Saturday, October 25, 2014

An opportunity - part four

While I was in Cebu, I got a text message from the HR rep of the advertising company I applied to - she informed me that I got the job, and that I should wait for the offer. I went on vacation after the event, and a part of me expected the offer to be ready by then because I was told that the position was urgent.

With or without the offer, however, I was ready to take the job when I got back. I spent a lot of time in Cebu thinking about what I had to do, and I decided that I was going to take the day job, be good at it, and dedicate all my spare time to MMA. I had it all figured out, and by the time I got to Dumaguete, I was ready to enjoy my vacation, at peace with my decision.
Where to, then?
(photo from the internet)
But while I was on vacation, something happened, and for the nth time in my life, I found myself in the proverbial fork in the road again.

Our friends from DEFTAC Dumaguete hosted Franco and I for most of the trip (thank you, John and Gayle, for being absolutely wonderful!). The local MMA scene has been inactive as of late, and one of the local businessmen there is looking to revive it. They basically asked for our advice on how to go about it, and of course we were ready to help.

The meeting took a different turn when he asked Franco and I to be part of the business, with an offer of 20% of profits at no capital outlay from our end - just sweat equity. The best part about the offer is that it would give me the opportunity to fulfill a dream, which is to move to Dumaguete.

The target was to launch the project by December, which means that if I were to take it on full-time, I would need to move by November.

To be continued...


Friday, October 24, 2014

FTF / Make pizza, play basketball

It was the Friday night before I was set to leave for Cebu for the Asian Carriers Conference, JR passed by the condo to drop off the gi I borrowed (after Cebu, I was going to go to Dumaguete to give Franco a grand tour, and in return, I begged him to give me jiu-jitsu lessons at Pure Muscle, the gym of DEFTAC Dumaguete). He hasn't had dinner and neither have I, so we decided to give Project Pie in Park Square a try.

I like making pizza at home because I get to choose what goes in it. I'm a very picky eater, so if you ever have pizza at Shakey's with me, you'd see me taking out the bell peppers from the Manager's Choice before I start munching on my slice. For this reason, I have fallen completely in love with Project Pie. :)
Some find it plain, but I love it!
The Isay pizza is made of crust (duh), tomato sauce, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, prosciutto, bacon, tomatoes, onions, basil and rosemary. JR's was a bit weird for my taste - aside from the meats, he had jalapeno and pineapples! He didn't like my pizza and I absolutely hated his. Haha!

As it was a Friday night, the lines were really long. Despite that, we got our meal quite fast. And at Php285 to make one's own pizza, it's a really good deal! I'm definitely going back there on my next pizza craving. :)

Anyway, after eating, JR and I went to Timezone for some kiddie fun. I totally sucked at bowling and air hockey, but I did okay in basketball. One of the machines was broken so JR and I decided to pretend like we were playing on court! Haha!  But the best part about my Timezone experience was the massage chair - I needed to relax a little before ACC!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

LT / The world is a book

And those who do not travel only read the first page. I think it was St. Augustine who said that.
Last week, I shared that I have a new writing project - letters to my mother from every destination I visit. From my last trip, I managed to write a number of letters already (because I had a lot of stops), and I'm looking forward to my next trip if only to write more to her. And apart from the letters, I also rely on travel for new experiences that will inspire me to write, not just for my blog, but on my journals, and practically everything else.
Malabo Waterfalls, Pulang Bato, Valencia, Negros Island
It took a breakup for me to get that much-needed push to travel, and looking back, I couldn't help but feel even more grateful for what I thought back then would be the end of me. Well, it was the end of me - a part of me, that is. When the worst was over, I packed a bag and flew to Dumaguete, and the part of me that refused to live died in the process. I came back a new person, with a new thirst for life, and for travel.
Port of Dumaguete City at night
There is just so much to see out there, and if you don't travel, you're depriving yourself of the opportunity to know not just the world, but yourself, as well. When you travel, especially when you're alone, you open yourself up to a great deal of wonderful experiences you used to not have access to, and you learn so many things beyond your wildest imagination. You are also forced to open up to other people you meet on the way.
Apo Island
Dear reader, I urge you to travel. I urge you to leave the comfort of your home. I urge you to book a ticket and pack a bag - be it for a couple of nights or a couple of weeks or a couple of months. I urge you to go somewhere you've never been, for a fresh view, and maybe even a fresh start. If at all possible, travel alone - don't be afraid! It's when you're by yourself that you truly learn to depend on you, to enjoy your own company, and to love you.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

MW / Ampalaya The Musical

The timing for my second Dumaguete trip for 2014 couldn't have been more perfect. The weather was on my side the whole time, and I got to watch HOPIA perform live, too! And another great part was that the theatrical run of Ampalaya The Musical was set on the dates that I was there! Awesome!
Ampalaya The Musical is the adaptation of the legend of the vegetable Ampalaya (bitter melon). My friend Jerry was part of the cast - he played Sibuyas (onion), and my other friend Andy was the stage manager. It was staged in Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium inside Silliman University, and I dragged Franco with me to watch on the gala performance on Friday night.
Woot, Jerry!
Save for a few technical problems with the microphones, the entire production was an absolute delight to watch (Franco was LSS-ing after, haha!). Jerry was great in it, and I was soooooo proud of him - especially since I know that he has only been doing theater for a short time. He even lost weight - not sure if it's for the role or because of the role. Haha!
With my favorite onion!
Although some parts of the play were in the local language (Bisaya), I still enjoyed it immensely. I haven't watched a play in a while (the last was The Sound of Music), so it was a great addition to my trip. I even helped spread the word about it to the local Dumaguetenos I met during my stay!

Jerry and Andy, great job, you guys! Can't wait for your next production! :)


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

HFT / The sibling-hood of the traveling gi

I've been itching to give jiu-jitsu a try for a while now, mainly because my DEFTAC friends have been telling me that it's a great sport. I know it is, but I got too caught up with things to do for the Asian Carriers Conference (ACC) 2014 and the URCC, so I kept putting it off. The ACC was held in Cebu last September, and I decided to extend my stay and take a side trip to Dumaguete before I headed back home to Manila.

And because I couldn't put off Brazilian jiu-jitsu anymore, I decided to borrow a gi from my adopted brother, JR, to bring with me so I can train in Dumaguete. I actually considered training with DEFTAC Cebu, but (1) I didn't know anyone from there, and (2) I had very limited time there because I had to make it to Dumaguete by Wednesday for Franco, so I scrapped that plan and opted to just go to Moalboal and Oslob instead. (NOT BAD, EH?)
In Shangri-La
So anyway, traveling with a gi is a bit complicated if you already have so much luggage. I was forced to tie the gi with my newly-bought white belt (yes!) and carry it by hand. JR gave me specific instructions to respect my belt, so I was as careful with it as I was with the gi. I never let it touch the floor/ground, and I didn't let it get soiled.
At the bus station
In the domestic airport in Manila, I was amused at how people were totally staring at the gi. One woman at the x-ray machine dared to ask what it was, and when I told her it was a gi, she asked if I did tae kwon do. Haha, wrong sport! I politely replied that it's for jiu-jistu, and she gave me an admiring smile that at the time I didn't deserve because I haven't even started!
Finally, I wore it.
Starting from my Makati apartment, the gi has gone with me to: Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, Mactan Cebu International Airport, Be Hotel, Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, all around Cebu City, Moalboal, Oslob, all around Dumaguete, back to Oslob, then Mactan Cebu International Airport, then Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, and then finally, my apartment.

If the gi were a child, I'm sure it would have thrown tantrums. Haha! Now I wonder how far my own gi would travel when I finally get one.


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...