Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006: The Year That Was

I'm way too sleepy to think of posting in my blog at this time but it has always been my tradition to write a yearend journal entry. Every year I try to remember the year that was and the lessons I've learned the past 12 months.

Year 2006 is a year of change.It is a year of heartbreak and loss; a year of joy and laughter. For short, 2006 is a well lived year.

There are years where you just feel the months go by without anything happening. 2006 wasn't like that. Every month something exciting was bound to happen--be it happy or sad and with each hello and goodbye, I learned a lot. I think I learned more about myself this year than in any other year that came and went by. I learned to brave and to be strong this year. And most of all I learned to let go.

The first three months were the challenge months for my studies. I struggled to finish my dissertation much to the dismay of my mom. I know I disappointed a lot when I didn't make it to the graduation rites but what the heck, I finished it. I got to defend last March 17. I finally earned the much awaited PhD. Earning that was a great feat if you add on the fact that the person who was supposed to keep me grounded and sane through it all broke my heart into a million pieces. So despie nursing a heartbreak I had to struggle to move on.

2006 also marked the year of badminton. I played more hours in badminton this year than in any other year. Although my tournaments were reduced as compared to 2005 I still managed to join quite a number. I won more this year which made it more special. I finally won at the All Jesuit Badminton Tourney in July after 3 tries. I changed partners too this year-- first kei and I became ladies doubles partners then in mixed it was luis who became my new partner. My two partnerships proved to be lucky ones as we won quite a handful of tourneys. My most unforgetable win? Go Badminton last September. How we trained for that tourney will always be memorable to me. And I know partner luis won't forget it either kasi dun sila nagkabalikan ni Byo.

Aside from the winnings 2006 will also mark the year of my retirement from active play. Sad to say I had to stop for a while to move to a new adventure in life called Malaysia. Moving to Malaysia stopped my badminton addiction since I don't get to play as much as I want to there now. The first few weeks I was so bummed about this but now I realized it was the best time to retire. I retired at the top of my game. I retired knowing that I gave badminton my heart and soul. I retired playing the game of my life.

Then came Malaysia. Who would have thought back in January that I'd end up working in a different country? It was an application that started out as a joke and ended with serious 3 year contract and a chance to start anew. I admit my reasons for applying were quite superficial but looking back I guess I needed that reason to push myself to be braver. I was totally lost in my comfort zone and although it was quite comfortable, life was dull.

When I left last november I didnt know that I could last the first three weeks. I had my plane ticket home ready--I just wanted to give it a chance. I cried all the way from Manila to KL. It was so scary leaving the only life I've known.

Four weeks weeks later I'm here in Manila preparing for my return to KL on tuesday. I'm actually looking forward to going back. I belong there now. The girl who used to just sit back and be part of the crowd is now out in the open stage.

Perhaps what I'll remember most about 2006 is the fact that this year I lost one of my bestfriends. I've known him for 12 years--since first year highschool. But somehow fate has decided to end our friendship. There were times that I blamed myself for losing him but now looking back, I realized we just both didn't want to hold on. Friendship takes two people to make it work and I guess, my faith in him wasn't enough for him to stay. I'll always miss the old Peter who used to spend hours chatting with me about everything but I've learned that in life you don't always get what you pray for and in the end you learn to be contented with the memories. No one can take away all those beautiful memories away from me. Despite everything I am still grateful to Peter-- he pushed me to be braver than ever. Without him I wouldn't be where I am today. He gave me the best gift of all-- the chance to do something brave and believe in myself. He helped me find the courage to find and love myself again. For that I shall always be grateful.Thank you Peter. And I'm sorry for not being the friend you hoped that I would be. Sana someday we can be friends again.

With every loss they say, something is gained. I lost my bestfriend and half of my friends but I also gained new friends and new people to love. I met so many new people and got to know a bigger world. Di lang pala sa badminton umiikot ang mundo. At may iba pa palang mga taong pwedeng mahalin bukod sa iilan.

I still havent completely figured out why God let all these things happen but I am not keen on questionning his wisdom. I learned to find my peace in whatever life will throw my way.

In a few hours 2006 will end. I will say hello to 2007. I wonder what lies ahead in the coming year. I hope that it will be as exciting and as well lived as this year. kung pwede less heartaches and more joys but kung di pwede sana at the end of 2007 I still have the same faith in people that I have with me now.

Auf wiedersehen 2006.
Guten Tag 2007!
Manigong bagong taon sa lahat!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Girl Talk, The Guru, and Network Nightmares

Life is a total rollercoaster ride. Today is no exception. From a series of "highs" to a series of "lows" I learned to appreciate the blessings of today despite some very sad news late tonight.

Woke up early and got ready for my day with ella. -- one whole day devoted to the things we both loved-- eating, eating, eating, and parlor. hahaha. I picked her up at 11:30 for our "date." I promised her that we'd have at least one day together when I get home for xmas so it was something we both looked forward to. We picked up classmate before heading off to shakey's for lunch.

You could probably call it glutonny with the amount of food we consumed-- party sized pepperoni crunch, buddy pack of chicken (5 pcs!), 1.5 baskets of mojos, and a pitcher of sarsi. I even had a side order of soup. I don't know how we managed it but we finished almost everything except for the pizza.

A couple of hours later we managed to do so many things-- go to megamall, had our haircut with matching manicure and pedicure at david's katipunan, coffee at seattles best and then isaw and bbq at Que Rico with Lyzet. By the time it was 8pm I was so darn tired. My foot was still hurting from last night's play at GBC so my energy levels were low already.

Still,I enjoyed it. I miss my days with ella. Ves used to tease us that one reason why both remain single is because we're both so devoted to each other that there's no room for someone else. Ves is partly right-- Ella and I do spend a lot of time together especially when I was still here. We used to talk on the phone almost every day for hours. But that is how best friends are right? Ella and I are so updated with each other's life that at the end of the day, if one of us goes missing, the other would most likely know where one is. But were not totally devoid of other people naman. Ella and I have this pact that we'll always be there to support each other even if it means letting the other one go to find their bliss. Ilang beses na rin kaming nareschedule biglaan because of "someone" or "something." But alang alang sa puso, why not chocnut diba?!

So today I found it so nice to have those moments with Ella again. Kahit na paulit ulit lang ang kwento namin, parang di siya nakakasawa. The best parts of the day were the "Talks" with classmate a.k.a. GURU adrian and the chairman of the guru's herself--Lyzet. The smiles on their faces was worth the wait. I can still remember classmate's smile when I said "no comment" to his question (idol din siya sa kanyang evading techniques on when he'd go back to... hahaha..) and lyzet's complaints of having tired facial muscles from smiling. Sabi ko naman sa yo lyzet eh, i'll find my way sooner or later.. Glad I made you happy. I don't know how I got through the two gurus but despite feeling majorly embarassed most of the time (di lang ako pulutan, ginisa pa ko!hahaha), I was just so happy that I got to spend time with them.

After a short detour sa bluewave to give ann her lotion I was finally able to go home 12 hours after I left the house.

But like any day, rainbows won't be extra special without the presence of some clouds. Network problems due to the Taiwan earthquake caused havoc in my ability to send and receive text messages. Almost all my messages were either late or sometimes even lost. I couldnt connect to my yahoo mobile and even the yahoo wapsite itself. Ang hirap tuloy makipagchikka sa king chatmate na super sipag sa paglilinis ng bahay.hehehe. delayed lahat ng reactions ko. Kala tuloy niya galit ako. Di po no! Galit ang network sa telepono ko! hahaha.

The saddest cloud came in the form of chin's email. Fr. Bu is not well and I am extremely worried. I hope he gets better. He means the world to me. And I know part of the reason why I push myself to be more than I can be is because I always want to make him proud. He's my beloved pabu, and I won't be alive today without him.

Just when I thought I'd cry na, I got a nice goodnight text. God's way of cheering me up I guess. And I am glad. It gives me hope that tomorrow, all these clouds would turn to sunny skies. Thank you for the nice thoughts and concern. It's nice to know that someone cares.

At the end of the day, I am extremely tired and quite confused as to whether I am happy or sad. Too many things happened today. But I guess looking back I am still happy coz I know all these simply means that today was a life well lived.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The questions that need answers

Every question should have an answer right?

But what if there is none?

And there it remains for you to ponder-- what happens next? You can't go back to the way things were before and neither can you really move forward unless you find your answers.

But maybe some things are meant to be answered at a different time. And maybe waiting it out is the best course of action for now.

Trust that fate will find it's due course. And hope that things will be okay in time.

Ella is right. It's not as if we didn't choose our paths. We are always given the choice and it's up to us to choose which way to go to and find our way from there.

How do I feel right now?

Honestly? I don't know. Happy sad happy sad happy sad. Totally ewan.

And maybe that's just the way it ought to be. For the moment at least.

Hey it's christmas! I'm entitled to some melodrama right? =P

Back Home for Christmas

I'm back home for the holidays and despite the long journey home I find myself unable to sleep. I guess I'm so used to staying up late that sleeping this early seems unfathomable.

I arrived at 11:15am via Air Asia in Clark. I barely slept since last night I had my despedida (kahit na kakadating pa lang) Jom's place. We had beer and tokwa't baboy for pulutan (na naging ulam). So just imagine how semi-zombie like I was when I went through immigration and customs. I didn't sleep after the party so keeping myself awake during check in was quite a struggle.

I think I had some withdrawal symptoms of my LRT rides in KL that I decided to take the MRT instead of riding a cab from megamall. I walked through Gateway mall first before finally heading for home.

Three weeks ago I was so excited at the thought of going back home for xmas. Funny nga coz all I could think of when I was about to leave last Nov was the thought that I would be back in three weeks. In those three weeks life was completely changed and if you asked me if I ever pictured all the things that happened the past three weeks, I would flat out say-- no.

And now that I'm back, I'm quite unsure of how to react-- I'm happy to be home yet at the same time I also feel that this is not my place anymore. I'm meant to be somewhere else. Or maybe I'm just not used to this place anymore. It's true pala when they say that you can never go back to the past and all you can really do is savor the present and prepare for the future. Life changed when I left last November 28. Life moved on and now there's no going back.

I still have some unfinished business here in Manila but I have more unfinished stuff to go back to when I go back to KL--things that I have figure out sooner or later. But for now, I won't think about it and instead will just enjoy this vacation. Tutal what's the sense of going home for christmas when di ka mageenjoy diba?!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Afternoon Lunch Conversations

After lunch today Melissa and I dropped by Liz's office to bring her KFC chicken. Azlan (who is on leave) was there so we had an interesting chat with him. Melissa asked Azlan what makes a man happy in marriage and these were his answers--"1) when she doesn't try to change me from the way I am, 2) sex-anytime and anywhere (haha), and 3) not being a nag." When asked about what makes a woman happy in marriage, his answers were slightly different--"1) listening to her, and 2) not solving her problems for her/not attempting to save her all the time." There's a third answer to that but I kinda forgot it. We had a great laugh when Liz bugged him about why sex is not part of the woman's list. His answer about the nymphomaniac was hillarious (okay when i do find one, i'll send her to you okay? hahaha).

Interesting right? From a man's point of view it was quite interesting to hear it from him. He's been married for quite some time now so I guess he knows what he is talking about. The conversation continued with him telling us that men and women were different essentially but what makes a marriage work is understanding and accepting each one's uniqueness. Pang Mr. Universe na sagot ha!hehehe.

Seriously though he makes sense. Maybe if we take time out to just understand each other, the world would probably have less fights and less confusion.

Melissa and I were chatting on the way back from KFC about how I'm kind of eng eng when it comes to matters of figuring out romantic relationships. I'm kinda lost when it comes to it, and so unless its right smack in front of me, I wouldn't be able to figure it out. I kind of admire the people who seem to find relationships a breeze.

Our brief get together was cut short when we saw Brian pull up in the driveway. hehehe.. Syempre pasaway kami at dun din kami nagpark sa tapat ng driveway kung san bawal diba? sabi kasi ni bossing eh. hehehe. Melissa and I hurriedly said goodbye and off we went back to our sleepy orange building.

The chikka will have to wait for another time.

3 more hours and I'm off to vacation!!!

Puto Bambu & the Monorail Adventure

In the Philippines we have the famous puto bungbong-- the purplelish puto that reminds us that christmas is here. Yesterday, Melissa and Liz introduced me to the Malaysian version called puto bambu. How it was cooked was the same except instead of being purple and topped with margarine/butter it was whitetish with palm sugar in the middle and grated coconut on top. It was quite yummy actually. And it made me long for home some more.

We've been eating out of campus for the past two days since the restaurant has been closed. I'm slowly learning how to order food in malay (walang kamatayang chicken rice and Iced lemon tea!). My tongue still twists whenever I say teh-ice-limao (tama ba to?) but at least its understandable now. haha.

I went out to buy myself a portable hard disk for my laptop yesterday at the Plaza Lao Yat in Bukit Bintang. I had a vague idea where it was so armed with my fighting spirit (sabi nga ni Brom, "That's the spirit - one part brave, three parts fool. ") I headed towards KL sentral after work. From there I was supposed to take the KL monorail to get to Berjaya Times square. The map looked so neat. Unfortunately, in reality it was not.

So true to form, I got lost again. I think it took me about 30 minutes to finally figure out how to get to the monorail from KL sentral. I didn't want to call my lifelines yet since I wanted to find out for myself how to get there. I didn't want the taxi either coz that would defeat the adventure. When I got down in front of Berjaya Times Square, it took another few minutes to figure out where Lao Yat was.

The bravery paid off and I got myself a new portable hdd for only RM245. About half of what it costs in Manila. Now I have enough storage space for all my movies and downloaded tv shows. hahaha.

Para di naman sayang ang adventure ko I did some christmas shopping na din but it turned out to be more like a window shopping adventure. I treated myself to Mcdonalds before heading back to my room. I was sooo tired when I got back but what the heck, it was an adventure still. I enjoyed it. Even if I was just by myself.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Morning Walks

Yesterday a friend of mine told me that I was different from the girls he knew here coz I actually preferred walking to taking the bus. We were walking back home from the LRT station after spending the day at KLCC and the embassy. It got me thinking-- why do i like walking? I have to confess, I didn't do much walking back in Manila since I have my own car there. I usually just enjoy walking when I'm out of town.

For the past week, I've been doing just that- instead of taking the bus to the LRT station, I just make it my morning habit to walk. Sometimes if I'm up to it, I also do it in the afternoon on my way back to my room. And I really like it. I agree with Jesse that walking helps clear the mind (mukhang seryoso naman siya nung sinabi niya to hahaha). This morning as I was walking to the station, I realized how relaxing it was compared to impatiently waiting for the bus. I was even humming a song while walking not minding that I was crossing a busy road. And since it was still quite early, it wasn't hot and there was no smog in the air.

I realized then that walking gives me back my sense of lost control since moving here. Depending on the bus and the train can be quite frustrating at times. Walking on the other hand is purely under my control. I control how fast or how slow my pace would be. And for sure I know I'll get to my destination in the time I want to be there. And though I still prefer to walking with someone than being by myself, walking alone is not as lonely as sitting inside a room by my lonesome self.

When I'm walking, I don't feel so alone anymore.

one of the gifts of my morning walks is the realization that I finally understood why you had to go. and i finally found the guts to finally say the final goodbye. Now I can finally say that I've happily moved on. I don't think of you much now. And when I do, it doesn't hurt as much now. I can even laugh at our old jokes and the past. I just remember the good times now. The bad times have been forgotten--chased away by the early morning winds that calmed my spirit.

The giraffe may still have two legs for me but I don't cry anymore.I've got others to share the joke with. Thank you for the memories. And thank you for teaching me that I am much more stronger than I can ever imagine. And that I can let you go without saying that I regretted ever knowing you. You will always have that place in my heart but now you are just a memory I'll cherish. I'm still singing the songs I sang for you last year but it's a lot different now. I'm actually happy when I sing them. I'm okay now. I am happy. I hope you are too. Merry christmas partner.


I accidentally got to know of the story of Eragon when I was searching for a gift last March for Banjo. I was browsing through the booktitles of National Bookstore when I chanced upon the novel. It looked interesting and since I couldn't think of anything else to give Banjo, I decided to buy it. Turned out Banjo liked the book and he told me it was good.
I never got around to reading it but I told myself I'd watch out for the movie. So when it was shown here in Malaysia last week, I told myself I'd watch it. So yesterday I saw it after going to the embassy for my OEC.

The movie is all about a farm boy named Eragon who found a dragon's egg. When the egg hatched he was decreed to be its rider and that's where all the adventure of Eragon and Saphira begins. The story is quite simple-- small town farm boy who becomes a hero against an evil king. Eragon is taken under the wing of a former dragon rider named Brom, who, years before, lost his own dragon to the evil men of king Galbatorix. There's romance in between and lots of battles. In the end, Eragon saves the day. How did he do it? Panoorin niyo na lang!

We've seen this kind of story before. Medyo gasgas na nga siya if you think about it. Yet there was something about the simplicity of the plot that made it worth seeing. The story was all about hope, courage, and taking chances. And I think that is what is life is really all about. We need that-- hope to keep us believing; courage to keep us strong; and risk taking abilities to keep us dreaming new things.

I cried during parts of the movie much to the amusement of my moviemate jesse. Hay nako! Eh sa nakakaiyak eh! At least di siya nakatulog! hahaha. For those who know me, I'm a sucker for crying in movies. Inaamin ko iyakin ako sa pelikula. Hey! I even cried while watching Space Jam (Yup! the Michael Jordan cartoons! haha!). I couldn't help it especially when Brom died. Fortunately I had some tissue with me.
I loved Brom's words-- "That's the spirit - one part brave, three parts fool" coz I'm somehow like that from time to time. I realized in the movie that we need to be fools from time to time. After all, it is our obligation to follow our personal legends.
Once upon a time I was told that if I keep myself open, it will come again-- the movie reminded me of that-- to always keep the faith. =) Even if we end up looking like fools.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sunog Baga Group

I've just been inducted to the Sunog Baga group a.k.a mga tomador at tambay sa endah villa. We have different names-- Boy Brocha, Troy Troso, Boy Kuneho, Boy Phookistan, Kooluntoy,Happy Feet, EssTenLess, Prof. Guess who am I there?

For the past 3 weeks that I've been here in Malaysia, I've been regularly attending the sessions at Ann's, Obet's, and Charles' place. Just when I thought that my days of late night drinking sessions were a thing of the past, it became it clear that it only has just begun.

Saturday night's drinking session stamped my membership for good.hahaha. Who would have thought that the formerly indomitable drinking buddy of everyone will finally meet her match in the form of 5 guys (6 na pala kagabi) and finally get drunk. hehehe.

The sessions of the gang have become pretty frequent recently. Monday afternoon I received a call from obet telling me to go home early so we could start the session early. Hay naku when I got there, tulog ang mga mokong! hehehe. Last night, the boys were finally complete kaya may super late night session again. I was so pissed off with a very interesting fellow at work so I was in the mood for some pamperings. Cong Jessie and Obet cooked Adobong atay at balunbalunan ng manok with Ginisang Monggo for dinner. The thought of eating a lovely dinner was enough to send me packing home early from Semenyih. The drinking session was supposed to end early but when Glenn, Charles, and Jomer appeared, tapos na ang maagang gabi. May humabol pang isang biglang laya! hahaha. It was fun getting to know the guys kahit ako ang favorite target nila from time to time. Buti na lang may isang tao na mas asar talo! hehehe. peace! Who would have thought that someone would actually agree with me when I said that a giraffe had only two legs?!! And worse, may 2 pang nagsecond the motion! With all conviction pa! Winner talaga ang mga Sunog Baga boys!

When the vodka ran out at around 11pm, the boys went for round 2 of beer. Napagkaisahan ata kami kaya nawala lahat. The drinking didn't end with round 2. May third round pa! And that was only 1am! Grabe! Ibang level na ito ng inuman. I escaped the hangover thanks to my tagasalo ng tagay. Salamat po!! He ended up drunk instead of me. Hehehe. He couldn't even remember how many bottles we had. FYI, 6 liters po ng beer ang inubos niyo not to mention the vodka na tinira din natin.

At 1:30 am the group packed up for the mamak stall. Is this a new tradition? I was so full when we got there that all I could think of eating was iced lemon tea. I picked on the cheese naan ordered by cong jessie and the laughters and banters continued on until almost 3am when the guys finally brought me back home.

It felt nice to be part of a group here. They are quite a unique group but nonetheless a great one. Although I'm one of the boys I still feel pampered with them. aba minsan lang ako mapagluto ng dinner and matawag na princesa. hahaha. I guess one of the things I was afraid of when I moved here was that I would not belong. Now I know that I am part of something. I'm not a homeless person anymore. I belong again. And that makes me happy

When my old group left my life I was so sad. And as I try to put back the pieces of my life together, getting to know these new set of friends makes me feel that no matter what happens life would send me blessings. It's like in a survivor game. No matter what, I'll find a way to survive.

Life does indeed have a way of working out.

Monday, December 18, 2006


I finally knew what a real hangover felt like last Sunday. For the first time in my life I actually got drunk. I had a drinking session with the boys (hanggang dito ba naman one of the boys pa din ako?) last Saturday night until 3am of sunday. It was an all guys session with me being the lone girl in the group. It actually reminded me of our Ilocos trip last September and my inumans with Witart in Provident. Nakakamiss din yon.

We played badminton at 7pm first. Almost three hours of non stop laughter. Charles kept us playing till we died of fatigue. It was fun and was quite tiring especially when I played against the men's doubles of bambang and jessie/jet. Nakakapagod tumawa! My play was still way below my usual play but I was amazed at some of my newfound abilities to run and get the ball. Nagkakabackhand na ako! hahaha. We ended play at 10 pm just in time to force rajah to cook for us the last order for dinner. We were all so hungry then. I think I wiped out my food in less than 10 minutes.

After dinner we went back to the condo to wait for our kainumans--glenn and don obet. Glenn and Obet brought vodka home after work and when that was wiped out, they went out again to get beer. They made this concoction of regular beer with dark beer. I don't know what hit me-- whether it was too much alcohol, hunger, fatigue, too much laughter (i swear my tummy ached from all that laughing trips) or all of the above. I don't actually recall how many shots I had but I knew it was way too many to mention as my head was spinning na! hahaha. We were all laughing all night. Asaran and kwentuhan. I was on my kulit mode din kasi. We listened to Obet's new Ipod and his collection of cheesy christmas carols. Being here abroad gives new sentimental meaning to the song Pasko na Sinta ko and Sana ngayong pasko. Namoody tuloy ako. Napakwento pa tuloy ako ng drama ng buhay kay cong! hahaha.. Pero promise last na yon. ibabaon na sa nakaraan ang nakaraan.

And of course we still had our regular dose of kailan. Talk about kajologan. But hey! It was fun! There's something about being far from the Philippines that makes all those jologs songs a lot nicer to listen to.

After consuming all the beer the 6 of us decided to have an early morning snack at the mamak stall. I couldnt eat when we got there coz I was so bloated already. I was sleepy and quiet. Okay naman pala akong malasing. After a few minutes I decided to go to the cr and throw up. YUCK!

Jessie went with me to the toilet to witness my first ever drunken state in life. How embarrassing. Finally I think nakarmi ako from all that "i never get drunk statements" of mine. Imagine 7 red horse bottles sa ilocos and I didnt go down. I thought I was well trained by witart george and lolo mark na. Kulang pa pala! hahaha. Dito lang sa Malaysia pala ang katapat ko. I told the guys yesterday that they are the lucky ones who witnessed my first lasing state in life. Divina couldn't believe it herself when I texted her yesterday morning.

I woke up at 8am yesterday in Ann's room and my head was still spinning. I was so dying to take a shower so I forced myself to get up and go to my new sleeping quarters in the next block. For about one hour there I was telling myself that I'd never drink again (hahaha! tingnan natin!).

So that was how a hangover felt like. It was bad. My headache finally subsided at around 4pm already. I was supposed to go out and do some shopping yesterday but I ended up crashing in Ann's, Obet's and Charles' unit to bum around. Charles and I had lunch at 2pm in carrefour before I headed out to meet marisa for mass. My shopping expedition was completely forgotten. kaya pag umuwi akong walang pasalubong, yon ang dahilan non. hehehe.

So that was how my weekend went. Drinking expeditions. I got to play again last night with my friend Marisa and her group. I was the lone pinoy there so it was kind of a weird feeling. I couldn't say all the things I used to blurt out when I play (like my favorite, "siomai!" and "shet" and "bakal!") coz no one is bound to understand a thing I was saying. After the play I went home and had late dinner with au, obet and jessie sa bakuteh. We watched Star Wars Episode 1 after.

I got home around 1230 am I think. Finally I slept in my new room. It's not yet home to me but sana it will be soon. I don't feel I'm jelling well with my housemates. But I guess it's because were still new. Let's just wait and see.

6 more days and I'm going home!!!! Can't wait! There's a rumor that our salaries will come this week. SANA!!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Nottingham Dinner & Inuman at the Condo

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The Nottingham staff had a university dinner last night at the Marriot Hotel in Putrajaya. I finally met the other members of staff. After two weeks here, I finally so more people apart from the one's I regularly see on campus. I went there with Liz and Melissa and all the way from Semenyih all we could think of was the dinner and how big the chicken would be. We got to Marriot hotel a bit early so we had lots of time to dress up and make ourselves pretty. It was pouring outside so we expected the dinner to be quite late.

A few minutes before people began to pour in, I got accidentally (=P) volunteered by Liz to sing! I think Roselin took it seriously so she really asked the music people to put me in their program. Goodness gracious! Talk about introducing myself to the nottingham people with a bang! Eh kung videoke ba to sa garahe nina len okay lang no! but no! 100 strangers itong kaharap ko! The thought of me singing out of tune is a nightmare!!!!hahaha Yan ang tinatawag na karmic blooper!

I practiced with the band (or should I say duo) for like 10 minutes. For several minutes there I couldn't think of a song. Fortunately they knew my national anthem, "Till I met you" so we did that. And I also did "You" by the carpenters. I think I went out of tune in the first few lines of you but after that okay na ko. I just imagined na sina divina or sina luis ang nasa harap ko and not all those people from the university!

I was still shaking even way after I sang. In between songs Nadia from finance gave me a flower which was really nice. After my singing stint, I readily went back to our table and had my dessert. buti na lang masarap! Brian and Paul both told me that I was brave for doing it. Haha. Kung alam lang nila ang nerbyos ko no! Hindi ko inisip na i'll be able to do that! Before we left Azlan bought us the marriot teddy bear. It was so cute.=) Liz, Melissa, and I each got one. I guess he was in a good mood last night. We kept on teasing him about his formal look.

When I got home I was so tired. I think all my nervousness finally kicked in. I was almost asleep in the couch when I heard voices come in. Ann and the rest of the nokia gang came home around 11:30 for an impromptu drinking session. binalak pa kong drawingan ng isa dyan sa mukha ha! kala ata di ko naririnig!hehehe We got semi drunk with beer till 1am. My tummy was aching because of laughing too much about their call center kwentos. My favorite was the "maam ang spelling po ba ng jaja ay G-A-G-A?!" Oh my God! I nearly died laughing there. When the beer disappeared and we started to feel sleepy again, it was time to say goodnight.

A fruitful night I should say. Tiring but fruitful. Makes up for my cramps today. Thank God its friday. I'm looking forward to the weekend.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Reunion at the KTM

After a lousy morning thanks to my stupidity about my ATM pin, things finally picked up when I met up with my kumare Trina at the Kajang KTM station. She's on a mini tour of malaysia on her way back to Manila. She rode the bus from Singapore yesterday. Since we didn't have much time together we spent 2.5 hours just chatting away inside the KTM station. It's been years since I've seen Trina and we had a lot to catch up on. She shared her harrowing experience in Indonesia last week where she and a friend got held up in the taxi. Fortunately they did not hurt her or her friend. What a frightening experience it was. We also had lunch together at the nearby mamak stall. I treated her to our version of the carinderia. Yummy food and cheap too! For the two of us I spent at little over 130 pesos only! I think I'm getting immune to the spicy food of Malaysia so it's not so harsh on me now. Unlike two weeks ago, I was really getting tummyaches because of the spicyness.

I used to think of the KTM as a boring place to stay in. But with Trina being there, it was somehow more homey. The train people kept staring at us but what the heck, we just ignored them. Just imagine how much stories we had to share with each other! buti nga wala pang topic na lovelife dun!

I got here in the office a little past 1:30pm. Very late but at least feeling very accomplished. My stupidity was fixed already and thanks to Brian of HSBC, I'm not lost anymore. I promised him I won't forget my pin again! hahaha. It was a costly blooper indeed. Sana hanggang dito na lang.

Two more weeks and I'm home na! Can't wait!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Walking Tour of KL

It's a public holiday in Selangor today so it means no work for me. So I decided to take a tour of KL and do a little bit of shopping and sightseeing. Armed with my brand new floral light blue umbrella (sa wakas bumili din ng payong!) and my purse, I went with Ann to KLCC early this morning. We took the LRT to Masjid Jamek first and got myself a touch and go card to make life a lot easier in taking the trains (no more pila!!) then took another LRT to KLCC. I went around for a while and got myself a new pair of shoes from vincci. Have this semiformal thing to go to on thursday and I can't possibly go there wearing my boots or my sneakers (hmm..badminton shoes kaya?). I also went up the Petronas towers skybridge. Wow! Finally saw it. I stood there for about 10 minutes or so. I missed the skybridge tour last july coz I arrived late for the tours already. But now, I finally made it. I even met some pinoys on tour who asked me to take their picture. Jay, Amy, and Ian were their names and they were quite a talkative group. It was sure nice to meet some people from home.

Ann and I met again after about 2 hours to go to Sungwei Wang in Bukit Bintang. She left me there so I had lunch at Mcdo. I was quite optimistic coz I've been to Bukit Bintang before back in July. So I wasn't totally a stranger to the place.

Ann warned me that it might be traffic if I stay there till four so at 3:20pm I decided to head back to KLCC. I'm supposed to meet trina but she's still somewhere in between singapore and KL. I couldn't get out of Sungwei Wang at first coz I kept getting lost in the maze of shops. After about 10 minutes I finally found my way out. I thought I could relax when I got to the taxi stand but no! There was no taxi!! I stood there for 45 minutes and wala pa din. Feeling ko magkakavaricose veins na lang ako, wala pa din! goodness gracious! I was about 7th in line and taxis were coming in about 1 every 10-15 minutes. So after 45 minutes of boring waiting (not to mention a pila-mate na sobrang kulit) I decided to walk.

I didn't know exactly where to go but what the heck, I have good sense of directions right? (haha!). I headed towards mcdo and saw petronas towers on the sky. So I just used that as my north star--my target-- my pitt stop and walked towards the direction of where I saw the tower. Finally I found a signage in Malaysia that worked right-- there was a walking street sign that led also pointed me to the direction of KLCC. So I walked and walked and walked... 30 minutes and about 3 photographs later (madami pang uzi ha!) I made it to the Versace boutique at KLCC. The pitt stop at last! Feeling ko nag amazing race ako at inaantay ako ni phil koegan sa dulo! hahaha! Sabi ko na pwede kong mag amazing race eh. .

My legs are killing me and I think I lost another 3 Ilbs or so. But still it was quite fun. It would have been better if I was with friends though. While walking I chanced upon a group of pinoys. I don't think they recognized me as a fellow pinoy but I was so dying to but in when they were making conversations. haha.

Now I'm here at an internet shop waiting for trina's call. I'm dying to put my legs up so I figured writing in this blog would at least let me rest a bit. I wanted to do some transfers but it seems that my access to my bank is a bit limited today. So I'll leave that for tomorrow.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A nice thought for the day...

"At the end of the day, when it comes down to it, all we really want is to be close to somebody. So this thing where we all keep our distance and pretend not to care about each other, it's usually a load of bull. So we pick and choose who we want to remain close to, and once we've chosen those people, we tend to stick close by. No matter how much we hurt them. The people that are still with you at the end of the day, those are the ones worth keeping. And sure, sometimes close can be too close. But sometimes, that invasion of personal space, it can be exactly what you need." (meredith grey)

Was reading the grey's anatomy episode guide and chanced upon this quote. I thought it sums up everything I've been thinking about the past months. Well said.

At the end of the day, the people that are still with you are the one worth keeping.

Tinola Soup For the Soul

Arrived at Ann's last night feeling really really tired after a long day at work. Had another blooper filled experience navigating Kajang town so I was pretty much pooped out and looking forward to just sleeping. I was thinking of what to eat for dinner again--fried rice? sweet and sour? o stewed rice? But when I got home to my surprise, there was something special waiting. Nagluto si obet ng tinola! Nothing made my night more than the thought of eating an authentic Filipino dish. So relished every bite of the tinolang manok. Yummy!!!

After dinner we had a short inuman. The group took turns in drinking vodka laced mango juice and eating pringles for pulutan. Ann and I reminisced about the bridget days. We had a great time laughing about our batch's antics especially the coleman inuman during the retreats and the floorwax incident back in grade 4 (back in grade 4 I was part of the cleaning group that applied wax on the blackboard to make it look cleaner. Of course it ended up in disaster coz no one could write on the board.hahaha

Today is friday. Thank God! It's the feast of the Immaculate Concepcion and it's a public holiday in the catholic schools in Philippines. Of course here hindi. But were having a holiday on monday (sultan of selangor's birthday) kaya quits na din kami. ..

I'm playing my beloved sport tonight-my first time since last november 27.I'm starting to have withdrawal symptoms already. I'm meeting some new friends over at Jalan Gasing to play with them. Part of me is so excited and a part of me is also scared that I might not know how to play anymore. I'm counting the hours now and I can't wait for 7pm.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Peanut Butter on Wheat Bread

I missed the bus again today. That and the KTM and the bus near the condo. The timeschedules of public transpo here as I'm slowly finding out can have a standard deviation of +/- 10 minutes to 30 minutes.So I was stuck in the bus stop behind endah villa for a good 15 minutes. And for another 15 minutes at the Tasik Selatan Train station. And lastly 45 minutes at the Kajang KTM station. Too much time wasted I know. But somehow, I've come to relish those moments the past week. I usually have my breakfast during those long lulls of waiting. For the past two days my breakfast have consisted of peanut butter sandwiches and orange juice. The peanut butter is nothing like my preferred lady's choice chunky peanut butter. But it was still okay.BTW they have gardenia here.

Sometimes I also read while waiting. Yesterday I read a magazine and this morning I decided to read a book- Persuasion by Jane Austen. I've been wanting to read it for months now but never seem to have found the time. Now I think life is giving a little bit of time to stop and explore the surroundings. I hope the book turns out to be an interesting read.

I meet a lot of people while waiting for the train or the bus. Two days ago I met Yogish at the Kajang KTM, one of the staff from the school of engineering. Yesterday, Samuel, a staff from my building was my seatmate on the same train. Sometimes strangers would come up to me and ask me for directions and after I tell them that I don't speak the language, they'd ask me where I came from.A lot of the people here mistake me for a local. We usually exchange pleasantries.Sometimes even if we don't understand each other's language, we resort to shortened english phrases and hand signals or sometimes a simple smile would do.I find the malay people quite friendly. The other day I was trying to find my way home from the Bukit Jalil train station and a chinese girl was kind enough to show me where I could take a bus home.

Waiting for the train or the bus is like relishing a peanut butter on wheat bread sandwich. It looks plain on the outside and can even be quite sticky and messy to eat. It can be boring at times as well. But when you forget about the hassle of waiting, you'd realize that it can actually be crunchy and full of fun.

That's me in my "busog na ako" moment. Try talking to me after my cup of milo. hahaha.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Introducing Nottingham

I've been here at UNIM for exactly one week now. So I thought I'd show you guys what my workplace looks like. Picture this--put ateneo right smack in the middle of tagaytay. Make all the buildings bigger and the gardens larger. Take away about 2/3 of the population and make the ethnicity of everyone more diverse. That about sums it up =)

I work at the orange building (aka faculty of social science and education). Our buildings here are color coded (green,purple, yellow, red, etc.) Why, I have no idea? Our orange building which my friend Melissa describes to be "too orangey" is a two storey facility that houses three schools-- school of business, school of education, and school of applied psychology-IWHO which I am part of. Our school is quite small.. There is only ME, MYSELF, and I here in Malaysia. No kidding! hahaha. Melissa is our school administrator shared with the other two schools. Then there's Angeli and Steve the MSc course directors who are both based at Nottingham UK. I go to work everyday. I take a train from Bukit Jalil to Tasak Selatan then move to the KTM (another train) and ride that one to Kajang. It takes me about 15 minutes or so. Then I wait for the UNIM shuttle bus that takes us from Kajang to the sleepy town of Semenyih where the university is located. The bus ride usually takes 30 minutes if the driver is not so slow. Today, was quite a slow morning. The KTM to kajang was delayed for 30 minutes thus I missed the 8am bus and had to wait for the 9am bus. Then the bus was late as well so I got here at about 9:45. I was just in time to bump into Azlan (the security head) having morning coffee.

I have my own room here. It's a big space. I have my pc and my own local phone with my name on it! cool! The phone is so high tech you can customize the rings and locate the local number of any personnel in the university. Plus when someone calls you, their names appear. Kaya wala ng "hello sino ka?" dito. It's so complicated though I barely know how to use it. kaya pag nag ring siya natetense ako!hahaha.

Yesterday it took me about 2hours to get to KLCC (aka petronas towers). I was going to do some window shopping while waiting for ann. Aside from the delayed KTM (hmmm..uso din ang late sa kanila) I also ended up in the wrong train line again at the KL Sentral. I somehow managed to end up riding the opposite train again.hahaha. I was supposed to meet a new friend Joan at Masjid Jamek but had to cancel it na lang. Kaya by the time we got to sri petaling-- I was dead tired. I just watched Zhang Nhing cream that korean girl sa singles ng asian games and I was asleep na soon after.

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makakalaro na ako ng badminton soon!!!! i can't wait

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Despedida Nights..

Here are pics from my despedida nights back in Manila last week. I can't believe that it's been almost a week since I said goodbye to the folks back home. And that it has been a week since I got to play my beloved sport of badminton. I miss home and I miss playing most of all. But I'm learning to just count the days till I go home again. 20 more days and I'll be back-- well at least even for a week..

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I went to several goodbyes over the course of 4 days-- from the P10 dinner at Cafe bola to the pamilya badminton despedida dinner at my place, to anthony's breakfast trip last monday and the two wakes of the dads of my two good friends.

It feels like only yesterday when we had that final queing at GBC. I played 5 matches in all (mixed with marlo, 2 ladies with joy, mixed with luis, and mixed with sir rey). Luis and I replayed the rush semis against tito morris and tita connie. It was so much fun. After the games Tita connie practiced parking and I nearly died laughing at willy's instructions. He was so funny parang announcer sa sta ana race park!!We took a lot of goodbye pics before I finally said my final goodbye to my newfound friends. The GBC folks have been so kind to me all these weeks especially when things were pretty rough. They taught me a lot about hope and moving on.

After queing luis and I went to Loyola memorial park to visit Grace's dad. He passed away the previous day along with Honey's own dad. Nagtatakutan pa kami sa loob ng loyola. Afterwards, I brought Luis home for one final time. I'm gonna miss our hatiran nights. I'm gonna miss the "text mo ko pag uwi mo" reminders from my makulit na partner.

Maybe someday I'll get to do those things again.. I hope so..

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Finding my way...

Still trying not get lost anymore on and off campus. I've improved a lot and lost all my shyness in asking questions. I've learned to just laugh at my bloopers and shrug off all the things that I still don't know. Yesterday I got to experience the rains for the first time. It's almost like home. =)

Today is the start of class. Paul introduced me to the students and I think they are all surprised that Im their teacher. Magbobolahan kami mamaya.hahaha. I learned that our staff come from over 20 different countries all over the world. Being the only pinoy here makes me feel kinda proud. Although i miss speaking tagalog. Sometimes I still forget that Im not in Manila anymore that I'd end up muttering tagalog terms. Melissa, our school administrator would just give me a puzzled look whenever that happens. That's when I realize that I need to speak a different language now.

I was so homesick the other day when I heard a familiar tune-- Your heart will lead you home by kenny loggins from the tigger movie. It made me feel much better..

When you feel lost and on your own,
And far from home
You're never alone you know
Just think of your friends,
the one's who care,
They all will be waiting there
With love to share
And your heart will lead you home..

Can't wait to come home...

Friday, December 01, 2006

Train Adventure--Day 3 of Expat Life

Tried my hand at commuting and ended up riding the wrong train line. Spent the night with Ann at Sri Petaling and she took me to the nearest station so I could get to work. Of course mga lost children so ayan, I ended up riding the train that goes towards KL rather than Kajang where I was supposed to go.Fortunately I realized it about 10 minutes into the ride so I got down at Midvalley and crossed over to the other side. Buti na lang pwede dito ang lumipat lipat ng tren kundi sayang ang aking pamasahe!hehehe. I finally made it to kajang at 9:30 am but the bus for nottingham didnt come till 1015 so i just had to wait. I'm finally here at work at 11am. Walang time in kaya okay lang na late! =P

Other than that, commuting wasn't as bad as I pictured it would be. Mas mahirap pa rin yung magcommute papuntang divisoria from katipunan. Ann and I went around KL last night and it was great to finally see people again. I spent time sa bookstore and found a nice book for a friend. We had late dinner sa starbucks and narealize ko mas masarap ang pastries sa tin. May stickers din sila but a lot more harder to complete. 12 drinks an pure frap, 5 na required, 4 na kahit ano. something like that. We slept past midnight and I was tired but happy.

yung mga nagantay sa kin sa queing kagabi sa gbc, sorry ha, ang tagal ng magical karwahe ko eh! hehehe

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Adventures of the New Expat

Survived Day 1 at the university. My head ached at the end of the day because of all the things that needed to be done but at least I got through it. I nearly thought of backing out the night before. After all how does one say goodbye to the comfort of home and hello to total uncertainty?

When I got to NAIA my eyes were all puffy and red. I breezed through POEA (for a change) but waited 1.5 hours to get myself checked in at the malaysian air counter.Fortunately I met Jordi there, a spaniard who was on a business trip to Manila. We were standing in line together and since it was taking forever we ended up chatting. The first thing he told me was I didnt look like a Filipina maid. I know it sounds insulting at first but it's a reality for most Filipina travellers. tanggapin na natin na karamihan sa tin umaalis to work as DH and caregivers. at walang masama dun So I took it in stride and striked up a conversation with him. He was quite friendly and by the time we checked in, we were friends. I think it was knowing that there was someone who actually buys a telephone directory (yung yellow pages ha!) that made me feel at home with him. hehehe.

Inside the airport we joked around while going through immigration. True to form may blooper pa din ako. Pumila ako sa men's line ng security. hahaha. He treated me at the airport snackbar and we chatted some more. He travelled a lot so he was used to airport life.

I thought it was goodbye for us when it was already boarding coz we were seated 10 rows apart.It sounded so abrupt as I was just getting used to having a new friend.So I felt kinda sad but what can we do right? But since ms. friendship ako, nagpalipat ako ng chair sa tabi niya. Pakapalan ito ng face sa stewardess. So I moved. Jordi got my bag from my original seat and couldn't believe that I was able to carry that much weight. Nagpayoff din pala ang gym at weights.

We chatted the entire 3hrs 45minutes of the flight. Parang naglife history activity kami ng psych testing. hehehe. We compared notes on the common words in spanish and filipino, talked about tolkien and lord of the rings, watched the sunset from the plane and admired the clouds. It was fun. We had a lot of things in common both in interests and experiences. It was kind of way too coincidental that we met. Even our family backgrounds were almost similar. The Filipinos seating around us were curious I guess coz they kept giving us strange glances. Sabagay gwapo yung katabi ko eh.hahaha. I even got to drink beer on board the plane. We debated on which beer was better and how we both end up taking care of friends who end up dead drunk.I had a great time. But most of all, it kept my mind from the feeling of loneliness. And it gave me hope that I'd be okay in this strange country.

I hesistantly said goodbye to my new friend at the airport after the university driver came and picked me up. He offered to bring my bag to the car but my driver said it was okay. So Jordi left in a cab bound for KL and I went to my hotel at Equatorial bangi, a kingdom faraway. We promised to keep in touch. I hope so. I think that was the best plane ride ever of my life.

The next day was day 1 at work. Spent the morning figuring out my id cards, getting my passwords, and getting a phone installed in my room. I now have a local of my own! wow! my room is still bare except for a pc, a printer and my phone (which I installed myself) along with three books (persuasion by jane austen, The alchemist by paolo coelho, and an angel book courtesy of luis and byo) and a bunch of papers. The driver brought me to a local grocery in the afternoon to get my supplies of junkfood.

By the time I got home I was having a migraine. I think the spicy food for lunch did me in. Not to mention that I ate so late. Buti na lang ves and mommy called. I fell asleep and nearly didn't hear the call of my other friend Gautam. He and I met last July here so it was nice hearing from him again.

So what happens next for this adventurous lola?... search for a house. Two options-- live in campus (FREE) but live a hermit life or rent a place somewhere and figure out how to get here.

Have I told anyone that nottingham is right smack in the middle of a mountain in the middle of nowhere? Parang nasa bagiuo ako. at walang public.magaling!

Till the next adventure

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Final Day

If you had 24 hours left what would you do?

I'm facing that question right now. This is my last day in Manila. I'm leaving tomorrow for the grandest adventure of all. Im moving to Kuala Lumpur. Everyone tells me that it's the best thing in life. I know it is. But part of me is also scared shit that it might not be.

I'm leaving everything that I find comfort in tomorrow. I'm leaving my family, friends, my car, my cat, my security, and my badminton. Basically my life is ending tomorrow and Im starting a totally new one. If that isn't scary enough, I'm going to a place where I hardly know anyone and where I don't even understand what most of the people are talking about.

But I don't want to think about that now. I've got 24 hours (or flight is at 5pm) left and I mean to enjoy every freaking minute of it.

The past four months have been one hell of a roller coaster ride. I lived. And that's what made it all worthwhile. I'll miss everyone and I know I can't wait to come home for xmas.

Three weeks. I just need to survive that for now. 21 days.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Late Night Coffee and Pancit

There's nothing like eating leftover pancit with a good cup of coffee after a long hard play of badminton. I'm not a regular coffee drinker (except right now in my quest for the starbucks planner)but surprisingly, I found Nescafe's 3 in 1 quite good.

It was an impromptu gimik after queing at GBC. Popie Cholo (aka Willy) invited us to eat pancit at the LOVE electronics office in Cainta. So off we go-- tita connie, tito morris, ara, coach harry, Marlo, and me. Ara cooked scrambled eggs, marlo made coffee (first time daw niya magoffer magtimpla kaya touched ako!hahaha), and willy provided the in house entertainment. We pigged out on pancit, tofu, tasty bread, atbp pang mga tira tira. =) Non-stop tawanan and non stop asaran. I nearly died laughing sa mga impersonation ni marlo sa lunges ni "sgt-sp04-capt" WAGI!! Napawi lahat ng pagod brought about by the games.

Namiss namin sina luis (who was sleeping, pao, at lou but it was fun nonetheless. The gang made me feel welcome and I was really touched by the gesture of making me feel at home. It was almost 2am when I finally got home. Puyat puyat again. I slept in front of the TV on top of my favorite beanbag. Tired but happy.

My biggest learning last night-- life goes on. And if you allow it to, it will shower you with graces from the most unexpected places. Rainbows will always come after the rains.

7 days to go...

Monday, November 13, 2006

The final two weeks

Two more weeks of playing badminton and I have to say goodbye to my beloved sport for a while. I don't know how long it'll last but I hate to think that I have 6 more playing days left. I think I'm still in a denial over the reality that in two weeks time I'm saying goodbye to the pollution and drama of Manila and will say hello to another world called Kuala Lumpur.

I'll miss a lot of things when I go. I think I'll miss my badminton nights the most. It's been part of my life for so long that I don't know how to last a week na without playing. I'll also miss my tambay nights and gym days and my telebabad moments with Ella. Haay.. I hate goodbyes.

Last sat I had late dinner with Luis, Mike and Binky at tapsi ni vivian. Afterwards Luis and I had coffee at Starbucks in Blue Wave. We hanged out till almost 2am. It was slightly different from our usual post badminton hangouts but it was fun. We talked about the coming semester and how excited we both were about our new jobs (he's teaching na and Im teaching in a new university). I'm going to miss our drive homes at night. I've gotten so used to dropping him off after play or tambay and I know in Malaysia I won't get to do that anymore. Sometimes I wish that I didnt have to go. But I know that I have to or else I'd always live to regret that I never tried.

Who knows how my adventure in KL will prosper. I do hope that I'll get to find good friends there as well. I do hope that I can also return home in the near future. Three years is just 36 months away.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Singles Match Miracles

Last night I played singles against Luis on court. Well modified singles that is-- we just played in one half of the court and all shots beyond that half is considered out (you might say, it's more for training of control of shots). We played 8 sets in all (rally point-1 to 21). First we tried the right side then the left side and then the two diagonals. Ever since I can remember I would always end up losing (or should I say massacred) in singles against luis (or against anyone). I just simply do not have the leg power to last in singles. Last night I scored my first ever double digit score in history. The first set I scored a 10 I was shouting for joy. Moreso when my score reached 14.

Luis is not the type who gives leeway because I'm a girl. No mercy pa din yon. Every time we train or play together, I always end up getting a pasa courtesy of his body shots. Last night our friends were kidding him about his no mercy treatment of me on court. But I never take that against him. In fact I rather enjoy the challenge (sige na nga masochist ako!).Luis pushes me to go beyond my limits. He'd never take excuses from me and would continue to push me until I can push no more. And I find it heartwarming that he believes in my capacity to go beyond mediocrity.

The games ended with me losing all the matches. But I felt a winner nonetheless. I used to lose badly to luis before and last night we had some very good rallies out there. And partner luis was proud. I could barely walk off court afterwards. He even had to bring me my water bottle coz I could not move anymore. During the last set I was so tired that my legs would not move in the way I want it to move but I pushed on nonetheless. I couldn't bring myself to disappoint my partner.

After our 8 set challenge, he still pushed me further by doing drills with me. My task was to receive all his jump smashes. Para na akong statue sa court kasi di na ako makagalaw. But I still tried anyway. Was able to return most of his smashes except the ones that required me to move far.hehehe.

Finally we retired at 12:00 midnight. Tita connie was kidding us na sasaraduhan na kami ng ilaw sa court. Willy also joked that we were masochists for doing all those drills. I dropped luis home at 1230 am and on my drive back home, I was too sleepy for words. When I got home I fell asleep exhausted on our bean bag in the sala. I didn't even make it to the bedroom. Woke up at 5:40 am na!

I was bone tired but felt like I was on top of the world. I made myself proud last night. And with two more weeks of play left, I know every moment is worth cherishing. I will truly miss our kulitans and drills on court (sige na kahit ang mga makabagbag damdamin mong pasabog! hahaha!). Kung pwede lang sana ang malaysia i-commute araw araw, para pwede pa din ako maglaro.

wish ko lang.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Life has somehow changed a lot the past few weeks. Sometimes when I look back over what happened I couldn't help but wonder, what could have been done along the way? Could things have been more different? But then I realized that that's life. It's a constant myriad of changes that no one can absolutely predict. One moment you're friends, and the next moment it's gone.

I used to hate changes but recently I've learned to embrace and just enjoy the ride while it lasts. And though at times I find myself wishing for what if's and could have's I realized that there's no use crying over what is gone. Sure it hurts but life is tough. We need to learn to move on.

I've come to know the meaning of friendship the past few weeks. And I've come to know that sometimes we all change. Promises are broken and feelings are changed. But if you know how to forgive and let go, you learn that with every goodbye, you learn-- you learn that there's no use holding on to grudges when life is too precious to waste. And most of all you learn that in the end, those who stick are those who chose to stay.

Some are fated to leave but if you are lucky enough, someone chooses to stay.

Midnight at Eastwood

I'm used to doing people favors. I'm used to being the one who takes care of people. I've mastered the art of being a martyr nga daw eh. But last night I was taken cared of in one of those rare moments in life when I didn't need to be the strong one.

Luis,Byo and I spent the night hanging out at Eastwood. We picked up Byo from Parang and headed to Eastwood city where we stayed till 1230am. It was an impromptu thing that just came out of the blue. Buti byo was able to sneak away from work to chat with us.

I had fun hanging out with them. It was a different way to spend a tuesday night but surprisingly, it turned out to be one of the best nights of the week. Last night I realized that life is indeed different now. But surprisingly, despite the sadness that lingers, it's actually much better.

It took the wisdom of someone younger to make me realize that maturity doesnt come with age. And that years doesn't mean anything. What matters are the choices we make during moments of great awakenings. And that sometimes the very person you thought would be the one to be there, will be the first one to say goodbye.

Last night my friend finally showed me what he meant when he called me his best friend. When I first heard it I was touched. But when he actually showed me what he meant, I was left speechless. And I actually cried. I never thought I was worthy pala of such blessing. And for that I shall always be grateful (i can just imagine his reply to this--duh!drama!)

Byo sent me this message earlier today, a quote from dawson's creek-- "It's weird as it happens, isn't it? You still love the person, but you just stop needing them like you used to"

How aptly said.

I paint my own rainbows now. And last night someone added brighter colors to my masterpiece.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Midnight Snack at Jollibee..

I once heard a story that the reason why Jollibee was named as such because its supposed to be a place where people work hard but are happy. In a seminar I gave in Ilocos a couple of years back an old lola cried how her biggest dream is to be able to bring her apo to eat chickenjoy at jollibee.

Somehow Jollibee seems to bring comfort to everyone-- be it children or adults. Last night I got to experience that comfort for myself.

After playing badminton, Luis and I brought Byo to work at eastwood. The three of us chatted the entire ride from Byo's place to Eastwood where she's in the night shift. Afterwards Luis and I decided to stop by Jollibee in Libis to eat. We were both craving for chickenjoy and jolly hotdog. I ordered chickenjoy, fries and peach mango pie while Lolo Luis had chickenjoy, jolly hotdog taco style, and choco mallow pie. YUMMY!!

Pigging out on our comfort foods, we laughed about the adventures we had the past weeks and shared our thoughts on the issues that seem to hound our lives (sige na nga mine na lang!hehe). There's something comforting in a pack of peach mango pie and choco mallow pie that makes everything seem okay. Luis teased me about being his human target for the night (pakainin ba ko ng shuttle!!hehehe) for he hit me in the body 5 times!But he also congratulated me for lasting in our singles match (hey! improving ang score ko! naka 5 na ko!) kahit na halos mamataymatay ako.

We ate till we could eat no more. I got home at 2am full and sleepy. We were thinking of visiting Lou and Pau pa but because it was already quite late, we decided to just skip it.

I told Luis how thankful I was to have our friendship these days. He's been there for me so much lately. Even his gf Beaulah whom I've known only for a while but whom I found to be easy to talk to and admiringly cool about the recent issues has been really nice. And I'm grateful for that.

Luis and I started out as badminton buddies and then carpool partners and now we are the best of friends. And despite the issues lately, I think the reason why we both remain good friends is because we both know how each means to the other and we remain honest to the friendship.

Some things are indeed worth smiling for. Kahit na napupuno ako ng pasa kaka body shot ni lolo, masaya pa din ako. He inspires me to thread on no matter what and to push myself beyond my limits.

If there's one thing I'm gonna miss when I leave for Malaysia, it's these chikka nights in jollibee and burger machine. Sana pwede ang delivery sa Malaysia. hehehe.

I guess it's really true that sometimes we have to learn to say goodbye and let go to make way for the new. Goodbye may be sad but with every goodbye we learn-- we learn to say hello to the chance to start anew. I had to say goodbye to an old life recently but I also got to say hello to a new one. I'm not used to it yet but I take comfort in the thought that no matter what happens I will find a way to be happy.

And though it pains me to know that some things will never be the same, I find comfort in the thought that Jollibee moments will always be there. At may makulit akong partner na handang saluhan ako sa chickenjoy. =)

Monday, October 30, 2006

POEA Nightmares

Been trying to get my employment pass to malaysia for the past two weeks but the nightmare called poea has been the bane of my adventures. A friend of mine once remarked that I havent seen beaurocratic red tape until I've gone through POEA. I thought LTO was the worse. Wala pala sa kalingkingan. Rude guards, changing rules (that keeps on changing on the whim of anyone), staff who do not bother to give you information that is right and a hotline that only accepts your calls at night. Twice I've been to POEA and twice I've come home empty handed. The first time I arrived at 7:45 only to find out that the office process only 30 papers for direct hirees in a day (last time i went they called 40 people). So two days later I decided to come in at 6am. I got in the office and waited for the registration list to come out. I told myself na if someone gets ahead of me pa ewan ko na lang. But it appears that the "Ewan ko na lang" took place for at 7:55 am I suddenly found out that they changed the venue of the line. I ran to the new venue and found myself fighting for the last two slots. Haay. Two hours later by some miracle I was called (i thought I was going to be called in the afternoon) only to find out another "line" was waiting upstairs. When I finally got to talk to the lady in window 6 (the start of the registration) I was told that I wasnt supposed to be there because my papers were not yet complete. As much as I wanted to scream my heart out and say "TSEHHHHH" I decided to just let it be. It was useless to argue with these people.

I do respect the process and I admire the tenacity of these workers to work in such a stressful environment. But at least sana show the people some respect. The domestic helpers were continuesly maligned and mistreated in line. Some guards would even shout at them. One time an argument ensued betweeen one applicant and the security supervisor. The security guy screamed at her and said "Magreklamo ka sa taas!!!" How rude! I don't think people who bring in millions of dollars in remitances every year, the people who virtually saved our country from total bankcruptcy should be treated that way.

How sad it is that in our own country we couldn't even treat our OFWs with enough dignity. How sad it is that the very agency that's supposed to take care of these heroes is the one who treats them like shit. Pano pa kaya sa ibang bansa? How do we tell other countries to treat our workers with respect when our very own couldn't even treat them with kindness?

My friend once remarked that the POEA just takes your money. Sad to say, I have to agree. Ang masakit dun, they take your money na, they treat you like shit pa.

I pity our country.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Thoughts on a Friday

On our way home from midnight dinner at something fishy, I accidentally lost my carpark pass inside my car.Technically it was not lost--it went in a tiny slit on the dashboard and disappeared inside the insides of my car. ouch!blooper. The guards had a hard time fathoming what happened and though it was a hassle they were really kind enough to just laugh at it. Of course I had to pay the lost parking fee but at least Luis and I got out of there after 10 minutes. That was almost 3am! Pao and Lou were already outside waiting for us. Usually I'd get so bad tripped when bloopers happen but last night, I just found myself laughing. I guess the lack of sleep and my aching back proved to be more tedious than losing a carpark pass. Blooper magnet talaga ata ako!

Eating at something fishy has somehow become a new tradition for me. For four times now we've been going there to eat after playing badminton at Greenpark. And last night Luis asked if we could eat again there. We had some really hard games and gutom na gutom na kami after. So despite my aching puson and tired body, we trekked to something fishy along with lou and pao. There we met up with Byo who went out on an extended lunch break.

Ella and I would often kid each other that I'm the perpetual fifth wheel since I'm the odd one out to Lou and Pao and Luis and Byo. But okay lang. They don't make me feel uncomfy naman. We're even planning a lunch out at Le Ching soon. Hmm... makahanap nga ng date!

I've laughed a lot and I've cried a whole lot over the past few days.. Call me crazy but I think it captures what life is all about.. Sometimes, there are tears, sometimes there are laughters.. And there are days when things just go with the flow.

chikara my tiny kitten is dying. she got run over by a car early this morning. =(

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Settling Scores

Why did things end up the way they are? I don't really know. Things were never really settled and I have no idea how to answer the question of where do we go now. I may appear nonchallant but it doesnt mean I don't hurt. It hurts like hell but I am trying to go on as best as I can. Life has to go on because no matter what I do or don't do, life will continue to go on.

Things are pretty hectic now with my departure. I try not to think of goodbyes. I used to want a big despedida party but now I don't feel like having one. I think I'd rather just fade in the sunset. No goodbyes. I don't want to get emotional I guess. Too much stress and I'm scared that if I get too emotional, my platelets will end up crashing. Last night the accident in the kitchen scared me back to reality. The bleeding would not stop and it finally jolted me back to the truth that my platelets are not normal again.

Two things I learned last night-- dignity and decorum. To maintain dignity is a gift you give yourself--I made a promise once and I found myself at a crossroad of whether to defend myself or keep the promise. I chose the latter. The only way I could defend myself was if I break the promise and I couldn't do that. As long as I breathe, I will not stop keeping that promise.(and i still believe you kept yours)

And always maintain graciousness. No matter what happens, decorum is important.

I am not perfect and I do apologize if I hurt anyone. I apologize if I could not be the better friend I was hoped to be. I apologize to the people who got entangled and I apologize to the ones that hurt the most.

But I will stand by my truth. Perhaps in the end that's all I've got. If I am believed then thank you. But if not, I understand.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Start of A New Chapter

I'm leaving soon. Sooner than I can imagine. Today it finally hit me that in a month's time I will be gone. My pass came through today. Sabi nga ni ella "totoo na talaga ito".

I have a month to say goodbye. Not too many people know about my departure yet. I'm sure many will be shocked. I've tried to keep the news as private as I can for the past few weeks. I guess I figured if I don't talk about it much, it would'nt sound so real yet. But now that reality has finally caught up with me, I have to finally face the truth that by christmas, I will be leaving an old life and saying hello to a totally new one.

How do you do say goodbye to everyone you've met and grew up with? How do you say goodbye to 29 years of bittersweet memories? I have absolutely no idea.

Ton asked me last saturday if I had any ill feelings towards anyone. I laughed and told her I don't. Seriously I would rather dwell on the good memories now. I only have a few weeks left. I don't want to ruin it with what Cha termed as "noise."

My HS barkada is planning a despedida for me and aries next week. We used to be ten all in all. When Aries and I leave in November the barkada will be cut down to 5. Beth is already in the US, Flo is in Singapore while Maybelle has long been MIA. P10 is truly spreading its wings.

I'm playing in my last badminton tournament this saturday. I'll be playing ladies doubles with Kei. After saturday, I don't know when I will get to play again competitively. I wish I could have one more tourney with Luis at mixed doubles (my most succesful partnership to date) but I don't think we'll have the opportunity to do so.

Change they say is for the better. I truly hope so.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Where you belong

An early morning conversation with cha via text got me thinking about where we both belong these days. I guess you could say we both have something in common. We're neither here nor completely there yet. Cha, for her part at least will finally get to "get there" on monday when she leaves for California. And though I will miss her terribly, I really am happy for my kumare/cubicle/bitching partner. We started out as classmates and accidentaly cubiclemates. Turned out we worshipped the same demigod in "Aragorn" and thus our mini altar inside our tiny cubicle/smokey mountain gilid was sealed for life. When cha moved out last June, our cubicle was never the same again. Now, my kumare is leaving for good. And I already miss her.

Belonging somewhere is every person's dream. I told cha how I kind of feel that I am in limbo these days--neither completely here nor completely there. Maybe this is part of the process of change I guess. Change can be really stressful. But change will always be for the better. I hope.

Sometimes I feel lost and I can't help but think of what I am getting myself into. And I wonder if I am making the right choice. I hope so.

I just thank God that I still have some sane friends who keep me from going totally nuts.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Birthday Marathon

I celebrated 7 birthdays over the past five days. That does not include all the other friends who also celebrated their birthdays last week. I think I have what you call a birthday hangover. Too much eating and laughing that my sides actually hurts now when I laugh.

The first birthday celebrated was that of Marlou and Ves last thursday. The tropa gave a semi surprise party to Luis, Marlou and Peter while Ves and I endured a night long drama to culminate hers. =) The party was fun but the drama was not.

Friday was Pabu's birthday (also eugene's). The entire ateneo department of psychology celebrated pabu's 84th birthday. There was a mass and a big party afterwards. I made a video documenting the wonderful life of pabu whom Im honored to be named after.

Saturday the gang celebrated Peter's birthday again after Baby's birthday tournament at playersbest. I lost the finals slot due to the weirdest scoring system ever (no semis, just scores) in a tournament marked by what was supposed to be "standard badminton rules!" Funny yon! imagine a race to 21 set na may deuce at setting. Or a rule book that was easily changed as one changed one's shirt. Nonetheless I had fun. I just took everything in stride. We finished third place.I got to do what I practiced over and over again for the past three weeks-- return a jumpsmash as a drop without cringing or making an error. hehehe.

Then sunday, I cooked for my sister's party. I was up at 6am to cook for her battalion of guests who started arriving at noon. I made pasta, chicken and pork adobo, salsa, ampalaya salad, and ordered pancit, lechon, shanghai, etc. It was my sister's first party in years. My own barkada came at 8pm. And we got drunk till almost 2am. Just in time to celebrate Luis' official birthday.

Today, I just came from the gym and Luis' house where the two of us pigged out on Ate Grace's creation of Kare kare and Lechong Kawali. Buti na lang nag work out kami before. Sulit ang crunches at lunges. =)

The birthday marathon isn't over yet. Birthdays pa nina Idol and Weevens. What I just love about birthdays is that you get to see the people whom you havent seen in years. And you get to be with the people who matter to you. And most of all you get to be friends again with those who decided to disappear forever even for just one night. =)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Happy Birthday Ves

Happy Birthday Ves! Sorry for ruining your day. Maganda ba masyado ang timing ko? Well as you said, mapagbiro ang buhay. At least walang muntik magpatayan sa birthday mo if its any consolation =)

Sometimes we make choices in life that appear to be irrational to some but they do make sense. I've been questionned a lot about my own choices and been told that I am wasting my life to my quest. I feel saddened by that. Most of my life I've always led a straight path--nothing fancy.All I did was follow and go to school and be the best student I could be.I had fun every now and then but it was still academic in nature. I lived a good life and it was fun in a way but it wasn't a happy life.

Now I am living a life of my choosing-- a life that may appear superficial to some but it's a life that I am free to just be me. How teenybopper for a 29 year old you may say. But let me tell you this-- I never really lived my teen years. Not when you're sick most of the time and you were forced to grow up by life. And now that I finally have the chance to just be the me I want, I'm sorry if I can't be the perfect little girl anymore.

Sometimes I get teased for being an addictus in badminton. But never once have I been asked what made me such a fan of the game. All people see of me at times is that i am a doctor. But never have I been really asked if that's all I want to be. And now I will finally answer that big question-- I love the game because in that seemingly stupid game, I am me. While in the game I am who I want to be. I don't have to prove to anyone who I am while playing because all I have to prove to is myself.

The saddest thing about leaving is that you have to say goodbye to the ones you love. When that day comes I know I will cry a lot. But I also know that if I were to have any chance in life at all, then goodbye is the only option I've got.

Getting between now and the final goodbye will probably be another Looooonggg journey.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Victory at Rush

(I am reposting this blog because of some errors I apparently committed in the posting. I do apologize for the mistakes. Blame it on Human frailties, no malice intended =))

Another tournament passed by and fortunately we won again. It was not the much coveted championship but finishing 1st runner up against a formidable pair was an achievement I will always remember.And most of all competing in the finals against your friends is a total dream come true.

Last week Mark, Macre, Luis, and I joked that we'd see each other in the finals of the Rush Interclub Tournament at Greenpark. We prayed that we won't end up being grouped together and fortunately we didnt. Luis and I were in Group A, Mark and Macre were in Group B while Kei and Rb were in Group C. After a shaky start, Luis and I won our first game in a three set game. Buti na lang. I was so conscious about my play that I started to foul up on court. Thank God pasensyoso si partner who kept pushing me to just play like it was an ordinary game. He was patient with me until I was able to finally relax on court. We won the rest of our elimination matches with relative ease. My high school seatmate, Grace came by too. We had a reunion after 3 years of not seeing each other on court.

In the semis we faced Greenpark's own Kuya Morris and Ate Connie. There were lots of catcalls on courts ranging from casual jokes to cheers and jeers. Naranasan namin na maglaro na ang cheerers ay para lahat sa kalaban But it remained a fun game. We won the first set easily and rallied in the end to win the second set in an exciting fashion 21-19. I ended up falling on the floor twice (This was what I meant when I said I dived on court not once but twice with the matching tumbling. buti na lang taraflex)The final shot was Luis' shining moment. I dived on the forehand side and found my way out of the court. With Luis left as the only man standing, our court was open to all attacks from the opponents. Fortunately our opponent fumbled the return shot giving Luis the chance to smash it midcourt to secure our trip to the finals.

Thus it became an all-playersbest finals between Mark and Macre and Luis and me. Our joke turned into reality. Before the games the three of them talked about splitting the medals and prizes regardless of who would win. And they all agreed. I was in the cr then trying to calm my nerves. So when I got out and found out about the deal it was all sealed and done with. I guess they wanted to keep the drama of money and medals out of the game and just play for the love of it and the honor of winning.

(this was where i made the errors.. fatigue makes your recall poorer so i guess that's my harm intended =))The finals was still thrilling nonetheless. We battled each other in a 3 set drama. Mark and Macre had the power while Luis and I had the endurance. In the end we lost the third set 15-21 due to a short service error by luis. How anticlimactic. hehehe. That was perhaps the best finals match I ever played-- there was no negative attitudes and jeers. It was like playing because you simply wanted to play. (I stand by these words--it was still the best finals for me. it was playing for the love of the game. I do want to apologize to my kumare if i offended her in any way)

Sabi nga ni Luis, manalo matalo kaming 4 we are still friends. And that's how the game ended--in laughter and smiles among friends. During the awarding ceremonies ang kukulit namin sa pictures. Pagkasyahin ba naman ang mga sarili sa isang medalya? Since we split the medals, Luis and I got one while Mark and Macre got another. Mark joked na bahala na kami maghati ni Luis. In my mind there was a simple answer to that--Luis gets to take home that medal. He deserved that. He brought me to the finals. He was the true hero of our partnership. Saka aalis na din naman ako eh. Partner worked hard to get us to the championship and he deserved to be always reminded of that achievement. Masaya na ako sa thought that I knew I endured in the game.I don't need medal for it.=)

I will never forget how during our last elimination match I fell down in the backcourt after running after the shuttlecock and was able to stand up right in time to return the smash of our opponent. That was one hell of a rally. It stressed the point of what the game is all about-- fighting till the end. Win or lose, its how you play the game.

We went to Len and George's for the traditional celebration. Inubos din namin ang cash prize sa beer at pizza. Luis' inspiration arrived after 3 hours (yihee!) and the party lasted till almost 1:30 am. Luis and I fell asleep na out of fatigue. Playing 5 games (plus one more fun game) was no joke. Until now my body remains numb. Add that to the fact that we even did drills after the games and that for the past two weeks the two of us have been jogging all over UP campus and lifting weights in the gym. All for the love of the game.

Rb wrote in my friendster testimonial that I would give up so much for badminton. I have to say, I agree.hehehe.

It's not an addiction. It's about finding one's bliss. And in the games I found a place where I belong.

3 championships and 1 runner up finish in my last 5 tournaments since July. Not bad for someone who until 2 years ago was always exempted from PE and never excelled in any sport.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sept 11, 2005

Last year, Sept 11, 2005, I wrote these on my blog entry:

I am loved. And that makes me the happiest girl in the

Today I realized how blessed I am to have friends who will always
be there for me.I am blessed with people who care for me that they would be
willing to fight my battles for me. That's worth more than any medal or trophy
in the world.

I was especially
touched by what my partner Peter told me at dinner and how he journeyed with me
in my struggle to keep smiling despite the pain. Peter made sure that I'd laugh
a lot tonight.Even if he wasn't feeling well either, pwedeng pwede na siyang
maging boyoyong clown. (Sige na nga master of meditation, magaaral na ako ng
hand movements ng great ohmmm.) Our practice together with Luiz was one of the
most fun games I've ever had. Pwedeng pang famas awards.

I don't know
what else to say but Thank you.

On Sept 11, 2005 we played the last edition of the Pamilya Badminton Mixed Doubles Tournaments. I partnered with Peter for the controversial tourney but we made it one of the best nonetheless. We played our last tournament at our home, Shuttlesbest.

Those were the days. Those were the days I still called Partner my second bestfriend. I still consider him as my second best friend but right now were not in goodenough terms to be called such. In a year's time I found a kindred spirit and lost a friend. All in 365 and 1/4 days. Life can really be fast.

I used to cry a lot whenever I think of what happened to us. But now I don't. Luis and I talked about it the other night how the feeling never really dies but you just learn to live and move on. I guess I learned to live and move on. I am still saddened by what happened but I know that I shall always have those wonderful memories with me.

On Sept 11, 2005 I realized how much I was loved. It did not materialize in the package I wanted it to come in but sitting on the blue bench infront of a rusty trashcan inside the sb parking lot while resting my head on the shoulder of my bestfriend was bliss. For several minutes the world stopped revolving and I didn't have to think of my fears, issues, and the kupals who made it all happen.

I will never forget that. I will never forget that once upon a time we used to be the greatest friends.

Thus when I find myself sad or even angry at times, I think of that day and remember how once upon a time when I needed a friend, he was there. He fought my battles for me and defended me in front of my enemies. He didn't try to save me but he did journey with me.

And that helps me forgive. And that makes me smile.

At least I still have badminton.

Go Badminton

I never realized how much of a mental game badminton really is. We often think of it as a physical game with all the running and smashing that goes on while on court. But when one looks closer, one would realize that in the end games are not won by brawn and power but by thinking and strategy.

Luis and I won the level d mixed doubles event over the weekend at teh Go! Badminton Tournament at Powersmash. It was our first major mixed doubles championship together. We won at the Playersbest-Shuttledome dual meet a month ago but this was the first time we won a big championship. We joked that we finally broke the curse of powersmash on our badminton tropa.

We won our elimination matches easily. The first game we went up against two ateneans who gave a good fight but were simply overwhelmed by our partnership. The second game was a massacre. The players were obviously too highly levelled for d. But since it was a game we really had to play it well and with no mercy. The third match, our opponent was at first a bit cocky. But as the match went on, the girl became a bit more bitchy. All three had one thing in their mind-- bodegan si hazel hehehe. Fortunately I managed to hold my fort in front. Luis took care of the back without any problem.

We didnt get a bye in the quarters (there were three bye slots and we got one of the two quarter slots!) unfortunately so we had an early morning game yesterday. It was past 11 am but after sleeping at 2:30 am because of training and a surprise visit to medical city to see Luis' inspiration, 5 hours of sleep was barely enough to reenergize us completely. We went up against Luis' teachers in UP in the quarters. We didnt want to waste much energy so we came out real strong scoring 17-0 before allowing arvin and molly to score. The game took a slower pace and we found our opponents catching up on us till we ended the match 21-7. Our advantage was we warmed up before the game and we really took time to think of our shots.

Barely 10 minutes after the end of the quarterfinals our names were called again for the semifinals match against Valen and Des (also from UP). Despite our fatigue we slowly went back to court 6 to play our game. I started to tire more in that game. There were times when I could barely catch the ball and made some crucial errors. But we managed to win 21-5. We built an early lead thus the game was dictated more by our play. I saw our girl opponent became pissed during the game. When I asked for the shuttlecock to be changed she refused. I guess when fatigue and frustration sets in, we can be bitchy at times. Oh well.

There was an amazing rally during the match. I lunged for a drop shot on my forehand side when I lost my balance and went straight out of the court onto the next court. Luis was shocked but he immediately stood ground in the middle to cover the court until I managed to get back and smash the emerging shuttle on my side. It was so funny coz we really thought we'd lose the play. But quick thinking and reflexes paved the way for us to both get back on our feet.

After the semis we cooled down inside the car. I was told that the finals would be at 1:40pm but to our great surprise again, we were called on court at 1pm!!!. Armed with bananas and water, we took on the hardest game of the day. The finals match was changed to a regular 3 set format from the 1-21 no setting format of the elims, quarters and semis. We easily won the 1st set 15-2. In the second set, fatigue finally set in and we suddenly found ourselves losing our first game 11-15. Luis was getting more and more frustrated with both our plays(I thought he was angry at me for not being able to catch the easy shots but in truth pala he was trying to psych me up. Yun nga lang baliktad ang effect sa kin). We were simply committing so many unforced errors. In the third set we built a good lead of 11-2 only to see it slowly crumble away till the opponents came close at 12-11. That was when I told luis, "partner wag mo na ko pagalitan!" Luis finally told me he wasn't angry at me but he was just trying to psych me up. I told him later on how I was so frustrated with myself already that seeing him frustrated makes me angry at myself more. I wasn't angry at him I was angry at myself. I knew I could easily kill those high drops but I simply couldn't focus on the ball. I was simply to tired physically, emotionally, and mentally.

The psy-war wasn't only happening on our side of the court. Our opponents were worse. Nagmumurahan na sila sa court. One time the guy even deliberately foiled a shot that ended up being smashed by me directly on his partner's head. He laughed afterwards. Binenta ba ang sariling partner!

At 13-11, I asked Luis to step up for me. I finally admitted to him that I could not carry it anymore. At 14-11, I fumbled at service. During the second serve Luis successfully drove the shuttlecock on the backhand side. It was in and we finally WON!Luis threw his racket on the air. It took several seconds for it to hit me--that it was finally over. I threw my racket and collapsed on court. I just sat there, crying until luis dragged me up to shake hands with our opponents and our umpire. We sat on the sidelines for a while trying to get some air. I cried again until luis dragged me up again and hugged me partner champion tayo!

Pawis at dugo ang kapalit ng isang trophy at cash prize

We realized that we actually played the most number of matches among all our opponents at level d. We played 6 matches in all. Our finals opponent played only 5 matches. We analyzed our match and realized that we nearly lost because we could not think clearly anymore. We were powerful but without intelligence and strategy we just lost it. Fortunately for us, we had a good lead. Nag pay off din ang aming investment.

We celebrated the win with our friends and pizza and beer. I don't think I'll ever forget this tourney. I guess for the reason that it finally vindicated me from all the bad memories of before. And also I played injured since sat. My arm was strained by the weights we lifted last thursday and my dysmmenorhea was making things worse. I took painkillers before the game against doctors advice because my arm was really killing me. I risked my platelets for that championship. And I'm just damned glad it paid off.

We could have lost the finals but I'm glad we won. I feel happy and proud but most of all I feel absolutely blessed to be able to play a great tournament and prove to myself that I can do it.

Yes perseverance can be a virtue!