Monday, October 20, 2014

UM on time sharing with GVM / Good Vibes Monday!

So I told my friend Reese one evening (well, wee hours of morning, to be accurate) that I was considering retiring Ukay Monday. Shopping has taken a backseat in my list of priorities, mainly because I'm not really a girly girl to begin with. Although ukay-ukay is still very cheap, I've refrained from entering stores because I'm saving up for other things (my own boxing gloves so I can give Franco's back, and my own gi! Woot!).

A part of me feels kinda sad about giving up the category, because I'm really a big ukay-ukay junkie. But to be perfectly honest, I find it a bit challenging to write about clothing because I'm not exactly a fashion plate (I just like cheap stuff, haha!). I don't know what's in, I just know the basics, the classics. I don't know much about fabrics. Bottom line, there's only so much I can say about clothing.

But because I don't really have the heart to retire the category completely, I've decided to do a time-sharing thing. Besides, 'retire' is a bit too extreme considering that I can write an Ukay Monday post again in the future if I so wished. Haha! So let's call it an "alternate."

Reese and I tried to brainstorm for possible alternates. She suggested movies, but because I'm not a big movie buff (not anymore, actually), it's not really something I'm too keen about. Besides, I usually just watch films adapted from books I've read/want to read. I'm also not a foodie - I eat a lot, yes, but my palate is very simple, so that's not exactly a great option for me, either.
Start the week right.
(image from the internet)
She then recommended posting a joke, at the same moment I thought of posting an inspirational quote to set the mood for the week. And that's when it hit us: GOOD VIBES MONDAY! Haha! The category will feature anything and everything GOOD VIBES (that won't fall into any of the other categories, of course). It'll be purely curated content, because the internet is a wonderful place!

As a first Good Vibes Monday post, here's one of my favorite videos, shared to me by my adopted brother, JR:


Saturday, October 18, 2014

An opportunity - part three

The Managing Director (MD) was this super cool and incredibly fit woman - I'm guessing she's in her late forties or early fifties at the most. I liked her instantly - when I hit that age, I'd want to be just as healthy and vital. Anyway, the interview with her was very casual, which made me wonder if it would have been okay to dress down.

Most of the conversation was about mixed martial arts. She asked me why I'm trying to make my way in a man's world, and I told her the story about the first MMA event that I attended, how I felt so bad for fighters who couldn't even afford the most basic protective gear like mouth guards and groin guards.

What I witnessed from that first event moved me, and I wanted to do something. I wanted to help amateur fighters by giving them an avenue where they can make their way to the professional leagues. I wanted to help develop the sport in the country, to make it more mainstream, to make it more accessible to the public.

I doubt that we will find another Manny Pacquiao in the near future, at least not in boxing - so it's a matter of finding the next great Filipino fighter in another sport, which is MMA. The MD told me that I shouldn't try to compete with men, and I assured her that I wasn't trying. I told her that I'm working with them - after all, great men need equally great women behind them. Haha!
Desk job again? Hmmmm.
(photo from the internet)
She then asked me the question that I anticipated but somehow failed to prepare for - was I willing to give up my freedom as a freelancer for a nine to five? Although I still had some doubts, I said yes, because I needed some stability in my life - which is actually very true. I love doing freelance work, but the erratic schedule makes it difficult for me to pursue my new passion for martial arts.

We ended the interview on a cheery note. She told me that they'll be in touch. The following Sunday, I flew to Cebu.

To be continued...


Friday, October 17, 2014

FTF / Bagnetized

Why does unhealthy food have to be the yummiest? That is the question I've been trying to find an answer to since I discovered junk food. Haha! But seriously now, I have this on-again, off-again love affair with pork. When I taught myself how to cook, I focused mainly on chicken, fish, beef, and vegetable recipes in an effort to get healthier. So when I'm confronted with a raw slab of pork, I really don't know what to do with it (bacon being the exception, of course).

As such, my pork consumption is limited to places beyond my home - my friends' homes, and of course, restaurants. And topping my go-to list for the fried sort is 8065 Bagnet in Estrella Street, San Antonio Village, Makati. I had lunch with my little sis/BJJ champ Abi one random Thursday after a sleepover, and my goodness, it was AWESOME.
More than the food, what I really loved about 8065 Bagnet is the homey feel of the place. I went cray-cray taking photos of everything - they had books and original art and all these wonderful accents one would find in an old home, and I am officially in love with the place! I'm a huge fan of old things (I've been told I'm an old soul, and I've also been told that I'm just old, haha!), so everything about the restaurant is wonderful to me.
These caught my eye. And I photobombed them, sorry.
Bagnet Art
Now I'm craving! Argh
The wait staff are very warm and courteous (but not high-strung like some over-caffeinated baristas in Starbucks, haha!). Overall, I had a really great experience there. Pay them a visit on your next bagnet craving! They have a branch near La Salle, as well, if you're from that area. :)


Thursday, October 16, 2014

LT / Letters to the woman

A little over a month ago, I was in Cebu for the Asian Carriers Conference 2014. It was a really exhausting but also really fulfilling experience, and I'm very grateful to have been part of the project. I arrived Sunday night, and all I had time for was work until Friday night. My down time finally started on Saturday, and I made the most of it, of course.

I did some laps in the pool and I also took a dip in the white sand beach. I wasn't able to soak in the tub in my room, but it's okay because I took long, luxurious showers throughout the week. And when everyone else in the team left for their respective afternoon activities, I decided to stay in the room to have some quiet time for writing.
Senti much?
The stationery of Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa was just wonderful, and so I got really excited to write. I decided to write a letter to my Mom.

Our client for that project is PLDT, the same company my Mom worked for most of her life. I got to chat with some attendees and as it turns out, a number of them actually knew her (and my godfathers, too!)! It made me so happy and giddy until I realized that picking up my phone to call Mom isn't really an option anymore.

So I wrote to her. I told her about the event, and then some. As I was writing on the balcony overlooking lush greens, I took a photo, which I posted on Instagram and Facebook. On the Facebook version, I got a comment from my friend Eros - he gave me the idea to write and compile letters, and then publish a book.

What an awesome idea, eh? So right then and there, I decided that I'm going to write to my Mom whenever I travel! And maybe I'll have a book in a year!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MW / HOPIA in Hayahay

My most recent trip to Dumaguete was absolutely incredible - I got to try a lot of new things and see a number of new and old places. But the best parts of the trip were the surprises, and HOPIA's gig was one of them.
Great album!
I've been a fan of Dumaguete-based musical ensemble HOPIA since my friend Jerry (the band's saxophonist, who also played sax for Familiar) couriered a copy to me. When I flew to Dumaguete last June, the band didn't have a single gig the whole time I was there, so I wasn't able to watch them perform live. And when I told my friends there that I was going to visit again, no one mentioned that there would be a gig, so I assumed there was none.
The pillars got in the way of the photos...
But not in the way of their awesome sound.
So imagine my surprise when, on Thursday afternoon, I got a text from Jerry saying that HOPIA had a gig in Hayahay at 10:30pm, which was perfect because I had a meeting at 9:30pm. My other friend, Andy, actually called me in the middle of the meeting to tell me that they've already started setting up, and I was getting agitated because I didn't want to be late.

I was told that I missed two songs from their short set, but the songs I heard were really awesome. It was great to hear Jerry play live again; the last time I got to listen to him was many years back, when he was still with Familiar. Hopia, their lead vocalist, was equally awesome, as was the rest of the group. Great job, guys! I hope to hear you again the next time I'm there! :)


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

HFT / I finally hit the mats

And I got killed. Haha! After months and months of trying to find the time to give Brazilian jiu-jitsu a try, I finally got to do it. Woohoo! And the funny thing is, I did it all the way in Dumaguete City, Negros Island!

Back story: I met Franco last May, a few weeks before I left for Dumaguete for the first time this year. We became friends, and as with most friends these days, we followed one another on Instagram. To make up for my being a bad tourist in 2012 the first time I flew to Dumags (I only took 30 photos over a period of eight days), I posted a lot of photos of the places I visited on Instagram. He found them really nice, and on my part, I made sure to invite him and our other DEFTAC friends. After ACC 2014, I went to Dumaguete for a vacation, as did Franco, and I put together an itinerary that included two nights of BJJ/MMA training.
Happy tired!
We trained in Pure Muscle, the gym of DEFTAC Dumaguete. As it was my very first real session, I really struggled and it wasn't pretty! Haha! My sparring partner was Sookie, who already has some experience in muay thai and grappling, and she really brought her A-game. After one round, I begged Franco to just give me drills - I didn't have the right skill set just yet. That, and I'm a wuss! Haha!

Aside from being a total beginner, I was also the only one in a gi, which JR lent me. I don't own a rashguard or leggings for no-gi training, and because I didn't want to keep rubbing my skin against the gym mats, I insisted on wearing a gi. Which was fine because not only was my skin protected, I actually felt so warm in it that I got to sweat profusely - I had mild fever after Apo Island, so I felt much better after the workout.

The second night was more of the same - as Franco taught the DEFTAC Dumaguete folks some fighting concepts and techniques, I had a little corner for solo drills that forced me to take pain relievers the next morning for the trip to Oslob, Cebu. But I'm not complaining - after a couple of months of no exercise because of ACC, it felt great to get physical again.

The folks at BAMF MMA Center make it look so easy, but let me tell you now that BJJ is not easy - especially for beginners who have little or no background in martial arts. Aside from not having any technical knowledge of the sport, I'm also not physically strong (at least not at the time of the session, having come from months of zero activity). Again, wuss.

I have a long way to go, and to be perfectly honest, I haven't quite decided yet if Brazilian jiu-jitsu is for me. But I'm sure that I want to give it a shot - Franco suggested that I train for a year to find out for certain. So right now, another item just made it to my "To Buy" list, after a pair of gloves: my very own gi! :)


Monday, October 13, 2014

UM / There's ukay in Siquijor!

I guess this shouldn't be surprising anymore, but whatever - I was still pleasantly surprised that there was an ukay-ukay shop in the enchanted island of Siquijor! I went there last September with my friend Franco (please expect a bunch of posts about our Negros Island-Siquijor-Cebu adventure in the coming days) and when we stopped for lunch at a small local eatery, the ukay-ukay store immediately caught my attention.
Dig in!
Just hangin'
It wasn't like the stores I would often go to in Guadalupe or Cubao. It's actually a sari-sari store, but with a small ukay-ukay section. I didn't have the chance to browse through the items because we were just starting with the island tour and we didn't really have much time to spare. But from one look, I could tell that the selection was a bit limited. For what it's worth, though, they're really cheap.

So if you ever find yourself in Siquijor and you suddenly feel a strong itch to go thrift shopping - there's a shop there for you!