Friday, October 07, 2005

New York on a Budget

Traveling to New York is a feat in itself, coz this means that you’ve hurdled the oh-so-strict Visa application process of the US embassy, and you’ve finally gathered enough moohlah to actually buy yourself a ticket to the famous city that never sleeps. Most probably, when you get there, you’ve used up most of your savings & would have to work on a limited budget for your tour around town. Well, don’t fret all you budget-conscious people out there. There’s a way around New York City that will let you enjoy the Big Apple without going broke in the process.

Strolling down 5th Avenue in New York City will bring you lots of surprises given that a lot of famous landmarks are located along that avenue alone. Start by strolling uptown going towards Central Park from the corner of 5th Avenue & 23rd Street. The first landmark you’ll come across would be the Empire State Building. A trip to the viewing deck (made famous by movies like Sleepless in Seattle) will cost you $12.00 (approximately P672) while an additional “NY Skyride” will cost you a few more bucks. If you find this expensive, then you can just satisfy yourself with having your picture taken at the building’s replica located at the lobby.

Next stop (remember, you’re going uptown, strolling along 5th Ave) will be the New York Public Library. Remember Spiderman 1? This is where Uncle Ben dropped Peter Parker off, thinking that Pete’s about to do some research when he’s actually got other things in mind. Anyway, this is a nice stop for a wee bit of bathroom break & a nice place to refill your water bottle since they have water fountains near the washrooms. All you have to do is enter the library, no questions asked (no fee or IDs needed). Also, you can hang out in front of the library since they have placed several tables & chairs up front where people can sit & rest whenever they like. This is also a good place to eat your lunch since they have tables as well. You can just buy your meal from any of the food carts that abound the city & have a hearty lunch in front of this famous city landmark.

Strolling further uptown will bring you to the Rockefeller Center, which can be seen every so often in the Today Show. Have your picture taken at the “fountain garden” full of flowers (depends on the season), as well as in the famous skating rink which is near the Rockefeller Center building. Near Rockefeller Center is St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which is also a famous landmark in NYC. Enter the cathedral & you may have some quiet time with Him as well as take a look at the several saints displayed in and around the altar. You may take some pictures but I suggest you turn off the flash to show some respect (though a lot of people, tourists I suppose, don’t actually do that).

While strolling along 5th Ave, you may segue to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and the quaint café Serendipity, which are on different streets but are just a few blocks away from 5th Ave. Here you may take a bathroom break (the Waldorf has good washrooms ü) or have a taste of Serendipity’s famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. The last stop of this “5th Avenue” trip is actually Central Park. Here you can sit & relax in one of the benches, or you can walk around the park, which is quite big, and will probably take up a lot of your time. Be on the lookout though, coz there have been rumors of bad things happening in the park so just always be aware of your surroundings & take good care of your belongings.

This ends our one-day-trip along 5th Avenue in New York City. Though there are still a lot of sights to see in New York (Times Square, Lady Liberty, Soho, WTC Site), at least you’ve already saved one day where you didn’t spend much since all you’ve really done is walk & savor the beautiful landmarks of New York. Just remember that to survive New York, you’ll be needing these 3 things: a map of New York (which you can get for free in any subway station); a water bottle; and your fully-charged digital camera (bring an extra memory card if you have one) to capture all those precious moments that you’ll want to remember New York by. Ü

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Losin' Myself in Footloose the Musical

I love to dance. I haven't had any professional background on dancing but i just looove it. So...when i first heard of Footloose the Musical, my initial instinct was to know how to get tickets for the show (plus hope that the tix won't be too pricey Ü). However, i was faced with another dilemma...i don't know anyone who would be interested to watch the show with me (if only i had a special someone...but that's a totally different story...Ü). It took quite a while for me to find someone who would accompany me to the show. For starters, i'm the only person i know who loves Jay-R & doesn't find him "icky." Good thing i found friends who are equally eager to watch the show...Well, actually, 1 friend who was equally-eager (that's you Pam Ü)...another friend who got dragged into it but eventually was also eager (not as i am though) to watch the show after seeing a clip on it on TV (that's you Assu!)...and 3 others who i believe really got dragged in to watching it coz i couldn't find any reason on why they'd watch a musical such as this (i'm definitely grateful though...the night wouldn't be as fun without you guys...Maris, Rex & Gela)...So anyway, with the dilemma on "tix" and "pax" all covered for, we were now all set to see Footloose the Musical @ Meralco Theater on the 17th of September 2005, 8PM.

I wasn't expecting much from the show given that this is the first major project of the said production (i'm not so sure 'bout this though...). Also, i read a review from the paper (after having purchased the tix...) that the said musical still had some room for improvement...but it's a good show in general. Plus, my dream of seeing Jay-R on stage went down the drain when i read that Jay-R did not actually open the show on its initial staging coz apparently, he hasn't memorized all his lines yet (i'm not sure if this is just gossip or not). Anyway, i consoled myself by thinking that...what the heck, i'm not a professional critique when it comes to musicals or theater, i'm sure i'll enjoy this anyway, and...having Jay-R there or not is OK (but i still kept my fingers crossed that he's there Ü) since: (1) Footloose is synonymous to dance & i looove to dance; and (2) i just soooper love the 80s (i actually think i was born in the wrong era Ü)!

So...there i was in Meralco Theater with my tiny bag of expectations about Footloose the Musical. But oh boy...was i not ready for the surprises that lie ahead into the night. So...allow me to elaborate & enumerate: Surprise #1: Seeing Papa Piolo. NO, he's not part of the cast so this was really such a shocker. I'm actually thanking God for my über petite bladder that can only hold as much! Given that i gobbled up an entire big cup of iced tea before the show, i actually had to go to the washroom three times the entire time i was at Meralco Theater. The 2nd time was right before the show started. So...guess who were we to bump into en route to the ladies room? Papa Piolo of course!!! My God! I actually didn't notice him given that i was not wearing my glasses so my "peripheral" vision was limited to only a foot Ü...that's why we had to back-up a bit so i could get a closer look. WOW...heaven! He's moreno, though still a bit vertically-challenged (in my standards). But i guess his looks more than make up for his height. Well, that was my chance encounter with Papa Piolo. Next surprise, Surprise #2: In the ladies room with Lucy Torres. Well, this isn't as kilig & fun as seeing Piolo, but 'twas also such a "starstruck" experience for me since i actually read her two columns in the newspaper every week. She really is maputi. And tall. I didn't expect her to be that tall, though i've already seen her twice before in the last two Bench fashion shows. But this was the first time for me to see her in a more "up-close-and-personal" manner. Again, i thank God for my über petite bladder for this instance coz this was the same trip to the washroom in which we bumped into Papa Piolo beforehand. What were the chances of seeing two celebrities in a single bathroom break? Super slim i suppose...Ü Oh, by the way...Lucy was with Ben Chan that night. And given that there were quite a handful of VIPs that night (i consider Ben, Piolo & Lucy as VIPs...aside from US of course, haha!), i was hoping that, well...maybe Jay-R will be in this show Ü. And, lo & behold...Surprise #3: Jay-R opens the show. My heart literally skipped a beat when i saw him strut his stuff & sing the opening lines of..."Been working so hard, i'm punchin' my card, Eight hours for what, oh tell me what i got..." I'm not exaggerating when i say that my heart actually skipped a beat when i saw him. This is true. Dunno why... Probably the lack of a lovelife has made me a hopeless romantic...resolving instead to celebrities for inspiration. Haha! Anyway, the less than 800 bucks that i spent for the show paid off the moment the musical started. My friends & i were actually thinking that this was totally worthit & more than what we bargained for. Ü

Given the "events" that transpired before the show, i'd have to say that the events that followed (that is, the musical itself) also put up a good fight & didn't leave me disappointed. The musical was all in all good despite the few boring moments & technical (sound & lighting) glitches. But, like i said, i'm not a professional critique...and i actually enjoyed the show despite its shortcomings. The show had its memorable moments as well, especially when the cast was belting out some of my favorite 80s songs such as Holdin' Out For A Hero, Let's Hear It For The Boy, Almost Paradise, and of course, my all-time favorite, Footloose, which they sang as their opening & closing act (a double treat for me! Ü). There were also some other memorable songs that stick to memory such as Somebody's Eyes and Mama well as memorable perfromances from some of the cast members such as Giancarlo Magdangal as the cowboy-hat-and-jumper-suit-wearing, totally-momma's-boy, geeky-but-lovable Willard Hewitt...Nikki Valdez as one of the perky sidekicks of Ariel (the girl lead of the musical), Wendy Jo...and Caisa Borromeo as Rusty, who wowed the audience while singing Let's Hear It For The Boy (with Willard trying to dance in the background).Ü

I have to admit, the best performance of the night was that of Jay-R's (OK, OK...i know i'm quite bias but you'll have to let this pass...i'm the one writing this article anyway Ü). So maybe he's got a lot more to learn when it comes to acting in theater but oh-my-honey...this guy can DANCE. Well, i already know this for a fact having seen him groove on TV, but he still impressed me (and a lot others i suppose) with the way he moves & grooves to the music. Gela even mentioned that after having seen the show, she now has a newfound respect for the guy, who, just hours ago she thought was just one of those good-looking but talent-less actors in showbusiness. Aside from dancing, i was also soooper mesmerized by Jay-R's voice...Oh wow! All the time i was imagining that he was singing to me instead of Iya Villania (who, by the way, played Ariel Moore, the other lead), especially when they were both singing a duet of Almost Paradise (which has been playing over & over in my mind for the past few days...Ü). Haay...super imagine-to-death ako that Jay-R was singing to me. Wish ko lang...but sometimes, wishes do come true so...i'll just hope this one wish of mine does...Ü.

Given that the musical is an adaptation of the movie Footloose that was shown in the 80s starring Kevin Bacon, one might think that there are some elements lost in the translation from movie to theater. I'm not the best person to ask regarding this since i haven't seen the movie version (but i'll make it a point to see it soon Ü), but i'm quite sure they've captured the essence of what the original Footloose was all about. Though the plot is quite shallow given that dancing is actually punishable by law in the quaint town of Bomont (why would anyone do that?!???), one must see pass through this & realize that the core that the story wants to touch on is the relationship between family, friends & neighbors. The passion & the message is still there & i guess what makes this story timeless is its universal theme combining music & dance in a story almost everyone can relate to (especially us Filipinos).

The less than 800 bucks i spent for this show is totally worthit! I recommend for you guys to watch it if you want to have a great time...and if you like Jay-R Ü (or Iya Villania for you guys out there Ü). Just make sure you watch the 8pm show coz there's a bigger possibility for you to see Jay-R & Iya as the leads...but i've heard that their alternates are good as well. I guess my only regret for the night is not having my picture taken with Papa Piolo & Jay-R...but then again, i'm quite sure our paths will cross again (naks! how i wish!)...So...i guess this is all for now. Til next month's blog!Ü Enjoy the pix we took after the show...with us...well, actually, just me...fooling around & looking like a totally crazy whacko with all those people watching me having my pix taken with Jay-R's poster! Nyahaha! But...what the hell! What are the chances of me seeing these people again anyway? Super slim! So i'd rather look like a total whacko & have a fun time (i'm telling you, we did! 'twas a total laugh trip!) than sit & not have funny moments to remember this night by...Ü


If you're interested to watch the show, Footloose the Musical will be running for the whole month of September, every Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, with show times of 3PM and 8PM. For more details, visit

Friday, August 05, 2005


In Memory of...
Joy Angelica Crisostomo Pongco
25 March 1982 – 29 July 2005

It’s still clear in my mind. Saturday morning. 30th of July 2005. I was inside the car. I just dropped off my brother & mom at my bro’s school & was waiting for my mom to come back when I remembered that someone texted me while I was driving. So I got my phone & read the message. It was from my friend Aya. It read: “Dear friend, Joy Pongco died yesterday at 3PM. Her remains lie at Magallanes. We will all be with her.” First thing that came to mind was, “What? Is this a joke?” Instinct told me to call up Aya, not really knowing what to say. Should I scold her for sending such a prank? Or...could it be true? I didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t even want to entertain the idea. This could not be true. Then came Aya’s voice on the other end of the line. I asked her, “Joke ba ‘to?” Then she replied, “Candy, mag-jojoke ba ko ng ganyan?” So then it was true. But how come? Why? What happened next is all a blur to me now. I remember asking what happened, where Joy is at the moment, all sorts of stuff that will validate whether this is true or not. Then I cried. I didn’t know what else to do. And then, in that moment, despite it being a sunny morning, it felt like darkness came & prevailed over what was left of my thoughts & feelings.

It actually hasn’t sunk in yet, even though I’ve already seen her, all peaceful & serene. I can’t even describe what I’m feeling right now. I feel sad in general. But mixed emotions overcome me every now & then. I feel guilty because the last time I saw her was September of last year during my advance birthday celebration. Come to think of it, that was the last time our barkada was complete. Who knew back then that the next time I will see Joy, she’ll be in a coffin, lifeless & still. I feel guilty because I was in Baguio when the whole barkada watched live the Bb. Pilipinas pageant 2005 to root for Arfie who was competing that night. Had I been in Manila, I would’ve been able to see Joy for the last time since she wasn’t able to come to the succeeding barkada gimmicks that we had. I feel guilty because I could’ve done a lot of things to let her know that I miss her & to let her know that I’m still here. I could’ve called her up to ask what’s up...I could’ve texted her “musta” on one of those times when she sent me quotes via SMS...I could’ve emailed her letters or sent her a message via YM...I could’ve done a lot of things to keep in touch but I didn’t. So now, all that’s left are regrets & this painful feeling knowing that I’ll never hear her laugh...I’ll never see her smile...I’ll never hear her voice...and I’ll never feel her touch & squeeze her in a really tight bear-hug ever again.

It’s weird but I sometimes find myself scolding Joy for leaving us too soon. I’d tell her (in my mind) that we still have Macel’s wedding to attend to next year. Why didn’t she even wait for that? Aside from that, we still had a lot of plans as a barkada. We still have plans of going abroad as a barkada & going on a vacation as a group, probably in Boracay. Why didn’t you wait for that to happen, Joy? Kainis ka naman eh, iniwan mo kami...Iniwan mo kami when you know that you still have so much in store for you. You’re still supposed to get married, have kids...we were also gonna start our own business, diba? Ikaw yung accountant then the rest of us have our own roles in the company. With your passing, napapapisip tuloy ako...siguro hindi kikita ‘tong company natin kaya you decided to leave para di na matuloy at di na tayo malugi. Hehehe...Kidding aside, I don’t want to dwell on things not done and things that we failed to do. I’d rather remember the moments we got to share together...the break times we shared at the lunch counters in St. Scho...the bonding sessions at Maris’ house...the sleepover (where we didn’t get any sleep) at Intercon on Macel’s birthday...the kwentuhan at Manila Hotel after Mian’s debut...the “videoke challenge” at my house last year on my birthday celebration...I’d rather think of all these memories than wonder about the “what-could’ve-been’s” and “what-might’ve-been’s” if only you were able to be with us longer. I’m quite sure that’s what you would want us to do.

Hay naku, Joy...there are a lot of things I want to say to you, I don’t even know where to start. I want to say sorry...I want to say thank you...I want to say I love you...I want to say I miss you...I want to say a lot of things that I don’t even know how to put into writing. But even though I can’t sort all these thoughts out at the moment, I know that you know what I mean...and you know what I feel...and that somehow, I know I’m able to get these thoughts across to you no matter how jumbled-up they may seem.

I don’t know how long it will take for all these to sink in...I don’t know when I’ll be able to accept the fact that you’re no longer with us physically...But despite all these, I know that I am consoled by the fact that you didn’t suffer much. That you opted to leave silently and at peace. Your passing has taught me to cherish life even cherish my family and friends even more...and to keep in touch.

Joy, wherever you are, may your inherent goodness and sunny disposition be always with us as we face the world without you by our side. To Joy’s family, thank you for the gift that is Joy. To everyone whose lives were touched by Joy, remember this: we didn’t actually lose a loved one...we gained an angel. I love you Joy! I miss you! Til our paths cross again...*MUAH!*


I just want to share this SMS sent to me by Joy last April. I found it very touching at the time that’s why I never erased it from my phone. But its meaning is deeper now, more than ever. Here it goes...”I can never change the direction of the wind...but I can always adjust my sails just to reach you...hope we’ll stay in touch for the rest of our lives & remain forever friends.” Joy, I promise to keep in touch although you’re not here with us anymore because I believe that the bond of friendship endures through everything, even through the realm of mortality. I love you gurl...I miss you! BWP4ever...

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Random Thoughts 2

Just sharing my thoughts...

I'm not pro-GMA...but i'm left with no choice. Surely, I don't want Susan Roces, Noli or Erap (or anyone related to him for that matter) running our country. So i'd rather choose the lesser evil & stick with GMA.


When i first saw the trailer for Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, i thought it was a horror movie. I still do...


Just want the whole world to know that i'm a True Blue Scholastican & a Green-blooded Lasallian! Blue & Green...nice mix...whatcha think? ;)


It's a non-working holiday tomorrow! YIPEEE!!! so happy... =)

Just my thoughts...CND

Monday, July 11, 2005

Confessions of an O.C.

Wow, this really sucks, man... You think being O.C. is fun? It's not. It makes you do things that you're really not required to do but you do it anyway coz you want to (and for us OCs, because we have to)...and if you don't do it, you'll keep on thinking about it and your mind does all these crazy things to you until you have no choice but to do it coz if you don't, your sanity's at stake, and you wouldn't want to gamble with that, would you? I can't remember how many times I’ve had to go back to my car (even if I’ve already walked a considerable distance from it) just to check if I’ve already locked the doors (even though at the back of my mind I know I did). This happened countless of times at the Sports Complex where I’d park my car & head for the elevator, and just when it's about to arrive, I get this sudden urge to head back to my car to check if I did lock it. Grrr...and it gets worse. At times there's only one elevator working & it takes forever for it to arrive & just when it does, my mind plays tricks on me & even if I try to control it, it almost always wins & the next thing I know is I’m heading back to my car just to check if it's locked then wait forever for the elevator to arrive...AGAIN! really sucks man! Well, it doesn't end there. Whenever I’m inside the car (especially when I’m the one driving), I always check if I’ve already locked the doors by constantly checking (with my hands) if the lock is protruding (means it’s unlocked) or not. This happens infinite times whenever I’m driving, regardless if I’m driving to Laguna or to a neighbor’s house, count on me to check for the nth time if I’ve already locked the doors or not (although usually, after the first time that I’ve checked, I know that I’ve already locked the doors but I’ll check it again & again anyway even if in the back of my mind I know it’s locked, and it would only take spiritual intervention of sorts for it to unlock itself without me noticing). *SIGH!* The joys of OC living…it will actually drive you nuts! Don’t mention the numerous “To Do” lists that I’ve done with matching checkboxes for marking (anyone who’s watched the movie “All My Life” knows what I’m talking about…remember Kristine Hermosa’s character? I’m not that “OC-OC” but the scene where she was writing her “To Do” list really made me laugh…and then realize that…OH MY GOD! That’s me…L) Or the countless times in a day I’ve fixed the throw pillows on our couch just because the Chinese character prints on it are not “right-side” up (those who have been frequent visitors at our house probably know what i mean...). Or the numerous revisions I made to our thesis documentation just because of a simple wrong indentation; or just to check if all the fonts we used are the same; or if the format for font size was followed; or if the page numbers are correct & are in the right place or… (ok, I’ll end it here or else I’m gonna be ranting for eternity).

*SIGH!* The life of an OC…you really wouldn’t know what to do but accept it (or, if it’s too much to handle like Jack Nicholson’s character in “As Good As It Gets,” go to counseling). I just wish I wouldn’t end up like Bree Van de Kamp or else I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. But for now, I’m just gonna have to continue doing my “To Do” lists…continue fixing the throw pillows in the couch…continue on checking the doors of my car if it’s locked…continue editing & re-editing my Word documents…and all other stuffs that really don’t need meddling into but I meddle into it anyway JUST BECAUSE. Hopefully, I’ll get over this. If not, hopefully, it doesn’t get worse.

Well, we’ve come to the end of my blog. Now, allow me to bask in the glory of making a checkmark in my “To Do” list: FRIENDSTER BLOG FOR JULY 2005 à CHECKED! ü

Friday, June 03, 2005

Things That Annoy Me and Piss Me Off...

...and make me wanna get out & SCREAM MY LUNGS OUT!!!

- people who have their cars lowered & then do some manic acrobatic stunts with their car while negotiating a hump on the road (makes me wanna bump their cars real hard!).

- TV hosts who keep on saying "MTV" while the correct term for what they're saying is actually MUSIC VIDEOS! MUSIC VIDEOS dammit! MTV is the channel!!! grrr...

- wet bathroom floors. need i say more?

- drivers who don't switch from bright headlights to normal even when you've already signalled to them that you're close to blinding yourself!!! coz of their very BRIGHT headlights.

- Mahal & Keanna Reeves & Madame Auring. need i explain why?

- those who throw their garbage on the road...even if it's as small as a candy wrapper (the road is not a humongous garbage bin, may i remind you...) .

- people who don't flush. also, guys who don't put the toilet seat up when they do number one, then leave yellow stains on the seat cover that they don't even bother to wipe out. eeeww.

- "wipe-your-windshield-with-soap-and-water" boys who seem to sprout out when it's raining outside. it's already raining, so any sediments & dust on my windshield has already been wiped out by the rain. my windshield is as clean as it can get. i don't need any help from you guys.

- people who don't put their mobile phones in silent mode when they're inside the church (minsan na nga lang ako magsimba tapos makakatagpo ko pa 'tong mga taong 'to...bwiset!).

- accumulated hair on the bathroom drain. ={

...i know i have a lot more things to share...but this would be all for now...will think of more things that annoy & piss me off then i'll add it up to this keep visiting this page, okidoki? ciao for now! *MUAH!*

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Random Thoughts...

i've got to admit...i haven't watched a single Star Wars movie in my entire life. not one of the old trilogy & none of the new one. dunno just doesn't appeal to me that much. maybe if someone cared to explain to me the plot of the entire story i'll be interested to watch it. but, till'll probably just be a passing memory to me... =) (btw, it's the same thing with The Matrix...i watched the first one but never really understood i never bothered watching the next two films that came after, despite all the media hype & all my friends watching it... =)

oh, and by the way, May the force be with you. =)


Good luck Carrie & Bo!!!

Luv yah too Baby V!!!