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Ateneo Batch ’98 Reunion

See you later!

Ateneo Batch '98 Batch Reunion

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Friends

You know how you can feel right at home with certain people, and it doesn’t even matter how often you see each other? Yeah. Last week, I met up with the girls for dinner. Fun, fun times.

Dinner with the girls.

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Goodbye Jay.

Yesterday, we said goodbye to Jay for the last time.  Jay’s funeral mass was scheduled at 9AM at the Ateneo High School Chapel.  The priest was late, so Ganns said a few words, and he sang their song.  It was a beautiful song, but it just wasn’t the same without Jay singing with him.  Afterwards, Ganns  ran outside as he couldn’t hold back his tears.

We all lined up to sprinkle holy water on Jay’s coffin.  It was a really, really long line, which included his relatives, friends from high school, college and work.  We were all in tears, again, for ourselves, knowing how much we’ll miss his jokes, his laughter, his company.

Goodbye Jay!  May you have so much fun bouncing and making beautiful music up there.  We will miss you dearly.

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Visiting Jay

I was able to go to Jay’s wake last night at Arlington, and everyone was there. I saw friends whom I haven’t seen for several years already. There were so MANY visitors. Jay is probably having a blast right now seeing all his loved ones and friends. Our discussions last night always had “if Jay were here, he would have said ‘guffaw’ already” or “if Jay were here, he would have joked about this”. That’s how Jay was, and though there were tears, it felt good remembering him. We all agreed that the tears were for ourselves, not for Jay, who is undoubtedly in a much better place now.

To Jay,

Halika na pumikit limutin ang problema
Hihintayin ang umaga
Magpahinga, panaginip ang ikaliligaya
Darating din ang umaga

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Jay Tan, 1975 – 2008

I found out yesterday afternoon that a good friend of mine has passed away.  I was in shock.   Jay, better known as Bounce to our circle of friends, passed away due to complications brought about by his kidney transplant.  I still can’t believe it.  To some degree, it hasn’t sunk in yet.  I have been reading his blog all day and it’s like he’s still alive and bouncing and still with us.

Jay was part of my Keitri barkada in college, and though we don’t see each other often, we have kept in touch through our yahoogroup.  We came up with the name Keitri because it all started with a Kris Kringle.  We were the Kris Kringle Klan, or K3 for short.  We had a logbook where we wrote our thoughts, messages to each other, and updates on the events of each day.  We had nicknames, which we used during the projects.  Jay has always been Bounce – not only because he was a big guy, but more so because he had a ‘bouncey’ personality.  He was funny, but became funnier when everyone was together.  He was such a great friend.  I’m sure many people will be writing the same things about him, but what I hold dear the most is our love for TV.

Jay was my TV-buddy.  Whenever there was a new show I would be interested in, I was SURE that I can discuss it with Jay.  And I’m not just talking about the new, American TV series.  This was hardcore TV, including TGIS with Peachy and Waks, and even Growing Up.  One of my fondest memories of Jay was when we were discussing the last episode of Growing Up, where the characters walked away to the song “Umagang Kay Ganda” sung by Rica Peralejo, and we both admitted to each other that we bawled like babies during that scene.

Last December 9, Jay wrote in his blog that he wanted to be in his own funeral to see if he made a difference in anyone’s life.  Jay, I can assure you that you have touched so many lives, by making us laugh, by giving us advice, by bringing beautiful music into our lives, by just being there, by being my TV-buddy.

I’m still trying to understand what happened.  I’m waiting for it to sink in.  For now, all I can do is send out a message to him.   Go bounce up there with Him, Jay.  You will be missed.

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Birthday 2007


Birthday Dinner at C’ Italia
Originally uploaded by Carambs!.

I turned 30 last June 11. And, typical of birthdays, the weeks leading to it totally SUCKED. But, also typical with birthdays, they turn out to be fantastic! I remember last year – it was exactly the same. I’d like to thank Cathy, Sharon and Jovan for celebrating my birthday with me 4 days in a row.

Sharon and Cathy, 2 of my ‘adopted ones’, decided to sleep over the day before my birthday. We stayed up to wait for it while watching DVD and eating. During my birthday, we had lunch at Banapple with my parents. Great food, awesome desserts, and great company! After lunch we decided to have merienda at C’ Italia in Clark, because we were craving for Panizza. It turned out to be a merienda-cena because they opened at 5PM on mondays. We did a little grocery shopping at Puregold while waiting. Dinner was awesome! We had 2 Panizza’s and 2 pastas. Great way to celebrate!

Two days after, I had dinner at Una Mas with some close friends. These friends LOVE eating so we definitely had fun, what with the yummy buffet food, including lots and lots of oysters! I thank them for celebrating my birthday with me as well.

You can check out the photos here.

Thanks to everyone who remembered – those who texted and sent online messages. You guys rock!

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Roadtrip to Bicol – Part 2


We left Veramaris at 7AM the next day. Sorsogon City was a 1 1/2 hour drive from Gubat and we wanted to get there early. Ingko was nice, albeit motel-ish. Clarence really wanted to go to the beach, so they went on an adventure to Sta. Magdalena. I decided to stay at the hotel (I know, shucks) because I promised myself that I was going to lessen my unread emails. Well, it was a very productive afternoon because from 300 unread emails, I ended up with 80. Not bad at all. We had merienda-cena at Balkon, then we prepared for the Easter Vigil mass.

The Easter Vigil mass story is something for the books.

The plan was to go to Fatima church for the 10PM mass. Fatima was at the town proper so it was around 10 minutes away. We passed a Church along the way and stopped to ask what time the mass would start, and they said 10PM. So we decided to hear mass there instead. It was the “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” church, which said “Jesus, I trust in you – Our catholic church” outside. Inside, it felt weird. Only a few pews were occupied, even if it was supposed to be an Easter Vigil mass. And there was a table in the middle of the church, with weird-looking candles. I looked around – everything else looked normal. So we waited for the mass to begin. We were even given candles by the people in front of us. A lady approached Sharon, asking her about a ‘reading’ of some sort, so we assumed they wanted her to read. But another lady approached us, and explained to us that it was a members-only mass, and that there were confidential rituals that would take place. She said they all thought we were guests of the reader. She was really nice about it, she even said that it probably won’t be good for us because they’ll be up until dawn. Basically, nice as she was, the reality was that we were kicked out of the church!

Until now we can’t figure out what church it was. Our guess was that it was an Aglipayan church, but we’re really not sure. It’s a really funny story, and we end up laughing every time we talk about it. We ended up going to Fatima, where the mass lasted until 12:30AM.

We left Ingko at 8AM the next day. We wanted to go home on Sunday so that we still had Monday to rest. We bought Pan de Legaspi again, then it was one long roadtrip until Quezon, with some stopovers in between. We had late lunch at Yakiniku, Calauag, Quezon. And then it was again another long roadtrip until Manila. It was uber traffic starting at Sariaya, Quezon, so we went through Batangas instead. Though it was a long trip, almost 15 hours, it was so much fun because of the company. It was so much fun that no one slept the whole trip! We were laughing our hearts out, thinking of all the politicians we could set up with Sharon. That’s another story altogether. We arrived in Manila at 11PM.

It felt good to travel. I thought I wouldn’t be able to travel much this year because of my major trip in July, but I was wrong. I’ll blog about that some other time. :)

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Roadtrip to Bicol – Part 1

I just realized that I haven’t blogged about our Bicol trip yet. So here goes. A month before Holy Week we were trying to figure out where to go. It just so happened that Heidi, an officemate, was going home to Legaspi City. So we thought of going to Donsol, something which we’ve been talking about since last year. Since the roadtrip was going to be long, Holy Week became the perfect time to go. It was my very first time to go out of town during Holy Week. We usually just stay home and attend the triduum masses. But I told myself it was going to be different this year.

I went with Jovan, Clarence, Sharon and Cathy. We call ourselves the Butanding 5 (haha!) – primarily because it sounds funnier than the Sorsogon 5. We have this habit of naming the travel groups after the places we travel to – we have the Davao 5 (Mike, Clar, Jovan, Mads and me) and the Bohol 4 (Mike, Clar, Jovan and me). We left wednesday night. We felt that leaving in the afternoon would be a bad idea because of the traffic – everyone was going out of town. Plus, we wanted to arrive in Legaspi during the day. The trip was 12 hours long. It was fun at first, with everyone laughing and singing our hearts out. But of course I fell asleep after the stopover at Lucena, and was pretty much asleep until we reached Pili at 9AM. True to form. :) We had breakfast at Biggs, and afterwards made our way to Heidi’s house in Legaspi, where we had lunch. Free lunch – yey!


Breakfast at Biggs


Lunch at Heidi’s House

We stayed at Vista al Mayon. It was a decent place. The rooms were clean and the bathroom was okay. We slept until around 3PM, then off we went to Cagsawa Ruins. The boys stayed at Vista al Mayon to sleep – understandable for Jovan who drove the whole way! Sharon drove the CRV for the afternoon. (She’s a good driver, in my opinion.) The Cagsawa Ruins was really beautiful, and the view of Mt. Mayon was perfect. Too bad that it was cloudy that day.


Group picture at Cagsawa Ruins


What’s left…


View of Mayon Volcano

Heidi introduced us to Pan de Legaspi and it was so, so yummy! It would have been so much better though with butter! We went to Central Market, checked out some bags, but were not able to buy any. Then it was time for DJC Halo-Halo – the special thing about this Halo-Halo was that it had cheese on top. It was really good! Then we did some toiletries shopping at Gaisano. We picked up the boys then went to Heidi’s house again for dinner. Free dinner – yey again!


Yummy, yummy Halo-Halo!

Friday was Butanding day, so we started early. We were at Heidi’s house by 6AM. Free breakfast – yey for the third time! We arrived at Donsol at 8AM. Good thing that we had reservations, there were so many people and the line was long! Randy was the name of our interaction officer and he was great! We waited for a long time for the Butanding to show up – at one point Randy even asked us jokingly “sino dito may balat?” But, when they showed up, they came in droves! It was too bad that I couldn’t join them swimming – I REALLY want to go back to be able to swim with the Butanding.


Ready for the Butanding!

On a side note, this was a special experience for me because I wasn’t scared of the boat all! I’m scared of boats, you see. Especially small ones. I guess this is part of my practicing the law of attraction. It may seem small to some people, but it’s awesome for me!

We had late lunch at Balkon, at Sorsogon City. The food was GREAT! Lutong bahay right there. The owners were the ones who took our orders so the service was great too. To anyone who will be visiting Sorsogon City, I highly recommend this restaurant/bar. Great Bicolano food at relatively affordable prices. We headed to Jollibee for dessert, then off we went to Veramaris at Gubat, Sorsogon.


The girls at Balkon…


Posing with Jollibee!

It wasn’t a nice place. Which made us worry because were were supposed to stay there for 2 nights. Immediately, we walked along the beach to look for another place to stay. The alternative, Rizal Beach Resort, wasn’t better. The locals even said that we were better off at Veramaris. We accepted the fact that we were spending the night there, but we made sure we had a place to transfer to the day after. Thank God for Romy! We saw him at Rizal Beach Resort, but he was there with friends only for the beach. They stayed at his friend’s place in Sorsogon, so he looked for a place for us and found the Ingko Hotel.

While walking along Rizal beach…

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Friends and Weddings


I don’t get to spend a lot of time with Kookie and Bunny. Thank god for the internet (YM, blogs and email in particular) because that’s how I get to talk to them. So I made sure that we would attend Nikki’s wedding today – a perfect reason for us to spend time with each other. Jovan and I picked up Kookie from her condo to attend the wedding at the Shrine of Jesus. It was so hot! Summer is definitely here. The wedding was quick, and it was really nice to see Nikki smiling the whole time! Kookie and I couldn’t get over how he’s now called “Nick” – he’ll forever be ‘Nikki, 11 fingers, and Kamats’ to us.

After the wedding, we went to McDo to get some food since Kookie was really hungry. We ate in the car and then went to Coconut Palace for the reception. We were really early, so we just looked for a bench and waited until it was cool enough to go outside. The caterer was Josiah’s, the videographer was Jason Magbanua. It brought back memories – planning for our wedding was really a lot of fun.

We met Bunny in Coconut Palace. It’s really awesome to be with these girls. It’s like we were never apart. I really love them!

It was so hot, even after the sun set. The heat drained all the energy out of me, so we left even before the program ended.

Check out all the photos here: Nikki’s Wedding

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My dear Joaquin

Today, Joaquin Adrian was baptized. Welcome to the Christian world little one! I hope you grow up to be a good boy, one who wont give his mommy headaches. :) I will always be here for you!


With Ninang…


Mother and Child…