Sunday, September 30, 2012

UST Tigers: Repeat 2006 in 2012

Dear UST Tigers, Thats a wish and an order! xoxo Mei

I really believe that Season75 is UST's best chance to win the senior men's basketball championship again!

#1 They have a solid first five in pointguard Jeric Fortuna, shooting guard Jeric Teng, forward Aljon Mariano & Kevin Ferrer and super improved center Karim Abdul plus a deep bench with Clark Bautista, Melo Afuang, Paulo Pe, Kim Lo, Daquioag and Haina.

#2 A girl can dream =) At the start of the season, they weren't even projected to enter the final four. A dark horse, they said. It was the same Cinderella finish in 2006 championship and I'm praying hard for the same result! I've also read somewhere that UST becomes a champion on the same year that Miami Heat does (2006, 2012)!

#3 They showed that they are Season75's comeback kings because of their numerous come from behind wins thru 2nd half dominance. Chamba or not, the credit goes to coach Pido for instilling the never say die attitude and composure in closing games. One memorable line from coach was "O alas tres na, gising na!" True enough they played a great 3rd and 4th quarter after a lackluster 1st half.

#4 They have a deep offensive arsenal and great defense! There is no single focal point in offense because this is a solid team plus they are currently #1 in steals and points off turnover.

#5 Yes they are the underdog against Ateneo but they are in the finals and is ALSO 2 games away from winning the title!

Thanks to Twitter and I've been able to follow UST Tigers' games from round 1 to the final four game last Saturday! I even watched it live. Even after they got the twice to beat advantage for the semis round, I was delaying to blog about it because I'm scared to jinx their entry to the finals. Yes, Im that much of a fan. :P

UST Senior Men's Basketball team for Season75
On their first 2 games, UST Tigers were leading when they entered the fourth quarter but it didn't have the same result. They had a heartbreaking 1 point loss on their first game as co-captain Jeric Fortuna, who is on his final year, committed a crucial turnover. The next game against Ateneo was another heart attack game, the Tigers won over the eagles by 1 point to break the 12 game losing streak since 2007. Coach Pido was quoted saying "naka-chamba rin."

UST again surprised everyone with a 77-71 win against pre season FilOil cup champion and projected Final Four contender NU bulldogs.
The start of the Chowing-serye :P
2 brothers, 2 overtimes and 1 point win again. Its awesome to watch 2 brothers play against each other but the much awaited Teng vs Teng was overshadowed by Aljon Mariano's breakout game! Aljon is a junior who sit out last year because of an injury, its always nice to see athletes come back strong after a setback.

#1 sa distrito! 

UST Tigers went on to win over Adamson, UE and UP thru the Fortuna-Teng-Mariano-Abdul fire power then finished with 6wins-1 loss record by the end of the first round. Because they won over Ateneo, they finished as the #1 ranked team.

On the 2nd round, FEU again showed their mastery of the Tigers as they beat them with a major 35 points lead! They played it on a Thursday and I didnt even bother to watch the highlights :P

Coincidentally, Jeric's younger brother & DLSU rookie Jeron scored 35 points on the same day :P

Have no fear. Fortuna is here!
Jeric Fortuna, who's on his 5th & last playing year, definitely made up for his 1st game error as he showed solid leadership for the team all season long, while shooting crucial shots along the way! Another key for their 2nd win against NU was the defense of former juniors MVP, Kevin Ferrer, to Rayray Parks. There were funny moments caught on camera especially when the 2 Jerics and Kevin were taunting Rayray who was about to shoot crucial FTs. Sorry but it was hilarious! #mindGames

On the 2nd round, aside from the tambakan with FEU, UST Tigers had 2 heartbreaking games! A 2 points loss from Ateneo, I think that  the 2 teams are really matched per position and it was a great game, too bad that the breaks of the game was not on our side (I agree on the denied UST protest by the way).

Before sweeping the last 3 remaining games, they suffered a 1 point loss c/o Jeron Teng's last second shot.  

UST finished the second round with 10 wins-4 losses record. The wins by DLSU and NU also helped the tigers to be ranked 2nd overall and gain twice to beat advantage. I felt old after knowing that the last time that they had final four twice to beat advantage was in 1999, with coach Aric and the duo Cyrus Baguio and Nino Gelig. Their last playing year was my 1st year in college (2002) and fastforward 2012, both are now veterans in the PBA!

Parks vs Ferrer LOL & the UST's 2 Jerics
UST Tigers had the right mindset of treating the Final 4 game with NU as a do or die game instead of banking on their twice to beat advantage. Even after knowing that they'll face NU, I trust that Kevin Ferrer is key on stopping back to back MVP Parks but he did more than that. He provided the offense when the rest was struggling. It was nice to see Ferrer's breakout game.

Final four. Final two. 1 Champion
This is the last year that we'll have the 2 Jerics (Fortuna and Teng) on our backcourt so hopefully the Tigers will be rewarded with a championship!

I hope that UST Tigers will play well, no injuries, that referees will be fair and let the players decide the outcome of the game.

Go USTeeeeee!!! Bring the glory back to Espanya, promise papa-pizza ako =))

Photo credits:

UAAP Final Four Experience: UST vs NU

I have a different kind of hangover, one that is from watching a live UAAP Final Four game! It is an awesome experience to watch a live basketball game but what made this one special is having 3/4 of the arena crowd cheering with you! Although its been 6 years+ since I graduated, I cant help but root for the UST Tigers every season! I love college basketball! It is safe to say that majority of the crowd at the Araneta Colosseum earlier was rooting for UST, I was even surprised that the NU side wasn't full considering that its their 1st time since 2001 to be the 3rd seed team.

Too early but its ok =)

Its kinda funny how I have gold rubbershoes but I dont have a yellow shirt! Last night, I turned my closet upside down to find one before finally settling for a white shirt with yellow and black streaks. Anyway, my friend Runie and I were one of the early crowd since we only managed to get an upperbox ticket that doesn't have reserved seats. The perk was we were able to watch the team warm ups and got to  choose a good seat, yay! On the UST side, check! In the middle section to see the full court action, check!

Like any other UST game in season 75, it was a close game! Jeric Teng had 3 early fouls in the first half, so it was a blessing that aside from Abdul, Fortuna, and Mariano, Kevin Ferrer stepped up with 15 points.  Actually, I was counting on Ferrer to guard Rayray Parks, his defense is enough and everything else is a big bonus for the team.
UST Yellow Jackets

Since the Tigers lead the Bulldogs 38-34 by the end of the halftime, the UST Yellow Jackets got to perform first. I remember when I was in college, my friend Jessie and I had a really huge crush on one of the YJ and we named him "Jake". This went thru from 1st to 4th year (but nothing creepy or stalker-ish) and then sometime on our last year, we were studying or nagchichikahan on one of the Engineering pavilions when "Jake" approached us along with other Central Student Council candidates. It was so funny when after how many years, he recognized our existence and we got to know his real name,..that I cant recall right now =))

Back in the finals!
UST led on most parts of the game but it was by only less than 10 points, that showed how close the game was. NU Bulldogs would have mini runs but they will be silenced by the Tigers. Jeric Teng led the 6-0 run at the end of the 3rd quarter. When I watched the replay, thats when I remembered the reason why NU finally grabbed the lead. Abdul was called on an unsportsmanlike foul but when the replay was shown on the wide screen, clearly it was a wrong call. He was outside of the circle and did not commit a foul. UST crowd chanted "luto! luto!" in dismay. I hope they can review it because Abdul already got the same foul last game and getting 2 consecutive UF can lead to suspension on the next game :( Because of the free throws and possession, NU led by 4 points! But not for long since Jeric Fortuna hit a step back three then Mariano was fouled and converted his freethrows.

The Tigers had 9 pts lead with 7 minutes on the game but failed to answer NU's 7 straight points. With less than 3 minutes remaining, UST was only up by 2 points then Mariano converted to extend the lead, 61-57. On the last 2 minutes, NU had numerous 3 pts attemps but they cant convert. Fortuna was also able to swipe the inbound pass with 24 seconds remaining. It was also crucial that NU only had 1 team foul , it prevented them from turning the game into a free throw shooting contest. There was an instance, I think with 8 seconds remaining when Mariano was fouled and the 5 on the floor thought he was taking FTs. Mariano walked to the UST side to prepare while the rest of the players were already hugging each other. It turned out that they still need to inbound the ball from full court. Fortuna successfully crossed the line then Ferrer scored a no look layup for the final score of 63-57. It was the team defense that booked the Tiger's finals stint. They limited Mbe and Parks to 14 points combined. Offense failed them on the last quarter but defense saved them!
shirtless thomasians and funny banners

I cant remember the last time I shouted and jumped this hard, plus I cant remember some of the cheers :P But if you're a Thomasian and you know "Go USTeeee and O, defensa!" I think you're good to go! The atmosphere was amazing, we did a human wave with almost 3/4 of the crowd in Araneta. The funniest thing is that one guy in yellow was in the NU side and he was the last stop for the wave before it goes counterclockwise =)) I think you need to be there to find it hilarious or Im just not a good story teller..After the game, it was hard to find a restaurant where we can eat but we didn't mind, UST Tigers is in the finals after 6 years!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bliss Yoga Manila Experience

Here I go again with my love-hate thing with online vouchers! I really missed doing yoga so when I saw with promo from CashCashPinoy, PHP700 for 7 sessions at Bliss Yoga Manila , I was on the checkout page after 5 minutes! Talk about conversion, well how can I not? It was conveniently located in Jupiter, Makati and offers several schedules for different yoga classes.

Heated Flow Class. On the first date that I was allowed to claim my voucher, I went ahead to the first available afternoon yoga class! When I was researching for the place using Google maps, I found out that it was near TopGrill, my favorite videoke place. Unfortunately I had to spend 30 minutes getting lost because come to think of it I'm often half sober when Im on that area! Finally, I found the right street and building then I had 10 minutes to sign up the registration form and rented a mat for additional 50 pesos.

According to their site, "Heated Flow is a challenging 75 minute vinyasa flow class practiced in a heated room.  The heat warms the body’s muscles and joints, which allows for maximum stretching and strengthening with a reduced rate of injury. A great way to detoxify the body through sweating!"

It was hot indeed! At first, I thought it was because of the packed room, I think there were 25-30 students but then I realized that there was a heater. Oops! I cant remember the last time I had sweat flowing like I just got out of the pool. Im not exaggerating, I really sweat a lot during yoga class on air-conditioned Gold's gym room so what more on a heated room! Our instructor told us that its a way to detoxify through stretching and sweating.  There were times that the hot temperature is catching up on me, good thing that beforehand, our instructor told us to go to child's pose when we feel tired or cant do a pose.

I'm happy that I did core yoga strengthening weeks before the actual class before this is not for first timers! Due to lack of space, our instructor would just say the poses and its up to us to do it. You can look around and copy other student's poses though=) But there's a certain pride for catching up and actually trying to do everything - except the headstand! That was a crazy experience, we were on 3 legged downward dog then were told that we can do a headstand! While I was upside down, I suddenly saw majority of the class doing headstand like its a natural thing to do! Its inspiring to be around experienced yoga practitioners!

Vinsaya Flow. I was very excited to try another yoga class, 

"Vinyasa Flow is a dymanic system of linking the breath (prana) to the postures (asanas).  This is accomplished through building heat in the body, which promotes flexibility, strength, and balance.  Sequencing is often built around sun salutations."

What I can remember, aside from the massive sweat again, Vinsaya Flow is focused on strengthening of legs and arms. It didnt help that I brought my mother's mat which turned out to be really slippery and that I ate a lot that day, I felt so heavy! There's really a right mix of having energy but not eating too much before doing yoga. The highlight of the class was when I tried and did THE FLIP! Imagine this both arms stretched in front of you, right foot is extended then left foot is aligned with the arms. While the right foot stay put, the left arm will be slowly placed beneath the left foot until it has no choice but to raise. Viola, I was only supported by 2 arms and 1 leg! =))

The epic fail part of this experience is that I thought I can claim the 7 sessions in 1 month period but it turned out that its just for 1 week! That's why I kept thinking that it was sulit, the regular price was 500 pesos per class so 100pesos per session is too good to be true! Since I was turned down for my 3rd yoga session, I just went ahead to pay for my Gold's gym membership! As much as I enjoyed the yoga classes on Yoga Bliss Manila (Unit 101 Dona Consolacion Building
122 Jupiter Street, Bel-Air
Makati City, Manila), I cant invest 40k per year for yoga! So, hello again, Yogilates and Belly Dance classes!

What I did on my Sick Leave, "What I Did On My Holidays"

"'What I Did On My Holidays' is the story of Sophie Sturgeon, whose boyfriend (and office colleague) Callum breaks up with her the night before they're supposed to be going on a fortnight's holiday to Majorca.  Sophie tells him she'll go away without him, but when the moment comes to leave for the airport, she just can't bring herself to go alone. However, Sophie's workmates think she did go and when they commend her for her bold decision, she doesn't know what she can do other than pretend she's in Majorca while hiding out in her London flat.  Add Sophie's eccentric sister Clare into the mix and before you know it, Sophie's embarking on a full-blown fake break with hilarious results..."
What I Did On My Holidays

"Judged a book by its cover." Honestly, its very summery book cover was the first reason why I noticed it from the bookstore's shelf. After reading the excerpt, I thought the book was about a summer romance after a break-up but surprise, surprise! It was that and MORE.  The lead character Sophie is very likable because she's warm and simple. After being dumped by Callum, described as THE dream guy, Sophie blamed herself for being clingy and even doubted why he even chose her. Sophie certainly lacked self confidence on the beginning of the story but with her older sister, Clare, by her side, they became a tag team of sisterhood, empowerment and craziness!

"with hilarious results." I've had a post-holiday break up and it was gruesome so I can imagine how hard it is to have a pre-holiday PLUS pre-30th birthday break-up! Talk about a unique plot but what goes on in between was just hysterical. I literally found myself laughing out loud and cringing sometimes. Speaking of cringe, with the technology these days, how can you even fake a beach holiday and can you imagine your own mom following you on Twitter?

"twist and turns." Spoilers alert--> I've met one or 2 Callums, those guys who gained enough confidence because their girlfriends love them so much. Hmm, that's a lesson for us girls, we should love ourselves more ;) Throughout the most part of the book I sympathized with Clare who's having doubts with her fiance Evan but fortunately he turned from an annoying spending police to a sweetheart for the Sturgeon sisters. Majorca became a dream then a reality for Sophie and Clare, honestly it was the first time I've heard about this place but the book surely set a great mental image of the island! ...and Tom, the charming paramedic, is the light at the end of the tunnel for Sophie!

"What I did on my sick leave.." When I really like a book I tend to make tipid the book so that I wont finish it soon and ironically I've finished this book when I was on sick leave =)) I cant help but fall in love with Brit Chick lit, from Sophie Kinsella to Jane Green and now Chrissie Manby, they never fail me with their romantic but humorous tales!  I'm really looking forward to reading more from them!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Positivity Leads to Productivity, Indeed

I wont do a "*****" and claim that I came up with that =). I actually read that somewhere in twitter and its definitely a phrase that I want to live by, along with "dont accept mediocrity", "umarte ng ayon sa budget", "just do it" and "never say die"!

I think having a positive mindset will make things lighter and clearer especially on how we tackle a situation. Of course, Manila traffic sucks, Third world pains are evident when we look around BUT its better to keep a happy disposition especially on the stuff that we cant control. Easier said than done, I know but we should give it a try =)

Speaking of productivity, today is a day well spent! I started my Thursday by waking up at around 5am, by 6:30am I was in St Jude just in time for the novena. I hope all my special intentions for my family, friends, favorite sports teams, country and myself will be heard :)
8am-5pm: Very productive Call of duty
5:30-7pm: Yoga time at Yoga Bliss Makati -this deserves a separate blog post =)

Caloocan-Quiapo-Makati-Caloocan. And now, I even have time to draft some blog entries before going to bed :) Good vibes!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Persian Food Addition Phase

Ok, this Persian food phase is on going for more than 2 months now but I'm not complaining :)

It started when a "Persian" something stall opened on the lobby of my building. I cant believe I dont remember their name! There was a week that ate there 4 times straight. I love their beef wrap and the Kebab rice meal that I eat for meryenda. Yes, rice for meryenda :)

Good thing I have many set of friends who can join me with my Persian craving! I tried "Mr Kebab" at Timog and I loved the Chelo Chicken Kebab. I loved their garlic sauce and that they use Basmati rice. I even had Ferny for dessert but its consistency and taste is too weird for me.

 My friend Karen and I tried, Shomal Kebabs and Curries at Trinoma. I had Chelo Chicken Kebab  with Saffron rice this time. It was kinda pricey but I love the ambiance of the place. And the end of the meal, we told each other that next time we should be eating with our dates at Shomal! 

Hmm, the Persia Grill in SM North was a let down. Just look at the photo to compare the serving of Chicken Kebab plus unlike to what's shown on the photo, the only Basmati rice was the yellow toppings :( I hope to update this post with more satisfied Persian food trip!

Makati FoodTrip: Sango! The Burger Master

My friends have been suggesting a lunch out at Sango but I often refuse because its far from the office. I need to be seriously craving for burgers because their branch at Creekside Mall, Amorsolo is a jeep away.

It was lunch time and fortunately the place wasnt packed because we're a big group! They were accommodating enough to help us setup the table that would allow us to sit together.

I like how they designed their place, it was a complete Japanese experience. They have a corner for mangas, Japanese magazines and books. My cousins will seriously feast on those Pokemon series.

They paid attention to details, they have this cute origami display!

 And we can watch JPop videos while waiting for our food.

Since, we're the only customers that time, it only took 15 minutes or so for our order to arrive!

 I ordered Sumo BLT - Bacon, Lettuce, Cheese burger. It was so yummy and big, I felt like my jaw ached because of the times I had to chew to finish my burger. The wrapper was a good idea because, it really tend to spread out once you eat it in a "wa-poise" way. So good thing that your face can be covered and the burger stays in place.
Here's the master burger that my friend ordered. Ground beef, veggies, beef patties, its so complicated but yummy for sure. I have to go back and try the Teriyaki Burgers!

So this is how it feels

Last Wednesday was an interesting day, it was a rollercoaster ride!

*So this is how it feels to find out that I've been scammed!
I've bought a 100k pesos worth of 10 Boracay vouchers at CleverBuy for my family last January. At that time, it sounded like a great deal because 21k for 2 pax covers the roundtrip airfare, 3days/2nights accommodations plus daily breakfast. I have a good experience with voucher sites so I was confident. By April, I went to the address included in the voucher but the receptionist informed me that J2 Discount Travels moved to another building. I got scared because its 100k pesos that were talking about! Fortunately, CleverBuy assisted me about the new address. I went to the new office and I was hopeful when they received my vouchers and contact details. They told me that they will book us sometime in July. That was the last that I heard from them. Finally after family and weather issues, I went back to their office and I think I turned pale when I saw with my two eyes that their office was closed. At the back of my mind, I already have a clue that I was scammed but its still hard when reality sets in.

I already reported this to a DTI representative, I'm not sure if we'll get our money back at all. BPI told me that this was credited already so they cant revert it. Now, all I have to do is to explain this to my family :(

*So this is how it feels to know that you've been back stabbed!
This one stings, not because I consider him as a friend (I dont) but because on the same day that I've found out about the scam, I felt that "career" is the only aspect on track. It was unfortunate to find out the stuff that they were talking about, it made me paranoid of the other moments that they've been doing it. It cried a lot because my morale, the fire was derailed! I know I cant please everyone so I just need to focus on what I need to do, nevermind what people say behind my back.

*So this is how it feels to have 4 friend's weddings in your December calendar!
This is the rainbow after the rain, at least the day ended with good news! My friend told me about her wedding and this is my 3rd bridesmaid stint for December! I can officially say that the theme of that month is "always a bridesmaid, not yet a bride". So, this is the age where my calendar is full of gown fittings, weddings and people asking me when is my turn to get married. I appreciate their excitement but first things first, I need a boyfriend who would marry me! =)

So there, the next day, the first thing I did was I went to St Jude the Patron of the Hopeless. I can truly say that I recited " heart is an ocean of bitterness, my days of tribulations" with feelings.

SmartBro Sucks

If you are from Caloocan, do yourself a favor and dont use SmartBro! I hate them, with feelings!!!

* Its been 2 months that we dont have internet connection and before that we only had good connection 2 out of 4 weeks!
* It takes forever to connect to their phone support and all you'll get is please bear with us
* Once you apply for an on site visit, you will be the one to follow up on the status! Yeah, that's another one hour of your life wasted.
* The tech support guys will fix your connection BUT it will be gone after 10 minutes!
* Even the online support is VERY disappointing

Excuse my French but since the customer support has been giving bullshit when I was requesting for termination, last Sunday, I went to their satellite office in SM North to personally give the termination request. I was actually trembling while talking to the poor girl, I know its not her fault so I just told her that everything she needs to know is in the letter! And I wont pay them a single cent. They should pay us for stress pay and the time wasted on reporting their non existent service.