Thursday, 16 May 2013

My Battle Against The Inevitable

Yesterday, I accomplished two things:

- Taking off my "workaholic" cap (Undertime on a Monday, 2-day vacation leave and an additional Sick Leave which is today)
- Updating my blog


- Trip to the Makati Medical Centre Emergency Room and coming home with a diagnosis of costrochondritis.
- 89 page views on my blogsite
- long overdue body rest

Costochondritis as the paper indicates (handed to my by the ER physician) is defined as chest wall pain. To satisfy my curiosity more, I had to do additional research.

Taken from Wikipedia - Costochondritis, is also known as chest wall pain, costosternal syndrome, or costosternal chondrodynia is a benign and often temporary (Thank GOD!) inflammation of the costal cartilage, which connects each rib to the sternum at the costosternal joint, and is a common cause of chest pain. Though often self-limited, it can be a recurring condition that can appear to have little or no signs of onset. Treatment options are quite limited and usually involve a combination of rest, analgesics, or anti-inflammatory medications; however, in cases of intractable discomfort, cortisone injections or surgery (hope not!) may be necessary. Typically, patients are instructed to refrain from physical activity to prevent onset of attack.

Due to a lot of activities happening in the office (which I consider to be my sanctuary of my sanity) from sportsfest committee, sports club head, managing a business unit for payments and being handed over 2 transitions, I knew I really had to take a rest. Yet, I couldn't because lots of things will be missed. Not to mention that there are things I am missing even when I am already in the office.

During a light moment with my boss on a coffee shop located at the ground floor of the building where my office is located, I joked "I would need to take a long break from all these things...." and my boss replied "Not at the moment until we get things sorted out". I was okay with it because I knew there were lots of things to be accomplished and I knew my body could still handle it. It was during these moments where my body was already summoning me to do one thing I always fail to do -- REST.

I can only blame myself for not respecting what my body demands. My love for my work, for my team and for the people I work with including the sport of volleyball and badminton are the things I would need to balance off at some point.

Speaking of sports, I'd like to segue for a bit and tackle some of the physical activity that have eventually caused me this condition: All photos are courtesy of Karl Michael Bugante (a colleague of mine who took some wonderful shots).

During a volleyball game, an attempt to block an opponent's attack courtesy  of Archie Rivas
Another block attempt captured. See those extremely flexed muscles to reach a certain height.

I guess what I am trying to say on this post is that our body can only handle enough. At some point, we have to pause and take a break. Otherwise, we will not be pleased with the consequence. As the saying goes "Anything taken more than what is enough can be dangerous". Let us learn to respect our body. Learn to take a break to ensure you will be able to enjoy of what life has to offer more for us. 

At some point, I feel guilty since there are people who count on me and leaving them behind because of inability to be responsible of your well-being will not benefit them at all.

I'd like to reiterate that I am not complaining. I could've been more responsible in heeding my body's call for a rest. 


Thanks for reading and don't forget to leave your comments when you have time.

VOLLEYBALL SHOTSKarl Michael Bugante
If any of you who would be interested to get some of your photos for any occasion, contact him :-)

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Another Comeback and the Milestones To Date!

I had to really check the last post I had on this blog site before starting a new one. Voila! 22 FEB 2011 11:31 AM. Reviewing the last post brought back some not so good memories but I had to remind myself that since that last posts, a lot of things have changed. A lot of blessings have been bestowed at the same time still getting some setbacks along the way. Why don't I run down on those to ensure everyone is at least updated:

 22 February - 30 August 2011 This is probably the lowest point. "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger"...I must say that this is true. Out with nothing. Abandoned by friends and only living with what I only had -- my drive to survive and not to depend on anyone. Let me just point out that throughout these rough period, you really have your family to count on and words cannot express how grateful I am for having them.

 31 August 2011

I got my big break with another bank and this time I felt this was the biggest break in my life in terms of career since the responsibility was empowering. I had the opportunity to work with 9 new officers who came from various industries. Let me point out that my last company was great. The only concern I had was the many limitations and I must say I was not happy with people tinkering on every move that I made. I felt I was a prisoner constantly handcuffed and on parole with limited things to do. This time, I had every decisions on me and the business depended on whether my decisions are responsible enough to carry out designated targets. I am happy.

March 2012

After months of hard work  I didn't notice that 6 months have gone past and I was just confirmed a regular employee. I was secured with the one thing I didn't have after a while. This was the pinnacle of all the difficult months that I had to go through. Definitely something I had to celebrate with all my officers.

May - June 2012

Got news from my Mom that both she and my Dad need to fly out here in Manila for a comprehensive medical exam. My dad is suspected to have cancer after having their executive annual physical exam. Lumps have been seen on his lungs at the same time in his pancreas and liver areas. The photo on your left was my last picture of my dad who was still healthy looking but was going through pain. All medical exams confirmed one thing that my dad was on the terminal stage of the same type of cancer that caused the death of Apple superstar, Steve Jobs. Doctors suggested chemotherapy but with my dad constantly losing weight and unable to eat well, we couldn't risk more. So we opted pain management and getting my dad back in shape and hopefully we could get him into chemo. Both my mom and dad had to go home with this heartbreaking news.

August 2012

Time flew so fast that it was time to celebrate another milestone of my working career with ANZ. I am forever grateful with the number of people who I work with and with them goes the success of the business, their success including mine. Talented people are to be kept while those who did not have a good grasp of the business they are in, have to go. Picture on the right are 5 of the most talented people who I worked with. The first year did not come in a silver platter. There were lots of challenges along the way but because we understood each other well, we brought the business to a resounding success.

September 2012

Goodbye to the most influential person in my life -- MY DAD. It was towards the end of my shift and I was at the last coaching session of the day when my mobile phone rang. It was my mom telling me that my dad has already passed away. I was dumbstruck. I didn't even know what I was supposed to do. Didn't know what to feel. I was shocked although it was expected considering  that I recently visited my dad and saw exactly what was inevitable -- DEATH. Was just still hoping he could've spent another new year but that was not the case anymore. 'Til this day, I miss him. My cooking would have not been as good as his if I didn't spend time watching him cook dimsum and his famous tocino and chorizo.

Life has it's own balance of good and bad. I had the best of both. In the process, it continues to move and shake me at the same time making me better. This will not be the end of the list as there are lots of things to come. 2013 looks to be a bright year ahead and I shall find time to ensure that the balance of good and bad continues.

I am glad to be writing again and hope I get to do this more often.

Fore more about the author:



Wellingtone Project Management -

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

JOBLESS: Pros and Cons (Part II)

On my last post, I was able to list down the good side of being jobless.
I am glad on the feedback/comments received and I couldn't agree more on those who had additional items to point out.

Hence, I am now ready to give you the bad side of being jobless:


This is probably the most obvious item each one will experience when being jobless. No work, no pay. Obviously, whatever you left on your pocket, savings account are depleted and it only gets worse as the day progresses. The longer you get jobless the more likability for someone to get broke.

Being jobless is not a total freedom from stress. One is so stressed seeking for opportunities and it only gets frustrating when opportunities do not materialize. You are in chains since you have limited resources to spare for your usual activities. In my case, I have less opportunities to play badminton, hav ecoffee with friends and even go to the cinema (considering I'm a movie buff).

I love watching TV but day by day it gets worse since you have time to sit down and watch your favorite movie shows like soap operas, reality tv. Name it...I am so updated. I am a certified couch potato. Good thing, I have good metabolism that it doesn't increase much of my weight. The love handles must go away soon.

To supplement my point on little or no income, investments made will definitely suffer. I am really sad that my purchase on a property (condominium) is hanging by a thread at the moment. To make matters worse, i lost my checking account because an incompetent staff from the developer made a huge mistake. I was forced to cancel my investment from my former employer. Eventhough, I am receiving credits for it, I lost the opportunity of earning at least 400% on stocks alone.

Just when you think getting available for the market (workforce) opens up a wide-range of possibilities, think again. It has nothing to do with skills because I think everyone has a job fit. What if the job you were trained for is not available? Are you going to settle for something less. Depends on the need I guess. The the agony increases as the increase of debts are parallel. Why? You need to survive on your existing bills. Rental, internet, cable and the list goes on. Where do you get to have these paid? None. Choosing the option of borrowing money is the only solution for the moment. Increased options only increases your debt.

I never wanted to leave my company. Seriously, I was planning on building  my life successfully with them but I had to leave because of matters that I didn't have any control. This is my advice to all those who take their jobs for granted, there will be consequences and I am positive this post showed that the bad side of being jobless is not fun at all. It is stressful and energy-draining. Think a gazillion times before quitting or leaving your job. WHen you do, make sure you are prepared for it. Be thankful of the job you have right now because the freedom you gain from being jobless is really not a walk in the park.

Photo credits: all taken from GOOGLE

Saturday, 8 January 2011

JOBLESS: Pros and Cons (Part I)

Its been almost 4 months now since I left HSBC and I must admit that there are pros and cons of not having a job. Let me share them to you.

 Disclaimer: The following pros and cons are based on real life events so feel free to post your comments.

Let's start....


 It's a well-deserved VACATION after complaining about not having enough sleep and getting all types of stress. SLEEP, the most important part of a anyone's life is no longer a precious commodity since you have all the time to do it.

You develop the habit of watching TELENOVELAS during primetime since your past working life did not permit you to do so. I must admit, MARA CLARA and IMORTAL are the most awaited soap operas as of the moment.

Your life's 24-hour update is almost always up on FACEBOOK and TWITTER. Your friends even start making you as their point of contact for meetings or rendezvous. Why? You're not busy!!!!

Aside from the various updates that goes round the clock, you also have the freedom to monitor Facebook Games and increase your level in a short span of time. Talk about CITYVILLE and BACKYARD MONSTERS. Got them into the 20++ level in just 1 week. Before it could mean more time.

These are some of the benefits when one becomes jobless. Well, Id like to know some of your thoughts on what benefits does one have when being time timeframes - mine's almost 4 months. Any stories will really open up a whole variety of conversation.

Just so this post becomes a little interesting, I reserved the CONS part on my PART II and trust me! the list is probably longer than the PROS. Well, that we have to find out. For the moment, check if the PROS I've listed is similar to yours.

Friday, 31 December 2010

Final Rendezvous 2010

Just got a buzz on my Facebook account that one of my former colleague from Malaysia is in town. Thought she was here for a business trip until I she told me she was just here for a vacation and it cost her 1000 RM....

Me and Shikin
Since I wasn't doing anything, we decided to catch up over a cup of coffee and there I was able to chat for at least two hours.....and got a souvenir....a picture of me and her LOL

FOOD! Yummy!
Prior to the planned catch up with Shikin, I was invited to a so-called ANTI-"PANIS" (read: spoiled food) post birthday dinner at my newest buddy I met in Twitter....who else.... Thirdy a.k.a thirdylopez03. so after approximately chatting and window shopping for 2 hours, I already got an SMS from Thirdy with the instruction to get to his place. I immediately made a follow-up SMS and call to Lester just to make sure he would catch up. As promised, there were indeed lots of food for us to spoil ourselves with.

L to R: Thirdy, Jessie, Me, Lester

Then, the usual talkative me, started talking to Jessie as I was informed that he was part of the famous UST Singers' victory last July 2010 in Wales where they were adjudged as CHOIR OF THE WORLD. To think I was an afficionado myself on choral music so we got him to do the talking next. Jessie showed us some videos coupled with first hand account of events that took place. Jessie reminded me of my former conductor, Prof. Frank Englis, who was just so passionate when discussing anything about music. Loved every moment of it and It surely was an honor to have him talk about that prestigious win. It is good to note that this is the 2nd time the group won this very prestigious choral event. Jessie plays the piano very well and when I say well, I mean great!

We had to cut the night short as Lester had to work at 1 AM. But before he could report to work, he had to bring me home as he had a ride I could hop in. I believe it would have been great if another recent twitter buddy came, Toni a.k.a ToniRapera. Guess her schedule didn't permit her to squeeze the post bday dinner "leftover party" in it. Final picture of the night was taken and off we go.

Twitter Buddies (L to R): Thirdylopez03, ArCeeTee and Ashamanlester
In a short span of time, I was able meet nice people and with that I officially close 2010 with a big smile. May the best of 2011 be with all of us.

For more about the UST Singers click ->> UST Singers

Friday, 24 December 2010

The "Who's Who" in the Life of ArCeeTee for 2010

Many magazines publish their top 10,20 and even 1000 of who's who in showbiz, politics and sports. I have mine too. This list is special and very well thought of. I thought I could only come up with 10 names but then again I had to be fair so I went as far as featuring the 20 Most Important People who Inspired Me for the year 2010.

The list is in no particular order or degree of importance. I decided to go alphabetically.

Alain Kris Jardin - met him 1 year ago and since then we were like brothers. He eventually made it to HSBC (my former employer) and did well with sheer determination and focus. Hopeless romantic as he is, he has inspired me by being there when I needed him the most. He takes the time to invite me over coffee and we would talk the night away.    

Arvin Octavio - 3 years have passed and this guy also showed me how much maturity he has despite just being 23 years old. Why mature? I met him 3 years ago and he never had any plans to do anything with his life until he decided to charge. What inspires me is his ability to listen to constructive feedback and be open to change. 

Maria Elma Quiao - A former university colleague of mine. Her down-to-earth and affinity to the ALMIGHTY is what inspires me especially when I talked and met her recently here in Manila. She used to be this chubby, shy friend almost 10 years ago but she lost a lot of weight recently. Despite that, she maintains to be one of the most God-fearing person I have met.

Erlyn Ramos-Hinojas - A former colleague of mine from PeopleSupport, Inc. She has this bubbly personality and never rans out of stories each day. She now resides in her hometown, Bacolod City and spends time juggling business and her responsibility as a wife and mother of 2 kids. What inspires me is her consistency to be a friend. Rain or shine, she has always been there!  

 Francis Urville Cacliong - Met him 2 years ago at the badminton group I joined. First impression was ANNOYING. He has a very loud and witty personality that makes him the most endearing person you'll ever meet. He had his ups and downs but despite all that he never ceased to bring laughter in the house with his jokes. This person when placed in a crowd can easily get the attention of everyone.

Jane Pangilinan biyuda de Lim
- Famously called Jano by her close friends including me. She was my former staff at PeopleSupport, Inc. in Cebu City until one day we just decided we could be good friends. Since then, we were inseparable. She went through a lot as well with her health but bounced back with so much zest and love for life. She is stubborn and will do everything to get what she wants (in a good way) and wherever she goes, I know I am always in her thoughts which. She has excellent cooking skills. I just love this person for loving me back through my best and worst times. 

Jay Navarra - mentioned previously on my previous posts. The person who has managed to provide strength when I was just not ready to face my music. Not having the most in life but still manages to provide/give/share what he has. His affinity to vanity does not in anyway come in conflict with the nice personality he has. The strength itself has inspired me to keep going no matter how difficult the journey is.

Jory Orleans - I don't understand where she got her last name as she doesn't have a trace of caucasian features at all (peace!). She used to be one of my staff back in HSBC until I had to let her go...yes! I had to. But that decision even made our friendship stronger because she understood the nature of my work. I love this girl because she's a no-nonsense, carefree individual with drama that is so easy to deal...FOOD. Apart from some stuff I got from her, she has always been there whether I'm happy or sad. Sometimes, she's super nice that she is being abused. One of them is me...hehehe

Jude Viterbo and Marvic Quilet - Like Erlyn (mentioned above), Jude was a former colleague from PeopleSupport. We both never expected to be friends until we ended up riding a cab one day I guess. Then it was followed by cigs and coffee breaks. Then I opened up to her and that friendship is still strong as ever. Jude is carefree. A lover of life and a big believer of GOOD VIBES. This is how she inspires me. Vic, on the other hand, is a friend I recently met because of Jude (which explains why they are in one picture but they are not together, definitely!). He's as carefree as Jude. A lover of beer and partying which explains why I always end up going to clubs since I knew him. He pays for it (LOL). What I like about Vic is his raw exposure on love and life in which I always have a say. In return, he keeps on consulting my ideas, suggestions including comments. God knows what's in store. In short, he inspires me to be more responsible of what I say and things I do. In a short span of time, Vic has already been into my real self.

I'm already halfway through my list and so shall we continue....

Kenneth Mark Lao - No one knows exactly the real him until you get to live with him. Yes! He is one of my housemates. Describe him? Focused and career-oriented. We met at the badminton group. Few good games and "Hi's and Hello's" once in a while turned out to be the start of a wonderful friendship. We both are strong individuals and this is probably because of the nature of our jobs that turned us into monsters which we couldn't leave behind after work. Then again, what inspires me is Ken's consistency to stick with what he believes in. He could probably bend a little but then again at the end of the day, he sticks with what his gut feel is......He can be critical of things which offends me at times but then again, nobody is perfect. I guess that what you call UNIQUENESS.....

Lester Babulon - I don't need to go into the details how we met. We just became friend through one of the people in this list whom I'm mentioning later. At first, I thought Lester didn't talk much and that he would be too damn boring until we had a few shots of liqour and all of a sudden we were talking about politics which he was passionate about. Following that discussion was my discovery of his other passion, writing and reading. I'm no geek and I don't think he is. I just love the fact that he could be consistent on these things and still be successful at work. This is where he inspires me. As of the moment, Lester is in my place doing our usual thing each Weekend and/or during his leave (when time permits). I gained a lot of trust that I opened up everything to him. I would say he's a good buddy in every bit of aspect he gets involved with. Not perfect but totally someone you'll easily be able to lean on when you need it.

Lisette Fernandez - I don't even remember how we got close.I guess by now you see the trends. I don't usually remember details how I meet these people. It just happens. Lisette or Ga, is a mother of 1 extremely witty and talented girl and a dedicated wife. Despite that I admire how she balances work and family and friends too. Quite the protective and caring friend she is. We've had our ups and downs. Our constant conversations over cigs and coffee. Oh we used to work together at the same department but she moved on to a new employer now and I'm stuck with finding mine. Despite all that, she managed to go out of her way to reach out and talk. Not just at this low point of my life and I knew we would go on as friends even if we moved on to a different place. I'm so proud to put her on 
this list...

Filipino Estacio - Pinoy as he is fondly called by his friends which is obviosusly because of his name. Flashback to 1999 or 2000. Caracal was the name I found back then when I was chatting over mIRC. Thought he was a girl and it turns out it that Caracal was a type of a cat. Then conversations led to a name then finally discovering that we live in the same city. We chatted while I was from a different city pursuing my Bachelor's degree. Back then, I wash this selfish, son-of-a-bitch who wants everything to himself with no constant cliques to hang out with. Who could ever put up with that immaturity? Only Pinoy! At a very tender age, Pinoy was the one who exposed me to pasta and coffee and cigs. Not that it was a bad idea but what I am saying is He was just too advanced for me to catch up. So I did as time progressed and as he looked at where I am at right now, I'm glad that he's proud of it. I owe it to him. Pinoy is finally a doctor and He will be my personal doctor from now on.

Rehkha Vijiaratnam - A little over a year, I met this tall lanky girl. This is was when I decided to take a big change and move to a new department within HSBC. I had to be sent to KL, Malaysia for my training and I was introduced to her. We never spoke too much but something was just too common between the two of us. Okay, we worked on the same department with the same job description. She was one of my mentor. What made us close? We had the same ideas on things that allowed us to talk more. I opened up to her and then it was friendship all the way aside from work. She's damn good on her craft. I love it when she says things straight to my face and use all these profanity. Don't get me wrong, she's one of the nicest person I met who never stabs me behind my back but when rubbed the wrong way, she could be a nasty bitch. That's my girl Rehkha from Malaysia......

Rhea Pinuela - A former colleague of mine when I was with HSBC. She still works there and is doing really great. She has affinity to riding motorbikes and will go all the way expressing her emotions. What I liked about her is her ability to be this consistent with her work and her competitiveness. She likes to compete and all hell will break lose if she doesn't achieve what she wants. She gives her all in everything she gets hooked with despite her appearing to be a strong, witty girl, she is honest enough to show her vulnerability to things. I'm one of those lucky people she easily confides me. Through my best and worst moments, I had the opportunity to show her those in which I'm truly grateful about. I guess she's one person whom you can easily trust. She's real!

Roy Cuesta - I probably couldn't talk much about this person as he works silently behind his desk and is contented with a few short breaks where we are able to talk. Oh! Like Rhea, Roy is also a former colleague of mine. I think the best thing about him is is ability to go through his personal and work life in a balanced way. Once he spends time to get a short break from work, he forgets about work and easily jumps into this bubbly personality whom you can easily open up with. I had to point out that I am inspired of this relationship he has for 7 straight years and he's proud that he had never cheated. Could I do that? I guess that's why I look up to him.

Norhashikin Hassan - she makes this list because she's of my girls from TPC along with Rehkha whom I could easily talk to when things gets a little rough. She is also go on her craft and is very patient. So calm that I don't know what could probably upset her. That I have yet to find out. I love the fact that being the new member of my previous team, she was able to easily adjust to the demands of the job. It took me a while to do that. She knows how to pressure me in a good way where I don't need to be yelled at because you can ignore the kindness she shows. It simply encourages you to oblige yourself when she asks for something. During my time working with her, I never heard her talk shit on me and for that I am forever grateful.

Gilbert Asuncion and Teng Roque - Gilbert was a former colleague of mine when I still worked with PeopleSupport. We became close because of badminton and during that period of closeness, he introduced me to Teng (who happens to be his close friend during that time). Gilbert was the person who always taught me this acronym, CYA which means Cover you Ass. It no longer a wonder why he is currently doing well with his career and I have seen him move up the ladder so fast in just 7 years. Teng, on the other hand, was this girl who relates to people by instinct. You don't need much of a formal introduction. She has this uncanny ability to read people's personality and is definitely in your face. After being introduced to her, I've shared most of my best moments with her here in Manila together with Gilbert. I admire her honesty and it does hurt to disappoint her. I'd rather have a friend who can come up to me and tell me how stupid I am rather than putting a facade and be plastic even when things are no longer well. Not with Teng. By the way, Gilbert and Teng are already celebrating a long relationship that eventually blossomed into something romantic. If I'm not mistaken, I believe they have been together now for 4 years.

Thana Letchumy Balakrishnan - I would probably run out of words to describe why this person made the list of "Who's Who" but if there is a word greater than NICE, that would be it. She has good taste in food and I had the best time of my life spending dinner with during her short term assignment here in Manila. Beautiful inside and out. Sometimes conflicted on her thoughts but she knows how to do the right thing. She is not ashamed to show her weakness and I am glad that she consults my opinion when she needs it. A dedicated wife, a loving mother and a loyal friend......Another jewel from Malaysia...

Yom Sharina - What a good way to end the list. A feisty and intelligent lass from Malaysia as well whom I worked with for at least a year. I cannot describe her excellent ability to retain information inside her head. Quite impressive that in a short period of time, she even got promoted ahead of us. A well-deserved promotion. Work is work but when she steps out of the office premises, you can be assured of a fun, non-pretentious side of her. I admire her straightforwardness and I am not ashamed to say that I found this difficult to deal with but because she is genuine, it never really mattered at all. She loves her cats too much that she even has them well-feed and groomed. Yom, together with Shikin and Rehkha, are my "Tres Maria's".

At this point, I wanna thank these people for inspiring me to be better. I just needed to point out though that even with the list that I came up with. nothing compares with the inspiration and the support that you get from your family and relatives. They may have not been highlighted in this last post I am putting up for 2010 but definitely they are embedded in my thoughts and in my heart.

Thank you and I wish everyone the best of what 2011 can offer.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

MADZ About Them - The Pilgrimage to CCP

I really couldn't wait 'til tomorrow to post another thing I did for my birthday - another treat courtesy of my housemates (Ken and Frankie) again with the initiative of Jay.....a pilgrimage to the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo for the concert of the Philippine Madrigal Singers entitled, GAUDIUM, The Joy of Giving

Why I call this a pilgrimage? Because I would never allow a year to pass without a visit to the CCP just to watch this group.. Well not that I could attend all of it due to work schedules and budget but I SHOULDN'T miss them in a year.

My housemates decided to come up with Php 500.00 as a gift for my birthday because they knew how much I wanted to watch this concert and I've been very vocal about it. The amount was already enough to get my to the BALCONY II section (A).

I have fear of heights so the seat was not too comfortable to start with but I couldn't complain. I had dizzy spells all of a sudden and the view was just a little too far. Then we got an instruction that we shall be transferred to the orchestra (B) which costs Php 1,700.00. Just to give you a picture of the change. It was already enough to make my pilgrimage a happy one...big smiles all over my place and thank God I didnt have to put up with the dizzy spells.

The group opened the show (PART I) with O Magnum Mysterium by Javier Busto (which, I am currently listening and is my all time favorite from their album ACCLAMATION I have on my rack). After three madrigals/negro spirituals, Ma. Cristina Viguilla-Navarro (a former member), was called to join for Payapang Daigdig and what a voice. She then followed it up with a solo, O luce quest' anima -- I can say, Mariah, you got your competition in her (whistling part)..Too bad, I couldn't get a picture of her anywhere.

Anyway, John Lesaca did his usual violin stuff which almost got spoiled after some minor technical issues. Yet, I commend him for his with and humor by salvaging some dead airs. He was damn good. One takeaway was "You guys are here because you appreciate real music!" He also sang IMAGINE by John Lenon before doing the violin part. AWESOME! The first part ended with a great tenor, Sal Malaki (another former Member), who was just as good as the coloratura soprano (Miss Alfaro). I don't even have to wait for the day when I'd get the chance to watch Pavarotti (he's dead) or Carreras (sorry not sure of the spelling). Hearing and Watching Sal sing was already enough....He also did the whistle for L'Important C'est La Rose and damn if whistles could make me fall in love, I am already in love......He sang Agnus Dei, Nessum Dorma and a duet with Ms. Navarro in O Holy Night during the 2nd part.

We had to take a 15-minute break so I grab a smoke outside and had to buy water and cake (oh! shame on that Php 60.00 cake which was dry and hard). Part II started with A Christmas song by Mel Torme and Robert Welles following by the songs listed below in order:

God Rest Ye Merry Gents - arr. Saunder Choi
Pasko Na Naman - Felipe De Leon/Levi Celerio/arr. Ily Matthew Maniano
Sleigh Ride - Arr. Ily Matthew Maniano
L'Important C'est La Rose - Gilbert Becaud/arr. Magdangal De Leon
O Holy Night - Adolphe Adam (This is where Sal and Cristina did a duet, another amazing feat)

Guess it was time for the Madz to close the show so they sang:

Christmas in our Hearts - Jose Mari Chan/arr. Arnel De Pano
Twelve Days of Christmas - arr. Arnel De Pano (Totally hilarious)
     - Let me point out (with no utter disrespect) that the ballet that was performed by two sopranos were the highlight of that performance.
Auld Lang Syne - arr. Saunder Choi
     - (Heard this arrangement on a film or a tv series...I any of the madz could read this, please let help me remember)
Isang Taong Lumipas - Ryan Cayabyab,Jose Javier Reyes/arr. Ily Matthew Maniano
     - This was another emotional song as it reminds me to be grateful of the year that passed despite all the hardships. I am a testament to those hardships as I lost my job and been badly broke since then. Lost a lot but still manage to keep my head up and smile.....

We had to end of course!
Who would have thought that the concert lasted for 3 hours. No one would have probably noticed it because the concert was a SUCCESS. Then the crowd gave a standing ovation (they deserved it obviously) for a job well done. Of course, we wouldn't let them leave without any chants of "MORE,MORE,MORE". The group obliged and with that the concert came to an official end for the first of 2 nights.

Another concert will be held tomorrow. I'm tempted to watch it again because they might pull another surprise but I doubt it. I hope not....

Again, this would have not been possible without my housemate' kind hearts: Kenneth Mark LaoFrankie Cacliong and Jay Navarra. I'd like to also thank Thirdy Lopez, my online twitter buddy who answered my stupid questions on how to get to CCP without taking the cab. Like what I said, that will (probably?) be the last stupid question you'll ever get from me LOL.

I'd like to end this post by posting a picture I took of these three beggars outside the CCP Theatre who asked me to take their pictures. For some reason, I can't help but admire the glee on their faces when they saw their picture on my cam. This picture depicts that there are a lot of reasons to be happy. Even poor people (beggars, to be specific!) can still be happy.

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Photo credits: 
UP Madrigal Singers Facebook account
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