Wednesday, 21 March 2012

And the winners of CrossFit Manila's Paleo Challenge are...

Incredible! The winners of the 30-day Paleo Challenge indeed S H R U N K. Here's Team 26's pre- (flubby) and post- (stud) shots: 

Based on the March 15 scoreboard, I placed my bet on Team 5 and alas, they came in second place. My partner Mel and I didn't make it to the top ten but we did  lose weight. I dropped down from 54  to 51 kilos in the last week. Mind you though, not because of the challenge but I managed to mangle my pinky toe and thus, lost 3 kilos from not working out! LOL! Meantime, my partner Mel was drop dead gorgeous on her wedding day and that for me is the greatest outcome of this Challenge!

Congratulations to the winners and particpants. I'll definitely sign up in the next Challenge where this time, the odds will be in my favor.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Pi Villaraza's Maia Earth Village

Birthday celebrant Pinky with Pi and Camille behind
I just spent the weekend in Bahay Kalipay  (BK) in Puerto Princesa, Palawan to celebrate Pinky's birthday detoxing (diet consisted of all raw food and coconuts) and doing some inner dance.

BK-owner, Maia EarthVillage-founder and inner dance lead Pi Villaraza was busy preparing for the Maian Planet 2012 Festival, a gathering of inner dance practitioners from all over the world. He's expecting over 50 participants. I met the ladies from Hawaii  - Petronella (who gave us a traditional Lomi massage), her sister, Amaya and raw food expert Elle; Americans Mary and Shannon; the Brits UFC fighter Tom,  DJ Vicky; Singaporeans, French and Filipinos. There are more coming before the festival begins on March 21.

Maia Earth Village in Palawan 
I asked him if he timed the event during the March 22 warning  and he said that March 21 is the date of the spring equinox when the day is equal to night. The word is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night). Also, the date falls on a new moon.

The festival's venue is in the Maia Earth Village, the first intentional community in the Philippines. It is now mushrooming with almost built structures - a yoga shala, a healing space, an indigo school and an inner dance center. The last time I was there, the main building (left) photo was under construction.

Quoting from his post, the festival's venue is "within Maia Conscious Community grounds, an eco-village that rests on the principles of inner dance process. Maia is not a geographical place on earth, it is rather an ongoing visioning of applying inner dance ascension principles to practical life."   He said that the purpose of the gathering is for the practitioners to interact with othr cultures and "experience each other with heightened inner dance, inner languge, inner world and conscious community levels."
Pi welcoming the Singaporeans (who are not in the photo)
Pinky helping UFC fighter Tom
Camille, Ellie and Shannon (who's happy her tumor's gone after 10-days on raw food)

After this weekend's experience, it is quite uncanny that I chanced upon this video uploaded in November 2010 of Keisha Crowther, a Shaman referred to as the Little Grandmother who prophesied to expect a pole shift in 2012 (well, this year) and to prepare ourselves. She said that
"we literally have two years to change the way we are... That which you give your energy or emotion to becomes your reality.. In the next couple of years, many things are going to change... if you stay in your heart and are excited for what is coming then you will live in joy.. If we do not change and stay in the mind and ego, we will be removed. All we are asked to do is be love."

Monday, 12 March 2012

322 earthquake warning

"You've been warned!" That's what a friend told me last Friday regarding 322 or March 22, 2012. He said to make sure that I have enough water and food on this day. Somewhat alarmed, I tweeted and asked for the significance of the date and two astrologers replied:

I checked google and found this video:
9Nania who uploaded the video on January 11, 2012 said that "the likelihood that there will be another megaquake and axis shift on March 22, 2012 is very high. The cause of these shifts is a massive celestial object moving inward from the 9 o'clock orientation of the solar system/springtime/constellations Leo-Orion."

The theory of the megaquake is based on the 188 day cycle starting from the earthquake in Chile:
1. February 27, 2010 - earth's axis shifted 3 inches, 8.8 earthquake in Chile
2. September 3, 2010 - 7.0 earthquake in New Zealand (recorded 188 days after)
3. March 11, 2011 - earth's axis shifted 4-10 inches, 9.0 earthquake in Japan (189 days after)
4. September 15, 2011 - 7.3 earthquake in Fiji (188 days after)

And here's another video uploaded by Terral03 on January 25, 2012. This time, specifying the time @ 4:58:34 UTC, intensity 9+ magnitude quake and the location in the Pacific Ring of Fire. Terral03 in his video called it the Illuminati day and qualified that this is not the end of the world.  He said that there's a high probability that it may occur anywhere along the diagonal between New Zealand and Alaska.

Alright, I've done some research and considering that three earthquakes happened in the last two months - 6.8-magnitude in Negros (Feb 6),  5.2 in Masbate (March 6) and 5.3 in Mindoro (March 9), I might as well heed the advise of my friend to take stock of food and water. I am sharing this not to alarm you but just to prepare. Be safe!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Five things i learned from Carlos Celdran's Livin' La Vida Imelda

Poster of Livin' La Vida Imelda
Carlos Celdran who introduces himself in his blog as just a regular fellow trying to change the way you see the city of Manila one step at a time has finally put his "Imelda Tour' on stage called  'Livin La Vida Imelda.'

The show is based on the life of Imelda from birth and her role as First Lady, the wife of then President Ferdinand Marcos. I remember growing up during this period, specifically under Martial Law with curfew and checkpoints, the New Society march still ringing in my ears, and seeing her much publicized lavish events in the hurriedly-built edifices at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) complex.

Celdran said that his tale is based on research, fact, fiction and even gossip.  Here's five things I missed  from the rumor mill (or fact?)  and learned from his 3-hour performance:

Carlos Celdran
1.  In 1953, Marcos (b.1917) was a second term congressman from Ilocos Norte. I didn't know that he was previously married [to an Ortega] and turned catholic [from being a devout Aglipayan] to marry Imelda (b.1929)  after eleven days of courtship. Imelda at the time was politically well-connected, her uncle Daniel Romualdez was the president of the Senate.

2. Prior to Marcos, Imelda dated Benigno Aquino briefly who then broke off with her in favor of Corazon Cojuangco. As fate would have it, she together with General Fabian Ver would be accused of ordering his assasination in 1983.

3. Marcos' downfall may be attributed to his vanity. Apparently, he had shortcomings for being vertically and horizontally challenged. He deliberately poofed his hair to appear tall next to his towering wife and to address his virility,  his Binondo apothecarist concocted a mixture of herbs and crushed  tiger bones.  Although he looked ripped at 60, the concoction didn't augur well for his kidneys and thus contracted lupus.

4. Marcos while undergoing dialysis treatment, sent Imelda as a special envoy to meet the who's who during the Cold War: Mao Tse Tung in China, Fidel Castro in Cuba, Henry Kissinger, Henry Ford, George Bush Sr. and even Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.  The latter led to the successful conclusion of the Tripoli Agreement in 1976 to stop funding the insurgents in Muslim Mindanao as well as the establishment of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao with Nur Misuari as head.  For this, she was nominated for a Nobel Peace prize in 1978.

5. And finally, the rumor that Imelda had over a hundred workers entombed alive in an accident during the construction of the Manila Film Center may just be an urban legend after all. Howie Severino revisited the incident and concluded in his documentary that no one was buried alive and in fact, Imelda may have been telling the truth that she properly buried all seven construction workers and compensated the families well.

Now 83 years old, Imelda has truly lived an interesting life. She was acquitted of racketeering and fraud charges in the United States in1990.  Well, she's back in Manila and active in politics as congresswoman from Ilocos Norte which is strangely the position of her husband when she first met him. I guess everything is uncanny with Imelda. She said "I am First Lady by accident. I was not elected by the people but here I am."

Monday, 5 March 2012

Bravo PETA for staging "Haring Lear"

Opening scene, set designed by Gino Gonzales
Absolutely brilliant!  I'm glad I caught the last show of Philippine Educational Theater Association's (PETA) original tagalog production of Shakespeare's "King Lear".
PETA president CB Garrucho flanked
by Gino Gonzales and Nonon Padilla

The director Nonon Padilla followed the Shakespearean casting of all males with the female roles played by male actors. He said that he asked the actors - Nor Domingo (who played the eldest daughter Goneril), Gary Lim (Regan) and Abner Delina (Cordelia) - to shave their heads "to give it a strange post-nuclear feel to it. It's almost if everyone is suffering from radiation.. everyone is physically deteriorating."

The production's risqué  approach was deliberate. In an interview (RPN, Feb 7) , Padilla  said "we wanted to make it very strange. I wanted to emphasize that this is a tale about a King who splits up his kingdom and give away his properties to his children. And in so doing, instead of reaping the rewards of retirement.. he actually gets a comeuppance by his children who behaves crazier than he does."

The cast of Haring Lear:
Theater stalwart Teroy de Guzman gets drenched onstage 

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Trek to Taal, the worlds smallest volcano

Through the years, I've always thought that the iconic photo of Taal is the active volcano.
iconic shot of Taal (right side) 
Well, it is not. The whole island (refer to map below) covers an area of 23 square km and is the volcano complex. Our guide said that there are seven craters on the island- two of which are active. However, I googled and found out that Taal actually has "about 47 craters or depresions formed either by direct explosive eruptions or by collapse or ground subsience."  Interestingly, Taal is considered the world's lowest volcano with the highest point at 311m above sea level compared to Mayon volcano's elevation at 2,463m.

Taal Volcano, map by Philvocs
with Gai and Moni at the jump off point in Taal Yacht Club
The three of us - Gai, Austrian healer Moni Platt and I hiked to the main crater.  Moni said that she tried to climb the volcano last April but due to eruption warnings, she wasn't allowed up. So  far, there has been 33 recorded eruptions since 1572, twelve of which occured at the main crater from 1749 to 1911. The 1911 eruption devasted the whole island and claimed a total of 1,034 lives. The last eruption was on October 3, 1977.

The whole trip to the main crater and lake will take half a day - about an hour from Manila to Talisay, Batangas, then a 30min banca ride (right photo) to Volcano Island, an hour on foot to the Main Crater and back.

If you want a faster option to go up, go ride a horse (left photo) which looks more like a pony though at P500 per horse.

Warning to hikers: go early.  The whole island is volcanic and thus, the ground is hot! There is an area where you can see steam coming out of the ground and smell sulfurous. Also, check Philvocs website for volcano activity. The alert level "1" is still acceptable to hike to the crater.

Aside from the regular touristy trail, there are other ways to explore the island such as the Calauit Trail and for the more experienced hikers, the Mt. Tabaro Trail (south-west).
Main Crater and Lake

the easy trail 
the Ridge