And I Wander

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

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November 22, 2014 Posted by | books, learn & unlearn, life, people, ruminations | , , , , , | Enter your password to view comments.

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

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May 2, 2014 Posted by | Blogroll, family, life, writing | , , , , , , , | Enter your password to view comments.

ROMANS 8:18

.los angeles. ca.

image

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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October 14, 2013 Posted by | breakdance, introspect, learn & unlearn, life, love sh*t, rants | , , , , , , , , | Enter your password to view comments.

HELIOPHILE

.los angeles.ca.usa.

image

Being in the #workforce has never been part of what I have dreamed to do. But since all circumstances had lead me here, working 9-5 has, in some ways, provided comfort; that it anchored this wild careless spirit to this #thing that if you really look at a different angle, becomes a springboard to another #dream that I can pursue til my old age. And it’s called #family. Depends on which one you want to assign it to, “family” can be the “thing” or the “dream” or both.

I guess this marks, officially, the next chapter of my life. The last 13 years were spent wholeheartedly in dance. It’s now time to close the book. I was apprehensive about retiring for the last 3 years. It has been long overdue. So with great gusto, I now welcome a new life ahead of me.

But of course, dance will trinkle in once in a while. You never forget your first love. 😉

* * * * * * *

So yeah I am blessed too to have this hour everyday, where I can take a break from the four walls of my stressful (but enjoyable) job and just walk around and bask in the rays of the sun. And think. Or take photos. Or do #selfie shots.

And being in the sun makes me remember where I came from. #manila #islandgirl #heliophile

 

 

May 30, 2013 Posted by | Blogroll, family, life, work | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

THOSE WERE THE DAYS

(REPOST) Growing up without a cell phone

If you are 36, or older, you might think this is hilarious!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning…. Uphill… Barefoot… BOTH ways…yadda, yadda, yadda…

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they’ve got it!

But now that I’m over the ripe old age of forty, I can’t help but look around and notice the youth of today. You’ve got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don’t know how good you’ve got it!

1) I mean, when I was a kid we didn’t have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

2) There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter – with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

3) Child Protective Services didn’t care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere was safe!

4) There were no MP3’s or Napsters or iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!

5) Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We’d play our favorite tape and “eject” it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless. Cause, hey, that’s how we rolled, Baby! Dig?

6) We didn’t have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that’s it!

7) There weren’t any freakin’ cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn’t make a damn call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your “friends”. OH MY GOSH !!! Think of the horror… not being in touch with someone 24/7!!! And then there’s TEXTING. Yeah, right. Please! You kids have no idea how annoying you are.

8) And we didn’t have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent… you just didn’t know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

9) We didn’t have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like ‘Space Invaders’ and ‘Asteroids’. Your screen guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen.. Forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

10) You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!! NO REMOTES!!! Oh, no, what’s the world coming to?!?!

11) There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I’m saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bastards!

12) And we didn’t have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

13) And our parents told us to stay outside and play… all day long. Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside… you were doing chores!And car seats – oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were lucky, you got the “safety arm” across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling “shot gun” in the first place!

See! That’s exactly what I’m talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You’re spoiled rotten! You guys wouldn’t have lasted five minutes back in 1970 or any time before!

Regards,
The Over 40 Crowd

* * * * * * *

Same sentiments like in some of my previous blogs. I may be tech-savvy (meaning I can well adapt to changing times), but I still want the good old days.

And so, as much as I can, I try to raise Achilla up with our old ways and values. She’s 4 years old now but she doesn’t know how to turn on the TV or computer. She knows how to use them though, just not to turn them on and then giving her the chance to be a lazy-assed couch potato all day. And so she spends most of her day writing and drawing using pads, pencils & crayons. She likes doing art and crafts. And lately, being so OC about the way her Lego princess castle was supposed to be built, she has learned that she could actually set all the pieces apart and put them back together in different ways as if renovating it.

Yes she spends a lot of time exploring her creativity and imagination. There are only a few times I let her use my android phone or let her watch cartoons on TV. Of course since she was born in the new age, she should be able to adapt.

Sigh. I miss the good old days of love letters, library, patintero, flowers & paintings, etc. Sana maexperience ni Achilla ang mga ito… Those days where effort was so much rewarded. And so much fullfilling

April 21, 2013 Posted by | family, life, people | , , , | Leave a comment

STATEMENT

I love you.

I love.

I love.

Yes I do still love everything in my life… including my failures, rejections and struggles.

It is only now I understand why those exist.

* * * * * * *

OUR GOD IS GREATER

Water You turned into wine
Open the eyes of the blind
There’s no one like You
None like You

Into the darkness You shine
Out of the ashes we rise
There’s no one like You
None like You

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome and power
Our God, Our God…

And if Our God is for us,
then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us,
then what can stand against?

* * * * * * *

I listen to this song every day. The amount of comfort it gives me is immeasurable.

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31

April 8, 2013 Posted by | life, love sh*t | Leave a comment

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March 30, 2013 Posted by | attempt at poetry, introspect, learn & unlearn, life | Enter your password to view comments.

KINGDOM

.marikina city.philippines.
image

(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 31, 2013 Posted by | life, love sh*t | Enter your password to view comments.

TONIGHT

.ortigas.pasig.philippines.

I walk into this night of mischief and rogueries
Mulled over, executed up to the last detail of a vile blueprint
Without heart
And tenure
Like a man beneath a circle of smoke he drags
Him to him
Labyrinthian
Cycle
Endless

Like an empire of mad power and corrupt goodness torn in half
The night was reigned over
Toppled
And rendered powerless
I find myself alone
With my crown

The night is ripe
The juice of foreboding animosity trickles down
The sidestreets of loneliness
The shadows move, as if alive
In the presence of demi-lights

This night
Is so young
The moon is round
Bright
Perfect
Like a pearl vomited by the sea to the air
Like it never belonged
In a shell
Muted
But its light blinding
Yes the night is young.

And in this dark night,
I was saved.

January 14, 2013 Posted by | Blogroll, introspect, learn & unlearn, life | Leave a comment

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September 29, 2012 Posted by | family, life, ruminations, work | | Enter your password to view comments.

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