Thursday, April 26, 2012

Taking ballroom dancing seriously. Well, something like that.

In my last blog post, I talked about attending a sampling class for ballroom dancing under Big Shift studios before they formally began their summer classes. I had so much fun during that one hour of dancing that I finally decided to enroll. So I did, and even availed of their limited buy one, take one package promo, which doubled my class units even though I opted to get the smallest unit package.

I had enrolled last Monday, and my class was scheduled at 1:15pm that day. I had the same teacher who facilitated our sampling class, and when class began, I realized that there was just me and another girl, whom I recognized as the advanced dancer in the sampling class. I forgot her name though.

Ian (the dance instructor) was pretty cool. We tackled the basic rumba that afternoon (basic footwork first for me, more on technique and hip movement for the advanced), and it was so much fun. Another advanced dancer joined us after a while, and I found out that the younger girl had been Ian's student since she was little, and the elder one had already been dancing for 3 years. I looked at their pretty dance shoes with little envy, while I was dancing in my socks as so my footwork could be observed.

Anyway, it was pretty fun dancing along with the advanced students, and I did manage to pick up a lot fairly quickly. And because of that, we even managed to cover the basic cha cha cha (yes, it's not called just the cha cha) before class had to end.

I eagerly returned to class the next day, just so I can make good use of all my class units. As it turned out, I was going to be the only student that day, but Clang, the kickboxing and Zumba teacher, decided to join the class. We reviewed the rumba and covered more of the cha cha cha. Clang was amused that I was really enjoying the class and encouraged me to keep going, and maybe even try competitive dancing. Wow. It's like that offer I regretted accepting 4 years ago.

I attended my 3rd session this afternoon, and this time, I was really the only student. There were 2 moms who tried to check out the class because their kids were enrolled in the class that was going on at the same time at the other studio. They also got to join in right on until the very end. We did the mambo, and to my relief, it's simpler than the last couple of dances we've done. But of course, being the only (enrolled) student, we worked pretty fast, going through all the steps quickly and making pretty good use of the time. Super fun!

Ian even quipped that I might actually become a "ballroomista," if that even is a real word, hahaha! Who knows? Maybe I will. But I first need to get a pair of dancing shoes.

No classes again tomorrow, due to the dance studio's formal inauguration. But at least there's still the Saturday class. And of course, I want to go back to belly dancing again in CCP in the morning. I missed 2 Saturdays already.

So far, with everything I've been blogging these past few months, this year has been pretty different. And I'm enjoying it so far. I wonder what the rest of the year has in store for me.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ballroom dancing.

Last week, I saw my friend Anne post a link on Facebook about this dance school somewhere in Makati. I saw in the ad that they included ballroom dancing, plus they have free sampling classes this week before they officially begin the summer classes.

A couple of emails later, I had signed up for one of the sampling classes for basic ballroom dancing, which was yesterday (Friday) at 1:15 in the afternoon. I honestly didn't know what to expect, so I decided to come a bit earlier to A. Venue (where the place was) and look around. There was not much yet, but the dance studio had a glass front, so you can see everything inside. There was a ballet class still going on inside, with only one student. I went inside the office next to the studio, and asked about the rates for the classes. One of the 2 people I got to talk to was Ian, who was the ballroom dancing instructor. There were some pretty good packages, especially for us who had signed up for the sampling classes, and enrollees also had the option of using their units for other classes as well, instead of just sticking to one for the entire summer.

After the ballet class was done, we all filed in inside. The sampling class was composed of mostly girls, plus 2 guys who were obviously dragged there by the staff. There was this young girl who was appropriately dressed in dance attire, complete with ballroom dancing shoes, so I guess she's one of the advanced dancers (there were 2 girls in the class that are, I think).

We covered the basic samba for that one hour class. The basic stationary samba walk. The bota fogo. The volta. The curacha. Plus another one whose term I forgot. What's funny is that one of the guys actually remembered all the terms. Anyway, I already knew the typical samba, but we were taught that simply doing the steps just for the heck of it was purely for social dancing, which somewhat looks awkward, in a way. With a little technique, some swinging of the hips, and it becomes a beautiful dance that makes you move like a wave bobbing up and down.

There was still a bit of time left, so we covered the basic step of the cha cha cha. Yes, it's called the cha cha cha, not merely the cha-cha, hahaha. I had already learned the technique when I once attended this half-hour ballroom session during Pasinaya back in 2008. It took a while to get it back in my system, but Ian simply said to just keep crossing your legs, which was basically the trick to doing the cha cha cha.

What was amusing about Ian was that whenever someone gets the steps properly, he says thank you. I got that when I picked up the cha cha cha, hahaha. And that one girl doing the advanced stuff, she's really good. She made everything look so easy.

Anyway, it was a really fun class, even though it was just for an hour. I'm seriously considering the class, but I sure do hope they have a payment scheme if ever I won't be able to give the full payment right away. Unless there's anyone who would want to sponsor me? Hahaha!

Thanks, BIG Shift DANKA, for the awesome time, even though it was just for an hour.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Visiting Bacolod.

Too lazy to upload photos from the trip, so I think I'll just blog about it first.

I was in the airport by 2:30 in the morning on Monday, as our flight was at 4:30. I was flying with Jill and Ikey, as Nicco, Nar, and Hendri were to follow the next day. It's so funny how we kept laughing at Ikey's printout of Jill's driver's license and credit card, as it wasn't resized, so it consumed the entire letter-size paper. Anyway, we were hungry by the time we had checked-in, and we couldn't help but purchase those overpriced cup noodles while we wait for our boarding call.

Bianca was already at the airport, waiting for us, by the time we had reached Bacolod. She first took us to our hotel so we can check in and get some more sleep. It took a short while to organize our room assignments, as there were only 3 of us, but considering our arrivals and departures were somewhat staggered, we decided to pick rooms that had 3 beds. But of course, because Jill had told us about this particular room in the same hotel (as she and Bianca had once stayed there before) that had a window beside the tub, we just had to ask to sneak a peek at one of those rooms, hahaha!

Spent the rest of the morning sleeping, then Bianca picked us up for lunch. We ended up in Aida's in Manokan Country. Ah yes, now this is real chicken inasal. So yummy. After lunch, of course we still had room for dessert, so Bianca took us to Calea. Oh my gosh, so many yummy and sinful desserts, and I'm not allowed to eat half of them. Thank goodness for cheesecake. What I thought was a simple strawberry cheesecake turned out to have cherries and blueberries as well, plus little pineapple pieces inside. One of our funniest conversations occurred there, consisting of scary movies and what were the worst scary movies of all time.

We were supposed to check out Balay Negrense next, but considering it was a holiday (first day of the Panaad Festival), the place was closed. So we headed for The Ruins in Talisay, this beautiful structure that we saw on a tarp ad at the airport. Our car had to drive through this long and rocky road to get there, so it felt like we were all bobbleheads during the drive to the place. It was worth it, though. The Ruins was considered the Taj Mahal of Negros, having been once a mansion until it got destroyed during the Japanese occupation. What remained was still a beautiful piece of architecture. We spent quite a while just going around, taking pictures of the place and its surroundings.

Headed back to the hotel to rest for a while, then we got to go to the Panaad Festival in the evening. There was still place where they annually hold this particular festival, and all the cities in Negros Occidental gather here. We got to meet Bianca's family in the Sagay house, as her dad's the city's mayor. For dinner, we were served some yummy food, including some sort of shellfish whose name I forgot. After having our fill, we got to go around to check out the festivities. Each city had their own booth, showcasing their history, culture, industry and etcetera.

It was so funny when Jill, Ikey and I were hanging out in our room that night. We ended up watching the first part of Temptation Island (the original one), and I just had to crack up at all the crazy lines.

Early the following morning, Bianca and Jill picked up Nicco and Nar at the airport, then brought them back to the hotel. They had arrived when Ikey and I were still asleep, so they had to knock on the door several times. They managed to catch a couple of hours sleep before Bianca picked us up again (with sister Bea and Bea's best friend Melissa), because it was beach day!

We piled up in the van, got takeout from Jollibee for breakfast, then had to go to the airport again to pick Hendri up, as he had a later flight, coming from Iligan. Then we were off to Sagay. Bianca had warned us about the long drive, and boy, she wasn't kidding. It really was long, a couple of hours at least.

We went to Carbin Reef in Sagay, this sandbar that's half an hour away by boat. So when we pulled up at the pier, we boarded a small boat, and we were off. For a while, we were going crazy because the water kept splashing us, leaving most of us soaked before we reached our destination. And when we got there, it literally was a sandbar. A strip of sand that was even smaller that day because of the high tide, with a bunch of little huts lined up from end to end. We got to have the big one of the bunch at one end of the sandbar. The wind was still kind of crazy, but it was still fine. Of course some had to tie their clothes on the bamboo poles of the hut, and we all had to insert our slippers between the poles that lined the hut horizontally to keep them from drifting away into the water.

Lunch time at the sandbar! We pigged out on all this food, plus there's beer and Tanduay Ice as well. It started raining while we were eating, but that didn't bother us. It stopped by the time we were all full, so some of us decided to take a dip in the water. What was so funny was that a little later, we were all still holding bottles of (mostly) Tanduay Ice (even while in the water), so Bianca just had to react. "It's like a Tanduay Ice commercial!"

As I'm not really a beach person, at first I just stayed standing by the tiny shore, but even after a while, the water looked kind of enticing, so I just had to take a little dip. Once I was there, the water felt so great. So this is what it felt like, hahaha. Most of the time I just stayed by the shallowest part, keeping all but my head above the water.

By around 2:30 in the afternoon, it was time we had to head back. While I was drying myself off, that was when I realized that I only had one slipper wedged between the bamboo poles along with the rest of the slippers. I think the other slipper wasn't wedged in that well, fell to the sand, and got swept out to the water. I was ready to just go barefoot all the way home, but Ikey had offered to let me use his own slippers and go barefoot himself, so I was grateful for that.

Another long drive back home. We all slept during most of the ride, plus had to endure listening to this CD that was playing on loop since our ride that morning. It was actually of some girl singing some popular covers.

Me: Ang dami na niyang ni-cover.
Nar: Alam mo kung ano pa ang pwede niyang i-cover?
Me: Ano?
Nar: Yung mouth niya.


When we finally arrived at the hotel, it was time for slight room re-assignment. Jill moved to the other room with Nicco and Nar, and Hendri took her place in the room we share with Ikey. Showers galore to get rid of all the sand, saltwater and whatnot, and then Bianca picked us up by around 7:30 for dinner.

We went to this place called Pepe's, where they had mentioned had yummy salpicao. I ended up havng the pesto crusted chicken breast and French onion soup (which I've been craving for since last week). Pretty yummy, and I didn't even get to finish my side order of mashed potatoes.

Of course we always make room for dessert, and wanted to go back to Calea, but when we got there, it was already closed. So Bianca took us to the next best thing, which was Cafe Bob's. Ended up getting another cheesecake, but I have to say, I missed the berry cheesecake I had the day before at Calea. We were all on some sort of food coma while we were sitting around in the cafe, and we still had scheduled massages late that night. So hilarious.

Off to the Grand Royal spa at 10:30 in the evening, and we all got thermal massages. Oh, that felt really good after a long day like that.

Back to the hotel again, and after reading a few pages of the 2nd "Hunger Games" book, I was off to sleep.

Ikey and I had to leave by Wednesday morning (so we didn't get to join the ocular that day, or meet Mito, who would be helping us in our Bacolod run of Children's Letters to God), so it was just the 2 of us on the flight back. By the time we got to the airport, there was this super long line at the entrance, and as it turned out, their walk-through detectors at the entrance was broken, so they had everyone open their bags instead. My goodness. And when we had boarded the plane. both our assigned seats were occupied, and when we had checked each other's tickets, both seats had been double-booked. We had to stand around and wait for the flight attendant who had assisted us to have our seats reassigned to the ones next to the original ones.

I remember mentioning at the beginning of the year that I wanted to travel more. It wasn't exactly a new year's resolution, but I'm glad I really did get to travel more, and to think that half the year's isn't over yet. I can't wait for what the rest of the year will bring.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I really need to update.

Once again, I haven't been blogging these past few weeks. So I really owe you guys an update big time.

Sometime in the middle of last month, Tin had invited me to join her for belly dancing and stuff in CCP for one Saturday morning, so I went. We were supposed to meet up at CCP at 6 in the morning, but she slept in a little, so I had to wait for her. When she was already on her way, I found this aerodance group in one of the parking areas, so I joined in. Once Tin had texted me that she was already there, I joined the other group that she was in, where there was also belly dancing. I just love dancing as exercise, that's why I enjoy dancing to my Zumba workout videos, plus I still really want to take ballroom dancing lessons.

After the dance workout, we decided to walk along Roxas all the way to Luneta. It was awesome bonding with Tin, just walking and talking. It didn't feel like a long walk as it was fun just bonding with her. We hung around the park for a while, and even took photos of pigeons and kids just going around the place, before walking back to CCP. Had a late breakfast at KFC in Harbor Square before we finally headed home.

I had so much fun with the dance workout that Dingdong had invited me to join his free Sh'bam class in ATC (every Tuesday evening). My goodness, 45 minutes of nonstop, fast-paced dancing never felt so good. I enjoyed it so much that I came back the following week, only to find out that it was the last class. Too bad. And I thought that he was booked there for the entire year. Oh well. At least I still have the one in CCP every Saturday morning.

Another update. I just had my shortest haircut last Saturday afternoon. I actually wanted a shorter pixie cut like the one Ginnifer Goodwin has on Once Upon a Time, but by the time I was talking to the stylist, he suggested an edgier cut that I also kind of liked, so I went for that instead. The haircut debuted at Jekyll and Hyde show that very evening. I watched it alone, and thanks to Red, I got a complimentary ticket (for the 2nd row, coolness) even though I was willing to pay for it.

I loved Jekyll and Hyde. I got to watch Jett as the title role, but I'm thinking of watching it again later this month with Michael Williams as the lead.

In other news, my mom was having chest pains on Tuesday morning. My dad took her to the hospital and she ended up staying there even until now. Apparently it was some sort of minor heart attack, and her first one at that. She's fine after her first day there, and now under observation regarding her blood sugar. Fortunately she's finally coming home tomorrow.

On a lighter note, I'm flying to Bacolod in 3 days! I'm going there with Jill, Nicco, Ikey, Bianca, Nar and Hendri. We'll be doing an ocular on prospective venues for a Bacolod run of Children's Letters To God, plus we're going to the beach. I have to admit, I'm not a beach person, as I prefer cool climate any day. But this is my first time to actually go to the beach, and I have to say, I'm sort of excited. Yes, just sort of. Hahaha.

So hello there, dear reader of my blog. How have you been lately? Please leave a comment as I'd love to hear from you. =)