29 June 2009

One More Time

Talk about Pinoy pride! One of our fellow Benders, Maila Mitra will be representing our country in an international battle of vocal prowess - the 13th World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) to be held at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles, California on July 11 to 18, 2009.

Just this morning, I saw that she posted a blog note sharing a video of her singing "One More Time" - an original song composed and arranged by Rebel Magdagasang. The song is somewhat reminiscent of Aliya Parc's Seasons of Love. Thoughts?

For those interested, this song can now be purchased, along with her other original songs at www.fliptunes.net.

19 June 2009

Personalized Sneakers No. 2

Do you remember what it feels like when you get new presents that you are totally dying to get your hands on for the longest time. When you suddenly find yourself unable to control yourself - you just have to use it at the soonest possible time. Well, that's what happened when I finally got my first set of fine tip Sharpies from my mom as a pasalubong from her visit in Canada. I've been waiting and praying for a set ever since I learned about them when I was working for Analog Soul, but unfortunately, these pens aren't available here in the Philippines.

Back in January, I decided to try and make an army of personalized shoes. Five months later, I have finally been equipped with the exact tools I need to accomplish this. I bought a pair of cheap sneakers in order to test out my new permanent markers since every marker is created different - some bleed and some don't. Yes I did panic when I first started since I found my work to be very dirty when the colors started bleeding all over the place. Good thing I was able to work something out, and now, it's more forgivable.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me present pair number 2. I don't know what to name it, so I'm refraining from baptizing it until I find the right name in my head. By the way, notice that I used colors, a rare treat since I usually prefer doing my art in black and whites. :D

This project took me three days to complete, half an hour to an hour each day with either Adele, Adam Lambert, Aida or Bare the Musical playing in the background.

For more photos, feel free to visit my multiply site.

17 June 2009

Our Fourth Year Anniversary

My boyfriend is just the sweetest thing ever - which is why I love him lots.

Yesterday, we celebrated our fourth year anniversary together. Being in a long distance relationship, him being in the US and me being the Philippines, many of our friends commend us for being able to pull off this feat. I wonder if there is a real secret how we managed to keep our relationship going strong for this long - communication, thoughtfulness, understanding and commitment - but aren't those fundamental in any relationship?

We used to celebrate our previous anniversaries with a YM date - meaning dressing up (usually this is just half torso) and bringing a plateful of food infront of the webcam and eating together. That's as romantic as it gets. We do come up with a couple of surprises and gifts sometimes, which would usually arrive a few weeks late.

I wasn't in a very organize-freak mode this year, so I didn't prepare anything for our anniversary celebration - but apparently my boyfriend did his homework.

Prior to our YM rendezvous, he spent the whole night preparing our cheesecake, surprising me with his creation when we finally got to talk. It is special because we both love cheesecake and have tried to make this recipe together back when he visited me a couple of years ago. He also prepared and recited a letter, which he admitted not to be very good at. He then tried finishing our house in Sims 3, which I've been bugging to see - this unfortunately, he didn't finish in time for his big surprise, he later told me. But, it's always the thought that counts, and for me, it was wonderful that he took time and made all this effort to make our anniversary special.

My only complaint was - where are the toppings for the cheesecake? (And why can't I at least get a bite?)

Anyway, Happy Fourth Year Anniversary!

15 June 2009

Who Am I

My fellow Scythes, Franz Lawrence Tan (Guitarist) and Prince Coyeesong (Vocals) with our adopted Scythes friend, Brznf Yu (Box) singing Casting Crowns' Who Am I. Bravo guys!

I miss the high school days jamming with they guys. The song is dedicated to all our fellow Chiang Kai Shek batch-mates of 2003.

For lyrics of the song, click here.

7 Months

It has been almost 7 months since that fateful night when I was awaken from my sleep by the loud pounding on my bedroom door. It was past midnight and mom was frantically calling me to wake up. When I finally opened the door, the first thing she told me was, "Wala na si Ama. (Grandma has passed away)". There were a few pregnant seconds when all my emotions began to build up, my shock rendered me generally blank as my brain slowly marinated and absorbed the thought. I was in complete disbelief; feeling like I was bordering actuality and fantasy - that this is not the sort of thing that happens for real.

It has been almost 7 months since I last slept in my room - avoiding the memories the room bore upon me. For the past 7 months, I slept with my grandfather, accompanying him - supposedly comforting him in these trying times, but to be honest, his company too was what I needed during those times when I felt so devastated - I cried a lot of times hiding my tears from my family, lest they evoke more feelings of sadness among everyone. But now, for some reason, I decided that I should be ready to move on.

Last Thursrday, I moved back to my room to play host to my best friend sleeping over. I had no intention of going back and sleeping there longer than that one night, I have no idea what caused me to consider returning to my room for good. Tonight is the third night I get to sleep alone in my room since my grandma's demise and now, my memories are returning and haunting me as I have feared - so I take to my blog and write my feelings out.

The heaviest recollection I feel at this moment is the learning of my grandmother's demise. The moment always seems so vivid in my memory, that the mere thought of it evokes a picture loaded with so many distraught emotions and thoughts that don't want to settle calmly. Of course, there are plenty of happy times too - of times when I'd be so tired from work that I'd fall asleep on my bed with all the lights on, and my grandma would come in and close the lights, leaving the dim one open since she knows I don't like sleeping in the dark. I remember the times when she'd just come in my room to call me to dinner or inform me that she prepared some medicinal drink that I can share with her. I remember her telling me that she'd one day instruct my aunt that the room will be mine and I'd get to decorate and fix it the way I want. I remember hearing the television outside my room as she would watch her 8 o clock Taiwanese series or her favorite game shows: The Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune and Double Jeopardy - I'd often go out and sit beside her until dinner is ready and we'd go down and have dinner together. I remember her telling me to sleep with just the windows open so I won't need to open the air conditioner. I always remember her standing by the dressing table whenever she would have last minute instructions for me. I remember the way she would say my name and tell me good night. I remember her going in my room, scouting for things I would need or replenishing the almost used up toiletries. I remember the way I would hold her hand even when I was a little girl when I can't fall asleep - and she'd tell me to chant her Buddhist rosary - painfully, it was the same thing I was doing as we watched her body being embalmed.

It's been 7 months but the memories are still painful. It's been 7 months and I still cannot believe that this has happened. It's been 7 months and I still keep telling myself that she's just away - the way she would always go out of the country for some trip coming home with lots of presents for us, especially for me. It's been 7 months and I still miss her like anything. I miss my Amah so much.

14 June 2009

Scrapbooking Time

I've been scrapbooking since last Friday, June 12 - and what a mess my room has become. One of the reasons why I don't scrapbook often.

Toy Con 2009

Yesterday, my siblings and I attended the 8th Toy Con at SM Megamall Megatrade Hall 2 and 3. It's my first time to join a toy convention so I'm afraid I couldn't give any nitty-gritty information since I'm pretty new with the toy collecting and anime scene. Of course, we didn't have a lot of dough in our pockets that time so we passed by only with the intent of window shopping and appreciating the cosplayers.

I met up with a couple of pals from Rep - one of whom is cosplaying a female version of Spongebob . This being my second Cosplay event, I realized that some of the folks I've seen in the previous convention were also present and are wearing the same costumes as they did the last time. I wonder though if I'm going to push through with my plans of cosplaying this coming August.

Alodia, the legendary Philippine cosplayer, was also around - with a huddle of fans circled around her taking her photo. I really wasn't able to see her costume though.

They even played the cool but geek-a-maniac Star Wars-John Williams tribute, by the way.

Anyway, check out the photos of the event below.

09 June 2009

Don't Stop Believing

"Some will win, some will lose
Some are born to sing the blues
And now the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on"
- Don't Stop Believing, Glee

Some inspirational music from Glee. Learned about the song through Hanna's post and found the music absolutely beautiful. Not to mention, the female singer kinda reminds me of Idina Menzel.

For lyrics, click here.

Gifts for the Present and Future

After a couple-week hiatus in Canada to celebrate my grandparents' birthdays, my mom returned home this morning fully rejuvenated and refreshed.

At 3.30 in the morning, my sister woke me up so the whole family can go and pick mom up from the airport. In our pajamas and house slippers, we waited at the entrance - half conscious and half asleep, half aware that we are potentially at the heart of the H1N1 arrival zone. When mom came out, like all our Canadian relatives coming home, she smelled distinctly of Canada - I couldn't explain the scent, I just know that it's the smell of the country.

My siblings prepared a drawing for mom celebrating her arrival, making a semi-self portrait of themselves in ecstatic euphoria over her return. Due to my hypnotism to the Sims 3, which isn't really a good excuse to use, I wasn't able to draw my character - so my kind-hearted siblings took the liberty of drawing me in - as a stick man - better there than not.

We had a McDonald's take-out and headed home, where we got our respective aguinaldo/ pasalubong (presents). Of course, this comes with the complimentary gossip of what's going on with our relatives halfway round the world. The juiciest information that I gathered was that my cousin is now pregnant with her first child and is due on August. I cannot believe that my mom is already as good as a grandmother (grandaunt) and my (maternal) grandparents are now going to be great grandparents. I don't know the details, but I am very happy for her and am looking forward to meeting the new addition to our family soon.

Although the story is one of insurmountable happiness and joy, I feel a grave sense of sadness over the fact that I wasn't able to deliver the same to my amah (paternal grandmother). It is one of my greatest regret that she wasn't able to become a great grandmother before she passed away last November. But on the other hand, it is still too early for me and I trust she understands that I need to build my career to ensure my family's future - even when she isn't around physically, I know in my heart that she'll be there spiritually to enjoy and care and love her tai-sun (great grandchild) when the right time comes.

08 June 2009

Bend - Photos of the Show

As I mentioned in my earlier post, the Repertory Workshop Adult Class of 2009 had showcased an unforgettable play entitled Bend last May 30th. An almost full house show. Below are the photos from the actual presentation, as well as our very memorable class photograph. I'd love to have the video of our show posted as well, but that would be unfair to those who actually went and paid to watch.

Photos are care of Sundee Guevara's Photography. Our costumes generally came from the hard work and thought of Hanna de los Reyes and Aphrodite Abarquez.

01 June 2009

Repertory Philippines Class A7

I will miss you all, until we meet again.

Bend - The Final Curtain Call

And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
- Frank Sinatra

After one and a half months of friendship and bonding, three weeks of strenuous practice and rehearsals - it has all come to this. Last May 30, the Repertory Philippines Adult Summer Workshop of 2009 staged their culminating play, a recital entitled "Bend" touching on homosexual love, peer pressure, enjoying life and facing consequences. The said activity materialized at the Onstage theater, Greenbelt 1, under the tutelage and direction of Robbie Guevara and musical guidance and direction of Caisa Borromeo. An almost two hour presentation with Rolls Pagusan, Niccolo Dominguez and Carmela Tan playing the lead roles.

There were many lessons that I was able to take to heart from this special occasion - about camaraderie, about patience, about being able to resist giving in to the temptation of surrendering, about accepting what is best, about not taking things personally, about moving on from past heartaches, about growing up; but the greatest epiphany that I've received came more as a surprise.

All this time, I've always wondered why I never seem to be appreciated as much as I wanted to be, as much as I believe I should be - now I learn that appreciation comes in so many forms and the best ones are the ones that you never expected would happen.

I felt that nobody supported me; that this presentation was a personal milestone that I am forcing on people to attend - now recognize that I had been wrong to think that way. My friends weren't able to come due to various reasons, which I quietly accepted as a lack of interest; but prior to ending the show, as we took our final bows, I received a bouquet of red roses, which I later learned had came from my friends - with a note from my best friend apologizing for not being able to take part of my momentous achievement but expressing her trust that I'd still be able to do a good job anyway. That alone, the sincerity of it all, made me cry.

My family was present, despite several complications that came forward during the week. My boyfriend despite being continents away, had fervently called throughout the day asking how I was doing and expressing how proud he is of me. A couple of my office friends had also took time to give their support, as well as one of my fellow officers in the Kho Youth League.

It is the simple things like these, knowing that there are people there for you, sharing their love in so many different ways, that made the whole 3 weeks of half-dead mornings, of being criticized and at times publicly humiliated, of feeling foolish, of hungry nights and all sorts of bull, seem all worthwhile.

The simple things are free
The sun, the moon, the stars
The beating of two hearts
How I love the simple things
The simple things just are
- Jim Brickman

To everyone who was there, physically and/ or spiritually, thank you so much.

Special shout outs to Maila Mitra for helping us with our make-up (she's a fantastic singer as well, good luck on your competition), Miguel Escolar for helping us with our props and Teacher Gimbey for helping me with my vocalization and saving me and pep talking me when I was wallowing in my Alto self-pity, Charmaine Cobankiat for constantly wishing me luck and for being there for me whenever she can.

Special thanks to Nica Mapeso, Dax Carnay and Etienne Amador for being such wonderful PMs. Photographs are care of Sundee Guevara, who is one of the cheeriest, nicest and hyper-ecstatic people I know. To Sir Robbie and Miss Caisa, for their patience, love and trust in us. Last but not least, to the whole A7 class, you guys are fantastic! :D Hugs and kisses.