Monday, March 30, 2009

Return to a city I love...

Thanks to work, I got to visit again a city I fell in love with a year ago - Iloilo.

Though with only two hours sleep because of Spelling Bee, I still had the energy to get up and make it to the very early morning PAL flight. I must admit I was really happy to fly again. I was happy to see Terminal 2 again. I was happy to be onboard a plane again. I was excited to hear "sinturong pangkaligtasan" and "paliparang pandaigdig." Haha!

But above all, I was really, really glad to be in Iloilo again. I love everything about it. I like Grand Dame. Hehe! I love Smallville and Boardwalk. I love the restaurants that I've tried - Nes and Tat's, Dapug, Afrique's, Escas, and JD Baker Cafe.

The entire day was spent at the Gawad Kalinga village in Sooc. There was a training for the parents about a livelihood project. Can't write much about it yet, but the photo above should give you an idea. Haha! Anyway, it's always a joy to visit that village because the kids and the parents are very warm. They always have a smile on their faces whenever I go there. The kids enjoy posing in front of the camera, while the parents are always asking if I needed anything. I'm always amused that they would talk to me in Bisaya and although I would only kasabot gamay (hehe!), I still get the essence of what they're saying (most of the time).

In the evening, we went to Smallville, which I really loved. Started out the night at Bourbon Street, then we moved to MO2's Ice. We were lucky because though it was a Sunday night, the place was packed with kids (read: fresh college grads celebrating their "freedom" from the university... hehe!) Really, really enjoyable night! Haha!

By Monday night, I was on my way back to Manila. Though it was only an overnight stay in Iloilo, it felt like being there for several couple of days. I wish I could go back to Iloilo for a vaction. I'm sure I will.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The "

Your word is "caterjeunes." That's C-A-T-E-R-J-E-U-N-E-S. Caterjeunes.

Watched the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee with Carlo at the RCBC over the weekend. It was great. It was funny. It was a perfect weekend activity.

Throughout the show, the audience laughed out loud. But there were also moments when the crowd went completely silent, and waited as the "spellers" struggled with the word. And when the bell was hit to signify an incorrect spelling, everyone seemed to have felt bad that the "speller" was eliminated.

The cast was great. Each one did his/her role superbly and each character's personality was perfectly played out by the cast, which included Felix Rivera, Thea Tadiar, Rycharde Everley, Johann dela Fuente, Pheona Baranda, and Carla Guevara-Laforteza. Cathy Azanza-Dy, Joel Trinidad and Noel Rayos complete the cast. It's hard to pick a favorite character because each one has his/her own personality. I thought Johann's character, Leaf Coneybear, was cute though. Haha!

Guest spellers that night were Christian Bautista and Gina Pareño (when her name was called, everyone went "ooooohhhh..."). Two other people from the audience were also picked as guest spellers. I guess it would have been fun to be a guest speller. Hahaha!

Congrats to the cast and production!

Spelling Bee runs until April 4. Go watch it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kinda cheesy these past few days... weeks...

I want. I miss. Is that bad? Haha! Blame it on the recent discovery of As the World Turns. Now, there's a building Nuke addiction. Harhar! It kind of reminds me of the Dawson's Creek days. But I was much younger then, and that kind of justified the addiction and the cheesiness. When I watch the Nuke clips now and I get cheesy over it, I remember that I'm turning 30 this year, and the thought of a 30-year old lovesick fool makes me want to hurl. Haha! But then I convince myself that "kilig" is for every age. And that's why it's nice. And really, the reason behind a nice "kilig" transcends all ages. So I get cheesy all over again.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Feeling alive because of the Condura Run '09...

With barely enough sleep last Friday and a grueling long Saturday, I had to make sure I slept early Saturday evening to get some seven hours of sleep in preparation for a very early Sunday morning.

It was the Condura Run and it was the culmination of, don't laugh, the sort of training for the 5K run.

This run is really fun and special because of two things. First, this is my first "official" run. I ran the UNDP Stand Up Take Action last November but that was just for work. For the Condura Run, I trained, I invested resources (read: gym membership, new footwear, new apparel - Nike raked in a lot of cash from me this month... hay), new perspectives on running footwear (anotehr story) I was really psyched for the run.

The other thing that made Condura Run extra memorable was that friends were there. Colleague Arlyn and sister/good friend Ryse told us about the run and the usual suspects (miraculously) agreed to sign up. Hehe! Aside from the PA gang, college friends Ella and Gino were also running. Too bad Jon didn't join (because he wasn't fit to run daw). And Trish is on the other side of the planet. I also bumped into Icon friend Ivan who was with some colleagues as well. It was great seeing him, since the last time we saw each other was Christmas.

Moving on, Tey and I, with her nephews Mich and Ken in tow, arrived at the Fort before 5:30. There were already a LOT of people. The weather was kind of chilly, which was really surprising, and I couldn't wait for the mighty sun to rise and greet us all.

By 5:30, the 21K runners were off. Following them at 6AM were the 10K, the 5K (that's us), and the 3K.

I think the hours on the treadmill paid off because it took a while before I stopped to brisk walk and catch my breath.

The best part of the run I have to say was when the pack turned right to 34th St. The morning sun greeted us with its wonderful sunshine and that really got me back on running again. I'm pretty sure the rays of that sun are kind of harmful already but still it was just really a great surprise to feel the heat and the light of the sun. There was something extraordinary about it.

Anyway, I finsihed my run at 44:07. I think that's really slow (and I believe the stupid decision to not use my running shoes contributed to the long running time), but that's okay because it gives me a reason to try and do better the next time. Oh yes, there definitely will be a next time.

One friend once shared that when she was injured during a triathlon, she just kept on going and yelled, "Pain is temporary. Pride is permanent." Lastly, look what I came across. Haha! I just had to take a photo of it. This was after the race already.

The run concluded perfectly with a breakfast at Pancake House. It was the nicest way to cap the really fun morning. The place was packed with runners and so much life, so much energy was up in the air. It was one of those moments when you just feel alive, really alive, and for that you are thankful!

Whooopppeee! Til the next run!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rockstars and star athletes for a night... hehehe!

Last Friday, some colleagues sort of became kids again as we stayed til the wee hours of the morning at a colleague's house playing Rock Band and Wii. Haha!

As a kid, I only got to play video games whenever my cousins were allowed to play with their Family Computer (the kids today wouldn't know what this is anymore... hehe).

It wasn't that fun for me though, because they bullied me a lot (that's another story) so video games didn't really grow on me. It was only in my college years, with Timezone, better video games, RPGs on computers coming, I slowly found myself liking video games. Hehe!

Anyway, Friday was similar to my childhood video game playing moments, except that the bullying has been replaced with real fun and laughter. Hahaha!

For several hours, we unleashed the rockstar in us as we struggled with the drumset and the guitar. The only thing that we got to perfect most of the time was the vocals. Haha!

When we got tired of playing the "Eye of the Tiger," which was the only song where we got decent scores, we moved on to Wii.

It was my first time to play both and I'm just so amazed, really amazed with technology. It really brought the gaming experience to a whole new level. But I'm glad I got to see the "evolution" of video games beginning with Game 'N Watch to Atari to Family Computers to the more advanced ones today. Haha!

We left Stephie and Chippi's house at 4 in the morning and I got home at 6AM!!! I had to get up at 10AM to make it to spinning class at noon, but it was okay because Friday night was really a blast!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday night at BHS...

Thursday evening was a night of yum Italianni's, crazy Timezone games, a sinful Starbucks dessert, and really great conversation and hanging out with Whaxter.

The last time I saw the guy was last year(!!!), and though we've been planning to get together again, it just didn't happen. Hehe! The good thing is I know what's happening with him (or at least I have some inkling) thanks to Multiply. Haha!

Over the weekend, we agreed to meet up Thursday night and thankfully I got to finish the stuff that I needed to finish so I could go see him. I was super late though, thanks to picky cab drivers. Hehe! Sorry, Whaxter. I super hate being late.

Anyway, had a really great time hanging out. Whaxter is now added to my pool of single friend hangout buddies. Harhar!

Our talk last night managed to go into being single. Hehe! I was telling him, "Okay, you're already surrounded by coupled friends who probably know someone you could date and yet it's still hard for you to find a date. What more for me?! I'm screwed." Haha!

I told Whaxter that I've been trying to put myself out there, but since I'm not getting anywhere, I should probably prepare to cross over to the dark side again...just kidding... I should probably already prepare for a life with a golden retriever named Max. Haha!

If there's one thing that was affirmed from the sharing and talk last night, it's that I seem to be generally okay with the way things are. And that loneliness strikes during any of these three occasions, which Whaxter shared: 1.) you're really tired from the long day and you get home to an empty room; 2.) you've had an either super good (or super bad) moment and you have to share it; or 3.) you're sick and you have to take care of yourself. I added that for people like me who've been cursed to be cheesy, loneliness also gets me after watching sappy movies, which I love watching to begin with. Hehe!

Whaxter is right. Lately, I've been feeling tired. Just tired. Physically, emotionally. And it would be nice if there were someone who'd reassure me things will get better. And then, for number 2, when I found out about the GSMA win, I felt happy - really happy - when this person shared my joy. For number 3, I welcomed 2009 with fever and a really bad stomach. After four days of not getting better, I brought myself to the ER of Makati Med. When the guard asked me who the patient was, I go, "Me." That was Jan. 1(!!!) and such a circumstance was a first for me.

Other than moments like this, I'm generally fine. I know it would be great if I can have what ATWT's NuKe have, but then I should start thinking about the solo road as well. And I know it could be just as great. Your life is what you make of it, anyway.

So last night was really more than talking about how cute the person at the next dinner table in Italianni's is, or getting really bad scores at House of the Dead, it was about seeing and knowing that there are people who can help you put things in perspective (and vice-versa). People you call friends. And sometimes, that's more than enough.

Thanks, Whaxter.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

There's a Spelling Bee this March 20...

Looking forward to watch Atlantis Productions' staging of the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The musical won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Book.

Read a bit about it and it looks interesting. From what I read, Spelling Bee is about the experience of six adolescents who are up against each other for a fictional spelling championship in Putnam County, New York. What's interesting about the show is that there's a bit of audience participation so I'm expecting it to be really fun. I remember having enjoyed Rocky Horror a lot because the audience was involved. Haha!

The closest experience I've had of a spelling bee is the spelling contest for grade school kids during my LSQC days. Hehe! I got to compete when I was in Grade 2 (and Grade 3 I think). Vague memory of it.

Two years ago though, we had a spelling competition in my previous company as part of HR's English proficiency program and I was volunteered to join it. Didn't know it was a stressful. Hehe! During the last round, it was just me and a colleague left and what sealed the deal for me was the word "abysmal." Haha! It was fun.

Spelling Bee runs at the Carlos Palanca Auditorium in RCBC from March 20 to April 4. For tickets call 892-7078 or 840-1187 Directed by Bobby Garcia. Choreography by Cheacherchowee (whom I haven't seen for a long, long time so it'll be great to see her).

Let's watch.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Art hunting on a Saturday morning...

Woke up really early last Saturday for the annual Art in the Park art fair. Gave Carlo a wakeup call at 630AM as well because I made him go with me to the event. Hehe! Thank you, Carlo. Anyway, wanted to be really early at the Salcedo Park because I want first dibs on the pieces that will be put on sale. Harhar!

Arrived in Salcedo a little before 8. There were already a number of people looking around. Some of the booth exhibitors aren't there yet, so I took my time walking to the place. The last time I bought something was in 2007, I think. Uhm, if I remember correctly, they were small pieces by Jonathan Olazo. The title was "Utterance in the Time of Despair," and I came upon it at a perfect time because I was going through a thinking phase at that time.

Carlo was asking me what I usually look for when I plan to buy a work. Well, there's the obvious factor of who the artist is, but more than that I told him that I usually make the purchase when the piece communicates to me. Hehe! Does that sound weird?! Carlo, on the other hand, says he likes pieces that makes one think or one that can create a conversation among the people viewing the piece. Plus, of course, he considers the technique since he himself draws. Hehe!

Going back to the art fair, I think there were about twenty or so galleries that participated. There were several interesting pieces. For me, the ones that I almost got were two pieces by Andres Barrioquinto. Both were in pastel, if I remember correctly. One piece was like a portrait of a man and surrounding his head were the numbers 1 - 8. The other piece was also a portrait of a man who was holding a cigarette. It was done in shades of gray.

Also found two pieces by Wire Tuazon, but the connection wasn't that strong though so I didn't get it as well. Another piece that I liked was from Nineveh Art Space. It was the back of a man and there was a huge letter Q painted on his head.

The other two booths that had pieces which got me interested were Ang I.N.K (AJ Omandac's prints) and Sheer Joy (Robert Alejandro's kiddie prints).

After going through the booths severak times and deciding that none were for me, Carlo and I just headed to the Salcedo market for brunch. Too many people, but that's expected. There was so much food that we had a difficult time choosing what to eat. For dessert, we thought of getting the dirty ice cream from the typical mamang sorbetero you see on the streets. But apparently, the price of dirty ice cream shoots up when you're in the Makati CBD. Forty pesos for a friggin small cone! Unbelievable! And it was too late to say no because the guy already started scooping. Hay!

Anyway, it was a good Saturday morning. Though I didn't get to bring home something new to add to the collection, it was fun. Uhm, I wished you were there though.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My happy meal from Len and Alster...

Though this week is turning out to be quite stressful more than I expected it to be, one particular thing became my happy meal. I can't remember the last time something like this happened so I'm really, really, really happy.

Two snail mails arrived.

While I’m already happy to just receive snail mail (though very rarely), I’m even happier to have received two(!!!) in a week. When was the last time you’ve gotten snail mail?!

The first one is from Len, my college classmate who’s now based in Australia. It was a “thank you” card. The Christmas card she sent is probably still lost somewhere around in Manila, but I'm really thrilled to get the card above. I was out of the office the entire day because of a training. When I got back at the office in the evening after spinning class, I saw the card on my desk. Seeing the address, I knew it was from Len. I didn’t open it yet though. That was inspiration to work a lot that night (until 1AM!) and I told myself that reading the card would be my reward for finishing most of the work that needed to be done

Aside from the card, Len was thoughtful enough to include FedEx truck magnets for me and Tey. Really cute!!! Yay!

The other surprise was from online buddy Alster who’s studying in Japan. (And who I super envy because he’s in a country I really, really want to visit! Haha!) When I got home last night, I saw the postcard on the table inside my room. There was no sender info but seeing the Japanese characters, I knew it had to be from Alster. Yahooo! Arigato gozaimasu, Alster-san!!!

I'm really glad (and I’m sure you’ll be happy to know) it didn't take two months before the card arrived.

Thank you, thank you, Len and Alster! Must send cards back to you.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sunday afternoon with Amorsolo and his women...

I've been wanting to go and see one of the seven Amorsolo exhibits for the longest time, but because of the busy schedule and other excuses, six of the seven have already ended and I haven't seen any. The only one left was the Ayala Museum exhibit and its last day was March 8.

Haha! Initially, I thought to myself it's okay to miss that exhibit because of recent happenings, but I knocked some sense into myself by thinking that I've been planning to go see it way before.

So on the last day of the Amorsolo exhibit at Ayala Museum, I dragged former colleague and good friend Grace to go see it. And it was great because we got to go in for free thanks to compli tickets from Asia Society (I think?). Haha!

The last time I was at the Ayala Museum was for the Christian Lacroix exhibit. I've been telling myself that I should go more often, and I even want to undergo the docent training, but some excuse always comes up. Hay!

The visit last Sunday was really fantastic because we got to see four(!!!) exhibits. We started at the fourth floor gallery where the Crossroads of Civilization was. Bernice told me about this. She got to see it before she left for the Netherlands, and she told me that I should go see it because I would like it.

She was right. I completely, completely enjoyed the exhibit. As usual, I was just really amazed at the craftsmanship of our ancestors. Ang galing!!! Take for example the Gold of Our Ancestors exhibit, the pieces on display were wow! I can imagine how much time and effort and skill were put into creating the fantastic pieces.

The Crossroads of Civilization was fantastic. I particularly enjoyed the AVP for the Gold and the Ceramic. For the ceramic, in particular, I'm wondering how the lights were synchronized with the commentary of the speaker. It's my first time to see something like that and I was really amused.

From the Crossroads, we moved to the Amorsolo exhibit. The pieces on display were Amorsolo's portraits of women. If I had to choose, my favorite was the nudes done in charcoal/pencil on paper. Maybe because they're not too identified as the usual Amorsolo. I mean, even with my limited art knowledge, I could somehow say that Amorsolo is known for his oil paintings of Filipino life in the countryside.

Right beside the Amorsolo exhibit is the Fernando Zobel exhibit. I'm not that familiar with his work, and the only works of him that I know are from the notecards I bought. The only one I remember is the Tension Luminosa. I didn't expect it to be quite big. Hehe!

Our last stop was the diorama, which we went through only because it was there. I've seen it a long time ago when the Ayala Museum was still in the old building so there was really no thrill for me.

I have to say that the museum visit experience is much different now probably because I've been mounting exhibits myself. So aside from just checking out by the artifacts, art pieces on display, I would also now try to see how an artwork was mounted, or how the display setup was done. Weird, huh?!

Really good afternoon. Must make an effort to do museum visits more. The Yuchengco Museum is right next to my office, but again I haven't even gone to visit it. Grr! I was also thinking that if there were one other job I'd like to do, it would probably be to work for a museum as an art restorer. I wonder why it never occurred to me. That would have been really great!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Eraserheads Final Set concert...

Watched the Eraserheads Final Set concert yesterday evening. Tey and I were super early at the venue because we expected the crowd to be thick. Haha! We got there at 4PM, but even if we were early, the position we got was just so so. The concert started a little past eight. People were just really excited for the concert, and once the guys started to play, everyone went wild and started singing along. Good concert!

Tey and I didn't finish it though. Her feelings for the Eraserheads are similar to how I feel about lifting weights at the gym. Hehe! I, on the other hand, am just not really a big fan of huge crowds. Claustrophobia I suppose. It was hard for me to relax and focus on the guys because I keep on thinking about a stampede and the possibility that the huge overhead projector directly above us would come crashing on us. Hehe! Had we gotten the VIP tickets, I'm sure it would have been more enjoyable and we would have definitely finished the entire thing. Charms, I'm sorry I didn't get to video With a Smile. I'm not even sure if they sang it. Hehe!

Still, I'm glad I got to go and be part of this really historical event! Woohooo!!!

Eheads rock!

Friday, March 6, 2009

All set for the Eheads concert... Woohooo

Looks like I'm all set for the Eraserheads concert tomorrow.

Or so I thought.

I already bought my ticket (yeah, we did sponsor but employees had to buy tickets, too). I've been listening to my Eraserheads mp3s. I just needed to plan where to meet the office gang tomorrow and what time.

But then came the thought of what to wear to the concert. Haha! So today, only today, I Googled Eraserheads concert shirt and found several online sellers. Woohoo! The next thing I did was to find out who's in Makati, who's got the nicest design and then who can do a meetup tonight. I found a seller, but I also came upon a site that showed Raymund Marasigan wearing a really cool shirt.

A little more Googling and I found out that it was from Team Manila. So the next thing to do was call the nearby Jupiter branch to call for stocks, and afterwards the Rockwell store. One design I liked was in Jupiter but not in Rockwell, and the other design I liked was in Rockwell but not in Jupiter. Argh!

But it seemed that the good forces were on my side because things panned out the way I wanted them to. After calling Rockwell to have shirts reserved for me and the gang, we headed to Rockwell immediately.

When we got there, good thing that there weren't that many customers yet. We tried on the shirts and the fit was good. Before we paid for our shirts, the girls at the counter gave the good news that the stocks for the other designs have just arrived and if we could wait a moment, we could check them out. Wooohooo!

So I got the one above, and another red shirt and I love, love both. Hahaha! Team Manila rocks.

Now, I'm REALLY excited about the concert. I just wish nothing untoward would happen. I'm not the biggest fan of huge crowds, and I can already imagine how it would be tomorrow. Haha!