Monday, October 29, 2007

The Coronation ... and other things

The priest shared this story with us last Sunday. I'll try to keep to the wording of the anecdote.

In 1848, the soon-to-be-Emperor Franz Josef knocked at the mighty door of the Stephansdom in Vienna.

"Who is it?" a voice asked within.

"It is, Franz Josef, thy Emperor! I demand that you open this door," cried the handsome young man, resplendent in his royal finery.

"We do not recognize thee. Leave this place," said the booming voice.

Once more Franz Josef knocked, indignant at the insult done to him and his station. And once more,he was denied entrance.

Franz Josef knocked a third time, and a third time was he asked to identify himself.

In a subdued tone, he said: "It is I, Franz Josef, a sinner. I humbly ask that you let me pass."

"We welcome thee, Franz Josef," and with those words, the majestic gates swung open. And that day Franz Josef was crowned Emperor.

~ ~ ~

I was amazed to find rare books for sale in the National Bookstore branch of SM Baguio. As in, Stephen Pressfield's immortal epic novel on the Battle of Thermopylae "GATES OF FIRE" was just SITTING there on the shelf, gathering dust!!?!

Anyway, one of the books I bought was THE MANILA WE KNEW, a collection of memoirs and essays edited by Erlinda Enriquez Panlilio. My favorite was the one written by the editor, entitled U.P. BELOVED.

She begins:

"Standing among a gaggle of half-naked girls clad only in panties, I had visions of the gas chambers in Warsaw. I shivered as I waited my turn to be examined at the Infirmary of the University of the Philippines in Diliman."

"...The first time I saw the campus it impressed me as some wild frontier town. The vast grounds were covered with cogon, talahib, and sundry shrubs growing between the few concrete buildings..."

And so on and so forth. At first I couldn't help but think: "Are you talking about MY U.P? The school I'm going to?"

But then I flipped a page, and saw a photograph of an aerial view of the U.P. taken circa 1940's, around the same time the author went to college there. And I knew her words to be true.

The other authors in the book write about places like Taft Avenue, Malate, and "Highway 54" which is now known as EDSA. They write about flaming fire trees, vast expanses of cogon and the cool breeze. I do not recognize these places they speak of, and I am filled with such sadness for our generation because we will never know the beautiful Old Manila that these people grew up with.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Baguio City

*typing in an internet shop in SM Baguio*

Well we were only supposed to stay here for the weekend, but then our vacation has been unexpectedly extended.

Six days of blessed peace and quiet, amidst such beautiful surroundings that I feel as if I'm in a different country... a different world, even.

Now THIS is what I call a sembreak.

~ ~ ~

We watched THE FOUNTAIN starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz on Tata's laptop last night. Haha! Talk about open-ended films. It sparked a lively, philosophical discussion between us family members (Papa was excluded, poor thing... he fell asleep 10 minutes into the movie from exhaustion. Can't blame him... it was a tiring 9 hour drive going up here).

Has anyone else seen it? What are your thoughts on the film? :)

~ ~ ~

It's freeeeeeeezing.........

Friday, October 26, 2007

October Book Session

October 26, '07: Rockwell, Powerplant Mall

Had so much fun hanging out with the Ex Libris Philippines crew! Present at today's book session were: the twins, Richard, Christian, TJ and Judie.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Krus na Ligas Elementary School : United Nations Day

Kuya Carlo was performing in the back

Wasn't able to take a lot of pics. The ones here are mostly of CMu people, us practicumers and our guest artists.

Waaaaa classmates!! WE DID IT! *collapse on floor from exhaustion* To quote Kuya Marz: "Hindi ko makakalimutan itong araw na ito, magpakailanman!" It's like everything that COULD go wrong, DID go wrong. But we still pulled it off. Mabuhay ang MuEd 125 Class!

~~ Sembreak here we come ~~

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Kuya Ervin's Recital

As usual... a couple of before and after recital pics. CONGRATULATIONS KUYA! You were great!! (I can't take pics DURING the recital because I'd need to activate the flash function... and that's a no-no during performances. What if the singer gets distracted?)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Franco's 2nd recital

A few pics I took that day (Oct. 18, '07). Ang galing talaga ni Franco... friend ko yan! haha.

The past week...

This past week has been one big blur of activity and momentous, life-changing events.

How is it possible that one's life can change so much in the span of a few days?

Truly, God is great!

~ ~ ~

Congratulations to everyone who had their recital this week! Namely: Feona Turalde (her 3rd), Aizel "Twinkle" Prietos(1st), Kimberly Kwok (1st), Jeong Hwa (1st), Shaddai Solidum (1st), and Kuya Ervin Lumauag (1st). Oh, and Franco Maigue (his 2nd)! Yay! We can eat ice cream now and stay in airconditioned rooms all day long if we wanted!

~ ~ ~

From J. Brahms' Romanzen aus Magelone, Op. 33:

SIND ES SCHMERZEN, SIND ES FREUDEN (Are they sorrows or are they joys)

Are they sorrows or are they joys

Which tug at my breast?

All the old desires leave;

A thousand new floors bloom.

Through the dusk of tears

I see suns standing in the distance,

What languishing, what longing!

Do I dare? Shall I move closer?

Ah, and when my tears are falling,

It is dark around me;

Yet if my desires do not return,

The future is empty of hope.

So beat then, my ambitious heart,

So flow down then, my tears,

Ah, joy is only a deeper pain,

Life is a dark grave,

Without guilt,

Should I then suffer?

How is it that in my dreams

All my thoughts

Tremble up and down?

I scarcely know myself anymore.

O, hear me, kindly stars,

O, hear me, green meadow,

And you, my love, hear my holy oath:

If I remain far from Him,*

I will die gladly.

Ah, only in the light of His* gaze

Dwell life and hope and happiness!


* I changed the gender

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Recital: AFTER

Here are some pics with the people who came. Thank you so much!! :)

My Recital: BEFORE

Here you'll see DA GUYZ (plus Ma'am Celia) during rehearsals and merienda breaks. You'll be hard pressed to find a crazier, fun-er(?), more talented bunch. It's been such a honor! Woohoo... I'll miss the rehearsals. T.T I LOVE YOU GUYS!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Arnis Induction

A couple of action shots taken by moi (sorry, amateur! amateur!!).

After one sem (and for the others, half a sem) of training, ordinary UP students can do the following.

Mabuhay ang UP Sangkil Karasak!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Poem I wrote waaaaaaaay back (I was about 12), haha!

My voice belongs in my voice box
A little box so pink
It enlargens when I drink hot water
But if cold water, then it will shrink.

That's why I never drink cold water
Though God knows I'd love to sip some
I miss cold water so very much
It's an obsession.... so gruesome!

Since I now have a bad cold
I can't sing at all, how sad!
The fact that I can't produce a note
Makes me feel very, very bad.

STARDUST : A Classic Fairy Tale

I don't understand why STAR DUST received low ratings from critics. I guess it's because it was based on a book... ever notice how fans of the book will always give the movie a low grade because the movie is NEVER 100% faithful to the book?

I love the movie. I love, love, LOVE it so much, I want to watch it again!!?! Call me shallow, uncritical... whatever you want. I'm not a picky movie-goer. I watch movies to be entertained. And STAR DUST certainly more than does the job.

I left the movie on a musical high (all hail ILAN ESHKERI !!! the new demi-god of soundtrack compositions). True, the movie was good on its own... with the fantastic special effects and the great plot. But, I've said this and I say it again: THE MUSIC MAKES THE FILM.

Can you imagine the TITANIC without James Horner's music? Without MY HEART WILL GO ON?

Didn't think so. ;-)

Back to topic. I left the cinema on a musical high, but also filled with such happiness and optimism. I believe in L.O.V.E! The glistening, rainbow-covered, pink aura surrounding the idea of it. Of candle-lit dinners and a romantic violin concerto playing in the background. Of the hero taking a bullet meant for his beloved and dying gladly in her place. Of soulful eye-gazing and hand-holding, underneath a starry sky and surrounded with all of Mother Nature's glory.

It's nice to believe in an idea. Idealism tempered with realism is the best mix, I think.

~ ~ ~

Funny how my favorite love song is also the most beautiful sacred song I've ever heard.

Then again, God's love for us IS the best romance story ever told.


Ikaw lamang ang pangakong mahalin

Sa sumpang sa'yo magpakailan pa man

Yakapin mon'g bawat sandali,

Ang buhay kong sumpang sa'yo lamang alay,

At mapapawi ang takot sa 'kin

Pangakong walang hanggan

Ikaw lamang ang pangakong susundin

Sa takbo sakdal, liwanagan ang daan

Yakapin mong bawat sandali,

Ang buhay kong sumpang sa'yo lamang alay

At mapapawi ang takot sa 'kin

'Pagkat taglay lakas mong angkin

Ikaw ang siyang pag-ibig ko

Asahan mo ang katapatan ko

Kahit ang puso ko'y nalulumbay,

Mananatiling ikaw pa rin...

At mapapawi ang takot sa 'kin

Pagkat taglay lakas mong angkin

Friday, October 12, 2007

A few pics taken during finals week / Our reunion with Denden

I have a new favorite tambayan: the Main Library! I spent three whole mornings cramming for that #$($&)#*)($*()#*$)(#*)($*)(#*()$* Bio exam ... Arrrrrgh. Never mind... *I just want to forget*

I felt comforted, sitting in one of the many desks in the Social Science section... surrounded by fellow UP students cramming for their respective exams. Misery loves company indeed.

Try the vendo machine's hot milo (only 12 pesos). I'm addicted to the stuff, I swear.

Do you ever get the feeling...

... that you know absolutely NOTHING?

... that we would all be better educated if we didn't have to attend classes, and just read good books all day?

~ ~ ~

It's almost the sem break. ALMOST. It's so near, I can TASTE it.

~ ~ ~

I need to read more.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My Chamber Recital

Start:     Oct 16, '07 6:00p
End:     Oct 16, '07 7:30p
Location:     Aldaba Hall
Everyone is invited! :) We will be performing 13 excerpts from J.S. Bach's Secular Cantatas (namely, the Coffee Cantata, the Wedding Cantata, and the Peasant Cantata), as well as Manuel de Falla's Spanish song cycle, SIETE CANCIONES POPULARES.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Training Room / My Grade 1 students / and other random pics

It seems like I'm on a picture taking spree... "Must! Collect! Memories!"

Here you'll find pictures of an empty training room, my oh-so-cute-and-talented grade 1 students at their Culminating Activity (aka Portfolio Night), a picture of my favorite dish at the Alumni Cafe, and some shots inside KNL Elementary School.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Which is the best martial arts form to take up?

A considerable part of my life was devoted to Taekwondo. I recall a time when I thought of little else. I loved everything about it... the sparring, the camaraderie amongst teammates, the discipline, even the bruises that came with the territory. And of course, the fact that I was learning self-defense was a major factor in my taking it up in the first place.

~~ The crime rate in the country (even back then) was enough to make anyone paranoid.~~

Enter college, a whole new world... Bombardment with new ideas, some "heretical" by my Catholic high school's standards. A new life.. new priorities.

There was a choice to be made... and come 3rd year of college, I made it. "Sacrifices must be made..." said the Pharoah in The Prince of Egypt. :(

Two years went by, and on my second-to-the-last-sem in UP, I heard about UP Sangkil Karasak from a collegemate.

Two years without an exercise regimen took its toll on my body... my muscles weren't toned, my immune system suffered, and I felt so darn heavy and tired all the time.

So I decided to GO FOR IT! (It helped, of course, that the training schedule fit my own already-hectic schedule perfectly)

And now I wonder why it's taken me this long to discover this amazing martial art form. Best of all, its OUR OWN!

Taekwondo has its merits, but I have to say that from a practical viewpoint, arnis is far superior. Heck, a taekwondo jin can't even come close enough to an arnisador to do any real damage! Plus, taekwondo (being a sport) instills all these rules inside a student's head (no kicking there! that's illegal! you'll be disqualified from a match!) such that when the student encounters a real-live street fight, said student might even hesitate to strike in vital areas (and we all know what that means...).

However, there is another form of martial arts that I am interested in taking up. The following was taken from that most reliable of sources (cough, cough!), Wikipedia:

"Krav Maga ("contact combat") is a self-defense and military hand-to-hand combat system developed in Israel, which assumes no quarter, and emphasizes maximum threat neutralization in a "real life" context. It came to prominence following its adoption by various Israeli Security Forces and is now used by military and law enforcement personnel, as well as civilians, around the world.

In some countries, a simplified version is often taught in civilian self defense classes. This excludes numerous 'more lethal' or forceful techniques taught in a military or police context, because of legal proscriptions restricting the teaching of hazardous or life-threatening techniques without appropriate legal authorization."

Basic principles

In Krav Maga, there are no hard-and-fast rules, and no distinction in training for men and women. It is not a sport, and there are no specific uniforms, attire or competitions. All the techniques focus on maximum efficiency in real-life conditions. Krav Maga generally assumes a no quarter situation; the attacks and defenses are intended for potentially lethal threat situations, and aim to neutralize these and escape via maximum pain or damage to opponents, as rapidly and safely as possible. Crippling attacks to vulnerable body parts, including groin and eye strikes, headbutts, and other efficient and potentially brutal attacks, improvized use of any objects available, and maximizing personal safety in a fight, are emphasized.

The guiding principles for those performing Krav Maga techniques are:

  • Neutralize the threat
  • Avoid injury
  • Go from defending to attacking as quickly as possible
  • Use the body's natural reflexes
  • Strike at any vulnerable point
  • Use any tool or object nearby

According to a description written for the self-publication media site Associated Content, the basic premises of Krav Maga are:

You're not going to care how much damage you're going to cause.

  • Cause as much damage as possible and run.
  • Do not try and prolong a fight. Do what needs to be done and escape.

The basic idea is to first deal with the immediate threat (being choked, for example), prevent the attacker from re-attacking, and then neutralize the attacker, proceeding through all steps in a methodical manner, despite the rush of adrenaline that occurs in such an attack. The emphasis is put on taking the initiative from the attacker as soon as possible.

Darn, I wish the sem break were here, so I can practice arnis! It's so embarassing, for the past couple of months the only time I get to practice is when I am in the arnis training room at the DMST.

I look forward to learning more techniques, and eventually, be good enough to apply them in a sparring session.

Jaime's Party!

It was a different kind of party... wherein you had to sing, literally, for your dinner. Haha! But it was great. The atmosphere was so comfy & intimate, and of course, the line up of performers was impressive. There was a member of the Akafellas present, as well as the Ryan Cayabyab singers, and of course, veterans from Blue Rep. and other musical theater groups.

Tata and I sang "Tell Him" a capella (because the CMu Lib. didn't have the score... grrrrr)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Beautiful U.P.

I'm entitled to wax sentimental... I just realized that after this sem, I'll be on my LAST SEMESTER as a UP student.

Oct. 5, '07: I took a break from all the studying/planning and visited the Beach House for the first time. I bought the second-to-the-last barbeque stick and ate it while sitting under one of the trees lining the Acad Oval in the Sunken Garden area. It was ALSO the first time I did that. I took these pictures as a memento of my "firsts."

15 minutes of quiet was all it took. Afterwards, I felt re-energized. No wonder so many people do this! Will make time to do this more often in my 2nd (and last) semester.

The 1st sem is coming to an end...

..... I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!!! But for me, the 1st sem will TRULY end on the 23rd pa.

Three recitals, two culminating activities, one recording session c/o the College of Engineering, one class rehearsal, one exam and one induction to go. Kaya ito!

I will miss:

- - reading the Philippine Star with my fellow Star reader Mark (a.k.a. "Al Gore") while waiting for our STS lecturer of the day to set up

- - walking to and fro the College of Music and the College of Science (a good 15 min. walk, and may take longer if one is having a conversation with a friend)

- - the sub-zero temperatures of the CS auditorium, and choosing which cardigan to wear with my shirt for that day

- - Wednesday Oratorio Voice Lit. classes with Sir Jojo (he always tells the wackiest anecdotes... unfortunately, some are for mature audiences only  so I cannot post them here)

- - late night Tuesday practices with the instrumentalists and Sir Eudy

- - MTh Arnis sessions with Sir Bot and Sir Jere (what a shame I only found out about UP Sangkil Karasak in the latter part of the sem (thanks JJ!)!!! It's so nice to be exercising again, and I never knew arnis could be so challenging and addictive)

- - going to M.I. and K.N.L. for my practicum (aaaaaw I'll miss my "kids" so much)

Boardmate Kris' birthday tomorrow! Advanced happy birthday dear!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Oct. 4, '07: Whattaday!!

What. A. Day.

Woke up at 5 a.m. (as usual) so I could get to the CS on time for our 7 am killer exam in Biology (2nd part of NatSci 2). There were THINGS in the exam that the prof didn't even mention! Grrrr.

10 am: Exam in STS class. This was easier... thank goodness for essay-type tests!

The next several hours were spent taking care of several recital-related chores (Aaaaa the stress.....) as well as cramming for the Noli recital later on in the evening.

4 pm: Arnis! Yay! Look at the birthday card (more like, birthday BOARD) we prepared for Sir Jocano. :-) Dedications were written in silver ink at the back.

6 - 8 pm: Attended the NOLI ME TANGERE opera rehearsal (composed by Felipe Padilla de Leon) for Kuya Armin's grad. recital. It's on the 20th already!?!?!?

Whew. Am drop dead exhausted. Tomorrow is another day...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Last day of Oratorio Lit. Class / Our beautiful college shirt

Observe the 3rd pic! It was supposed to be an"angas/ diva" pose... only a few of us actually did it... but LOOK AT SIR JOJO's!! Panalo! Talo lahat kami! :-)

And our college shirt was so pretty... couldn't resist taking pics of mine (the other colors are pink and maroon)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Belle Canto Awards / Sir Jocano's Birthday

A few pics from last Friday's Belle Canto awards. Congrats to all the winners!

Last week, Sir Jocano told us to come on Monday, because he had a "surprise." Turns out today's his birthday! He treated us to brownies (aaaaaawwwwww so sweet). We were so touched, grabe. He's the best arnis / anthro prof, perhaps the coolest prof in UP!
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