Thursday, December 18, 2014

LT / 2015 Reading Challenge

2014 is almost over, and I'm a bit disappointed that I've only managed to read less than ten (10) new books throughout the year - I usually finish at least one book a month. I got really busy with work, music, and my new-found love, mixed martial arts, so I barely had time to read. But it's okay - what I lacked in reading, I made up for in traveling! Haha!
But I plan to change that for 2015. Whether or not I travel a lot next year, I plan to read at least one book a month (if I have to bring a book with me when I travel, or if I have to read a few pages over lunch, I'll do that!). I actually still have a lot of unread titles in my collection and I hope I'd be able to resist the temptation to buy new books until I'm done with what's on my shelf. 

And maybe I should start calling friends who borrowed my books so I can also get them back. Haha!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

MW / Awesome collab

Because I live under a rock, I'm not really updated on the latest in music. I rely on friends to give me tips on what's good to hear now. Alfred made me listen to F.A.S.T. by Mars Miranda and Taken by Cars, and I was absolutely blown away! (By the way, F.A.S.T. means First and Second Time.) I'm a fan of musical collaborations, especially the ones you really wouldn't expect.
DJ Mars Miranda
(photo from the internet)
Taken By Cars
(photo from the internet)
This has become my ultimate chill song. Have a listen and enjoy! :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

HFT / Jiu-jitsu in Davao!

When I started working in the advertising agency, I thought it would be the end of my travels, at least for the year. To my surprise, I was tasked to go to Davao and General Santos for an entire week for research! Woohoo! I always enjoy travel even if it's for work, because I still manage to squeeze in a little bit of fun. And in Davao, fun meant jiu-jitsu

I didn't really expect that I'd be able to work out, so I didn't bring a gi to the trip. I regretted it when I met with Miko and some of the folks of DEFTAC Davao on my first night there. For a while, I was pissed at myself for not bringing a gi because that meant wasting an opportunity to learn a thing or two from a new set of fighters - it's not like I could just easily fly to Davao to train with them whenever I wished. But because I couldn't train, I just watched and listened intently to the lesson.  
Thanks, guys! :)
Luckily for me, everyone's extremely kind and accommodating - Dwight (who, by the way, bagged a Bronze at the Asian BJJ Open in Japan last November!) lent me a gi! Woohoo! I got to train on my second night - and after warm-up and some drills, Jan taught me how to do the triangle choke! :) As a beginner, it's always, always exciting to learn a new technique, no matter how simple it is. :) 

Work is usually the thing that keeps me from training, so I was so happy that in this case, it was work that led me to train with DEFTAC Davao. :) Thank you, Miko, Jan, Dwight, Kristian, and everyone else! I'll be back next time with a gi! :)

P.S. When I got back to the city, I trained in BAMF MMA Center. Franco was the instructor that evening, and when the class was over, he asked who wanted to roll with him. I wasn't paying attention - I was even watching a YouTube video on my phone - when all of a sudden, a pair of legs slid from behind and wrapped around me. It was him. He grabbed my phone, set it on the mat, and forced me to roll with him. I don't really know what I'm doing (not yet), but there's one move I pulled that made him pause and say, "Hey! You learned that in Davao! That's a signature Davao move!" Haha! I don't even know what the move is called! :) 


Monday, December 15, 2014

GVM / Grief

I agree with this 100%. How about you?
Image from the internet
Have a great week ahead, folks!


Saturday, December 13, 2014

The smell of flowers

When I still lived in Eastwood City, I would sometimes take a jeepney to Cubao at the wee hours of morning to visit the flower market. There's something I find particularly comforting about being in a quiet place where my eyes feast on an explosion of vibrant colors and my nose takes in the wonderful smell of flowers with the cool air. Everything about the experience calms my soul the same way a trek in the forest or a swim in the beach does.
Instant lift. :)
(Some friends have reprimanded me over this, telling me it's not safe. One even accused me of having a blatant disregard for my personal safety. For the record, I'm not trying to get myself hurt or killed. It's just not as nice to there during the day as it at night- there are way too many people. That, and it's too hot to really enjoy the flora.)

After moving to Makati, my trips to the flower market have decreased significantly, but I still go whenever I get a chance. Living in a concrete jungle has made me very appreciative of small, beautiful encounters with nature. It's a getaway of sorts - going to the beach or the mountains isn't really something I can do as often as I'd like - a much-needed therapy for my soul.


Friday, December 12, 2014

FTF / Other Dumaguete firsts

Okay, so I've been to Dumaguete thrice in my lifetime, but each time I'm there, I still get to try/see/visit/experience something for the first time. It's such a wonderful city, and I'm sure that the next time I find myself there, I'll still have a lot of firsts! On my third trip, I got to play tour guide to fellow Manilenas who were there for a night, on the way home from Siquijor (I also toured Frank, come to think of it!). It was my second time to check in at Harold's Mansion along Hibbard Avenue, but unlike the June trip when I stayed in my own room (that my friend Jerry paid for entirely), I got me a bed in the girl's dorm room.
Great place! :)
I'm on Bed 8 
Dormmates for an evening! :)
A favorite :)
I love staying in Harold's because it's well-maintained, and there's round-the-clock security. A typical Pinoy breakfast of pan de sale and coffee, and hot chocolate and kakanin is free from 6am to 10am. The food in the in-house cafe is cheap and yummy, and my favorite item on the menu is their ham sandwich on a baguette - it's the first thing I ordered when I got to Dumaguete from Cebu! :) Food is served on their rooftop cafe and chill spot, and I love hanging out there before hitting the sack.

Our hosts John and Gayle brought us to Dauin as soon as Franco landed, so he got to try the awesomeness that is Berto's Lechon, after which we took a boat to Apo Island. The couple picked us up in the afternoon, and on the way back to the city, we stopped by Atmosphere Resort in Dauin. The place was absolutely luxurious - I wish I could stay there! John told us that Julia Roberts and her family stayed there last summer. Not sure if it's true, but it's not impossible.
Coffee view
Lush green
Good brew
This is probably lovelier at night. :)
After an entire morning of swimming with sea turtles and of looking at colorful coral reefs, it was great to just sit down, relax, and sip a wonderful cup of coffee. I had my usual Americano, which they served with a yummy little biscuit. I'm a coffee lover so I have to say that theirs was a good brew, made even better by the wonderful view of the beach. :) I wish we could've stayed there for the night - the villas were really nice and I would have loved to lie down on the sand to look at the stars!
In different languages
Oreo Bonanza! :)
Anyway, another new thing in Dumaguete was Gabby's Bed and Breakfast in Daro, near Pure Muscle Gym, where I had my first official jiu-jitsu lesson, and Mahogany Place, where I got my tattoos done by Karla. Although it's owned by the same guy behind Gabby's Bistro, the menu's different. As the name implies, they serve breakfast meals all day, so of course I had my favorite tapsilog! Haha! This was followed by the amazing Oreo Bonanza, which I split with Frank.

I still have a lot of places to visit in Dumaguete, so I'm sure I'm going back there next year or the year after that. Topping my list are Casaroro Falls, Twin Lakes, and Bais for the dolphins! :)


Thursday, December 11, 2014

LT / BBC Book List Challenge

A friend shared the link to the BBC Book List Challenge on Facebook, and when it appeared on my feed, I just had to take it! The BBC actually isn't behind this list, but it's probably loosely based on their 2003 survey for Great Britain's best-loved novels of all time.

Anyway, I took the test and I scored an embarrassing 17/100. The foreword of the challenge said that most people would have only read about six titles in the list, so I guess my 17 isn't that bad. I'd like to read more, though, so I scoured my favorite second-hand book shops to get my hands on those I've missed.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
(image from the internet)
I missed out on a lot of classics when I was growing up, which comprised over half the list. I read a lot as a kid, but I hardly encountered classics because they weren't required readings in the schools I attended (they should be, though). And for some reason, the literature teachers I ended up with in college made us read mostly postmodern and philosophical titles - hence, my love affair with Milan Kundera.

But I still want to read a lot of the books in the list, so I've made it my mission to find second-hand copies from my favorite book stores. I've tried downloading some of them, but I ended up not reading anything because a few pages into A Tale of Two Cities, my eyes started to hurt. So I guess I'll just buy a paperback as soon as I'm done with my latest acquisitions. Below are my priorities:

1. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Austen)
3.The Lord of the Rings (Tolkien)
4. Wuthering Heights (Bronte)
5. Great Expectations (Dickens)
6. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
7. Crime and Punishment (Dostoyevsky)
8. Lolita (Nabokov)
9. On the Road (Kerouac)
10. The Remains of the Day (Ishiguro)

What about you? How many of these books have you read? Take the quiz here. :)