Thursday, April 10, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
I've been doing muay thai for more than a year now. Not continuously - I've been kind of klutzy with practice before so my schedule was kind of touch-and-go whenever I injured myself. So in terms of continuous practice, I feel like I'm starting again.
I started November, 2006 but got sidelined immediately for a month after severely straining my leg. It's been touch and go but I enjoy it anyway (masochistically, Eric might think). I like the discipline that you have to enforce on yourself so you'll get better and avoid injuries. I brought Eric to a practice session one time at my old gym but the physical nature of the sport turned him-off. As I told him later after diplomatically refusing to go back to Bikram Yoga with him "I like active sports - you like passive." Which also applies to us in areas outside sports.
A friend of mine wrote about my sport last month - it was all informative: "The Art of the Eight Limbs" and all that but let me tell you unless one is actually doing it, it's all academic. As someone who's a relative newbie to the sport, let me try to describe to you how it feels.
The first lessons I learned involved hitting with my fist and elbows. Knees and shins followed afterward but the two most important things I learned during those first lessons were hitting properly and tolerating pain. For the record, I don't enjoy pain. But somehow, I got past pain and focused more on the knowledge I was gaining. Everytime I learned to execute a move with a certain degree of certainty or kick higher and with more power I felt more confidence in myself, that should the need arise and I needed to defend myself, I wasn't going to totally suck at it. With every hit that was more assured I felt more ready to take on anything (well, obviously not everything but at least anything that may be threatening to my life and limbs). I learned too that technique counted as much as power as close combat was more determined by how you were able to staretegically place your hits than how much power you applied to your kicks.
Finally, I learned that one never really stops learning the moves of The Art of the Eight Limbs - you learn from the best and you take in little by little the knowledge passed on to you and apply it to your own moves. My next step is to try to start competing - May 10, if I can find a willing opponent who will push me to the next level.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
When you gave me the camera, you told me that you wanted me to take pictures of the places we saw together. The places that made us stop and not look away because they made us feel like we were witnessing a miracle. I remember holding your hand whether we were on the bus or riding the car and drawing your attention to the way the light hit the water or the orange-grays of the sunset.
Ours was not a complicated relationship. You knew what you wanted and so did I. But we wanted to make a go of it despite the obstacles. Remember Yvonne told us point-blank that she was giving us six months - that was in 2004, yet here we are. I'm glad you liked the flowers I sent you to celebrate our 46th monthsary. I guess we proved Yvonne wrong - as well as your "blood" relative and Papsi who told me that he thought I wasn't meant for you. But I remember I told him that I'll be with you as long as you wanted me.
I know I can't offer you anything that you've been used to before - I live simply and intend to continue doing so but I love you so much that if I can get you anything within my means, I would get it for you because I know it would make you happy. I mean, I'll learn how to make virgin coconut oil so you'll always have an emollient to make your skin perpetually smooth. Even in Marinduque or some other island where we'll settle eventually and raise kids.
The life I offer is different from the one you've always wanted. But all I have and all I have yet to gain is yours.
Yes, you'll have all the lotion you'll need as long as you promise to be mine for always.
Yes, you can name the kids and I'll be the strict parent as long you promise that I have veto power when you want to outfit them.
Yes, you can watch your talent shows as long as we watch "SpongeBob Squarepants" re-runs.
And, yes, I promise to love you and wait. I love you, Eric.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Just had a long conversation with a friend who told me that he was tired with his work. I listened and gave him feedback as I best could. I know how it is to be where he is because I've been there. In fact, I've been there several times. I guess as long as we work, there will be days when staying in bed is prefereble to sitting behind a desk or facing a client or a deadline.
For some, it is a choice where we are. For others, it is a circumstance. But as I've learned over the years - there is never a situation so unbending that we have to totally surrender our power to choose. No matter how desperate, how we respond to a situation defines who we are as individuals. We may have no control over frustration or ennui but we can choose how to respond to it. We can surrender to it and let it wash over us like a current. Or we can fight it like a swimmer fights the undertow. Both are valid choices = I say po-ta-toe, you say poh-tah-toe. One man's drink is another man's poison.
I write this for myself, to remind myself when I am faced with my own brand of despair. That when I have nothing I may wallow in that nothingness or use the time to watch back-episodes of "Drawn Together".
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Two weeks ago, I went with a couple of friends to see the new Ocean Park behind the Quirino Grandstand. Unlike my friends, I've never been to HK or Singapore and, thus, could not brag about having been to the aquariums in those cities. My Nana told me about the Manila Aquarium which was built, as she said, around the same time that the Manila Zoo was built. Never got around to seeing it as it went kaput before I even had the notion of going there.
For a newbie aquarium-goer, the place was awesome (not in a Parting-of-the-Red-Sea kind of awesome, just the garden variety kind).
The fish were great: the sharks, the stingray (relative of the one that deprived the world of the interesting lunacy of Steve Irwin) ,the eels (the regular and the electric), the mollusks, the huge groupers (around me people were thinking aloud the same thing "Sweet and Sour"), the equally huge arowana looking fish near the entry (I forgot their names), the zebra fish and the starfish in this shallow holding aquarium where you were encouraged to touch but not press. All in all, for me, the stiff entrance fee was worth it if only for the pictures.
The only fly in the ointment was, yes, you guessed it: people. Sadly, the thing that's going to make the Manila Ocean Park a success is also the one that's going to turn-off people who want to go there to get a feel of the ocean's serenity. I noted to a very apologetic usher how the loud and obnoxious the kids were - she told me that the Management had tried everything: I suggested whips and/or threats of being thrown into the shark pool. The usher was nice enough to smile at the suggestion - but the only thing I could read in her smile was her frustrated "If only...".
So go and enjoy - but bring an MP3 player playing Ocean or Whale Sounds to drown out the screams of a thousand unruly kids. Because you can't really drown them and not face serious jail time.
By the way, speaking of sharks - read the letter of Inday Espina-Varona chastising another shark: the political shark. It's funny and biting - deep and serrated, as it should be to penetrate the tough hide of the bitee - here's the link: http://rpscarredcat.blogspot.com/2008/02/and-heres-memo-for-sen-madrigal.html
Friday, March 14, 2008
Why ever? It's not as if there is a glaring lack of people who maintain blogs - quite the contrary.
In the bus earlier today I was thinking of reasons why I'd want to maintain a blog.
Most of the reasons I thought of sounded so serious (philosophical shit like - "To understand myself better") that I had to turn my pompous off for a sec and play Solitaire on my phone.
I just thought of something right now - one of my mantra's actually "Keep it simple". As I have no desire to make above rhetorical question an obsession, I'll just keep it simple - why blog?
Why not, chocnut?