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!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Davao Adventures

The last time I went home to Davao was way back in 1998. When I was younger, we used to spend christmas and summer vacations there with my grandparents, my aunts, uncles and our cousins. But as I grew up the trips home became less and less.

Thanks to Cebu Pacific's 10 peso promo fares last march, I got to go home last week for the first time in eight years. I went with my best friend Ella and her officemates and we had the most wonderful time of our lives. Our host, Papa Roger (a.k.a Samal's very own Mayor) graciously gave us the best tour of samal island ever. We went to four resorts in one day ( Paradise Island, Fernandez Resort, Duldulao's Private Resort, Pearl Farm) and created our own roads along the mountains thanks to Kuya Bogs, our super driver. Finally got to go inside the Pearl Farm and swim in the clear blue waters of Kaputian town, Samal.

Of course what trip would it be without bloopers. Papunta pa lang nagiipon na kami starting with Adrian's navigation skills in Marikina and Nicole's vase incident at the airport. In samal, who could forget Maam Liza's batcave gifts (di kinaya!), Maam Marivic's goggles, the waves that caused Beks to do a 360 tumbling and my very own blooper at the Antalan's private resort. Nearly drowned when the big waves came. "Buti na lang may superhero na sumagip sa kin. hahaha. At least sulit lahat ng kinain namin diba? We pigged out on seafoods and lechon. I don't think I've ever eaten as much bangus in my life than last weekend. We ate like every 2 hours. We're all fat now but who cares, it was the best meals ever!

Aside from the great food, Davao will also be remembered for its wonderful beaches. The white sand and clear blue waters remind me of how life's most beautiful treasures are those not found inside our malls or cities but rather those found in mother nature. It was my first time to go to the beach for the year and all I can say is that the wait was worth it.

After two days in Samal island, we left for the city proper. There we continued our eating and pasyal frenzy starting with Jack's ridge in Matina. We ate Bulalo, pancit, calamares, and fried chicken to celebrate Maam Marivic's birthday. We even had a live band serenade us while eating. After dinner we went home to Papa's house in tierra nova where we all fell asleep dead tired. Sina ella, naglasing muna sa ice cream.hehehe

The next day we went on a city tour starting off with the Philippine Eagles. We visited Pag-asa and learned of Kabayan's sad fate in the rainforests. We took never ending pictures and shopped for our pasalubongs. After lunch the group finally went on their separate ways. Anne and Moses checked in at the Waterfront Hotel, the others went on to Aldevinco and Crocodile farm, and I went home to my grandparents' house in Belisario to spend time with my relatives. I went out with my cousins Tryke and Mikko who gave me the nightlife tour of Davao City. Even if I felt kinda old mingling with such a young crowd I still had a great time.

Sunday, Ella and the rest of the gang departed for manila while I stayed on for another day to spend with my lolo and lola. Mama Fe and I went to church ( I Drove!!) then went out to shop at my uncle's store, Lots For Less. Later that afternoon my tito mannie and tita malou took me out to shop for pasalubong at SM City Davao before heading home to pack.

Five days of non stop eating and pasyal. Five days after eight years of absence. I hope it won't take another eight years for me to go back though. Davao will always be my second home.

Ngayon back to reality na.. Can't wait to play tonight. hehehehe.=P