Monday, July 28, 2014

UM / What not to buy

This day and age, it makes me sad that there are times when you still have to state the obvious - which is what I'm about to do now. Here are the things you should NEVER buy from the ukay-ukay, NO MATTER HOW CHEAP THEY MAY BE:

1. Swimwear.
Please, no.
(image from the internet)
2. Underwear and any form of lingerie.
Again, please, no.
(image from the internet)
As it is, ukay-ukay shopping is not the most sanitary shopping experience there is, so don't add insult to injury by buying intimate wear. What if the previous owner had herpes or something? Not all viruses can be killed by a warm wash with antibacterial detergent, so are you really going to take that risk?

To me, this is obvious, but I'm posting it anyway. For those who may not know that this is supposed to be common knowledge.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Next four tattoos

Okay, I think I'm getting a little addicted to this. Haha! I have two tattoos at the moment.

My first is the Greek word eudaimonia, a Greek term I learned while studying Aristotelian philosophy back in college. I had it done on my upper left arm, and I barely felt any pain. The word loosely translates to happiness, which, as I always say, the one thing anyone should decide to be daily, and should aspire to give other people.

The second is my mother's childhood nickname, Eli, on my right wrist. I had it done on a recent trip to Dumaguete. My mother passed away in 2010, and although I don't really need anything new to keep her memory alive, I wanted to pay homage to the greatest woman to ever walk the earth.

Yes, both my tattoos are words, and the ones I plan to get in the near future are words, as well. I have four in mind, all done in my handwriting.
The four words
1. NEL. I'm not sure if this is my father's childhood nickname, as well, but this is what my mother used to call him. I'll have it done also on my right wrist, under my mother's name, and when I do, I'll be sure to have a bottle of beer nearby. Or two.

2. EROL. Okay, so my brother's name is spelled Erroll, but six letters is a tad too much for my small wrist so I have to edit a little. I'll have this done under my father's name. That completes my immediate family. I may have a world of my own most of the time, and I may be with my friends more than I am with my family, but at the end of the day, these are the people who unconditionally have my back.

3. LEAP. I plan to have this tattooed on my left ankle. It was a choice between leap or jump, but I decided to go with the former as it implies a horizontal movement in addition to the vertical one. It's also a commemoration of the literal leap I took in Salagdoong Beach in Maria, Siquijor, the one that freed me from a number of debilitating fears.

4. FLY.  And because I'm all about balance, I have to get one on my right ankle, as well. If I can take the pain, I'll get them done on the same day. I chose fly because it's what you do after you leap, be it for some nanoseconds when sprinting, or a few seconds before hitting the water when jumping off a cliff.

While most people get image tattoos, I'm admittedly not a visual person, which is why I choose to go with words. I have absolutely no gift in illustrations; anything I draw somehow looks like a cockroach. Before anything else, I am a writer, so I instinctively think in words, not pictures.


Friday, July 25, 2014

FTF / Lap of luxury

I'm not really the type to book an expensive hotel room only to spend most of my time in the great outdoors. I always, always travel on a budget, and for this reason, I don't really get to stay in luxury hotels. Luckily for me, though, my projects allow me to stay in nice places, free of charge! I've already had the chance to spend the night in Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila, and Crimson Hotel Alabang.
Is it September yet?!?!
This September, I'll be able to stay in Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa in Cebu City. I cannot contain my excitement, especially after I saw the place for a one-day ocular last June 27. I already posted about the trip last Friday, since it was my first time in Cebu, but I didn't really get to go into detail about the hotel.

Lush. Luxurious. Paradise. Those are the first three words that popped into my head the moment I laid eyes on the property. The development is harmoniously integrated with nature, and the result is absolutely stunning. It reminds me something Tilda Swinton said in the film "The Beach" - "even paradise needs taming.

I must have pissed people off when I flooded my Instagram account with photos of Shangri-La, but if it's your first time there, you just couldn't help it. And to be honest, the photos don't even do the real thing justice. (Apologies for those who got fed up with my posting rampage. At least they're not selfies, haha!)

Shangri-La's chain of hotels and resorts is known for attention to detail, and the Mactan property did not disappoint. Even the ashtrays - they were topped with seashell molded from beach sand, plus a flower on the side. Not one thing was left to chance, and I admire that in any hospitality institution.

I can't wait for September, when I'll stay there for about a week for the event I'm co-working on! :)


Thursday, July 24, 2014

LT / Find time to read

What I hate about my current schedule is that I don't have as much time to read anymore. It's not because I'm busy per se - I am, but I was busy before but it never got in the way of my reading - it's more because my schedule is erratic. And being a creature of habit, I am not adjusting to the new freelance lifestyle as fast as I'd hoped.

I wouldn't sacrifice prayer, nor would I sacrifice writing time - so it's the reading time that I've had to give up. It took me two months to finish Leo Buscaglia's Love - which is unacceptable considering it was just about a hundred pages, give or take. I've finished trilogies over weekends (Millennium Trilogy and yes, Fifty Shades of Grey, haha!), so it's not that I don't have the drive to read. It's really the irregularity of my schedule that throws me off.

Or yeah, I guess I'm just making excuses.
But now I plan to redeem myself, and I will start with one small step - never leave the house without a book. I can read while waiting for people, while dining out, while whatever - every minute counts, so I shouldn't be wasting any. The next book on my queue is U2 by U2, the autobiography of one of the greatest rock bands ever. I'm starting tonight! :)


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MW / Save ALL's Jammin' for the Dogs

70s Bistro in Anonas, Quezon City is a very, very memorable place for me. It's where Wunjo had their pre-hiatus gig some time in 2006. And it's where POT had their reunion gig - I fainted then because there were just too many people fighting for air in there. Haha! Good thing I was with friends then who helped me out.

Anyway,  my friend Annaise invited me to sing at a benefit gig for dogs, and of course I just had to say yes! The opportunity to perform in 70s Bistro, where a lot of the really great musicians have shared their music, was too good for us to decline. Good thing our schedules matched! :)
Eyes closed, with feelings!
(photo by Ava Zabat)
It rained that day, so getting to QC was just HELL. I got stuck in traffic, so I was 30 minutes late! But it's okay because my being late resulted in us fronting the AMAZING Cookie Chua. Joey Ayala also performed that night! What an honor to be on the same fracking stage! :)

For this gig, Gershwin and I welcomed Bok Corpuz to Manaha, and he's currently the lead guitarist.  We sang three songs; we only had time for two, actually, but the crowd asked for an encore! WOW. Our first encore, haha! We performed Mulat and Kalaro, and finally, Pag-Amin, which I dedicated to all the torpe people in the crowd. :) Here's a video of Mulat:

I named him Joey Ayala.
(photo by Fatima Torres)
They gave me a teddy bear, too! Thank you, Save ALL, for having us! :)


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

HFT / Tummy exercises

My midsection has always, always been my problem. I've been blessed with long limbs and cursed with an "abnormally short torso," so a little weight gain in the abdominal area becomes so pronounced. It doesn't help that I'm a pear-shaped woman, so my small arms just look so much smaller in contrast with my waist and hips.

I don't know how true this is, and frankly, I'm too lazy to confirm - but my long legs and short torso contribute to my problems with balance. According to my friend who's addicted to physics, my center of gravity is too high. Haha! But it is true that balance is another problem I'm dealing with, and this means I have to work twice as hard on my midsection. I need to get stronger in that area, as well as in my lower back.

Whenever I throw a strong punch, I get thrown off-balance - and that's a huge problem especially when I want to do multiple combinations. This is another reason why it is absolutely imperative to strengthen my abs. I think I've made progress, because underneath the jiggly fat, my muscles are actually quite firm already, haha!
Never skip the abs!
(photo from the internet)
So here's the combination that my boxing coach makes me do every time I train in BAMF that you can try at home - any beginner can do this, I promise:

1. Sit-ups - 20 reps
2. Modified sit-ups for lower abs - 20 reps
3. Leg raises - 20 reps
4. Side curls - 20 reps
5. Bicycle - 20 counts
6. Planking - 30 seconds

Sometimes, he'd throw in side passes with the medicine ball, to focus on my sides. And depending on the intensity of my workout, I'd have to do these drills twice.


Monday, July 21, 2014

UM / Pillowcase dress

Although I've already said goodbye to corporate life, I know that I will inevitably need corporate attire for some meetings with clients. For this reason, I haven't thrown out my so-called investments, including this one:
I call this my "pillowcase dress" because it's absolutely shapeless. But I like it a lot because it's versatile. For regular days at work, I used to wear this with a basic black blazer and a pair of stilettos. For evenings, I take off the blazer and put on a wide belt that instantly gave the dress - and my body, haha! - some shape. I bought this a while back in Guadalupe for a measly Php30.

Click here for the post with the store information.