Ironman Asia Pacific Championships 2014, Melbourne

17 Apr

I never thought it could be busier. But it is. The month of March is probably the most hectic month of my entire career. This month, I am travelling every single weekend – all for work . Not complaining. Just stating a fact.

I knew since 6 months ago that I will be in Melbourne for IM meetings. This was confirmed by the fact that 90 something Pinoy triathletes are racing IM Melbourne – the Asia Pacific full distance championships.

The Philippines is the biggest contingent outside of home country Australia. Clap Clap Clap Clap!!!

Leading up to the event I was really very stressed – normal office work, new projects, on-going projects and of course the trip. I was dreading it. It was an 8 hour flight – a different time zone. And most of all I knew it will be very busy leading up to ETD. – the presentation, the arrangements. I was my usual anxious self.

I also hate packing – for Melbourne—the weather and temperature can change in seconds – from sun to cool to cold to windy to rain in a matter of minutes. I tried to be cool about it, but I know that I was losing the “keep cool battle’.

March 20 / 21, Depart Manila, 9:35 pm, Arrive Melbourne 8:30 am

Was on the same flight as some of the participants and their families. Saw Jing and Nala Racaza, Marge, Andy and Stella Aguila. I was on the same flight as Honey Almendral and Jong Sajulga.   We left on time. Tried to sleep on the plane but my usual anxious self refused to sleep! I knew that when I land I have to run t a meeting which was moved one hour earlier!

After a long roller coaster/ turbulent ride, we landed peacefully at the Melbourne International Airport and guess what p– there was a power out.! The doors weren’t opening and the computer system was down. There were about 400 people infront of me at immigration. Good thing I knew somebody so the small talk took my mind off on how late I can potentially be.

One and a half hours later, I was out of the airport with my bags – now to find the driver who was supposed to pick me up . I walked and looked and called and he was noewhere to be found. Finally I decided to take a cab.

At exactly the time the meeting was supposed to start, the cab pulled over the Novotel St Kilda. Had to check in open my suitcase and took the fastest shower I ever took in my entire life!

Fifteen minutes into the meeting, I walked in. Ha! I made it. Now to get my bearings and see who are the people in the room – familiar faces unknown ones. Fifteen minutes since I walked in, I finally settled down.

Meeting and lunch went on for another 4 hours. Decided to go to the expo to shop and hopefully find some friends. Walked, Looked, took photos and chit chatted.

Race briefing is at 5 pm so went with some of the boys to the Palais theater for the race briefing.

That race briefing is the longest ever race briefing I ever attended. Decided to walk out when they were discussing the run portion. Makoy had to leave so I was left with Retzel and Erick and we decided to look for rice! Of course we found rice at a Chinese restaurant!   We ate fried rice, sweet and sour pork, crispy chicken and of course veggies.

At around 8 pm we decided to call it a night. I almost have no sleep and the following day is another early/ long day as we were hosting the Pinoy breakfast at the Pullman.

March 22, 2014, Pinoy Contingent Breakfast/ Merch Meeting/ Shopping at Bourke Street

Woke up at about 5:45 am ( 2:45 am Manila time) to prepare for the Breakfast. Had to make sure I had all the flags, business cards, pens, paper, etc.. I double checked the contract, my contact for the day. Got a cab and after 10 mins, I was at the Pullman. ( Note: every morning, I had to fix my bag and backpack – jacket rain coat, phones charges, adaptors, etc)

One group arrived almost the same time as I did Fred was already texting me.   Phew.. no time to waste.. Found the Element room, set up the registration as fast as I can and asked some the early birds to help me decorate the place with Philippine flags.

At around 730 am there were around 70 people already and Fred opened the program with a short speech and opened the buffet. Chit Chat, photos – all good vibes. We were wearing our IM Melbourne shirt with the Philippine flag.

Our guest of honor was no less that WTC Asia Pac Ceo and Alaska Tri Aspire athlete Caroline Steffen. Finisher Pix was also our official photographer.  =)

After breakfast, we had a quick internal meeting and I headed again for the epxo to buy some souvenir for the staff. Found Marge at the expo who decided to volunteer the following day.  Had an impromptu meeting with the Merch team.

At around 2 pm, I met my friend and his daughter to go for Chinese lunch at China town and do some shopping at Myers and Bourke Street. Decided to go home at around 8pm as the call time the following day, RACE DAY, was 5:10 am.

March 23, 2014, Race Day

Fred picked me up at 5:10 am from the hotel. Thank God we don’t have to take the bus! He got a car! The drive to Frankston was about 1 hour and we arrived around 6:10 am. Hung around McDonalds where I saw some more Pinoy supporters.

Walked to transition, took some photos and checked out the jetty/ pier where the swim start will be. It was a chilly/ windy morning.

At around 7 am, we decided to go to Sofia’s, the lounge for the VIP’s. Got our accreditation and decided to get some breakfast of eggs bacon and toast. I wasn’t event 3 mins into my meal when a Pinoy – Australian event staff came up to me and asked if I wanted to be in the boat for the swim start. I said yes! We had to leave NOW. So I left my plate and grabbed a bottle of water and followed the group – total 4.. Jeff, me and two members of the parliament. ( wow!).

The boat which I though would be a yacht turned out to be a rubber boat – a medium sized one.. good for 5 pax – including the “captain”

We went 300 meters out and so the saw the gun start of the pros ( 720am the male and I think 7:28 for the female) and the mass start for the age groupers ( 7:38am) – what an amazing site! At this point in time, It was really really really cold.   So we decided to go back at around 750 am and back at sofia’s for coffee.

I waited until all the pros are out of the water. Called Marge to check if she wants to ride back with me to St Kilda. Walked over to McDonalds and had another round of coffee.

Decided to go back at around 915 and but had to go back as I discovered my support bag was missing – my rain coat, all chargers etc.. Panic!   What will I do without my chargers? Went back inside McDonalds and asked – someone turned it over the counter and I was reunited with my bag.. Phew!!!!!! Thank you Lord!

Reached St Kilda at about 10:30 and forced myself to sleep before our volunteer shift at 3:00 pm.

Went down at about 2 pm so I can walk around, have lunch and just observe race day preparations. I was also monitoring the lead male and female pro on the tracker.

My nice surprise of the day was when I saw a line of shops near the hotel selling all sort of artisanal stuff – jewelry, soaps, clocks, necklaces, organic food etc..   Had to force myself to speed up the instant shopping. Got to the expo at 220 and grabbed some lunch. Gobbled up the chicken wings and reported at the volunteer station at 245 pm. Got my shirt, cap, pin and water. Had our briefing and we were brought to our station.

In the beginning “business was slow”… this went on for about 1 .5 hours when it was all pros. Then about 2 hours into the shift, the fast age groupers started coming. During the slow period, decided to observe some more and chit chat with the pros where I was able to confirm attendance of two pros – Luke and Courtney.

Our volunteer leader moved me to the street gear area where I stayed for about 20 mins.. Around this time, the first Filipino was already coming in so I took off my volunteer shirt and put on my VIP badge so I can welcome the pinoys right at the finish line.

Around this time, Fred arrived to so the two of us hung around the finishe line wehre we saw Raymond, ani, jomac, Erick, dan, people from tri clark, santé barley, david and andy finish. Proud to be pinoy that day.. even if we were both freezing.

Each time Mike Reilly says XXXXX from XXXXXX YOU… ARE.. AN.. IONMAN ( he has no R). , I had goose bumps.

Decided to go up the room at 13 hours into the race and continued to track the remaining Pinoys. Wanted to meet Father Jay at the finish line so I told myself, I will sleep for about 20 mins and go down again.. when I woke up.. it was already the following day =(

March 24, 2014, Free Day, Awards Night

Woke up at around 730 am and decided to slowly pack. This day was a free day so I was going outlet shopping, cosco shopping and awards night with my childhood friend Pat. He now lives in Melbourne and each time I am there, he takes a day off and takes me around.

We had a very good breakfast – my first hot, relaxed breakfast in four days. Then we went out let shopping. Shop shop shop until about 5pm and went to the Awarding at the Convention Center.   Found some Pinoys there and of course sat with them. The awarding was theater style. No frills except for the fire dance and a few videos from race day.

The Pinoys had a night out but I begged off as I had an early flight to Sydney connecting to Manila. I was a little bit anxious as it was on another terminal and not sure how they will handle my luggage.

Anyway, it worked out well and I landed in Manila in time for a meeting and a birthday party.

Overall Melbourne was awesome! It is now listed as one of my favorite cities in the whole world.   Til Next year!

My take home from this trip – soaps, jackets ( yes with an S!), and alot of NEW GOOD FRIENDS =)

P

 

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Acceptance

16 Feb

Its two days after Valentine’s Day and here I am relaxing in bed. I vowed to update my blog over the weekend as my last post was 3 months ago!!! I have so much to write, but can’t seem to get started. I have been staring at this blank page for five minutes now and I cannot seem to find the groove to start typing. So, I decided to type away.

My topic today is acceptance. Its about time I accept things, i accept situations and accept people.  Its different to realize as it is to accept.  It is when you accept that puts you at the starting line of the Moving On St.

Here goes my acceptance list. I have accepted that: 

  1. I have to do all the mundane little things like standing in line waiting for the slow poke guy at the ATM. 
  2. I have so much bath gel and body wash and I want more. 
  3. We will all grow old soon and at some point in time I need to wear glasses. =) Fine!
  4. There are really people with such bad grammar yet continue to write in (very bad) english! Whatever.
  5. People get their highs from Selfies. So be it.
  6. There are really lazy employees. Their time is ticking. 
  7. Money is a good motivator. All the time. Friends can be bought with pennies. 
  8. At some point in time, you will foul out.
  9. Your friends are who you are. 
  10. There are assholes around us, some of them family members. So be it.
  11. The older they get, the weirder they become.
  12. No matter what you do, there are people who will talk against you, behind your back.  Let them =)

P

 

 

 

The 26th Singapore International Ballroom Dancing Championships

4 Nov

Wow!  This post is so late.

 Ha!  I think I left my writing mojo somewhere.

My last post was in June before all the craziness known as 2013 (!!!) started.

I dont think this year is my year.  Seriously.  So many challenging situations. Too many disappointing people.  So many lost bids.  So many rocky relationships – friends and family.   Bad health.  And I still have two months to go before this year is over!

 But what to do?  Just continue to wake up in the morning, go to work.. hope for the best.  Hope that the following day is better than the previous one. 

As to my dance…. arrgggh my dance… I am not sure where I am.  My last comp was in March in Bangkok where I did 5th and 6th place I think and semi finals.  Not the result I wanted. 

Then, I had to ditch my favourite Manhattan Dance Sport in July.  I had a big event coming up in August and there were still challenges!   That was so hard to do.. So I decided to just go to Singapore for lessons.  Not a bad idea. I think that trip “fixed” me. =)

Since I only had one measly comp this year, I really pursued this end October Singapore comp.  I had lessons with Andrey the Great two weeks before the comp.  Then was sick all days one week before the comp — allergies, cough, colds c/o Lovey.  Plus we had an event coming up, then I had bids ( that I eventually all lost! Boo!).  Really not good.  

Again,  what to do? The entry fee was paid for, hotel paid for and air fare paid for.   Rested almost one whole week prior to comp, left Friday and hoped for the best.

Comp Preps

Nobody from our Manila studio joined this comp so it was just me and Latin Partner ( LP).  The agreement with our foreign coach was we will have sweat practice with the Singapore Studio peeps at the big studio on Saturday, the day before the comp. So Friday night and the whole Saturday morning were spent lounging around, resting and sleeping.

Come Saturday afternoon, we went to  Arca Studio the meeting place of everyone before we go to NUS.   There we met our Foreign Coach (FC) , his partner and an Australian senior couple.  We went for a long taxi drive to NUS — about 30 mins away! We did two rounds of sweat practice in a huge floor in two heats.  Very good practice actually.  There were about 8 – 10 couples of different levels of dancing – from pro to amateur to senior to juvenile to other graded levels ( pre- am/ novice/rising star)

We were done in 1.5 hours and had to rush back to Arca for super late lunch and salon ( shampoo and blow dry). Next stop was to get the competition numbers at Sunny Low Studio where they served buffet dinner. We got our number and souvenir program.  We were couple Number 3.  Walked home with our foreign coach and prepared the stuff for the following day.

So what are the things I need to prep for comp day — my costume, shoes, extra shoes, make up, hair spray, G Gel, water, banana, chocolates, tights, accessories, hair pins, towel, extra towel, tanning lotion, tanning spray and of course jacket.  Oh and money!  All these need to be ready either for wearing or in my comp suitcase.  The plan was to go to Suntec already dressed up.  So sleep early and set the alarm for 6am.

Comp Day – October 27, 2013 ( Level 4, Suntec City)

Woke up.. showered. Hair ( just pony tail as agreed with FC). Make Up.   Pestered partner to already wake up for heavy heavy breakfast –  really heavy as we know we wont be able to eat until about 2 or 3 pm.  Back to the room to do number 1 and number 2 and finally put on my costume.   The plan is to be out of the hotel by 8 am as we dance from 9am to 1 pm.  Good thing is our hotel has a cab stand 5 steps away from the entrance. 

Rushed to the fourth level.  Did some warm up.  ( I need to be really really really warm. I cant dance cold unlike other people). Did the four dances on the floor with my thick jacket for more warm up — initially for markings and later for sweat practice.  The floor almost the same size as the NUS floor.  Not too big for Latin. Small for standard. FC arrived to check on us — make up, outfit and ordered me to do more rhumba walks.  The floor was slippery so I decided to wear my new pair of Supas. 

Okay here we go.. Novice A 2 dance – Chacha and Jive.  There were about 14 couples.  We were in Heat 1.  Of the 14, only 6 were recalled.  We were recalled. 

Novice B 2 dance – Rumba and Samba. There were 6 couples.  Samba to me is the hardest dance of them all — you need to know the rhythm.  Dancers will know what I mean.  No heats. We did two dances straight.   After the event, some one told me we had a very good round and for sure we will get number 1.

At around 1pm – Pre Am Three Dances – Chacha, Rhumba and Jive — About 14 couples. Only One Heat!  Arrggh. This means we have to dance straight and we were 14 couples — yes 28 people on the floor at one time!   We were not recalled.  Later on when I checked the scores in Manila, we were number 7. Only 6 were recalled.  The disappointing thing that 3 of the couples who were recalled were 4th to 6th in the two earlier events.  Things like that happen.  Shit happens. 

In dance comps you wouldn’t know your rank until awarding.  So we waited til awarding which was around 2 pm.  We were chit chatting with the other students of FC then we heard couple number 3 champion… whoa.. we ran as fast as we can to get the medal. Since we were not ready, we had no photos and FC left already to prepare for his competition that evening.  

So our final results

Champion out of 6 couples – Rhumba and Samba

2nd place out of 14 couples – Chacha and Jive

7th place out of 14 couples – Pre- Amateur – Chacha, Rhumba , Jive

Note to self: I think if I  joined student teacher, I would have had more medal hauls.  The downside  for those type of events, there are only 2 or 3 or max 4 people competing.  I figured I wanted to do alot of rounds for my own good. So for the time being, I will continue to compete graded.  There is more happiness in winning over more competitors and more rounds. Downside,  I have to fight it off every single round. 

We left the stadium hungry, rushed back to the hotel to wash off all that make up grime,  changed into normal clothes and had  fine dining Chinese food at Taka for pig out time and some shopping! whohoaa!   The rest of the day was spent napping and preparing for the evening event to watch the amateurs and pros. 

So that basically sums up my 2nd comp for the year.  Next stop: Penang.  Concentrate on 5 dances and losing weight.

Special thanks to my Latin Partner,  our Manila Coaches Ronnie and Chanda,  our foreign coach Andrey, good friends from the Manila studio — Ariel, Stella, Cris, Ashley and Verena. 

P

 

 

 

 

 

Wellness Visit at Medical City

6 Jun

Unlike others, I am quite fond of hospitals. I love going for check ups and I can remember vividly that one of my best sleep is when I was confined two years ago. Today,   I was back again at Medical City for my Executive Check Up.  I normally go the dentist around my birth date year after year.  This year I decided to have my general check up round about my birth date too. I will make it a practice do so year after year.

Here goes my day at the Wellness Center of Medical City.

The Medical City has a floor exclusive for Executive Check Ups.  It kinda looks like a hotel where there is a check in counter, lobby.  Mind you even the furniture and lay out looks like a hotel.  There is a customer service area where you can get an appointment. There is a menu of  the different packages they offer, specially designed to fit your age.  I got the under 45 complete check up and I got one for lovey too who turns big 4-0 this year.

Our schedule is today – June 6. A few days before, I got an email with a rundown of  our itinerary, what we have to prepare for, forms about our lifestyle and diet.  One day before the schedule I got another reminder by sms.  So far, I am quite happy with their service.

We were required to be at the Wellness Center at 7:30 am.  We arrived at 7:27 and we were directed to the Customer Service.  We were both given a locker plus  a hospital gown and robe.  Since lovey is diabetic, I asked them to immediately schedule him for blood extraction and 5-organ ultrasound – two procedures requiring fasting.  I on the other hand went to the bathroom to get samples of my pee and poo.  The poo should not touch the water so you should catch it from the source!  Success on the first try!

Next stop — blood extraction, earlier my hatest procedure. Now I am so comfortable with it that the nurse got it in one try. The trick is the timely inhale and exhale!

Around this time,  I was introduced to the nurse assigned to me and lovey – Toby.   He is tasked to be our concierge for the day.  Toby endorsed me to another Doctor for my Physical Exam — we did an interview and the usual check up of throat, breathing, etc.. Turns out Toby will bring me to each and every procedure. =)

Next stop for me was the Women’s Wellness Area – mammogram and breast ultrasound.  Took me about 1 hour here.  Started with a nurse doing the routine manual check up, followed by the mammogram ( its digital now so its not at all painful!) followed by the breast ultrasound perfumed by a technician and a doctor.   Place was packed, but I guess I had an appointment so I went directly to the rooms with very little waiting time.  Toby picked me up and brought me back to the  wellness lobby after one hour.

Had to wait a bit for the next procedure — the 5-organ ultrasound. I have to do this already!  I have not eaten breakfast!  After about another 15 mins, I was finally called to the ultrasound room — checked my kidney, liver and I don’t know the other 3 organs  =) hehehe.  Finally done!  Time to eat!  Its 1220 by now and I had to wait for lovey so we can eat together — my breakfast and his lunch.  Breakfast btw is part of the package.  Lunch, we had to pay for.  Food was okay — good presentation and looked healthy!

Lovey is done for the day — he will go back next week for his sleep test, derma and reading. I had to do the optha, pap smear, and transv ultrasound, 2D echo and stress test.  The trip to the optha was the best!  He had a very nice clinic – works fast and explains very well. In a nutshell, my eyes were built long so I have max nearsightedness. I will never wear reading glasses — at worst bifocals.  I am going back to have another check up to see if  there are tears or holes in my eye. Just preventive.   My left eye is 600 and my right eye is 750. =)

Next is the trip to the OB — hatest as always… Quick.. lets finish this quick!y  Ah, pap smear and transv ultra — done in 30 minutes..  Verdict: I still hate the pap smear!

Back to the lobby and finally I did my stress test.  10 buttons were attached to my upper body with the wires attachéd to the machine.  I had to run with these wires plus the blood pressure gadget!   The goal is to reach 150 bps, which is the lowest  goal.  I was already in stage 3, inclined and a speed I didn’t care to remember.  I was beginning to cramp but my bps was just 135! Hello! We stopped two minutes into stage 3.  ( There care 6 stages and apparently only eight people did it — 2 of which, a husband -wife triathlete!)   According to the technician, my heart is used to exercise thus it takes a long time to reach 150.  We stopped 2 mins into stage 3. He further told me that my heart goes back to normal very quickly because of the same reason.

Time for my 2D echo — ultrasound of the heart.  Yup, heard my heart.. getting very sleepy at this time – comfy bed.. just right aircon temp. and after 15 minutes am done!  Got dressed, went to the lobby again and got my schedule for bone density, derma and results reading.  Went to the cashier and left =) Good experience over-all and I feel refreshed. =)

Health is wealth so we better take care of ourselves always!  Am happy =)

P

Birthday Reboot: S means SLEEP and SAVE not SHOP and STRESS!

2 Jun

Birthdays are special to me.

I love giving special birthday gifts to friends who are celebrating their birthdays. I also love celebrating my birthday.

Birthday is the day when a special person in my life is born.

Yesterday, June 1 was my birthday and I thank everyone who greeted me by sms, through FB  and of course those who greeted me live. =) Thank you very much! I know you remembered because somehow , sometime in our lives we made a difference to each other or we shared something special.

My birthday is the day I reboot. I start again — all the promises I made and broke to myself in January, I renew.  I reset my mind frame. I evaluate my life and so far I think I have done okay. Of course, there were mistakes, but that is how we learn.  Of course, we get hurt, but that is how we become stronger. Over-all I think I am good and I thank my family — lovey , all my good friends — old and new, young and old for making me who I am.  I also thank all my haters– those who are envious, lazy or just a plain hater — you made me realize how my life is the same even without you therefore you are just a waste of space with no value add and therefore will be deleted from memory.  =)  Thank you!

To all my new friends — thanks for the trust. I will make it worth your while for the rest of my life.

And now to reboot my life.. here is my plan the next 365 days. =)

  • No more self inflicted stress this means no more back to back meetings, no more talking to people and clients with bad vibes. This means taking them all out in FB too!  I don’t really care!  =)
  • Take care of my health — once and for all, this cough will forever go away into oblivion!
  • Make people feel special – specially the ones who are really special to me. Naks!
  • Lose weight! I am becoming to look like a walking carbohydrate!
  • Finally get highlights on my hair — this has been on my wish list the last 5 years but it takes so much time so I always dump the idea!
  • Rotate my watches, shoes, bags and earrings.. for some reason I get stuck with one for months and months
  • S stands for SAVE.  S stands for SLEEP.  S doesn’t mean SHOP and definitely not STRESS
  • Get serious with my dance and training again.. I have been out of focus for about a month now!  Focus Princess!! =)
  • I will not be forced to do anything I don’t want or talk to people I cant even say the name because….
  • Clean up my closet! =)
  • Pray harder before I sleep!
  • I will go back to m swim lessons
  • I will clear my desk! I promise!

Once again.. thank you Lord for rain yesterday =) Thank you to my family and friends.. You make my life really well lived. I love you all.

Happy Sunday!  Diet starts today!

P

“Let It be”

30 Mar

According to Wikipedia -” Let it Be is the 12th and final studio album released by the English rock band The Beatles. it was released on 8 May 1970 by the band’s Apple Records label shortly after the group announced their break up.”

According to the Beatles  and mentioned several times in the song …  “there will be an answer .. let it be. “

According to Princess.. 

  • There will be assholes, but there are also good friends… so let it be
  • You win some, you lose some.. so let it be..
  • There will be critics, there will be envious people, there will be fat noisy people..there will be bad grammar people posting on Facebook, there will be people trying to poach a client, there will be days when I get a nice warm hug…. so let it be.
  • There will be days when I cant get the step nor the count.. there will be days I can get it in a jiffy.. so let it be.
  • There will be days when my baby decides to go, there will be days when I am very sad, there will be days when I had a good nights sleep.. so let it be.
  • There will be days when private dining is 2.5 hours late, there will be days when I get a surprise sack of chocolates from Cebu.. so let it be.
  • There will be days be days when I feel ugly, there will be days when I can fit into Chanda’s costume.. so let it be.
  • There will be days when  I get a nasty email from a closet queen, yet there will be days when I get a surprise phone call from an old friend, so let it be..
  • There will be days when we laugh it off at the studio, there will be days when there are tears at the studio.. so let it be.

These are my reflections the last two days.. take the bad with the good.  Things will never be too good nor too perfect, so keep everything in stride. It is a matter of how I handle my emotions.  The bottom-line is acceptance — Let it Be.. for as long as I did my best, I did not hurt anyone, I played fair… whatever is the outcome, let it be.

Thank you Paul, John, Ringo and George.. Let it Be is a good way of life.. my new way of life. I realize that most of my stress comes from questioning alot of things. Why is he an asshole? Why is she so noisy?  Why is she so stupid??  Gees, such bad grammar!  If I Let it be, then all i have to think of and concentrate on is perfecting myself and doing my best.

Makes alot of sense.. at least to me.. =)

P

Two Nights in Bangkok – My First 2013 Comp

29 Mar

My last comp was late November 2012 in Penang. This means that I had no comp for the last 4 months so it is really about time to have one.

I first heard about the Siam Cup in Bangkok from my Standard Partner (SP)/Coach. We also needed a comp as my last Standard Comp was last September 2012 in Singapore.  Since I will be there anyway, might as well join Latin too.  After a few weeks SP told me that it is not be a good idea for us to compete since almost all his students are competing. He must be there for them and if we join, there is a very big probability that we will win – not fair since almost all the students are really training hard and here I am, will show up two weeks before the comp.  I totally understand.

So final decision, I will compete only in Latin on March 24 . My events are : Novice A ( C, R), Novice B ( C, J), Teacher Student A ( C, S,R,J) and Teacher Student B ( C, R, J). As to the number of events I will join, the decision normally lies on my Latin Partner (LP)

LP and I practiced whenever we can – we did the usual core training and workshops with our favorite Coach. This went on during the months of Jan and Feb.

But as many of you know – last  March 15, on  that horrible morning, my baby boy King passed away unexpectedly. That day was one of the saddest days of my life  — the saddest week.  It was very hard to wake up.. it was very had to sleep.   It was hardest to practice.  Fortunately, I have two friends Darna and Kulit who told me that I must continue with the comp and dance for King. So I did.

If its any consolation, a lot of “team mates” in both standard and latin are competing.  For standard – brian and karla, jeycel and diane, egay and gill,  jonathan and aileen, tina and toti are going to and so is Ronie. For Latin, all my studio mates and team mates are going.  Too bad bestie decided to pull out one week before the comp.

March 23, 2012

Went to the airport 2 .5 hours before only to find a very long line – unbelievable! PAL will not allow website check in for this flight BUT the airport check in counters were SLOOOOOOOWWWWWER than SLOW!  Anyway, I asked LP to que at the Business Class counter and we will try to upgrade. Our turn came and guess what, there were seats at BC, but the girl at the counter had no clue how much! Duh?  If I am the owner of PAL, heads will definitely roll!  Here is a customer willing to upgrade because of  the shitty coach service and they don’t know the price??? Whatever it is, this is not good business.

We were finally able to check in to Coach Choice Seats and off we went to BKK.  The flight was about 45 minutes late. Had some decent chit chat with a 55 year old American seatmate who is into waste water management, dozed on and off on the movie Hotel Transylvania and when I finally found Argo, we were about to land.  Nevermind.

The Bangkok airport was way prettier than I can remember. I have only been to Bangkok once in my life. I cant take the heat plus my phone got stolen so it wasn’t really my favorite place.

Changed some money, got the luggage, got a big car and rode to the Ibis Sathorn Hotel – home for the next two nights.  Checked in, unpacked a bit and off we went to Paragon Siam to look for tanning spray.  ( I decided to change my costume last minute.  Managed to fit into Chanda’s old costume – big yahoo! But the problem is I needed to tan myself big time. Knowing how white I am, this is going to be a challenge).

First order was lunch – we ate at the Manna Resto at the mall – Pad Thai, some fish and soft shell crab yum! Was able to sample Bangkok’s version of green mango with salt/pepper/sugar from the street and the bottled freshly squeezed dalandan juice. By this time, LP was close to dying. He had a big headache, runny nose and sore throat.

We searched and searched for the tanning spray and finally settled for NARS Laguna bronzing cream that came in a tube. Perfect or so I thought!  We then had coffee/ ice cream and headed for the supermarket for supplies the following day.

The supermarket had all sorts of fresh juices and concoctions! Love it!  We got some carrot juice, beet juice, wheat grass, coconut water and of course bananas and chocolates. We decided that we will buy Gator and water the following day as these were too heavy to carry.   Went back to the hotel, registered, showered and slept.

March 24, Comp Day ( Palm Sunday)

As always, I woke up earlier than LP, showered and worked on my hair.  I am telling you – though not perfect, I think I am definitely improving on this hair thing.  LP thought there were fewer stray stands and as instructed by our Coach my hair has to be in a bun this time.

Went down at 730 am for breakfast – found some studio mates there.  The Latin events were all in the afternoon. We dance at around 1:00 pm.  The plan was to leave the hotel at about 11 am so we can practice and warm up.

One challenge of the day was to make me tan.  I started working on it, then Verena tried the cream ( Nars), the spray ( Model Co) and the mousse ( Model Co).  LP decided to help out since the process was too slow.  Finally our Coach had to jump in!  Okay – fine.. I wasn’t very dark.. but at least 6x darker than my normal self.  Verdict – am still not dark enough!  What to do now?  Arrggh..  Just jump into the costume, put the earrings, the necklace and bracelets, pack my comp suitcase ( shoes, towel,  powdered gator, energy gel, make up, cologne) and grab a cab to the venue.

We arrived at about 1130, warmed up danced a little, watched the standard events a little, said hi to some Standard friends and finally it was our turn to dance.

The stadium wasn’t very big.  It was basketball court flooring, a little bit slippery, size was that of a volleyball court.  We danced and danced and danced. Round by round, heat by heat!   Poor LP, he admitted later on that he had to drink 3 bottles of red bull and two packs of Gu. He was really sick.

(Sorry gals, I cant remember exactly the order as I am writing this five days after the comp—yep today is Good Friday and I am lounging here at the couch of the Horizon Club trying to finish this post).

I think I did well, I think we did well. Some standard friends thought I did well too.  Final results:

1)   Semifinals for Novice A and B

2)   Finals, 5th place for 3 dance Teacher Student

3)   Finals, 4th place for 4 dance Teacher Student

Not bad, but not the results we were expecting.  Nevermind – each comp  you learn something new. =)

I am just very happy that the all the students of both Latin and Standard Coaches did very well. Happy Happy Happy! =)

After the awarding, LP and I headed back to the hotel—we were STARVING and decided that we will have a good dinner at Benjarong followed by spa – massage, scrub – whatever – our way of treating ourselves for two and a half months of hard work.   Since the spa at Dusit was closed, we ended up at  Spa recommended by the Concierge – Body Tune and had my first taste of Thai Massage. =)  Phew – I thought the girl was gonna kill me!  Gees – that was one of the hardest massage ever.. wasn’t even able to sleep! (Now I realized that the benefits come after).

One hour wasn’t enough so we had to move to another place since Body Tune closed on us.  Had a one hour foot massage at a nice decent place – arrggh that was good too.  Afterwards, we went back to the hotel and found the rest of the gang, drinking themselves to death!  I chatted for a few and decided to call it a night.  The rest stayed on til 5 am!  =)

March 25, 2013

Since this is a regular working day, woke up at 730 am, did some emails, made some calls, ate a quickie breakfast, showered and off we went to the airport.  Was able to finally upgrade to BC  — went shopping at the airport,  had some decent food at the lounge, checked out the detailed results of the comp and headed home.

Landed at about 6:30 pm and went straight to and event.  Got home at 1030 pm, unpacked and slept! =)

The following day was another working day =)

My take and learnings on this comp:

  1. My stamina can finally handle rounds and rounds and rounds of dance.
  2. Finally found a costume that fits my personality – so I am selling all our costumes!
  3. FINALLY found a BIG bottle of Viktor and Rolf FlowerBomb
  4. I am beginning to like Bangkok again.
  5. Since this sport is subjective – take results with a grain of salt.  There are times you will do well, there are times you wont do well.
  6. We need to work on the samba!
  7. Get airbrush tan next time!

So when is the next comp? Maybe May in HK.

Happy Easter everyone! Love you all!

P

Long Live My King

16 Mar

Image

My first born, my baby… my beloved King passed away last March 15 at 8:00 a.m.  The world crashed. My heart was crushed.. to pieces, little by little – I cannot breathe. I cannot swallow. I was crying.. and crying.. and crying. He is gone. Forever.

To none dog lovers — you will never understand.  He is not only a dog to me. He was like my child, my best friend, my supporter, the head of my cheerleading team, my baby, my jester, my love.  He will cheer me up when I am down. He will make me so angry at times, but one look and one lick and all my anger will melt away just like that.

My big guy is gone forever. I will never hear the sound of his voice. I will never see him wag his tiny little tail.  I will never be able to share my fruit, my bread and the leftover ice with my baby.   He left very suddenly.

I met King 10 years ago.  He was the youngest of a litter of 7 puppies.  There were only two puppies left when Lovey found him.  The other puppy was prim and proper, well mannered.  Lovey found king all wet ( you know how wet dogs smell right) and jumping all over the place.   He chose the wet puppy — the puppy that was eventually named King.

We never had any children – initially by choice and later on, we cannot have anymore.  It was okay. Really, it was okay.  Me and my husband were dog people and not having a child was never a problem, ever.  We had no dramatic moments, we did not blame the Big Guy. We never exerted too much effort and emotions on having children. All the love and attention was given to King.

He went to dog school. He had the best puppyhood any dog can imagine. He had toys, he had treats, he had friends. He even won best photo in a photo contest in The Philippine Star. My baby was good looking, well behaved if he wants too but still playful and funny.  He had the stinkiest fart.  He had the loudest snore.  And he had those beautiful eyes that sparkle when he smiles. Yes dog smiles.

King never had any major health problems. He was in tip top shape all the time. He has a good diet. He exercises regularly. We have always been requested for stud services, but we always say no. A few times we checked how the female dog looked like and we always end up with the same answer. No. Why?  Those female dogs doesn’t even look pretty! Thats why the owners want King!  Yes, King was a stud.  He was the talk of the neighborhood because of his size and his pretty face.

Then we met a female dog for sale. She was pretty, she had a kind face, nice soft and silky coat and very well mannered. We got her and she got the name and title Reyna. She became King’s wife.  They had 11 puppies, two died instantly and another one a few weeks after.  One we sold ( I cannot forgive myself for doing that until now).  All the puppies were beautiful.. but still not as beautiful as King.  Reyna died years ago and all of their children are still with us.  Now Reyna and KIng are together in doggie heaven.

You know king sleeps in the room with us, all 10 years of his doggie life.  We are only apart when we are out of town or out of the country.  But we never miss a day without checking on him.  When we are away, King sleeps with Mai.

In the day time, he has his own spot in the house with electric fan or aircon if it gets too hot. He exercises in the morning and afternoon with his other human buddy Arman. Everyday when I get home from work, he will be right there at the front door, barking and welcoming me.  He licks and brushes his big head on my pants, every single day.  We go up to the bed room together. Then when it is time for dinner, we head to the family room.  ( We never use the dining room if we have no guests).  He eats my left over ice and fruit.  If we have a new loaf of bread, he owns the first slice — King’s Slice.  He loves grapes and melon. He eats melon from a fork, without touching the fork.  Yes, he has that Kingly elegance.

After dinner, we head back to the bed room where he slumps on his mat.  He snores very loudly and farts a stink bomb!  He loves farting at people!  Very embarrassing.. but that is his way of welcoming someone.

When we decided to have little dogs, we wanted the same color as King — black and tan. Thus we got daschunds.  Small dogs, yet heavy and stable enough for King to play with.  Thank God he was okay with them. He played with them.  The littles ones loved putting their entire head inside of King’s mouth.  King is okay with having them around but gets really mad when they are too noisy.

In our home, all dogs celebrate their birthdays with fan fare — they are allowed to eat their favorite non toxic food. For King it was one loaf of bread or one bag of pandesal, one whole cold melon, diced, cold grapes and one kilo of chicken breast.  I remember the first time he ate grapes — he looked surprised.. maybe because the grapes burst in his mouth.

That has been the routine for the last 10 years. Ten very happy years.  All my friends and colleagues knew about King. He was really popular.

March 14 at 9:30 pm, Mai noticed that King vomitted.  Lovey went to check on him he told me King is not well.  We all panicked and drove crazily to the vet. I thought he was over heating. That was the longest 30 minute ride of my life. I was praying and praying and praying the whole time.

We got to the vet and the vet asked the normal emergency questions. Mai and Lovey throwing back answers. At 1030 he had a seizure. I was crying crazily at this point they had to take me out of the emergency room. King can probably hear me and is panicking beucase I was crying.  The doctors thought it was poisoning — which we thought was highly improbable. We were very careful  — he had someone with him almost 24/7.  Lovey then thought it can be a fluke — a bird or a cat passed by with poisoned something.

At 11, he was stable… sleeping.. we kept vigil — 1130.. 12…1230.. 1am.. 1..30.. 230… he was  close to his normal self.. still groggy from the medication but trying to move around already –with his dextrose… I think this was his way of telling me he was going to be okay and that I should go home and sleep.  We left but was texting every 30 mins. At 6:00 am, I called and he was still fine. I rushed to get ready and decided I will pass by for him before I go to work.

I got there at around 730 am and he was on the emergency table.. he had another seizure that will turn out to be his last. I knew this was it. I spoke to him while his heartbeat was fading. I told him i was there and it was okay to go. I was calling his name.. talking to him.. and at 8 am, I told the doctors to stop. He was gone, I closed his eyes and kissed his face nonstop. My world crumbled. It was the darkest day of my life.  Lovey came and said his own goodbyes…We have different ways of dealign with pain and grief.

They asked me what will we do with his body.  He will be cremated, placed in an urn and will stay with me for the rest of my life.  He will be with me. Period.

It has been 48 hours since my baby died.  I try to recover, I try to be at peace with the thought that he had a happy life. He had a family who loved him dearly, he had pups, he had a wife, he had a home, good food and best buddies  — both human and doggie. He did not suffer much and now, his remains are still safe and surrounded by love. He should be in doggie heaven and watching over mommy. I am sure he sees me crying and Lovey would always say stop. Let King rest.

I will probably never love another doggie child as much as I love King.  He and I have a special bond htat will be forever in my memory. And I cannot wait until it is my time.. so I can see him again smiling and wagging his tiny tail running to me.

Dear King,

It has already been 48 yours since you left Mommy.   I know you don’t ever want to hurt Mommy. You never wanted to see me cry or angry.  Dont worry baby, Mommy is not angry that you are not here.  Mommy is just sad because I miss you so much.  But I know we will see each other again sometime.  I know you are in a better place with all the ones who have gone before us.

King, for you, I will try to lead a good life —  a productive life so that you can be proud of me.  I will work very hard so that the company named after you 9 years ago will create memories like the ones that we created together.  Your name and memory will never ever be forgotten.

I love you my dear son.  I pray that I may be able to recover soon.  I know you don’t want to see me sad.

Mom

To all my good friends, thank you. Thank you. I think I will be okay. I will really try hard to be okay — for King.  Thank you. It means alot. Salamat.

P

The King and I (Repost) – I love you forever baby

15 Mar

My eldest is turning 8 years old next year February 13, 2011.  His name is King — he is also called King King, Kichie,  Kichie Boy, Kichie Baby, Pogs and King Kong!  He is my 80-pound rottweiler – my precious baby,  the heir to the throne!

The first goal when we moved to a bigger house is to get a dog.  I knew I  wanted a rott — not a lab, not a shi-tzu, not a beagle.. I wanted  a big dog  with character.. a dog I can hug and wrestle with!  I wanted a male dog and I know that he will be named King.

So the search for my  “baby”  is  on.  I found the One — King was the youngest of 7. His dad was a German Champion and his mom is filipina.  He is the youngest and apparently the naughtiest — he loves playing with water so he is always wet.. and wet dogs always stink!    But King had those trusting  eyes.. so even if he did not smell that good he is going home with me!

King since then my favorite baby.. We got him a girlfriend and finally his wife – Reyna.

King smiling

King and Reyna had 11 puppies on the first try!  Two died when they were very small,  two died when they were one year old,    one got sold ( God forgive me for this) and the rest are still with me — Baron, Datu, Maharini, Lady, Empress and Suri.  Duchess is the another rott we got for King but for some reason King doesn’t like Duchess.

King close up

 

 

Reyna died two years ago because of sickness– that was one of the saddest day of my life —  I cried and cried and cried.  I can still remember that day…. she was a very good loyal dog.   She waited for me at the vet.  I hugged her and told that if it is painful, it is okay with her to go and mommy will love her forever.  The vet said her heart jumped when she saw me and when I was talking to her, her heart jumped again and then she slept and slept forever….

I still have King and the babies so I promised to take very good care of them.. They will always have ample food and  vet care.  They have their own shampoo, their own everything.    They even have their own nanny and their birthday are celebrated by the entire household.

King’s favorite things are aircon, bread and ice.. he also snores big time.  He stinks when he is perspiring. He has this look when I try to baby him, like saying ” stop it ma, its embarassing!”.  He loves being scratched in the chest.  He has this imaginary friend at home who scratches him too.. ( hmm, not too imaginary!) and he still doesnt like Duchess!

I love King so much that two companies are named after him.   He is the only one who can sleep beside.  In return, King has proven through the years that he loves me.  Each time I have to work at night, he stays with me.  If he had to choose between me and lovey, he will choose to stay with me.  He sleeps on my side of the bed.

King Big HeadLove you king

 

 

Recently I wanted small dogs and of course, in the tradition of King, I wanted the same color–only smaller.. the Dachshund.. we got two– Czar and Contessa. Czar has the same color as King. But Conteng ( nickname of Contessa) is brown and the only reason we got her is because we have the same eye shape. =)

 

 

 

Recently we noticed that King can tolerate Contessa but not Czar.  And, Contessa loves playing with King!    I also checked out the dictionary and here goes..both are of German decent.

Rott-wei-ler (rot-wahy-ler) – noun – one of a German breed of large poweful dogs having a short coarse, black coat with tan to brown markings

Dachs-hund ( dahks-hoont) – noun- one of a German breed of dogs having short legs, a long body and ears and a usually tan or black and tan coat

One last note — we recently got a dog from the streets – a shi-tzu and named her Emperatriz ( Queen in spanish).

There you go.. you have met  the Royal Family… just imagine, I give orders to the king, the Duchess, the Baron, the Czar.. and I am only a Princess. =)

p

 

Dying Young

10 Mar

I am not really good with deaths. I don’t want good byes.  

I met death when I was 11 years old. I can remember clearly that day, 7 October 1981.  I visited the house of my Mom from school. The helper said she was in her room sleeping.   I knocked, no answer. I guess she was really tired. I left.  You see, my parents have been separated since I was 4 and at that time there was this (stupid) rule that the daughter goes to the dad and the son goes to the mother.  I ended up with my dad.  Fast forward, about 2 hours after.  My uncle called that my my mom passed away.  I couldn’t cry. Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe it was just a nightmare and I will wake up and everything will be okay again.

It was real.  She was 34. I can remember vividly the last mass and all the members of the family will have to sprinkle holy water on the casket.  That was painful. I can still feel the pain up to now. It was like a knife piercing my heart little by little. 

The last couple of weeks, I had to deal with death — first was the wife of a friend . She was 29.  I know her husband. He was such a wonderful man. I know the pain. I was sooooo sad for him. No amount of words can make it okay.   He was not my best friend, but I knew him well enough and it pains me to even think of the sadness he is going through. 

After I came back from XTERRA Cebu and was just checking FB, I found out that a colleague from Singapore, also passed away. She has been fighting cancer for the last 4-5 years.  She was a very bubbly person.  Very nice, very courageous.  I can remember vividly that from nowhere she quit her wonderful job, travelled the world  and when we had the chance to catch up — she told me she had cancer and had to go away and find herself.  I followed her journey via Facebook. I even thought she was in remission.  She was so strong. Very pretty. She posted her photo in FB without hair — still with that big beautiful smile.  And then she was gone.  And I wasnt able to say good bye. Arrrgh.

Today.. another shock. I got a text early in the morning that a triathlete passed away.  I knew him. We were together in Maui. He never failed to say hi with his big smile. I can just imagine the pain of the wife, his teammates. Arrgghh…

Life is indeed very short. We wouldn’t know when it will be our time.  What to do?  I guess live life fully — say thank you as often as you can. Say I love you as often as you can. 

Am really quite sad today.

P