Aaaand here we are with part two of my yearend happy post! Just to recap, I’ve had 19 wonderful firsts this 2019, and here’s the first half of the list in case you missed it.
Whew. Pretty packed year, huh? (I mean it is, for me.) Why don’t we go ahead and finish this list, starting with #11!
11. Trying pole dancing, hoops, and silks
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A few weeks ago, author friends Six, Brij, and Chi decided they would write a romance anthology with characters who are into pole dancing, aerial hoops, and aerial silks. And because they are dedicated authors, they planned on participating in a crash course on ALL THREE. And! Because I am a Will Try Anything Once kinda gal, I agreed when Chi invited me to join the class. The result? A bunch of awkward photos, an almost empty bottle of Salonpas liniment two days later, and lots of funny anecdotes we'll all be laughing over for years to come. 😂 Thank you, @mightyfitph and @ninerguiao for having us, and the patience you gave us n00bs. And @otterneyelajnah and @cadeeorlouise, thank you for being our vigilant photo/videographers! ❤ Now let me lie back down because…yeah. 😅
#romanceclass authors try most things for science, and this one was no different. Brij, Chi, and Six are currently writing a queer romance anthology featuring characters who pole dance and do aerial hoops and silks. What better way to immerse yourself in that world than by actually learning how to do it, right? They booked a private class and I got an invitation. What was I supposed to do? Say no?
In hindsight, maybe I should have?
Kidding. Even though my body hurt for days after this, it was still a fun experience. <3 Looking forward to the book!
12. Flying to Cebu
First time flying alone. First time to Cebu. And it’s all-expense paid, too! Am I lucky or what?
13. Meeting my TL colleagues
The Cebu trip is actually a Thought Leaders (that’s the name of the company/school I work for) Production Day related trip. At a Production Day, we typically discuss various work-related things either as an entire group or as smaller groups of accountable people. It was so much fun being able to finally meet the faces behind the names and avatars on Discord, because prior to this, I’ve only ever seen two of my colleagues in the flesh (hello, Kate and Paige!). It’s even more fun because I got to spend five days in Cebu, enjoying the food and company and activities. Really hoping we could have another epic one next year.
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Very rarely are we fortunate enough to come across people who are skilled, talented, warm-hearted, and gracious. I think it's safe to say I am fortunate to have met my TL team. ❤ We spent four amazing days in Cebu City together, getting to know each other, working side by side (the first time it ever happened for most of us, since we're all working from home), and eating all the food while being all productive. It CAN be done! 😂 I may still be all peopled out, but I am looking forward to the next time we will all be in the same city again. I feel hashtag blessed. #werk
14. Attending a theatre masterclass
I’ve talked a bit about the Himala: Anatomy of a Scene Masterclass in my yearend theatre round-up post, but I just have to include it in this list because I loved the immersive experience the cast and crew of Himala: Isang Musikal gave us. It was so educational, and I don’t know yet how the things I’ve learned could help me write my books, but I’m pretty sure it will come up some way, some how.
Still hoping other theatre productions offered something like this, even to those who are not necessarily practitioners but who love the magic of theatre nonetheless.
15. Seeing Van Gogh Alive
When it was announced that Van Gogh Alive was coming to Manila, I decided I’d go check it out. But holy shizz, tickets got sold out super fast that my friends and I decided to just try our luck one weekend just to see if we could chance passenger our way in. Unfortunately, at that point, we could only purchase weekday tickets, so only Jazz and I were able to go (because TDR’s office is far from BGC and…well, good luck with the traffic).
This is my first time experiencing Vincent Van Gogh’s art (or any artist’s art for that matter) in this manner, and I must say I really liked it. I probably could sit there for hours and still find something fascinating with the way they’ve curated and presented the art pieces. I do think, though, that the venue wasn’t adequate for the number of people they let in during the viewing. A couple of people in my batch got upset that people were standing up during the “show” and blocking their view.
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"It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well." —Vincent Van Gogh . . I was fortunate enough to have been able to secure a ticket to Van Gogh Alive (weekend tix got sold out really fast, so we had to make do with a weekday slot), and I loved the experience. I am not in any way an art critic, nor do I claim to know every piece of art Van Gogh has created, but I do know how to appreciate beauty when I see it…and man, being in a room, flooded by visions of the man's genius was something to behold. I do wish we had more time to sit around and bask in the beauty of his color palettes and brush strokes, though, because I thought an hour and a half seemed sufficient, but I was sorely mistaken. I wanted to stay in that room and watch Van Gogh's paintings swirl around me for hours. 😍❤ . . I wish we had this kind of immersive experience with our own artists, too, someday. Not sure what art purists would say, but this was such a great idea, to let people experience art as intimately as this. . . Thank you, Jazz for the company yesterday, and for taking this photo! ❤ More museum trips soon, hopefully! #VanGoghAlivePH
Really wish we could have an immersive museum experience like this with local artists and creators. Imagine how fun that would be!
16. Paying it forward
For the longest time, I’ve been thinking about paying it forward—figuratively holding out my hand for a person, or people in need—but wasn’t sure how. Just this December, I’ve decided to donate to UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) Philippines, to support a family that’s been displaced because of the Marawi Crisis. This is a small step toward making other people’s lives better, but it’s a step nonetheless, and I’m hoping I’d be able to support this endeavor all the way.
In 2020, I’m also hoping to help send a child to school via World Vision, fund a small scale business via Kiva.org, and save a stray dog or cat’s life via Pawssion Project or Paws Philippines (or both).
Wish me luck!
17. Having a CBS Reunion!!!
After almost five years, this group of friends we call CBS (that stands for Crazy Banana Sisterhood—don’t ask), met again. The occasion? Ate Che has come home for the holidays after moving to New Zealand for good. ^_^ It’s been a rare thing to have all these people come together in the same place since she’s left, so we were all really happy this pushed through, even though a day spent together is still not enough. Shall we do two days and one night next year?
18. Trying my hand at painting
Three words: Sip and Gogh.
I enjoyed this a lot, don’t be surprised if I go for a second round. <3 Who knew I could paint!?
19. Showbuying a Pinoy musical
Now it can be announced: I, together with five of my friends, am officially a showbuyer for Bit by Bit Productions’ Maxie the Musical, which will run at the Arete (Ateneo de Manila University) in July 2020! Maxie the Musicale is a stage adaptation of the 2005 film Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros, which tells the story of a young gay boy who has a crush on a police officer. The catch? His father and brother are petty criminals, and the officer investigating their illegal activities is the same one he’s got heart eyes for.
I’ve seen the show once in 2013 and had been hankering for a rerun—and finally, it’s happening! I’m very excited to be part of this production in a showbuyer capacity, and I hope it’ll be a smashing success for everyone involved. We haven’t started officially selling tickets yet, but once we are, keep me in mind, yeah? <3 It’s going to be amazing.
And that’s it—my nineteen firsts in twenty nineteen! Save for the part where the government and certain ~officials have been shitty this year, I feel blessed that I had been able to survive the year. It was a heckuva busy one for sure, and I need to prepare myself for the next. Gotta stack up on my Berocca so I can face 2020 head on! Will I be able to write down twenty firsts in 2020? Abangan.
Hope you all have a great holiday season, and happy new year!