Saturday, June 25

Confessions of a former anti-athlete

Maybe it’s the build, maybe it’s the height, but somehow people find it hard to believe that prior to arnis, I haven’t practiced any sport or at least, haven’t taken any sport really seriously.

Despite my long-time love for the relative comfort of running shoes, my penchant for wearing jogging pants, or donning any apparel that are more or less indicative of an active lifestyle for that matter, I haven’t really been into sports.

Until a year ago when certain life events and a movie prompted me to pick up a baston and give it a whirl—pun intended.

A Bit o’History
I come from a family of Tennis Players, thanks to my father who started the proverbial ball rolling. My Dad was so addicted to the game that the only way my Mom could spend more time with him was to join him on the shell-and-sand covered courts. So she tried, she learned, she conquered. You know what they say, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

It wasn’t long before my younger brother jumped on the happy tennis bandwagon. When he wasn’t shooting hoops with his friends, he would be volleying and smashing balls across nets with either of my parents.

I too frequented the tennis courts of the cloistered community of UP Los Baños not as a player, but more of a spectator. Everyone, including my folks, was just waiting for me to pick up a racket and start playing but somehow the charm of the sport that made John McEnroe’s language too colorful was lost on me.

Fast forward to college… and P.E. 2. At 5 feet and 8 inches of height, coaches (who more often than not, has seen me practically grow up ‘round the tennis club) of certain sports were asking me if I’d like to join their teams. I’d gently let them down saying, “Pero wala po akong alam sa paglaro ng (insert sport here). Sorry talaga po.” They’d insist I could play it by ear and just learn a thing or two along the way but I’d politely exit the conversation, making the excuse of having to rush to my next class.

The closest I’ve ever been to joining any varsity was when I started training with the swimming team. To make a long story short, they trained at night. With a lone spotlight shining on the pool that stood underneath the dark sky, not to mention poor eyesight and lack of prescription goggles (contact lenses weren’t as affordable or available at the time), let’s just say I either ended up tangled in the ropes that divided the lanes or bumping into unsuspecting members of the varsity. So ends my so-called college swimming career.

In the end I did sign up for a couple of Physical Education 2 classes as required by the university namely: Track, Swimming, and surprise, surprise, Modern Arnis.

Funnily enough, I don’t remember my grade or any of my lessons for that matter from my P.E. 2 Arnis class.

Turning Point (Literally)
As mentioned, it was a life event and a movie that whet my appetite to finally learning arnis. Though my joining “Sunday school” was deliberate, the events surrounding it weren’t.

One night I was attacked by two boys. Yes. Boys. Both ranging from 13 to 15 years of age. It was around 9:30 in the evening and I was seated on one of the benches that framed the UP Sunken Garden when two boys seated themselves on a bench near my own. After a while, they both stood up and walked the path that ran alongside my bench. Nothing to be suspicious about except one of them walked ahead while the other trailed behind. Just when the second boy walked past me he suddenly did an about face and lunged at me, holding an ice pick in his hand. I yelled and scrambled away from him (skirts and sandals not helping any), fortunately unharmed. And they walked away laughing as if they’d just pulled off a great practical joke.

Only I wasn’t laughing with them.

The incident was enough to unsettle me for weeks. And then I just happen to encounter Uma Thurman in her adventures on her way to Kill Bill. Wow. A woman with a weapon. Such skill. Such empowerment. Gone are the days of the hapless, helpless female. The strong heroine is here to stay.

And that’s exactly what I want to be. After all, libre nga naman mangarap di ba?

Life-changing and a change in lifestyle
It’s easy to dream. Making the dream happen is another story. And as all things in life are, training in arnis is far from being a bed of roses.

Some people questioned my reasons for learning Arnis… even to this day. And to be quite honest even I question them too on occasion—usually when I’m bent over trying hard to breathe properly, or whenever any body part gets hit, or whenever I can’t figure out the move being taught at the moment. I’ve gone through self-doubt, utter frustration, and even sheer anger at myself or at other parties during training and because of training.

It was difficult and it continues to be difficult. I’d go to work or go home to my parents’ house with bruises on my arms, callouses on both hands and fingers, swollen knuckles (Imagine the look on my mother’s face each time I displayed my so-called battle scars). Not to mention a deflated ego and at times a fading spirit.

Did I want to quit? Of course. Many times. But then I’m still here.

Because more than being an idea spurned by a movie, more than it being a need to survive in the big, bad city, Arnis to me now is not just a mere quest to be the next Black Mamba, nor is it just a sport to get into for the fitness aspect (though the benefits of training are extremely beneficial non-withstanding).

At the end of the day whatever my reasons were and however valid they may have been, I think the important thing here is that I’m here to learn.

If only my Arnis teacher would see me now (snicker).

* * *
Postscript: This is an article I wrote for SEGUIDA—our groups official newsletter.

Friday, June 17

Shades of High Fidelity

So-called Instructions: List five songs that you are currently digging . . . it doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words or even if they're any good but they must be songs you're really enjoying right now. Post these instructions, the artist and the song in your blog along with your five songs. Then tag five other people to see what they're listening to.

And I'm tagging... drumroll please... mmm let me get back to you on that... har har

so here goes...

Jo's Top 10 Songs that more or less estimates her oh-so-chaotic state of heart.

Circle - Edie Brickell Posted by Hello

Weight of the World - Chantal Kreviazuk Posted by Hello

Ever After - Bonnie Bailey Posted by Hello

If I Owned the World - Aaron Neville & The Rippingtons Posted by Hello

Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani

Posted by HelloLet's Stay Together - Al Green

I Can't Make You Love Me - George Michael

Fall For You - Shanice

Over and Over - Nelly and Tim McGraw Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 8

Wedding Whatever

Brief blog-hopping is a poor substitute for actually meeting up with friends i miss to discuss life thus far over cups (or bottles) of choice beverages.

Nonetheless, it being June and all, *sigh* might as well join the dandy June bandwagon and briefly mention anything remotely pertaining to weddings and/or marriage.

oops. one must NOT mistake one for the other. weddings are but a day while marriage is every day of the rest of your lives... together. something like that. babble babble.

here's my two cents.

over the years, regardless on whether or not i was with someone or even if i held the slightest hope that i'll eventually tie the knot with some poor unwitting sap one day, i've compiled a bunch of songs that i'd like sung at my wedding. the list grew and was reduced over time as the songs either were used in friends' or in other people's own weddings (spoilsports) or if i eventually grew out of loving a particular song. (one fine example is America's All My Life)

so how would i like my wedding soundtrack to sound like? here's a handful:

feels like home - Chantal Kreviazuk
OST - How to Lose a Guy in 10 days, Dawson's Creek

love moves in mysterious ways - either the original Julia F version or the male version as heard off the OST of Indecent Proposal. HELL NOT THE NINA VERSION. GAAAAAAAD!!!!

butterfly kisses - bob carlisle. damn if the wedding part in the song makes me cry.

ikaw - heck, i'll even settle for the regine version

i will be here - as originally done by stephen curtis chapman

can't think of anything else right this very moment. but here's a Gary Granada song that i stumbled upon from a friend's blog. and now it's on my list. read on and you'll see why.

anyway, enough sentimental sh*t for now. i'm going to take a nap before i get too sulky to sleep straight.

* * *


my salutations bounced off the walls of the silence you keep
in the ocean of distance between you and i
you ask me to move closer and catch a glimpse of your state of mind
only to leave me, mouth agape, wondering what you meant
how dare you shake the already unsettled foundations
of the life i built since you turned me away
but now you sound as if you're sorry
tell me do you regret having let our time pass
are you saddened by the memories that should've had a happier ending
you control your destiny. you made a choice.
don't tell me now that you felt you've made the wrong one.
it's been two years. Two years since.
If you wanted to do something about it, then you should have by now
you made a promise once that if and when you've found the answers you seek
then you'll move mountains to find me
you know where to find me
don't try to win me with subtle whispers
or woeful moans of despair
i deserve so much
so much more.
moreover, i deserve truth
and absolute

i already questioned everything
if it were true
or just another trip of yours.
you have no idea how much that possibilty
tears me apart.

find me.
and then, we'll see.

we'll see.

Monday, June 6

Edie Brickell's Circles and coming Full Circle

Hopefully, when i get around doing it, this'll be part of my comeback article. i ended last year with a song, i'll start this year with another:

Edie Brickell

Me, I'm a part of your circle of friends
and we notice you don't come around
Me, I think it all depends
on you touching ground with us.
But, I quit. I give up.
Nothing's good enough for anybody else
it seems.
And I quit. I give up.
Nothing's good enough for anybody else
it seems.

And being alone
is the best way to be.
When I'm by myself it's
the best way to be.
When I'm all alone it's
the best way to be.
When I'm by myself
nobody else can say goodbye.

Everything is temporary anyway.
When the streets are wet --
the color slip into the sky.
But I don't know why that means you and I are
- that means you and....
I quit -- I give up.
Nothin's good enough for anybody else it seems.
But I quit. I give up.
Nothing's good enough for anybody else it seems.

And being alone
is the best way to be.
When I'm by myself it's
the best way to be.
When I'm all alone it's
the best way to be.
When I'm by myself
nobody else can say...

Me, I'm a part of your circle of friends
and we notice you don't come around.


* * *

had a sneaky feeling that i should have logged in YM earlier. should've listened to my gut.

Offline Messages *click*

a name... name that used to reduce me to a quivering mass of tears and regrets. now it just brings back questions, memories, and more questions...

Read my blog

i check the date and the time. 6 June 2005. around half past 1 am. What's he doing up at 1 am?

sent him an SMS.

U awake? Which blog? Friendster?

No reply. He must either be out somewhere or out cold on his bed.

Checked friendster. Checked his blog.


mmmm. something to think about. something to talk about.

When you wake, Dear One. When you wake.

Sunday, June 5

Mad Woman

I am one Mad Woman.

Not mad as in crazy-mad... that's a given. But mad as in angry, fuming, raging, foaming-at-the-mouth mad. Don't worry i've had my shots.

It's one thing to be angst-ridden. To have a bone to pick with the rest of the world. No, that's not me. If there are any bones to pick with anyone, i can think of a few.

Funny thing about it is, these are people who are almost a part of my every day. People who i've held dear for so long. Some of which i can claim to have loved or love to this day.

Perhaps that's why i'm so angry at the things that they do. Angry at the things they have done that have a relation to me which they don't know i'm aware about.

i am not blind, nor am i stupid. and now i'm just very, very angry.

but i can still talk to them, laugh with them, be a friend to some level with them, sincerely. however to a certain degree, there are things that i've yet to face, to deal with, to forgive.

everything is a choice. timing is key. i choose not to discuss it now. excuse me if i have better things to do and/or mope about at the moment.

someday, though i will face my demons, i will probably split in two because of them, they'll probably skin me alive and leave me for dead.

but i won't die. i choose to live. it will hurt like hell, but i will get through this.

is it about winning? probably, but right now i'm just stewing. biding my time. decisions will be made, relationships will be severed. lives will be rearranged somewhat.

sure i still cry on occassion, a bad mood can still swamp me as easily as one flips on a light switch. but i'm nearing my saturation point. i will no longer stand for this. people should either own up for the things they do or our relationships or friendships be damned.

there's only so much i can take. bearing witness to inflated egos doesn't help any.

as i've read from an article, "nobody has the monopoly of power. what you do to me, i can also do to you."

sorry, just unloading some more of my baggage.

Friday, June 3

ponderous points

might as well cite my source, though i doubt if it's THAT reliable...

according to the latest ish of COSMO Phils.

(do i hear a collective groan of exasperation the world over? hehehe c'mon. i've ditched my habit of collecting the mag. IN FACT, i got the info from borrowing a friend's copy. Nothing like defensive monologuing to start off this entry *snicker* )

Being in love doesn't just make you swoon, it makes you STUPID. A new study found that romantic feelings inhibit parts of the brain responsible for critical thinking.

Well now, that explains a lot now, does it?

Thought bubble: No wonder.


on average, women utter 7,000 words per day while men bat around 2,000.

mmmmm. can't argue there. perhaps if the men amped up on their listening skills, we wouldn't talk as much, hmmm? what do you think?

oh now there i go being sexist. sorry about that guys. for the record, i also need to brush up on my listening as well.


Wednesday, June 1

running off at the fingers.

This is a test drive article in a manner of speaking—or writing. Haven't written a singular word for my column in Scratch that. i've written a lot of things for my column, but nothing really passed the crumple-and-throw-into-wastebasket stage. There has been a lot of angst, there has been a lot of tears to write about. But considering that my last article was about lost love, blah blah blah (which i submitted november and it got posted during the holiday season, leading many to believe that my december was colder than usual) I think i owe it to myself and to the spirit of my column to write something other than grumblings that i have about life thus far.

So here i am, in the midst of a busy morning, blogging.

God bless DSL.

* * *

Silence is a good thing when you want everything in your life to shut up for a moment. Silence is good when you are able to also tell your traitorous mind to shut up and just be in that moment. Because that, my friend, is one of the hardest things to do—well for me at least. To shush my noisy mind and let myself not worry, not agonize, not THINK.

So much is already going on. The last thing i need is a panic attack.

* * *

Had a talk with a friend/guy-who-i-got-to-know-because-i-interviewed-him-for-a-magazine-assignment/guy who's guts i used to hate and now whom i love to bits/guy i now work for and upon occassion, laugh with. He said one of the most important things he learned from a teacher in high school is this: Live your life without worries. How? See here:

a) if you got a problem, and it has a solution... then DON'T WORRY. Because it HAS a solution. You either have to find it or wait for the solution to present itself.

b) if your problem DOESN'T have a solution, then why the hell are you so worried over something that CANNOT be resolved in the first place?

Another thing he said..."You're stronger than you think you are."

mmmm. Maybe i am. Actually i am. Haven't come this far for nothing right.

In the intonation of my dear friend Jem who likes emulating one of the characters in the cult childhood classic Sesame Street, "Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight."

* * *

Right now though, i don't know where this is all going. i'm not only talking about this piece, i'm talking about my life in general. i used to know exactly where i'm at and where more or less i'm headed or at least taking myself to, but lately, everything is in limbo. God only knows the oh-so-many times i've wanted to drop everything and go back home.

Sanctuary. Though i may be penniless, i may have to live with my parents (and the occassional insufferable brother), and may even have a curfew again, it still is and perhaps will always be sanctuary.

Honestly though, i've found sanctuary (though temporary) in some other places and homes. And it's sad to have to leave and say goodbye to them.

Made me wonder when or how in the world will i ever find a place of my own. A place to call home. My home.

It's a dream of mine, i guess. Believe it or not. It really is. though i don't know how to make it happen as i barely can make it to the next payday.

this is what eats away at my resolve each day. maybe i should just up and leave. i don't know anymore. i really don't.

lost. save for Los Baños, there isn't anywhere else for now. not unless i make it so.

should i leave to find myself? should i let myself be found?

it's not knowing where to go that gets to me.

better end this before i spew some more of that negativity. maybe i just lack sleep.