Saturday, December 31, 2011

Life in a Study Room

Been quiet here the past nine months. Just to recap: it was an awesome nine months. I loved every part of it, most especially the people I've met and re-met. From the old friends from HP who have also made the same move, to the new friends from ING (the Pinoy Mafia, and our honorary non-Pinoy members), and all the other folks I met from here and there (and there). I realize I'm doing a disservice to the awesome period of my life by writing just a measly paragraph about it, but I'm far too lazy this Saturday afternoon to actually write a long ode to the very significant April - December 2011 part of my life. I guess the important take-away is this: it's always the people that make experiences extra-awesome.

2011 was a life-changing year for me, in more ways than just moving to a new country. I learned a lot about life and what I should be doing with it, and found out some things about myself that were pretty unexpected (although I'll have to admit that some things still continue to confuse me, haha.)

I was talking to one of my newer friends yesterday while riding the taxi to our respective dinners, and I admitted that after making a quick trip back to Manila for Christmas, I realized that maybe going back there (and I mean permanently, in the immediate future) might actually be a good idea. A month ago, I would've dreaded it, not because I dread Manila, but because I really was enjoying my life in Singapore. But now, if I got a good job offer in Manila, I would seriously consider packing things up here and taking it. My mind is so fickle.

So yes. As life-changing as 2011 was, I'm actually thinking that it might not be so bad to change it back.

Alright 2012, let's do this. I'm ready for you.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Life in a duffle bag.

Life in a duffle bag. Eating pancit canton cooked by my mom. Emo at 4am.


In about 13 hours, I'll be leaving Manila and will be moving my life to Singapore. I should be excited, and to be honest, I think it's fair to say that March 2011 has clearly been one of the most awesome months of my entire life, and I can't wait for what April has in store for me.

But I just can't help myself from not feeling a bit down when I look at my now near-empty closet, and look at the two small bags that now hold all the carefully chosen stuff that I'll be bringing with me. I think it's the realization that I can't take the most important stuff in my life with me and put them in those two small bags.

The reason why March 2011 became a clear highlight in the timeline of my life wasn't really because I've found a job in a nice and shiny city, but because in the last two weeks, I've managed to reconnect with all my friends from most points in my life in a more profound way. We weren't just drinking because we wanted to get drunk (but yeah, that too...) We were drinking because we knew that the distance that was gonna exist between us after April 2 will surely affect our relationships, even if we try as hard as we can to convince each other that we'll be keeping in touch and nothing will change. We set aside a time to have dinner together because we knew that it's gonna take a long, long time again until we get to sit down in front of each other and just talk about our lives, and get what each other is saying without much explanation.

I can't help but feel down right now, at 4 in the morning, because I'm realizing how much I love these people (you) that I'll be moving away from, and your lives will move on, and my life will move on, and maybe when our paths cross again, we've already gotten used to not seeing each other, not getting drunk together, not eating together, or not understanding each others' jokes.

Fuck it. If you're still reading this up to here, could you do me a favor and not let that happen?

Also, thank you.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

So Fucking Happy I Could Kick a Puppy

March has been really, really hectic. And it all started off with a job interview on the evening of Feb 28. All I can say about that right now is that I'm completely surprised and ecstatic about how fast things has happened. Within three days, I found myself getting interviewed and then getting an offer and then resigning from my current company to take the new job. Awesome.


After that great bit of news, I took a two-day leave from work to go on a four-day vacation in Boracay, which will never stop being an awesome place (hopefully, anyway.) Pics here, here and here.



















Boracay Sunset



















Zorbing with Jan and Ish



















Messing around on the beach

Swimming and chilling and doing nothing on the best sand in the best beach in the world, partying at night, eating good food, having great company... Yep, this year's Boracay trip was awesome.

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My boss from Poland also swung by Manila for some meetings, and it was fun talking to him about Warsaw (I miss it) and Manila, the beautiful places in the Philippines he should visit (I tried convincing him to skip work and join us in Boracay, lol), which parts of a pig sisig is made from (ears, cheeks and brains) (I told him this after he finished eating some, of course), crossing the streets of Metro Manila (I think he'll be scared of our streets for the rest of his life), and how he should eat balut (even more scared...)

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I attended a couple of Couchsurfing activities. Both involved drinking and lots of talking (and a bit of awkward dancing), and both were completely fun. Kind of makes me regret not participating in more CS events!

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Just last week, another slight change of routine was in order. My soon-to-be-former team also moved in to a new building at McKinley Hill in Taguig City. The new office is actually really nice. It has lots of workspaces (thankfully! since our team was basically displaced in our old office in Ayala...), wider hallways and bigger conference rooms. The only problem is, since the new floor isn't fully furnished yet, we have to go to another floor just to use the washroom or get a glass of water. Such a hassle. Of course, I'll only be working in that office for just 2 more weeks, so I'm not gonna complain too hard.



Now, last 3rd of March, be awesome!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Don't Call Me Lovelorn

I've been abusing youtube's play button lately, listening to these songs:





I mean, seriously.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gujab Chieffy!

The Azkals won the first leg of the AFC Cup qualifiers against Mongolia, 2-0!
Chieffy Caligdong scored this awesome goal in the first half. Let's give it up for the home-grown, 5'5 1/2''-tall Air Force man! Talent ang tawag dyan! :D Phil Younghusband scored the second goal right at the end of the 2nd half (during stoppage time pa yata.) I was hoping for more goals so that we could get a hefty lead for the 2nd leg, but 2-0 is a good win nonetheless.

The next leg will happen a month from now in Ulaan Baator, Mongolia. A quick google search says that the average temp in Ulaan Baator during the middle of March is close to -20° C. I guess the team needs to start investing on good thermal underwear?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Blogging From My X10

Ok, just testing out this bloggerdroid app before going to sleep. Good night!

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Aussie Kim

Our Aussie Open 2011 Women's Singles champion:
Kim cleans up well, huh? But couldn't they have chosen a nicer place for this photoshoot?

For the first hour of the women's final, it looked like Kim finally met her match in Li Na, who was was trying to make history by being the first player from an Asian country to win a grand slam singles title. Li was matching Kim's baseline and defense game, and wasn't showing any signs of nerves - which is what I predicted would hinder her from winning the final match. But Kim stayed steady, and slowly worked her way into the match. Kim was a point away from going down a set and a 4-2, but she fought her way back and eventually won 6 straight games, and by the time Li got her game together again, Clijsters already built a good lead and cruised in the last game to claim her 1st Australian Open title, and 4th grand slam singles title overall.

Li definitely acquitted herself well in Australia, not just because she showed that she has the game of a top 5 player (she was on an eleven-match winning streak, including a straight set win
over Kim two weeks ago in Sydney), but she showed that she also had the great personality of a global athletic star. Her post-match interviews (especially the one right after she beat world #1 Caroline Wozniacki) were comedy gold, and she still kept her head high after her loss in the final, which is a good sign that she won't be continuing the rest of the year being deflated about missing this chance.

Back to Kim, she has now won the last two grand slam events and is moving up to the #2 ranking this coming Monday, just 140 points off from Caroline's #1 spot. With Justine Henin's retirement (sad face) and Serena Williams's injury still preventing her from returning to the tour, will Kim be the favorite to win Roland Garros? If she does, that's gonna be her 3rd straight grand slam title, and a win at Wimbledon (where former champs Serena, Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova all are nursing, or playing below their best because of, injuries) will give Kim a career Grand Slam, and her very own Kim Slam.

Suddenly, the WTA Tour got a lot more interesting this 2011.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

6-4, 1-6, 16-14.

This Australian Open is starting to be somewhat of a banner tournament for marathon 3-set matches on the women's side.

In the first 3 rounds alone, we've already seen extended 3rd sets in the following matches:
  1. Russian Ekaterina Makarova edged out Serbian former #1 Ana Ivanovic, 10-8,
  2. Another Russian Regina Kulikova beat Slovakian (and personal favorite) Daniela Hantuchova 9-7,
  3. Former top ten player Alicia Molik of Australia defeated Italian Roberta Vinci 8-6
  4. Chinese Shuai Peng beat Ukraine's Kateryna Bondarenko 8-6
  5. Another personal favorite Maria Kirilenko ousted Italian Romina Oprandi, 8-6
  6. Francesca Schiavone (who we'll be talking about again) surviving Canadian Rebecca Marino, 9-7
  7. and Ekaterina Makarova again, this time beating out fellow Russian Nadia Petrova, 8-6
But none of those 7 matches even came close to the match we saw earlier today. That match being the longest match in women's grand slam history: reigning French Open champion Francesca Schiavone outlasted 2-time grand slam champ Svetlana Kuznetsova in 4 hours, 44 mins. I only got to see the 3rd set, but that was enough for me to see how much fighting spirit these players had. Sveta isn't exactly known as the steadiest players out there (she's very powerful, but also very erratic), but she held her nerve for most part of the 3rd set and produced some great winners. Both players put their heart, sweat and guts on every shot they made (no, not literally...), but it was Schiavone who just pushed a little harder. She saved 6 match points in all, played great defense by chasing down ever shot even though it looked like she didn't have a chance to win the point, and hit some great winners and volleys herself. Great job on the win Francesca, and despite the loss, congrats are in order for Sveta's great play too.

Their match actually lasted about as long as the Hewitt-Nalbandian 5-setter in the first round. After that match, Nalbandian just had no gas in his tank and barely won a game against up-and-comer Ricardas Berankis before retiring. We'll see how Francesca holds up in the quarterfinals against Caroline (she's had 2 marathon matches already, and her other 2 matches weren't a walk in the park either.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Split Racket and Some High/Lowlights


LOL. I bet Marat is jealous this never happened to him.

The first two rounds of the Australian Open is now done, and we've seen some pretty great matches so far. The best one yet is the 4 hour, 48 minute Nalbandian vs Hewitt first round match. I'm not a huge fan of either players (and I particularly dislike Hewitt's special brand of annoying-ness.), but this was a really high quality, high-tension match. On the opposite side of the spectrum is the first round match between Kim Clijsters and Dinara Safina, which lasted 44 minutes, ending with the score 6-0, 6-0. It's definitely a heartbreaking loss for Lil Sis Dinara, who less then 2 years ago was the world #1. Now, after her 1st round loss, she's projected to drop out of the top 100. To give Dinara a break, let's just focus on Ana Ivanovic's heart-breaking loss to Russian Ekaterina Makarova. Ana started the match well, winning the first set, but Makarova started to find her shots and went on to upset Ivanovic, 10-8 in the 3rd set. It was a shame since Ana's form is definitely starting to pick up. She was hitting huge forehands winners and was really going for riskier shots. Unfortunately for her, so was Makarova and on the crucial points, Ana just fell short while Makarova remained solid.

The match highlights (or lowlights, in Dinara's case) are here:

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tween.

And that in-betweener from Roger Federer signals the start of the 2011 tennis season!

Tons of tournaments in the first week of the year: there's the men's tournaments in Qatar and Chennai, the ladies' tournament in Auckland, and the mixed tournament in Brisbane. There's also the exhibition in Hong Kong featuring the WTA players and ATP legends, and the always awesome Hopman Cup in Perth. It's so awesome that Nicolas Mahut wore Kristina Mladenovic's tennis dress:

The Australian Open starts in about a week!