Dec 31, 2009

High School Class Reunion

It's my fault that some people weren't able to come because I planned the class reunion on a non-existent restaurant. Apparently, the two Dencio's in Greenhills decided to move / close. I always check in Click the City for available restaurants and someone wasn't doing his job of updating the site so people got lost looking for the restaurants.

Anyway, the more the merrier but the lesser the more intimate. There were only the 12 of us who made it (the people who didn't find us partied on their own) but I guess more stories were shared and the next get together was planned more smoothly than expected.

We ate at Grilla Promenade then they went to Neily's house for more kwentuhan and some card games. Jovic, Chris and I supported the local film industry and watched Mano Po 6 which was totally worth the money we paid.

Next class reunion will be at the house of Rayern (who wasn't in any of the picture because he's the photographer of the night) during the summer break! I hope more people can attend.

What a great way to end the year! Happy new year everyone!:P

Dec 29, 2009

New Year's Resolution

I'm sticking to only four resolutions this year - targeting my heart, body, mind and soul. Why? Because people tend to forget their resolutions if they have too many. (Got this pattern from Sean Covey's book)

1) Smile and Laugh more. (HEART)

Believe it or not, I'm a very shy person so I usually don't have the initiative to greet people when they pass me along the corridors. Yes, i'm a bit of a snob. And when they do greet me, I just return with a weak half meant smile - that doesn't look like a smile at all.

And is it just me or does laughing require much effort to do? I need to laugh naturally.

2) Avoid Rice and eat more Fruits (BODY)

Here's to a healthier 2010! I'm taking healthy eating and weight loosing to a whole new level this year. I need to get back to my 110lbs weight. Emphasis on the NEED. That's all.

3) Finish at least one book every month (MIND)

Who reads leads. Reading is to the mind as aerobics is to the body. People often take for granted the benefits of reading because they have so much work to do or that reading isn't as instant as "downloading/installing" knowledge to your brain. People whom i know reads often can articulate themselves more and they are more sensible to talk to, so try to dust off your book shelves this 2010 and fill up those empty minds.

4) Travel more (SOUL)

Not only locally but also at least three countries around Asia this year. I'm planning to go whale watching with my friends after this hellish semester (really looking forward to this one), have a pool party birthday in Tagaytay and hopefully visit my mom or dad's provinces.

I'm also with this organization where we'd be visiting ecovillages around Asia - try to observe and learn their lifestyles and bring them here in the country. So I'm expecting a lot of travels and hopefully I can meet new friends on the way.

Dec 25, 2009

What Will You Do If You Weren't Afraid?

101 Steps for 2010! I am making this a very meaningful year!

1) Vote
2) Go on a date
3) Whale watching with college friends at CamSur
4) Do volunteer work for a charity foundation
5) Exercise 3-5 times per week
6) Wake up earlier than usual
7) Watch at least two musicals
8) Beat a video game
9) Get my driving license by January
10) Travel to at least three countries
11) Experience "hanging" on a heavy traffic
12) Watch a movie by myself
13) Cry in a movie
14) Learn a different language
15) Have breakfast in bed
16) Donate blood
17) Bake for a relative / friend
18) Make a list of things that make me happy
19) Visit at least 10 museums
20) Lose 10 pounds
21) Reconnect with a childhood friend
22) Become more organized
23) Swap books with a friend
24) Go on a road trip
25) Have a firefly themed party at Tagaytay
26) Ride an elephant
27) Recommend a restaurant to a friend
28) Read at least one book a month
29) Go on a spiritual retreat
30) Pay the car behind me at the toll booth
31) Travel abroad without any family member
32) Eat something exotic
33) Get lost with friends
34) Learn to meditate
35) Experience weightlessness
36) Go whitewater rafting
37) Swim at midnight
38) Redecorate my room
39) Get my art published in our school magazine
40) Be a motivational speaker
41) Have my palm read
42) Watch a foreign film
43) Go for an early morning jog
44) Catch a firefly
45) Have a beach bonfire
46) Adopt a pet
47) Paint using oil on canvass
48) Collect more art books
49) Cram a major paper
50) Sleep overnight in a friend's house
51) Play a board game at Starbucks
52) Meet new friends in other countries
53) Plan a high school class reunion
54) Make at least one short film
55) Keep a secret secret
56) Puke in public
57) Attend a wedding
58) Have an overnight pool birthday party
59) Shop from 9am til 12midnight
60) Watch a complete tv series
61) Go Visita Iglesia with cousins
62) Prepare for our 10th year friendship anniversary:P
63) Go to Philippine Fashion Week
64) Write a poem
65) Be a good example to my lil' sister
66) Get at least two A's
67) Visit a rainforest
68) Edit my closet
69) Help build a house with charity
70) Interview someone important
71) Go spelunking
72) Buy something very expensive
73) Treat a beggar to lunch /breakfast
74) Build a sand castle
75) Watch the sunset on a hilltop
76) Send letters via snail mail
77) Visit a cemetery
78) Join a tree planting activity
79) Live for a weekend on an EcoVillage
80) Attend an international youth conference outside the country
81) Do not sleep for at least 24 hours
82) Say "I love you" to my dad
83) Ride a canoe
84) Reconnect with a high school teacher
85) Take a minor in International Business
86) Go to a water spa
87) Karaoke with friends
88) Go to the mall in a wheelchair
89) Wear my cascading necklace and fur hat to school
90) Smoke and quit smoke
91) Get a massage
92) Rent a butterfly costume or something similar for the yearbook photo
93) Sleep under the stars
94) Save at least P10,000 from my own allowance
95) Fly a kite with my newphew
96) Have the car re-tinted
97) Paint at least 12 paintings
98) Donate at least 10 jackets to charity
99) Become the Comm VP of Harvard Project for Asian International Relations
100) Start writing a book
101) Make 101 steps for 2011

I'll print this and hang it in my cork board.

Every time I accomplish something, I'll cross it out.

I hope I can do at least 80% of the stuff here.

Make your own 101 steps for 2010! It would make your year more memorable:P

Happy Holidays everyone!

Host Family for a German Student

I was trying to put myself in the situation of Stephie. It might be unusual celebrating Christmas without snow and fur coats for the first time, seeing these Asians eat and drink for hours and hours, and being asked for the Nth time: "How do you celebrate Christmas in Germany?"

(She's the one in white. This is the only decent picture I have during the night because I was so tired that I just want to sleep after the mass.)

I worked with Stephie before (together with 3 more European student volunteers) in a psycho-social relief operations of UNICEF for an elementary school in a distant town in Laguna. She said that she wanted to feel how Filipinos celebrate Christmas (because it was relatively solemn and sad from where she came from) so my cousin and I invited her to stay with the family for a couple of days.

So how does a typical Filipino family celebrate Christmas and what makes it so unique? The food? songs? church traditions? last minute shopping? exchange gifts? lechon?

We took her in the Simbang Gabi and introduced her to Bibingka and Puto Bumbong. She was actually amazed by the church attendance here because back in Cologne, Germany, few people go to mass. She said that it was such an experience shopping at Divisoria because there are loads of great finds there and the prices are ridiculously cheap.

We asked her about her most memorable experience here in the country and she mentioned the Aetas. They showed a film in the Aetas' village and all the people there got excited so much because their village had no electricity nor even a good water system.

She's been to most of the good places in the country and in her remaining days in the Philippines, she'll visit Palawan, Bohol and the Rice Terraces.


1) My dad can actually speak straight English for hours when he's drunk and in front of a foreigner.

2) It was difficult to define/exercise how a typical Filipino Christmas should be because we don't practice it often nor appreciate its uniqueness. Or maybe, the Philippines is just one big cultural melting pot that formulating a Filipino Christmas identity is difficult.

3) We still live in a traditional society wherein the values of a society are more important than the value of an individual, and we have the Church to blame for this; thus a lot more people have been marginalized/discriminated.

4) Some foreigners know the country better than I do. I met this lawyer and playwright from New York in the Philippine National Museum and as embarrassing as it may sound they were the ones giving me lessons on Philippine History.

5) Santa was drunk when he got to our place! He gave me this book from John Maxwell: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Workbook. He should know that I suck in law class - only got a C.

***I hope this yuletide season, you will see the incarnated God whom we call Jesus Christ as someone who transcends the boundaries of religion. He is the Sensate that allows us to experience the love of the Supra-Sensate. We should experience God more in our relationship with others, than see him as an Authoritarian deity who rewards the good and punishes the wicked.

Dec 21, 2009

Traveling Around Asia For Free

With all these old stiff looking people in their polo barongs, blazers and skirts (some of them deans, doctors and the university president), I enter the hall wearing a pink t-shirt, navy blue cropped shorts and my bad ass biker jacket.

I was invited to Central Luzon State University in Munoz, Nueva Ecija (like 3hrs and 30mins from Manila) for this launching of an EcoVillage in their area. I think it's the second here in the Philippines. My dad (surprisingly) was so kind to drive for me. I was actually one hour late because we got a bit loss when we took the "short cut."

That's me making the peace sign during a formal picture with other representatives from different universities from Region 1, 2, 3, 4 and NCR. (Please click to enlarge)

Anyway, on with the important details.

I was chosen by the Global Ecovillage Network for Oceana and Asia (GENOA) President, Ms. Penelope Velasco, to spearhead their project that involves the youth - what they call as Next Gen.

For More Info on GENOA:
For More Info on NextGen:

The Global Ecovillage Network is really big in Europe and Africa and now, they're trying to spread it in Asia, Australia and Pacific Islands. And they're bringing it here in the Philippines. More than the physical environmental changes they're advocating, it's actually the world view of the people they are trying to change.

Below are one of the first group of young people (in Europe) who advocated for a more sustainable eco-friendly village.

How did I get chosen? To make the long story short, let's just say that luck, charms, brain and heart were on my side at that time.

I followed her other three symposiums in Manila (in front of Church volunteers, in Tower 1 at Makati Ayala business district and now in front of the Academe) and I guess she was impressed with my ideas and commentaries about what she was proposing.

She was also able to talk to Fr. Ben Nebres (president of The Ateneo) and my Environmental Science professor, Mr. Peabody from Fordham University about her plans of having an EcoVillage inside our university.

After presiding over those old stiff looking people, she asked if she can have a brief moment with me:

Are you interested in traveling? Of course!
Will you be able to be committed in this org even for just a year? Yes.
And a lot more explaining and asking questions which I think I all answered "definitely, yes, of course and sure!"

The rest is history! I guess.

So this coming 2010, I'll be traveling back and forth to Nueva Ecija to watch the improvement of the EcoVillage there and will be visiting Asian countries (China, Bangladesh, Indonesia...) in order to observe, learn and exchange information with them. It'll definitely be a tiring year!:D

Sample EcoVillage/House below

I need youth volunteers, not more than 24 years old, who is interested in this advocacy. I know it's a bit too much but the rewards are very fulfilling because you will be in the front line of a major international thing and you might go with me to Thailand for an international convention with other NextGen volunteers around the world.

I need someone who is:
-dedicated and passionate at work
-willing to travel here and abroad
-willing to work with foreign students
-willing to try on a new lifestyle and culture
-wants to make a difference, environmentally

If you or your group is interested, even by the slightest chance, just email me ( so i can give you more info about it. You can even arrange a meeting and the Starbucks drink is on me!:D

Check out the site below, it's also cool.

Navi 2010

I have had the good fortune of being able to travel a great deal in my lifetime. One of the most common things I am asked when people learn about this is: "Among all the places you've visited, which one is your favorite?"

That is, for me, a difficult, maybe even impossible question to answer, because I am drawn to each place for a different reason. I have found that in any place, anywhere, no matter how near or far from where I am from, I will be able to find something that speaks to me on a unique and personal level.

The trick is getting into that state of mind where you are open to any experience that may present itself. Children have this method down pat, for them everything is new, and for them nothing else exists but the present. Every moment for them is a medley of sensations.

I like watching children run. There is something extraordinary about the abandon with which they throw themselves into it; their legs churn, their arms flail, their eyes shine, reveling in the sensation of half flying, half falling. I tell myself, this is how you should travel - enjoying everything: the heights of wonder, the missteps that challenge you, but always, always be in that moment you currently inhabit.

I realize that if every place has, at its core, something singular and specific to itself, it must be true that every person is uniquely the product of that place that he calls home. And every place I have been has added to my understanding of others, has deepened my appreciation of myself and where I have come from. How good it feels to be home, for here is always where I return.

I write about my travels as an attempt to recapture those moments, so that I might, as a child, cup them briefly in my hands like fireflies - my own stories of wonder, triumph, and humility - before releasing them, pieces of moonlight to guide me onwards as I navigate through life.

I was torn between getting this Van Gogh planner, this Italian Sapien (which I don't understand) planner and the Navi 2010 planner. Good thing I chose the last option. I am expecting a lot of travels around Asia this 2010.

5% of the proceeds will go to MioFightsCancer ( I'm really big on these products with social benefits.

Buy now! It's really good. And there are loads of freebies!

I bought it at Fully Booked Powerplant (and I got the last copy), but I guess it's still available at other Fully Booked stores.

Dec 5, 2009

Health Sticks aka Electronic Cigarette

I told you JMD! It's possible!

We all know that smoking is extremely dangerous habit that a person can be involved. Besides from the fact that it will introduce you to your death here are some side effects of smoking:

Tobacco smoke also contributes to a number of cancers.

This can cause heart attacks and stroke. It slows your blood flow, cutting off oxygen to your feet and hands. Some smokers end up having their limbs

Tar coats your lungs like soot in a chimney and causes cancer. A 20-a-day smoker breathes in up to a full cup (210 g) of tar in a year.

Smoking causes disease and is a slow way to die. The strain of smoking effects on the body often causes years of suffering. Emphysema is an illness that slowly rots your lungs. People with emphysema often get bronchitis again and again, and suffer lung and heart failure.

Really harmful aha? Nothing to worry now because we can take down that harmful effects with this electronic smoking.You have a choice now on how you want to smoke your e-cigarette:

- You can smoke freely and independently using the batteries and toggle between the manual and automatic switches

- You can smoke the e-cigarette using the additional USB cable via your computer or directly from the electricity network, giving you constant full power and full satisfaction

- You can smoke using the exchangeable battery that is inside the USB cable

- You can connect your Classic cigarette to the cigarette lighter in your car for full power and satisfaction

(Reblogged from Rhai Laborte)

I'm no health expert but I think this one's better than the classic cigarette. Definitely a wonder innovation! It's far from being a "health stick" but at least they're getting there. They should have developed electronic cigarette with the flavors like strawberry, cherry, bubble gum... like Shisha! haha!

I miss shisha by the way!;)

stay fabulous everyone!