2009 has just begun and I can say that it went quite well. I’m happy to hear that accidents caused by firecrackers decreased this year. The economic crisis is not a bad thing after all. Though there are really some heart-breaking news like the disco fire in Thailand which reminds us of the Ozone disco tragedy in Quezon City. Updated huh? Well, these past few days I was just glued on the T.V. watching late-night news and some animes and Korean drama series. Anyway, let’s get to the real thing. Everyone’s going gaga writing their new year’s resolutions, new year rants and wishes, the events during the past year and all that jazz. Like the compulsive, ironic, and sentimental blogger, as I always was, I have my own version of this new year’s blog syndrome. Syndrome cause everything in my multiply inbox is about new year, new year, new year, and new year. What’s another blog entry from me?

So much for the good beginnings this year. Last new year, I had a bad start. I spent the first days of 2008 on a hospital bed because of urinary tract infection due to the unhealthy living I had prior to that. I had to experience lying down all day while bearing the super cold temperature and the pain of blood tests. I also had to miss the UP Centennial Kick-Off and some classes. Thanks to Revin who visited me during my second to the last day in the most boring place in the world.

The next 2 weeks that followed, I had a series of plant visits from Batangas all the way up to Ilocos Norte. I had so much fun travelling and going to places I’ve never been before. I enjoyed our short but memorable stay in Bangui, Ilocos Norte at the house of my professor. I also got the chance to experience the white sand and great waves of Pagudpud.

March is UP CCC Graduates Kick-Off month. Yeah! I was formally ‘kicked-off’ by UP CCC as a CCC Alumnus. But I’m not yet an alumnus due to some unexpected circumstances and that’s another story. Anyway, I still attended that kick-off party since I want to join my batchmates in this very important event as a CCC mover.
Then summer came. I was accepted for an internship program in a company somewhere in Ortigas so I need to work for 8 hours and 48 minutes for 2 months inside that boring office as a Mechanical Engineer Apprentice. Whew!!! So I had to review my thermodynamics and other nosebleeding ME stuff. I had to do some real-life engineering stuff which left me drained at the end of each day. And then the next day, I have to rush to catch that skip train (or the ‘miracle train’ I should say because it really saves a lot of people from being late for work) at the MRT Quezon Avenue station. Imagine the people flocking at the entrance of the station that the guards have to stop the people from entering for quite some time until the next train arrrives, or until there’s space on the platform. It really sucks waiting for the next train to arrive because you have to endure the heat of the summer and some impatient people trying to get in even though the only space left in the train is the space above you. If there is one thing that I hate during the summer, that is the super hassle trip from Q.C. to Pasig City every single morning (except the weekends of course). I really don’t like the work atmosphere there because I always feel pressured to do something great and live up to their expectations since I came from this well-renowned university in the country, or even in the whole wide world. After the last day of my internship, I felt so happy and free because I don’t need to endure those kind of stuff I’ve mentioned above anymore. I can’t imagine seeing myself working in that kind of office for a year. I can’t even bear 2 months in that company.

Going back to my last day, I attended a mini party at Mc Donald’s El Pueblo which is just a walking distance from that company. It was a get together of some UP CCC alumni as a prelude to the upcoming UP CCC Alumni Homecoming come November.
One thing that I look forward to every summer for almost four years now is Trumpets Playshop at the Podium, Ortigas Center. Last summer, I enrolled in an Adult Musical Theatre Class and I was mentored by Ms. Sweet Plantado-Tiongson (member of the singing group The Company) and JC Gotinga (host of a weekly travel show on TV 5 Travel on a Shoestring). Trumpets made my summer so exciting. It’s the one thing that I look forward to after each day of internship. I always rush at the Podium Mall after a day’s work for our workshops. Our class were able to put up a nice show entitled Songs from Closer Than Ever at the end of the workshop which wowed famous theatre personalities like Liesl Batucan, Luna Grino-Inocian (the writer of our script by the way), and The Company of course. It was my best class ever at Trumpets. I enjoyed each workshop day and the company of my fellow MT-Adult Playshoppers.

Probably the most memorable thing that happened to me last year is being a part of this new Dulaang UP hit entitled Isang Panaginip Na Fili, a new musical by Floy Quintos and CJ Javier. I auditioned to become part of the show (it was my first time to audition for DUP by the way) and God didn’t disappoint me. The rest is history. Fili was my first ever professional theatre experience (the one where I get paid ). I got the chance to work with famous personalitites like Tony Mabesa, Ms. Ces Quesada, Franco Laurel, Meynard Penalosa, Stella Canete, Floy Quintos, and a whole lot more. I enjoy the company of DUP. We had a four-week run at the Guerrero Theatre in UP from September to October having the house full each show and receiving good reviews. I can remember saying to myself backstage during one of our shows that ‘this is the best job on earth and I won’t exchange it for anything else.’ It was so memorable that I suddenly broke down into tears during the finale and curtain call of our last show. Truly, I had the time of my life with Dulaang UP and I look forward for more theatre productions with them.

Most of you would not know about this, I also did another theatre production. This time with my Theatre 12 class in UP. I enrolled myself in this class because I still have a hangover from Trumpets. I had to juggle between my rehearsals and my shows in DUP. We were able to pull off a nice show at the end of the semester entitled Insiang by Mario O’ Hara. I played the role of Bong, the father of Insiang. Though I only have a cameo appearance, I had a great time working with my classmates. We did a great show that even our professor, Ms. Edna Mae Landicho, gave us nice comments and congratulated each one of us.

I also did a short film entitled Si Brother for the annual Takilyang Peyups at the UP College of Mass Communication. I played the role of an idealistic frat man. It was an amateur production, but they didn’t leave me with nothing. I have to skip 2 nights of rehearsals in DUP just for this production. But it’s worth the experience.

This year, I develop a new addiction, ultimate!!! Yeah! I started playing last November with my CCC family and now I want to get a grip of that disc every single day. I think I should buy a new pair of shoes for that. We play every Monday afternoon at the UP Sunken Garden then dinner afterwards at Bora Grill then desserts galore at Mini-stop UP Village.

Remember the UP CCC Alumni Homecoming I mentioned earlier? I was part of the grand preparation as a performer for a mini-skit. UP CCC Alumni from the 70’s to the 90’s gathered for one big celebration at the UP Bahay ng Alumni. All I can say is that, I love performing! I co-wrote the script together with other UP CCC members. After the program, I spent the rest of the night with some ‘new millenium’ alumni at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Trinoma.

I was given an opportunity to attend an all-professionals conference at Caliraya sponsored by Influencers International, the professional arm of Campus Crusade for Christ, during the end of November. The conference was open to graduating students for half the price so I took that opportunity together with other CCC graduating students. That conference welcomed me to the professional world. It somehow gave me a taste of what will I experience in the workplace and the battles that I need to face. I got to know a lot of professionals there. I heard their stories. I played with them. I learned from them.

During the annual UP Lantern Parade, I was one of those lucky engineering students who got a free t-shirt from the College of Engineering. I love the shirt but I’m still finding a way how to remove that Meralco logo on the right sleeve. I joined the engineering crowd together with my PSME-UPSU orgmates. It was fun walking along the acad oval with them taking pictures and joining in the great lantern parade wave, which is uniquely Eng’g. Stillwaters had a mini birthday celebration for Marvin and Karen after the parade at the AS steps.
Of course, Christmas parties won’t be out of the list. I attended one as early as December 2 at Stillwaters Church. I love the way Stillwaters celebrates it. This year, we had a ‘candy-themed’ party so candies are all around the PCCC student center. And I would never forget the unique gift-grabbing we had. That’s the one thing that I look forward to every Stillwaters Christmas party. But sad to say, I wasn’t able to make and eat s’mores this year. UP CCC also had one a day after the lantern parade. Each batch from batch 03 to 08 prepared mini presentations to showcase their talents. Our batch made the most unique presentation, the ‘synchronized swimming.’ Haha! But I think what made us unique from the other batches is our music video presentation of the song Pasko na Sinta Ko by Gary V.

I think that’s it. I hope you enjoyed going down memory lane, because I did. I pray that 2009 will be more exciting and filled with a lot of surprises. I wish every one who patiently read this blog a blessed new year! I hope that this year will be another year of fulfilling our dreams and that God will give us everything we need to make them happen. But most importantly, let’s commit this year to God, the Giver of life. Without Him, I won’t be able to experience those things that shaped my year. He has a purpose on why all these things happened. He’s preparing something for me this 2009 and in the years to come.
Happy 2009 everyone! Ciao for now!