Archive for August, 2011

It’s always about HOME

Some people often ask me what’s the reason why the last few days of August has always been devoted to going to Dumaguete and all I can just say is that it’s really not Dumaguete that we come back to but it’s Silliman University. And then there goes that sceptic look, what is it about your university that every founders week, you have to fly hundreds of nautical miles, sacrifice a few number of VLs (which can be used for other events) and yes, make unnecessary expenses. Then I just smile and say, it’s the Silliman spirit.

See, I have a home, our very own family home. I have a rented space here in Manila which I consider home for four years now but what has been my second home always been Silliman, Dumaguete.

So what makes it worth coming back every year? It’s those warm smiles and hugs from those people you haven’t seen in years. It’s the festive celebration of God’s faithfulness to our school. It’s the competitive atmosphere of the different colleges and academic units as they prepare for Ms. Silliman and the All-University Cheering Competition. It’s the bamboo booth in Ravelo Field that always fascinates Sillimanians and most Dumaguetenos with events throughout the week. It’s the wonderful food around Dumaguete that can satisfy the gastronomic curiosity. It’s the dorm mates who can’t wait to see you after years of graduation. It’s the different clubs and bars that you hang out to just chill and just enjoy the tugsh tugsh (you know who you are guys). The list could go on and on and on and on and on and this might fill my blog but who cares HOME will always be HOME and I am home when I am in Dumaguete — in SILLIMAN. Four years of academic training was not only what I got from this institution but a whole lot of experience that I will forever hold dear. Friends, yes countless friends that you met from dorms, block classes and even just a term or even just a day in class after they dropped out when they knew Dr. Dale Law was our BC teacher or Prof. Tan was our Philo teacher. Irony is, sometimes I thought I have done everything, met most if not all the people at Silliman and yet every year I am amazed with how things changed or how I have not done these things back when I was in college or why haven’t I met these guys when I was college.

This year I think was one of my best year celebrating SU Founder’s week. Who would have thought that the three days I just wanted for vacation back at home would bring me so much fun, to be more exact joy. I met people that I just often see in the campus and was able to interact with them — and I hope I have made friends.

It has always been a pleasure of going back home to Dumaguete and Silliman. And as I go back to that question, what’s worth coming back to Dumaguete every August? Everything. Everything that Dumaguete has to offer. Sillimanians who will always welcome you home with a warm hug and the wonderful reminiscing of familiar events that we all have gone through. With that, I know I am always HOME.

Happy 110th Founder’s Silliman U!

Thank you Ressa, Jonald, Michelle, Neil & Cyriane! 🙂


Last Thursday, I had the privilege of attending an anniversary of one of our suppliers and one of the stars who graced the night (well she is not one of those ordinary stars but the I guess one person that I really look up) was Lea Salonga. Lea belted out a number of songs which included my favorites from Les Miserables (On My Own and I Dreamed a Dream) and from Miss Saigon, I’d Give my Life for You. I had the best night ever and though I have heard Lea sing those songs it’s like I have heard that song for the first time every time she sings those songs. Well, actually I am not here to write about how great Lea is knowing that it is already a given but when I heard those theatre plays again, it reminded me of some musicals that I really am dying to see run in our country. Well for now, there’s two that I really would kill just to get the front seats if ever a chance that a run will be done here in our country. Here it goes:

Well I guess you have heard the most enduring song of this play sung at a well-loved TV series too where the two main casts also guested too for a few episodes. Yes, it’s Defying Gravity and yes, Glee popularized with Lea Michele and Chris Colfer but the powerful voices behind the stage are of that Idina Menzel playing Elphaba and Kristin Chenoweth playing Glinda. The musical is a spring from Gregory Maguire’s book entitled Wicked: THe Life and Times of the Wicked WItch of the West. The story brings us to the early days of the uniquely colored green witch before she became Dorothy’s tormentor. How she became that evil. Well, the musical is not that evil at all. It actually tells more of friendship, pursuing a dream and reaching for it no matter what even if it takes you to defy gravity. I have heard the songs from this musical over and over and over again but I still dream that one day this musical will touch the Philippine soil and I will be the first to get a ticket for the opening night.

A song, that I really loved from this musical (I think was sang also at Glee’s 2nd season) is one of my favorite. It’s about the change that real friendships bring us……. FOR GOOD.

Okay, here’s the next. Forgive me. I really haven’t heard of this song not until December 2009 when I watched Lea’s Your Song concert and she introduced this musical as the new breed of world-class musicals and she sang the song that electrified my soul. And from that on, when I am down I just remind myself of Electricity. Electricity, what powers you? Before anything else Billy Elliot tells the story of a boy who struggles to excel in a not so popular world of ballet. His story tell of his struggles to become the best he can be in the field a burdened town in North Eastern England. This musical boasts of its music written by Elton John which by the way is amazing. And thank wherein I got my copy of the CD and man, I love how even if they sing the dark English accent is still there.

And as I have oversold the song earlier, the title of the song that I really like from this musical is Electricity. It’s about going for it. Grabbing that one opportunity that will make you free.

OK. I have enlarged my scope for the two musicals. Any show within Asia. I will surely go just to catch a glimpse of the green witch and that young talented ballet dancer. I hope somebody can read this blog and bring these musicals in Manila.

For the meantime, these songs in my playlist will suffice. Enjoy the songs guys!


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Last weekend, The Philippine made mark again the field of sports wherein the Philippine Dragon Boat Team was able to gather 5 gold medals and 2 silver medals in the World Dragon Boat Competition held at Tampa, Florida.

I have read the and saw the news in television and the struggle of the PDBF to reach the world championships and yet I am so proud of these team because they proved everyone wrong who doubted their ability. Yes of course, even in sports our country would never run of politics. The Dragon Boat team though carried the Philippines was never really accredited by the Philippine Olympic Committee and the National Sports Association as a national team and even as an accredited sport. Thank heavens for corporate sponsors who supported them and made way for them to reach their goal of paddling for REAL gold medals at Florida. (Shameless plug: It was COBRA and PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, good decision to support the team!).

I don’t want to dwell anymore with how the POC and NSA handled this situation since it will just destroy the joy that I feel for the PDBF for bringing honor to our country once more but I want to dwell on the Filipino pride.

Pride that even without proper gear and support, 5 gold medals and 2 silver medals were reaped by team. Pride that even they practiced in the overly smelly and dirty Manila Bay, the team was able to bring the country honor. Pride of the Filipino culture, that the Filipinos now based in Tampa, Florida were so amazing that you can see until this very day that the Bayanihan spirit was so alive. I am so touched (oh well may have teared a little bit) when I saw the Filipinos in Florida supported the team. They have been with the team from the start of the competition until the very end and I can see that the help that they extended to the team was not because they were forced but because they wanted to help and boost the morale of the team. THANK YOU LORD FOR THESE FILIPINOS!

Lastly, I believe that each and everyone of us has his or her own favorite sport be it basketball, football, lawn tennis, badminton, swimming but we should be reminded that anything that gives our country should be fully supported. Excellence in sports is not only exhibited by how may billboards there are present in EDSA the team or the person has but more so, sports is exhibited by how disciplined the team is, how patient they are to strive hard to bring home to bacon and how humble the team or the person in acknowledging that the win was not only for themselves but for the country.

To the Philippine Dragon Boat Team, you have my respect. And with or without the heroes welcome and cash incentive, the pride that I feel seeing how far you have gone as an independent team and the sacrifices you made to make it this far is overwhelming. MABUHAY and we will continue to support you on to the next competitions in the future.

NOTE: I hope that some private organization would adopt this team since it may take a long way before POC and NSA would recognize this team.

Kulo, what was was supposed to be just another exhibit at CCP as part of its commitment to continually stir artistic expression and appreciation in our critical country did not only provide flack for the arts but rather stirred insurmountable emotions from different sectors in the country specifically the religious sector. A part of Kulo’s exhibit was an art installation by Medeo Cruz entitled “Poleteismo” which eventually caused an uproar from the religious sector more so the Catholics. Cruz’ art installation depicts images related to religion with a little twist wherein one of the most notable recurring being flashed in news is the picture of man supposed to be Jesus Christ with his nose being a phallus. It seems this way the way of Mr. Cruz to express himself with regards to the current major debate between the government and the church on the topic of Reproductive Health Bill.

I believe that this country in itself is a country wherein freedom of expression is exercised and sometimes overly abused. Look at those protestors who for no reason just come to the streets to shout what they want, look at the television nowadays and see what you see and the comments that you hear on live TV, and more clearly look at Carlos Celdran and how he settled to humiliate the Catholic Church and provoke the church as they stood against Reproductive Health Bill. Yes, as a country nobody can stop somebody from airing themselves in whatever form of media. Freedom of expression is expected to be a basic right of everyone. Freedom of expression is something we have all the tendency to abuse. I for one believe that expresssing one’s self has no boundaries else once you stop from expressing yourself and when someone stops you from expressing yourself, the sovereignty that our forefathers have fought and died for would be in question.

I often remind myself to RESPECT. Respect people. Respect their belief. Respect the culture. I was in Bali a few months ago and for most of us who have already visited temples they have at least two major reminders for those who wanted to see the temples. For both men and women, wear sarong when inside the temple premises and for women, there is that strict reminders that when they have their menstruation entering the temple is a no-no since they desecrate the place. On our first day of tour me and my cousins were all okay touring around the temples wearing sarongs but on the second day when my lady cousin told me she was having her monthly period, I told her to stay outside for even if nobody knows that she has one, I believe we need to respect what they have. For this controversy, RESPECT is one being questioned by our religious fanatics. Asking what happened with CCP allowing this?

When it comes with this issue, it has always been a toss between two certain things — freedom of expression and respect. Like a toss up between justice and mercy in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, knowing that you are just expressing one’s self does not warrant you just to do anything vulgar in nature or knowing that you know somebody in high position is already abusing his/her power will not always warrant respect but you have to express those corrupt actions. It has always been the greatest challenge for us Filipinos in doing this but I hope that we can find way to settle differences in a manner that we express ourselves and at the same time show the respect that each being deserve as a creation without calling them names.

As of writing, CCP has cancelled the exhibit. Senate is warning CCP that they will cut their budget. The Catholic Church is thinking of suing Cruz. CCP’s head for visual arts resigned. A lot of harsh words have been spoken. In the end, it will always be and will always be a toss up between two certain things.

It has been almost two weeks now or more I guess since we heard that shocking news of one of the best voice that I heard that revolutionized the music industry with her rendition of Rehab. Yes, I am talking of Amy WInehouse. Well most of us maybe have any idea or an inkling of what could have transpired in her flat in Camden, North London yet without the results of the autopsy all of are inkling are inconclusive.

We all now make a pun of the lyrics of Rehab that she should have gone to rehab but she should have done so that’s why this unfortunate event.

Amy Winehouse is one great hell of a talent even with those problems and addictions in her life. She is one big loss in the music industry. A voice very distinct that lead the way for the likes of Adele and many other British singers nowadays. Amy WInehouse is 27 years old.

After everything that has happened to Amy, I am not here to judge her but I am just here to REMIND everyone that drug addiction know no age, race, nationality or social status. Drug addiction is something which will eventually destroy your life. So while you’re young and you have the capacity to turn around from such vice, do not fall into drug addiction. Seek help. Do not waste your future and eventually your life. I can give a list of people whose lives were destroyed by drug addiction but then it is not important anymore. The important thing is to understand that drug addiction can do you NO GOOD at all. NO GOOD. At the first encounter with people, SAYING NO is not an option but the best way to GO.

Remembering Amy Winehouse tonight with Rehab

Yes, you heard that right! Should you have any violent reaction to any of the post or any questions. Just shoot me an email. I believe in the Freedom of Speech so send those comments and I will try my best with my human brain to comprehend these questions…


Hope to hear from everyone! 🙂

WOW!! Time really flies so fast. It was just a few post back when I celebrated July and now I am post celebrating August 2011. This is the last month before we enter the BER months. And I am more than excited since for us Filipinos, Christmas start as early as September.

What to look forward to August? My mom’s birthday and one longer weekend for us at the tail end of the month thanks to the Hero’s Day Celebration and the Eid’l Fitr celebration of our Muslim brothers. So while you guys are planning of doing something for the long weekend coming, hope that you will have find time to drop by my blog and check what’s the latest as I will try my best to post anything that I find ironic or more so anything that I find has something to do with the daily grind of life.

Happy a great day everyone! 🙂