Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Chicago, Illinois

I'm actually not in Chicago right now. I'm in Schaumburg, which is mostly a suburban area. But we did go to Chicago to do some sight-seeing. Before I start getting into detail, I'll enumerate the highlights of this part of the tour:

1. Had me & my stuff go through a SPECIAL inspection at the airport in Minnesota
2. Went out for a long walk with 34 degrees Farenheit (about 3-4 degrees Celsius)
3. Bought DVDs from Virgin Records (Now & Then; The Virgin Suicides)
4. Walked down along Michigan Avenue
5. Went to the Water Tower
6. Went to Millennium Park
7. Went to the Art Institute of Chicago
8. Went to the Shedd Aquarium
9. Ate lunch at Quizno's Sub
10. Tulips EVERYWHERE! As in equivalent sya ng santan sa Pilipinas!
11. Ate Chicago-style pizza
12. Kumanta sa Magic Sing ng Breakout by Swing Out Sister, as a submission to the drunken whims of the Hangad members

Ibang-iba ang Filipino community dito sa Illinois. Sobrang close at parang mga bagets pa na tipong mahilig mag-inuman at mag night out. Ang kukulit pa, especially Tita Raquel! Sana mas matagal pa kami dito sa Illinois. Bitin. Salamat talaga kina Tita Aleli & Tita Elisa sa lahat ng tulong at tsismis, kay Tita Nida sa pagsundo at paghatid sa airport, kay Tito Boy at Tito Ben sa kakulitan din, at kay Tito Jess sa phone card, lotion, at fabulous picutures. Madami pa silang dapat kong pasalamatan, kaso bangag na ako at pinipilit ko na lang itong tapusin. Maaga na naman ang flight to Orlando in a few hours.

Roomies ko pala sina Bea (yehey!) & Clare. Back in Minnesota, I was in the same house as JC, TJ, & Deux.

Nabigyan pala ako ng $50 from Ernest & Trin (of Hangad) as part of my share of the pocket money they gave us. So, I have already spent a total of $102.84 so far on this US trip.

Pictures to follow.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Hi friends!

Grabe na ito! Imagine, 32 hours ang travel from Manila to Minneapolis! Kangaragan! Manila - Guam - Hawaii - Los Angeles - Houston - Minneapolis. 5 planes. Goodness. At kailan ako nahilo? Before the plane landed in Minneapolis. Lakas ng turbulence (Fun with Puns: TURBELENCE? Yun ba yung sinasakyan pag may emergency?) probably because of the wind. Kalamigan dito! Walang binatbat ang Baguio!

Minnesota Highlights:
1. Fruits with cottage cheese (Lota, specialty ng Minnesota ang cheese. Heaven ito for you!)
2. Went to Como Park (saw polar bears doing backstrokes on the pool, lions doing a quickie [NO JOKE])
3. Went to the Cathedral
4. Went to the Capitol
5. Went to the Mall of America (rode a ferris wheel for the first time, bought souvenirs)
6. Touched hale (I have a picture to prove it! Will show you soon!)
7. See my breath coming out of my mouth because of the cold weather
8. Heard a tornado warning (loud siren), but with no one seeming to be bothered by it
9. Saw a White Castle branch! Harold & Kumar! wahaha!(I think we might eat there tomorrow!)

Our hosts are so hospitable! Thank you very much to the Hiess Family! I'm still not over the book Tita Judith bought for me at Barnes & Knoble without my even asking. Oh, & the Godiva chocolate bar. *drool* But I'm saving it for my mom. She loves that chocolate.

And for myself, I bought a pink Minnesota shirt & a Minnesota star keychain (apparently Minnesota is the North Star state) Apart from that, it's also the state with 10,000 lakes. No joke. As in may lakes everywhere, kahit sa tabi ng highway. Parang malalaking puddles na kalat-kalat.

Sige, past midnight na rito. I need to rest na kasi concert na bukas sa Basilica. My gad, ang laki ng simbahan. No room for error! The pressure!

Nagastos ko pa lang so far sa aking US trip ay $30.86. Basta sa L.A. & New York na lang ako mag-splurge para malapit na kami umuwi nun. hehehe

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Easter Journey: Biyaheng Hangad 2006

Apr 21, 2006, Friday, 8:00PM

Basilica of Saint Mary
Hennepin Avenue & 16th Street, Downtown Minneapolis
MN Minneapolis, Minnesota
Call (612) 317-3507

Apr 22, 2006, Saturday, 7:30PM

St. Hubert Church
729 Grand Canyon St.
Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Contact or (847) 287-5291

Apr 28, 2006, Friday, 7:30PM

St. Joseph Catholic Church
1501 N Alafaya Trail
Orlando, FL 32828
Call Tess Gabriel at (407) 275-6461; Mina Bailey at (321) 946-1495; George Tunaya at (407) 382-1471; or Father Rex at (407) 929- 0577

May 6, 2006, Saturday, 3:00PM

St. Anne’s Church
3545 Kennedy Blvd.
Jersey City, New Jersey
Call Rick Rivera at (201) 779-9114

May 7, 2006, Sunday, 5:00PM

Chapel of San Lorenzo Ruiz
378 Broome St.
New York, New York 10013
(Mass and mini-concert)

May 13, 2006, Saturday, 2:00PM

First United Methodist Church of Torrance
1551 El Prado St.
Torrance, California
Call Rose Domingo (310) 880-3610 or Josie Bada (310) 962-3929

Monday, April 10, 2006

You asked for it, you got it!

Dahil natamaan ako sa comment ni Cheenee about not updating my blog, eto na. hehe

Obvious naman siguro sa previous post ko na napakaganda ng experience ko sa 8-Day Ignatian Retreat ko sa Baguio. Kakaibang experience sya, friends.

Oo nga pala, I graduated last March 25. Pero backtrack lang muna sa Baccalaureate Mass nung March 24. Astig, si Fr. Dacanay ang homilist. At ang choir, da bomb! (Syempre mga friendships ko nandun haha! Heller Nanan, Eds, TJ!) Pero syempre astig yung kumanta ng Responsorial Psalm, si TJ. I felt so proud, kahit na halos murahin nya ako after the Mass kasi nakita pala nya akong humahagikhik habang kumakanta sya. haha! But the most memorable thing about that day was Fr. Dan speaking in Tagalog in front of everyone after the Mass to announce some things about the graduation practice that afternoon. Winner!

After the Mass, Beatot, Sherwin, Hazel, Arjay, Eds, Nanan, & I went to Eastwood to grab some grub before our scheduled graduation practice. We ended up eating at Serye. Yummy! I was able to ride in two of Sherwin's Benz's, one 2-door, & one SLK. Deym! Funny thing though, we arrived late for the practice because Arjay's car got a flat & Sherwin had to help fix it. Funniest part was when we were hurrying to go back to school, Sherwin realized that he didn't have his mobile phone with him. We tried calling it & could hear it ringing faintly but we just couldn't seem to find where it is. It turned out that I was sitting on it because Sherwin had left it on the passenger's seat in front & my blind eyes didn't notice it when I moved in front. Kakaiba ang utot ko, MUSICAL! haha! Upon reaching the exit of the parking lot, Sherwin frantically searched for the parking stub, which also ended up on my seat again. Nanan didn't stop himself from saying that cash might suddenly come out from my butt. haha!

Ironically, rushing to the practice was a bit useless because the organizers were already hungry for lunch & were already speeding things up to end it. So, we got to spend around 30mins or so for the practice. After which, I contacted Tin because we agreed to go see a movie after my grad practice, plus it was also her last day of exams. We ended up watching V for Vendetta at Eastwood (yes, there again) with Bobby, her blockmate.

Grad day. Blooper of bloopers, I had left the cord that we were supposed to wear during graduation at home. Good thing my family & I arrived 2 hours early & my dad (God bless him) went back home to get it for me. (Note that we live 40mins away from Ateneo.) Lucky me, Ate Julie (from OSA) was one of the usherettes & promised that she would hand me the cord in my seat when my dad arrives. So she did! With the help of Ate Susan (from the Psych Dept). Several speeches were given, of course the loudest applause went to Boyet, our valedictorian (though he did get a bashing from a parent in the Inquirer, poor boy).

I forgot to mention that the graduation was held in the high school covered court, which was rectangular & vertical in orientation, which meant that guests seated in the back would be watching ant-like students on a toga marching up the stage, if not for the amazing projection screen up front. My mom said after the graduation that I was 'telegenic'. Why not?!

Oh, our graduation was webcast LIVE. Amazing.

After the ceremonies, TJ told me to wait for him because he was going to give me something. Something = a dozen red roses. Of course, considering that I do not have a lovelife & getting those flowers caused a stir with my parents. They immediately asked me if he was courting me. Right. In what parallel universe will that happen? haha!

So, what have I been doing after graduation?

1. helping out in the family business
2. watching DVDs
3. reading the books I've bought long ago but never got the chance to read them
4. enjoyed days not having to worry about responsibilities like school work (sorry undergrad friends... bayaan nyo, makakarating rin kayo rito. kaya n'yo yan!)
5. catching up with old friends over food
6. preparing for my trip to the US

Yep, you read that right. But before I get to that, I would just like to announce that my family & I are going to Baguio on Holy Thursday till Black Saturday.

And on Easter Sunday, I'll be attending the send-off concert of Hangad. Send-off where? To their US Tour, which is where I'll be going as well.

We're leaving on April 18 & be back on May 15. We'll be going to Minneapolis, Chicago, Orlando, New York, New Jersey, & Los Angeles (in that order).

No, I'm not a member of Hangad. It just so happened that my mom was pressuring me to go to the States since I haven't used my Visa yet, & Hangad needed the extra hand for their production stuff. There. It's a plus that I'll be with TJ & Bea. Whoopee!

I'm so excited!!! Aaaahhh!!!