And I Wander

The birds chirp at this side of the world. :)

12-12-12

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Three years ago, I had tweeted this, referring to the Philippine Allstars OG’s supposed reunion concert. But God had a different plan. After a year, December 12, 2012 had become my “spiritual” birthdate. It had become the day that I accepted Jesus as my Lord & Saviour… that “something big” had happened in my own life.

* * * * * * *

It’s so overwhelming, sometimes funny, when we would try to take control of our lives, and then, for some unknown reasons, things WILL NOT go according to plan no matter how we stubbornly, even dedicatedly, stick to it. Things will bend, people will step in, events will rumble, and before we know it, the day that we were zoning in just does not show up. Not even call in sick. Just. Not. Show. Up.

But thing is, sometimes, there would be a plan. A blueprint will be made, will be signed by a number of people, notarized, stamped, or framed and hanged on a wall. But then, eventually, even with its unmistakable presence on the wall, people will lose focus as they get caught up with life.

I don’t really remember what had happened to the planned concert, which sounded really promising and exciting for a time. But I guess it was just not meant to happen AT THAT TIME. Still, my tweet called out the universe to hand me that “big” event. Grabe. The universe delivered! It gave me a “big” personal journey… I was thrown into a very difficult battle where I had both got broken & built, a journey where I got both lost & found. If it was not because of #timehop, I would not have even remembered it. I appreciate it all now. More than that, I now have a deeper understanding of everything that has happened. I see how God loves me so much… even during the times my spirit was so crushed and I felt so defeated.

Grabe ka Lord. Sobrang amazing ka!

So yeah, something big really did happen. And it was BIGGER than that planned concert.

* * * * * * *

As a result of that 12-12-12 event in my life, I am now able to fight my personal battles differently. Because we as humans, if I’m being honest to myself, are not wont to forgive and forget easily. I even daresay the wounds of the past can never really be healed… not even “in time.” May peklat ang bawat sugat. There will always be a scar. In time, the scar will ostensibly be invisible. But there would be times that it would seem to scream “Hi! Remember this wound? Remember the one who caused this???” And then it would make us feel the need to scratch. There will be times it would get really tempting… that we just want to scratch it so bad until it bleeds and creates another wound… over the wound. That is so easy… So easy. So human. So me, the old me.

But then, by His grace, I had felt that there is never a need to scratch. The enemy can make the wound scream all day & night long… but God is more powerful. He not only makes me fight strong, but also… He makes me accept my already closed, dry wounds as beautiful battle scars… ones that would and should remind me of my own victory over this seemingly permanent and undefeated enemy. Yes, that’s it. My VICTORY.

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December 30, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Jesus, learn & unlearn, Philippine Allstars | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

PHILIPPINE ALLSTARS — THE FIRST YEAR


I have a confession to make. I was the Philippine Allstars’ memory-keeper. For years, I was the one opening and managing our online accounts (from Friendster to Myspace, Multiply, and finally, the [retired] OG’s Facebook page). I was the one replying to fans’ questions. I was the first to receive verbal punches from haters & critiques. When fans have questions to any particular member of the group, I would answer for them. If it was personal, I would ask the intended member to open the account her/himself and reply to a fan. Most often, they would not do it. So I would eventually do it for him/her. When Chelo came back from the UK in 2007 and became active again, she shared this burden with me, and so you would find blogs on our sites (especially on Multiply) authored by her. It is usually us girls who would be active online, except for Lema who was busy managing the group. The boys you could not count on because, well, boys were hardwired for physical tasks. They would rather train, choreograph, sell shirts, ccok, drive, or anything but go online. (Although now, you could see that they are pretty much active on Facebook. Mas maingay na nga sila e, haha, ehem Maya, Pat, Renz & Reagan)

Anyway, this is one of the posts that I really worked hard creating… and protecting. I believe the first year has defined us as a group. Everything that followed was a result of each of us’ decision during our first week. And everything else was, I don’t know, just divinely directed (for a year). That is how I believed it to be. I salvaged this post days before Multiply shut down and was able to repost on Facebook and another blog. This time, I guess, to secure a place on my own blog, I’m REposting it here. So here goes… the story of the OG’s first year. 🙂

DISCLAIMER: This was created in 2006. All of OG’s debt has been paid of since.
* * * * * * *
A remembrance of PHILIPPINE ALLSTARS‘ journey from being highly addicted to cyphers in the underground Hip Hop & Breakdance scene… to being highly dedicated to a cause which, through their love of dance, they make anything possible. A year in their life where everything changed, from being financially well-off & having the means to splurge on material things to being really poor (having gone deep in debt) but having the means to splurge people with words & acts that matter more; and from being almost satanic to being a follower of God, “BestFriend”. This is our story…

 

In June 17, 2005, 12 people came together and dared to dream….
[from top L-R: Kenjhons, Reagan, Jhong, Laurence, Patrick, Chelo, Sheena, Ivy, Kyxz, Michelle, Lema & Maya]

Everyone dropped their jobs to try to do a competition piece… Kenjhons taught us ‘sarap lang,’ sometimes he & Laurence would sing for us in between breaks.
[Chelo’s crib]

After a month of putting together a dance piece & learning to dance as a group (as everyone were freestylers), it was time for battle.
[Maximum Groovity II]

The piece was “hilaw” (raw), but we had fun… Sarap lang! =)
[National Competition]

We were up against really good teams like The Crew, Flipthrillaz & Letran. But in the end, we were pronounced as Champions!
[National Champions!]

Afterwards, everything weren’t laid out easy for us. The organizers said that the sponsors backed out so they could not fly us out.  They did promise to send us to Italy next year though… just. not. to. the. US. this. year.
[Gold’s Gym]

Added to that, 3 of us (Chelo, Sheena & Pat) got denied of US visas. Heartbroken, Chelo went on to pursue her studies in UK.
[Chelo’s despedida]

Still, amidst all these, we believed that destiny cannot be broken… That it was our destiny to represent the country in HHI.
[1st music video by AF]

–so despite being financially hard up (having borrowed money for plane tickets), we went on…
[1st music video by AF]

–to the US to rep up the PI…
[4th World Hip Hop poster]

–and show the world what we’ve got. What Filipinos got!
[2005 Eliminations, Manhattan Beach, CA]

The people took notice, and loved us…
[2005 Eliminations]

We placed 6th (out of 26 teams) in the eliminations, and it kinda went into our heads…
*We would have placed 3rd. We got a deduction for late start & offensive moves (hands on our crotches hehe!). So guys learn from us, no offensive/lewd movements!
[Interview for a local news channel]

–that it affected our performance during the finals. So we remained in 6th place.
We were kinda disappointed. Who wouldn’t? But acceptance soon followed as we realized that we weren’t ready to be Champions. Coz lumalaki. ang. ulo. namin. (proud/arrogant) We were really mayabang that time. But we learned.
[2005 World Finals, Redondo Beach, CA]

After the competition, we had no place to go. But kind pinoys, Floyd & Mags Evangelista, who have heard our story from our friend Marc Nelson “adopted” us.
[with Floyd & Mags Evangelista]

–so we were picked up by their limo & brought to their house… yeh God is good!
[In a stretched bling bling car]

–were fed food & fattened up…
(coming from starvation in the PI–yes, the stories are true: sometimes, after practice, a pizza box would just slide through the doors & it will sustain us for the day; and after clubbing & passing out hats to collect money for commute & food the next day, and getting hungry, we’d just say “Bahala na si BestFriend.” Then a friend would pass by and ask “Allstars! Have u eaten?” & he’d treat us ALL dinner… Sometimes He sends angels like Jaimie (a client of Gold’s) & Tim Yap in our midst as if to say “Just hang in there.”)
[Good catch Reagan!]

–given a place to sleep… hehe!
[Maya at Pechanga suite]

–and a place to stay and do girly things… hehehe!
[Floyd’s crib in San Diego]

Of course we went around LA…
*(other times, some pinoys would tour us around) Thanks to Kae & friends for bringing us there!
[Maya & Kyxz at Venice Beach]

–jammed in the streets…
[Venice Beach]

–and dropped by the Millenium dance studio. we had no money to pay for classes so we were content to just dance in the street… but Mike Montoya of La Dekada (2005 US Champs) was so kind that he rented a studio & taught us some La Dekada moves. =)
[Millenium Dance Complex]

We also had a taste of LA’s night life (with Mike of La Dekada, Shane & some –friends who had connections to let us in the VIP). 
[Downtown LA clubbing]

–and we’d jam with them boys from Sickstep…
[clubbing in Hollywood]

–then it was time to go home & face reality. We went back to the Philippines humbled (with the whole experience)… and in debt…
[ALLSTARS’ way]

–but some people believed in us and helped us out, like Levi’s…
[LEJ tour, San Beda Alabang]

This gig was instrument to the conception of what was to be one of our routines (the motor) & part of our music for the next HHI.
[LEJ Free to Move launch]

Then we went around to perform in schools…
[LEJ tour, St. Louis College]

Oh how we loved to perform for and jam with them, especially the kids!
[LEJ tour, San Beda College Makati]

We would share with them our love for cyphers…
[San Beda College]

We would have so much fun with them… Those were really one of our best gigs…
[San Beda College]

The Evangelista’s were still there for support…
[E-Real fam gig]

–along with Adidas…
[Adicolor press launch]

–and people of Sports Unlimited, especially Dyan Castillejo & Marc Nelson…
[Sports Unlimited]

After almost a year, Hip Hop Open d’Italia was coming up… Everything was still not easy for us. Our problems got bigger. Sometimes, conflicts would come from inside our circle. We would always fight & argue about everything. We would be faced with struggles, dilemmas &… choices… But in the last minute, everyone would decide to go head on with whatever was thrown to us…
[Gold’s gym]

Except for Eye Vee who decided to choose a different path… teaching kids & pursuing her bgirl dreams. =)
[Eye Vee]

After deciding to go on (we were told that there MAY be plane tickets but no place to stay in Italy), we still kept faith & we resolved that no matter what, it was important for us all to be on a same page…
[Sleepover at Jhong’s]

We busted our asses off by jogging at 6am almost everyday… rain or shine.
[Jogging at the UP campus]

–then go straight to practice to perfect our ‘motor’ routine, hehehe!…
[Gold’s gym]

–experiment moves…
[Gold’s Gym]

–and stunts… ha-ha!
[Gold’s gym]

–it was exhausting physically…
[Kyxz, Gold’s gym]

–and mentally, that sometimes…
[Jhong, Gold’s gym]

–we would spend a lot of our days at Gold’s… sleeping.
*eventually, being one of the sponsors that would send us to Italy, Gold’s gym eventually became our second home. (Grateful to Ms Ley & Ms Mylene)
[Kenjhons, Gold’s gym]

–and of course we never forgot Him. In fact we became closer to Him & would attend services. One of our favorite was the ABS-CBN fellowship. We will never forget Pastor Jessie’s blessing, and his words became our “baon” to Italy.
[Pastor Jessie]

This time we had plane tickets, but no place to stay… We were ready to sleep in the streets! We even brought a lot of blankets & century tuna! Nothing could really stop us, so we said to ourselves, “Bahala na si God.”
[praying before taking off, Lufthansa Air]

True enough, He provided… Filipino Community in Turin had heart…
[Torino, Italy]

–and one of them couples moved out so we could have a place to stay for 5 days… grazie!!!
[Daddy Aries’ Apartment]

They offered a place for us to hold our last rehearsals, inside their Church.
[infront of their Church]

We loved them Europeans!!!
[outside PalaRuffini]

Of course, we can’t NOT play with the bboys…
[PalaRuffini]

–and the kids…
[PalaRuffini]

This time we danced for Him…
[Hip Hop Open d’Italia Finals 2006]

–and so we won the Gold…
[Finals]

–and their…
[after the competition]

–hearts…
[after the competition]

Shempre we went around for a well deserved celebration… with a scoop of gelato!
[Torino, Italy]

–went sight-seeing…
[in one of their lovely Piazzas]

–and girl-sighting… hehe! Belle ragazze!
[Laurence & Reagan]

Then it was time for the World Hip Hop Championships… We were surprised to find ourselves in their poster!
[5th World Hip Hop poster]

But of course, we knew we were facing bigger obstacles ahead… We still had to pick out the 8 people (World Event only allows 5-8 members per group), we still had to polish our routine, we still had no (NADA!) sponsors, we still owed people money… Well basically it’s more, again, of a financial crisis. As always.
[Patrick, Kyxz, Laurence, Jhong]

Stubborn we may be, we didn’t let those burden faze us…
[Kenjhons]

We practiced (we gave time for teachnicals since we sucked at that) a lot…
[Gold’s gym]

–talked a lot…
[Gold’s gym]

–prayed a lot…
[ALLSTARS’ way]

Shempre, not forgetting to have fun…
*this is our third home, Madelle’s studio. By this time, she was already part of our core.
[Brewing Point]

–enjoy life…
[Laurence, Brewing Point]

–and sleep (while still having fun! hehe!).
[Jhong, Brewing Point]

God really has humour. Sometimes, everything would be difficult that it seemed like He was testing us to see how far we would go. But ALLSTARS are a crayzey & a hardheaded lot; we wouldn’t give up! So then everything would be provided. Same as last year, ticket fares were paid on the last minute of the booking deadline.
[ALSTARS’ way]

So in July 27, we found ourselves in the US again, this time with Sheena & Pat who were denied visas the year before, and our new members, Madelle & Deo.
[backstage with Floyd & Jun]

Philippines had 3 representatives, The Philippine Allstars, The Crew & The UP Street. Ang saya!
[the HHI 2006 official Philippine Representatives]

It was so overwhelming to be able to share the stage with some of the best dancers in the world…
[Opening Parade, Finals, Redondo Beach, CA]

During the eliminations, we placed 1st out of almost 30 dance crews in the world. And so we performed last during the finals…
[World Hip Hop Finals 2006]

And so, as we have been promoting the Man up there, He promoted us.
[2006 World Hip Hop Champions]

We were champions. Truly, destiny cannot be broken!
[2006 World Hip Hop CHampions]

It was a special night, not just for us…
[Allstars with Luther Brown]

–but for everyone present in that room…
[One Big Circle after the Awarding Ceremony]

–that night, the world became smaller…
[Suave of Hip Hop Connexions Chicago & Kenjhons]

–everyone became united in their love of Hip Hop…
[Kenjhons]

–and for their love of God.
Yey.
One Love. One Hip Hop. One God.
We’d like to think that each one walked away a champion. =)
[Kenjhons]

It has been one crazy year that seemed to have spanned a decade…
{Boys]

–like a roller coaster ride…
[Boys]

–full of ups…
[Kenjhons]

–and downs…
[Jhong & Kyxz]

–a year brimming with…
[muscles]

–moments of…
[Kenjhons with Balara kids]

–love…
[QC Detention Cell]

–trials…
[Lema]

–friendship…
[Jhong & Kyxz]

–fights…
[Michelle & Kenjhons Hulk]

–celebrations…
[Motorcade]

–struggles…
[waiting]

–glamour…
[Pimpin’]

–or pure baloney… hehe!
[Sheena, Reagan, Michelle (& Maya behind the bush)]

–and of course, cyphers.
*We want to preserve this culture coz this is where we can find Hip Hop dance in its raw & purest form.
[Cypher]

Look at how we’ve grown in a year!
[Before & After]

From being mere friends…
[late dinner at Something Fishy]

–we became brothers & sisters…
[Big Pat & Jhong]

Our family gets bigger. Niko & Prince officially became our trainees.
[Niko & Prince]

The tards (retards hehe!)
[Sheena, Michelle, Madelle & Lema (Chelo was still in the UK)]

–and the loids (mongoloids ha-ha!)…
[the boys]

–will go beyond the cyphers…
[Jammin’ w/ percussionists at Rockwell]

–to improve the country’s standard in dance…
[spot number in Wowowee, a very popular noontime game show]

–promote originality & creativity…
[CADS concert 2006]

–educate the kids, especially the less-fortunate but equally talented ones…
[Pathways workshop with public HS kids]

–and the ardent followers of this art…
[Sunday class with Kenjhons]

–and of course, most importantly, to spread His words & share His blessings…
[with kids at E-games event]

–coz bottomline, we know that we can hold it up on the dance floor…
[Kenjhons vs Lema at Jaipur]

–or in real life…
[Lema & Sheena vs Jhong]

–as long as we keep our faith…
[Kenjhon’s shirt “God’s got mah back”]

–coz we know that God’s got our backs. That’s as permanent as Laurence’s tattoo. =)
[Laurence]

* * * * * * *

VIDEOS:


Our first competition piece.


Announcement of winners, HHI 2006.


Video montage from our first year.

November 20, 2014 Posted by | Blogroll, breakdance, dance, hip hop, Jesus, life, Philippine Allstars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ROMANS 8:18

.los angeles. ca.

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God spoke to me today through ptr. Insong’s message at church. Last Friday, I lost a 6week fetus from my womb. According to studies, 10-25% of pregnancies result in miscarriage. Where I am, it is normal. The shock I felt upon seeing bright red blood coming from me that morning was only a statistic. It happens. Move one.

How heartless.

The baby was 34 weeks away from being born and being held in my arms. People can say it is better than losing the baby just before delivery. Or even after… But all the same, it was painful. Those weeks of anticipation and dreaming and planning… all lost.

But I clung on to God, and in His grace and glory, I am able to accept what happened. And through this morning’s message, I was reassured that the pain I felt is never comparable to the joy that is in store for me and my family. In God’s embrace I rest. Instead of feeling defeated, I will rejoice for his grander plan.

* * * * * * *

After telling my 5yo daughter of what happened, she gave me a pat on the back and said, “Ok lang mommy andito naman ako para sayo saka kay daddy.” (It’s ok mommy, I’m here for you and for daddy)

Thank you Lord for this beautiful and smart daughter. I know someday you will grant her wish to be an “Ate” (older sister). In Your time.

* * * * * * *

I never really meant to post this. But God gave me a burden to share his message… that He is really bigger than all our problems. This is not about me, my pain, my loss. This is about His faithfulness and His promises.

And I’m actually doing ok now. Excited even for His plans.

March 23, 2014 Posted by | family, Jesus, life, pregnancy | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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December 13, 2013 Posted by | Bible, Blogroll, Jesus, learn & unlearn | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Enter your password to view comments.

KINGDOM

.marikina city.philippines.
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(c) photo from Tumblr

 

There are days when I am really tested… days when I would lose battles. But I am comforted at the thought that here lies in my heart a kingdom where He is King. And each time I lose, I feel strong arms carry me… pull me back to my feet, and fight battles with me. It is when I would almost give up that He is strongest… my King. My Lord.

February 3, 2013 Posted by | Jesus, life | , , , | Leave a comment

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January 29, 2013 Posted by | Bible, books, Jesus, learn & unlearn | Enter your password to view comments.

   

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