Wednesday, July 29, 2015

MW / Music in the backseat

At the start of the year, I took up jiu-jitsu and it has taken over my life so completely that I haven't really had much time for anything else. With training and work taking up most of my time, music has taken a backseat. It's sad, considering that I have loved music all my life - I've been singing since I was a kid, I dabbled with the guitar and the bass, and I've even written my own songs.

These days, music has been relegated to the background: I sing only in the shower, I discontinued bass lessons, and I just let my iTunes play music as some sort of accompaniment for work. I haven't had the luxury of time to really sit, listen, and learn new music.
I miss our music. :(
I find it quite sad that my relationship with music has come to this. Friends tell me it's understandable, considering that I never really pursued it as much as, say, writing, I don't like the idea that I took for granted something that has gotten me through so much sh*t throughout my lifetime. At my lowest lows, it was music, shared with my dearest friends, that helped me deal and heal.

Last July 7, Manaha was supposed to play a set in #OPMLives, my friend Paul Pajo's event in Saguijo, but we had to cancel because of the weather. Days before that evening, I was really looking forward to the gig - I would start the day singing our songs, and during my walks and commutes, my ears would be plugged to my iPod so I could listen to our recordings. I even watched footage of old gigs on YouTube.

I really hope we get another gig soon. I miss singing, I miss music - so badly that it hurts.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

HFT / Impromptu training at WAP

Some time last April (I think), Deftac Makati didn't have a dojo for a few days because of renovations on our old gym. I had cough and colds at the time so the gym being closed was not a problem for me - because BJJ is a full-contact sport, we shouldn't be training when we have communicable diseases, mainly out of courtesy to our teammates.

One night that week, however, I had a meeting with my friend Abet in Robinson's Place Manila, and we wrapped up at around 8pm - which was the start of training at Deftac Malate. The chapter shares mats with the Wrestling Association of the Philippines in Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, and when I learned that Franco was teaching that evening's class, I decided to drop by before heading on home.

And because Franco is a superman - he went back to training a mere two weeks after undergoing surgery on his skull, WTF RIGHT? - I ended up training in WAP. I mostly did solo drills, but I also did a few partner drills with Marga, a girl we met and made friends with when we briefly trained in Krav Maga with KMP.
The only photo I managed to take. Hi, Marben!
As I have always been a sucker for open spaces, WAP is, for me, the ultimate playground! I had so much fun doing front and back rolls, bridges, shrimps and reverse shrimps that by the end of the evening, my shirt was soaked. It's a good thing Franco always has an extra shirt with him, so I borrowed that for the trip home.

Now that Wednesday is Makati's rest day, WAP is definitely a great alternative spot for me if I need a jits fix! When my schedule will let me, I'd like to revisit this playground and take a class under Myron, who, like Franco, is one awesome purple belt on our team.

If you're based in Manila and you want to try jiu-jitsu, drop by WAP! Check out their Facebook page for more information.


Monday, July 27, 2015

GVM / Forgive the profanity

But this deserves space on my blog.
(image from the internet)
Have a great week ahead, folks!


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Stop waiting

One of my favorite actors of all time, Hugh Laurie, was once quoted saying, "It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any."

Back in June, when I toyed with the idea of joining a jiu-jitsu competition for white belts, I talked to a few friends both in and out of the team to get their opinion on whether or not I should sign up. The consensus was that I should go for it. As it would have been my first competition ever, there was no pressure for me to win a medal - the idea was to get my feet wet, to know what it's like to compete.
There's really no such thing as ready, anyway. Sayang.
I thought about it a lot. Maybe even a little too much. Ultimately, I decided against joining, and a part of me now is wondering what could have been.

Objectively speaking, I really wasn't ready. I've only been training for a few months, and quite inconsistently, at that. I haven't learned enough techniques, nor have I done enough reps to commit the few that I know into muscle memory. I haven't rolled as much as I should or as much as I wanted to, with work keeping me away from the mats a lot.

But I still am wondering what could have been. For all I know, I could be having a good day and my opponent could be having a bad one, and things like that often affect the outcome of a match. I could have lost on my first match, too, but if that's the worst that could happen, I certainly could brush it off easily and just fight again another day, right? I almost always am the "at least I tried" person, and I made a mistake of not letting that version of myself take the lead at the time.

I'm not the type to hold on to regret - I let myself feel it for a while, and then I move forward. There will be other competitions, anyway. I just hope that, next time, I'll muster up the courage to go through with it.


Friday, July 24, 2015

FTF / Damn good burgers

After a business meeting in Kapitolyo some time in February, Franco and I ended up in Jupiter St. in Makati for some damn good burgers from a small al fresco restaurant called Sweet Ecstasy. There were a lot of other options in Pasig, but for some weird reason, none of the restaurants there appealed to me that day. Franco asked me what I was craving for, and when I said burger, he made a U-turn and drove to Makati.

My craving was definitely satisfied. And although I must have gained five pounds from that single meal, I have absolutely no regrets! I ordered a double burger, fries, and a Speculoos milkshake, and man, it was worth every penny!
The burger had the juiciest patties ever! When I first saw it, I got a bit worried about how I was going to finish it, but because I'm me, I found a way. Haha! Just to sort of balance out my nutritional intake, I asked them to load it up with veggies - tomatoes, onions, and lettuce. The place's secret is the ecstasy sauce - I couldn't tell what it's made of, but it was so good!
Interesting wall art
Hi Ate! Burger please! :)
Franco and I split the fries and the milkshake, which was a good idea because the burger alone was quite overwhelming. He wanted to order wings but he decided against it because we couldn't share that (I don't eat spicy food). We ordered Fantastic Fries, the simplest of the bunch, because I'm not really big on frills when it comes to my potatoes.

The milkshake was the perfect dessert after a heavy meal. I'm not a huge fan of Speculoos on its own, but I like it when it's in chocolate (white chocolate, to be exact). I was choosing between Speculoos and Salted Caramel, and eventually decided on the former (which reminds me - I have to go back to try the Salted Caramel Milkshake!).

Sweet Ecstasy Manila is open from Mondays to Fridays, 11:00AM to 12:00MN, Saturdays, 4:00PM to 12:00MN, and Sundays, 4:00PM to 10:00PM. The place is almost always packed, so be prepared to wait! I assure you, it will be worthwhile. :)


Thursday, July 23, 2015

LT / The Proust Questionnaire #1

Lately, I've not had as much reading and writing time because of my insane work schedule. I hate it, but hey, girl's gotta eat and pay the bills. I've run out of books to write about and literary works to share for this section of my blog! :( I recently stumbled upon The Proust Questionnaire on one of my favorite websites, Brain Pickings. The Proust Questionnaire is a personality questionnaire that got its name and popularity from the responses given by French writer Marcel Proust. It has 20 seemingly simple but wildly thought-provoking questions, and for the next 20 weeks of Literary Thursday, I plan to answer and reflect upon each one, starting today.
Marcel Proust
(image from the internet)
Question #1: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Wow, this is a great kick-off question!

I've been writing for as long as I can remember. In school, I struggled with math not because I was no good at it (I actually did quite well on those times that I poured time and effort into studying it), but because I would much rather be writing. Back then, I'd lock myself up in my room for an hour or two each day to write on my journals . Writing assignments like reflection papers and essays were always welcome.

When I travel, I never leave home without a pen and a notebook in my bag - even if it's just an overnight trip, I consider it too big a risk to not have those things with me because inspiration can come from anywhere and at any time. I have a pretty reliable phone, but to me, there is no substitute to the experience of writing by hand.

By profession, I'm now a writer, and I have to admit that there are days when writing feels like a chore. This is particularly true for when I'm handling projects I'm not genuinely enthusiastic about - more often than not, however, those are the jobs that keep me financially afloat, so of course I have to suck it up.

All that said, my perfect idea of happiness is having all the time in the world to write what I want. Wonderful locations such as beaches in the early morning, a coffee shop by the sea or overlooking the city at night, or even in a cool, foggy forest are preferred, but not required. I just need quiet corner where I could be alone with my thoughts and with my fountain pen and creativity journal.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

MW / Sunset hippie

When I told my teammate, Adrian, that I was going to Summer Siren, an EDM festival in Zambales, his reaction was, "Ikaw?" (You?). Haha! I can't really blame him. If you're my friend, or if you've been reading this blog, then you would know that I'm not into electronic dance music because (1) I'm really into rock and jazz, and (2) I could not dance to save my life (my moves are so awful, subjecting the world to it is unjust).

But I do have an appreciation of EDM. My friend Jerry first introduced me to it a few years back, and my work further exposed me to the genre. Over time, it just grew on me, and sometimes I would actually find myself singing and tapping along to the songs.

And although I still don't dance, I had an awesome time at Summer Siren! Marvin, known in the EDM scene as DJ Seeya, and his lovely wife Carla invited me to tag along with them for a crazy fun weekend, and I'm so glad I said yes! :) An aside, I'm actually from the same batch as Marvin in Ateneo, and we were introduced once or twice back then. After graduation, I never saw him again until Pauline and John's wedding!
Marvin's set was absolutely awesome - with the beautiful beach sunset as his backdrop. I'm not saying this because he's a friend, but because it's the truth. :) Can't wait for next year!