Archive for September, 2008


Congratulations to the Ateneo Blue Eagles and Blue Eaglets for winning both the Senior and Junior UAAP Men’s Basketball Championships.  I was able to watch the Seniors game live on TV even though it was a work day.  Hehe, I didn’t skip work for that; it was just a great coincidence.   True, there were some controversial calls, but it cannot be denied that Ateneo was truly the better team this year.  I also didn’t like La Salle’s no-show at the awarding ceremony.  And the reason according to coach Franz Pumaren?  Nobody told them to get the trophy!  Duh!

Except for a brief spell in high school when I rooted for the Green Archers (I probably hit my head on one of the calachuchi trees), I’ve always had a soft spot for Ateneo.  Read the recent posts below and you’ll see why.  You may also see that I’ve written a number of posts about UP, my college alma mater so you’re probably wondering why I root for Ateneo in the UAAP.  Hmmm….I’ll put it this way:  I always root for Ateneo UNLESS they’re up against UP, and if the two schools ever meet in the finals, I’ll definitely be on the maroon side – win or lose.  But right now, it’s all about the Blue Eagles, so kudos to them! 🙂

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A Homecoming

(This post is dedicated to my high school friends and other fellow Knollers, on our school’s 80th year)

As scheduled, Tanya and I paid a visit to our alma mater this afternoon before proceeding to Ateneo.  We went to the College department first (to conduct the business portion of the visit) – the only part of the campus that I don’t know as well as the back of my hand.  I met Tanya’s old department head (Communication Arts).  When she told her that we decided to drop by since we were in the neighborhood, Ms. Garcia immediately replied, “But this is not just your neighborhood, this is your home!”  How very true.  And a lot of the people we met there used that term with us.  Indeed, it was like coming home to the place which was my second home for thirteen years.

So, let me share with you some of my favorite or memorable places in this second home:

Rock Garden

Rock Garden

I used to sit on those benches while waiting for my school bus.  When by myself, I usually read my chosen books for our book reports or just daydream.  I usually pretend that I’m the lady of the forest.  Those benches are the still the original ones that have been there since I first entered the school.

Bamboo Area

Bamboo Area

The default meeting place of practically any and every high school group.  I don’t know if those bamboo poles are magical, but in spite of the size of the student population in relation to the space, there’s ALWAYS a vacant spot (not always on those two stone tables, of course) for every group that decides to meet there at any given time.

Calachuchi Area

Calachuchi Area

Trina is the one who has the best shot of this spot, but this one will do for this blog.  There are 21 calachuchi trees on one side, 22 on the other.  This is a memorable spot for our barkada. 😉  I also once climbed one of those trees and placed Rebs’ bag atop a branch as a prank.

Other important spots:

Spiral Stairs

Spiral Stairs

Main building

Main building

The newly-restored Marian Auditorium

The newly-restored Marian Auditorium

I sneaked this shot.  We were just peering through the glass portion of the door, and we were surprised that it wasn’t locked when Tanya pulled the handle.  I’m pretty sure we’re allowed to go inside and look around, but it felt odd and eerie to do so with only two of us inside the huge auditorium.

It felt really good to go back to the place that helped shape who I am today, and gave me a lot of my best experiences and memories.  I was never the popular, the smartest or the most active student – in fact I was way below the radar – but it never mattered because I was really happy with the corner of the universe that belonged to me and my friends.  So, to my alma mater, thank you for “thy joy, thy wisdom, and love”.  All for Jesus through Mary.

We got our first carolers this evening.  Shortly before that, there was also a TV Patrol story on stores selling Christmas decors.  We really don’t need to look far for evidence that Christmas season in the Philippines indeed begins in September.  We Filipinos really love extended celebrations.  Just look at our version of Oktoberfest this year – it began this month and will last for 120 days!  But what I’m really looking forward to is the super long Christmas break.  Because of GMA’s holiday economics (that’s the one thing I really do appreciate about her), workers who are following a Philippine holiday schedule will have an almost full 2-week break for the Christmas holidays.  Merry Christmas everybody! 😀

Nostalgia Trip

There’s really something about this fifteenth year since our high school graduation.  There have been quite a number of unexpected and unintentional reminders of that time in our lives.  Another bout of nostalgia hit me yesterday.

Our company sponsored an event at the Ateneo de Manila University.  Though it has been many years since I last set foot in the campus, it was as though those years never passed.  Only the new buildings are unfamiliar, but everything else seemed to have stayed the same.   I know this Ateneo campus very well, having gone to the school next door from pre-school to high school.  Aside from attending their grade school theater (ACT or Ateneo Children’s Theater) plays, school fairs and other activities, I also had busmates from Ateneo so we were able to go around the campus, naturally.  The Ateneo campus is very similar to that of my old school, so everything suddenly came back to me.  It even smelled the same – that leafy/dewy grass smell.  God, I love that smell!

Tomorrow, my officemate – and fellow Knoller – Tanya and I are going back to our school before proceeding to Ateneo.  We’re killing two birds with one stone:  conducting official business and at the same time visiting the old haunt.

And now…the one that got me writing about all these.  Anna posted something on her blog that got me a bit teary-eyed.  It may be overly sentimental to everyone else, but it goes right to the heart of the people involved…and strangers who may have felt the same thing at one time or another.  It was the intro to the photos of our recent Baguio trip.  Here’s what she wrote:

We were once called The Dreamers — a group of nine girls on a journey to discover what life has to offer. We were named after a poem I have written back then and upon Sofia’s suggestion.

Time has changed us some and space has parted the roads we now trek but I’m happy that after all these many years, we are still each other’s constants.

I dedicate this entry to that group that once meant the world to me. For now, I see mostly Leah, Trina, Rebs and Claudes; but I do not ever doubt the fact that time and space will be kind enough to unite the nine souls of years past.

************

Ok, time to spare you from all the drama.  I’m posting our some of our old photos as weight on my dare for Anna to be brave and not put a star over her face to cover it when she posted the same photos.  As I told Anna, it’s photos this bad that make us really glad about how far we’ve come, haha!  However, I’m not brave enough to point out which one is me in the photos, heeheehee.  For those who know me, figure it out on your own.  I also value my life greatly to point out the rest of the barkada.

If you don’t see a new post in the coming days, it only means that I have physical injuries as a direct result of this entry. 😉

SM City Marikina

After singing ourselves hoarse Saturday last week, Anna and I proceeded to the new SM Marikina in a spur-of-the moment decision.  We just wanted to see what stores and restaurants would be very convenient for us.  Last Friday evening, we decided to go back and have dinner at The Old Spaghetti House.  Finally, there’s a decent pasta restaurant in the area!

What impressed me most about this mall is the design.  It doesn’t look like an SM mall!  I especially love the façade from the inside.  Anna calls it the Marikina City Airport.

There’s a good number of shops, but their floor areas are smaller than usual.  The store that really got me excited was Power Mac Center!  There’s no opening date yet, but it’s really there, right at the corner of the Cyberzone entrance.  And speaking of Cyberzone, this one beats the one in Megamall, design and lighting-wise.  I hope they don’t eventually clutter it with too many kiosks.

Here are the photos:

Lobby a.k.a. Marikina City Airport

Lobby a.k.a. Marikina City Airport

Kinda looks like Shangri-La Plaza

Kinda looks like Shangri-La Plaza

Ceiling Details

Ceiling Details

Power Mac Center

Power Mac Center

Cyberzone

Cyberzone

Public transport routes

Public transport routes

Definitely not the end of the world as of yet.  The Large Hadron Collider was switched on a few hours ago – successfully.  Anticipated doomsday scenarios didn’t happen.  Either that, or we’re just not aware that we were already sucked into a blackhole as my officemate said earlier.

I’m excited to see the results of CERN’s experiment.  My conservative dad, however, has reservations about this.  He believes that there are just some things that Science shouldn’t even begin thinking of venturing into.  I guess there’ll always be two sides to almost everything.

Weekend Update

This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.” – from The Dark Knight

I woke up to the sound of light rain.  A warning perhaps?  Hint:  My plans for the afternoon (with Anna again) include a tiny booth and a microphone. 😉  We knew this kind of weather was bound to happen today…but nothing’s gonna move us from our plans!

In other news…SM Marikina finally opened yesterday, and of course there was a monstrous traffic jam!  I hope this was only because of the opening and wouldn’t become a normal situation.  There was also a huge mass of people on the overpass and on the sidewalks, causing the driver of the shuttle to blurt out, “San galing ‘tong mga taong ‘to? (Where did all these people come from?)”  They’re obviously mostly not from the area, since that part of the city is not very densely populated.

According to the special supplement in the papers, SM Marikina is one of the bigger SM malls around.  I hope the architects took advantage of the natural body of water in their backyard and incorporated it into the design, pretty much like what they did with MOA.  The list of stores also included an Apple Center, and I definitely didn’t expect that.  Well, good for me, hehe!  I’m thinking of checking out the mall either tomorrow or next week.  This is the best and most convenient mall from where our house is located. I could even walk using the River Park jogging/bike path to get there – if I’m feeling extra energetic or physically fit.