Friday, December 07, 2007

COJ Concert

it is done. after months of discussions, weeks of preparation, and an overnight video production, it all seems like a blur. i really wouldn't know how the concert went because thanks to the rain, my students and I were "quarantined" to the backstage (actually, we were OUTSIDE the theater -- where the stagehands smoked).

the kids were great onstage and were behave offstage. this is the most i've seen my kids dance, i almost wanted to cry! hahaha! the concert, to say the least, was a huge success. so much so that gary v wants to do it again with the kids next year... in a better venue. naks! don't worry, we promise to remember you when we're famous.

more great photos of the concert on
dennis pilapil's blogsite. one pair of hands in the middle of the black theater photos are mine. plugging! hahaha!

Friday, November 02, 2007

move over, jollibee!

i remember having jollibee, our local fastfood, as a client when i was an executive producer. i also remember the orientation we had. you see, it's mascot is jollibee, who is, well, by all visual definition, a bee.

but hu-wait! according to the client, who is always right, "jollibee is not a bee; he is your friend." i kid you not on this! confused? i'm not surprised. it's complicated.

i offer you something simpler and much cuter. meet jyo, my newest nephew. jyo is not a bee; he is adorable. (his parents don't look too bad either :P)

Monday, October 29, 2007

when ignorance is bliss

who would've thought that the next time i'd blog, i'd be forty. yes, forty... it's been THAT long (hahaha!).

officially, i turned the big 4-0 last thursday, but i celebrated that fateful number much, much earlier... four days earlier, to be precise. last monday, i was the pleasant victim of a surprise party. and WAS i surprised!

i was absolutely clueless to the conniving goings-on of the people around me... people at work, people in the community, my family, even CISV! the details, to this day, remain sketchy. from what i was told, planning started as early as 3 months ago. the brainchild was my pastoral leader, diday, ably assisted by my connection to everyone else, amy. how perfect is that? a control freak (and i say this lovingly, mother) and a wedding coordinator planned the party.

they planned everything... the guest list (which i loved! these were the people i wanted to see and be with), the schedule (down to the minutes of the program for the night), the script for my surprise (which i blew because i refused to open the door -- sorry), lootbags, and the food. more on that later.

in a matter of minutes, they transformed the terrace into a happenin' place complete with centerpieces and balloons... all in PINK, thanks to my loving neighbors. the moment i saw the tv, i kinda cringed because i knew that a video was afoot. gehd, had i known, i could have provided nicer pictures (hahaha!).

people brought my favorite fare for everyone to feast on... tocino, kare-kare, pansit pusit (thanks to the layas!), salad greens (yes, i am a leaf eater), diday's neighbor's leche flan, more tocino, and goldilocks mocha cake, to name a few. never thought i was THAT predictable, but hey, i was a happy camper that night!

people, by nature, are egotists. who doesn't want a surprise party?! it was everything i wanted and didn't. funny how people want attention yet shy away the minute it's given to them. that's why i know i can never be a celebrity (hahaha!). turning 40 was a blast! being surprised and surrounded by people i love and who have blessed me these first 40 years of my life have made ageing pleasureable. so pleasurable that i don't mind doing it again next year! *hint! hint!*

Friday, May 25, 2007


some things never change. prior to jya camp, the last time i held a compass was for an open water course for my diver's license. that was a very loooong time ago.

as our facilitators were teaching the kids at camp how to read a compass, i was glad to know that i still knew a thing or two about orienteering. it was good to know that the compass, since my diving days, hasn't changed, underwater or on dry land, and that true north hasn't moved. some things never change.

the procedure remains the same as well: stand still, get your bearings, orient with true north, and walk straight towards the way you are directed.

our walk in faith goes by the same procedure... ideally. true, people sometimes lose their way. maybe they're poor with directions... or they forget to orient themselves with true north and opt for money or career or their hearts to guide them... or, like many male drivers, they're too proud to ask for directions or even admit they're lost. *sigh* some things haven't changed.

and through it all, one thing remains constant: true north. it will always point you to where you ought to go; it will never mislead you and you get to your final destination... no matter how many times you get lost, accidentally or on purpose.

getting lost also serves a purpose. Yahweh purposely allowed the Israelites to wander in the desert for 40 years. that's a long time to get lost. you see, He was teaching them a lesson. precisely, it was for them to rely on Yahweh. there are just some things you can't do on your own. faithful as He is, He did lead them to their final destination, the Promised Land.

sometimes, we just have to humble ourselves and admit that we're lost... or stumped. learn from camp. at that point, the best thing to do is to stop, get your bearings, orient with TRUE north, and walk straight towards the way you were directed. thank God, some things will never change.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

kids' wisdom

shuttled some kids from the jya camp reunion to my uncle's house yesterday. inching through the traffic in front of la salle greenhills, our conversation turned to bullying.

here are snippets of that precious conversation that left us all laughing through rest of the ride.

joseph: when you're bullied, you become a bully.
renzo: ano, bully disease?!


joseph: when you're bullied, run! most bullies are fat

MWAHAHAHA! haaaay... kids can be soooo cute talaga! :)

Friday, May 18, 2007

ang iniiiiiiiiit!

as blu in madam foster's says and as gueli and i often repeat, "it's hot... in TO-PE-KA!"

well forget about topeka; it's hot HERE!

it is sooooo hot, i'd like to walk around with an ice cube tied to the top of my head! evenings aren't cooler either; there's not even a breeze!

to make matters worse, the ac in the new admin office isn't working, making the outside even more tolerable than the inside! caramba! so glad my admin stint ended today and i'll be back as "teacher" on monday. (God loves me. Yes, He does!)

when God created the philippines, He forgot to put in the ac :(

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

perfect mistakes

post-Good Friday post

once a producer, always a producer. being one for nine years certainly changed me. there was hardly a time when i couldn't watch a tv commercial or movie without wondering where the location was, what time they got up to get the shot, or what time the call time was. i became more sensitive to cinematography, editing, and scoring. i was no longer watching to be entertained; i was criticizing!

oh, but it got better! in the latter part of my producer career, the company ventured into live stagings. my boss claimed not to have the stomach for the stress (i've seen her cry from it, the stress), so she passed the projects on to me. i, on the other hand, thrived on the pressure. there are no take twos here. you had to be think quick on your feet; fix the situation now, now, NOW! when the show wasn't mine, i noticed everything! miscues, misaligned sets, dying batteries, wardrobe malfunctions, and the dreaded dead air. worse, i would mumble solutions... as though the stage manager could hear me!

self-imposed stress. aaaaaargh!

after working for nine years and aging for what seemed like fifteen, i left all that for a more gratifying vocation of teaching... or so i thought.

once a producer, always a producer. years after i bowed out, i found myself wearing communication headsets, marking runsheets, and cuing lights, sounds, video, actors, and multimedia... all in the service of community.

after running a virtually perfect "show" in last year's triduum, a sister asked if i could "do what you (i) did last year." of course, i was only too happy to say "yes."

this year's show was less perfect than what we would've wanted. the inside of the tech booth was chaotic! we had so many miscues, technical slips, and technical malfunctions that i lost count; i was too busy making on-the-spot resequencing and counting down the segments. i wanted it to end, and end quickly!

in the end, we got all the segments in... not in the proper order, but all in, nonetheless. the audience feedback was positive, saying that the recollection was moving, solemn, and effective... and they had the swollen eyes and stuffy noses to back it up. heave a deep sigh of relief.

this year's production was a lesson in humility and faith. before the show, at call time, tito eddie said that it wasn't important that we had a perfect show, but a good one. how prophetic! the slip-ups weren't failures for it wasn't for lack of trying. i remember putting my faith on the ability of the person at the other end of my comm set, trusting that they can do what they said they can do, and not letting me down. i placed my faith in God that He had a better runsheet and that it was i who was being given the cues. quick thinking, agile hands and responsive teamwork were the perfection of the day.

i guess God just wanted a different sequence. He should know; He writes the script... and thankfully, He doesn't criticize.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

home alone

belatedly posting drafts started ages ago. this one was originally drafted last april 8, Easter Sunday.

my family seems to have been bitten by the traveling bug... all, save me.

this holy week, i found myself home alone. everyone else took off to mambusao for a family reunion. even 2 of the maids left! so that leaves me with 1 house, 6 bedrooms, 1 swimming pool, 1 pc, 1 mac, 2 dogs, and 5 cars all to myself. not that i was home most of the time to enjoy it. i would be out, using 1 of the 5 cars (the one with the most gas, of course), working for the Triduum, the reason i stayed behind.

i DID enjoy the quiet. once in a while, it's good to be alone. there's a lot of freedom in being alone. i got to sleep in because there wasn't anyone to wake me, asking if i wanted to play ps2 (at 7:30 a.m.!); didn't have to queue for the pc at 4 a.m.; had the downstairs tv to myself, ditto with the newspaper.

then again, too much alone time drones the head. the house can be defeaningly quiet and can even echo because, yes, it IS a big house, too big for one to be left alone with. not good.
(gee! i don't think i'd make a good ofw!)

i know that i don't like crowds and getting crowded, but this is way too much space. thank God for a black saturday swimming tradition and a camp meeting, the house is more than population, 3. the maids got back today; the family returns tomorrow. phew!

ironically, being alone makes me look forward to playing ps2 when the little bugger gets back... maybe at 9 a.m.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

super delayed reaction

i know. i know. i've been remiss in my writing duties. well, posting, actually; i have drafts in the works waiting for endings and finishing touches.

work (yes, i worked this summer!) has been hectic and even emotionally stressful... but that's another entry altogether (hmmm... maybe, maybe not). add to this the lousy internet connection at home lately, and camp.

mama aly was right; i don't have time to write. but at least the works i've done have made it to her greatest 5. *blush* (which she posted a month ago! egad!)

that she thinks i can write humbles me. *more blushing* it's probably in the genes (harharhar! so much for modesty.) i just wish she didn't have to tag me. haaay!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

run, forrest, run!

not enough vitamins, not enough life :)

run, forrest, run!, originally uploaded by barang.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

color migueli RED

entertaining, what color accents of digital cameras can do :) the full color photo is my favorite of our trip to hk.

HK red, originally uploaded by barang.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

oh, to be a kid again!

i cannot, for the life of me, remember the last time my family went out on a family vacation, much more, a family vacation out of the country. nor can i remember the last time i went to hong kong. my brother dennis (and his wife) pretty much remedied that.

his idea of celebrating his 41st birthday was treating us (we were 11 in all) to a trip to hong kong disneyland... airfare, accommodations at hollywood disney hotel, most of the meals, and even the subway fare. not bad... not bad at all! if he had sprung for the shopping, it would have been perfect!

my sis-in-law's mom, tita cel, was probably right when she said that i was the biggest kid in the trip. disneyland will always bring a smile to my face. it brings back memories of my first trip to the park in anaheim where dad billeted us in the disneyland hotel, a free monorail ride away from the park... where he let us free to roam the park on our own, only to come looking for dennis and myself at 9 p.m. (heehee!)

for the days we were there, disneyland was probably "the happiest place on earth." the rides were fun and the shows were great! the hotel and park staff were absolutely out to please guests and i met goofy at the hotel on my way to the elevator. plus... how can i not be elated to find a store in the park that sells mr. potato head disney parts?! all i can stuff in a box for 175 HKD! i was shameless! and to boot, my sis bought me an early 40th birthday present: a repro mickey mouse watch of what dennis and i had to share when i was about 7 years old. it lives! this time, it's all mine! thanks, sands!

best of all, i was with family... a bigger one with migueli and essie's side in attendance. it was a good break, despite the iffy weather and the backlog of work that i brought along. (yes, i brought work with me. sucks to be so responsible sometimes. hahaha!)

honestly, i only dared to dream about travelling abroad again. at least not for a looooong time, i thought. at my women's prayer group, reflecting on Scripture made me realize that He made it all possible. He used my family to grant my heart's desires and dared me to dream not only more, but bigger as well! being God's child, i know that i shall never be without a giving, obliging, and loving Father. knowing that is more than enough to make ANYWHERE the happiest place on earth.

oh, so good to be a kid again!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

At home with a cup of coffee

Sharing for Ligaya North District D's D-Light Newsletter (This explains the observance of proper capitalization.)

As an international camper, I have lived many days from out of a suitcase. I've had to adjust to languages and climates, cuisines and cultures. With limited time and limited couture, you make and try to get the best of what the surroundings have to offer. You try to get comfortable. It takes time, but eventually, you do.

And though the marvels and sights of your temporary “home” take your breath away, you will always long for that place that knows your skin so well. You think of a dress you could have worn or a pair of shoes you should have brought; you crave for a familiar taste in a favorite watering hole or the smell of (of all things) detergent. At a certain point, you find yourself ready to go home.

Being away from North D was just like going to camp. I never quite understood the reason for my sabbatical, but in obedience, I packed my suitcase and made for another district. There, I adjusted to languages and schedules and traditions. I swallowed and breathed the culture and everything that it had to offer. And in time, I got comfortable. But as comfortable as I was, I just knew that there was a place that I would rather be. After two years away, I longed to go home.

I was so delighted to learn that I would be returning to North D. For me, it is where I started to grow my roots in the community. It was where I first declared that truly, I was “Maligaya sa Ligaya.” I loved that although I was (and still am) single, I was never alone. I remember the generosity of married brothers and sisters, be it a chair to sit in, a plastic plate for the Lord’s Day, or the time I was rescued from an overheating radiator. I was awed, humbled and inspired by how service was a way of life in the district. I loved that I was surrounded by whole families with parents mentoring children, mentoring me. I remember the familiar sights and smells of Lord’s Day where you can literally taste and see how good our God can be with Ate Haydee’s flowers and Mel Nepomuceno’s patatim… and the coffee afterwards. There was always coffee, and GOOD coffee at that.

My first return to the district was at February’s District Gathering. Milling around after Mass, I was pleasantly surprised to see an official district coffee maker.  (I guess I have been away for a long time.) A sister encouraged me to take a cup and drink 
my fill. I did… and I intend to over and over again. Oddly enough, THAT was when I knew I was truly home. Coffee never tasted so good; to be home never tasted so sweet.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

breaking and entering (my take)

my friend offered to sell me a brand new digital camera for 11Gs less the original price, to be paid in installments. it was, quite literally, "a steal," as you will soon read. for my accomplice's version, read her entry on mind journeys.

waited for the perfect opportunity and it came. during a lull in a wedding reception, i make my move. i borrow a getaway car and tag an accomplice who was only all too willing to join me for the ride.

armed with a map, we find our target without a hitch. a nissan suv sits in the garage, its engine, cold, i imagine. i knew that the tennant wasn't home. and yet, the lights inside the house were lit. hmmm... strange. i make a call to the landline. no answer. i ring the doorbell. no response. light taps on the iron gate and polite "tao po's" yield the same silence.

i was ready to turn away and throw in the towel. it's been too long; our companions might suspect something's up. i was all set to call it quits when my observant accomplice notices that the gate's unlocked. she has officially given up her claim of innocence.

i give the latch a light tug and it gives itself easily, as if welcoming us. my accomplice and i look at each other and enter the garage. without a word, as if by instinct, we separate: she towards the door; me, towards the service gate. all exits covered.

as i get to the service gate, surprise, surprise! the gate's not locked either. this is WAY too easy, i think to myself. nerves begin to set in. i struggle on whether or not i've gone too far, but the temptation of what i know to be inside the house wins.

i undo the gate and enter. another door is in plain view. another door, another door knob. i am almost sure that this one would be unlocked as well. my heart begins to race. images of a bloodied body race through my mind... and the bloodied body is mine! if i go too far, this might just be my fate.

and then i hear it. the hum of an electric fan in operation. someone's home! relief comes with a capital R! there will be no blood shed tonight. i tap the window next to the door and rouse the help from her slumber. once she regains her faculties and realizes that my voice IS real, she trudges to the door and lets me and my accomplice in without hardly asking me to show any identification.

she hands me the coveted package and we make our leave, back to the wedding reception where we pick up where we left off. our companions suspect nothing. and in the car, tucked behind the driver's seat, a brand new digital camera sits. it's mine. finally!