Browsing Date

August 2009

Sleeping in the Backseat of my Life

MOMents By August 29, 2009 No Comments

I lay in bed, staring blankly at the ceiling, my back flat on the bed for a change. It has been a long time since I laid in bed like this. I cannot recall at what time in my pregnancy did I stop laying flat on my back, because the doctor said it was bad. The past nights were always nights of me having my back propped on a pillow, as I laid on my side, the baby sleeping soundly in my arms.

Might tonight be the night that would be the first of many nights when I would not have the child in my arms?

I remember the very first night she went to sleep with me, in my hospital bed, faint, tiny, shrill cries echoing through the darkened white halls every now and then. I remember the very first night she went to sleep in our big bed, shielded from the careless big arms of her sleeping father by a pillow laid right in the middle, a clear separation between father and mother with child.

The many nights I had to lie on my side so she could easily reach for me with her tiny mouth, asleep in the middle of the night – her head barely touching halfway my chest. The many nights I laid her on top of my chest, her legs too short to dangle from my side. She used to be swaddled in blankets then. I used to get up every hour or so to change her.

The past weeks she sleeps with her arms around me, sometimes her legs around me too. Most mornings I wake up with a stiff arm, from having her sleep on it the entire night, a heavy head she has.

Now I am lying with my flat back on the bed, my hands together, resting on my abdomen. I could even lay with my stomach flat on the bed if I wanted to. I could wrap my arms and legs around a pillow if I wanted to. I could sleep soundly, thinking that tomorrow, chances are, I will not have a sore arm, or a stiff neck, or an aching back. There is a promise of a good sleep after many months but I find myself wide awake, unable to sleep, crying, looking at the baby sleeping soundly in her crib, one foot away from me, wishing she will wake up and look for me – and I will get up, tell myself she cannot sleep without me next to her, bring her back to sleep on my side, her heavy head resting on my arm, my aching back propped against a pillow, her hands and legs wrapped around me and we would both be drifting off to sleep with a hint of a smile on our peaceful, sleeping faces.

I don’t understand why this has to be this hard.

Three weeks

…baby babe, we’re moving so fast
I try to hang on
Try to hang on!

(A reverberation of Roxette)

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Hello Philippines Alumni Night

Theater By August 25, 2009 No Comments

It’s always nice to see a play. It’s always nice to see friends. It’s always soo much nicer to see a play with friends. But then, it’s even so much much nicer to see a play of friends with friends.

After the show is over, the real show begins. 😉


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Easier

Old Writings By August 19, 2009 1 Comment

I climbed higher up the hill, pausing each time to look back and take in the sight of the sea from way up. The sky was overcast but the zephyr kept my heart light. I spotted a hammock tied between two thin tall trees, swaying gently with the wind. I was delighted, but shortly disappointed to see that it was wet after I came running towards it. I then walked slowly towards the narra bench, dry and gleaming. I sat on it, untied my hair and let the wind blew it across my face. My hand in my hair, my elbow on the bench, one foot tucked underneath me and one dangling loosely to the ground, I stared at the boats dotting the sea in the distance. The sun was trying to peek through the thick gray clouds. I stretched my full length on the bench and stared at the rays of sunlight coming through the leaves overhead. It was a bit too bright. I flipped onto my stomach, rested my chin on my arm, and looked through the strands of hair over my eyes towards the trees, hoping to see wild monkeys playing somewhere in the woods. I saw none. I heard a bird shrilly call out but it was cleverly hidden in the trees. I flipped onto my back again. I was rolling on the smooth bench over and over again, I have no doubt I must have swept it clean.

I am lonely.

Just then, as I was looking through my splayed fingers, into the bright rays coming in through the leaves, the wind gently blowing my hair falling to almost touch the ground, my neck cool against the shiny, smooth narra wood, it suddenly came to me. That gnawing realization, the thought that suddenly comes into your mind from out of nowhere, like sudden inspiration, coming to you as if it is some important clue to a very essential puzzle that has been haunting you for life.

It is easier to find men to love you than to find a man to love.

Written September 11, 2005

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One Sunny Saturday

Travel Factor By August 17, 2009 Tags: , , , , , No Comments
Angku and Lia at the Travel Factor 1st Team Olympics Meralco Field August 15, 2009

Angku and Lia at the Travel Factor 1st Team Sports Olympics Meralco Field August 15, 2009

I really, really wanted to play games and badminton for this event. I got all very excited when the event was first announced. I had wanted to play badminton for so long. The last time I played badminton was in 2005, when I was still living in El Nido. I took it up as a class in college and that was even more long ago. I could not even remember the rules of the game.

Then the wedding invitation came just a little more than a week before the event and it was a wedding I could not not go to.

So I said I was just gonna play the relay games in the morning but Ryan got confused with the time of his arrival from Munich-Amsterdam. Lia and I waited for him to get home and arrived at the Meralco field at about forty-five minutes before noon – missing the relay games completely.

No matter, it was nice to see our Travel Factor friends play and just have fun. Lia had such a great time watching too from her stroller and meeting people and most especially Mathea, who is 4 months older than she is.

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Top Ten Tourist Destinations in the Philippines

Travel By August 13, 2009 1 Comment
Mt. Mayon sunrise one August morning

Mt. Mayon sunrise one August morning

The number of foreign tourists who visited the Philippines’ top 16 regional destinations outside Metro Manila rose 6.4 percent year-on-year in the first six months of 2009, according to the Department of Tourism or DOT.

“Foreign arrivals in key destinations increased 6 percent in the first half of the year despite a decrease of 6 percent in inbound visitors into East Asia and the Pacific,” Tourism Secretary Ace Durano said in his semestral report.

While the DOT did not release the complete international visitor arrivals data in Metro Manila for the period, there was a decline of about 5 to 7 percent in arrivals from other countries this year, according to other government offices. Data from the Bureau of Immigration show that a total of 1.22 million foreigners arrived in the country from January to May 2009, compared to 1.31 million who arrived in the same period last year.

This was supported by Carmelo Arcilla, executive director of the Civil Aeronautics Board, who said there was a 5 percent drop in international airline passengers in the first semester.

What made up for the slack in foreign visitor arrivals was the double-digit growth in domestic tourism which provided the impetus to sustain tourism growth in the midst of challenges brought by the global financial crisis and Influenza A (H1N1).

“This feat is attributed to the substantial increase in domestic tourism by 20 percent in the second quarter of 2009, which enhanced the business and investment confidence in the sector during the period January to June 2009,” Durano said.

He said the changing lifestyle and travel pattern of more Filipinos and Philippine residents to spend their Holy Week, long weekends and summer/ holiday vacation in the various tourist areas of the country boosted tourist flow.

Altogether, foreign and domestic tourist arrivals in the top 16 tourism destinations were up 16.5 percent to 4 million in the first half from a year ago.

The department was targetting at least 3 million foreign visitors this year, up from just over a million tourists in 2000. Durano said that as tourist arrivals rose, some 8,000 hotels rooms have been created in the Philippines over the past five years.

“As tourism facilities and products continue to expand, the DOT anticipates greater growth in tourist arrivals in key destinations towards the end of 2009. The growing interests among LGUs and private sector to offer innovative tourism experience for visitors will greatly enhance the quality of Philippine tourism products,” Durano said.

Camarines Sur emerged as the country’s top tourist destination, after it saw its tourist arrivals triple to 902,202 in the first half of the year from only 306,841 a year earlier.

Lago del Rey Camarines Sur Water Sports Complex

Lago del Rey Camarines Sur Water Sports Complex

The province, known for its wakeboarding destination, accommodated 147,504 foreign guests and 754,698 domestic tourists in the first half.

“The success of this local government unit initiative serves as a model for other LGUs to harness their tourism potentials and optimize local resources to create more economic activity,” Durano said.

Cebu was the second most visited tourist destination with 830,599 visitors, up by 2.3 percent from a year ago. It continues to be the top destination for foreign tourists with 321,116 in the first semester, although this was down 3.5 percent from the same period last year. Domestic tourists in Cebu rose 6.3 percent to 509,433.

Durano said the expansion in air access from major tourist markets, including the new charter flights from Incheon, Busan, Shanghai , Guangzhou , and Kaohsiung as well as increase in room supply, aggressive promotion, public and private sector partnership to diversify the tourism products greatly contributed to the hike in visitor volume to Cebu .

Boracay was the third most visited destination, receiving 383,813 visitors in the January-June period, up by 6 percent from a year ago.

While the volume of foreign visitors in the resort island went down 4.0 percent to 112,315, domestic tourists rose 10.7 percent to 271,498.

Baguio was relegated to the fourth position, following a 14.5 percent drop in arrivals.

Surfing in Bagasbas, Daet, Camarines Norte

Surfing in Bagasbas, Daet, Camarines Norte

Other top destinations in the first semester were Davao , Puerto Galera, Bohol, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Ilocos Norte, Masbate, Camarines Norte, Puerto Princesa, Legaspi, Catanduanes and Sorsogon.

Visitor count in Puerto Princesa and Bohol went up by 63 percent and 16 percent, respectively, as diving, ecotourism, birdwatching, adventure and incentive tourism products were jointly launched by the DOT, LGUs and the private sector, according to Durano.

Five of the 16 destinations are now in Bicol region.

Manila Standard Today

***

The decrease in inbound visitors into East Asia and the Pacific should have been expected as there is a global recession after all. There might even be a decrease in visitors globally as people lose jobs, earn less money and of course channel whatever resources they have left to just basic necessities and basically just surviving.

View from the Partido Riviera, Camarines Sur

View from the Partido Riviera, Camarines Sur


What is interesting is the increase in domestic tourism. Changing lifestyle and travel pattern indeed.

Being from Camarines Sur, and in fact, living just ten minutes away from the Provincial Capitol Complex which we all called “Capitol” before it became the internationally renowned CWC, my childhood years teem with memories of being in the various parts of the complex in all the years of its transformation as it saw one governor with one agenda to the next. There used to be a giant public pool and a smaller kiddie pool where after-school excursions, birthday celebrations and simple family weekends were held; a botanical garden, a bike lane, a deer farm, an orchidarium, even a picnic area where boats could be rented and paddled in one big artificial pool filled with koi and real waterlilies.

Mt. Isarog, Pili, Camarines Sur (May 2009)

Mt. Isarog, Pili, Camarines Sur (May 2009)


I can still remember when the sleepy little town of Caramoan was just that – little and sleepy, and inaccessible to most, even the residents. We locals only made it as far to Atulayan when we wanted white-sand beaches and some quiet time. The rest of the time we sated ourselves with the volcanic ash-black sand of Sabang, the grey-black sand of Nato and the almost pebbled-sand of Pasacao. Who cared about the huge image of Mary? Who cared about the limestone cliffs?

Back then, nobody has even heard of Donsol or cared enough to find out what could be seen there. I say, “Thank you very much locals.” I am sure, like the locals of Caramoan, not all of them are ecstatic about the surge of tourists coming in.

Five of the 16 destinations are now in Bicol region indeed.

My only hope is that this tourism does something to improve Bicol’s status as one of the poorest regions in the country – battered by numerous typhoons year in and year out as well as its status of being the region with the highest population growth. Man, those hot chilis must really work wonders. Either that or the lack of good infrastructure like roads and bridges, communications like good television reception (if there are TVs at all in those little baranggays in hard-to-reach coastal areas as well as up in the forests of the region’s many mountains and volcanoes) leave people with nothing else to do.

As a side-note, this is all just my personal opinion. Don’t take my word for it.

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Hello Philippines! this August

Theater By August 12, 2009 No Comments
Hello Philippines Dalisay Aldaba Recital Hall, U.P. Diliman, August 20-23, 2009 7pm

Hello Philippines CMC Media Center, U.P. Diliman, August 21-23, 2009 3pm and 7pm

The UP Repertory Company Alumni Association and the UP Repertory Company proudly present its first joint offering for 2009: Hello Philippines!

Hello Philippines, a one act musical, is a humorous take on call center culture. Team leader Tiffany tells five agents from his team that one of them is going to get axed. The twist, however, is that he will leave that decision to the five agents. So now, it’s up to ex-tibak Anton, clueless rich girl Berni, the slutty Toni, the probinsyanong Brichi, and the overly religious Elsa to do whatever it takes to keep their jobs. Whatever it takes.

Hello Philippines is viciously funny and holds nothing sacred as it skewers the “call center lifestyle”, a life cycle born out of fast money and desperation, shifting body clocks, and too much coffee, beer, and cigarettes. It attempts to put into perspective all the sacrifices one makes to stay in such an environment, albeit in an entertaining manner.

The College of Mass Communications Media Center is close to the College of Music building which is next to the U.P. Theater. It is also close to Quezon Hall where the Oblation is. For a map, click here.

The play will run August 21-23, 2009 with 3pm and 7pm shows.

For inquiries and tickets, text Jill at 0906-400-3279

You may also view more information on Facebook and Multiply.

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Angku has just become STOiC

Cubao X By August 11, 2009 Tags: , , , No Comments

I frequent Cubao because of its relative proximity to where I now live. Before Cubao X was Cubao X, it was the Marikina Shoe Expo, and I frequented the Marikina Shoe Expo too because it was right beside the Cubao grand bus terminal where we took the buses to Bicol. I always said I am a Cubao girl.. just like my father was a Cubao boy. It was the place to go to before there was Ortigas and Makati.

I go to Mogwai often. Not to drink but because I love their desserts. I do not really go into the other shops that much. Except that the past weeks, I have been looking for dresses and shoes. I must say I have been a bit hooked on online shopping. I have been looking for dresses and shoes – and that is the only reason I went into the inconspicuous little store that is called STOiC – and I was in for a surprise.

I went in and casually went through the racks. Then I find a box on the floor in some corner and found a treasure chest.

I casually took a few pieces of clothing to try them on in their makeshift dressing room and as I was trying them on, my eyes fell on this little sign on the wall, right beside the unflattering mirror.

The Stoic store in Cubao X

The Stoic store in Cubao X

SYMPTOMS YOU’RE STOiC:

1. You’re fashion sense is relaxed. Calm. Unruffled.
2. You’re style is your own. Not too heavy on trends. Not conventional either.
3. People stare at you. And you don’t care.
4. You’re cool. And you’re unaffected.
5. You like reading this, but you don’t show it.

And I thought, this is it. I have found my store. I am officially STOiC.

Clothes rack and shoes inside the STOiC store

Clothes rack and shoes inside the STOiC store

Visit STOiC in Cubao Expo for your fashion fix. Loads of fab and tasteful tops, dresses, skirts and shorts from Bangkok, Hongkong, the US, Dash and Roxy Roco.

PLUS!

Shoes from Methilation (http://methilation.multiply.com),

Bags from Fofa (http://www.fofashion.net),

Accessories by Keri (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jazzzz/sets/72157604008846052/) and Jaja Bolos (http://jhajing.multiply.com)

Verve Sense Soothers (http://www.verve-lifestyle.com)

Clothes, shoes, bags and accessories at STOiC

Clothes, shoes, bags and accessories at STOiC

Operating Hours:
Tue, Wed & Thurs: 1:00PM – 8:30PM
Fri & Sat: 1:00PM – 9:30PM
Sun: 1:00PM – 8:00PM

ADDRESS:
Cubao Expo (previously Marikina Shoe Expo)
Araneta Center, Gen. Romulo Ave., Cubao
Quezon City




If you are at a loss and wondering how exactly you will be able to get there, here is a map to help you out.

On getting there

I took the photos off the multiply sites of STOiC and Methilation because I was not able (or more like did not bother) to take my own photos myself (even if I was toting my camera with me as is now a [new] habit of mine).

Happy shopping!

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Team Conquer

Travel Factor By August 10, 2009 Tags: , , , No Comments
Are You Ready for This?

Are You Ready for This?

Seeing that the Travel Factor Olympics is drawing near, team meetings are being held and practices are being planned. How so very serious are we? Very serious. This serious: “Are you ready for this?” Hahahaha.

862.41642_e

Sanuk Women’s Daydreamer

Hung out for a bit at R.O.X. after spending a few hours at Krispy Kreme. Tried this on and fell in love. Now I’m a-wantin these. *heart eyes*

I also fell in love with the shirts from Team Manila with their Graphic Designed Lifestyle. I am now browsing through their stuff on their website and itching to get back to R.O.X. to get that white tee I saw.. I must hurry before someone snatches it off the rack!

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