Friday, March 31, 2006

Lawyer, lawyer

After an interminable wait for my Law-graduate friends, the results of the Bar exams were released last night. I'm happy and proud to report that all my LM friends passed and are now full-fledged lawyers! Now I have many sources for free legal counsel, hehe. Congratulations to Atty. Ria Caganda, Atty. Mike Acaban, Atty. Geof Masancay, Atty. Nicole Tablizo, and Atty. Cheeky Cristobal. Kudos also to Atty. PJ Bernardo (not an LM major, but Philo's finest ;p), who was #8 in the Bar. #1 was Joanne de Venecia, also an LM batchmate, and though we are just... um, acquaintances (and I readily admit I was rooting for someone else to top the Bar), I am at least gratified that she, along with my other fantastic friends, has proven LM naysayers wrong. LM, not a good pre-law course? Well ha ha! What say you now, Rudy Ang? xp

As someone who stopped entertaining notions of taking Law as early as 3rd year college, I cannot imagine the amount of hard work my friends put in for the past 5 years to get to this goal. I barely saw some of them in those 5 years, they were always so busy studying, or too tired from studying, to go out. I'm really glad their efforts and sacrifices have paid off. Here's wishing them long, illustrious and rewarding careers in the legal profession.

Now, let's start scheduling some blowouts! ;p

Saturday, March 25, 2006

All good things...

Today, the Fyrinx graduated from ICA. It was a very emotional event for me, for several reasons. The Fyrinx is the only batch I've taught twice (thrice, if you count a certain morning last January ;p). I am admittedly more attached to them as a batch, simply because I've known them since they were sophomores, and I know more of them (and if you believe my dad, because they were born in the year of the Dragon and Dragons get along with Monkeys like me). Also, majority of the officers and members of Culture Shack (the club I was moderator of) were Fyrinx.

Above all, the Fyrinx are-- were my last link to ICA. Sure, AP-Annex will still be there, though their numbers will soon be reduced by one (I know Margaux's zany presence will be missed in the faculty room as well as the classrooms). But though I adore my AP-Annex peeps, the students have always been what I loved most about teaching, and what I have missed most about it. Now that my last set of students are leaving ICA, I no longer feel any obligation or desire to visit the campus "where God reigns" (*snicker*) or keep myself updated on ICA news/gossip. No more writing Palancas for Days, no more preparing goodies for special occasions, no more crashing of school events. In a way, today was also my graduation from ICA, because today, I said goodbye to the remaining reason I couldn't fully let go a year ago.

The Fyrinx's graduation was the crowning event of my short but sweet teaching career. Overwhelming pride, sheer happiness, and surging affection all welled up in me as one by one, my final batch of students received their high school diplomas, their tickets to bigger and brighter destinations. I tried to hold back my tears more than once during the ceremonies (and I thank Elyse for not saying a word as I sniffled beside her), and at one point, I had to bring out Kleenex (Kata actually saw me from the stage!! man, that girl has sharp eyesight! :p). It was a wonderful, wonderful end to the best chapter of my life, and as sorry as I am that it has come to a close, I know that just as it is the Fyrinx's time to cast off from ICA's harbor and set sail for wider seas, it's time for me to raise anchor and move on as well. I am sure our paths will cross again, and I will even drop by ICA from time to time, but I also know that some ties will be broken, and lost forever. This saddens me, but there is comfort in the memories, and the certainty that some bonds will survive the tests of time and distance. Parting is always difficult, but what I take away from my ICA experience will sustain me for a lifetime. And I could not ask for more.

To ICA: thank you for having given me the opportunity to live out my life's dream. To AP-Annex: thank you for your friendship and unwavering support through all my teaching highs and lows. To my Cyrenz, Zephyrz and Fyrinx: thank you for letting me teach you, and for letting me learn from you.
You have made my life richer and fuller, and I am a better person for having been your teacher.

Click for pix.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Happy 18th, Sandz!

Last night was my student Sandy's 18th birthday party. I had received a lovely hand-made, personalized invitation a week ago, and I felt a pang of nostalgia as I recalled the debuts of my high school friends 8 years ago (8!! cripes!!). Back then cotillions were still "in" and I had actually participated in 2. Since that year I hadn't attended a debut, so I kind of felt old and out-of-it as I got dressed for the occasion (in a mad hurry, as I was running late). The event was held at Bizu Greenbelt; the party took up the entire second floor. I arrived to find the debutante radiant and resplendent in her sparkly pink gown and tiara. I got seated with some of my Wisdom/Sobriety kids, and also exchanged hellos with some of my Openness babies and other ICAns who were there. Dinner was absolutely delicious, but I had to skip dessert because I did a Ms. Pe (mwehehe, love you Mads!) and left at around 10PM, since the driver was needed back home and I had a meeting early the following morning (being a grown-up is such a downer sometimes). At least I got to hear the messages given by 18 of Sandy's friends, although later she told me I missed the video which had a photo of me and her in it. Darn. Why can't I be 18 again? :p

With sparkly celebrant Sandz
With Ma'am Aicha (in a hot dress!), Jan and Sab
The other side of the table: Bern, Madel, Agui and Gen GoForce feeding: shouldn't have eaten before leaving the house!
Emcee of the evening
With Bern: the baby is now a lady!
Gen Go and Gen Tan
Bern (who seems to be in all my pix), Irizze and Bea
Candice and Jermain bring up the rear

Monday, March 20, 2006


Someone screwed with my template and all my links were wiped out. =( If I had you linked before, please post your blog URL here and I will reinstate your link. Much obliged.

No one had better try this funny business again. A pox on all blog hackers.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Small, small world

Today was the day of the OpMan defenses, and I headed to Ateneo with Jen Ong and her Povedan friend Arianne in tow (a Xavierian friend, Casey, SC president/valedictorian/Jen's fellow freak of nature also joined us there). Knowing Jen's dilemma over which fallback school to choose (Ateneo versus UP) in the unlikely event she doesn't get a scholarship to Singapore, I had invited her to come witness Atenean Managment majors in action. The result? I think UP is beginning to look even better to her. ;p

Before the defenses kicked off, all of the panelists watched a benchmark group present and be judged by 2 SOM teachers (1 of whom happened to be Pau's brother Jacob). The grade the group got would be the standard by which we would assess the groups assigned to us. Unfortunately, the benchmark group was terrible, and they got creamed by their panelists. Jen, Arianne and Casey were dismayed, and I could see them picturing themselves in Diliman already.

The 3 groups I judged were pretty disappointing as well, to say the least. 2 took on garments-related businesses while 1 was into jelly production. I had read their papers beforehand (asked my brother to pick them up from the SOM office a few days ago), and I was prepared to slaughter all 3 groups for what were business concepts with inaccurate demand forecasts, poor capacity planning, and many, many unaccounted expenses. Indeed, it was so easy to poke holes in their projects that I didn't even have to be bitchy during the Q&A portions. I just matter-of-factly pointed out all their oversights and errors and let it dawn on them that they failed to foresee a lot of vital factors. It also helped that my co-panelist was also from the garments industry, so I didn't want the massacre to be too bloody. As it was, between the 2 of us, it was a mercy killing. After all 3 presentations, my co-panelist and I discussed the fates of the unfortunate groups, and we agreed that giving out Fs would be too harsh (especially considering most of their mistakes could have been avoided with proper guidance and supervision from their teachers; I believe in never punishing students for teacher lapses). I don't know what grades my partner gave but I doled out 1 C+ and 2 Ds. Trust me, that was extremely generous.

Incidentally, 2 out of the 3 groups had some of my brother's batchmates from Xavier, including their then SC president. To their credit, the predominantly Xavierian group held their own while we were grilling them. But it was still a shoddy project. Jen couldn't believe Ateneans could be so... mediocre. I told her it's one of the disadvantages of studying in such a small, sheltered environment: the students are detached from the real world and tend to forget practical matters that apply beyond the confines of Ateneo.

Also incidentally, the Xavier boy group's OpMan teacher was Jacob, who by the way looks a helluva lot like Pau. :p Jen and I were expecting him to be as softspoken and nice too, but after we saw him gun down the benchmark group, we decided he's a bit meaner. Either it's a male thing, or it's because he teaches college kids, not high school kids.

AND also incidentally, my co-panelist was a batchmate of mine from Ateneo, and someone I didn't particularly like very much back then. So to my surprise, we tag-teamed pretty well and had the same observations and comments on the presentations. I guess my EQ has improved somewhat since college. :p And heck, I'm too old to be harboring petty grudges...

...except when the grudges are justified, as in the case of a former orgmate I ran into. He was on the panel of a different set of groups, so thankfully I didn't have to interact with him much. But it wasn't pleasant to see him, and being forced to smile and say hi to him. I hate fake civility, but again, maturity dictated propriety. That's another problem with coming from such a small academic community: the chances of running into people you dislike are much higher.

But then again, the chances of running into people you like are high too.
My former OpMan and Stats teacher, Adrian Ramos-- Sir Aids to us-- was also a panelist today. I didn't know he was back from the US, where he took his MBA at Kellogg. Now he's helping out with their family business (he's of the National Bookstore Ramoses), indentured slave as I am. Sir Aids was one of our favorite teachers back then because he really made himself available to us (even when we texted or called at 2 in the morning!) while we were working on our own OpMan projects. Naturally, we did far, faaaaar better than any of the groups I saw today.

My afternoon at Ateneo-- dear, beautiful, tiny, snowglobe-of-a-school Ateneo-- reminded me that college was so very long ago, yet I can never really fully escape from its cramped confines... nor do I necessarily want to.

But yeah, Jen, after today, I wouldn't blame you if you chose UP. :p

Friday, March 17, 2006

Dental dread

I just got back from another visit to the dentist. It turns out I have more than 2 cavities, so I need to go back and have some more work done next week. I think I am developing a phobia of the sound of the dentist's drill. Not even the drill itself, just the sound of the drill makes me want to scream and run for the hills.

As the dentist (not the cutie this time, hmph) whittled away at my rotting tooth, it dawned on me why people hate going to the dentist. Aside from the obvious physical discomfort it inflicts, dental work is so invasive. At a time, 3 different implements and several fingers are stuck in your mouth, one of the most intimate orifices of your body (come to think of it, all of them are). It's definitely not pleasant, and I hope my ordeal next week will be the last time in a long time.

* * *

I won a thousand bucks last night. Mwahahaha. Adios, Melissa. Somewhere in the US Ayla Brown is cursing you for wasting
her slot in the top 12.

Ace, we are so over.

* * *

PLUG: Arrow Podium Renovation Sale, March 17 to April 2. Up to 70% off on ALL items. Spread the word. ;)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Ace who?

Lest anyone start thinking I prefer form over substance, I am seriously contemplating dumping Ace, especially after last night's mediocre performance (a far cry from Mario Vasquez's rendition of Do I Do last year). And jeez, he still dresses like a high school boy even with the stylists' help. Plus he's in serious need of a hair cut.

Now, Taylor-- THAT was a performance. It gave me goosebumps on my goosebumps, and it was thrilling to see how the audience went wild over him. His chances are looking pretty damn good. Even my mom, who has never been a fan of his gray hair and epileptic moves, had to concede that he was the best number of the night.

My dad has joined our betting pool because he now hates Chicken Little Covais and his newfound arrogant attitude. I feel the same way, but I still put my money on Melissa getting the boot. Arrogance-- unjustified as it is-- I can stand (hey, it's me), but lack of preparation and composure I can't forgive (more on this later). As far as I can remember, no finalist has ever flubbed his/her lyrics so blatantly. I felt mortified for her. Now let's see if she wins me a thousand bucks (my mom, for some inexplicable reason, is betting that Elliot gets eliminated-- sure, he was kinda bad by his usual standards, but he wasn't awful either).

* * *

I have been invited by Sir Mike Tan of Ateneo's JGSOM (I still shudder at the "JG" part; thank goodness my diploma is pre-JG) to be a panelist for his Operations Management classes' final defenses this Saturday. SOM juniors be warned: I will take no prisoners. Abi texted me last night to tell me to "take it easy on them, they were born in 1985, what do they know?" Well hell, they should know enough to deserve being called Ateneans. And like I said, I can't pardon lack of preparation. If they can't put on a decent defense, then by golly my claws are coming out.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Late reactions

A quick round-up of last week's AI performances and results:

Mandisa: Wowww.
Taylor: Whoooaaa.
Ace: Weh? (Dude, the falsetto is beginning to turn me off. That, and your long-sleeved tees. But you're still hot stuff.)

And may I just say I laughed out loud in cold vindication when Simon said he prefers Kellie to "last year's winner". HAH! (I still say Bo should have won.) I would also like to publicly declare what Fara pointed out to me, that Kellie is a lot like our Margaux, in the same bubbly, bouncy, endearing way. Heehee.

My girl Mandisa has a strong chance of winning this thing. Besides her awesome talent, anyone who has humbled Simon Cowell has my respect. Paris, Lisa and Katharine are not capitalizing on their youth, so Mandisa's strong, self-assured powerhouse presence is stealing the show.

Melissa is one lucky, lucky girl.

I knew Chicken Little would make it. The universe does have a sense of humor.

I was saddened to see Will go. He was the last young cutie-pie I could ogle. Now I only have Ace and Chris left. At least Taylor's keeping things fun... and the theme for this week's show is Stevie Wonder! Woohoo! Soul Patrol! Can't wait for Wednesday's show. :)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Social butterfly

Thursday, had dinner at Moomba with some of my Openness babies, then Ms. Tria treated us to dessert at Cafe Breton. Was awed by Pamy the bottomless pit. Driven crazy by the kids' incessant use of the word "chill". Can't believe it's been 3 years and my babies are all grown up (kinda, haha).

Friday, had a food-court style dinner with AP-Annex and watched Date Movie at the Promenade. Consumed much high-caloric junk. Got updated on the latest ICA news/gossip. IQ points were sucked out of my brain and lost forever (the movie, not the dinner conversation).

Saturday, had dinner at Heaven N' Eggs with my high school friends, crashed the Fyrinx grad ball (where I ran into Ms. Cua who was also crashing), then had dessert with my friends at Max Brenner, where we met some ICAns (ValCon and co.) who were there for a post-ball get-together. Liked my best friend's girlfriend Mau. Enjoyed seeing my kids all dolled up. Loved Raqs seeing me with my kids. :)

Sunday, watched the CSI noon rerun, checked my email, blogged, watched Wedding Crashers on DVD. After the last 3 days of social activity, I just needed to chill. ;p

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I don’t mind that I lost this year’s Oscar betting pool (AGAIN, for the nth year running). I don’t mind that I had to shell out 500 bucks to my brother, who was chortling with glee because he won by a very slim margin (he got Best Actress right, I didn’t, bah!). But I don’t even mind that he has gloating rights until next year’s Academy Awards. And I don’t mind that I lost another 500 bucks to my mom, who made a side bet with me that Reese would win for Best Actress (I should have gone with my gut feel, argh).

What I DO mind is that Brokeback Mountain lost the Best Picture Oscar… to Crash, of all movies! If it had been Good Night and Good Luck, I would at least have been happy for George Clooney, or if it had been Munich, I would have deferred to Steven Spielberg’s… Steven Spielbergness. But CRASH? I found the movie stilted, sanctimonious, and strangely unmoving. No wonder that no one went to see it (except Mishy ;p) when it showed here in Manila late last year. Brokeback, on the other hand, was powerful without being preachy, poignant without being sentimental, and it was arguably the most groundbreaking film of the year. I really cannot believe the Academy chose to bypass Brokeback in favor of Crash. I stew on behalf of Ang Lee, screenwriters Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, and of course, Heath and Jake.

the aftermath of the Oscars, critics are saying that a lot of Academy members were “uncomfortable” with Brokeback’s controversial theme, and Crash, centering on racial conflict, provided a safer choice. UNCOMFORTABLE?? That’s the whole frickin’ point!! Good movies are supposed to make us uncomfortable. Movies, as with all art forms, should disturb us, shake us out of our complacency, and make us think and contemplate our existence, our humanity. And that, ladies and gentlemen of the Academy, Brokeback did far, far better than Crash. Your “discomfort” is the surest indicator of that. Your failure to grow from and beyond that discomfort became your failure to acknowledge this remarkable, truly outstanding film. Boo!!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Cavity (this time it's dental)

Yesterday I went to the dentist for a very, very overdue check-up, and I found out I have 2 cavities, and a filling that needs to be replaced. The drilling was effing painful (though I've been through worse), and every time I winced the dentist (who was sorta cute ;p) asked kindly if I wanted an anaesthetic. I kept on refusing because a) anaesthetics aren't good for my heart condition, and b) I pride myself on having a high threshold of pain (wasn't going to be a wuss in front of the cute dentist!). Besides, as I sat in the dentist's chair, a TV overhead was tuned in to the ABS-CBN show "Little Big Star", and listening to Sarah Geronimo was actually more excruciating than the drilling.

I'm due to get the second cavity filled this Friday. I can hear the drill already. Ouch. :(

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Farewell, Raddy

Despondent, dejected, but still very, very cute. That's how David Radford looked as he was booted out of American Idol (prematurely, I thought). I was surprised that he got the heave-ho so early on in the competition, given his crooner style and adorable dimples. Now I shall have to train my pedophiliac sights on Will Makar instead. ;p

On the other hand, I was delighted Kevin "Chicken Little" Covais survived yet another week, because my mom and I bet a thousand bucks on his fate, and I won! Haha. Plus, I also bet P500 on Brenna Gethers' staying in (because the American audience loves a good maldita contrabida), and obviously I lost that one, but dammit, I was never so happy to lose 500 bucks in my entire life. Ding dong, the witch is gone! Woohoo! That's what you get for grabbing Ace's beanie, bitch! xp

Ace honey, I still love you despite your choosing to sing that Daniel Bedingfield song which always sets my teeth on edge (you actually made me not hate it, that's how fine you are). And thank you for wearing something different that night. Let me take you shopping one of these days, baby. ;p

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Back to school?

I have never been a good student. Most people raise their eyebrows in skepticism when I say this, perhaps because I give off such a nerdy, brainiac, know-it-all air that it's hard to imagine me not being the paragon of academic diligence and excellence. But it's true: while I was never a delinquent student (I got decent grades, was involved in many extracurricular activities, and was liked by most of my teachers), I hated school: doing tedious homework, studying for what I now know to be poorly constructed tests, preparing for graded recitation, writing long papers for subjects I didn't give a hoot about (e.g. Theology), losing sleep cramming for pointlessly overblown projects. I slacked off every chance I got, and never went out of my way to enhance my learning or broaden my intellectual horizons. I couldn't wait to graduate and get a job, and once I did, I enjoyed working more than I ever did studying. I still do.

However, after having escorted Hanks to Beijing and revisiting Peking University, I actually started missing the student life. While I still prefer the liberties and privileges of being a working woman, there's a certain carefree self-absorption that a student is allowed, apart from the load of schoolwork. There's also the fun dynamic among classmates, and time to goof off and act stupid. :p I also started missing my Education MA classes (I had to take 18 units of Educ to get my teaching license), because unlike the major subjects I took in my undergraduate years at Ateneo, I got to put into practice the stuff I learned from my Educ profs.

And then like a sign from above, a few days after my return from Beijing, I received a parcel in the mail from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. I had forgotten I requested for some catalogs from the California-based school on my sister's behalf. As I flipped through the materials they sent, I found myself growing more and more intrigued by the specific courses and comprehensive curricula FIDM offers. Their Merchandise Marketing program especially piques my curiosity, since it seems perfect for my current career path (i.e. helping run our family business). The idea of studying abroad also appeals to me, although when I turned to the page on tuition fees, I almost fainted upon seeing the figures. I know my parents would be willing to invest in my education, especially if it would benefit our business in the long run, but I don't want to be a financial burden to them (as it is I already feel like a spoiled baby sometimes).

As I told Fara and Elyse, I am still turning the idea over in my head and after some time, I'll see if it sticks, and if I am really determined to invest time and effort and my parents' money in furthering my education. For now, I am still content working for the family business... but who knows, in a year or 2, I might be dragging my work-weary 26-year-old butt back to school. ;p