Browsing Date

September 2009

To Live This Life

Musings By September 28, 2009 Tags: No Comments

Going out these days to hang out with my friends in such places as Mogwai or to such events as gigs in Genre Bar, I realize how big my world is. I know a lot of people from college days. I know a lot of people from those days when I was still very much in the entertainment scene. I have friends who play in bands, friends who make independent and even mainstream films, friends who write for TV and film as well as for stage, friends who act in movies, television and theatre, friends who do production design, lights design, stage design, friends who make animations, friends who are professional photographers, friends who direct television shows, movies and plays, friends who teach, friends involved in science and are involved in environmental concerns, friends who are doctors, friends who are into travel, and friends who are in the corporate world. I have been around. Sometimes I think I am everywhere.

There was a time when I thought my world was becoming too big and too fast for me to handle. A time when I thought I was not mature enough to be living my life. A time when I withdrew into my own shell simply because I thought I was not prepared to live the life I was living or where it was heading.

Now years later, my world is coming back to me and I am coming back to it. One evening last week, I took a step back , like I sometimes do, to look at how my life is and where it is heading. Years, careers, a wedding, a dog, four to five homes, a child, many islands, many friends and a whole lot of experiences later, I think I have grown enough to live this life and it is time I do.



This blog entry was scheduled for publish. Who would’ve thought we would be hit with a storm over the weekend?


Gig at Genre Bar – A Tribute to Struggling Artists

Music By September 28, 2009 No Comments

The very supportive friends we are, Nick, Kalai, Ktin, Ktin’s sister, Jma, Ryan and I headed out to Genre Bar in Cubao X for Roma, Amrei and John’s.. basically the band called Flush and the Toilets, gig one Saturday night.

Roma said they were going to be the first band to play at nine-thirty, but we found ourselves still hanging out at Mogwai until almost eleven. We went up to Genre Bar, which is basically the second floor of Alan’s Grill. We met Alan one time, a humid clear evening that was I remember. I was absolutely dressed down in a loose red shirt, a pair of shorts and lavender-painted toenails sticking out on my brown Havaianas (that my sister gave me for Christmas by the way, not something I bought myself because I only buy cheap stuff because I’m cheap like that). We were hanging out, sitting on these little chairs at a little table at that little place next to Alan’s Grill with a nice vibe and the ugliest menu I ever did see and the name of which I actually do not know, when Alan saw Ewok who was sitting in one of those little chairs with us. Alan who is apparently a dog-lover, spent like thirty minutes chatting with us about dogs and even showing us a video of his two shih-tzus.

Anyway, we came up to Genre Bar, and were basically the first people to arrive and thereby, of course, occupied the front table. The usual sound-check, the usual orders around the table and the usual photo-ops. It wasn’t long before the band started swinging.

Genre Bar: Flush and the Toilets

Flush and the Toilets: Amrei Dizon (vocals), Che Santos (guitar/drums), Roma Regala (bass) and John Villareal (guitar). Genre: Glam rock/90s

Check out Flush and the Toilet’s Multiply page and be a fan on Facebook.

When people started coming in, one of the first people to arrive, after us of course, was Meh, lead guitarist for the band Matilda. Nick, Kalai, Roma, Ktin, Jma and I met Meryl (Meh to us) back in the first semester of 2000, when we were all applicants for the organization that is the U.P. Repertory Company. Though the rest of us went on to become inducted members, Meh deferred on the second interview. She would always be the best applicant in our eyes though, with her always showing up with the best costumes during Hell Week. 😀 The last time I think I saw Meh was at her birthday celebration in 70s Bistro. Now almost nine years later, Meh and I are proud moms, but we are still the same – looking like we used to, acting like we used to. Ahh, always nice to see old friends!

Genre Bar: lead, Matilda

Matilda: Charms Tianzon (vox) Meryl Antonio-Reyes (guitars) Jovi Reyes (drums) Maricor Reyes (violin) Yvette Tunguia (bass)

For band info, check them out on Blogspot. (This is the only website I was able to find.) Though you may wanna check out Charms’s Multiply page for some info.

By this time, the batteries on the camera were already failing us so we decided not to take anymore pictures. Until this band came onstage, with the coolest-looking girl with the nicest eyes and teeth (that is just my opinion because I am biased like that) and started playing this music that Ryan hated but I liked. Hahaha. Then I noticed that there was a crowd of photographers around the small stage. So I scooted over to where Meh was sitting and asked, “Who is this band? Why the sudden clamor of photographers around the stage?” and Meh said, “The Late Isabel. Wawi Navarozza, famous artist and photographer, on vocals.” And so I went, “Oh okay,” and scooted back to where I was sitting, gave the camera to Ryan and said, “Makiuso tayo. Kuha ka rin!” Hahahahaha!

Genre Bar: The Late Isabel

The Late Isabel: WAWI NAVARROZA, vox ALLAN HERNANDEZ, guitars ROVAL BACALE, bass J.P. AGCAOILI, drums Genre: Rock/Post-punk

And so that is how we ended up with photos of this band. Also, that is how we ended up exhausting all the batteries and no more pictures of the bands playing after.

Check them out on their old Geocities site, on their Myspace page and on their Multiply page. You can also be a fan on Facebook. It is also quite interesting to check out Wawi Navarozza’s Flickr.

Here is the event’s official poster I suppose, which I got from Charms’s Multiply page. I don’t remember seeing Sugar Hiccup though.

Random Lunacy Productions Presents Feed the ID! A Tribute to Struggling Artists

Random Lunacy Productions Presents Feed the ID! A Tribute to Struggling Artists

So sadly, we don’t have any photos of The Brew, Chubibo and The Discoball.

Doc Urbino of The Brew and Chubibo did the music with the U.P. Underground Community for U.P. Rep’s Damas de Noche The Musical back in 2006 and 2007. It is indeed fun to see old and familiar faces.

We were supposed to leave early to go meet up Ryan’s friends from high school somewhere in Timog but Nick said, Dan was coming. It has been quite some time since I last saw Dan. I think I saw him last back in 2007, when we did Ogie Braga’s Sa Pagdating ng Barbaro for Virgin Labfest 3 (Scroll to the very end of the article for the photo hahaha). So we stayed. They were the last band to play too. But it was well worth it. Bheng Densing on vocals is crazily funny and Dan is just too cute! I love you Dan Geromo! Hahaha!

Click here to be a fan of The Discoball on Facebook.

And here are the photos from another wonderful night out of music with friends.


The U.P. Repertory Company Alumni Homecoming 2009

Theater By September 27, 2009 No Comments


Never mind the ugly poster for which the person responsible has yet to own up for. For all alumni and members, in all of its thirty seven years, let us all come together!

The U.P. Repertory Company Alumni Homecoming 2009
September 27, 2009 at six in the evening
Conspiracy Bar and Garden Cafe
#57 Visayas Avenue, Quezon City

I missed out on last year’s as I believe I was out gallivanting in Bicol and Negros at around this time.

Let’s hope for a good, good night tonight!

And for myself, I hope that the batteries on the camera will not die out on me like it did at Genre.:|


This event has been postponed of course for the time being. The new date and venue has not been announced yet as a number of members and alumni, me and my family included, are still coping with the aftermath of Ondoy. Water was over the top of our heads at 2am on Sunday, September 27th in Pasig. The Cruz’s, Abet and Hush, had to be evacuated from their home in Nangka, Marikina. Jill Masalonga, Eshei Mesina and a number of Repists from Marikina had homes submerged in water as well. We are all hoping things will get better soon.


This blog post was scheduled for posting for Sunday 12:30 am. I was not really online as there was no power and we were being flooded everywhere.


Me in Theater and the Theater in Me (Otherwise known as Musings After Amphitryon)

Musings, Theater By September 26, 2009 No Comments

Sometimes I go to to a play, know almost half of the people there, and still feel like an outsider. Sometimes I go to the U.P. theatre department and feel like an outsider. This was not one of those times.

I remember going to see Labfest 4 Revisited in CCP a few months ago. It was my first time to step foot once again in CCP for more than a year. More than a year is a long time. I completely missed Labfest 3 even if I was supposed to at first direct one of the plays to which I deferred, then was supposed to participate in one of the staged readings to which after one rehearsal deferred, then finally to totally not participating at all – not even to watch any of the plays. I remember going to see Labfest 4, watching actors on stage who were people I knew, sitting in the audience next to people I knew, hanging outside during the ten-minute breaks with people I knew, and chatting in the lobby with people I knew – and thinking, I have been gone a long time and nothing has changed. Nothing at all has changed.

A year or so is a long time. I went back to therapy and lived in my Prozac world. I dropped all my theater classes. I went to live with my parents three times and while I was there, secretly went to another university to study digital illustration and animation, took a very interesting Political Science class, impressed my undergraduate classmates with my professor-level knowledge in the corniest computer class known to man and managed to last three weeks before I went half-crazy because I thought we were going to move to land-locked city in Texas where there was no beach in sight for miles and miles. I have been to Coron, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Catanduanes, Siquijor, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, Iloilo, Guimaras, Pangasinan and even almost made it to Batanes if not for the cancelled Asian Spirit flight, all the while I was with child. We eventually moved out of the cramped and noisy condo in Taguig, stopped hanging out at Bonifacio High Street and moved into a two-storey two-bedroom apartment in a quiet neighborhood and started hanging out at quaint little places within a two-mile radius. Most of all, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. A lot has happened in the past year and a lot has changed. I have changed.

I remember watching Dead Stars 1925/Sepang Loca feeling bored, wanting to get out and not finish watching the play, thinking that if I were to spend time away from my baby, it better be worth it. Although I stayed to finish the play because I was not there for only myself, but for the friends for whom my presence mattered, it was then that I began to slowly realize that from here on, any time I spend outside the house is time away from my child and because of that, it should be spent on something worth my while. Gone are the days of just going with the flow, of waiting for people to decide what to do and going where everybody else goes. I thought that it just was not right for people to waste my time. Since then, I only went out to see my friends when I thought it was really important. When I had not gone out for a week or more. When I missed my friends. When I longed for intellectual stimulation and a chance to practice my rapidly deteriorating social skills. I began to identify and allot time for people and things that really, truly mattered to me. I thought it was just right not to waste any time or effort on people that were not really my friends or to senseless pursuits. Gone are the days of senseless pursuits of things and people that did not really matter or perhaps in other cases, for whom I did not matter at all.

Waiting for the play to begin, I went around to catch up with friends. Someone asked me if and when I was coming back and it took me more than a moment to come up with an answer. A lot of times I have asked myself that, when am I coming back if at all?

Hanging out in the lobby during the ten-minute intermission, I looked around at the various faces doing the same thing as I was, hanging out in the lobby and looking at the various faces around. These are all familiar faces. We know each other if not by name, by face. We have seen each other in other places other than the A.S. Lobby of Palma Hall, in countless other times before. When am I coming back, if at all?

It being a gala, we stayed after the play was over to chat with friends, actors, the staff, the director and other audience members. And someone asked me from the office, when am I coming back? By that time, I finally had an answer, “I am waiting for inspiration.” My friend laughed and said to me, “Go eat pancit. Maybe the inspiration can be found there.” Maybe indeed.


I am waiting for inspiration.

Coming back from the play, done with dinner but not quite eager to come home, we stop by our usual place for a bottle of beer and a cup of coffee and a lot of conversation. We talked about the play like we always do. In the middle of the conversation, a memory came back to me. It was that of what of Glecy Atienza said in a class while we were talking about the Virgin Labfest back in 2007. She said that if people in the industry only wrote whatever it is they talk about every time they watch a play, we would all be better off. Everybody talks, but nobody bothers enough to write what we talk about. Some people tell me I should write about what I see or write an opinion when I post my events. I tell them I am afraid. Not because I do not have anything to write about or that I do not have an opinion but simply because my opinion might count more than it should. The last thing I want is to be another Joey Ting, no matter if his intentions might be good or even that I completely understand what he does even if not what he says.

Soon, I will write down what I think. Not because I want to let people know about them but because I want to remember. People forget. I know whatever I think will pass me by and will be forgotten, unless I keep a record for myself. I will not try to pretend I know what I am talking about or that I am educated in the matter even if I may be. I will write what I know limited as it may be to my failing brains. I will write what I feel and what I think because I felt. I will write for nobody but myself.

I am waiting for inspiration still. But it might be round the corner. And it might be coming sooner than I expect. But if it does not, I guess I will continue waiting. And hoping it eventually will.


Why I Had the Baby

MOMents, Musings By September 25, 2009 No Comments

Contrary to what some people might think, I did not have the baby by accident. I had wanted the baby. It was not even as easy a “task” as I thought it was. There came a point when I even thought that I, unlike other women whose fecundity can only be admired, did not have the ability to.

Still, when the lines turned violet, I was not prepared for the barrage of emotions that washed over me. I remember feeling so excited, so happy, so scared.. and so lost all at the same time and one after the other in quick succession that I could not help but feel confused. The first of a wave of totally new emotions that would overwhelm me in the succeeding months.

Before I had the baby, I was getting good grades in graduate school. I even made it as a University Scholar with a general weighted average of higher than 1.25 – a thing I could only dream about and could never have done during my undergraduate as a Biology major. I dreamed about getting a doctorate in Media, Technology and Society at the Northwestern University in Illinois.

Before I had the baby, my marriage was rocky. It had been a very difficult journey from day one. Many a day and night were spent contemplating and even talking about how best to go about the marriage. Many a cup of coffee or even bottles of beers or even glasses of cocktails were downed talking about what went and is wrong and what to do.

Before I had the baby, all I ever wanted was to get away. I thought about coming back to live in the province, anywhere but the city where life the hustle and bustle of the city and the many people living in it seemed to confuse me, if not totally tear me up at the seams. I gave up commuting all together. I frequently went on out-of-city trips by myself, in search of myself, an inspiration, a thought, an experience that would help me make some sense of what is missing. I was adamant about finishing my masters in the shortest time possible so I could pursue a doctorate some place else, best if abroad. The motto was anywhere but here.

I went on therapy on and off for months at a time. Looking back, I am not ashamed to admit that I went on therapy and I do not regret a single bit of it. Yes, not even the taking of five different kinds of meds everyday and yes, not even the thousands spent. Those were not the best of times in my life. I moved from El Nido, away from a place whose beauty and rusticity and whose people I have grown to love, away from a job of teaching science to kids ages seven to ten that I thoroughly enjoyed, to move back to the city; to living alone in the condo, to teaching high school science and chemistry at an exclusive school for girls, to pursuing a masters in theatre arts – a field that has totally captured me and the most life-changing of it all (or so I thought at that time) to getting married. I was totally blown away in the whirlwind of change because my life was too much all too soon. A year later, I was still faltering and stumbling along. I taught theatre for a change, in the hopes of putting an end to my forever being torn between science and the arts. I had the misfortune of having a very disobliging boss who was biased in many ways and seemed to always set me up for failure. I failed my students; but most of all, I believed I failed myself. Failure never did become me. I got very lost and confused. Looking back, my husband says he never really believed there was something seriously wrong with me although he admits it was a very good experience to learn about ourselves. We learned a lot and in the end, I found an unlikely best friend in the doctor I started out hating and ended up loving.

The doctor who made sure I was making a good decision when I first announced I wanted a baby. The doctor who made sure I knew what I was doing and prepared me as much as he could for what I planned to do.

I had wanted the baby because I believed I was getting old. The best age for childbearing is still below thirty five years and I realized that if I took the doctorate, I would have to wait at least four years before I could have a child. I was not getting any younger and my husband was actually getting sadder. He said, “Yes it’s good to have a career. It’s good to have dreams and chase after them. It’s good to be successful but what about a family? What about your family?” and then on to, “Buti pa ang bakla may anak, ako wala,” and then finally to, “Ph.D. or me?”

I had wanted the baby because I did not know where my life was headed and I honestly did not know where to take it. I thought that if I had a child, I would at least know how the next nine months would be – and I thought that was good enough for me.

Still, no one can really be prepared for having a child. I read a lot of books and talked to as many people as I could about it but when I got there, it was still just me and no one else but me.

Some days I cannot help but hate my baby. On the average, I probably hate my baby once a week, four times a month, because even if I am a mother, I am just human too. Some days I do not want to go home. Some days I want to drink and get drunk too and forget things that are painful, feel the way I used to, before I had the baby, before I got married, when I was still younger and cared not about what I did.

I am not perfect. The last thing I want to come off to others is that I am someone living an easy, rosy, perfect life. What I want and have been doing is to live this life as humanly as possible, flawed and imperfect but whole… and beautiful, even if only in hindsight.

I have been everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I have had my shares of joys and pains. I always tend to chase after dreams, after experiences, in my endless quest for that one thing that will make this life worth living. Even if that means going out of my comfort zone, even if that means hurting and being hurt, if it means learning, growing and making the most out of this life then it’s worth it. After all, who in this life comes out unscathed?

When people see me these days, they tend to say, I have not changed. When I go out, to a play, to a mall, to the university, to see my friends, I sometimes cannot help but say the same thing – nothing has changed… oh, but I have.

Maybe I look the same but I do not think nor feel the same.

No more aimless wanderings. No more just hanging out, or hanging out with so-called friends. I make sure that every time I am out with other people or spending time on things, those are the people and things that are important, that truly matter and that are worth the every minute I spend away from baby for. When I had the baby, never has it been as clear to me what the important things in life or who the important people in my life are.

I had wanted the baby because I wanted to change. I wanted my life, me, something… to change. I still do not know where my life is headed but really, who among us can say he knows? I have changed and that in itself has been worth it.


I Juana Change, Do You…?

Advocacy By September 24, 2009 No Comments

I remember first seeing the Lupang Hinirang video Mae did at the PAGASA Workshop of Hope back in March 2008 and how much it moved me. I remember being moved by Mae’s passion for what she believes in every time she said something, anything. I remember being moved by everybody else’s passion and wishing I could have that kind of passion too. I guess maybe in time…

I just saw this video two nights ago and I still feel the way I did when I saw that Lupang Hinirang video. It makes me smile while tears well up in my eyes at the same time. I cannot even begin to say why.

I absolutely love you Mae. Hurrah for you and for Raymond Lee and for us who all share the same birthday.. though seven years apart each (if I correctly remember.)

Endo (2007) - Written and directed by Jade Castro; co-written and produced by Michiko Yamamoto; and co-written and co-produced by Raymond Lee

Endo (2007) - Written and directed by Jade Castro; co-written and produced by Michiko Yamamoto; and co-written and co-produced by Raymond Lee

The people behind PAGASA are people I truly admire. I have missed you and I hope to see you more often. My apologies for being gone the past months.

Concept & direction: Mae Paner
Cinematography : Boy Yniguez
Vocals: Loboc Children’s Choir
Musical arrangement: Lutgardo Labad


The Euphorbia against a wall

Personal, Photography By September 23, 2009 No Comments


This I think is my favorite photo in this set taken during my stay at the Angels Hills Retreat and Formation Center in Tagaytay City during the PAGASA Workshop I attended in March 2008.

shadows on a wall


This was taken right outside the door of my cottage where I was staying with a room mate. I consider this a self-portrait.

To view the entire set, small a set it may be and a bit uninspired here and there, click here.


Coming back to PAGASA

Advocacy By September 23, 2009 No Comments

There was a time when I was in search of something. An object, a thought or idea, an inspiration, an experience, anything that would actually bring meaning to my life. One of the things I found in my search was this:

People's Assembly for Genuine Alternatives to Social Apathy

People's Assembly for Genuine Alternatives to Social Apathy (PAGASA)

THE WORKSHOP OF HOPE is an emergent process for people who want to create significant, long-term change in the country and are willing to begin the change within themselves. This is a workshop of listening, speaking, visioning, and doing.

Believe it or not, it all started with an email from Benz Co-Rana in a yahoo e-group that I was then a member of, WeddingsAtWork.

She posted an email and a link to this article.

When I read it, these paragraphs really caught me.

For this country is a rich country — lots of fish around our 7,107 islands, ultra fertile soil that Fidel Ramos preferred to convert to golf courses so we would be importing rice from Thailand, gold, silver and copper that we have allowed the Americans and Australians to mine away. With a hardworking, intelligent well-mannered people who find that this system rewards the lazy, inept and greedy. Who study send their kids to study college so they can work abroad and flee this country. Where corruption has become the norm, and those who walk the straight and narrow path are called crazy.

We’re only poor because our national spirit is poor. We have not tapped into that national consciousness that strengthens us to face attacks, internal and global, squarely, resolutely, with confidence, with all the right moves.

We have found the Filipino’s resilience does not serve him well. This resilience is perceived by the rest of the world as weakness, our generosity as weakness.

For the sake of future generations, this self-abuse must stop.

I find that we keep saying “‘Sobra Na” which translates to “Too Much.” For Filipinos do not act until the last minute, when too much harm has been done, only when things become unbearable. That is simply wrong!

We think it’s patience, legendary, admirable patience. While others actually call it by its correct name, APATHY.

I found myself getting in touch with Dale Diaz, getting into the PAGASA website and even blogging about it in my old multiply site.

I made it to Angels Hills Retreat and Formation Center in Tagaytay by hitching a ride with a couple Dale found for me and who were going to the workshop too. I had such a wonderful and meaningful experience in that workshop that Nicky Perlas facilitated. I met a lot of people whom I dearly liked – people who were in fields not unlike mine and most importantly, people who were emotionally and intellectually very mature. People I needed. People who were just what I was looking for.

I have been really busy the past months and have not been as active in the group as I would have liked.

But I believe it is time for me to come back.

This Saturday, we will be here.  Nicky, Panjee, Dale, Raymond, Tyrone, Eric and Mae, I am coming back. Hope to see you. I have dearly missed you.



For more information on what this is all about, click here.



Camiguin By September 20, 2009 2 Comments
Still working at sundown

The sun sets in Mambajao, Camiguin Island, Philippines

This is my favorite photo taken during a trip to Camiguin Island with Travel Factor, January 2009. This was the outrigger boat that took us to and from the sand bar called White Island back to the resort we were staying, Paras Beach Resort.  I was six months pregnant.

Traveling while with child can be daunting, but not impossible. I had to have my ob-gyne fill out a form that I was fit for travel, a requirement for pregnant women flying on Cebu Pacific, as with any other airline. Cebu Pacific’s guidelines require that the expectant mother form be filled out and signed by the doctor no more than three days before the flight. That was relatively easy.

What was a little harder was having a form for the flight back because we were in Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin for a total of four days and three nights. We had to find another doctor (It doesn’t have to be your own ob-gyne of course, just as long as it is another ob-gyne. Just make sure you bring all pertinent records with you like ultrasound and other test results.) to fill out and sign my travel form in Cagayan de Oro for the flight back to Manila. We also had to go to a mall to fax the document to Cebu Pacific as it had to be signed by Cebu Pacific’s doctor before the actual flight and wait for the document to be faxed back.

Though traveling while six months pregnant could be uncomfortable at times, especially when there is a two-hour travel by private van from Cagayan de Oro to the port of Balingoan in Misamis Oriental and back, it is again, not impossible. It could be tiring though and I fell asleep most times. Hahaha. It was made so much easier though because I was traveling with my husband, and a lot of good friends who watched out for me and made sure I was made as comfortable as was possible. Thank you Maya and AJ Fajardo, Tikoy Tan and Ver Esclamado. I love you guys!