Monday, December 31, 2007

my annual New Year blogging tradition

Since I started blogging, I began this little tradition that I do every December that I look back on all the things that had happened throughout the year. This year had been pretty different, and I had welcomed lots of unexpected things.


I began the year being such a drama queen, worrying about things that I really shouldn't be worried about. Then Rosa, one of my best friends, had to leave to work in Switzerland for an entire year. I can't believe she's finally home. After all those emails and text messages, I couldn't wait to see her again.
And speaking of best friends, I really can't leave this one out. This was the same month when I met BFFs Carlo and Zee at the same time. It was all thanks to ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Musikal and Coffee Bean that we got together, hahaha.


More drama galore this month, and finally stopped fooling myself. Enough of all the naivete. Punctuated it with the very first reading of Dogeaters. Once again, "Salamat... Sorry... at keep in touch." Chocolate and coffee jelly became my best friends. What lifted my spirits up was that I also got to witness the Avenue Q open auditions.


Carlo, Zee and I established the "BFFs" this month, hahaha. Hung out at coffee shops and watched plays together. Sundays were always booked at Starbucks or Coffee Bean and followed by a play. Zee was the chattiest with all her anecdotes, I provided the drama (ew), and Carlo was a pro at giving his crazy quips.


First, the ironman emerged. Thought it was an April fools' joke, and even right on up to this date, I'm still thinking that it was a joke. Like what I said, a flirt and a tease is not a very good combination.
Then came my second year of workshops under Tanghalang Pilipino. "Failure gives you character. Too much success will make you a wimp." I'll never forget those words. Because I took up Beginning Acting the year before, I decided to take a chance and signed up for Acting in Musical Theater, despite the fact that I'm not really all that confident about my singing voice. But I still enjoyed taking classes, never mind that I always have to fly from Makati to CCP after work almost every evening. Junk food break and begging for change every 8 in the evening. Tapa King at 10 after every class. I spent every Saturday night in Malate with Minette, Gino and Arvin and went home when the sun rose. And I can't believe that I actually got casted (or typecasted? Hahaha!) as the alpha-female in our recital.


The first weekend marked the last day of our workshop, and performed Blue Jeans the Musical as our recital, and I enjoyed every moment of our performance. Despite my flats and sharps, and chuckles galore during that one scene, I had a blast. Roeder had talked to me after the show and all his notes boosted my confidence.


During the last night out of our workshop class, Minette had said that she noticed how much I fell in love with the company of people from Tanghalang Pilipino. So for this month, she gave me my first project with TP, He-Me-She-It, which is one of the plays in this year's Virgin Labfest. I lucked out getting Tito Jaime as director, and the TP Actors Company, including my baby bro, as the cast. I was so grateful for this project, as I had realized that I still had a lot to learn as a stage manager/assistant stage manager. I watched other plays' rehearsals, sat in the tech booth with Chynna as she called cues for ZsaZsa Zaturnnah, and spent some time bonding with people I barely knew. My motto for this month was "Conquer it!" courtesy of Tito Jaime. Opened Virgin Labfest 3 at the end of the month, and despite some little screwups of mine, I managed to pull things off.


Continuation of Virgin Labfest this month, and regularly checked out films of this year's Cinemalaya entries. Nothing really significant at all about this month, except for that one big night out with all the BFFs! CCP, Harbour Square, Glorietta, Malate and Carlo’s house... we were everywhere in the span of about 24 hours.


Another project with Tanghalang Pilipino--Pilipinas Circa 1907. This time as supertitling operator. Not much, but hey, at least I get to watch every show. I actually spent 8 hours just sitting in front of the computer fixing those darn supertitles, hahaha. Spent lots of late afternoons sitting in Starbucks Harbour Square just typing away on my best friend's laptop. And then, someone was trying all his best attempts to find a way into my life, ahehehe.


Pilipinas Circa had closed on a good note, especially for me, hehehe. Opened Avenue Q and had a blast with the front-of-house stuffing ourselves silly with Bravo's crostini topped with dips and spreads. When the play had closed, I spent my day off pretty well, and finally opened my heart to welcome a new love. (Holy kamote, this is getting too cheesy for me.) Happiness really is like two kinds of ice cream, with cherries on top.


Started voice lessons at David's music studio. I actually got a pretty good deal. With a family discount, I get one hour of lessons every week, and baby-stepped from soprano 2 to soprano 1. Dogeaters rehearsals also began this month, and I was so glad at how "diverse" the cast was, which included my baby bro. I also got to meet Tad's family this month. Hahaha, it was so funny that I was always stuffing myself with food every time I meet them.


More Dogeaters rehearsals, and I got the honor of being the first person in Manila to meet Jessica Hagedorn during her visit this year. Lots of stress due to crazy sponsors of this productions, but at least I finally managed to laugh it off now. The show opened without much of a hitch, but I was just so sad that I didn’t get to spend quality time with my balikbayan cousin Shirley, her son Dominic, and her boyfriend Jason because the play ate up most of my time.


Super busy month, what with the closing of Dogeaters plus the opening of Avenue Q's repeat run. I resigned to the fact that I wouldn't be able to celebrate my birthday well, because there were 2 shows during that day, but I was wrong. Tad had surprised me at the theater during the evening show, and it became one of my best birthdays ever. One of the best year-enders included a potluck get-together of the Hogi Hall at Rosa's house. We were loaded with pasta and drinks, and talked the night away until the sun rose.

This year is about to end, and even though this Christmas has been one of the quietest (if not the quietest), I’m still grateful for everything that had happened this year. Even though there were some things that didn’t happen the way I had planned them to be, I can still say that I am truly blessed. With much hope, 2008 will be an even greater year. To everyone who made my 2007 one helluva damn good year, thank you so much!


Monday, December 17, 2007

birthday surprise

I haven't blogged in ages. I've been so busy that I hardly even get to reply to half of the text messages I get (well, except for work-related messages). Every time I go online, the only thing I get to do is check email, and briefly browse through other friends' blogs. I never got to update mine in such a long time. Dogeaters had already closed and Avenue Q's repeat is ongoing.

Ever since we had booked Avenue Q's repeat for this month, I had already expected that I won't be celebrating my birthday like the usual, as my birthday falls on one of the showdates. And like every other special show, it's a Sunday that doesn't just have a matinee, but also an evening performance. So every time anyone would ask how I would celebrate that day, I would just say that I'd be working.

I was still on my way home from the previous evening's show on the first hour of the 16th. I had resigned to the fact that I wouldn't be able to attend the first morning of simbang gabi, as I was so tired and will be working until an hour before midnight. Wow, talk about maximizing the day. And when I mentioned this to my dad when I got home, he got mad because I wouldn't be hearing mass. I was so upset at his reaction that I just went straight to my room and cried because he didn't even greet me. After Tad (who had said that he was in Lucena for some workshop thing) had texted me a birthday greeting, I called him up and told him about the whole thing to calm myself down before I went to sleep.

Nothing extraordinary at the office that morning, as we continued to bag the Avenue Q T-shirts we were to sell. I had complained to Lawyn about my dad's reaction, which had happened again before I left for work so I just briskly walked out of the house. I bought lunch for Law and Kuya Boni (the usual barbecue, pancit and laing, yum) before we left for the theater.

The lobby was pretty quiet when we got there, then Chari emerged from inside the theater with a little birthday present plus a box of yummy brownies from her and Bobby. Wheee, thanks for the headband, Chari! We were then left alone when she went back inside, and suddenly I got a phone call from Ate Sally in Dubai! Hahaha, telebabad over the phone as I updated her on everything that had happened, then my phone got passed from ear to ear as everyone wanted to talk to Ate Sally as they suddenly started appearing and greeted me.

After the matinee show, we had the usual Tender Roast dinner... plus Krispy Kreme from GR! Man, was the front-of-house so pumped up with sugar, as Mia had also appeared with a tin of Mrs. Fields' cookies.

While we were just hanging out in the lobby after eating, I got a text from Tad, asking if I had received a package that he had sent via courier. What? I kept on the lookout for anything the whole time as we waited for the people to arrive. When the show had began and the crowd had just thinned out, I suddenly saw Tad right in front of me with a his birthday present for me, a cake, and a huge bouquet of flowers! I was so surprised and so speechless that I just sat there with my hands covering half my face and kept saying "OH MY GOD!" as I felt my face turning red. Lawyn, Ms. Berns, Chari and Abi were there with me at the lobby to witness the whole thing to their delight as they laughed at me. Holy kamote, that was some surprise. But then again, who had ever heard of a 3-day workshop in Lucena? So anyway, while the entire Act 1 progressed inside the theater, I sat next to Tad outside and I suddenly burst into tears because I was so overwhelmed with joy at what he did. When I turned my head, I caught Ms. Berns with her phone up, taking a photo of me, HAHAHA! I want that photo! Hehehe, when I went back inside, Chari even did a little interview on my lovelife. Holy kamote, let's not go back to the past, please, ahehehe. But during that conversation, she was right about one thing, nyahahaha.

I had a goofy smile on my face during the whole duration of the play until it ended. I didn't even mind that I had to bring a whole lot of stuff back, including a box of Krispy Kreme donuts. Tad went home with me and we had a little midnight snack of cake and coffee with my mom. After Mom had went to bed, that was when I opened Tad's present. It was a glass bottle filled potpourri, blue glitter... and birthday messages from friends that he had gathered! Santa banana. Even though I had a hard time opening all the rolled up paper (he had the mistake of gluing the paper after he had rolled them up), I was so touched at all the messages. After I had finished reading all of them, I found myself crying again. Yeah, I'm such a sucker for things like these.

Thank you to those who had greeted me through text, email, and especially those who had put their messages in that bottle.

The bottle that contained those messages are now sitting on a high shelf in my room, next to a box where I had put the messages.

So far, this year is one of the best birthdays I had ever. I can't thank you enough, love.