Friday, April 15, 2016

Taking another break

But I'll be back in a couple of months, maybe less. There are some new things in my life right now - opportunities in work and business that I'd like to really focus on, training for an Arnis competition, healing from the loss of a very dear friend, and giving time to someone who, at the end of each conversation, is proving to be worth the shot (I'm taking this one day at a time). Hence the brief hiatus. I'll be back soon enough. 

In the mean time, feel free to read through my old posts. Cheerio!


Thursday, April 14, 2016

LT / A reason to SMILE!

Yay! It’s finally out – my brief write-up on General Santos on the April 2016 issue of Cebu Pacific’s in-house magazine, SMILE! J

When Hannah and I went on our #MindaNOWorNever adventure from August to September 2015, I was constantly posting photos of our trip. It was my way of helping promote tourism in the country – using social media as a way to tell the world that my country is freaking awesome! Roy, one of the guys from SMILE, initiated contact by leaving a comment on the photo of me paragliding at SAFI Ranch in GenSan.

And here it is:
Yay!!! Thank you, Ink Publishing! :)
Time to book a Cebu Pacific flight this April so I could steal a copy! Haha! Just kidding. Thank you, Roy and the rest of the SMILE Team from Ink Publishing, for letting me share my GenSan experience with all your readers! Cheers!


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

MW / Seeya primetime!

Last weekend, I packed a bag and headed to Zambales for Summer Siren 2016! It’s the festival’s third year, and my second to attend. Seeya, Carla, Chris, and I headed there Friday, and Chi and Ray followed. It’s a shame that a number of people who were with us in 2015 couldn’t join us this year (Pauline’s pregnant, Khaela’s out of the country, and the others were just really busy with work/business/law school), but the festival was just so awesome that it was impossible not to enjoy!

2015 was good, but 2016 was even better. The event organizer in me just couldn’t help but notice how awesome this year’s stage was, and I must have said that to Pat, Mikey, and Jay at least five times – each!

Since we got there Friday after sundown, we had Saturday to participate in the different activities. I got the chance to learn a couple of poi tricks at the Flow Arts classes (I can turn with the poi now, yay!), and I also got to make my own ice cream at the Coleman booth! Last year, we only got there late Saturday, so I didn’t get to swim. This year was different – I made sure I got enough time in the water.
Under the Summer Siren
(photo from Carla)
I got to see a number of friends and acquaintances – Kio Priest (we tried to write a song together before), Miggy (a Dumaguete friend I met in Manila, haha!), plus some people from college. And oh, I met Bea Valera! She’s the voice behind “Free,” the Summer Siren anthem. I wasn’t wearing my glasses so I didn’t recognize her right away, but when I finally did, I shamelessly fangirled and introduced myself to her. I hope she comes out with an album soon!

The best part about this year was my friend Seeya’s primetime set. Yup, you read that right, folks – PRIME-FREAKIN’-TIME. He played a sundown set last year, so even if I enjoyed the music, I really felt so uncomfortable because it was so hot and I was too tired from the road trip. Seeya was on deck a little past 9PM, and boy, it was unbelievable.

Well, okay, forget my opinion because he’s my friend, and because I’m not exactly an authority in EDM. But a lot of people approached Carla after Seeya’s set to ask her where he played because they loved his music and wanted to hear more! 

Right in the middle of the set, I turned around and I saw the crowd dancing, jumping, moving to his music, and it gave me goosebumps. Although this is my second Summer Siren, it’s only now that I truly appreciated what it’s all about: bringing people together. The sight was overwhelming in a good way, and as a friend, I felt really proud of Seeya!

Congratulations, Seeya, and of course – Pat, Mikey, Homer, and the rest of the Summer Siren team! See you guys next year! J


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

HFT / Alternative workout

For people who don’t like the gym or yoga or sports or most other forms of exercise, I’d like to share an alternative workout you might enjoy: POI SPINNING!!!

My first attempt at poi spinning was ABSOLUTELY TRAUMATIC. A college acquaintance tried to teach me how to do it, and because my hand-eye coordination was non-existent at the time, I hit myself more times in the head than I cared to count (maybe that’s why I turned out the way I am now, HAHA!) – and one was actually right on the eye. For the longest time, I was too scared to try again.
Took a while for me to want to try again.
(photo from the internet)
Cut to a decade after, my friend Carla lent me her super lightweight poi. Of course I hit myself in the head a lot of times again, but because it was so light, it wasn’t enough to stop me from trying and trying until I actually learned to do the most basic moves. Our other friends, Pen, Jai, and Chi, also tried to teach me a couple of tricks, which I sort of got after a while.
The Flow Collective at Summer Siren 2016!
(photo borrowed from their Facebook page)
Okay, so in case you guys don’t have a Carla, Pen, Jai, or Chi in your lives, you can still learn poi spinning and other flow arts from a group called The Flow Collective. They’re a community of “movement and circus arts practitioners, including a variety of disciplines such as poi spinning, hula hooping, toss juggling, contact juggling, buugent/S-staff spinning, levitation wand dance, and aerial arts” (copied that from their website,

I first encountered their group in Summer Siren 2015, and I was so happy because they were all incredibly accommodating when I asked if they could teach me how to do poi spinning. They even lent me a set I could use! So you can imagine how happy I was to see them again in this year’s event! One of the girls from the group, Jennai, is a friend and neighbor of my brother from another mother, Franco (small world, eh?). She led the hoop class, while her colleague Aeron handled the poi spinning class that I joined. Aeron’s a really good teacher – and very PATIENT! He had to repeat the instruction about ten times before I finally got how to turn! Haha!

The Flow Collective is staging EIN SOF2: A FLOW ART SHOW this May 28, 2016 in Pineapple Lab in Palma St., Makati City. Tickets are sold for only Php350, so get yours today! There’s no word yet as to when they’re going to have their next public workshops, so just stay tuned to their Facebook page – - for announcements. And oh, I’m sure you’ll find them in the next Summer Siren, so you should be there! J


Monday, April 11, 2016

GVM / I'm the worst friend ever

For coming up with this:
I've always wanted to be Alice!
Sorry and I love you, Alfred and Franco!!!

Have a great week ahead, folks!


Saturday, April 09, 2016

The kids are alright

I recently bumped into one of my ANI students, Claudine, at an event for which I wrote the script. I was very busy with the event, so I didn't really see her. She spotted me running from the tech booth to the stage and back. She said she wasn't sure it was me, which is understandable because it's been ten years since we last saw each other. She messaged me on Facebook first to ask if I were in the same event; I asked for her table number and I went to her.
She's grown up to be such a fine young woman and I couldn't be more proud of her! :) As a (former) teacher, nothing makes me feel more fulfilled than knowing that my students - my kids - are doing alright. Although I don't see them these days, I'm somehow able to keep tabs on them through Facebook, and I'm happy to note that a lot of them have really made quite a life for themselves. :)


Friday, April 08, 2016

FTF / Zambawood!

2015 has taken me to a lot of places, old and new. I started with Boracay in February, followed by Sagada and Zambales in April, Cebu and Dumaguete, and of course, the highlight of my travel year was the ultimate backpacking adventure with my dear Hannah - #MindaNOWorNever! When I got back to Manila by mid-September, I thought I was done for the year already. But then I got the invite to the coolest Christmas party with the happiest, shiniest group of people I could ever hope to meet. The venue: ZAMBAWOOD!
The Happies!
Pen and Xander
My favorite part of the house!
Where we dined as a family
Zambawood is this magnificent property in Zambales. The house is one of the nicest vacation homes I’ve seen – designed to maximize the view of the wonderful surroundings (pine trees right outside the backyard, and the beach in the distance) and tastefully decorated with cozy furniture and beautiful accent pieces. There’s a small pool that’s perfect for hot days, and then there’s a Zambawood sign (just like Hollywood) for souvenir photos!

I was there with a great group of people, which just made my first-ever Zambawood visit even more memorable. Our hosts, Carla and Marvin, somehow assembled the right bunch – although we all came from different backgrounds, we just meshed together perfectly. There’s Pen and Xander, Chi and Ray, and Bryan and Mark whom I already met previously from Summer Siren 2015, plus Ed whom I met at Carla and Marvin’s home. It was good to be with them again – it’s just so easy to be around them. The ones I met just there were Franc and Chris, Pat and Tres, and Bianca (Mark’s girlfriend), and they’re just as awesome!

If next year’s Christmas party will be there, too, and with the same people, I am definitely signing up! J