Street but Sweet


Friday, March 30, 2007

Lately, I've been getting a rush whenever I step into a bookstore--and I'm not talking those places selling office supplies. I'm talking purist bookstores--those that sell nothing but books lining shelves and shelves. I walk in and feel my pulse quicken, my stomach tighten, and my eyes dart around, taking in the beautiful sight of all those glorious titles. It's a lot like getting a high-school crush all over again. It's both an exhilirating and frustrating experience--so many books, so little time and cash!

When I was younger, I was one of the more bookish ones--I actually used my library card, often going through more than one in a school-year. (All hail the queen of dorks!) Somewhere along the way, though, I stopped reading as much as I should have, and now I regret those years wasted without enough literature occupying my time.

But the nerd is back, and she's got a partner this time. H has surprisingly turned into quite the nerd himself, feeling the same excitement as he steps into a bookstore. Whereas we used to spend our time at the mall going to Nike and Olyimpic Gold, he now asks, "May bookstore ba dito?" whenever we're at a mall. (If you had told me when we started going out that this was going to happen a few years down the line, I never would've believed it.) So this is where we've been hanging out lately, sometimes coming out with a bag of books...and empty wallets.

A rundown of our regular haunts:
  • Powerbooks - It will always hold a special place in my heart because it was pretty much the first of its kind, plus it's owned by Nanay Coring's family! (She's such a sweetheart.) Pulling out from here is a breeze now, maybe because I've done it so many times. And I love it when they go on sale!
  • Fully Booked - I love this place because I've got a discount card. Haha. I recommended it to a friend whose dream is to bump into the man of his (yes, his) dreams at a bookstore--the one in Power Plant seems to have quite a few customers that, er, might be his type.
  • A Different Bookstore - Visiting this store is always a pleasant experience--it's much smaller than the other massive stores, but the salespeople really know their stuff. And I've also got a discount card. Hehe.
  • Bestsellers - The newest bookstore in the market, it's on the fourth floor of Galleria, where the trade hall used to be. (I'm ecstatic that Galle now has its own bookstore! I no longer have to trudge to Megamall!) It's got two floors, a friendly staff, and an impressive selection of food/cook books. I'm sure it's got an impressive selection of other types of books as well, but this was one of the things that stuck during my most recent visit.
This Sunday, I'm looking forward to another bookstore trip, and I'm already bracing myself for the expense! But it's all good. I've realized that I get a different sort of fulfillment from buying books than from purchasing shoes, for example. The mark of a true nerd.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Photo from Yahoo! News. For the full story, click here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Green ain't my color

For the Christmas program at nursery school, I was cast as "mommy" in our production of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus." It was a pretty meaty role, and I remember wearing a little floral duster as I rendezvoused with jolly ol' St. Nick by the Christmas tree.

Two things about this incident stand out in my memory. The first was that Santa, played by a classmate named Honey Boy (I'm not making this up), was supposed to give me a peck on the cheek. But he ended up kissing me on the lips! I really don't know if I'm making this up, but I distinctly remember vigorously wiping my lips with the back of my hand right after he committed the crime of stealing my first kiss. (Years later, another classmate told me, "Ah si Honey Boy? Naghuhubad 'yun tuwing absent ka eh!" I filed that revelation under "too much information.")

The second thing that stands out in my mind is that, while I was given a good role, I was really bummed that I didn't get the princess role. Every little girl wants to be a princess, and I was no different. I remember looking at The Princess one recess, as she prepared to go down a slide. She looked breathtaking as the sun shone on her perfect brown hair and milky skin. I must've scowled and crossed my arms across my chest. Why, I asked myself, were the pretty mestizas always cast as the princess? And she even had a mestizo prince to boot. It was my first taste of envy.

I was telling a co-worker about this childhood memory, narrating how I succumbed to one of the seven deadly sins at the tender age of nearly-four. She looked at me without saying anything for a couple of seconds. And then she spoke. "Ati," she told me, "buti ka pa. 'Yung role ko nung kinder, Ifugao!"

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Random thoughts

In the past couple of weeks, about three people have said that I'm competitive. To which I reply, "I'm not competitive. I just like to win." Haha.

Yeah, yeah, semantics. But really, I can have fun even when I'm not winning. Honest. Though I have been evaluating whether I'm a bit too Monica Geller for my own good...


Been planning a few trips for the year, and it's got me thinking about my favorite travel memories. Will blog about that one of these days.


One day, I'm gonna start me my own carpet shop. The frustration began when Mumsy and I were hunting for a new rug for our living area. We couldn't find a ready-made plain khaki or green one. What is it with these stores and their obsession with tacky prints? (If you've seen the carpets out in the market lately, you'll understand.) Plain is good. Prints are fine, as long as they're simple or, at the very least, tasteful!

My grand plan is to one day go up to Ilocos and have a lovely striped black-and-white inabel rug made for me. Then I'll commission someone to make a whole bunch of simple inabel rugs that I could sell in Manila--I'll meet a demand and help the Ilocos inabel industry.

(And zen I vil rule ze vorld!)

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

What is up with my appetite these days?

The over-eating didn't end with Sunday's lengua, pastel, tempura lunch/Chicago Dog merienda/sisig, lechon kawali, chicharon bulaklak dinner. This evening (or last night, if we're being technical), had dinner at around 6:00pm. Had me some fish, rice, and diced green mangoes mixed with tomatoes and bagoong. Mmm. A couple of hours later, I was hungry again, so I had oatmeal and a banana (under the pretense of "eating right"). Not 30 minutes went by and I was hungry all over again. All my good eating intentions flew out of the window. I grabbed me some Funshots, justifying it by saying I had a long night ahead of me (I was right--I'm still at work!). So I polished that off...and now I'm feeling incredibly full. Ugh. I couldn't stop myself from eating the whole damn box.

I've gotta get this under control! This can't be good.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I can't get over how big she is...

Presenting...Sophia, Joseph and Sheila's two-month-old (I kid you not) bundle of joy! She's absolutely gigil-worthy. Baptism was held on Joseph's birthday at Christ the King. A scrumptious lunch followed (I'm still dreaming about that lengua. Literally. I really dreamt about it last night!). More photos in my multiply.

(From top: Sleeping cutie; family pic; mommies Kim and Sheila, Sophia, me, and Ninang Sandy)

After lunch, H, Mac, Sheryl, JP, and I headed to Greenhills, where H and I tapped into our inner dorks and went A Different Bookstore. We got one book each. I can't even remember what I got anymore, because I was choosing from quite a few. H, who loves management books and doesn't read fiction, pointed to a real estate book. "If you're gonna read, you might as well learn from it," he insisted. But I'm a total fiction-lover so I chose something that seemed interesting. "Reading fiction helps me become a better writer," I reasoned. True, I'm reading Freakonomics now--the rare nonfiction book I'd pick up--but as nonfiction books go, real estate probably wouldn't make it into my top 10. Haha. Give me history any day.

I think, compared to the last book I read (Gabriel Garcia-Marquez's Memories of My Melancholy, he's sure got a thing for these much-older-man-falls-for-an-adolescent plots!), the book I chose is probably lacking in depth, but it looks exciting at least. I'm saving it for Holy Week.

As if we didn't have enough to eat, we headed to Promenade for a snack. I wasn't that hungry, but when I saw JP's Chicago Dog, I was drooling with envy. What's a girl to do but order one for herself?

Afterwards, we made our way to Ateneo, where H and the boys had their last game of the ABL season. Sigh. Ended the day with a "spirited debate/post-game analysis" at Katips, where I fell victim to takaw-tingin for a second time that day! JP ordered chicharon bulaklak at Katips, and naturally, we had to have our own, on top of the sisig and lechon kawali that I already chowed down! Eviiiil. Man, I've gotta lay off the bad stuff this week.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Down time

It's odd. I know I'm supposed to be busy. I'm supposed to be doing something right now, but weirdly, I find that I have a bit of free time. It's a little unsettling 'coz I keep thinking that there's something I'm forgetting. So something's not getting done. Damn this sense of responsibility.

I had a mini-meltdown last night. A few things were falling through, and I felt like I was losing control over things that I was supposed to have control over. "I'm dropping the ball!" I wailed to H, "I DON'T DROP THE BALL." All he could do was rub my arm and tell me things were going to be OK.

It's the second sign that I really, truly need a break. Holy Week isn't a long way off, and I shall be embracing it when it arrives. I just want to stop thinking and organizing and scheduling and booking and carrying objects that are way too heavy for someone of my size.

On an unrelated note (or perhaps it's still part of my whole idea of escape), I'm rarin' to join Amazing Race Asia 2, but haven't been able to find a partner. Boo.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

CADs DanXing

Yup, this old gal's still dancing.

In my mind, the annual CADs end-of-the-year concert will always be known as the "major concert," even though the showcase has probably gotten more major over the past couple of years (thanks to the inter-org dance competition that they brilliantly added to it). It's because when I was in school (back in the day...), the showcase would be held at the Gonzaga Dance Studio/Exhibit Hall, while the major concert would be held at the Rizal Theater. Hmm, RMT 'yun, but I can't remember what "M" stands for. Could it be "Memorial"? Or am I inventing this?

So yeah, these days, both concerts are held for one night only at the Irwin Theater. This last one had a theme similar to that of my senior showcase, Traffic. It was supposed to be some street-themed concert, but the setting was more back alley, with tires and a wire fence and stuff, than our middle-of-the-street-inspired mini-stage, pedestrian lane and all. But then, none of the kids would know this as they probably would have been in high school, even grade school (shudder) when we first used the theme.

Alumni Street met up bright and early on the 10th, the day of the concert, as we had A LOT of polishing to do. We did a few blocking changes Thursday night, and added a few things...and up until Saturday afternoon, we were still making changes. I felt so nervous and unprepared for it, but later on trusted in the alumni's powers. Haha.

One of the highlights of the day was having lunch at Manang's, which I had been longing to do the past few Saturdays. Mmm liempo. It turned out to be a not-so-good idea when we did a run right after! Later that afternoon, we had a bit of time to kill, so Bada, Tring (Shaina), and I headed to Katipunan to stock up on water, grab a snack, and talk about...Takeshi's Castle (the Smokey and Anjo version, of course)!

Lunch at Manang's! Teta: "Wala talagang tatalo sa pork chop!"

When we got back, we started getting ready. I put on a cute little jumpsuit, courtesy of stylist extraordinaire, Pam Q, some high-cut Converse sneakers, and bangles. I also applied my own makeup--something I hadn't done in a really long time. Haha. We shared a dressing room with the guests, including the Allstars! They were teaching Gab Valenciano some moves for an SOP gig the next day. It's amazing and intimidating being around such awesome dancers.

After we got ready, we watched the first act. The energy, I thought, was much better than last year's concert. But I spoke with some, eherm, anonymous viewers during intermission and they said, "Wala kaming ginawa kung di manlait buong first act!" They said the energy was too low, that the guests were overshadowing the CADsters, and the dances were all the same but set to different songs. Hmmm. I didn't think it was bad. Although some of the dances were a bit too long. And I wasn't too fond of strazz. Back then, strazz was kind of Step Up-ish, meaning there were jazzers and streeters doing their own thing in one dance. The current strazz has people doing (or trying to do) both. I just found it somewhat confusing how they'd be, say, krumping for the first few counts, then doing ronde de jambes the next.

Sadly, I missed the second act (spent the better part of it running through our dance), which the anonymous viewers praised. They especially loved adagio (set to an Imogen Heap song that Dee wanted to use before) and the all-boys number (always a crowd pleaser). Got to see the all-girls number at rehearsals, and it would've been fun to be part of it.

Finally, Act 3. I was a bit nervous, and thought of so many ways that I could mess up a seven-minute dance (hey, we only have one dance per concert, so nilulubus-lubusan na namin. Haha). But then I figured it'd be over too soon--seven minutes feels like nothing when you're on stage--and I should just enjoy it. There's a chance, after all, that I won't be dancing any more this year. So off we went. I took my place at stage right...and realized that some of the Allstars were in the wings, watching! I was so conscious the whole time, ugh. I could've done better. Sigh. But at least I didn't mess up!

Our super-labo mix started off with an a capella version of Aaliyah's Rock the Boat. Next song was I Love Them Girls (Part 2)--my favorite part!--choreo'd by Paul. Then it was the girls' part: Kelis's Bossy and Ciara's Promise. I hated both dances at the start, not because they weren't good, but because I couldn't do them properly! But later on, when we all got the hang of it, we started feelin' it. So yeah, I did like those dances. When the boys saw the video, they said "maayos"--especially compared to our horrendous tech run!

After we did our thing, the boys came in to do Icebox with us. Then we exited and left them to do I Want It That Way! Haha. The crowd went wild, especially when "Coach" Jonbada got up on top of the pyramid and fulfilled his boy-band dreams. Haha. Then we all came in to do one last song: DJ Khaled's Born and Raised, choreo'd by Allstar Nico. Naks. Anj was able to do her standing back tuck, something she was so nervous about at practice. (Anj: "I'm scared of dying!" Tisha: "You won't die naman'll just get really, really hurt." Haha. How comforting.)

The crowd couldn't get enough of 'em.

Then Alumni Jazz did their thing--it was Kith's last dance as she's leaving the country soon. Aww. They did a U2 medley, which I so wanted to be a part of. But I had to back out a couple of weeks ago because my sched was just too packed, and it would've been unfair to them if I kept missing practice. Oh well. Next time.

H came five minutes too late. He had just come from a game which, sadly, I wasn't able to watch. He stayed for a bit and watched the Allstars with me before heading home. Speaking of, the crowd really loved watching dem World Hiphop Champs. You could just hear everyone going, "Whoa!"

Say it with me: "Whoa!" An Allstar dude's seemingly Photoshop-ed pose.

After the show, we spent the requisite hour trying to decide where to eat. We go through this every friggin' concert! Haha. We settled on Shakey's, which had bottomless iced tea--but since it took us so long to decide, it was closed by the time we got there! We made our way to Somethin' Fishy in Libis, and were just in time for the midnight buffet! Woohoo! Stuffed ourselves silly with tocino, adobo, pancakes, eggs, and bottomless iced tea worth P27! We also watched our performance (over and over again) on Bada's cam...and started making plans for next concert!

First, third, and fourth photos by Aaron Vicencio. More photos in my multiply.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Based on something I read recently, I think I may be exhibiting signs of burnout. And since I didn't really read the entire thing, I have no idea how to shake it off. I do know a nice beach trip would help.

I also read another piece about success. It asked, "If you could be anything and there was nothing to stop you, what would it be?" The first answer that popped into my head actually surprised me. It's not something I've considered in a long time, but now I'm thinking about it again. I'll mull over it and see if it really is something I want to get into. Ask yourself the same question--you might be surprised at the answer yourself.

About last year's dream, the supposed calling that my heart felt was right...well, I guess I'm still pursuing it, but not with as much gusto. I'm realizing that a bunch of other people have the same idea, and I'm a little behind. I know I should remain unfazed if it's really what I want. I guess I'm just beginning to question whether this is the dream. And if it's not, then it's back to square one. I'm a big believer in never being too old to chase your dreams. But as I've gotten to know myself more, I've realized that I'm impatient.

Recently, I asked H if he believed that everyone had that one purpose, something he/she is meant to do or be. It was a morning that was as cloudy as my muddled-up thoughts and my looming sense of dejection. I thought, what if not everyone has that one purpose--do we just settle for the next best thing? What if we all have this perception that there's supposed to be that one thing for us, and we spend our lives searching for it, wasting our every-days because there's truly nothing to find?

Sigh. The sun is calling.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I just found out that Elps* is retiring at the end of April. Sigh. Mumsy broke the news over breakfast and I had a hard time getting my cereal down after hearing it.

Anyone who's ever hitched a ride knows who Elps is--he's been our trusty driver for about 14 years. He's temperamental, is sometimes a know-it-all, and fears no one except my dad. My high school and college buds know him as the driver who used to leave me when he would get bored waiting, or the dude who sure loves his drink (he once passed out on a lawn at a party I went to...oh, the stories I could tell!).

But he's dependable. In 14 years, he was probably late a grand total of three times. He's also trustworthy. Plus, I have to admit, on some days, he does know it all--taking nifty little shortcuts to where I'd like to go. I love how I can say, "May kukunin lang tayo kina (insert name here), 'yung pinuntahan natin nung isang taon sa may Project 4," and he'd know exactly what I'm talking about. He's probably the only one I'm not shy to sing in front of, since he's so used to hearing me belt it out in the car. He doesn't find it weird when I suddenly run through some choreo in the car...or I guess he just never said anything. Above all, he's family.

It's been a good ride, but he'd like to head home now. And after putting up with years of my brattiness, tardiness, and singing, I'd say he deserves it.

*His real name is Elpidio, in case my regular hitchers are wondering.

Monday, March 05, 2007

I never really thought a commercial could make me realize something about myself. I forget which one it is--I think it's a car commercial--but it's the one about people making lists, and how this allows them to feel like they're in control of their lives.

It hit the nail right on the head. Whenever my sched is too packed, I make to-do lists, with little squares that I check off one by one. Whenever I have an upcoming shoot that I'm particularly stressed about, I make shopping lists, pullout lists, and even lists containing diagrams of possible layouts. For a racket I'm currently working on, I have a whole envelope of lists and illustrations. (And I actually have a piece of paper and a pencil at the ready as I type--another list in the making.) The more stressed I am, the more I tend to make lists.

When September rolls around, I use Christmas lists as my escape; I fold a piece of paper in half and start writing names in neat little columns. I dream up things that I'd like to give them, and figure out if everything would fit my budget. As a result, I have about four Christmas lists every year, each one written at a time when I wanted to give my mind a break, or when I just wanted to delay doing work.

It's probably a waste of time and paper, but hey, it keeps me sane.

Good enough to eat

I got this yummy-looking cupcake pendant from our ed assistant/beadlady, Angeli. It's too cute, I swear. It's made of clay, so these babies are literally cupcakes baked in the oven! She's even got other "flavors," but Carl insisted that the one with pink frosting is "so me." And since I couldn't make up my own mind, I took his word for it. Haha.

Angeli makes a bunch of other unique clay accessories--so they're not your usual run-of-the-mill Quiapo beads. If you'd like to see more of her stuff, check out her multiply account. Craving for a similar pendant? Text her, 0915-5615586.

Friday, March 02, 2007

A pic from our post-V-Day date...

Played around a bit with Photoshop, for lack of anything better to do. More photos in my multiply.:)