Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards

Thank you very very much to all of you who voted for me as Favorite Athlete! Winning the award really means a lot to me especially if the other nominees are world class athletes like Manny Pacquiao, Efren Bata Reyes, Japoy Lizardo and Miguel Molina. To all those who texted and voted through the internet once, ten, twenty and even a hundred times, thank you so so much!! This is the first time I've won such an award at this large a scale!

Other winners were Dingdong Dantes for Favorite Actor, Kim Chiu for Favorite Actress , Marimar for Favorite Show. I wasn't able to take note of the other winners as I was backstage most of the time. Anyway, I just wanted to inform you guys right away and I have to go now. So thank you once again :)


Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Twilight Fever

Because I haven't been posting entries for the past weeks, I will post two entries today to make up for my disappearance. Thank you to all those who still continue to monitor this blog despite the UAAP season being over. I hope I am still able to keep you interested even if i'm not talking about basketball.

Anyway, I don't watch a lot of movies in the cinemas because of the lack of time. But for this movie premier, I made sure to block off my calendar so I won't miss out on this, even if i had to drive all the way to Mall of Asia. Not because I am a twilight fan, but because Volvo is the major sponsor of the event. In fact, I have never opened a page of the book despite raves from my sister, my friends and the general public. I'm usually a non-conformist (which explains why i don't have multiply, friendster nor facebook, at least for the moment). All i know is that there is this hot, god-like character named Edward which girls are crazy about who supposedly drives a Volvo C30, and that the movie is about vampires. I'm not exactly a fan of fiction stories and more so when I heard it was about vampires, I wasn't exactly excited to watch them suck out living blood. I was pretty sure that I will fall asleep during the movie because I had only slept for two hours the night before as a result of a shoot that ended at 430am and an early morning call for Ripley's taping.

I invited my family and friends to watch with me and we first proceeded to the 2nd floor of the iMax for cocktails and a short program, as well as some photo ops. I was surprised to see so many high school girls present. I was thinking, don't they have school tomorrow? Movie was scheduled to start at 8pm. Thanks to the Volvo staff, I had a whole row of seats reserved for my family and I with a great view. Finally the movie started...

I was ready to take a nap because finally no one would notice... then I heard giggling and shrieking from girls (even ladies) around the cinema. What was so special about a group of white, pale-skinned people walking into a cafeteria?? Then, the last guy walks in and his name is Edward. More shrieking occurred! Including my sister. I didn't think he looked hot, unlike a Brad Pitt for example. He looked lanky and had weird hair. My seat mates thought he was okay though, but not as god-like as the book had described. As the story progressed, i thought it was getting interesting and I was not sleepy anymore. A lot of kilig scenes, more giggling. Finally, they kiss! I was waiting for a hand to cover my eyes but apparently, my mom was 3 seats away and could not cover my eyes like she used to when we were younger.

The scene that I remember so vividly is when Bella was rescued using the sleek silver Volvo C30. The car's exhibition was beautiful! Makes one a proud Volvo driver! I heard that Volvo didn't have to pay a thing for that free showcase because that was what the author actually used in the book. Overall, the movie was pretty fun all throughout! There was no boring scene and I was kept awake the whole time (coffee can't even keep me awake). It made me want to anticipate the next sequel. Now, i'm also looking forward to reading the book to have a more detailed understanding of what was really going through the minds of the characters. For those who haven't seen it, it's a chick-flick movie, but surprisingly, i enjoyed it! I think if you are below 30 years old, you should make sure to watch it :) Now I know what this "Twilight Fever" is all about.


Christmas Gift Idea

First of all, I apologize again for disappearing for quite a while. I was out of the country for a while and I had to finish some important shoots. Before I write about my trips, i want to share with you a book that I am part of. I contributed an essay about "Volunteering" in the book BE HANDS ON, which is published by Hands on Manila. The book includes personal stories from other personalities who have engaged in volunteer work, like Margie Moran-Floirendo, Marc Nelson, Karen Davila, Carlos Celdran and others. It really is inspiring!

Hands On Manila, for the past seven years has trained and sent out over 6,000 volunteers to projects from painting schoolhouses to being big brother or sister to indigent children. We may not have the money to help but Hands On helps us to give and share our time which is just as valuable. The 22 stories in the book are all different: One volunteer went to China to teach English. Another builds houses. Another teaches cancer prevention. There’s even one that shares her dog among sick children in a hospital. There’s incredible reading in this book all with one theme: When you give, and share, and help others, there’s a wonderful feeling of having been of service to our country.

This Christmas, instead of giving gifts that will disappear after a few days, how about trying to give something that will truly touch the soul and inspire? This is what Christmas is about anyway... giving, sharing ourselves!

Your purchase goes back to Hands On and will help them continue their great work of recruiting more volunteers. The book is available at all Powerbooks stores for just PhP 275 or you can call Hands On and get the book in a gift box for just PhP 250. The numbers are 473 7458 or 386 6521.

Merry Christmas :) But before that... Happy Thanksgiving! I'm grateful to have all of you readers. Together, let's inspire others and make our country a better place to live in :)


Monday, November 10, 2008

Blue Eagles in Boracay

The team spent the All Saints Day week end at Boracay as part of the series of celebrations after the championship. For some, it was their first time to step on the powder-like sand of Bora. Everyone was so excited. After winning the championship in the University Games in Dumaguete, they (I didn't join them in Dumaguete) flew back to Manila in the morning of the 31st of October then flew out again to Caticlan after a few hours of waiting in the airport. Most of the players didn't leave the domestic airport anymore. I met the guys in the airport then we flew together to Boracay courtesy of SEAir. We left in two batches.

Upon arriving in the Caticlan airport around 430pm, we were greeted by the hospitable staff of Discovery Shores, wearing their customized t-shirts "Discovery Shores welcomes the champs!" Then, all 30 of us (including some family members of the coaches and players) hopped in the sleek-white, air-conditioned private speed boat of the resort. The short 5-minute boat ride dropped us off the pier where we were picked up by the Discovery shuttles. For the first night, all the players (excluding Jobe who is missing in action, and Jai who followed the next day) were checked in Discovery. 3 players to a room. I was with Rabeh and Eric. And everyone was extremely impressed to see each room with a greeting posted just below the ceiling which says "Congratulations to the 2008 UAAP Champs!", not only that, each room also had their own Ateneo cookie, which i ate right away (see picture below). More than the iPod docks and flatscreen TVs in each room, what got the boys more excited were the white bath robes and fisherman's hat which they immediately wore out to the balcony right after settling in.

Overall, the trip was real fun! Weather was fantastic almost all throughout our stay except for the first night when it rained for a short while. I stayed in the resort most of the time to avoid the crowds in station 2. We saw various celebrities including Heart. Geoff, from the Amazing race also played volleyball with us. The Discovery beachfront was pretty festive as well with our noise and energy. We also played football and for the first time, i learned frisbee! That was fun! This trip will surely be remembered! Next stop for the team... Hong Kong and Macau! But that will have to wait :)

I didn't bring my own camera, so thank you to Bacon, Rissa, Coach Jon, and Rabeh/Ghen for the photos :) Please pardon the poor layout of the pictures. Don't really have much time to fix it up.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ateneo Blue Eagles on Lifestyle Asia's November Cover

I've been trying to conceal my excitement for weeks now and finally it's November! This is the first time that the entire team is placed on a cover spread of a magazine, but not just wearing ordinary basketball jerseys, this time in fine, black suits! How often do you see that?! I myself haven't seen most of my teammates wearing suits. In fact, for some, it was their first time to wear one. You'd be surprised that many of the members don't own a blazer, a pair of slacks or even a pair of black leather shoes! That's why the Lifestyle Asia staff was desperately looking for sponsors who can provide size 13 to 15 leather shoes, as well as extra extra large suits! That was only the first part.

The shooting day... We did the shoot at Fort Santiago in Intramuros. Why Intramuros? Well, you'll have to purchase the magazine to know why. It has something to do with Jose Rizal, our National hero who happens to be an Atenean as well. Anyway, we arrived in several batches after lunch time. We did our make up and hair in a closed air conditioned tent about 16 sq meters big, then we had to resort to creative ways of changing into our suits in the public park. Luckily it was not very sunny when we started but it was extremely humid. After a few hours, without any warning, the rain just poured and we all had to squeeze in that little tent together with all the staff, equipment and clothes. The rain was so strong that it was already flooding inside and the leaking through the edges. Some players, together with the photographers, were stranded between the large arcs of the Fort Santiago Gate. After about an hour, the rain finally stopped but there was not enough sunlight to finish the shoot. Some guys had to come back the following day to finish the shoot, it was really troublesome especially since it was exam week and we just won the championship, thus, a series of invitations. But I have to give due credit to the guys who did it again without complaining, Yuri, Bacon, Eric, Nico, Mike and Oping (I hope i didn't miss anyone). Overall, it was fun! The guys look great in suits, at least a fresh new look for a change!

Thanks to the Lifestyle Asia group, of course my dearest sister and her team who worked so hard to make this happen!

This is a bit out of place, but I'd like to share a link that I find very inspiring. Makes me proud to be his co-host! One of the greatest athletes in the world :)

Oh, and keep posted for an entry about our recent Boracay trip!