8. Do yoga (Bikram or fly) – Day1

I have always wanted to try Bikram and today I did it for the first time! I was so nervous a few hours before heading to the studio. Good thing I tried this with my friends, or else I would have gone home today instead. Haha.

So, first impressions first, when we entered the room, it was hot but tolerable. I have spent time in places way hotter than this room so it was no biggie. What I wasn’t prepared for was the smell. Do the math, hot room = ???

Second, I really really should have listened to a friend’s advice. Flow first before Bikram. Okay, I haven’t tried flow yet, but she convinced me  that starting with a slower pace would be better. But I couldn’t find a studio offering flow that I could squeeze into my schedule, so I went straight ahead to Bikram.

Mr. Charleston, our instructor, was very patient but he will push you to your limits. Most important lesson I learned tonight? No shortcuts. Hahaha. I was so tired I wasn’t sure I could make it to the end of the class. The only thing running through my mind that time was to get it done and over with. I didn’t think I have enough energy to finish the class. But no, he won’t allow shortcuts. I was so surprised when I was able to finish that pose correctly. Thank you! And he also showed us what we are doing wrong and why we couldn’t do the pose.

The one and a half hour seemed too long when you’re dead tired and just wanted to lay down the mat for one full minute before proceeding with the next pose. I don’t think I have sweat this much in my entire life!

Tiring? Definitely! I would be in bed by now if it weren’t for the good news I got that seemed to recharge me instantly. Plus, I’m not sure I could get up tomorrow, but I will try harder for Day 2.

Bikram can be very demanding and overwhelming for first timers like me but it sure feels great afterwards. Not to mention cold. After spending more than an hour in a hot room, you will surely feel the cold air once you leave the studio very true since our class ended late at night. Note to self: bring jacket for Day2.

Wish me luck! *keeping my fingers crossed*

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Rise of the Guardians

Lately, I am in what I call my “topak mode” (blame the hormones, not me) so when we went out for a snack and I saw the collection of toys offered for a Happy Meal, I got my Jack Frost toy and nuggets. Yey!

Having one of my topak moments, Dulce and I decided to catch the movie after office hours. When we came back to our workstations, we didn’t get the chance to check the movie schedule because of our meeting.

On the dot, we left the office after the meeting and rushed to Eastwood to watch the movie but we were out of luck. We decided to try and catch the last showing in Metroeast instead. We barely made it in time and wasn’t able to watch the trailers of the up coming movies.

The movie was very nice. Seeing Jack Frost was love at first sight. Even the toothfairies-in-training needed to be reminded to get a hold of themselves. Hahaha.

Santa and the elves and his sleigh. I loved Santa’s tatoo of Naughty and Nice on each arm. And I liked the red and black outfit too. The red and white was starting to get too old for me. Haha.

Toothfairy. Well, I find her a little creepy throughout the movie. Or maybe, collecting teeth (some are still bloody) didn’t sit well with me. Especially when she looked thrilled to see those bloody teeth. Not a good picture for the kids, which Sophie (one of the characters in the movie) clearly pointed out with a loud wail.

Bunny. Aside from his creepy, giagantic easter egg sidekicks, he was a cool bunny. A funny bunny who paints eggs for the kids. Yes, Easter is just as important as Christmas.

Finally, my favorite guardian, adorable Sandy. He is in charge of the kid’s dreams. Oh, and he cannot make a sound so he communicates by forming images with sand. I couldn’t help but think that Sandy was the most powerful guardian (not counting Jack Frost yet). What can be more powerful than dreams? I can’t think of anything.

Together, they protect the kids from Ptich Black (aka the Boogey Man) who wanted to be turn all their hopes and dreams into fear and darkness.

This movie reminded me how powerful dreams are. Especially for kids. And that we never should stop believing.

I liked how the movie ended. Get the kids and watch this movie. I think watching it in 3D will be worth it. The kids will love it.

All I Want for Christmas!

I love giving gifts to people who are special to me. But I never ask for gifts in return (except if your family. Haha). When if comes to friends, I usually ask for favors instead like baked goodies or exchange of files *wink wink*. More often than not, it requires more of the person’s time and effort rather than money.

But since I was tagged to this list, I decided to play along. It looked fun!

1. Sausage Pillow – don’t ask me why or how it got its name. I just saw it while browsing the net. At dahil inggiterang frog ako, gusto ko din. Ang sarap siguro matulog pag ganyan ang unan mo… Dapat lang noh, kasi Php1300 po ang unan na yan. Kaya hanggang pangarap na lang siguro yan.

2. Jacket with thumbholes – ginawin akong bata kaya hindi ako mabubuhay ng walang kumot AT jacket pag nagbibiyahe. Kaso wala pa akong nakikitang bilihan ng ganitong jacket dito sa Pinas. Meron pang lalaki lang. Kamusta naman yun. Pero yung jacket ng UP Pep Squad ganito. Hindi ko lang alam kung san sila nagpagawa. Malamang may minimum sila sa pagorder bago sila magtahi.

3. Backpack – No particular brand. Basta water resistant, may bag cover, may lagayan ng sapatos at madaming pockets. Yung tipong keri akong buhayin ng 3-5days sa galaan. Hehe.

4. Long Recurve Bow – Kaso ang sabi sakin, kelangan mo muna ng formal lessons bago bumili ng bow. at least Php11,000 lang naman ang complete set ng equipment at Php7,000 ang lessons, so yeah… Mukhang magtatagal itong item na ito wishlist ko ng ilang taon pa. Hahaha.

5. Bookshelf – yung wishlist namin sa office, puro libro ang hiningi ko. Pero ang totoo, wala ng space ang bookshelf ko kaya pakalat-kalat na lang sila sa bahay. Tsktsktsk. Ambisyosa lang yung picture sa baba pero kahit simple bookshelf lang masaya na ako. Para lang hindi kung saan saan napupunta yung mga libro ko. ^__^

(left) closed bookshelf;  (right) opened bookshelf

6. Anything sparkly! And I mean anything. Bag, wallet, top, shoes, mugs, notebook, at kahit ano pang anek anek yan, basta nakintab, masisiyahan na ako. Haha.

I know. Ang hirap ng wishlist ko. Kaya nga hindi ako nagdedemand ng gifts outside of the family eh. Hahaha. Pero madali lang naman maghanap ng sparkly things so yun na ang pinakasafe kung gusto nyo akong regaluhan. Hahaha!

Happy Holidays, guys!

Atlantis’ Aladdin

Being a fan of theater and musical shows, my brother and I have been waiting for this play for sometime now. We got side balcony seats and it was good enough for both of us. Before we went to see the show, we heard good reviews for the show and a lot of praise for Aiza Seguerra’s interpretation as Genie. And we were lucky to catch her when we watched the show.

More on that later, for now… here’s my take on the show.

Aiza Seguerra (as Genie), Tom Rodriguez (as Aladdin), K-la Rivera (as Princess Jasmine) and Calvin Millado (as alternate Genie)

Atlantis Production launched its newest full-length show based on Disney’s Aladdin. The show was directed by Bobby Garcia and Chari Arespacochaga, set design by Lex Marcos and Lawyn Cruz, lighting design by Jay Aranda, choreography by Ceicle Martinez, costume design by Twinkle Zamora, musical direction by Ceejay Javier and vocal direction by ManMan Angsico.

Aside from our beloved characters, three hilarious narrators namely Babkak (Bibo Reyes), Omar (Johann Dela Fuente) and Kassim (Jamie Wilson) were introduced riding three mutated camels while singing Arabian Nights. There were clearly something wrong and disturbing with one of  the camels, and I learned that they used recycled materials for their props. So, that explains it. Hahaha. Aside from the camels, the rest of the props were wonderful.

Tom Rodriguez did surprise me during the first part of the show. Wow. He can sing! He did sound like the real Aladdin. But after the first song, his voice kinda changed. It sounded different but still good. I even heard a comment from the person sitting beside me who thinks Tom’s first song was dubbed because his succeeding songs really sounded different. There were a few moments that he still sounded like Aladdin again but it changes so fast. Well, he is new in theater… but he was good as a first timer.

K-la Rivera (Nina of In The Heights) was a charming. It was my first time to watch her perform and I enjoyed hearing her sing.

And our favorite character of this show, Aiza Seguerra‘s Genie. Whenever she appears, all eyes are on her. She was the without a doubt, smallest one on stage but she owned it. In one part of the show, she entered the stage from the audience and people leaned closer just to see her while she was down the stage having a conversation with Aladdin. Even after the show, we were still talking about her. I think the show must have been titled Genie instead of Aladdin. Haha. We were really happy to catch her. I couldn’t imagine how Calvin Millado would take on the role, but I’m sure he’ll be great too. He did a lot of shows to back up his credentials, too bad I haven’t seen him perform yet. Maybe next time?

Raul Montesa who is a theater veteran and Miss Saigon alumnus, plays Jafar. I did some research to help me with this blog entry and I wasn’t surprised to know that he was a part of Miss Saigon. He has such a powerful voice. It was just amazing to hear him. I would love to watch another show with him as the lead. Of course Jafar will not be complete without Iago who is portrayed by Jimmy Marquez – concert performer turned theater actor. The Sultan was played by Jun Ofrasio who is also a Miss Saigon alumnus. Wow! Two Miss Saigon alumni in one show! You just can’t miss this. The standing ovation was well earned. Good job guys!

Grab your tickets here while you still can. Aladdin will be  playing until December 9, 2012. Enjoy the show! For tickets and inquiries please call Atlantis Productions at 892-7078.
Reference for the show’s cast was taken here.

Meg Gardiner’s Jo Beckett Series

After reading Gardiner’s latest novel for her Jo Beckett series she immediately became one of my favorite authors and I looked for the previous Beckett series.

The first of the Beckett series. Since I started with The Memory Thief, I thought I would get to see Daniel and Jo in the first book but the series already started with Daniel’s death with a few flashbacks. It made me a little sad but Gabe was so sweet I didn’t really mind. Plus Gardiner really knows how to write a book you can’t put down. Everyone has their dark and dirty secrets and they tell other members of the club. Problem is, members start dying one by one and it is up to Beckett to stop the other members from losing their lives.

In this book, Beckett is called to help a patient with anterograde amnesia – basically it means the part of your brain where you store long term memories cant be accessed. And it is not cute and funny like Walt Disyney’s Finding Nemo, where a fish named Dory forgets everything after a few minutes. Imagine that happening to you or a friend or family, where you forget what happened every five minutes. People with anterograde amnesia will retain the memories before they got the amnesia, like if they were married or had kids.

This book reminds me of Alan Lightman’s Einstein’s Dreams. A part of his book says if time was not continuous and people would not remember what happened yesterday and has no concept of tomorrow, every word said, every act done would be honest. Wouldn’t that be nice? I started to doubt that after reading this book.

I couldn’t decide which Beckett book is my favorite after reading three books in the series. Haha.

A known singer dies in the middle of her concert and Beckett is called in to help to determine the cause of death – suicide or murder. Turns out, the singer was also the ex-wife of the president and felt threatened enough to leave a message in her song just in case she dies. Surprisingly, it took me a lot longer time to actually finish the book. Unlike the other Beckett novels I read before, this didn’t really make it to the top of the list. Maybe it’s because I figured out how to solve the case way faster than Beckett did (okay, so maybe the people I love were not in danger while working on the case, but still…) Gardiner has better works than this one in my opinion. It was not a terrible book. It just didn’t do it for me.

While waiting for another Beckett novel, there are other books lined up and waiting to be picked up in my bookshelf. So… bye for now! ^__^