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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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Vertigo

According to Wikipedia, Vertigo is

 a major symptom of a balance disorder. It is the sensation of spinning or swaying while the body is stationary with respect to the earth or surroundings. There are two types of vertigo: subjective and objective. Subjective vertigo is when a person feels a false sensation of movement. Objective vertigo is when the surroundings will appear to move past a person’s field of vision.

Vertigo is usually associated with a problem in the inner ear balance mechanisms (vestibular system), in the brain, or with the nerve connections between these two organs.

The most common cause of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV. Vertigo can also be a symptom of an inner ear infection.

Vertigo can also be brought on suddenly through various actions or incidents, such as sudden changes of blood pressure or as a symptom of motion sickness while sailing, riding amusement rides, airplanes or in a motor vehicle.

Vertigo is typically classified into one of two categories depending on the location of the damaged vestibular pathway. These are peripheral or central vertigo. Each category has a distinct set of characteristics and associated findings.

I am the third person within my Globe circle who has vertigo.  Weird.  I don’t know of other friends who have it.

I started to have it after our Singapore trip last year.  And it SUCKS!  I went to the doctor, told him about the symptoms, and after some tests he told me I had vertigo.  He prescribed Serc, and it is now one of the staple medicines in my bag organizer.    Thank God for Serc!

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Burt’s Bees Green Tea and Lemongrass Hand Soap

After going to Shoe Salon, Jovan and I bought a gift for Mika from Toy Town. While waiting for the gift to be wrapped, I went to Beauty Bar. I used to visit Beauty Bar a lot, but after realizing tat I’ve wasted so much beauty stuff, I made a conscious decision to stop going to the store. I have so many half-full bottles of body wash and 3/4 full bottles of lotion! I am forcing myself to finish everything before buying more products. And since there’s progress, I thought that it would be okay to check out Beauty Bar again.

I ended up buying 3 products, one of which is Burt’s Bees Green Tea and Lemongrass Hand Soap. I LOVE liquid hand soaps! I haven’t been using regular soaps for washing hands for 2 years I think. My favorites are Bath and Body Works Cucumber Melon and Sun-Ripened Raspberry Anti-Bacterial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap. I am now adding Burt’s Bees Green Tea and Lemongrass Hand Soap to the list. It’s creamy, it deep-cleanses my hands, and it smells so good!!! Good thing about it also is that the smell stays on the hands, unlike other hand soaps. I will definitely buy this regularly. :)

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Flipflops!

I think I have an addiction to flip-flops. I don’t think it’s full-blown, but it’s an addiction nontheless. I’ve heard of people owning more than 20 pairs of Havaianas – I haven’t reached that point but I’m well on my way. Well, I’m not really fond of Havaianas. I only have 2 pairs, because I didn’t find them comfortable. But I love the other brands. After buying my first Reef pair, there was no going back. They are so comfy! Right now I have 5 pairs of Reefs, and if there are more designs that I will like, I will not hesitate to buy. I have 2 pairs of Ipanemas, and these are also super comfortable.

I kind of regret buying Crocs. No, I didn’t buy the Beach nor Cayman! I got the Cleo! It looked cute at first, but now I realize they’re not comfortable at all. But I must say that the Sassari is really nice, it’s actually fashionable.

I usually buy my flipflops from Shoe Salon. This afternoon, Jovan and I dropped by the Eastwood branch as we always do. And I came across a new brand (well, at least to me). It’s Betula, which is a Birkenstock brand. The design is simple, and it’s amazingly light! It felt so good on my feet, I just had to get a black pair.

Here’ the Betula:


(Image from http://www.betula.com.au)

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Nerd?

I’m currently downloading podcasts and updating my iPod. Today, I realized again that what my friends say about me is true – I’m a nerd! I have several space stuff subscriptions! The first time I realized my friends were correct was when I was talking to them about what I search for in YouTube. NASA Videos! Hey, can’t blame me if I find that interesting. :)

Here’s a list of the podcasts that I’m subscribed to:

ENTERTAINMENT
Access Hollywood Podcast – For a doze of Hollywood gossip.
Best of YouTube – Need I say more? These are the most hilarious and interesting videos from YouTube.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show in a minute – I love Ellen!
Ratatouille Video Podcast
Sesame Street Podcast

CYCLING
Bicycling Magazine Podcasts – Mainly for the Tour de France 2007.
VERSUS Podcast

TRAVEL
PodTravels.TV – Tuscany
Rick Steves’ Europe Video
Video travel guides from Italy

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
The Buzz Report from CNET – I like my technology news.
Discovery Channel Video Podcasts – Only the interesting shows like Mythbusters.
Hidden Universe HD: NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope – I really find this interesting.
Hubblecast – This too.
NASACast Video
NASACast: Solar system Video
National Geographic Video Shorts

COOKING
Start Cooking Videoblog
Cuisinart Stand Mixer Recipe Podcast – For quick recipes. I’d like to bake soon.

MEDITATION
Person Growth Podcast
Law of Attraction – ThinkBanc AntonioThornton
Meditation-Silence: Video Poodcast
Meditation – Overcoming Stress and Illness
The Meditation Podcast
My Thought Coach

PODRUNNER: Exercise music for running, spinning or any fast-paced workout –> For the time when I can actually bring myself to work out, haha!

How about you? Which podcasts are you subscribed to?

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6 Weird Things About Me

I was tagged by Kookie so here goes:

1) Every time someone calls me while I’m at my workstation, I open a new Free Cell game, which I usually finish by the end of the conversation. All my officemates have noticed this.

2) I’m not a cyclist (can’t call myself one even if I started biking last February) but I am a huge cycling fan. I totally love the Tour de France and I’ve been following it religiously since 2003. I understand the strategies, the terms, everything about cycling (except the bike parts).

3) I was very sporty in grade school and high school. HUH? What happened?!

4) Whenever fish is served at home, I ask if it’s “fishy”. I don’t like the fishy taste, I go for fish that tastes like white meat of chicken.

5) This is from Jovan: for someone my age, I read Time magazine religiously. (I’m actually a subscriber.)

4) I’m a shopaholic. A real one. I’m not just saying it. Swear. I just have to shop whether online or in the mall. Sometimes I don’t even use whatever I bought.

I’m tagging the following:
Jovan
Bea
Mara
Jax
Dom
April

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In my last post I said I had a bad week. Well, now that I think about it, I’ve been having a bad month. But if I really stop and think about my life right now, I can say that I’ve been having a bad first half of the year. I’ve gotten to know the true colors of a supposedly ‘close’ friend, I’ve cancelled three trips (one international), I’ve reached a very sad but necessary decision in my personal life, and to top it all of, I might not be able to get the one thing I want most for 2007, that which I considered the only thing I am looking forward to, that which I considered the saving event of the year.

I go back to my realization last April 3, which is supposed to be the first day of the rest of my life. I will not let these trials bring me down. These are just trials, thrown my way to make me stronger, to help me grow, to make me (hopefully) wiser. Inspite of everything bad that has happened, I’m still blessed with so many people and things. I have wonderful parents, I still have a great and deep friendship with Jovan, I am relatively doing well at work, I have gained new friends, some of whom I’m beginning to realize could be friends for keeps. Bad first half of the year? I now realize that it isn’t so.

Plan A won’t push through? Fine! Create a Plan B! It might even turn out to be better. And there can be Plan C, and D, and E. All of which have the potential to make life more exciting and interesting and wonderful.

I am now looking forward to the rest of the year!

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I’ve been having a bad week. I am truly grateful for friends who ask me what’s wrong, friends who want to find out what’s happening because they care. I can’t believe the others though – saying all these things without even knowing what’s really going on, not asking and attempting to find out. Sad about what’s coming up, but after thinking about it and after this, a bit glad too.

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Making the World a Better Place; Support Cancer Warriors today!

I’m not like some of my friends who have really dedicated their lives to make the world a better place. I have some friends who joined the JVP (Jesuit Volunteers Philippines) – they actually spent a year of their lives in far-flung areas. I have friends who consciously chose NGOs over money-making corporations. I may not be like them, but I still have that urge to make the world a better place, somehow, in my own little way. Don’t we all have that urge?

I used to volunteer a lot and join outreach projects – that was my little way of helping out. At that time I was able to give some of my time. I lost that somehow, but still tried to maintain something, in the form of yearly donations to Mads’ baby, Jesus Loves The Little Children Foundation. Not enough, I know, but it’s still something.

And now I’m really happy because I’ve thought of a mini-project for me and my officemates. As a background, I really do believe in the messages of the Lance Armstrong Foundation – that knowledge is power, and attitude is everything. That we should all LIVESTRONG. It’s a bit disappointing that they’re not expanding to other countries, but at least their message continues to inspire many people, even those outside the United States. Just recently I ordered the Livestrong Survivorship notebook and gave it to my friend, who has a brother fighting cancer. It’s something he can refer to, and draw strength from somehow. I believe in the LAF’s thrust – research. I believe that this will go a long way, and will benefit many people, even those from other countries.

Sometime last year, I was inspired by an ETC ad about the Cancer Warriors. It’s a local foundation, founded by a fellow Atenean, who’s a cancer survivor. His name is James Auste, and after surviving brain cancer he vowed to dedicate his life to fighting cancer. That’s how the Cancer Warriors Foundation was born. I’ve been a member of the mailing list for several months now. I’ve been wanting to join activities, which unfortunately almost always fall on weekdays. I really do want to help, and just last weekend, I was inspired to text my Globe friends and ask them if they were interested in “adopting” a Cancer Warrior child. James posts lists of children with cancer with their required medicines and treatments, with all the rates. Most of the cancers are curable, except that the families cannot afford the necessary medicines and treatments.

And so the barkada adoption idea was born. I’ve contacted James already, hopefully we can work together on more ideas and projects. Talk to your barkada, your officemates, and if this is something you’d like to do, send me a message so we can discuss it offline.

Don’t you think that world will be a better place if you can save the life of even just one child? That would really be awesome!

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Gratitude

I’ve been thinking about how to blog about this topic because I don’t want to sound overly dramatic. Thing is, there’s no other way to explain it. Basically, my life changed two weeks ago.

I found out about “The Secret” through a good friend. I borrowed the audio CD from our company lawyer and listened to it for 2 days straight. I got to know about the law of attraction, so I aresearched about it more. The basic idea made so much sense, so I started to practice it. And I can tell you now that my life has changed.

It feels so much better to be positive. How you’re feeling really depends on yourself. You can sulk about something, and as you do, you’ll really feel bad. But if you pick yourself up right away and focus your energies on other positive things, then you won’t feel bad. It’s so simple. I’m not saying that we’re not allowed to feel sad, or worried. It’s how you deal with the sadness and worry that matters.

It feels so good to be grateful for all the things that I have. There are so many things to be grateful for! From the smallest thing like your shoes, to the biggest like having wonderful parents.

I hope I can sustain this – it’s hard when it’s stressful at work and when I worry about some things. But when those things happen, I just think of something to smile about and everything’s okay.