Street but Sweet


Friday, December 29, 2006

It wasn't really a memorable Christmas (not bad, just not the stuff that makes you reminisce), so there really isn't much to write about. It was the first Christmas that Carlos wasn't around, so we were incomplete, but it was also Diego's first Christmas so that was a bit of a treat (as was seeing my dad go gaga over him)--Christmas is for kids, after all. Oh, and I finally got to practice cooking!

One of last weekend's highlights though was meeting up with the the 5 Takes Philippine semi-finalists--including Mel (in town from Vietnam) and Mr. Travel Journalist himself, Zach, who's back from his 12-week tour of the US. He brought along his pretty fiancee (who's younger than me! Way to go, Zach. Haha). Joining us was Team Hong Kong's Justin and his lovely wife, Erin; they were visiting the Philippines for the first time, staying in Boracay and planning to go to Tagaytay.

Before Justin got here, I emailed him a list of places where he could eat and specific items he could order in Boracay (courtesy of my Bora-food-trippin' friend, Jo. Thanks, Joey!). It was cool seeing him whip out a printed-out version, and hearing him say that they actually went through about half of the list. "Even our friends, who have been going to Boracay since they were young, hadn't tried a lot of the things on the list," he revealed. So for anyone who's interested, Jo recommends...

"- baby back ribs at gastof or hawaiian bbq
- calamansi muffin , iced choco, brownies, jacks omelet at real coffee
- (cheap but good pinoy food) adobo, sinigang, sisig, curry at isla baila, d'mall
- pizza at aria [I've tried's OK, nothing super spectacular - Tish]
- z burger at zuzuni
- (cheap good food) beef or fish salpicao at smoke, dmall (near the palengke area)
- chori burger either near summerplace or pier one [actually, once the sun sets, all these little food carts pop up all over the beach, selling chori burgers, hotdogs, and things like that. Quite cheap, pretty good, and cholesterol-laden!]
- anything at cyma
- that giant cheese sandwich at jonahs-- forgot the name [don't forget the mango crepe! It's just packed with mangoes and oozing with deliciously warm chocolate syrup. Jonah's and Jony's--beside Jonah's--both sell yummy fruit shakes.]
- chicken inasal in station 1 (at boracay scuba) -- only because the owner's my friend, hahaah
- bamboo lounge
- palomeria (near bulabog beach)"

During the course of our conversation, Justin and Erin asked what was up with the fingers-in-an-L-shape-held-under-the-chin. Haha. We explained that it meant "guwaping" or "I look good" or something like that. I realized a few months ago that it was the Pinoy version of the Japanese's peace sign in pictures! Every friggin' photo we took for the makeover in the past six months had at least one kid holding up his hand (or hands!) like that!

The couple was planning on taking a bus to Tagaytay the next morning--something we didn't recommend, considering the mad rush to the province on Christmas Eve! So Zach graciously offered them a ride on the night of Christmas Eve (since he was going to the family house in Tagaytay anyway), giving the couple a whole day to explore Manila. "I guess we could just find a hotel when we get there," said Justin, and Zach replied, "Screw the hotel. You can come spend Christmas Eve with my family, there's plenty of room. And you can experience a Filipino noche buena!" How very 5 Takes of him!

It was cool spending time with all of them again (except Ish, who was in Spain, and Chesie, who couldn't make it), and doubly cool that Justin (one of the people I was really glad to have met in Sg) was in town. And the coolest thing of all?

Zach's tattoo, courtesy of Miami Ink's Chris Nunez! (If you watch the show, you'll know how much of a big deal that is!) This was probably the first time ever that a guy practically took his shirt off at Sentro! Haha.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I'm 26 years old.

I've got an hour and 15 minutes to go 'til I can no longer say that. Sigh. Another year.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I guess I was nice this year...

...because Santa Baby sure was good to me! Presenting my latest toy--my new iPod Nano! Woohoo!

OK, so I cheated and got this photo off the Net, plus mine is actually silver, but was too excited that I didn't want to wait til I could take a picture and post. Being a non-techie who's generally averse to spending oodles of money (unless it's to spoil H. Haha), I would probably never buy myself an iPod, even though I know it would be totally useful in the gym, or when I practice or choreo. (Hello, I'm still using my 3510 or whatever that Nokia phone is, because hey, it still functions!) So H, being the Best Boyfriend Ever that he is, went and got me one!

More on Christmas in another post. Just finished downloading the latest iTunes and have to figure out how this thing works. Haha. Merry Christmas!

P.S. I love you, H! And for the record, it's not just 'coz of the iPod! Haha.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Pet peeves

I've just pinpointed one of my pet peeves: I'm one of the resident bloggers for this shopping blog where readers are allowed to comment. It really ticks me off when readers leave questions whose answers are already in the friggin' entry. Read, damnit!

Another is seeing open quotation marks without close quotation marks at the end (same with parentheses). Argh! Parang wala kasing closure. Haha. Made me wonder about other people's pet peeves. A sampling of my friends':
  • "People who don't follow the 'push' and 'pull' signs on doors." (This is also one of mine!)
  • "Sitting on a bus seat that someone else just sat on. Ayoko nung mainit eh."
  • "When people use 'po' every time...especially when used with hello, yes, and hi."
  • "When there are two doors, but one is kept locked. Nag-dalawang pinto ko pa!"
  • "Disposable kubyertos."
  • "Sock lining/stitching that bothers my toes."
  • "Escalators that don't work. I don't mind climbing them, but escalators are supposed to work!"
  • "Movies with animals that talk."
Ah, we're all weird after all. What's yours?

Monday, December 18, 2006

One week away

Just a few photos we took last night.

The Church of the Gesu all aglow. From across the field, you could hear the choir singing inside the church. I intend to go back one night this week, just to hang out at the field with my friends, feasting on churros.

Bibingka and puto bumbong for sale. There's also a Reyes Barbecue stall, as well as stalls selling shawarma, huge pizzas, and siopao and siomai. It's slightly blurred because I couldn't use a flash. Let's pretend we're looking at it bleary-eyed after waking up at 4:00 am for simbang gabi!

Reenacting our own "walk to remember." Haha.

So I'm not a big Grey's Anatomy fan (I think Grey's: House as Desperate Housewives: SATC), but I got this idea from an episode I happened to catch. Three of them were lying under their Christmas tree, just looking up. This was a bit of a challenge considering our tree has low branches and so I didn't have much room to maneuver underneath. I can still smell the plastic leaves.

Do you see what I see?

I’ve been pestering H to take a walk with me in Ateneo one night this December. With the Christmas lights dangling from the branches of the trees around Bel field, it’s just so pretty at this time of year. I guess I believed that seeing them would somehow revitalize my flagging Christmas spirits. On some level, it was probably some lame attempt to rekindle the schoolgirl kilig from a little over six years ago.

Before H and I got together and when I was just beginning to realize that I had feelings for him, we attended an event at the high school cov courts. I had to leave early, and he offered to walk me back to admin, where my car was. So there we were, walking by Bel field, talking and laughing about nothing in particular (I do remember teasing him about his being drunk). I guess the possibilities were racing through both our minds, though neither of us was ready to admit it. I desperately wanted him to hold my hand, but he just kept a polite distance. There was this uncertainty, this unsettled feeling in my stomach that was…surprisingly calming. It signaled that my heart was open again.

He finally agreed to take me last night. When we got there, the simba sa gabi had just started at Gesu; several cars were parked nearby, and food stalls were set up on one side of Bel field. We did a quick stroll and took some photos. I would have wanted to take a longer walk, but H didn’t read my mind, showing no interest in, er, recapturing the magic. As we passed by the food stalls, he bought me some bibingka. Then we headed back to the car.

At the start of the relationship, when everything was new and exciting, I was concerned about losing the kilig. We both knew that it was bound to happen—at least the kilig in the giddy, high school sense. But we were also eager to see what would take its place: We imagined that there would be comfort and security and the kind of peace that you get from knowing someone in a way no one else can, and from someone understanding you, if not completely, then at least better than anyone else ever could.

I didn’t get those butterflies in my stomach last night; there wasn’t that promise of something good that was about to happen. But I realized that the promise has already been fulfilled—by the man who drove all the way to Ateneo on a Sunday night (despite the fact that driving's the last thing he would want to do after a week's worth of December traffic) and walked around campus (despite the fact that he was wearing his new white sneakers), all because his girlfriend wanted to see some stupid lights.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The ugliness was worth it

The Christmas party at this office is quite unlike my old Christmas parties. While the typical corporate celebration would have a quiet dinner, some raffles and games, and entertainment courtesy of a band, ours is...shall we say a little wilder. Take last year's, for example: The theme was Hollywood, and the opening number had our lovable office badings performing a little ditty from Chicago--remember Mya in the jailbird number? Put her costume on men, and there you have it. (Think bustiers and nearly bare bottoms. Our mag's rep was wearing a tutu.)

And then there's the talent show. No bands here; entertainment is provided by employees (myself included) who are willing to humiliate themselves onstage for a cash prize--and the glory. The cash prize isn't that huge, but we (at least the editorial group) join anyway because it's all in good fun.

Last year, we did a cheerdance number a la Bring It On, and even with just three practices, placed second. By June, we were already dreaming up concepts for this year's presentation.

Last year, we all looked so cute! And I still had a tan!

Come November we find out that the theme this year is "Back to the 80s," something we weren't too happy about. It took us a while to actually get a concept together. We figured other people would go the That's Entertainment route, so we wanted to do something different. We googled "80s dance hits" and found a treasure trove of songs waiting to be mixed.

Tata, Marie, and I (dictators that we are...and hey, no one else was moving--the party was two weeks away!) thought of a concept and decided on a mix of Tone Loc's Wild Thing, the Bangles's Walk Like an Egyptian, and Prince's Kiss.

I was going crazy trying to choreo, since I was also asked to choreo some cheering thing for another office thing. (And have to choreo yet another piece for a friend's family reunion.) But, for once, I actually whipped up something that I liked! The number was divided into three parts:
  • Wild Thing - Five of us do a chair dance. A little hard to explain, unless you've seen CADs's Human Nature intro. It's based on that. Then the rest of the girls come in to do a sexy (or pa-sexy?) dance. Final pose: Egyptian.
That's me in front, second from the left with the exag-ly tilted head.
  • Walk Like an Egyptian - We exit as the Egyptians come in: two slave girls and two bodyguards. Then editorial director/former supermodel Myrza struts her stuff (mesmerizing!). Then we come back out, with bangles and a cobra headband, to do a mock serious Egyptian dance.

  • Kiss - The Carlo Vergara comes out to sing (more Tom Jones than Prince)! (P.S. He is now the new office heartthrob...kaso puro girls 'yung may crush sa kanya!) We exit, and then this whole little skit takes place during the instrumental--the gist is Carlo tries to get Myrza to kiss him, but the Egyptian slaves/bodyguards are in his way. The girls try to seduce him, the bodyguards threaten him, and they play tug-of-war with Myrza as the rope! Haha. We come out with bowties and do a cheesy dance (fun!). And the final final part was decided on just the night before the performance--Gwyn comes out dressed as a girl, dips Carlo, and kisses him (or at least pretends to)! A picture's worth a thousand words so...

Our rule for the night was "Bawal ang cute ha! Kailangan panget lahat!" It was the 80s after all! With the green eyeshadow, streaky blush, and teased hair, it was the most unattractive I felt in a very long time! While Cosmo's Claire was doing her makeup, I said, "Baket maganda ka pa rin? Di ba dapat panget?" To which she replied, "I tried, Tisha, I tried." Haha.

Top photo: Striking 80s poses with Tatamaps and Lara. Above: With Marie, Tata, and our Egyptian queen. My very 80s makeup up close (myghad, the kilay!).

In the end, it was all worth it--we placed first! Totally tubular!

Top: With our check! Above: With the others from the mag.

More photos to be posted in my Multiply account soon.:)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Welcome to Dorkville

The drama queen in me has taken a backseat and I'm getting used to the idea of wearing glasses. (I'm not saying I like it. Just that I'm getting used to it.)

Rewind: I knew there was something wrong with my vision. Things seemed blurry and I couldn't read signs the way I used to. I figured it would pass; every time something seemed unclear, I would tell myself I was just having a bad day and the fog would clear eventually. And then I realized that I had been telling myself this for months.

So I finally set aside time to see H's ophtha-bro, David. The assistant ran some tests and declared, "200 ka ata!" I figured she had made a mistake--I knew my eyesight wasn't perfect, but it couldn't be that bad.

She ran another test on me, which I considered a mild form of torture--for six minutes, I had to sit in front of this machine, with my right eye focused on a tiny black dot. I was given a clicker; each time I'd see something flicker around the dot, I'd have to click. And then I had to do it all over again with the other eye. Those were the longest 12 minutes of my life. (H took the same test before--and back then it was 20 minutes for each eye! I wouldn't have been able to handle that. Six minutes and my eye was begging for rest.)

Then David had me sit in front of one of those letter charts. He handed me a pair of glasses and asked me to read the bottom line. My vision was perfect. He laughed, saying, "Isn't it much clearer?" I wondered what he meant. I took the glasses off and saw that the letters were all a blur.

200. How did it get so bad so fast?

"You're amazing!" he said, considering I had lasted this long without glasses. "I kinda had a hard time reading billboards," I confessed. "Uh, billboards are pretty big!" he pointed out. "And you drive right?" he asked. "Nope," I replied. (Well OK, I sort of do, but I haven't in over a year.) To which he said, "Thank God!" (Finally, an excuse not to drive! Plus I can finally explain why I can't catch the disc sometimes while playing ultimate. Haha.)

That wasn't the worst part. David examined my eyes and muttered "Yikes." Not the kind of thing you'd wanna hear from any doctor. "What's wrong?" I asked, trying to keep the panic out of my voice. Apparently, I'm at a high risk of getting glaucoma. "What's the percentage of people who are high risk?" I asked, telling myself that a good number of the population must fall into the category. "Maybe ten percent," he replied. Crap. He reassured me by saying that only about 10% of that would go blind.

Very comforting.

He explained that it wasn't because of anything I did, but because of the very structure of my eye. I asked what could be done. I found out all I could do was go back for regular checkups from then on, for monitoring purposes.

I left the office with my prescription and news that I totally wasn't expecting to hear. As the day progressed, I kept getting sadder and sadder. I kept thinking about the implications. I hate when I'm not good at something, and having far from perfect vision pretty much falls under that category. Later on, it dawned on me that it wasn't about missing sunsets and all those things. I just couldn't bear the thought of not seeing H, or our kids' faces, or our grandkids'. Of not being able to read a normal book or to learn a dance.

And then I found out that H is high risk too! He told me not to worry, that we're in good hands. Thankfully, David's a glaucoma specialist.

I eventually snapped out of it and decided to focus on what had to be done. Over the weekend, I found me a pair of glasses that I could live with. Glasses: a symbol of my own imperfection; a reminder that life is short and uncertain, and that I should drink in as much as I could. We all should, while we still can.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

To H

I love you because...'re incredibly secure without being annoyingly conceited.'re OK with me hanging out with the boys. sometimes hang with me and the girls. got your own thing going and don't hassle me about mine.
…you give really good foot massages.
…you keep things simple.
…you trusted me with an extension to your gold card! (Now that’s true love. Haha.)
…you make silly voices that I roll my eyes at (but which I secretly find cute).
…you still give me flowers, even after all these years.
…we speak our own language.
…I can totally let my guard down around you.
…you crack my back when we hug.
…you look hot when you play basketball.
…you love seeing me dance.
…you dance!
…we balance each other out.
…you don’t take it personally when I shush you while I’m watching Veronica Mars or Lost.
…you surprise me at the office or even with a phone call out of the blue.
…a really bad day doesn’t seem so bad when I get to see you.
…you drop by my house unexpectedly just to give me a kiss.
…you get me tickets to UAAP games!
…you give me enough room to breathe without making me feel neglected.
…instead of holding me back, you encourage me to pursue my passions.
…you are my passion.
…you make the kid in me come out and play. And I know that, whether it’s been six years or sixty, it won’t stop being fun.

Happy sixth anniversary!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sometimes all you need is for the other person to say "sorry."