Sunday, January 27, 2008

Forever Student (and feeling old)

Earlier today I was watching a group of college kids taking photos of each other. They enlisted the help of their professor to take a group shot wherein they were lying down on the grass in a circle with their heads together. I couldn't help but smile because I remember having a photo with the same shot and it was in the beach with my college friends from the publication office (Malate Literary Folio). I also remember seeing Sweetie's college photo album and they also had the same pose.

I felt old! Eeeeeeps! I did! I've been doing a number of trainings for students and I started realizing that I was old when:

(1) They didn't know who "Lucky" was. Luis Manzano when he was a kid was nicknamed Lucky by his Star for All-Seasons actress-mom Hon. Gov. Vilma Santos. Now I have to find another punchline when I explain "I'm feeling lucky".

(2) They don't know who "Carlo" is in the Purefoods TV commercial... "Dear Diary, Carlo sat beside me today and he's so cute!" Rawr! Carlo was played by Patrick Garcia. They also don't know who Doogie Howser is. So now I have to remember to use "Carrie" (Sarah Jessica Parker) of Sex in the City when I explain what blogging is.

(3) They don't know what a beeper looks like. My very first mobile phone was issued by my employer, Smart, and it wasn't a GSM phone. (Now don't even ask what the model was).

(4) Their jaws dropped when I said that it took hours for my professors to download a 1,000kb file from the internet and during that time only professors had complete access to the internet. I do remember chatting back in college though.

(5) They all giggled when I said the only game I know how to play is Pacman and Tetris. (My parents were really strict about those things, I didn't even own a "Game & Watch" and my prized possession then was a watch where I could play Pacman). And don't even dare ask if I know how to play Super Mario, you just might make me cry.

And on the side, my 9-year old nephew interrogated me last week:

Kyle: Tita, how old are you?

Me: Old enough.

Kyle: Tita! Sige na!

Me: Okay, fine, fine, I'm a year younger than your Mom.

Kyle: So you're 32! (rawr! magaleng mag-math ang batang ito!)

Me: Uhuh, so?

Kyle: Tita Piggy! (he thinks I'm cute and fat!) Antanda mo na! Dapat may asawa ka na!

And then Kyle gives me this really, really wide-eyed (dinilatan) look. Buti na lang cute siya. And my answer -

Me: Eh I don't feel old eh and I'm not really rushing.

Kyle groaned out at that point and scolded me. Thank God my cousin saved me from further torture.

Well going back to my original story. The past few weeks that I've had the privilege of speaking in front of thousands of students I realized that I finally got over being nervous when I do presentations (and stage fright) and that it is indeed a privilege to share my learnings and experiences to kids. I always highlight though that everything is a continuous learning process, that we should always be students, always open to learning new things, acquiring new skills and always keeping your eyes, ears and heart open.

To the students who've been dropping me lines in my email, thank you very much. I hope you picked up some stuff from me (and hopefully not the kalokohans). Hehehe.

Sunday Video: How to

Just having a bawl of laughs with Miguel tonight watching these videos:

How to Be Emo



How to Be Ninja



How to Be Gangster

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tulala


Tulala, is there a one-word direct translation? Normally when one says "I'm tulala" it means you are in a daze, staring off in space. I think I might say that's what I've been feeling lately. I've been updating most of my niche blogs (TWP, Tales of the Moonless Sky and Lakwatsera Ako), but not An Apple a Day. Sometimes I get the urge to blog here in the middle of the night but I'm usually too sleepy or lazy to get up and turn on Happy to blog.

The blogger bug has bitten me again, affecting my muse and I guess I've just been exhausted the past while, but I do have tall tales to tell about my travels. I've done at least 10 planes rides for this month alone and I'm not yet done.

I miss my basement :p

PS My 7 year old (now 49) dog died yesterday =( I remember I made him a famous, exotic dog when I was in the US. How? My colleagues were all bragging about the breeding of their dogs and I said I have the best breed of all, "I have an askal!" Namangha sila lahat! Hehehe. I only admitted that Patch was a streetdog after they dissected his ancestry. Hihihihi.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Remembering Tito Tony

I know it's been a week since I made my last post. Aside from being uber busy, I was just "not available". My favorite uncle passed away last Monday night (January 14) and I guess I was just tulala the whole week. I managed to write this piece about him though and I'm sharing it here mainly for the perusal of my clan.

My Tito Tony

Tito Tony is my Mom’s brother, Dad of my buddy-cousin Tina, Ate Joanne, Ate Joline and Kuya Jeffrey, “Koko” (Lolo) to 9 grandchildren and husband of Tita Josie, but to me, he is Tito Tony, my favorite Tito (shhh! My Mom has 3 other brothers… well they don’t read my blog anyway). My favorite Tito passed away last Monday and the last time I saw him was on New Year’s day during our family reunion. He was very jolly on that day.

I cherish a lot of happy memories with my Tito and these are also the reasons why he is my favorite.

1. Malambing – Tito Tony is my most affectionate uncle. I remember when I was a kid they had to move in our house because their home in Manila burned down and they lived with us for a couple of months. I’d pinch him a lot coz he had a huge tummy and he didn’t mind. He’d usually grab me and tickle me. Maharot some would say, but I loved it since he was generous with hugs.

2. Makulit and Kalog – I know where my cousin Tina got her kakulitan. If you’re my friend and you think I’m makulit, my cousin’s ten times more makulit than I am. She’d probably be a successful stand-up comedienne if she wanted to. Tito Tony’s exactly like that. He’s loud, funny, boisterous and an action-guy.

3. Big Heart – When I had to be exiled from home back when I was 18, I lived at Tito Tony’s home and I never felt I was exiled! I actually enjoyed myself so much because living in Manila is totally different from living in Paranaque. Tito Tony never asked about my condition and just took me under his wing. Of course, my cousins always brought me out to gimmick with other cousins. We were caught, so I was forced to go back home.

4. Jolly – I never saw Tito Tony frown although my cousins said that he’d roar as loud as a lion when he’s mad (I guess I’m lucky I’m just a niece!), but Tito Tony was always a happy guy. His leg was amputated last year due to diabetes, but he never changed, matigas lang ang ulo kasi panay pa rin inom ng Coke.

5. Secretive – We have our share of secrets and it’s unbloggable. Let’s just say that my lips are sealed because my Tito and I have a pact. I don’t want him pulling my leg in the middle of the night if I say anything about what it was (I wouldn’t be surprised if he did anyway just for kicks).

I was heartbroken when I heard the news since I was planning to see him at the hospital. I even had my cousin tell him that he has to wait for his bunso to settle down, but I guess he really wanted to rest already. Seeing a smile on his lips like he’s just sleeping made me realize that his mission in this world is probably done and that it’s time for him to rest and be reunited with Our Creator.

I love you Tito Tony, please watch over us as our angel. Say hi to Mama Lola and Papa Lolo for me.

Tito Ben's Eulogy

We are gathered here before Tony's final journey. Tony as I remember was a member of the Sodality of Mary and devotee of the Sacred Heart of Jesus during his high school days at the Ateneo de Naga. Tony had completed his first nine First Fridays devotion. And with the promise of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, certainly, he met his Creator without traffic, so to speak.

Tony was the fourth child by our parents, Francisco and Merced Enrile. I learned from our relatives and old friends that Tony was a still born baby. With the aide of the doctor and prayers God gave him life. Tony for short was friendly, talkative like a salesman, stubborn but independent. That is Tony, my brother.

During his high school years at the Ateneo de Naga, he was a member of Sanctuary Society, Sodality of Mary, a night league player. During his high school years, he was under the eagle eys of the Jesuit fathers. I remember that the Father Principal of the Ateneo had to write a letter of permission to my mother for a whipping session for her son, Tony. My mother did not object to the punishment.

Finally in 1954 he graduated from the Ateneo de Naga. He was allowed to join the commencement exercise on the condition that he had to complete 50 hours posts/punishment before he can get his high school diploma, again that is my brother Tony.

Soon after graduation he enrolled in the University of the Philippines in Los Banos to take up agriculture. He stayed at UP Los Banos to take up agriculture for 2 years until my father was called by the UP authorities for Tony's dismissal for disciplinary matters. But he did not stop there, I learned that he found a job with the ESSO Corporation, he was eventually employed by many other companies.

In his latter years I could not monitor him for I was tied up with my military career but I know my brother has found the peace he has been longing for and he now joins our Creator and our parents.

Goodbye Tony, please watch over us .

Monday, January 14, 2008

Remembering People Power 2

Bloggers Kapihan blog action for this week is about "Remembering People Power 2" and I thought I'd share my experience about it. I do remember People Power 1, I was a kid then and very much a supporter of the change in government. It was what was needed my parents explained to me. I remember collecting newspaper clippings and reading up about what was happening in my surroundings even though I didn't exactly understand what was really happening. I remember it well coz classes were suspended for about a long time and that's the time I learned how to ride a bike (all on my own). I also remember being one of the "flower girls" when former President Cory Aquino (she was still just a candidate then) visited our school (St. Scholastica's College). I welcomed her in my school uniform with matching yellow-ribboned pigtails (now don't go looking for a photo, I don't have one). That was back in 1985... fast forward to 2001.



So, 16 years later People Power 2 was staged to overthrow former President Estrada due to a long list of things. I think that served as a very good lesson to everyone that electing the right person is key to our nation's success and that being president is no mere acting role. I would never dream, nor aspire to be in that seat. Goodness! Eh di lalo na ako di naka-blog! LOL. But kidding aside, we all know how important it is to have good leaders `coz good leaders build great nations (now how do we get back to being Asia's tiger???). Anyway, this ain't a post about how to be a good nation, it's about remembering People Power 2, sorry I digressed.

Anyway, I was old enough (of course!) to go to EDSA during People Power 2. My parents though did not allow me to go on the the few days. I went on the last day with 2 of my high school buddies, Mercy and Chare. We took the MRT and walked up the bridge to get a better view of what was happening in the EDSA Shrine. There were loads of people and loads of support coming in from different areas. Free food and drinks! It was a very peaceful rally and everyone was feeling jubilant. The most memorable thing that happened was witnessing GMA being sworn in as president. I am a huge, huge fan of former Chief Justice Hilario Davide and I was very excited to see him swearing in GMA - he represented the legislative side of government which legitimated the "take over". I couldn't help but cry over how things were going. My thought balloon then was, "Now at least with GMA as president we can move forward and do without worrying over our president's activities."


I felt jubilant that day. I witnessed firsthand how democracy works, but I also felt nervous - what if this was abused? Well it did, a few months after with EDSA 3, but it didn't work out. I know the feeling of getting mad and agitated about what's happening around. I lived that for a couple of years while in college. We were kept angry and I eventually realized that writing my observations and criticism about how government was doing things wasn't really going to help anyone (except get as mad as me), so since then I concentrated my efforts in helping society in other ways.

What about you? Where you at ESDA DOS? What have you done for our country since then?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Day in Bacolod

I felt like I was in the amazing race last week with trips to Boracay-Bacolod and Kalibo. I think it's quite funny how I've been managing getting on a flight on time and how I've been keeping to my speaking time so I don't go overtime. But I definitely do not wish to get left behind on any flight I'm going to take. Hassle yun, plus it's going to mess up my schedule. Time management is key.

I was quite excited about my trip to Bacolod since I've never been there. A former colleague is Ilonggo and all he could talk about is his hometown. How great the food is, the many gimmick places, the sites to see, all the beer you'd end up drinking when you are there etc. etc. I never got to see and do any of those since I was couped up most of the day at a convention and I only managed to go around SM during lunch. Bummer.

Here's the first thing I saw when I got off the plane (the weather was a tad bit gloomy) -


And then a rainbow!


Bacolod's famous for batchoy.


Managed to snap a photo of this church on the way back to the airport.


Bumawi na lang ako sa pasalubong.


And I also ate a looootttt.


A day in Bacolod = +2 pounds on my weight.

I hope to be back someday!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Boracay!!!

I planned this weekend vacation over two months ago. I may be traveling a lot, but it's always hectic because of work. I just get lucky when I get a chance to snap a photo of a tourist spot whenever I'm in transit, so you can just imagine how happy I was that I managed to go on a weekend getaway (more details of my trip can be found at Lakwatsera Ako).

Sheer joy!

There's lots to do in Boracay. You can go island hopping for approximately PhP1,500 (did that on a past trip), para-sailing for about PhP200 (I already get scared when the water turns deep blue), go around Boracay by renting a motorcyle, we chose to walk around and explored where Station 1 ends -

The end of Station 1.

At the end of Station 1 there's a pathway with 2 shallow caves on the side which also shows a fabulous view of the Boracay beach from Stations 1 to 3.

The edge of Boracay.

The turn isn't for the weak of heart (and knees). I felt like I was walking at the edge of a cliff. Good thing the drop's not that high, but the water below was shallow so I kept close to the rock.

Diniwid Beach after the turn.

Of course, next to swimming, the next best thing to do in Boracay is... eat! I think I gained at least 3 pounds in 4 days. We were rushing on our first night because we wanted to watch the PBB big night (I actually watched TV during Christmas!) and so we just got some take-out at Guilly's Island (ate there again the night before we went home). Other notable restos were Jonah's Fruitshakes, Bite Club, and Mang Inasal (there are branches nationwide).

The first two times I went to Boracay was because of work. One was for a photo-shoot (and good thing my photo did not end up in a huge billboard just outside of Kalibo Airport, now that would've been really hilarious, whew!) and the other trip was because of a training. And I remember that I was not able to go swimming at all in those trips on Boracay's powdery-white sand beach. I just love walking on it since it never heats up. I got to stay at a posh resort on Station 1 during my first trip and tried out the economy resorts at Station 2 on the second trip. I'd say the best place I've stayed so far is where I stayed on this trip - at Sur. My good friend Sorsi made arrangements for my stay at Sur.

I like staying at Station 1 even though it's quite far from D'Mall and all the other establishments. I grew up going to our deserted beach place in Bicol every year and got used to not having people around. I'm not fond of crowds either. Staying at Sur gave me the chance to rest and relax.

The instant I saw the lobby of Sur I knew I was going to like it there. The interiors were decorated with Philippine-made furniture and they even had a sungka on the tables. I could sit there all day and blog (they have free wifi!). The lobby also had a very good view of the beachfront and I really liked the canopy that framed the view perfectly (I wanted to run to the beach even before going up my room).

I think I must have spent a total of more than 45 nights in hotel rooms last year (I've lost count) and I've had my fair share of nightmarish accommodations (check out my ghost blog). Sur certainly exceeded my expectations - the fluffy pillows and heaven-sent bed sealed the deal. I'd say the place is perfect for families, romantic getaways and travelers who want to rejuvenate themselves (you can get a full-body massage for just PhP350!). And they don't just serve the regular silogs for breakfast.

And because I got so inspired, I put together this really simple video tour of Sur -



I'd surely stay again at Sur when I go back to Boracay!

How to get to Boracay (from Kalibo Airport):

1. Ride the orange tricycle and tell the driver to bring you to the van station for Caticlan near La Esperanza Hotel). Cost: PhP80.
2. Ride the van to Caticlan. The trip would take about 90 minutes. Cost: PhP100/person.
3. At the port pay the following: environmental fee (PhP50), terminal fee (PhP50), ferry (PhP19.50).
4. Just take the tricycle to your resort/hotel upon arrival at the Boracay port. Cost: PhP80 - 100.

What's in a Name?

I got this from Sexymom's blog and thought of trying it out and here's the result for my name:

What Aileen Means

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.
You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.
Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Sunsets

Boracay Sunset

I love sunsets and it's been awhile since I've seen one (been too busy). Nice noh? I wish I had a dSLR.

Nuninuninunino. =)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Torete

Torete! Torete Ako! Natotorete ako!

Words uttered when one is going crazy, bonkers, wildly toxic, agitated, anxious or whatever. Torete is I think one Filipino word that's quite hard to translate don't you think?

One of the things that my Mom taught us is not to panic. She always told me that it's what helped my sister top the chemical engineering board exam and that I should follow suit. I'm probably far off from my sister's intelligence (even my brother's), but I've managed not to panic about a lot of things, pero tao lang po, natotorete din ako.

5 Things that make me Torete

1. Meet the Parents - when Sweetie came over to meet my parents I absolutely went bonkers and bungled the spaghetti I was cooking. I just put on my corporate poker face when I met Sweetie's parents, but I was definitely quivering inside!

2. Losing Something - I absolutely hate looking for things and once I lost a parking ticket while I was spending time with my best friend, I almost bumped the car (I can just imagine myself getting hailed by a traffic policeman).

3. Snakes, Spiders, Rats and Cockroaches (and mumu!)- I came face to face with a cobra in our house when I was in high school. I don't know how I managed to get on top of our kitchen table in just a few seconds, but I definitely did not sleep for a couple of days. I also can't sleep when I know there's a spider/rat or roach lurking around my room.

4. Fire - I used to hang-out in our kitchen a lot when I was a kid and our stove would often give these sudden burst of flames while they were frying fish. I'd always go running to my Mom whenever that happened, so I've had pyro-phobia eversince. That's what I have to get over so I can start learning those 12 dishes I'm targeting for the year.

5. Sickness - not me, but that of my loved ones.

What about you? What makes you torete?

Here's Moonstar88 singing Torete, captured by Sweetie during Yehey.com's Christmas party -

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Top Priorities for 2008

New Year Resolution - Self Deception

I don't really make new year's resolutions. Why? Because I don't live up to it most of the time and I respond better to targeting project goals rather than emo stuff. I wasn't able to complete all the stuff I targeted last year for one reason or another, but I do know I pushed myself to the limit the whole year. I just have to do much better this year. My boss once advised that I should always target more than what I think I should be able to deliver and not what I am comfortable doing. That way I'd be able to push myself to the limit and deliver more. Sound advise indeed.

I haven't really thought much about what I want to do specifically this year, but the following just came to me the past few days:

1. Go to at least 10 local destinations I have not seen before. BUT! Pace my travels so-much-so that I don't end up in 3 cities within 1 week.

2. Learn to cook 12 dishes (that's one per month, a tall order since the only thing I know how to cook is spaghetti).

3. Acquire video editing skills (that's why I created You Got Tech with a couple of friends). Finish reading all the books I did not finish reading last year.

4. Be more organized. And I don't mean by my standards. Ask any of my former colleagues and my Mom and they'll be able to vouch for my organized chaos principle.

5. Establish at least 2 other sources of income. I have 7 more years to complete a bet with my Kuya.

6. Bring Miguel to another local destination. I don't think I'll manage to bring him to an international destination this year.

7. Target to increase savings by 100%.

8. Establish better communication within my clan. I realized after our reunion yesterday that our numbers are dwindling and someone needs to put a spark back to our reunions, so I'm appointing myself since I'm the youngest in our clan.

9. Be of better service to others through the charities I am working with. Perhaps go back to doing our Parish newsletter.

10. Exceed my work deliverables.

And check on this post every month - I think I'll make a reminder-alarm for it in my Google calendar just to be sure.

Happy new year everyone! Hope you had a fabulous holiday (even though our Christmas season officially ends on Sunday pa)!