Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Anyone in need of a freelance writer?

Do you need someone to write stuff for you? I do freelance writing too, but ideally not for school use.=) I write feature articles, literary pieces, essays and PR materials. If you need someone who can write for you or if you know of anyone in need of freelance writers, do consider me. Just send me an e-mail, for your inquiries and requirements at zsb0918@gmail.com or send me a message at 0922-8091887. My rates are very affordable and negotiable too.=)

Monday, August 24, 2009

From the ice to the judges' panel

I'm not quite sure if it's natural progression or if it's just the simple fact that I'm getting old. But just last August 21-22, I had my first stint as a judge for Skate Megamall 2009. Evidently, it's also the last competition in the Megamall Ice Skating Rink. Call it love - but the moment I was asked to be a part of this milestone of a competition as a judge, I said yes in a heartbeat. It feels different to be up in the judges' panel. Albeit, a nice kind of different.

I've been competing since I was 12 years old and I'm no stranger to performing in front of a panel of judges. This time, I was the one judging, but I was constantly thinking how free I'd feel if I were the one on ice, skating, competing and having the time of my life. In life, things do change and it's no different in the world of ice skating. The costumes show more skin (unlike the long sleeved velvet ones we had back then), the music choices are as diverse as can be, the props are more elaborate as ever and new events like the rhythmic ball and hoop are now official events.

As a neophyte judge, I saw a different perspective. I saw how competitions bring family and friends together, how it brings out the best in the participants and how it brings a smile to random people who just happened to stop by and watch for awhile. I feel pretty lucky that I was still a part of the last hurrah of my 2nd home rink before it completely closes down.
From the ice to the judges' panel, I can confidently say, that though aspects of the competition change, the essence of it remains the same - it's a friendly event that builds character and fosters strong relationships; it's about doing what you love and feeling like a winner with just doing so as well as sharing your talent with others. Kudos to Skate Megamall - the participants, the coaches, the parents, my co-judges and the organizers.=)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Shoutout to Megamall ISR: More than just an ice rink

At the end of this month, the first ice skating rink in the country will close down. By writing this, I am preserving the memory of the ice rink that has become more than just a rink to many skaters circa 1990s just like me.

I didn't actually start my skating stint at Mega. I started skating in 1997 when I was 11 at the Sta. Lucia Ice Skating Rink, but when it closed down in 2000, I transferred to Mega and just like that Mega became my home rink. Unlike most skaters, the memories I have of Mega ISR are really milestones in my life. Allow me to indulge in my thoughts and reminisce.

I celebrated my 18th birthday at the rink. We reserved the rink in morning and had a buffet setup put at the rink lobby. I can still remember the fog from the early morning ice, the pink and white balloons placed around the rink railings and my guests having the time of their life (or otherwise) on ice. My family and friends were there - some even had their first ice skating experience that day. I had the traditional 18 roses in a not so traditional way. I danced with nine of my male relatives in the lobby while I danced with the other half of my male friends on ice. It was such a nice way to celebrate my birthday in a place that really meant a lot to me. That was when I turned 18.

Although I stopped training when I turned 19 because of college and after, because of work, I still kept coming back just to get my skates out and feel the wind on my face when I glide on ice. I jumped at every opportunity I had just so I could skate once in a while. They say, 1st love never dies.

Another most recent and even happier memory that happened last Jan. 31, 2009 made my connection to the Megamall ice rink even deeper and more personal. A normal free day skating with my boyfriend and good friend turned out to be the happiest day of my life (yet). You see, while I was skating, minding my own business in my own piece of ice, a familiar song played in the background and a guy carrying a bouquet of beautiful roses approached me. On the off-center of the ice, with the snow drop and all and a gorgeous ring, my boyfriend of 5 and a half years (then) knelt down on one knee and asked me to spend a lifetime with him. Yup, my boyfriend proposed to me at the ice skating rink. I couldn't think of any better proposal for me than the one he did.

So you see, the Megamall ISR isn't just a rink to me. It was where I met great friends, celebrated momentous occasions and said yes to the love of my life.

When we heard the sad news, my skater friends kept saying, 'san na yung wedding ni zei?'. We could have made many more memories at the rink. But I guess, whatever lessons we learned in Mega, whoever friends we've met and kept and whatever memories we have - they'll all remain, not on the ice that brought everything together, but in all our hearts. Thank you is definitely in order.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The song in my mind

Handog Ng Pilipino Sa Mundo
by Apo Hiking Society

'Di na 'ko papayag mawala ka muli. 'Di na 'ko papayag na muli mabawi,
Ating kalayaan kay tagal natin mithi. 'Di na papayagang mabawi muli.

Magkakapit-bisig libo-libong tao. Kay sarap palang maging Pilipino.
Sama-sama iisa ang adhikain. Kelan man 'di na paalipin.

Handog ng Pilipino sa mundo, Mapayapang paraang pagbabago.
Katotohanan, kalayaan, katarungan Ay kayang makamit na walang dahas.
Basta't magkaisa tayong lahat.

Masdan ang nagaganap sa aming bayan.
Nagkasama ng mahirap at mayaman. Kapit-bisig madre, pari, at sundalo.
Naging Langit itong bahagi ng mundo.

Huwag muling payagang umiral ang dilim.
Tinig ng bawat tao'y bigyan ng pansin. Magkakapatid lahat sa Panginoon.
Ito'y lagi nating tatandaan.
(repeat refrain two times)

Coda:Mapayapang paraang pagbabago.
Katotohanan, kalayaan, katarungan.
Ay kayang makamit na walang dahas.
Basta't magkaisa tayong lahat!

Cory Aquino = Yellow = Hope, Joy & Optimism

5 August 2009 – It’s funny how days before former President Corazon Aquino passed away, my fianc√© and I decided to change our wedding motif from champagne, red and orange to champagne and yellow. Prior to August 1, to me, yellow was just a pretty color and a cheery motif for our upcoming wedding, but now it has become full of meaning and symbolic of a woman of change, great spirit, love, patriotism and courage. The color yellow will forever remind me of Corazon Aquino, the first lady president of the country, a woman of faith behind large lenses and the Philippines’ mother of democracy, among others.

I wasn’t in Manila Cathedral, nor was I part of the hordes of people in a flurry of yellow who lined Roxas Blvd., Quirino Ave., Osmena Highway, Paranaque, Nichols Interchange and all the way to Manila Memorial Park to pay their last respects to the lady in yellow, but I was glued to the TV from the requiem mass to the whole way of the funeral procession to the former president’s resting place. Just the sight of the outpouring of gratitude and sympathy from hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who went despite the unforgiving rain gave me goose bumps quite a number of times. I couldn’t help but imagine the wave of emotions I would have, had I been out in the streets with my fellow Filipinos. The flood in our village hindered me from being a part of history.

But I was unwilling to be left behind by a people mourning for the loss of the nation’s mother. So I decided to send my thoughts out into the void through a chain text message (a first that I crafted on my own), which I sent out to almost all contacts I had in both my phones. I sent out a message saying ‘Now is a good time to be a Filipino. Let us all be inspired by Cory Aquino’s spirit, faith and patriotism. Please pass and help ignite the true Filipino in everyone.’ I had this hope that in my own way, I could make people think and realize that we all have a great Filipino spirit waiting to be ignited within us.

I was so moved by the chain of events that stemmed from Cory’s death that I am writing this today. I think yellow is the perfect color for Cory because it is characteristic of the legacy she leaves with her passing – a legacy of hope and optimism for a people who are in dire need of it amidst personal and external conflicts. I pray that this great loss would lead to something good. That somehow, even days after today, even just one by one, Filipinos would be inspired to step up and be better versions of themselves for their own good and for the good of the country.

Today is both a sad and glorious day for the nation. Sad because we have lost an icon of moral leadership, benevolence, gentleness and love for the nation, but more than that, today is indeed a glorious day. With the turn out of people bearing and wearing all things yellow with words of love and patriotism written with arms held high showing the L sign, we have a concrete sign that Filipinos have not forgotten and that the democracy we are enjoying today isn’t being taken for granted. Days, months and years from now, we will have all the footages of today vis-√†-vis with those from 1983 and 1986 to remind us that we should be proud of our rich heritage – not just for a day, but for always.

Now is really a good time to be a Filipino. I realized this while making myself a makeshift yellow bracelet ala yabang pinoy and I have Corazon Aquino to thank for that.