adults as a Berkeley graduate student attempted to swoon me for my number.

Some things never change. I like to see change as a matter of growth as I find that all humans naturally have an inner core to themselves that never quite changes. We…

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Being back home always makes me realize how much of a home I have up there… I fall in love with the place all over again. And my fondest and most important relationships in my life are up there. But I always find a way back home…
Milo Greene Premieres Dark Indie-Pop Makeover with “White Lies” (Video)

Milo Greene_Control_Header

With successful LA-based indie-folk and said-“cinematic-pop” band Milo Greene‘s debut album last 2012, their crooning melodies and multi-instrumental soundscape charmed enough fans to create a devoted fan base. Milo is still growing and two years later, they are premiering their first song “White Lies” off their sophomore album Cont…

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