Friday, May 26, 2006

Soul Patrol!

from the beginning of the season, i never expected it...but it happened! and his last performance definitely sealed the deal.

congratulations to the new American Idol, the Silver Fox himself, Taylor Hicks!

of course, i still think
Chris is the man (sorry, bo).

last night's AI is, by far, my most favorite finale. i actually watched it FOUR times yesterday. hey, was it my fault they kept on replaying it?? (if only they were going to make a DVD copy...)

the highlights?

1. the Golden Idol Awards! it was too hilarious! my favorites were:

- the Best Impersonation Award. i haven't laughed that hard in a long time! (Cher, is that you???)

- the Proudest Family Moment Award. Elliott's mom is such a sweetie-pie. made me a bit teary-eyed. just a bit. :p

3. the guys' number. the best part was when Taylor came out and grooved with his harmonica. that was pretty cool 8)

4. of course, my night wouldn't be complete without a number by Chris! he rocked the Kodak Theater with Live last night! (woo-hoo!) i'm pretty sure he'll strike a record deal soon. i can't wait! :)

until then, i guess i'll just have to grab my harmonica and get on board the Soul Train...

Soul Patrol! Soul Patrol! Soul Patrol!



uh, i think i gave myself a stiff neck!

*all photos courtesy of the American Idol official

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Papa's Girls

papa used to be so passionate about photography.

you see, he isn't a very expressive nor affectionate person. but he made up for it with out-of-town trips, food (hehe), and, of course, photos.

instead of paintings, our living room wall and hallway is decked with rows of his favorite pictures from our childhood.

he never took classes (didn't have the patience for it, actually. hehe.). he just learned through trial-and-error. well, as they say, experience is the best teacher.

sometimes i catch him reminiscing about his camera collection. ever since our family went through a financial crisis, everybody had to make sacrifices. he had to sell two of his cameras. the other two (his favorites), thankfully, he kept safely tucked in his closet.

i can't recall the last time he used his babies.

when i started to learn photography, i considered using his FM2. but the years of hiding in the closet earned his prized collection a lot of dust and molds that i can't even begin to describe. when i had it checked in one of the local photography outlets, i found out that the cleaining will cost about 2.6k - and that was two years ago. this was excluding any other repairs or replacements needed (i have a feeling his lenses need some cleaning, too...)


it would have been a great gift to have it repaired and see him shoot again. but then, i realized that the cost of film and developing will set him back to even more financial problems.

ah well, i tried.

i'm not giving up, though. when the right time comes (and i have the resources), i'll have his babies fixed and running smoothly in no time. of course, that's just my excuse to hog his FM2. hehe...^_^

to our one and only papa,

happy birthday!

mwah! :-*

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Veni. Vidi. Beachy!

I came. I saw. I beached. :D

finally, after two years, i was back in Puerto Galera!

The Beach

a lot of things have happened in the years that i was away. the last time i was there, there were already rows and rows of souvenir shops, henna tattoo booths, bars, and restos. now, there are even more shops, bars, and restos! they're like mushrooms! i was a bit saddened when i saw the narrow strip of sand that was free of these establishments. there were two volleyball nets set up along the shore. before, you can easily avoid these areas. now, you have to get your feet wet in order to manouver yourself around the net. ahh, the price we have to pay for having a hipper and cooler beach.

well, the beach front may be a congested pile of commercial space but i'm extremely happy to say that the water hasn't changed a bit. it's still as gorgeous and clear as i remember it to be.

and you can't mention water without talking about the water activities. Puerto Galera is truly the affordable Boracay. they have jet skiing, scuba diving, wind surfing, and banana boating!

ah yes, the banana boat.

now for those who haven't tried out this exciting water "sport," i just want you to know that tipping the boat is really part of the package. who wouldn't want to fall splat in the middle of the ocean, water in your ears (and mouth) and all? it would've been a boring, boring ride. my favorite part was actually sitting right in front of the giant banana while the motorboat spinned us around the water. it was like riding a roller coaster, only this ride ended with me gulping down a gallon of salt water. hahaha!

Royal Treatment

we truly felt like kings and queens last weekend.

the minute we got to Batangas, we got the VIP treatment. my uncles drove us to the San Miguel Brewery branch in Batangas to park the car and van. Uncle Nhat is a manager at SMB and one of his supervisors' area is Mindoro. so, we, the lucky ones, got a discounted rate in Agbing Resort. we took two adjoining rooms, one with a kitchen. the best part was the free food! tons and tons of fresh seafoods (fish, squid, and shrimp) and vegetables. we were even given a complete set of ingredients for sinigang! i got to hand it to uncle nhat. it sure to know people and high places (and to actually be one of them, too).

Child of the Corn (Rows)

i've always wanted to see how it feels like to sport corn rows and dreadlocks. i got my chance last weekend. i had so much fun! i felt like a celebrity, actually.

artists fixing my hair as people crowded around me to watch and take photos. of course, 100% of my fans were family but that still counts, right? :D

it turned out great.

until the banana boat fiasco, that is. somehow the braids got loose so i had to take them off saturday evening. well, it was great while it lasted (and i still have the photos to prove it :D).

Just Keep Swimming, Swimming, Swimming...

and swam we did! it's been a loooong time since i bonded with my cousins. it's just too bad that two of the families from my mama's side already migrated to Canada. it would've been doubly fun with my other crazy cousins around.

i was so excited about the trip that i even bought myself a disposable underwater film camera. it only has 27 exposures and i'm still using it on my next trip to Galera with flor in two weeks so i had to use my shots wisely. even before the trip, i was already daydreaming about our snorkling adventure...

unfortunately, unforseen circumstances burst my happy bubble. uncle nhat's family had to leave early so that left us with two families. also, we ran out of tickets for the 2 pm trip back to batangas so we were forced to buy the 11:30 tickets. which meant that we had to schedule the three-hour snorkling trip to 6 am, sunday morning. Sun Cecullar had an event that evening so, understandably, my rocker cousins came back in the wee hours of the morning, groggy and extremely tired. so that left us with only four people - mama, my sisters, and moi. my contact didn't want to push through with the trip because we were too few. sigh.

well, this only means that flor and i really have to make our trip happen, even if it'll be just the two of us. it'll be like our Cebu trip a few years ago. bonding to the max!! too bad star and mildred aren't here to join us (umuwi na kasi kayo e!)...

From Dusk Til Dawn

dusk is definitely my favorite time of the day.

when the sun was ready to set, more people gathered around the shore to take photos and admire the view. it was like an unspoken agreement. i suddenly felt like i was in Baywalk, except there was less PDA and even less clothing (hahaha!).

Celebrity Sightings

1. we ran into Tado on our way back to our room. much to our delight, he stayed in the same resort. he was so nice and funny. our pictorials ended with my lola chatting up a storm with the popular comedian. naks, close na sila! :p

2. my uncle and cousins spotted Christine Reyes while we were strolling along the beach front. i'm not that familiar with her, actually. i just learned that she's Ara Mina's younger sis. of course, the boys (and my uncle ;) ) couldn't help but give her a second look (and a third, and a fourth....)

3. "Uy, si Gladys o!" my cousin exclaimed.
"Oo, nga!" Gelli replied, pertaining to Gladys of the now defunct Gladys & The Boxers.
it was K Brosas, of K & The Boxers. hahaha!

you guys better hope that she didn't hear you! :p

4. spotted Don during our last swim sunday morning. naks, celebrity daw o! hi, bro! hehe.

Time Sure Flies When You're Having (Too Much) Fun

at least that's what i felt as we rode the boat back to Batangas. i think we did have too much fun because we were the last ones to load the boat...and we were 15 minutes late!! to think i was the one who always waited for my ride in my past trips. i actually felt the negative energy radiating from our fellow passengers. i can't really blame them. hehe.

why, why, why do good things have to end??

of course, the best thing is that it gives room for new and greater adventures!

Puerto Galera, you haven't seen the last of me!! bwahahaha!

(see you in two weeks!)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Life's a Beach!

Puerto Galera, May 2004
Canon Ixus Z65
scanned photo (thanks for the scanner, ma!)

i love the beach!!

when i was much younger, we (the families in my papa's side) make it a point to go to the beach or spend the weekend at lolo's fishpen almost every summer.

can't remember when this was taken. wasn't i a cute kid? :p the groovy lady in the shades was my glamorous tita lina. we will always miss her, especially on trips like this...

somehow, that out-of-town tradition was set aside as we got older. but when i began working, my friends and i often went on out-of-town trips.

the most memorable so far was on july 2000 when we were stranded for a week (!!) in Puerto Galera because of two typhoons that struck the island. and we were only supposed to stay overnight!

i can't think of any other beach trip that can top that!

that may have been our first visit to Galera but it sure as heck wasn't the last.

i've been there every summer until 2004. :)

and after two years of waiting....i'm finally coming back this weekend! my relatives from mama's side and i are all going to Galera for Lola's despedida (she's migrating to Canada).

i'm so excited! :D

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

artsy fartsy

5..4..3..2..1..Blast Off!

we launched the maiden issue of The Vineyard last night. i was pretty excited because it was my first project as editor-in-chief (i don't think i'll ever get used to that moniker) of my community's newsletter.

because joel (the Publications co-lead and Creative Communications Ministry head) and i decided to have monthly releases, we kept the newsletter simple (one spread only) but action-packed:

front page: articles of recent events, entries on saint of the month, and additional trivia (if there was still space)
center spread: calendar of activitiesback page: teachings/sharings

after spending those days finalizing the lay-out, design, and articles, i realized that it's a pretty challenging task. but i always tell myself that if the fulfillment outweighs the difficulties, then it's always worth it! (hey, i'm still teaching aren't i? :D)

For Art's Sake

well, whoever this Art is has a lot of explaining to do! because of him and his movement, i've been under a lot of pressure to raise his banner and prove myself.

of course, most of the time, it was my idea in the first place.

like that scrapbook. :D

but...i'm happy and proud to say that i've finally accomplished my mission. just in time. although if you ask jeanne, i'm pretty sure she'd say it took longer than she hoped. :D

i think i'll leave all that artsy fartsy stuff for schoolwork first. just to keep my creative juices flowing, instead of overflowing and leaving me empty of ideas. hehe.