Monday, June 29, 2009

Finally did my first 10K... woohooo....






Having my first 10K is going to be the highlight of the week. Unless, of course I win the lotto or finally meet the one who'll grant me the dream to be a Stepford husband...hehehe... both of which are really unlikely. So I guess I'll stick with the 10K. Haha!

Yesterday was the Green is Good run in UP Diliman. Hey, that's my second run for the month. Woohooo!

It was really a good run to join. First, venue was in UP Diliman. As I've mentioned in a previous blog entry, I thought the change in scenery would be nice. It's always a joy to go back and see the old buildings, the Oblation, the Shopping Center, and so on. Second, the run was for the environment. Money to be raised will be used for a project for the Ipo Dam, I think. With the recent work assignment on the environment beat, I must say that I did get a bit "greener." Plus, I've actually gone to Ipo Dam and planted some seedlings so the whole run became more relevant. Third, we were a sponsor so I didn't have to worry about registration fee. Hehe! Hey, P250 is still P250, yeah?!

In one of my FB statuses, friend Gino said that I should just go for a 10K, try it out and see that I could actually do it. That's basically one reason why I decided to go for the 10K this time. I mean I'll never really find out if I can do it unless I try it, right?

So when Tey gave me the reg form for the run, I nervously checked the 10K box and gave the form back to her. And when I got my race pack last Friday, I thought to myself, "This is it. No turning back now."

I was a bit worried whether my knees could take it, or if I was prepared. My two other running inspirations, sisters Arlyn and Ryse, told me I can try the 10K when I can do a full 5K run without stopping to walk.

I knew I could already complete a 3K or 3.5K full run, and last Friday I tried to do a full run 5K on the treadmill at the gym. I didn't collapse, and I was still breathing regularly. In fact, I pushed myself a little more and did a 7.5K. That was my only preparation for the 10K run. (Well, unless you count the spinning and dance classes, but if we're talking about just running, then I haven't had plenty of practice in the past weeks.)

The run generally turned out to be quite good and enjoyable. As with the other runs, I always enjoy, enjoy the few minutes before the run. There's just so much energy, so much life in the air. Deadma na that I missed the White Party in Malate. I'm sure there were "others" who wanted to go to the party, but wasn't able to because they signed up for the run. Haha!

When the go signal was given, I revved up myself and started with a jog and later on, increased my pace. Uhm, I hated the stretch from Malcom Hall down to SPEAR, the roads were going up and down and I could really feel the shock on my knees. Argh! Other things that I didn't like were the fact that there were no more water stations on the second round of the 10K and that the timer seemed to have gone bonkers so that when I actually crossed the finish line, I had no idea what my time was. I hope the organizers release the results though. It's quite important me, since this will be my benchmark for the succeeding 10K runs. Hehehe!

What was enjoyable aside from the running environment was the company, of course. Went there with my colleagues and it was fun. Congrats to Rhyz for doing the 5K! Woohoo! Thanks to Reena for documenting the important event! And great hanging out with Luciano, Kuya Manny and Raya! Woohoo!

After the run, we headed to Shopping Center to complete the UP experience by having breakfast at Rodic's. Yey!

I'm already eyeing a next run. I just don't know if I can write about it because I may already be jobless the following day, if I wrote about it. Hehe!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A reading according to Jani...


Colleague from work Nova invited us to see her friend Jani the tarot card reader over the weekend. Some of the girls at work have gone to him and they say he's really good.

I'm not really a fan of tarot card or anything involving strangers predicting my future, but I thought I'd try it out just for fun. Since I knew I wouldn't be able to go to the White Party, I thought the visit to Jani would be my something fun on a Saturday night.

Met up with Nova, Rhyz and MJane at Newsdesk in Morato. We started early because I had to get home early to get enough sleep for my first 10K run ever this morning.

Alright, just a gist of what Jani told me. Surprisingly, the focus of my spread of cards was on relationships. When I allowed Noreen to use me as her guinea pig early this year for her tarot card reading practice, she said nothing romantic was in store for me because out of the how many cards that was about love and relationships, not one showed up.

Fast forward to last night and well, well, well, look do we have here. LOL! It seems that the stars have re-aligned or something. Haha!

Uhm, Jani said things that I already knew but I guess I needed to hear about it from someone else. He said I was afraid to let someone in, that I need to work on letting go of things, that I need to shatter some perspectives on certain things.

He said that I will fall in love. I registered a look on my face that said, "I have been in love." That's when he said, "You think you've been in love. You haven't. The past? That wasn't love. That was heartache. That was hurt."

Ouch! But a little more thinking and I thought the guy was right. Hehe!

He did also say things that I already know but needed to hear from someone else. That I'm basically afraid to let someone in, that I neeed to work on letting go of things, that I need to appreciate more of myself.

He said, "You're afraid to let people in because you fear that the past may happen again." That's when he explained what the Chariot card meant. The need to be courageous. The need to take risks.

Jani was right, I suppose.

What really put a smile on my face that night were the appearance of two cards - Page of Wands and Knight of Coins. There was another card that showed up, which was what I have always wanted, so that was a pleasant surprise. Hehe! I won't elaborate on this anymore. Let's just wait and see.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wondering on Pride weekend...


It's Pride weekend in Manila (or in the country?) and although I won't be able to join the celebration tonight by going to the White Party in Malate, I am one with the community in celebrating the "happy" life in my own small way.

This country still has a long way to go when it comes to LGBT issues, that's for sure. Much work is to be done, and the struggle that goes way back into the 70s, 80s goes on.

It's not really surprising.

If the LGBT community in the West is still in need of putting up a good fight for recognition and acknowledgment from their supposedly developed societies, what more could be expected from our Third World country?! Thank you for the individuals who continue to help put a voice to the community.

Forgive me, but the activist in me is getting a little stirred up by today's festivities, or lack of it. Hehehe!

Anyway, here is my "wonder list" on this special weekend. I'm calling it "wonder list" and not a "wish list" because I believe that change will happen. It's only a matter of wondering when it would really happen. I'm not calling it a "wish list" because wishes are a bit far from reality.

Here goes.

1.) I wonder when would people begin to understand that to be gay does not automatically mean that a man wants to be a woman; or that a woman to be a man.

C'mon. Sure there are queers who feel that way, and I respect them. What I'm saying here is that I wonder when would the public see that the community is much more diverse.

Sure, you got to the parloristang bading and the maton na tibo. But you've also got the gay guy who sports a goatee and loves cars or maybe some really butch contact sport. In the same way, you've got the femme lesbian who loves flirty dresses, and chic makeup and designer handbags.

That's why the rainbow symbolizes us, right? Because we're as diverse as the colors on its spectrum.

2.) I wonder when would people begin to understand that a gay relationship is not necessarily between an effeminate guy/straight guy or a butch lesbian/straight girl.

When I told a girl friend that I was hanging out with this straight guy, her comment was, "Hey, that's great. Who knows?! Maybe next you'll be celebrating anniversaries." I was like, "Girlfriend, maybe you should be teleported back to the stone age."

It's a bit tiring to explain that relationships between two gay guys or two gay girls do exist, but hey, if that's what's going to take to get people to understand things, then I'll be more than glad to explain it over and over again.

3.) I wonder when would people begin to acknowledge that discrimination exists. By discrimination, I'm not even talking about getting fired for being a fag, or being refused entry to a drinking establishment for wearing a dress and not a pair of pants.

I'm talking about snide remarks regarding a person's gender. How many times have we heard the comment, "Bading kasi iyon, eh." or "Palibhasa kasi tibo yan." Seriously, what does the person's gender have to do with the mean attitude or the under performance at a task, maybe?

In a past volunteer work (this doesn't involve Pahinungod), the group needed to do some heavy lifting. But since there were only a few men, one of the bosses suggested I go with a group of girls to help out with carrying boxes. One of the older bosses then remarked, "Sus, eh isa pa iyan." I should have clobbered that bitch. Instead, I shut up and chose to keep my job. In my head, I was thinking, "I'm more of a man than any of the other assholes in this group," but I wasn't brave enough to stand up against that person.

Still, I should consider myself lucky. I can only imagine how it is for the others putting up with ostracism and living in the margins on a daily basis because they choose to be who they are.

4.) I wonder if the public knows that there are those who experience violence for being queer. We've read about it in the US, and a couple of news reports in Europe, but locally, I've yet to see it on the papers. Whether it's the bullying at school because the little boy can't dribble a ball or to something more severe like lesbians getting raped because of the notion that experiencing cock would make a lesbian want to be with a man, these forms of violence against the community do exist.

I remember when I was still doing Icon, I came across this study on violence against lesbians. Cases of rape, physical violence were documented. And these are just the few who had the courage to voice out their experiences. Who knows what the others are experiencing?

These are just a few of the things I can think of right now. I'm sure there are alot more other issues to be covered. And with the vast work needed to be done, where does one begin really?

I don't know the answer, but I'm guessing it begins with each person. Change in thinking, openness to change are probably needed. Together with these, nurturing and inculcating tolerance, compassion and understanding among everyone could definitely contribute something. Yeah?

Happy Pride!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ready for my Sunday GIG...


Got my race kit for the GIG Run a couple of minutes ago. Whoopppeee!

Looking forward to the run this Sunday. I'm quite excited because it'll be in UP Diliman. The change of scenery should be wonderful.

I'm sure it will be a fun experience running along the very familiar roads of the University, which was my home for a couple of years. The tree-lined avenues, the old buildings, the Oble watching all the runners. Yeehhhaa!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Because even Mr. Nice Guy can be wicked...


On my way home from the gym last night, the kid and I were on the same bus again. It was already late when I noticed that he was there, too. I was tired from the workout, and I usually just head to the last row of the bus when I see that my favorite seat is already occupied.

While getting myself settled at the last row, I saw the back of his head. He was about two rows away. Since it was already late, he had the row all to himself. I could have easily gotten up and sat beside him and say hi.

But I stayed where I was and when I reached my dropoff point, I got up, made my way to the front and made sure the kid saw me. And that he saw me looking all in a gym shirt, Nike shorts with my hairy legs, and the somewhat new Adidas. Hehehe!

When I got off the bus, I went my usual way not bothering to look back. Haha!

Do I sound bitter? Angry? Believe it or not, I'm neither. I was just really feeling "wicked" at that moment. I have been nothing but Mr. Nice Guy to the kid. From the time we waved at each other to the time he told me that he wasn't sure if he wanted to be with another guy (Dude, you should have kept your hands to yourself), I have been Mr. Nice Guy.

CorpComm guy that I am, I even watched the words I used when I tried to convince you that it was worth checking out where things would lead but you refused. When I should have just said what was in my head at that moment, I was editing my words to make sure they weren't hurtful. Because I know you're a kid. And because I didn't want to be a person who bursts your bubble.

But last night, I was in a moment when I thought I put my feelings ahead of others, just for that night. Sorry for ignoring you. But I guess that was one way of letting you know that you being a kid is not an excuse, and that people won't bend backwards for you all the time, and that even Mr. Nice Guys can be wicked and big jerks sometimes.

I feel a bit guilty, because I myself hate it when I get ignored. But sometimes you got to do it, I suppose. And that's alright.

Because sometimes, even Mr. Nice Guy can be wicked...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lights, camera, answer...




Here's the reason why I was at work til a little before 11 last night. Hehe!

We were part of a presscon this afternoon, and I had to prepare some articles related to the activity.

This is one of the things that make work enjoyable. I'm always amused when I attend/watch a presscon, because the room has a tendency to get charged with energy and ideas especially when the topic is kind of controversial. Hehe!

I dunno if the camera flash, the presence of so many TV cameras, plus the media adds to the rush during a presscon.

While I enjoy having these events, I'm also happy just to be a spectator. I can imagine how stressful it could be to answer the questions fielded by reporters. Every word that comes out of your mouth could be interpreted in a million ways. The slightest movement of the lips, the eyebrows, the eyes could be scrutinized. Hehe!

Going back to this afternoon's activity, I'm glad that it turned out quite well. The releases were distributed properly. I got the photo I needed. There were some challenging questions, but as expected, my boss addressed them well.

Just really happy that this over now. Looking forward to see the papers tomorrow.

And I really wish the whole H1N1 issue would just be miraculously solved already.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Caught dancing on a Thursday night... aka my own Hayden Kho scandal... Haha

Hehehe! Found this on the Multiply site of a classmate at the gym.

So this is what I'm getting myself into every Tuesday and Thursday night. Engel dragged me into this, and I sort of dragged Mich into it. Hehe!

The guy who teaches the class is Reagan Cornelio. He is (or he was??) a member of the Philippine All Stars.

The first 30 minutes of the class, we do a series of routines. For the second half of the class, Reagan introduces new choreography every four or six sessions. He's a good teacher. Very patient and he tries to adjust the choreography according to the class' level of proficiency. Hehehe!

Anyway, this was the most recent song we were dancing to. Wait, my classmates were dancing and I was trying to make it look like I was dancing. Hehe!

The music is O'Neal McKnight's Champagne Red Lights. Before this, we did Akon's Keep You Much Longer. Both songs I absolutely enjoyed, but Champagne Red Lights had more manageable choreography for mere mortals. Haha!

Can you see the struggling boy in the third row? Hahaha!

Hinay hinay sa pang-okray, okay? Hehehe!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happiness is a magnet, among others...




Happiness comes in all shapes and sizes. And sometimes, the happiest comes from really unexpected (and sometimes expected) things. Hehe!

Three things that made me happy this weekend are the Wicked magnet, which was a pasalubong from Roy (totally unexpected); then getting the last copy of Milk DVD at a video store (again, totally unexpected); and a good lunch from Binalot. Hehehe!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

The thing about being single for almost three years now...


The thing about being single for almost three years now...

is that you either slightly get used to it or you become comfortable with it. What's the difference? With the former, it's more like you don't like the situation but since that's the current status, you learn to get used to it. With the latter, you actually have no issues whatsoever about being on solo flight in life (at least, for now.)

I was telling fellow singles Whaxter and colleague from work Reena my thought that the reason why I'm not probably meeting anyone is because I've moved on from being used to the situation to being comfortable with the solo flight (at least, for now.)

Uhm, I have no issues watching movies on my own. When the waiter at a restaurant asks me how many will be dining with me, I can answer immediately, "Just one. Me. Thanks." At a recent shopping trip, I was perfectly fine deciding on my own whether I should go with the purchase or not.

Whaxter and Reena shared the same sentiments. That gave me some sense of relief. At least, I know I'm not alone on this boat. Hehe.

Whaxter and I acknowledged though that there are times when we do get lonely, and that's perfectly fine, I suppose. We tried to identify which situations make us want to go out and proactively take measures to change our Facebook statuses. Hehehe!

Family gatherings. When you have siblings that would eventually get married and have kids, and at the family gathering you're just on your own, hmm, that could set the "something's missing" button on.

Sick days. Early this year, I wrote about how I brought myself to the ER of Makati Med on my own. The people whom I thought could accompany still had a hangover from the festivities, so I ended up getting myself into a cab and bringing myself to the ER of MMC. When I told the guard that I was the patient, I think he was surprised because from my huge built, he probably assumed I was as healthy as a horse. Hehe!

Anyway, I remember also this one time when I was really ill with fever. It was late in the evening, and I was going to go out to buy myself meds. What I got from the ex was some scolding and seeing him heading out of the door to buy the meds. That was sweet, I got to admit. Hehe!

Really bad days. There are really days when you feel like the whole world is going against you, and when that happens you want this one person to tell you that everything is going to be just fine. Of course, hearing the words "I love you" is a major, major plus, as well. Hehe!

Travel. For the longest time, I've been postponing the trip to Cambodge because I couldn't find any person who was willing to go with me. Or I would find one but our scheds wouldn't meet.

(But the good news is the Cambodge trip is going to happen this year!!!) Thank heavens for Wesley who is on a travel mode this year.)

But what about Europe, Macchu Pichu, or Borobodur?! I have yet to find a travel buddy for those. And what about Paris? Is it that easy to find someone who will be just as excited over Avenue Montaigne? Or what about New York? When Rent goes onstage again, who will I drag to Broadway? Hehe!

Other than these instances,it seems that I (and I'd like to believe most of my single friends) feel just fine. And besides, when the need for a company does arise, I have no one to turn to but fellow single friends, as well.

How many times have I been the plus one to a friend? Hehe! I've attended two weddings of people I don't know because gal pals asked me to be their man accessory. I've attended a celebratory dinner for a person I don't even know, because someone needs a rescue. Hehehe! Not that I'm complaining. I actually enjoy it. Hehehe!

Hmm, I wonder if this a sign of some kind of pride?! Because really I'm sure even the coldest person in the entire universe would still appreciate a warm hand to hold or a comforting hug from another person. Not just any other person, someone you actually have genuine romantic feelings for.

And every once in a while, it feels super good to have that kilig feeling, right?

These days, though, where does one really find a date? But that's a whole other topic, I suppose.

Oh well, random thoughts on a Thursday morning.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fatherhood becomes me... Hahaha

I wonder who's having it more difficult - a woman looking for a sperm donor or a man looking for an egg donor.

In past entries, I have mentioned that I dream of becoming a father (but not a husband... well, husband in a traditional context, at least). I didn't really think I would one day think about fatherhood, but the thought has been at the back of my mind for two, maybe three years now.

Uhm, I'm not thinking of doing it any time soon though. Man, just hearing how much pre-school costs these days is enough to make me postpone the plan... hehe! But when the time that I feel like I'm ready to raise a child does come, I wonder where I'm going to find a healthy egg for one of my (hopefully) healthy swimmers.

We hear about sperm banks and sperm donors. I wonder if there is such a thing as an egg bank? I'm sure that there are egg donors, because I came across some articles on it. But would I really want the egg of a complete stranger? Or should one already be content from knowing that the egg donor is a healthy, smart, pretty individual?

And how exactly does that work?

A woman who wants to bear a child can have an agreement with the man that he should get lost after he gives his end of the bargain.

But for a man who wants to have a child, I have a feeling it's going to be more complicated. How would the arrangement with the woman be? Would he just give a cup of his reproductive produce to the fertile woman and then wait for her with the healthy baby after nine months? Should he be present during the pregnancy months, just to make sure that the baby is well? What if some kind of attraction arises between the two? What if the woman decides she wants to be part of the kid's life?

Yaiks! I shudder at the thought of being forced to live with someone just because they brought a child into the world together.

Or maybe, just maybe, I would actually turn out to be an extremely lucky guy, and find someone who's not only willing to raise a child, but already has a child. Hehehe!

Oh well, we'll see. We'll see. With the way things are going, it looks like my two younger brothers have the bigger chance of becoming a father. Hehe!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

From all Pahinungods: Thank you, Ma'am Leddy..










The only low of the long weekend was getting the news that Dr. Leddy Cariño passed away Friday morning.

Dr. Cariño is an esteemed professor of UP. But to me and thousands of others, she will always be the "Mother" of the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod.

Sometime in the 90s, UP got a lot of criticism. It started with an article published in a daily - "Has UP lost its soul?" The University was being accused that its students were losing a sense of "service to the nation." To prove the article wrong, then UP President Emil Javier, together with Dr. Cariño, the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod was formed. Several faculty/constituents from the other UP campuses who believed in the thrust of the group came forward and helped build the Pahinungod program in the autonomous campuses. Dr. Padilla, Dr. de Villa, Prof. Cuevas, another Dr. de Villa were some of them.

Pahinungod is a Cebuano term and it was the closest to the word "oblation." I was still in high school back then but I knew about Pahinungod because my family did several catering services for their functions.

Pahinungod rekindled the spirit of volunteerism within the University like a forest fire. Hundreds, thousands of Iskos and Iskas got themselves immersed in volunteer work. I'd like to clear something here. I've always believed that (a huge chunk of) UP students have always been dedicated to community work/service. In UP Manila, I've heard of the stories of Dr. Bobby I forget his last name, Dr. Mario de Villa, among others who went to the communities to provide medical service. I'm betting my diploma that the other student organizations/faculties also had similar endeavors.

If I remember correctly though, what Pahinungod provided was several more venues for Iskolars ng Bayan to be a living oblation. It was the first time a University-wide volunteer program was implemented, and for several years (and even until now), UP students are getting bitten by the volunteer bug through Pahinungod.

I was lucky enough to be part of the group after college. It was close to being the best work experience. I loved what I did so much that I didn't even want to call it work. Pahinungod and its leaders like Dr. Cariño have taught me so much about volunteerism and things that I wouldn't have learned within the four walls of the classroom. For that alone, I would always be forever grateful.

Pahinungod volunteers have a private joke. They say that once you become a Pahinungod, some kind of chip is installed in you and when the need for volunteers arise, that chip is activated and you'd know exactly where to go and what to do.

Last Friday, that chip was activated again. After getting the saddening news from Marian, we agreed to meet today. As I have expected, the chips of the other Pahinungod volts were also activated. People I haven't seen for so long were there at the Church of the Risen Lord to pay tribute to Dr. Cariño one last time. People who have been an inspiration to me.

The service was a really beautiful one. There was a some sadness in the air over the loss of a great person, but more than that, one could really feel the celebration of the beautiful life she lived and how she touched the hearts of so many people. Former Pahinungod directors from the different campuses shared touching stories about Ma'am Leddy. Pres. Javier was also there to pay tribute to her. It was really a wonderful gathering.

Thank you, Dr. Cariño for everything. Your memory will live on in every Pahinungod volunteer.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Dubai OFW is in town...






The weekend turned out to be a meeting of strangers, lovers, husbands, wives.

While the other night saw a get-together with Multiply buddies Whaxter and Angelo, Friday was a get-together with college classmate/barkada/really good friend Eden.

Eden moved to Dubai a couple of years ago, and she's currently in town for almost a month-long vacation. She's one of the dearest people in my life. We fondly call each other Mi Amore. Harhar! It goes way back to our UP Manila days, and we were both hooked to this Kapamilya teleserye of Jolina and Marvin. Hehehe! The name of the teleserye now escapes me, but the term of endearment from the show remains. Haha!

I was really excited when she said that she was coming home. The last time we saw each other, our other college friend/barkada Charmy was still in town. That was years ago.

Anyway, we met up at Edsa Shang and from there, we took a cab going to Charmy's house. We were going to get something from Charmy's brother RA and we wanted to see the kiddies - Erika and Elkie - as well. Charmy's place is really special because it brings back so many memories of college days. Haha! Right, Charms?!

It's a good thing we still remember how to get to the area. The only problem was we couldn't remember the house number. So for a couple of minutes, we were knocking at the wrong house. Hahaha!

We went right past Charmy's house. Hehe! We were greeted by the kiddies, who are all grown up already and Charmy's mom. I can't believe how fast the kids are growing. And I love it that they were so warm.

From Mandaluyong, Eden and I went to Makati to meet up with another classmate/barkada, Lovelynn. I was also really excited to see Lovelynn as well because the last time we saw each other, she was still to become a mother of two. Also joining us was Mardie, a former work colleague of Eden who became a really good friend to me. I haven't seen her for so long, and I'm really glad that she decided to go.

We agreed to have dinner at John and Yoko. It was my first time to dine at the place. The food was great. The service wasn't at all. First, what's up with the snobbish food servers? Second, how many times do we have to keep on asking for something before they actually give it. Hay, I doubt if I would be going back to that restau again.

Anyway, I was having such a good time that I decided to let the whole thing with the restaruatn pass. After leaving John and Yoko, we headed to CBTL for some caffeine, bad Toblerone cheesecake (Ugh!) and more happy stories.

By nine, Lovelynn's kiddies were already tired and sleepy. We took one last photo, and then said our goodbyes. Eden, Mardie and I made our way to Bed Space at the 3/F for a couple of beers. We called it a night past midnight.

Thank you, Eden. I'm super happy to see you.

What we forgot to do is get Eden and Lovelynn to sign cards, which I planned to send to Charmy and Len. Eeeeek!!! Sorry, Charms and Len. I'm already forgetful. Sign of aging. Hehe! Babawi, promise.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Coffee with the other Angelo (+ Whaxteroo...)




What I thought would be a gimik-less Thursday night turned out to be quite interesting.

Since I knew today would be a holiday and Thursday was so good, I was really psyched for a night-out. I didn't want to miss the Reagan's dance class, so I just asked the usual suspects at the office to message me where to meet up later in the evening.

An hour of spinning and another hour of dancing later, I got myself a surprise when I got messages that no plans would materialize. I guess not everyone was as psyched to party as I was. Hehe.

All of a sudden I was gimik-less. It was amusing.

I was already at the bus stop and ready to accept defeat, when Multiply friend Angelo responded to a text reply. I was asking him where he got his piercing, and his reply included a coffee get-together.

Gave him a call and after finding out that his building was just a couple of streets away from mine, we agreed to meet up at a nearby Starbucks. Whoopppee! Angelo gave Whaxter a call to ask where he was. A couple of minutes after he hung up, Whaxter was already approaching our table. Another whoopppee!

It's been so long since the last time I met another Angelos. But here's an amusing piece of info with this guy. We were born on the same date - October 22 - but different year. Through grade school, HS and college, I've always met one friend whose birthday is also Oct. 22. What's up with that date?

Anyway, the three of us just hung out and chatted for about an hour, talking about people, relationships (or the lack of it, for me and Whaxter... haha!), Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan, among others.

By the time I was done with my Apple Berry Freeze (my new fave), Angelo had to go back to the office. Whaxter and I stayed on a bit and talked some more about damatans stuff. Hehe!

A bit of a gist of our topic. Whaxter and I are somewhat on the same boat. I was telling him, "Whaxter, I've a feeling that I'm not meeting anyone because somewhere in the deepest recesses of my mind, I know that I'm just fine on my own. I have no issues watching movie alone, or eating out by myself. Neither do I feel vulnerable when I'm doing my solo paseo at the mall." He said that's exactly how it is for him, too. I won't delve much into this. Thoughts on this topic are reserved for another blog post. Hehe!

Half past midnight, Whaxter and I called it a night. We got up, gave each other our usual tight hug and bid each other goodbye.

I'm really glad the get-together happened. Angelo, thank you for the saving. Hehe! Whaxter, always happy to see you.

Alonzo, on your absence, I've this to say, "Zannen desu ne!!!" =( Next time definitely.

Happy Thursday night.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What keeps most of my weekday nights busy...



Only because I have nothing better to write about. Hehe!

This is where I've been spending my weekday nights and Saturday noontimes - the spinning room and/or the dance studio at Gold's Glorietta.

I really didn't think that I would be the gym-going kind of guy. I once told Tey that that was one thing missing in my "happy" DNA, and it seems like I'm proven wrong. Hehe! It is only now that I'm really beginning to appreciate the gym.

I'm particularly addicted to the group classes. First is the spinning.

My first taste of a spinning was a couple of years ago at the Fitness First in ABS. Edsel invited me to a trial workout, and I absolutely enjoyed the spinning. I was close to having a cardiac arrest that afternoon when I got off the bike, but I was really happy because I really enjoyed the group class.

Unfortunately, that was the only time I got to do spinning. I was working in Manila then and at that time, no FF in Robinson's yet. Then FF came but membership was quite expensive. I just wasn't ready to shell out a monthly fee of P2K++.

When I found out about the deal between Gold's and my workplace, I took advantage of it. It was a super good deal. The monthly fee is super, super dirt cheap, and the membership type is the one where I can work out in any branch of Gold's. Woohoo!

So since February, I've been attending the spinning classes in Glorietta, and I'm in love with it. The week is incomplete whenever I would miss the class, and I try to really squeeze in the group class in the crazy work sched.

I've already attended the classes of three out of four (I think) instructors and each one has its own pros. I love David's Monday and Wednesday class (8PM) because his method of teaching and motivation is notable. You can tell if a person is really a teacher. And David is. Even when we're all dying already in the last 15 minutes, he can still push us to our limits.

I love Toby's Tuesday and Thursday class (6:30PM) and Saturday noontime because his music is really great. Some students probably get tired of hearing the same set almost every week but not me. I easily fall into habit, so I have no problem listening to Mary J. Blige's Just Fine every week. Hehe!

Emy's class is also good (Tuesday and Thursday at 8PM) and her way of handling the class is quite unique as well. You'll hear a lot of yelling from her and from the students. Hehe!

Uhm, I seldom attend her class though because it's as the same time as the street dance class, which colleague Engel got me to start attending. Hehe!

That leads me to the other class I love. Every Tuesday and Thursday, close to maybe fifty people dance to Akon, Usher, Craig David, among others, while I try to make it appear like I'm dancing as well. Haha! The class is quite popular. I dunno if it's because of the teacher - Philippine All Stars' Reagan or if it's because of the dance routine. Or maybe both. What is great about Reagan is that the routine he teaches may be difficult but still doable by mere mortals. No side steps or grapevines here. Hehe! Although there were a couple of times I swear I was going to get into an ACL injury because of all the twisting. Hehe!

For the past few weeks, we've been working on Akon's Keep You Much Longer and so far, it's the song and dance routine that I love, love, love the most. Hehehe! Last night we started on O'Neal McKnight's Champagne Red Lights.

What I'm really lazy at though are the machines. The basic weights I try to do as much as possible, but the machines, oh the machines. Not only do I get bored by it, I only stick to the ones I know how to operate. Hehe!

My membership is going to expire this July. I'll have to make a loan to pay for another year's membership, but it's okay because I can still avail of the special rate. Plus, at least I don't have to worry about paying for it for the next 12 months, errr... make that 13 months since we get an extra month free if we enroll for a year. Okay na din.

Now if only my "happy" DNA would continue to evolve so that I could learn how to be grossed out by carbs. Hahaha!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Good Mizuno Run... Yey for the Sun...

Today was the big day for the Mizuno Infinity Run.

After the "high" from the Condura Run last March, I couldn't wait for my next run so I was really looking forward to the event. Aside from that, several of the usual suspects from PA were going to join again. In fact, some of the kiddies at the office signed up for the run as well. Woohoo! Way to go, Mich, Faith and Kring!

Similar to the Condura Run, Tey and I agreed to meet up at the Shell station in McKinley. From there, we drove to the Fort. There weren't as many runners, but the excitement, the adrenaline, the raring to start the run were very much up in the air.

My biggest concern for the race was the rain. Uhm, I'm not really a fan of the rain and I wasn't really planning on getting the new pair of Adidas drenched in rain on its debut outside of the gym. Hehe! Sorry, I'm just really extra careful with my shoes because I can't afford to splurge on a new pair whenever I want.

Anyway, I couldn't be happier when it stopped raining on Saturday night. Plus, I (and I’m sure all the other runners also did) prayed really hard for sun on the morning of the race, and it seems like the prayers were heard. It was a beautiful day for a run.

Finished the 5K in 41:20 or something like that. I lost a lot of time when I stopped by two drinking stations. Ugh! Uhm, but I was still happy because I was within the usual time it takes me to finish a 5K.

The run seemed to be well-organized. It should be after last year’s run got so much criticism. I wasn't there, but I read the blog posts on the 08 Infinity Run and reviews were ugly. Anyway, this one seemed quite good. Check-in area was organized. Lots of marshals to guide runners. Lots of water stations. I felt so guilty throwing away the plastic cups on the road though. Eeeep! And then, there's an orderly distribution of freebies. The singlet looks like it's made of good quality and the fit is just right.

Congrats to the race organizers!

Once the PA gang was all done, we headed to the Mcdo in Forbes Town for a lively breakfast. I really had a great time with everyone, and I'm certainly looking forward to the next run.

There's a GIG Run in UPD on June 28. I'm thinking of joining it. It would be great to be in a new running environment. Hmm, maybe I can try a 10K in my next run? Hahaha!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Twenty Five Songs I Can't Live Without

Because I'm still not feeling the "writing."

Once you've been tagged, you're supposed to write down 25 songs you cannot live without. You know, the ones you can listen to over and over and never get tired of. They don't have to be in any particular order. These are the songs that make you laugh, cry, think of an old friend - whatever the reason. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. To do this, go to "notes" under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 songs, tag 25 people then click publish.

In no particular order.

1. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2
2. Take a Bow - Madonna
3. 40 Kinds of Sadness - Ryan Cabrera
4. I'll Cover You - Rent OST
5. Bare - Bare OST
6. Wherever You Will Go - The Calling
7. Will I Survive - Introvoys
8. Minsan - Eraserheads
9. I Believe - Altar Boyz OST
10. I Need You - Aida OST
11. What It Feels Like For a Girl - Madonna
12. To Be Loved - Curtis Stigers
13. Elaborate Lives - Aida OST
14. As Long As You're Mine - Wicked OST
15. Kung Ako Na Lang Sana - Bituin Escalante
16. Bituing Walang Ningning - Sharon Cuneta
17. Someday We'll Know - New Radicals
18. I am Changing - Dreamgirls OST
19. Superstar - Carpenters
20. You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine - Michael Buble
21. Never - Roc Project feat. Tina Arena
22. In Praise of the Sun - Chicane
23. Happy - Album Unknown
24. Crush - David Archuleta
25. Once in a While - Rocky Horror OST

Haha! I"m such a showtunes guy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Why Ryan Reynolds ran the NYC marathon...

Since I'm still not feeling the "writing," let me just post here something that's sort of a motivation for the Sunday run and for the other runs that will come, as long as my knees don't give in. Hahaha!

Shared by my running idol/work colleague Arlyn.


Why I'm Running the New York City Marathon (by Ryan Reynolds)

A couple of years ago, I walked uptown to Central Park on one of those perfect November days. The air had a bite to it while the sun shone bright. It was the day of the New York Marathon and I thought it might be fun to watch the runners nearing the finish line. So, I joined the crowd about a half-mile before the race's end at Tavern On The Green. With my arms resting on the cold cordon, I saw an incredible spectacle of people pushed to the very brink of collapse. I expected exhaustion, but what I didn't expect was to see just how much these runners had to EARN their prize. It was emotional. The pain was etched into their faces so deeply, you'd swear they'd spend the next 3 weeks looking like Abe Vigoda. I saw guys coming in to finish with bleeding nipples. Why in the hell were their nipples bleeding? People were crying. People were limping, hobbling, screaming, crawling. But most importantly, people were experiencing a sublime rapture that I couldn't even hope to understand. They were touching something magical no stalk-still mortal simply watching the race could comprehend. These people had accomplished something real. At that moment, with all the energy, inspiration and passion swirling through the crisp autumnal air, I breathed in deeply and decided something: I'd never fucking do that ever, ever. What in the fuck were these idiots thinking? Bleeding nipples. Bleeding. Nipples.

Two years later, by some tragic backwards prophecy, I find myself signed up to run in the New York City Marathon. Every other day I train. I run like a bastard all morning. Not since the discovery of Junior High School has a torture been so effective. Why on earth would I willfully do this? On behalf of my Father, Jim Reynolds, who's spent the last 15 years in a life or death struggle with Parkinson's Disease.

Let it be known at the outset, I am not a runner. I am a running joke. Waking up at 4:30 am and jogging anywhere from 11 to 23 miles has been nothing short of horrifying. Although, I've never given birth to a professional basketball player through one of my tear ducts, I can't imagine a worse way to start the day. Conversely, some people have real problems. I digress...

A year and a half ago, I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Michael J. Fox. Like so many before me, I found it impossible not to be touched by his story of overwhelming strength, passion and relentless commitment to help those afflicted with this insidious disease. The man is inspiration exemplified. Plus, he was in Back To The Future. Which was, well, awesome. In a moment of extremely poor judgment, I offered to do something big for him--I offered to compete in the New York City Marathon. Which was, well... dumb.

While I'll probably never fully understand Michael's struggle, I've had a first hand peek behind the curtain of Parkinson's. I've watched my father -- a strong and proud person who successfully raised 4 arguably insane children - slowly, cruely stripped of his independence. His golden years robbed without explanation. It quite obviously sucks. Witnessing my Dad suffer over the years galvanized my need to step up. On November 2nd, I'll join thousands of other men and women to march in lockstep solidarity toward searing psychic pain and physical humilation.

One of the reasons I chose RUNNING specifically, was because (as Murakami so eloquently put it) my competition is the most formidable foe of all; ME. The person I have to beat is the guy I was last week. The person I was yesterday. Indescribably worse, those affected by Parkinson's wage a similar war in their own bodies every single day. Unlike a marathon, their struggle won't end in a shallow pool of vomit just outside Tavern On The Green while waiting for an ambulance. They continue day in and day out, silently battling away in the most personal of struggles.

Yes. I'm asking for a donation. I don't do this with any degree of levity. I know we're in rough times and there are literally millions of causes worthy of your hard earned cash. It's my hope the story of my father combined with my own goal of becoming the first person in history to sob uncontrollably for 26.2 miles straight, may inspire you to give something too.

Please know that NO DONATION IS TOO SMALL - and certainly, no donation is too large. And If you don't give anything at all, maybe I've primed you for a future donation in someone else's name. For someone else's cause.

If you visit the site below, you'll be directed to my page on the Team Fox Website. Michael's foundation has raised over 100 million dollars in the fight against PD. On my page you can leave a personal note of support or mockery along with your donation.

In the end, no matter how much I mythologize this run, no matter how much I choose to romanticize this campaign against my own will, lungs and ambition... there's always going to be that guy who finished the marathon on a pair of prosthetic legs. And there'll always be my Dad. And Michael. And Millions of others who bounce back off the ropes against all odds. So, I promise I won't congratulate myself too much.

Finally, if you happen to be in New York on November 2nd, come down and watch. Feel free to bring a smile, automated defibrillator, or a fresh set of nipples. (Reynolds finished the NYC Marathon briskly in 3:50).