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Monthly Archives: July 2010

100 Things I Love Project: #4 – Dancing With (and Inside) Myself

I cannot dance to save my life.

This is a truth I’ve long ago accepted and it has been the 2nd biggest frustration of my life (drawing is the first).

And if you’re really my friend, you know you cannot make me dance in public. This is also weird since I used to be 1/8 of a semi-show band. I think it comes from a deep-seated trauma of being forced (yes, forced!)  to join two dance contests in high school and being jokingly ridiculed (but ridiculed nonetheless) by my classmates. And for a secretly awkward and gawky adolescent, it really is traumatic. I vowed to myself that I will never put myself in that position again.

But once my bedroom door is closed, and an incessant beat is raging in my head, it’s a different story. The phrase “dance your heart out” becomes a living, breathing message for myself. (by the way, this is a fact that very few people know about me, until now). I dance like I’m Kayla Radomski (that’s a So You Think You Can Dance finalist for those who don’t watch the show), flailing around the stage, bringing a contemporary interpretation to a Sara Bareilles song. I jump around the room, limbs akimbo, and pretend that I am at a Kaiser Chiefs dance rock marathon. I dance like I’m the only female member of the Jabbawockeez, too cool to just dance to a simple R&B tune so it has to be a perfectly produced remix. Those moments are precious because I can just let go and regardless of whether I was born with actual rhythm or not, it does not matter because  there is no one to see or judge or point their finger at me and laugh uncontrollably.

But the most profound moments of my secret dancing life are spent while in the company of other people who don’t know that I am dancing inside. If you happen to see me on the MRT with my earphones bobbing my head to unheard music, then you know that deep inside, I am imagining myself breaking out in a spontaneous dance number to the amazement and embarrassment of the people around me. When I watch amazing dancers in a concert or show, I just smile and tap my feet but secretly, I’m dying of envy and yet I am envisioning myself to be on stage with them. But most of all, in the throes of communal worship with fellow believers, I close my eyes and do a simple, gravity-defying, genre-breaking dance performance for Him, who doesn’t care if I stumble while executing a pirouette, as long as my heart is in the right place.

So yes, you might never persuade me to dance in front of other people, but know that my inner, dancing self is totally sated

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Posted by on July 30, 2010 in 100 Things I Love

 

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My Must List – week of July 26

It’s been more than a month since I last posted a Must List, so here goes

1. Summer TV shows

I don’t get attached too much with summer TV shows since they almost always become cannon fodder (meaning, canceled before they even had a chance). There are some interesting shows this year, notably Happy Town (think Twin Peaks), Persons Unknown (trying to be the next Lost), The Gates (vampires, werewolves, witches – all in one subdivision!), Haven (a more serious Eureka), Memphis Beat (a detective who moonlights as an Elvis-like singer), Scoundrels (a family of criminals trying to go straight) and my personal favorite, Covert Affairs, which has the potential to be the new, funnier Alias

2. ESPERANZA SPALDING!!!

And yes, I deliberately used all caps. It’s so stupid that I’ve only recently listened to her after several overly enthusiastic recommendations from different friends. But better late than never! Her voice lulls me to sleep every night. And I can’t stop watching videos of her live performances.

3. Good News About Injustice

I’ve always been a big fan of International Justice Mission, and because of my new job, I’ve had the chance to read the first few 10th anniversary edition of this amazing book, written by a former Senior Trial Attorney for the US turned Department of Justice turned CEO of IJM. I firmly believe that Christians should be at the forefront of the fight against injustice, and this book tells story after story of heartbreak, unwavering faith, grace and love.

4. Study all the football league 101s

Even though the World Cup is over, football still has a stronghold on my heart, and I have to familiarize myself with Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, heck, even MLS! The only problem now is where to watch the games, since sports cable channels only show Premier League games.

5. Learn to cook sinigang, niliga, tinola

It’s about time that I personally cook my 3 favorite Tagalog dishes. Let’s just hope I don’t torture my housemates with my “experiments”. Or I don’t burn our apartment down. Or I actually push through with this and not just continue buying fastfood or carinderia food

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2010 in Must List

 

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100 Things I Love Project: #3 – John and Kaligay

Okay, I know they should be considered two items, but pretty soon (wink, wink) they will become one.

John was my first honest-to-goodness guy friend. Contrary to what you might surmise about my personality, I don’t make friends with guys easily. For some reason that still eludes me to this day, I used to find it really awkward to talk to/relate to/interact with guys. But when I met John in my first year of college, we just sort of clicked, and I mean that in a strictly platonic, non-marrying way. He has been many things to me over our more than 10 years of friendship: brother, tormentor, counselor, bandmate, churchmate, neighbour, housemate, post-breakup hugger, mp3 provider, corny jokes-jejemon-imitator, football obsession partner, one-of-my-best-friends. I still don’t understand why he likes garlic and boy bands, but I do know that I love him to bits and pieces.

I met Kaligay when she was just a 16 year old freshman in UP and I was a wise beyond my years (or I would like to believe) senior. She was unlike any freshman I’ve met, because she was brash and irreverent and so not shy, but she wormed her way into the hearts of us older people at Christmass (that’s Christian Mass Communicators to you). And yes, she wormed her way into John’s heart as well, much to our consternation, largely due to her age and our wish to “protect” her from John (that’s a whole other story). And over the years, she has also become most of the things I mentioned about John above, both as an individual, and as part of the “power couple”

I have seen their love story from the very beginning. I have been with them through the ligawan stage, the heartaches, the kilig moments, the “eewww…this is too mushy” moments, the pain, the joy.

I feel privileged that they have let me into their love story, which, as mushy and as cliched as it may sound, has led me to believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even though it is a tunnel that I am still not willing to endure (haha). Theirs is a story of forgiveness, patience, endurance, persistence and joyful love.

And as I mentioned to them last night, they have played a crucial part in my own personal story of redemption and recovery, and for that I will be eternally grateful. I feel blessed to have their forgiveness, patience, endurance, persistence and joyful love.

I know I will cry on the big day. I won’t be able to help it. Two of the people I love most in this world getting married is a day worthy of those tears of joy

I love you John and Kaligay. And when I say I wish you all the best, I really do mean it, from the deepest recesses of my heart.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2010 in 100 Things I Love

 

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Top Ten Things That I’ve Been Learning (and re-learning) Lately

  1. Disciplining myself when it comes to viewing girly football stuff and entertainment news (during work – 15 minutes only. after work – still working on it or in other words, to my heart’s content)
  2. Cooking aka being domesticated even if I am single (spaghetti, tuna pasta, adobong baguio beans and amapalaya – check!) (sinigang, nilaga, tinola – you’re next!)
  3. Praying with other people (as opposed to me lying in bed and having conversations with God on my own turf)
  4. Tinkering on a website (html, you might just kill me)
  5. Thinking of writing for work as writing for myself too
  6. Not procrastinating (which might just kill me too)
  7. Going to a mall without actually buying anything
  8. Sleeping before 1AM (2 out of 5 times a week isn’t bad right?
  9. Riding a jeepney without smirking at the person beside me who is either speaking loudly on the phone, or whose hair is flying in my face or whose outfit is just plain weird
  10. Meeting new people (which surprisingly, terrifies me)
 
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Posted by on July 20, 2010 in Top 10 Lists

 

100 Things I Love Project: #2 – Football

Well duh

If you are in my social network, chances are you’ve seen my gazillion a day statuses about football, Nando, Spain, Fernando Torres, World Cup, Fern. You see where I’m going.

And even though I have a few friends (with emphasis on the few. I count maybe 8 or 10) who understand my fascination with the sport. Most react with “that’s boring” or “gwapo lang mga players” or “basketball na lang”

But I believe my love affair with football is just starting to take off and will continue for the rest of my life (and 80% of the world agrees with me)

Okay, I have to admit that I initially got hooked on the sport because of the hot men (if you’re a female with a pulse, you would of course). And I have to admit that until now, I can be such a girl about them

But along the way, I just fell in love with the beauty of the sport and the players who run a 120 meter field for 45 minutes straight per half, without so much as a water or bathroom or breathing break

I love seeing the passes and the sneak attacks and the aggressive defending and the amazing last-minute saves and the incredible footwork and the breathtaking speed

And yes, goals are very few and far between, but that just means that each goal is a cause for the ultimate celebration. Each goal is just so worth it.

And I also love the obsessive nature of the sport, with fans going to great lengths to support their favorite players, countries and clubs. That they would do/say/post anything for their faves is a testament to how gripping the sport (and yes, the behind-the-scenes drama) is.

And the men. Okay, don’t get me started on the men. Just a few words. Nando. Kaka. Almost the whole Spanish team. Messi. Mueller. Gerrard. Bocanegra. Gourcuff. Higuain. Santa Cruz. Okay, enough drooling now

After this World Cup, the next step for me is learn the game more. Oh, and yeah, pick a club. My friends have been convincing me to go with ManU or Arsenal or Barca or Inter. And because I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Spain, I’d probably go for Barca and Liverpool (only for Nando and Iker).

And I don’t care if you follow the sport because of the guys or because everyone you know is following it, as long as there are more Filipinos who love the game, I’m happy

Te amo futbal!!!

Vamonos La Furia Roja

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2010 in 100 Things I Love, Footie

 

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Viva La Furia Roja

Even as I was almost dying from tension and nervousness, the moment Spain took to the field, everyone knew that this was a different team that had played the past few weeks and which critics have accused of barely squeaking through the group stages, the final 16 and then the quarterfinals

This was a team that was more confident, more balanced (due to the decision to not start my beloved Nando), and more in control. The threatening and talented Germans who killed England and Argentina were left with their relative youth and inexperience scrambling to take possession and shots. It was a valiant effort, but in the end, our La Furia Roja was just too good. (I think Germany will be the team to beat in 2014, if the young ones reach their peak and not get injured)

And as the final whistle sounded and half of National Sports Grill erupted into screams (while the other half mourned in disbelief), everyone felt the collective love of the fans who have stuck with their team, in spite of everything

And what began as a “crush” on Spain, largely because of my obsession with Nando, has turned into a full-blown love affair with each and every member of the squad. And yes, Puyol (aka Ozzy Osbourne), it was an unlikely goal but a winning goal nonetheless and I love you now too!

And because I have no red outfit, I am wearing a red star necklace and using a red bag (and no, I haven’t slept a wink) in honor of your victory

Sorry Brazil, but I think Spain now occupies a bigger space in my heart

Let’s go win this World Cup!

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2010 in Footie

 

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100 Things I Love Project: #1 – Performing Songs and Stories in My Head

(DISCLAIMER: This post isnt about schizophrenia or any mental defect as the title might suggest)

Commuting is one of the necessary evils that plague us who have no cars/drivers/money for cabs. Whether it’s in a hot/humid/wet jeepney, a sardine-packed MRT or the long torturous bus ride through EDSA/NLEX/SLEX

And anyone who does this everyday nods their head vigorously.

But aside from the constant irritants (loud and/or smelly people, berzerk drivers, horrendous-its-not-funny-anymore traffic), one of the things that I absolutely dread is the inevitable boredom that comes while I’m on the road. I can only look at billboards for so long, and I get nauseated if I even dare to read. And don’t get me started on the choice of music/tv shows/movies of bus drivers

That is why I sincerely thank whoever invented portable music, because you probably saved my sanity (or whatever is left of it). Yes, I owned a discman and a walkman at one time or another (for those of you too young to remember, a discman is a circle-shaped thing that played CDs and a walkman is a rectangular box that played radio and cassette tapes)

And how do I even begin to thank Apple for giving us ipods? Anyhooo….

I’ve gotten to the point when even just listening to music is not enough. So I came up with this “game” where each song has a 4 minute short story attached to it.

A Paramore song is the first song a shy, young girl ever performs in public and she rocks it out to her heart’s content while the boy who payed no attention to her suddenly sees her in a different light

A Switchfoot song is the soundtrack to a guy walking around the city, with existential thoughts drifting through his mind, until there is a sudden downpour and the camera cinematically pans out

A Broken Social Scene song is being played by the DJ in a party and everyone is dancing and drinking and laughing, while a wallflower is slinking on the sides

A Damien Rice song is being written by a “bad boy” type who is trying to suppress his “sensitive side” but it comes out in the songs that he writes

A The Strokes song is being played in a seedy bar by a cover band that can’t seem to break into the big leagues

And it goes on and on and on

Doing this combines two things that I love: good music and making up stories in my head. It gets me out of having to be irritated with my seatmate who is loudly taking advantage of unli calls  or the fact that the vehicle hasn’t moved in 10 minutes as if we’re in a parking lot.

Try it sometime and extend your life a few more hours just because you didn’t give in to the stress of commuting

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2010 in 100 Things I Love

 

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