The main attraction in Maine Mendoza’s soothing new single

Maine Mendoza in the music video of her latest song

The year 2020 will be remembered as an annus horribilis for the global community. But it’s been particularly daunting for Filipinos, who had to endure a series of shockingly calamitous events that included volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and an increasingly murky political climate.

Seizing the crown—pun intended—from every source of misfortune that came before it is the COVID-19 pandemic, whose arrival has single-handedly upended life as we know it.

Perfect tune

So, people have been needing sources of comfort at a time characterized by distress, ambiguity and isolation. This probably explains why music aficionados, as noted by Spotify early this week, are opting to add more “chill” songs to their playlist these days—to help keep levels of stress and anxiety at bay.

Maine Mendoza has the perfect tune to provide musical succor to people whose frayed nerves need a little soothing.

As with “Imagine You and Me,” her self-penned 2016 debut single (cowritten with Vic Sotto), Maine’s pipes may not be steely enough to pull off arena-style ballads but, as proven by the new single recorded in collaboration with electropop-rock quartet Gracenote, she possesses a soothing and serviceable voice that is easy on the ears.

“Parang Kailan Lang”

“Parang Kailan Lang” is a dreamy tune that is served well by a supple rendition that suits the singer-actress’ range and fits her personality to a T.

Rendered with wistful longing and palpable regret, the song brims with nostalgia as Maine mulls over a once-reassuring relationship that ended up losing its magic: “Bakit nga ba tayo nagbago?/ Nakasanayan ay biglang naglaho/ Nakalimutan nang lahat ng pangako/ At binaon na lang sa kahapon.”

If “Imagine” had its occasional moments of shaky vocals, “Parang Kailan Lang” shows how much of Maine’s confidence as a performer

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Kevin Garnett opens up about relationship with Kobe, missing Seattle

Kevin Garnett always found Seattle to be a difficult place for opponents. He played in 27 games there during his NBA career, leaving the court as a winner only eight times.

He remembers those days. And respects them, too.

In a wide-ranging interview this week with The Associated Press, Garnett covered plenty of topics, including the announcement over the weekend that he officially is a member of the Class of 2020 for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, his relationship with fellow inductee Kobe Bryant, the coronavirus pandemic, and his plans for the next five and 10 years.

But there was also a surprise: Garnett revealed a deep affinity for Seattle, to the point where he said he’d like to see the NBA return to that city — and said he would bring a team there if he could.

“If I have a dream, I would say that I would love to be able to go and buy the Seattle SuperSonics and reactivate the Seattle Northwest and get NBA loving back going into that area,” said Garnett, who starred for Minnesota and Boston and also played for Brooklyn. “I think it’s needed and it’s essential. Seattle was huge to our league. Not just Portland, but the whole northwest. I would love to be able to do that.”

These days, it’s not that uncommon for Garnett to be thinking big.

He found out late last week that he had been officially selected to the Hall of Fame, part of a nine-person group that will include four going in as players — himself, Bryant, Tim Duncan and Tamika Catchings. He raved about each for various reasons; Bryant for his competitive fire, Duncan because they were elite at the same position, Catchings for her body of work.

He said he still savors

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Neymar welcome anytime at Barca, says Suarez

FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, from Argentine, right, Neymar, from Brazil, center, and Luis Suarez, from Uruguay, celebrate after scoring against Atletico Madrid during a Spanish La Liga football match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. AP

Neymar “will always be welcome” back at Barcelona, the Spanish giants’ striker Luis Suarez told Mundo Deportivo on Wednesday.

Neymar left Barca in a world record move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 but has been persistently linked to a possible return to the Camp Nou.

Suarez told the paper: “Everybody knows ‘Ney’, we all know the affection we have for him in the dressing room.

“His ability is indisputable and he still has so much to show. He will always be welcome in the changing room, we appreciate him a lot.”

Suarez, 33, recovering from right knee surgery, said it was “complicated” to talk about players joining Barca at this time of crisis with the coronavirus pandemic.

“But I can talk about players, and these are huge players,” he commented when asked by the paper to discuss the rumours linking the 28-year-old Neymar with a Barca return.

The Uruguayan also had warm words for Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez, the 22-year-old Argentine whose name also been associated with a move to Catalonia.

“Lautaro is a player who is progressing in Italy, he is a flexible centre-forward, with spectacular moves and that shows what a great a striker he is.”

Questioned about how any eventual new signings would fit in Suarez said: “There will always be a healthy rivalry between us, and while we are all focused on the same objective, that is winning, any players who come in to help the team achieve its aims will always be welcome.”

He then turned to last week’s deal with the club

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