Turnaround Moment

Now I know how it feels to be the ‘garter guy.’

The irony is that I host weddings and I get to play around the chosen bachelors and single ladies whenever I host weddings, but this time, I’m the one who was selected by the ‘girl-who-got-the-bouquet.’ And the experience was totally nerve-wracking for a first-timer like me.

Everything happened during the wedding of my graduate school classmate Ronald Alderite last February 25. That special day for Ronald (and his wife Kristine Jimenez-Alderite) became historical, not only because it fell on the silver anniversary of EDSA People Power, but also because ‘twas the day when I experienced 15-minutes of limelight that was truly crazy and thrilling.

Thanks to the loud cheers of the people on table number 23 a.k.a. folks from the Ateneo, I now know first-hand how it feels to be the one on the other side of the coin. At first, I felt weird not being the one holding the microphone and calling out names or facilitating the game. I even told ‘wedding stories’ beforehand to my classmates; and it turned out that I’ll be telling another story next time.

To the newly-weds, thank you very much. Aside from the memorable experience, I really enjoyed the whole night. The church wedding was great, the choir singers were amazing, and the ceremony was lovely. What a cool reception as well! I was carried away by the songs chosen for your videos, especially when Train’s “If It’s Love” played. (You have picked all the modern love songs; I bet many of your visitors ran out of songs to use on their own weddings).

Soon, I will be hosting more weddings, and this turnaround moment made everything more exciting.

Again, congratulations and best wishes to Ronald and Kristine!

Click this link for the unforgettable OSV: http://bit.ly/k72pxg

My sort of “Perry” Tale

This one’s for “Perry: The Musical,” the play that reminded me of my childhood dream – that is to become a priest (believe it, or not!).

“Perry” is a modern take on how seminarians, priests, and lay people can be perceived nowadays. It is funny, real and definitely Kapampangan; I’m happy I didn’t miss the chance to watch this new production of Andy Alviz last night.

Since high school, I am already accustomed in watching theatrical presentations of seminarians from the Mother of Good Counsel Seminary. And when I heard of their collaboration with Teatru Ima and Arti (MaArti), I looked forward to seeing a splendid play – and I did!

Starting off with powerful renditions from Fr. Ted Valencia (Among Billy) and Reinon Tolentino (Perry himself), the play continues to wow the crowd with the interplay of lights and effects which is definitely an ArtiSta.Rita signature. Together with them and the seminarian-protagonists are the golden girls of MaArti who all gave life and color to the musical.

In a nutshell, the story is about Perry, who’s “called” to enter priesthood, but is tangled with harsh realities of love and life. The scenes are filled with courageous storytelling on what’s inside the mind of a soon-to-be priest. Confused about what his family and friends would say, he then faces the fact that he has to leave his girlfriend, and also confront all the “good vs. evil” stuff.

The two-hour Kapampangan play may have some scenes which needs a bit of tweaking because of microphone problems and dry-ice overload but the music is great. The lyrics are straightforward and the melody sounds truly original. No wonder the play has been shown in various local universities, and I know it will conquer other places for we Kapampangans (and Filipinos in general) are (as one funny line in the play goes) maka-pari more than maka-Diyos. Anyone who watches this would see someone (or maybe himself or herself) similar with the characters portrayed – the CWL manangs, the schoolboys, the super-moms, the strict (but kind-hearted) dads, or the wannabe-priest himself.

While enjoying the musical, one of my friends who loves Perry (and watched it twice) texted me and shared this beautiful line from the play: “Subukan mung manahimik king kainge ning kekang paligid ban meng damdaman ing aus ning Ginu.” [Try to remain silent and stay away from noise of your surroundings so you can hear the call of the Lord.]

I will.

The signs say so

Here’s an addition to those funny signs posted on the web. For the past six months, I have encountered these four signs which will surely make you smile – a good ending for a stressful day!

ALWAYS KEEP THIS DOOR CLOSED.
But it’s open.

GSIS Pampanga, Sindalan, City of San Fernando, Pampanga

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE MANAGEMENT IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE OR LOSS OF THE VEHICLE, ITS ACCESSORIES, AND ARTICLES LEFT THEIR IN.

OK, this will scare THEIR customers.

JUN-JUN’S BBQ AND BIBINGKA Parking Area, City of San Fernando, Pampanga

 

 

 

 

CAULI…
…FLOWER

Now that’s a nice flower from Cauli!

One of the restaurants (I can’t remember the name) at the Food Court of Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Quezon City

 

 

W8 LANG POH…
“NASA CR ANG GUARD!!!” SALAMAT…
Jejemon guard shouts.

Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission, 3rd Floor, Mandaluyong City

Free Will

While having lunch with two workmates, a segment of ABS-CBN’s defunct Alas Singko Y Medya (evolved into Umagang Kay Ganda) flashed back as we talked about the iconic astrologer Zenaida Seva, who always says: “Hindi hawak ng mga bitwin ang ating kapalaran, gabay lamang sila; meron tayong sariling free-will, gamitin natin ito.” (We simultaneously recited the line as if it was a mantra from a spell book!)

I have a colleague who frequently checks her horoscope. Her daily routine includes reading the horoscope column in broadsheets and eventually exclaiming, “Hey, they just got this from the Internet!” or “Crap! This is just a reprint of last week’s (or worse, yesterday’s) horoscope!” And so she made me a bit more interested about astrology.

According to the star signs, I am a Sagittarian. Susan Miller made a good forecast for me this month. Surprisingly, most of the things stated in my January horoscope seem to fall in place. I wonder if the findings are too general that they can be applied to any star sign, or I am too immersed with my life that I seem to apply them to everything I do.  I read my horoscope once in a while and knowingly or unknowingly, I use it as a guide. Let me dissect:

Huge changes in your cash flow are going on now.
— Isn’t this applicable to everybody?

December 31 / January 1 may end a source of income. Don’t worry. January 15 may bring in a new way to make money.
— Because it’s pay day!

Love and travel appear to be linked: all month.
— Like!

Alternatively, you may take a seminar, set of classes, or even a major exam near the full moon January 30.
— I have no choice, I have MBA classes.

Romance will be best: January 2, 10, 16, 20, 21, 26, 30, and 31.
— Cheesy!

Month’s end would also be the moment to spend a little time on your appearance.
— I’ll schedule a haircut!

Maybe it’s easier if I use my free will.

Ngiti

It pays to help.

img_14871As a culminating activity for our Managerial Accounting class, our batch decided to go to the Gawad Kalinga site in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija and treat the kids (especially the birthday celebrants) with a party they’ll never forget. It was at the crack of dawn on March 8 when my classmates and I met at the Ateneo Campus in Clark to prepare for our (as Oprah says it) “Big Give.” We packed everything – spaghetti, burgers, a huge cake, hotdogs and drinks.

After several stopovers, we reached the GK site. The donors were successful in building a cozy community situated between lush mountains. We all took deep breaths of fresh air and appreciated the beauty of the surroundings before we got down to business.

img_1556We quickly arranged the ‘party’ area under a big tree (which served as the shade.) Our very energetic classmate, Mon, hosted the program. Everyone had fun during the games. We also gave away some school supplies and handed over several shovels (for a sustainable livelihood development).

The most touching part for me is when I rendered a song number. As I sang the lines of Ronnie Liang’s “Ngiti” (Smile), I felt so happy because I really saw genuine smiles beaming from the faces of the children whom we helped. They even sang several lines with me. I am pleased to have touched the lives of people in such a simple way and I know my classmates felt the same.

We at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business believe in our motto that “Our Country is Our Business.” Bawat Atenista, Bayani! I condemn the words of Tracy Isabel Borres  who blogged negatively about her immersion experience with Aetas. Anyway, she admitted she was just some spoiled sheltered girl. The issue about the lady Atenean already vanished yet I am personally aggravated by her words. Hers are not that of a genuine Atenista who fully understand what the Ignatian teachings are all about.

Bowling

As of this moment my right arm still aches.

Ending the semester with one fun-filled game of bowling with my fellow biologists was not quite what I have expected. Days before our final exams, a so-called “Class Dinner” was the much-awaited get-together plan. After everyone finished the Ethics test, almost all went straight to the bulletin board to see the posted grades in Invert Zoo lab… What the… Aren’t we supposed to go to the mall? Plan the anticipated ‘class dinner’ or something? After triple-checking my grades (I hope it was the right student number I was looking at), I smiled. Duh! I passed.

Then, after finishing two slices of that 18″ Manhattan Meatlovers and a slice of Ham and Cheese Calzone courtesy of Yellow Cab, we went to the Bowling alley, rented some of those nice pair of bowling shoes (Oh, I want to take ’em home! heheh) and we (me and 7 others) were ready to rock and bowl.

Canalla! At first I wasn’t able to hit any of the pins. Besides, I can feel that the weight of the bowling ball is heavier than my own body. After several trials, a STRIKE! Then, another one, and another… Que hombre este! Eventhough I wasn’t able to play with the proper form (you know, the proper pose, etc.) I enjoyed the whole game… And who didn’t? Each of us were laughing the whole time we were bowling.

I still don’t have any idea what happened about that ‘Class Dinner.’

Special Notes:
* We did it! Hurray for the September Issue of Momentum, the UST Science Journal.
* Cheers for Dan Brown. I just finished Angels and Demons. I can’t wait to see Rome!
* I was carried away by homosexuals! I cried over one episode of Queer As Folk.

Gunshots

Shoot me now.

After a month of absenting myself from blogging, here I am, sleepless after a roadtrip. A book sits atop my side table and I still haven’t reached at least half of that 569-page adventure novel. As usual, I am bombarded with a lot of schoolwork. Until now, I am still absorbing the euphoria caused by the recently concluded Cheerdance Competition wherein our University (UST) bagged the top prize for 4 consecutive years in a row. Then, a week ago, I just learned that my eyesight is still detiriorating, ergo, I was prescribed with a higher grade of lenses. Also, perfectly dancing in the tune of Footloose and Rythm of the Night hasn’t been easy. I need a break. But last night, I almost ended up having a “PERMANENT BREAK” – that is ending my life. Don’t get me wrong. Don’t stop reading here. Continue…

Me and my groupmates were on our way to a resort where we will conduct our dress rehearsal for a play. Then, one of us was telling me that she feels something strange; it seemed for her that something bad would happen. Before we left the place, that classmate of mine said that her eerie feeling wasn’t gone. Then, when we opened the gate and we were about to leave, ‘Bang, bang, bang!’ We heard gunshots. Followed by three more. Out of curiousity, all 9 of us managed to take a peek and see what was happening a few blocks from where we were. Then panic and rage followed. Mixed reactions. Will this end our life?

We hurriedly took off and rode a jeepney. Exhuasted with what just happened, all of us were still able to laugh at the situation. Although we were terrified, our plans for the night were pushed through and everything went well during the whole night as we recounted the experience. Our group had so much fun telling stories, laughing, and dancing the whole night (of course, practicing for the play as well).

Eventhough we only had about 2 hours of sleep, I will never forget the lessons I’ve learned: (1) believe in your classmate’s premonitions no matter how weird they are, (2) after the rain comes the sunshine and (3) enjoy life.

Dropped by

Shakey’s V-LeagueIt’s the game of the season for college volleyball. A friend of mine invited me to watch one game in Makati – UST vs. La Salle… and for some reason, this was far too hot to handle. Both universities are vying for the top spot in this volleyball league sponsored by Shakey’s. A couple of ‘deuces’ afterwhich the game ended up ‘not-so-well’ for me because my school (UST) lost. But it was a good fight (it’s normal to defend your camp isn’t it?) Well, after that very exciting game (not to mention the fervent cheers of Thomasians), me and my friend Camille went straight to Taft Avenue (to meet another friend, Fatima, and another unexpected new guy named JC [Cuadrado] – say it loud and proud: Showbiz #1! Wazzup Wazzup hehehe…)

Both my companions were my pals since high school and as usual, we used this ‘just dropped by’ moment to catch up and exchange latest news regarding ourselves and our batchmates. It only took a 30 minute meal London 2012at Red Ribbon for us to reminisce the past, savor the present and daydream about the future. With my hectic schedule (due to BS Bio), I wonder when will I be dropping by once again.

Speaking of sporting events, I just want to congratulate LONDON for winning the bid for the 2012 Olympics. See you there! (now I have to start saving bucks for that…)

Vandals

Ambigram by Michelle Chua (UST CSJ)‘Press button to teleport to bedroom.’*
Five minutes of Calculus lecture and you see some students doing something else other than listening. Written on my desk are the lines mentioned above [Press button to teleport to bedroom] My seatmates bursted into silent laughter when I showed this ‘vandalism’ to them. Actually, this form of psychological expression is a mere representation of an idea. People writing on walls, chairs and toilet cubicle doors continue to amaze me although others may consider the fact that these markings on public areas literally cause eyesore (in the sense that chairs, tables, walls, doors, etc. become extremely untidy).

‘I cannot afford to fail. I must struggle everyday. I must!’**
This line [quoted last] is written at the last page of my first year college notebinder. Believe it or not, this is a another ‘vandalism’ on the armchair where I was assigned to sit for a whole semester three times a week. This is one of those very useful ‘quotable quotes’ from people who just want to share their precious (or sometimes nonsense) thoughts. The line is so simple, appealing and very practical.

‘I’m a police officer. Freeze!’
Okay, this is not one of those written ‘vandals.’ Last Wednesday on my way to Zoology class, a complete stranger grabbed my right hand. He stopped me from walking, talked to me and claimed that he was a police officer. He was not in uniform plus he never showed me any ID (Aren’t they supposed to have those gold badges just like in the movies?) Well, I froze in fear and panic. I thought I was going to be kidnapped or something (…daydreaming of being a rich kid stops here…) Anyway, he talked to me and said that they were on the lookout on someone who stole a cellphone, blah blah, that I should be cautious, and more blah blah. Honestly, I never clearly understood what he said because I was so worried about my class (I thought I was going to be late). At least, I was alarmed that ‘vandalizers’ of another form are on the lose – the hold-uppers and criminals – two of my friends lost their cellphones this week because of these lawbreakers.

My week ended up the usual way – hectic but worthy of a smile! Whenever I feel like writing something not-so-useful, I try my best to control myself and end up scribbling on my notes.

*     Rm 314 UST Main Building
**   Rm 136 UST Main Building

Heat Stroke and More

Summer’s heat strikes again – and it reached 37.5 degrees last May 3 (if I heard the news right). I owe a lot to the air-conditioning units in school and in my bedroom . Whenever I walk by the streets of Padre Noval, I feel like being fried alive by the sun’s rays. I cannot even open my eyes widely because of the blinding light. I bet that the rainy days will be worse this coming June/July because of this year’s summer heat.

The past three days has been virtual days for me. My laptop has just been reformatted and now, I’m enjoying the perks of burning CD’s once again. Everyday, I was required to be online. Thanks to the online virtual classroom provided for us by our Math professor. Then, at last, I found time to manage all my online accounts: friendster, berkzter, myspace, pinoyexchange and even the UST E-leap. I changed all the passwords and now I feel a little secured.

Just as I was feeling a little secured, Trojan Spyware attacked! Whoa! Icons popped up my screen and I can’t delete them. The solution? System Restore! And my problem was solved. I hate those wicked people who are making those spywares.

The O.C.What else did I do this week? Well, I had a taste of the new Pepsi Fire and Ice (it tasted well, but I still prefer Pepsi Blue). I am also religiously attending my Trigonometry Summer Classes. I recently served as an emcee for my former classmate’s debut (the second time i hosted one). Finally, until now, I’m still having this LSS (Last Song Syndrome). The songs ‘Tell Me Where It Hurts’ and ‘First Day Funk’ keeps lurching around my senses and I’m hearing voices (is that normal?).

By the way, I just got hooked on ‘The O.C.’. and I love the new UST website. What a good revamp!