Art Behind Bars

Artsy

While waiting for our contract and departure details, my band and I continue to entertain visitors of a hotel once a week and report to our day jobs in the morning. I’m fortunate enough to have a job that doesn’t feel like work. I’m one of the few who don’t need to drag themselves out of bed on weekdays. My job allows me to play, explore, and discover my artistic talents and strengthen my identity as a person. It’s hard to believe that this year is almost over and I have so much to be thankful for. What better way to show my appreciation and gratitude than to pay it forward and share my blessings to others.

The theatre company I’m part of just celebrated it’s 10th year and I’m proud to see how much it’s grown from a small desk at a corner room to a whole office with 2 theatres and a family of more than 20 people. As our number continues to grow, we decided to widen our sphere and reach out to people outside the four walls of the school. We have teamed up with the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) and started teaching inmates that signed up for their respective Theatre Arts programs. Both our staff and students eat, chat, and act with these men and women, challenging the stigma of a prisoner. Their generosity and openness with every soliloquy, song, and dance number is truly inspiring. They transport you to a whole other place beyond the walls and bars.

Advertisements

First Half of 2017

Every Day

It’s been a little more than a year since my last post and I want to begin with my checklist to see how far I’ve come this past year.
Without further adieu, I give you my checklist: Life Edition

bake something delicious

visit another country

get a henna tattoo

watch fireworks

finish a demo cd

get cast in a professional production/film – Ageless Passion (Musical)

fly a kite

learn to dance (legit)

get a scuba license – Getting there! Learned how to dive a few weeks ago.

ride a roller coaster

have a picnic

face a fear

ride a hot air balloon

write a song

go to the beach

learn to surf

sleep under the stars

read 2 books per month

climb a mountain

try exotic food

learn a language

dance in the rain

make a new friend

draw more/better

sing a duet with someone famous/talented

start writing again and more often

do something different with my  hair

do a dare

learn a new skill

go on a roadtrip

meet new people

 

So far, I’ve crossed out 2 1/2 items on the list for 2017. I shall dedicate entries to each of these items as the week progresses. For now, I return to my work. People are demanding more posters and designs. I can’t keep them waiting.

This is it, 2016

Uncategorized

 

Hello. I decided to revive this old blog to document my year. Every since I learned to be more open and present, the universe has been surprising me. The year has barely begun and a lot of interesting things have happened that I sometimes lose track. My entries may not always make sense and my writing, a little rusty but I’ll do my best.

 

To start things off, I’m revisitng my first entry and updating my “To Do List: Life Edition” so here it goes:

 

bake something delicious

visit another country

get a henna tattoo

watch fireworks

finish a demo cd

get cast in a professional production/film

fly a kite

learn to dance (legit)

get a scuba license

ride a roller coaster

have a picnic

face a fear

ride a hot air balloon

write a song

go to the beach

learn to surf

sleep under the stars

read 2 books per month

climb a mountain

try exotic food

learn a language

dance in the rain

make a new friend

draw more/better

sing a duet with someone famous/talented

start writing again and more often

do something different with my  hair

do a dare

learn a new skill

go on a roadtrip

meet new people

CONQUERING MT. PINATUBO, PH

Wanderer

Conquering Pinatubo was no easy task, especially at the beginning. I was wide awake before the sun came up for a 4-hour van ride to Tarlac. Dozing off once in a while, I double checked all the items on my list to make sure I didn’t leave anything behind that I might need later on. I’ve never really tried climbing a mountain before so I had no idea what to expect. I followed the emailed checklist to the dot. Slowly, the concrete jungle was replaced by farmlands and huts. The towering buildings faded into the distance as tall mountains appeared before my eyes. My friends and I arrived at daybreak and stopped at a small town. From there we hopped on the back of a 4×4 for another 1½ hours. The dusty and bumpy road didn’t mean a thing once we saw the breathtaking view. The rock formations made me feel like Smaug was going to fly out from behind the stone walls.

“our adorable pastel yellow ride”

We couldn’t wait to start the hike as soon as the 4×4 parked beside massive boulders. There we were, immersing ourselves in nature, exploring the rocky terrain as birds serenaded us all the way to the crater. We jumped over tiny streams along the way that caught my attention because of its unusual yellow color caused by the sulfur from the volcano. I also stopped a few times to appreciate the different rock towers and fortresses the local kids made beside the trekking path. 

We rested our tired feet at the halfway mark where a sign was welcoming us to the beginning of our trek which included an estimated time we would take to get to the crater. Unfortunately, we were climbing at the speed of senior citizens. 

“It took us more than 20 minutes to get there”

A few scrapes and bruises later, I saw another sign telling us we made it to the top. I felt relieved more than anything when I took the last step towards the center of the volcano. My friends and I stayed in a little hut to take our lunch and rest while watching other groups arrive after us. Our main tour guide, Mr. Tee, a French man who loves adventures, then went on to visit each group, telling us about the history of the Volcano. Before I knew it, the sun was at its peak signaling our tour guides to bring us back to the small village. Taking one last look at the beautiful crater, I realized how beautiful the simple life can be. I arrived home taking nothing but pictures, leaving nothing but smiles, and killing nothing but time.

“the presence of blue-green algae causes the water to change color”

Fighting Fires & Fears

Every Day, Music

My bandmates and I were thrilled to hear that we passed our auditions and will be travelling together on a cruise ship. I never thought that I’d be able to make my dream of traveling the world come true, doing what I love for a living. I’m thrilled to be able to start this new chapter of my life with a talented group of guys.

Before we set sail, we were told to prepare all our requirements for the trip. My band and I set up a meeting and decided on a timeline of activities leading to our departure. Little did I know that I had a lot of travelling and processing to do.

We visit the main office of the company that hired us so they could assess our papers and guide us through the process. And of course one of the documents we needed was of course a Seaman/Seawoman’s book which requires rigorous training for 8 days. The first 7 days were mostly classroom discussions and written exams everyday. Being the bookworm and eager learner I am, I didn’t mind it so much. The lessons were actually really interesting. Each day had a different topic and would sometimes include hands on activities like giving CPR or Rescue Breathing to a dummy. It was the 8th day that got us all pumped up.

Training days usually started as early as 7am and ended at 2pm which means I had to wake up two hours before to make sure I got to school on time. It was more difficult to wake up on our last day since I had to be in the school by 5am in order for us to make it to the training site at 7am sharp.

Nothing could have prepared me for what I was going to do next.

Firefighting sounded like so much fun. I imagined myself looking badass, rescuing the dummy from a burning building, and putting out fires like a boss. Unfortunately, things got a lot hotter and heavier as time went by. Donning the fireman’s outfit can be such a struggle for a tiny girl like me. They only had men’s sizes available since there aren’t that many girls who take the course. Everything was way too big. The size 7 firefighting boots made it absolutely impossible to run; I could fit two of myself into the overalls, and I just disappeared into the jacket as soon as I put it on. To make matters worse, they were timing and recording every activity we did to make sure we were quick enough. At least I found a helmet that didn’t fall off. Some of the hardcore activities even required us to use compressed air tanks, which were almost as heavy as me. My body almost gave in during the last exercise, they had to hose me down to keep me from collapsing from all the heat.

The afternoon session was my favourite part. After all the heat, we got to swim, float, and cool off in the pool. The highlight of the day was the last activity. We all had to jump one by one into 14 ft. deep water from 14 ft. high. I gotta say, fighting fires and jumping off from 14 feet high wouldn’t have been as fun or as memorable without my awesome blockmates.

Good luck at sea!

A Cup of Tea with Dash & Lily

Bookish

I’ve been having insomnia attacks the last couple of weeks, probably from all my intake of caffeine, so I would listen to relaxing music or drown in the soft noises the telly makes. Both of which have not been effective. My mind seems to be more active at night. Just when my body is reminding me how exhausting my day has been, here come all these ideas popping into my head all at the same time, like an intricate fireworks display. Since I haven’t really had much time to read, I decided to pick up a book to help cope with my sleepless nights. Reading Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares did just the opposite. I ended up getting sucked into the story and read the whole thing in one sitting. Typing this with a cup of coffee in my hand and dark circles under my eyes, I have no regrets. I might do this more often.

Dash & Lily's Book of DaresDash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Do you dare?”

David Levithan sure knows how to write his way to a girl’s heart, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares is no exception. Follow two teenagers on an unexpected holiday adventure filled with freshly baked sweets, the complete volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), and a particular red moleskin notebook. Their story reminded me of my love for bookstores. With books of different colours, shapes, and sizes greeting you at the entrance; exploring infinite worlds with every page. You never know what book you’ll be carrying home with you. It’s precisely every bibliophile’s (or at least this bibliophile’s) cup of tea.

I’m not big on Christmas but Dash & Lily rekindled my love for the holidays and turned my usual “-ber” month snarl to a beaming smile.

View all my reviews

A Weekend With The Cats

Every Day, Music

I spent pretty much my entire weekend with my band and our new-ish drummer. It was both fun and exhausting at the same time. At least we were able to accomplish a lot of things in 3 days. 

I kicked off my weekend early since I don’t have to report to the office on Fridays. Woke up extra early to prepare 6 gowns, 7 cocktail dresses, 3 pairs of shoes, and a whole bag of accessories. I needed to pack everything neatly in my luggage and be ready to leave by 11am so I fixed everything as fast as I could. My bandmates were running late so I was able to take a power nap before things started getting crazy. After picking me up, my bandmates and I passed by my friend/stylist on the way to a studio in the south where our audition/video shoot was taking place. The video shoot happened so fast, partially because the technician was in a rush to go home. So we had to move our photoshoot to another venue. Unfortunately, the only studio we could book last minute was all the way in the north. It took us 3 to 4 hours (plus a quick stopover at Mickey D’s to stretch our legs) to get to the studio at the opposite side of the world (I may be exaggerating).

The photoshoot ended at 1am the next day. I think all of us were pretty wiped out by the time we got there because the first thing we did was order pizza and take a short break. Also, we didn’t have a camera and so many things went wrong that we started the actual shoot 2 hours after we arrived. We all had a super fun time though, so we didn’t really mind waiting. I’m glad that my band and I (plus my friend/stylist) all got along instantly. The day was full of laughs and good memories.

Saturday went by pretty quickly since all of us woke up late from the night before. We met up for our weekly rehearsal in preparation for our gig that night. We still have to work on our time management skills but we’re glad to make it to the stage on time to start the show. A lot of my family and friends surprised me that night so the gig was light and fun. It may have ended with me having an asthma attack but all in all, it was fun.

Sunday was full of activities as well. My band and I rehearsed for our callback from the audition we did two days before (see previous paragraphs). Almost all the songs were new to me so I had a lot of catching up to do. I got a little frustrated at first but I started to enjoy it after a few minutes. I found myself a bit short of breath from all the high notes and the singing but I managed to sing all the songs before my cough came back. After rehearsals were over, I did a little grocery shopping with Marky and went to his place. Since he and his uncle hasn’t had a home cooked meal for a while, he requested that I cook a little bit of pasta for them. I used that opportunity to teach Marky how to cook and prepare simple dishes for him and his uncle.

Writing this entry made me realise how crazy I was to be doing all those things in just 3 days. My body is telling me how exhausted I should be feeling right now. But I’m glad to be feeling more positive than my last entry. Now I can look forward to a nice glass of wine and a relaxing massage. Sonia also looks like she needs some play time so I better get on that before anything else.

Little Worrier

Every Day

These past few days have been super stressful and tiring. I’ve had to wake up extra early, run back and forth in the rain, and lost sleep from all the thoughts dancing around in my head. I can be such a little worrier. All these things have also made me extra cranky because I haven’t been able to sing regularly anymore. The last performance I’ve done was just 2 months ago during our last gig at Makati Shangri La, and it feels like it’s been forever. At least I’ll have time to post new covers on soundcloud or youtube to get by before my next booking.

I have to admit, I haven’t been feeling like myself this past few months. I often catch myself spacing out and giving up. I don’t know why it happens or how to explain it but the empty feeling inside of me is slowly creating a bigger sinkhole where my heart used to be. I seem to be losing interest in almost everything and it scares me.

I’m currently writing this entry at the office, sitting at my usual spot in the Production Room while my mind drifts into daydreams about the open sky and distant places. There are so many things I wanna do and so many places I wanna visit but I’m still too scared to take risks. I hope to one day find myself happy and well-travelled. I hope I find the courage to do what other people are slowly practicing as well, drop everything and travel.

Struggles of Aging

Every Day

My knee pain and weak ankle have been acting up again recently. The pain has me walking like an old lady with arthritis. I’ve seen my friend’s grandmother move faster than me. And now I’m attending a class that may or may not make things worse.

It’s been almost a year since my last dance/movement class and my body went back to its stiff and flabby self. I never thought of myself as a dancer but the freedom I feel when I move around on stage or even just at the centre of the room, keeps me coming back. Today marks the second day of this weekly movement class that my officemate/BFF and I organised together. Sadly, my weak ankle and painful knees have been limiting my flexibility and mobility. It’s not gonna stop me from trying, of course. I’m gonna wrap my whole leg with muscle tape just to be sure. And I guess a visit to my orthopaedic doctor could do me some good as well.

Wish me luck!

Fade by Robert Cormier

Bookish

Since the death of Pippy, my old tablet, I’ve been having a hard time finding the right device to use as a home for all my e-books, some of which are now lost. Thankfully, my aunt gave me a Kindle as a pasalubong. I was so excited to use it that I immediately started downloading books on Amazon. I am absolutely loving it! Don’t get me wrong, nothing beats a real book but a Kindle is easier to bring around. At least I could always bring my books wherever I go. One of the books I downloaded was “Fade” by Robert Cormier.

FadeFade by Robert Cormier
This book is quite disturbing to a certain extent but an accurate reflection of real life. Paul’s innocence fades as reality reveals itself in this coming-of-age novel that will have you turning the pages until dawn. “Fade” is Intriguing, captivating, and weird (in a good way)

View all my reviews