Monday, February 28, 2011

The Paraw Regatta Festival 2011

After a month-long hiatus from the Sports Complex and Frisbee team practice, we had a beach tourney on the shores of Villa Beach in Iloilo. The event was sponsored by the Iloilo City Government as part of the sporting activities of the 39th Paraw Regatta Festival.

Amidst the grueling heat of February and the intense games we played, I found some other picturesque scenes that may also be blog-worthy...

Local boys going for a quick dip after spending the entire day under the sun.

A bicycle and a determined soul...

The colorful sailboats failed to mask the mundane look on this boy's face.

Adolescence still struggling to walk the straight path home...

An unlikely playground in a patch of dark sand...

Cameras and spectators delight in the intoxicating sights.

Village girls scavenging for an evening meal...

While the rest of us longed for mangoes, some were eager to sell them all away.

Two men, pondering over the day's catch...

For this young mother, all the day's festivities couldn't have competed for her attention.

The world may be your oyster...

or your shady little corner...

While the games went on, the colorful little boats merged with the setting sun and the pale blue ocean.

The crowd cheered.

The winners rejoiced.

But for some people, it was just another ordinary day at the beach...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

With Each Strand of Re-bonded Hair...

I got tired of my Hagrid-hair last week so I decided to get some re-bonding treatment at this well-known local salon. No, I won’t mention any names. They don’t pay me to plug them in my blog. And I am far from being a celebrity for anyone to care about people who mess up with my hair. But anyway, blame it on the Asian standard for beauty: long straight jet-black hair, skinny girls in skinnier jeans, porcelain skin (I may probably work on this if I didn’t love playing outdoor Ultimate too much) and all the other perks of a tropical (and mosquito-infested) country. 

If you have been living under Maleficent’s spell for the past 5 years or so, hair-rebonding just happens to be the most famous hair treatment with the exception of those MJ perms. And if, horror of all horrors, you have not had a chance to try it out then here are some must-do’s!

1. First of all, women are known to suffer for the sake of beauty. Take the example of Queen Elizabeth and Barbie, they are treated like royalty yet they may never have known what it feels like to have love handles in their entire lifetime. Queen Lizzie may blame this on tight corsets and Barbie has the plastic factory to point out. So if you must have that re-bonding treatment for your hair, don’t expect them to handle your glorious mane with the least bit of affection. It will be pulled at, tugged, burned, and excessively shampooed. 

2. A re-bonding treatment requires you to skip your faithfully constructed diet of leaves, nuts and egg whites. I learned this the hard way when I entered the salon at 10 in the morning and I finished at 4 in the afternoon. By all means, bring something to nibble on. I spent the morning smirking at girls lugging their McDonald’s meals into the salon. I counted the calories on each type of burger and the soda varieties they had on their lap. I felt powerful because I had the will not to succumb to the temptation of a Quarter Pounder! But when the clock struck 2, and my lunch was nowhere in sight, I may well have been the biggest loser!

3. Don’t forget to bring ANY form of amusement. You can bring a good book (something you swear you never have the time to read), a tech gadget with an endless play list, or your boyfriend (if he is funny enough). By the time I was done, I finished four issues of Cosmo, 2 ancient copies of Vogue and a not-so-recent article on Princess Diana.

4. Never argue with the person re-bonding your hair, especially when they happen to be wearing fake eyelashes and boa feathers. Unless you are looking for a fight or you want to end up with a receding hairline, spare your rude comments until after the whole thing is over. 

Somebody got into a brawl with the hairstylist...

5. Follow the reminders and the strict instructions. Stay away from the shower. Don’t harass your hair with pins and scrunchies for a full month and you will be getting along just fine! Otherwise all the money you spent on this not-so-cheap treatment will just be going down the drain. 

    Just in case you don't know what a scrunchie is.

6. With great hair comes great responsibility. Nourish your hair with shampoo and conditioning creams, and once in a while…a dose of knowledge from a good book or a quick look at Wikipedia. Not all blondes are dumb and not all Asians with long straight jet-black hair happen to be academically inclined (I am being blunt because I am Asian and it pains me to use the word……dumb). In this case, it is the thought that counts!

You figure this one out...

7. Don’t forget to love yourself…Adore your stubborn kinky black hair. Be thankful for that big orange Julia Roberts mop on your head. Love every strand of your nearly artificial re-bonded hair! 
If you have re-bonded hair, insert your picture here.

Friday, February 4, 2011

What that “I DO” does...

6, 200 …    the average salary I receive while working as a staff nurse (yes, dears, in PESOS).

           ….   the average number of weddings that take place in a day (in the U.S. alone).

50%    ....   the average percentage of my salary that’s spent on food, fare and other necessities.

           ….   the average percentage of first marriages that end in nasty divorce proceedings (so much for “first love never dies”)

1 year  …   the average time it takes for a couple to plan a lavish wedding.

           …   the average time it takes to complete divorce proceedings.

$20, 000… the  average cost of an entire wedding

$30, 000… the average cost paid by state and federal governments for bankruptcies, public housing and food stamps for each divorce case filed.  

Bottom line, I am no anti-marriage freak. I love looking at wedding videos and sometimes writing for them. I love butterflies, bubbles and confetti showers. I love Chantilly lace and velvet gloves with pearl heirloom earrings and diamond rings. I love I-do’s in a blooming garden and that magnificent sunset kiss.

But, wouldn’t it be nice to spend dollars upon dollars of time, patience and understanding in a successful marriage once the glass-tinkling has stopped and the guests have all gone? 

Some things are simply priceless.

POST SCRIPT: That's my mom and my dad on that jaundiced old photo. And no, they did not spend 20, 000 dollars for that 1984 wedding. My mom made her own gown and their rings were 10 karat gold pieces that look almost grey and green by now. Amazingly they still live under one roof and they dinner date once in a while...