And I Wander

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

Ariana Grande “Problem” Dance Choreography by Mother & Daughter

Here is Achilla and I’s first choreography together! Short and sweet. 🙂 We did this in between household chores, homeworks and playtime so, if you are OC like my husband Spiderman, some items in this video will be an eyesore. Ha-ha! (Like that lone tsinelas, and the bass guitar case lying around)

We also featured our Origami Owl Living Lockets as blings… because we love ’em!

Hope you enjoy this video, and maybe dance with us! Thank you. P.S. Ariana Grande favorited our tweet about this! Yay! 🙂

March 13, 2015 Posted by | Achilla's Corner, breakdance, dance, hip hop, Philippine Allstars, Youtube | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

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

TRENTA’Y TRES #throwback – HOW I BECAME HIP HOP

.los angeles.ca.

Since I am in that retirement road already, I wanted to share this to the kids who are just starting out. I actually just bumped into this as I was cleaning my email Inbox. This was a submission I did for a friend’s blog back in 2009, months before I was to turn 33.

Trenta’y Tres, by Michelle “Tzy” Salazar (Dance Artist)

I am Tzy, the oldest member of Philippine Allstars. I think that I am even the oldest female who dances hip hop in this country… that I know of. But I am not a pioneer. I am merely a toddler. I was not there when hip hop penetrated the scene in the 90s. Back then, I knew Francis M. as a “pop” singer who sang the only rap song that I’ve ever memorized in my life (Cold Summer Nights). Jmasta (bboy) & breakdancing were non-existent. If he did headspins in my face I would just ignore him. I thought hip hop meant donning a huge shirt & pants that barely holds on to one’s boxers. And back then, the object of my pubescent obsession was the Eraserheads (a rock band that defined the sound of the 90s in the Philippines).

Hip hop came late into my life–when it was already associated with sex, drugs & violence, when the OG’s (dance pioneers/legends) have gained weight & when dance was started to be boxed in the studios & not danced in the clubs/streets anymore. It came even AFTER I was already dancing hip hop (with the Philippine Allstars).

Among all the members in my group, I think I am the most “non-hip hop”. The rest have been living, breathing & eating it. When hip hop began thriving in the Philippines in the early 90’s, Lema Diaz was one of the few girls who were dancing to its music in Club Mars. She is still in the scene now, so technically, she is the oldest female hip hop dancer.  Some of our boys have been bboying (breakdancing) since they were little. Chelo Aestrid & Kenjhons have been pursuing music all of their lives. And Sheena Vera Cruz, for me, is the ultimate dancer with hip hop attitude. I have always thought of myself as a “rakista (rocker) who loves to do breakdance freezes.” My ipod had consisted of songs from genres of rock & alternative. And I would wear urban/hip hop clothes only when I go onstage.

Now 4 years into being an Allstars, after having won 4 world hip hop competitions in 3 continents & putting Philippines on the map, it is only now that I am starting to really delve into the culture, history & foundations of hip hop dance.

In July this year, I was given the privilege of being one of the 6 people (from 5 countries–Lebanon, Palestine Territories, Argentina, Vietnam & Philippines) sent by the Kennedy Center (Washington) to go on a Hip Hop Tour. It was an eye opener for me.

I met some of the few important figures of hip hop dance  OG’s like Buddha, Marjory Smarth, etc. They told us stories of their experiences back in the 80’s, when this was all just starting. They shared their principles about dance; how very disapproving they are of students just learning dance inside the four corners of the studio & not in the clubs/streets anymore. I have also attended workshops where I have finally learned the foundations of dance which is very important for every dancer. Allstars’ style is so 90’s and for years, that was what we were good at. Those workshops made me understand dance more. I’ve found meaning on why we do certain moves. Like there is this move we do for Locking called the Muscle Man. Skeeter Rabbit told us that it was his way of saying “What’s up?” until it evolved & was combined with his move, the Skeeter Rabbit.

The most important part of our tour was the immersion in the places where hip hop started. I have discovered where the roots of hip hop music was found, which was in Washington DC, where the African-American music flourished in the early 20th century. There was this place dubbed as the “Black Broadway” which used to be an entertainment hotspot to African-American community back then, even before the Harlem Rennaisance in NY. This was home to a lot of great musical artists like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong & Billie Holliday.

We have also threaded on the streets of Harlem, the Mecca of black culture, where 30 or 40 years ago, no other race than black could walk. We have experienced a jam in the park, right in the heart of Bronx. When I was there, I smelled hip hop in its raw & purest form. That time, I was so lucky to have seen in person hip hop’s godfather, DJ Afrika Bambaataa. It was so surreal listening to his music and dancing to it. It was like performing a contemporary dance with a live accompaniment of the orchestra.

In that park, we kinda stood out because most of the people were black. So there was this one time when a man named Ron from Universal Zulu Nation approached us and said, “Don’t come out here with your booty shakin.’” He then went on to say something like, “You can’t fake hip hop. It is not made, it is not taught. You are born with it. It is in the heart. You breath hip hop. & it is here in Bronx.” I told him that hip hop has actually spread around the world, that was why were were there. & he says, “You know how it has spread? You spread it here (points to his heart). For me you can’t fake it. I don’t care where you’re from. You can’t fake hip hop. You’re born with hip hop. Some have it, some don’t. They got school for scratch, they got school for this & that, but hip hop is not an act. It’s from the heart.”

Word. 🙂

Actually I just realized that I may have been “hip hop” after all. Hip hop in heart. Its journey is my journey too. Embracing undaground & not losing the whole essence of hip hop is what Philippine Allstars is all about. Keeping it real to the heart. Not being too technical. Expressing emotions in its truest form. Standing up for the undadogs. Sharing & spreading the word. Fighting for the movement. That is real hood right there.

I am turning 33 next year. Too old to start learning new styles of dance, some might daresay. But for me, this is only the start of my never-ending quest for knowledge & truth. You might say, “pinapalalim ko naman mashado, sayaw lang yan (It’s only dance, why complicate it).” But dance has stopped being simply a form of art for entertainment purpose. It has gone beyond being just a medium of expression. On our part, we have been using dance to spread nationalism. We have undoubtedly created change among the hearts of a lot of Filipinos & has inspired them to be proud of our country. Through our dance pieces, we have traveled to different parts of the globe & have gathered not just rave reviews but love from even people of different races. And dance has also helped us spread positive messages to the world, even daring to break barriers and inspire people to Point Up (to give glory to the Man up there). [Philippine Allstars blog]

It is never too late to start dancing hip hop (I started dancing, from zero, when I was 23, doing jazz, and hip hop when I was 26). There is actually no expiration to learn anything! It is never too late to start being someone who you want to be. What is important is how far you want to go with the things you are passionate about. Just like the philosophy from Pablo Coelho’s The Alchemist & Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, when you want something really bad, the universe will conspire to help you achieve it. I may be too old to learn airtracks (barrel turns with hands), but I know that if I put my heart & mind to it, I may even become the first Lola (Gramdma) to do it.  But for now, I gotta learn. Coz ultimately, I will always be a student. Every one of us should never stop learning new things, even at 33. Or 45. or 77. 🙂
* * * * * * *

Read my full blog about the Hip Hop Program here.

December 8, 2013 Posted by | Blogroll, breakdance, hip hop, learn & unlearn, Philippine Allstars | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

GIFT OF DANCE

.los angeles.california.usa.

Been watching youtube videos of myself from all these years… I have not always been the strongest dancer, I can even say that I am the weakest one. There are only a few “countful” times where I stood out (when fired up, I guess). I have always been the one who always falls  or slips. But despite this, I’ve gone so FAR… as far as I’ve never imagined I can ever go. 🙂 Maybe because I dream big. They say we all should keep dreaming coz dreams are free. I guess I horde a lot of dreams. I have befriended Sandman and he has kept me company all these years, even when I have seem to forget he existed in my life.

And more than anything, I have always been faithful. I may not have been His most ardent follower or His best student, but my faith has been unwavering. No matter what road I take, I just close my eyes and open my heart & mind to where He will direct me.

I mean who would have known that I will be in the dance world. Not my school friends. Nor even my family. I have not shown any slightest inclination to this art. Yeah I have danced for a school program or a school project, but who hasn’t, right? I have stumbled upon dance in 2000 when, out of nowhere, me and my friend Malove dropped by this lonesome dance studio at Shangri-La (Powerdance) and I caught sight a Pro-Jazz class. It was a sight to behold as I couldn’t take my eyes off them anymore. They had made me want to dance. I had no job back then, and my family & (then)boyfriend just left to the US for good, so I was open to anything that came my way. Right there & then, I decided to enroll in their summer workshop… then I was hooked. For life.

Even when I was already dancing, I never thought that I would go this far. I mean come on, I am short, I am bowlegged, I have incredibly long arms, I have weak lungs and a stiff back (scoliosis). I don’t think I can ever become a back-up for Janet or Justin (unless they put apple boxes for all their short dancers hahaha!). I can’t ever be part of Cirque du Soleil, or be that sexy exotic girl on a hip hop music video. But despite all these, I became a world changer (in my own way), had a voice & has inspired a lot of people. Even when I am not visibly part of the group anymore, kids still come to me which makes my heart swell a hundred times its size (or is it just my cholesterol-ed blood pumping in? :D)… And when I moved here, too, I had thought that I will retire from serious dancing and just do some usual gigs here and there, and just be a full-time mom with a full-time secured job. But no! I was given a scholarship where I will by trained for 6 months in different styles of dance (hip hop, jazz, ballet, contemporary, modern, theater jazz, house & salsa). It is a different world of dance again, with different set of people. I am like starting from scratch, and a NOBODY. Yet, in my own little ways, I am able to inspire, and they make me inspired too. I don’t know where this will lead me. At 34, I know I am too old for this. But He has given me a strong body & this youthful “beauty” (haha!) for a reason… And so I will blindly follow. Hey this is Hollywood anyway. Commercial or underground, there is always a spot for anyone who wants to dance.

At the end of it all, I will always be thankful. I am God’s little, clumsy dancer. And I think I will dance as long as I can move, coz dance is a gift, and through this gift I thank Him. ♥


1:21 I almost failed to get up from that locking get down.

1:52 I slipped.

October 23, 2011 Posted by | dance, Philippine Allstars | , , | 1 Comment

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September 11, 2011 Posted by | Blogroll, books, Philippine Allstars, writing | Enter your password to view comments.

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June 19, 2011 Posted by | dance, Philippine Allstars | , | Enter your password to view comments.

TRUTH

.marikina city.philippines.


These will remain to be the people that I want to fight battles with.

 

It was a surreal night. After a looong day of fixing things at ADS, I capped off the evening with Jhong, Niko, Joyce, Jolo & Jemie (& Tala who was alseep) somewhere in Libis. This was never our topic. But on the car ride home, Jhong told me about a tattoo our friend wants to put on his back… And this realization dawned on me.

We all have the same sentiments.

Some may not admit it out of pride or bitterness.

But I will always hold it dear to me… this group  that had burned with fire worth a thousand battles. More than being a part of it, I was a witness.

 

I guess, what really fueled this feeling more are the people who USED to believe in us… Like Buwi. 🙂

February 1, 2011 Posted by | Philippine Allstars | 1 Comment

AND THEN THERE WERE THREE

.marikina city.philippines.

Highlighted: “Last Thursday, I mourned over the death of a huge part of me… I am still inconsolable.”

I still am. 😦

I remember that day. It was the Roots prelims for House & Bboy. I was on my way to Eastwood to register and join the battle for House. The night before, I have watched a video performance of Rockstars (Ken & Laurence’s new group). It was their first after they left Allstars.

It was that day, while driving on the way to Eastwood, that it hit me. Allstars. Is. Divided. Into. Three. (Allstars. Groovejackz. Rockstars.)

Don’t get me wrong, Allstars is still very much alive, with the remaining 7 original members (Me, Lema, Sheena, Chelo, Big Pat, Maya & Kyxz), and some equally fierce & talented bunch of Juniors… But that day, the reality of it hit me like a tornado on a serene lake. It broke me. Murdered me. The reality of it hung in the air, as I was driving, like a huge dark cloud which soon engulfed me in this immense sadness. Inconsolable I was as I cried copious tears over the “death” of a group of 12 people who have been part of the best 5 years of my life… Grabe, I was like a crazy… insane driver wailing like a child stripped off her balloon, or a week’s worth of allowance! I guess I cried 2 years worth of loss (from 2008, when 2 of the core members Jhong & Reagan left, together with Madelle, Prince & Niko).

Its effect still lingers around me, follows me, like vultures circling the air I breathe. Admittedly, it will take me a long time to get over it. But I’ll get there. 🙂

I previously wrote about us being UNBREAKABLE. I guess I have put the group too high on a pedestal… coz I have known each one of us to be few of the strongest people ever. And I quote Chanoweezy “Walang ibang may kaya ng ginagawa nyo.” Alas, even Samson has his Delilah, and Superman his Kryptonite. We were all like leaders of war allied together, each having a different way of fighting adversaries, and tactics on how to be victorious.

Ultimately, each one has become a wounded warrior. If asked, everyone will have his/her own bittersweet story to tell.

But still, within ourselves, we are still Unbreakable. There has never been any greater training (both in dance & in life) than being in this group. Never will those glorious years be replicated, not even close.

And never will any of us feel any more victorious than when the time comes and we would have had shed any trace of bitterness, and we’d be smiling & would be thankful for that one fateful day in 2005. 🙂

Kasi dalawa lang yan… and I quote Conrado de Quiros, “You can do only one of the two things with the past. You can make it a fiercely loyal lover or you can make it a scorned and bitter one. There is no in-between. It admits of nothing else.”

December 28, 2010 Posted by | family, introspect, Philippine Allstars | 5 Comments

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December 4, 2010 Posted by | Blogroll, Philippine Allstars | Enter your password to view comments.

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?

I am a dancer.

June 10, 2009 Posted by | dance, interests, Philippine Allstars | 2 Comments

UNBREAKABLE

.quezon city.philippines.

That’s how I would describe my group. I think lahat na ng klase ng mabigat na problema, naitapon na sa amin, but we are still one. We are still a group. May mas lalala pa ba sa nasirang samahan? Betrayal of trust & brotherhood? Doubting of leaders & decision-makers? Disrespect among members? We were tried and tested and we passed all these. You know why? Coz we acknowledge that everything happens for a reason. These things happen so that we’d learn from our mistakes. We know that we should be beaten & tested so we’ll come out stronger for harder, bigger battles ahead. Coz we know that we were handed difficult situations to ready us for really big important missions . We were not given what we cannot handle. Imagine that realization, the great responsibility that is & will be shouldered to us… Ano pa ang pwede? So c’mon, bring it on. I swear, in 10 years, Allstars will still be here. I bet that I will still see especially the 11 core/founders still standing together, fighting, celebrating, sharing, dancing, loving. So yeah.

Unbreakable.

July 14, 2008 Posted by | introspect, Philippine Allstars | , , | 3 Comments

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October 16, 2006 Posted by | Philippine Allstars, rants | | Enter your password to view comments.

WAXING WELSH ABOUT THE YEAR THAT WAS

.quezon city.philippines.

that fuckin’ shitein cunt
shags the crack down mair & mair
thut ah jist love tae smack it in the face
ken what ah mean? that bairn.
tha fugly cunt’s goat tae be thu worst thing
the worst fuckin’ depression one ever saes
oh likesay, feeling no sae good, violence is ugly
but whae really can sae mauch aboot anything these days?

book.jpg

ha-ha. my tongue is officially screwed brit. only a few pages left of trainspotting & i already felt victorious. gotta be the most enjoyably difficult book i’ve read in a long time, for a long time (took me months man, coz i kept on gaun back chapters after failing to return to the last page read coz of the busy sked blah blah. plus yes, its junk-induced line of thoughts with a real hard-assed vernacular tongue-&-mind twister sortay make me always stoned meself).

aaah… a lot of accomplishments in a year. a year that seemed to span decades.

in a few days, allstars will be officially a year old.

allstars. not just people put together for show… but a group with a vision & a cause… My CREW. My FAMILY.

June 8, 2006 Posted by | books, introspect, Philippine Allstars | , , | Leave a comment

IT’S ALL BS ANYWAY… BUT ITALIA SAVED ME

.marikina city.philippines.

i heard this somewhere…

“it’s all BS anyway. at the end of the day, the better men win, not just on a skill level, but on a HUMAN level.”

i knew i’d have a lot people holding  grudges, even disapprobations if i publicly post that blog. but i had & still have no regrets. why should i suppress myself? just coz i’m starting to be a public figure doesn’t mean that i would just sit in a corner & hold every emotions & opinions to myself. 1stly, this is a free country (cliche but true), 2nd i’m not wont to do that, 3rd sometimes education of the mass requires an open discussion & free thinking without censorship. i know freedom has boundaries & has always required great responsibility, that was why i drew a line. if people who read that are smart enough, they’d understand… i will still continue writing coz that’s what & who i am. just as i’d still continue to dance as long as i can walk… my only concern is that being a part of a group, people might take my words as words coming from allstars’ mouth. i’ll just wish they’d all be smart enough to think otherwise.

but anyway. i still believe that after all these, IT’S ALL WORTH IT.

* * * * * * *

notes ciao ciao!:

* italia is sooo beautiful! best served for couples, hehe!

* 5 days (minus 2 competition days) is really not enough to take in everything of italy.

(who’d ever wear pink slippers in the streets of torino?)

* “we all the same, we all eat on the same plate” (from a proverb an italian team quoted for us).

* may friendships na kme pagpunta sa LA! =)

* love their gelato,

* their apartments,

* the cars,

* the language,

* ebrithing!

* pinoys in torino are one of the best peeps in the world.

June 7, 2006 Posted by | Blogroll, Philippine Allstars, rants, travels | Leave a comment

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