Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year Ender 3 - Fave Events in 2008

My Top 5 Favorite Events for 2008

STI 25th Anniversary Celebration

25 Years of quality education is what STI brags about. Not only does STI do wonders in the field of education but when STI handles events expect it to be a monumental one. Celebrating SIlver was the theme and the event was a culmination of a month long celebration in honor of STI's 25 years of Quality ICT education. Just read the events that happened on that day.

Celebrating SIlver -


Many years ago Dulaang Sibol recasted the longest running stage play in the country-SINTA. When I was in High school i was a long time understudy of some roles and eventually got to play some in the later part of the original casts run in the early 90's. I was just so happy to be invited to perform and mix it up with the young one's. Most probably Sinta will have another run this February.

Blog Story -


This event is all about our family! I thank my Mom, Lola Mae to the kids for making things happen. SHe was the moving force in making my neice Ma. Angelica "Bujoy" Garrido win this event. She was on top of every solicitation, follow up and everything. Also, if not for my brother Arnel and his wife Timmy, Bujoy would have not gone far. Next stop, other pageants hahaha.


What used to be a dance recital eventually became a show and then as the years passed they gathered the best belly dancers in the country and staged the event in Glorietta for all to see. The show was long but seeing one of my best buds dance and show off her belly dancing skills was enough for me to enjoy. Unfortunately the day I went to watch I was so tired and spent that I went home right after the show.
Highlights of the BellY Dance Festival


For me, the best part of the event was SEEING and TALKING to friends I have not seen in years. Like what I mentioned, so much people to talk to so little time. I enjoyed the stories and even just hanging out with friends who I use to have fun with and even the ones who had fun at my expense. I was not even in High School when this jubilarian batch was there but I have lots of friends from their batch. Like what I said, this early I am already looking forward to the next Ateneo High School Homecoming.

Year ender -FOOD TRIPS

Trips and food really mix. Sometimes you go on a food trip in trips or just simply have a trip for food. In any case I had a lot of trips and obviously food in 2008 and I would just like to refresh the ones that I enjoyed the most.



Save for the time when we brought one of our officemates to the hospital, my trip to Macau was quite a blast. The hotel was great, the restaurants we went to and the food were great. Have you tried their authentic Peaking Peking Duck? Yup it was good but the duck was not peaking. During the second day of our stay our bosses arrived from manila and we ordered I think around 20 plates of food considering there were only 7 of us on the table. The cook thought there were lots of guests only to see that we were the only ones eating.

At the same time, Macau is just a small place but have lots of great hotels. In a nutshell if you are looking for a place to gamble, tour for one day or just look for girls, Macau is the place for you.

My Blog about Macau -


Up till now I still talk about my trip to the delmonte farm in Bukidnon. The 20,000 hectares of land that they planted lots of pineapples. Well the experience of going around the place was such a great one let alone getting to eat the food there. The team building we had was such a great experience which led the people to go around the various points of the farm. It was an experience worth relishing.

My Delmonte experience -


Every trip to paradise is always something to blog about. The people you meet and see, the activities you do, the parties. These are all the things that make the tropical paradise a great place to go to. One thing different with our stay this time was the parade by locals that celebrate the Sto. Nino. It was a thing of beauty. Hope I can go to bora again this summer.

Boradise -


SPIRAL - SOFITEL (Formerly Philippine Plaza)

This must have been the mother of all buffets. I was just lucky that a good friend invited me over to indulge into some kind of buffet that would be totally satisfying. If you do not go there starving and hungry then the buffet would have lost its purpose. Check out my blog for it will definitely keep you drooling for seconds.

Spiral blog -

Casa Verde – Cebu City

You should be a magellan clone if you just happen to stumble across this wonderful restaurant. The restaurant used to be a house and is difficult to point to if you are not from CEbu. Bottomline, the place was not a hindrance for the food to be discovered. Like most cebuanos, they believe in the saying that if your food is good people will know and come. Now because of the success of their restaurant, they will be opening a branch at the Ayala mall. Definitely word will spread that Cebu's best kept secret is now in the open.

Casa Verde -


Although you can actually eat there, the one thing that made this a great place to buy food is that their lettuce and dressings are their bread and butter. When I go to tagaytay i always pass by then buy my stuff with no questions asked. Everyone once in a while its also nice to indulge into something green!

Jardineros Post -

Year ender 2 - The Return of the Comeback

Mhel with Tracy and Joe

Who would say that i would see myself back on television again? Well well after a botched career in the 90's to the early 2000's I made it back via cable TV's Makisig Channel. This time around it was not a sitcom or a gag show but a basketball talk show entitled Basketball Crazy. YOurs truly is also known as Bill Kosme and together with Tracy Abad and Joe Buduan we tackled the crazy side on basketball in this one of akind show. Do watch us at Makisig 76 or 82 every mondays at 9pm.

Read about Basketball Crazy

Celebrity Picture of the Year

Gilber Arenas during the Ateneo vs Lasalle game

They say the first is always the one that you'll never forget. I have photographed lots of celebrities and the one Basketball celebrity that luckily caught my shutter is the Washington Wizard's Agent Zero, Gilbert Arenas. Arenas was in the Philippines to promote Adidas shoes and dropped by the Ateneo- La Salle game that opened the 71st season of the UAAP. I was just lucky enough to get a great ringside position which was the path that another superstar Manny Pacquiao passed by. Arenas was so amazed that he even blogged about the event in his NBA blog and even said "everybody should visit manila!" Thanks for the endorsement Gilbert and the picture.

Agent Zero

Favorite Personality for 2008

Well I was kinda excited to be back on television with the show basketball crazy. But what excited me more was the fact that I met someone who is so nice to me that I think we hit it off rightaway as friends. So nice and sweet and always with a ready smile. She is very eloquent and always laughs at my jokes. I am really happy that i got to know Tracy Abad.

Tracy Abad

Pageant of the year

This year, i believe we tabulated at least 12 pageants excluding the pre- pageants. The one that I believe showed a lot of potential is the Turismo Pilipina 2008. This pageant was custom made by pageant winners led by Ms. International 2005 Precious Lara Quigaman. I was particularly struck by the way the candidates introduced themselves and how they carried their respective costumes and cultural attires. Lastly, the judges and presentors included winners from Mutya ng Pilipinas, Binibining Pilipinas, Ms. Philippines Earth and even face of the year winners. Name a pagenat, they definitely invited the winners over. Congrats to the organizers i am definitely looking at this pageant again next year.

My Blog about Turismo Pilipina

Party of the year
Mhel with the Hand of God - Kamae de Jesus

They came, They ate, They partied. After four years, the Bellarmine field was filled with Ateneo well wishers as everyone brought their own food and drinks to be able to party with the Ateneo Blue Eagles. It was a great to be back as champions and for us who were there, parking at the Blue Eagle Gym, walking to the Bel Field and braving the four inch thick mud is worth all the hassles just as long as the Hail Mary Team does it every year!

About the Ateneo bonfire:


2008 is a year that is hard to forget to me. So many events and so many great things to remember that I think a year ender would be good enough to summarize the year.

Ateneo in a Basketball Grandslam. The only thing that can beat what the Ateneo has achieved this year is for them to do it again next year. It is the year when the Ateneo Basketball program of Coach Norman black finally came to play. TEAM Ateneo not only captured the Senior’s and Junior’s Title , they added the prestigious SBP title and National SBP Title as well.

ATENEO wins UAAP Senior’s Basketball Title
I remember Chris Tiu saying during the team launch that their team is ready and he ranks themselves as number 1 in the UAAP. Well talk about being humble, there was nothing wrong with what he said and if you look at it he was correct after all. This team has learned from their previous mistakes the past two seasons as Chris and Jai ably complemented the break out season of UAAP MVP Rabah Al-Husaini. The Blue Eagles were a sight to behold as their

FULL STORY of Game 2:

ATENEO wins UAAP Junior’s Basketball Title

The only thing that made the win anticlimactic was that they did not win it against the defending champs DLS-Z. But like what they say, a win is a win no matter who you win it against. This team also learned from their sorry finals loss last year as Seniors Juami Tiongson, JV Dumrique and Ivan Enriquez took turns in leading their team to victory. This is the first double championship since 1976!

Full Story of Game 2:

ATENEO wins Small Basketeers of the Philippines Title

A day after winning the UAAP Jrs. Title, the young eaglets fought with their hearts as the taller Xavierians and host school, came back from a 14 point deficit but ran out of steam. This team had a good blend of players who will hopefully make a mark with Team Ateneo in the future.

ATENEO wins SBP National Title

Mozzy Ravena, the mother of Thirdy Ravena said that the Ateneo SBP team will have a hard time repeating as champions since the team is so small. When the Nationals went underway in Iloilo they were in for a surprise as the Ateneo de Davao team paraded a team with one player standing 5’10 and two others standing 5’8. Total team aeffort carried the Manila team as they captured their second SBP National Title.

Full Story :


These three Blogs constitute the biggest letdown or news that I got this year.

The Olympians place second, crash during PCCL Finals

After beating the mighty San Sebastian College Cavite Baycats in game 1 of the NAASCU Championship with three significant players not playing, everyone thought that the Olympians will win back to back titles and make it back to the Philippine Collegiate Championships where they gained notoriety last year. Unfortunately for the Olympians, luck run out on them as they got blown away in Game 2 and missed 23 free throws in Game 3. That gave the Baycats the title. In the wildcard phase the Olympians lost twice by two points and bombed out of the PCCL. Hope that they recover their bearings by the 9th NAASCU Season. Story of Game 3 :

Ateneo vs DLSU PBA Challenge

Well, it was just like seeing basketball players just playing and not thinking of their school colors. The teams were composed mainly of the 2001 DLSU Champion team and the 2002 Ateneo Champion team. Watching this game was a mistake. Fullstory:

Lady Eagles bomb out as Coach John goes out

Let us remember where we were before and where we started. This is what Coach John Flores would always tell his players as the Lady Eagles he once coached started from the bottom of the UAAP Women’s basketball tournament and methodically made their way up the ladder. The result was two final fours, one finals loss and two UAAP titles. Not bad since the Seniors only had three titles. After his success the Ateneo management through the Lady Eagles sacked their coach. The result was a disastrous as the Lady Eagles bombed out of the final four after the incident. Side Story from Rick Olivares:

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Nun of the Above

Sister Susay almost changed her mind because of me..
Hard to admit but I lost to the better man...

I remember the time when I was in third year high school and the Dulaang Sibol then was showing the hit variety show “Kwerdas para sa Sacadas” My good friend Joey Valdez introduced me to his sister Susay who was an avid fan of the show. Joey’s sister was always there to support her brother by watching every chance she gets and more importantly bringing over some friends to watch the show. That was how I got to know that sweet gal who happens to be a look alike of Joey but sweeter and cuter and very different from Joey in a lot of ways. Every time she watched we would have a chance to casually chat and have a laugh or two.

Sister Susay bows for her vows

Fast forward to 2008 when i got to get in touch with Susay via facebook. Would you believe that I almost fell of my seat when I got to chat with her and got to know that she is already connected with the Cenacle Sisters. Then a few minutes after I absorbed the news I got to smile since I knew that Susay is someone who was really close to the Lord and becoming a nun is actually a blessing not only to her family but also to the Cenacle Sisters. I was just touched when she invited me over to witness this event and like what I told her, I wouldn’t miss it for anything.

Fr. Dan McNamara S.J
"Thy will be Dan!"

The profession of perpetual vows was done during the mass. The celebration of the Holy Eucharist was presided by one of my favorite Jesuit Priests Fr. Dan McNamara S.J who flew all the way from Davao to celebrate the mass. The venue was one of the new churches in Loyola, the Our Lady of Pentecost Parish which is located at C.Salvador St. that a stone's throw away from the Cenacle Sister’s residence. Another guest of Sister Susay is Fr. Jett Villarin S.J who gave the homily.

Fr. Jett Villarin S.J
"Sister Susay found God's goodness..."

Fr. Jett gave an in depth homily on the theme that enveloped the whole ceremony of Susay's perpetual vows. Fr. Jett talked about Goodness in general and then came to infuse that virtue to the deeds that Sister Susay has done. Fr. Jett said “Sister Susay is now here because she found God’s goodness in the convent and in the goodness of her sisters and community.” Another thing that Fr. Jett mentioned was that another part of goodness is also letting go and surrendering. Goodness can endure simply by surrendering again. Surrendering as he said is “giving one’s self." Fr. Jett also added that to be good is to be fitting, and to fit is to belong. Fr. Jett said that the best thing about Sister Susay is that she is fit for God’s calling, as Fr. Jett put it, “kasyang kasya..lalo na sa size 34!”

Fr. Dan, Fr. Jett & the two other priests are Sister Susay's Four Fathers

Those are just excerpts of the great homily that Fr. Jett gave. Another memorable anecdote is what Fr. Jett narrated. Since he was once the spiritual adviser of Sister Susay back then, Fr. Jett also mentioned Sister Susay was there not because of default, meaning she was there not because she has no boyfriend. In fact Fr. Jett said, “She even had a boyfriend who was a varsity player.” That comment elicited a thunderous laugh from the friends of Sister Susay.

Sister Susana Carina "Susay" Sta. Ana Valdez R.C

Sister Susay Valdez took time to thank everyone who helped her in the event and like the bride who got wed to God, she invited everyone over to a lunch reception at the Cenacle Sister’s convent which is just walking distance from the church. I definitely obliged and you know what happens whenever I go to receptions.

Mhel, Tita Ampy, Joey, Janna, Gladys, Tito Tony, Saree, Therese, Cholo, Sister Susay

It was another “glutaphos moment” for me since I saw a lot of familiar faces but could not remember most of their names. During the mass I saw a lot of my teachers in the Ateneo Grade School since Sister Susay’s mom, Tita Ampy was a Grade School faculty member for who knows how long. I was glad to see my good friend Fr. RB Hizon S.J there. I even told Fr. RB that I think the reason why he was there because there were a lot of nuns there. Hehehe.

I was hoping I could hear Basil sing again,

Well, he just asked me to take the lead

Another person I was glad to chat with was Basil Valdez. Basil incidentally is the uncle of Susay. I got to see him in the Alumni Homecoming but never got to talk to him. It’s so nice to reminisce the times when we had a caroling group back in 1987 and 1988.

"Sister, I will clear my mind of impure thoughts"

I thought that my presence during these perpetual vows would make Sister Susay change her mind, but unfortunately we were not meant to be. I am happy that she has now professed her final vows as a nun for the one who is above us. That is what led me to say that she is really a Nun of the above. Love you Sister Susay and good luck with your journey.

My All-Star Christmas

A toast for a blessed 2009

For the second year I hosted a lunch party for my beloved STI All-Star Dancers. Since only 7 of them came, I also invited some close friends from STI and others who are not from STI. So all in all I had 18 guests who were around for lunch. Unfortunately, the reason they came to my house was not me …well I have to admit I had to take a backseat to the star of the show and that was the famous recipe of my mom now perfected by my sister in law, the famous "Garrido Embotido."

My Gurls

My mom has perfected the embotido in such a way that everyone in the house know’s how to mix and cook it, unfortunately I am the only one who doesn’t know how its done. After a simple lunch we went to TRINOMA for a little recreation and eventually parted ways after having merienda at 5pm.

I am happy that even though we don’t see each other much, my gals proved to be resilient when it comes to our secret recipe. That is why I told them that hopefully we can make this event a yearly thing. So next year I hope the numbers will grow even bigger. Go Embutido!

Spotted at TRINOMA, the All-Stars take a pic with RAM of Fear Factor fame.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chateau Royale

The Chateau Royale Sports and Country club in Batangas is quite a nice getaway for people looking for something simple outside the outskirts of tagaytay. The cabin type rooms are quite simple but then again its the weather that keeps the place great. At this time its near Baguio weather in Tagaytay which makes walking from the cabin to the front desk and restaurant worth it.

The place is a cool 15 hectare land that has nice trees and a lot of other things growing in them. At the same time it is quite nice to walk around and breathe the air and have some peace time alone.

The place is also perfect for team building activities as the other facilities in the place included wall climbing, paintball, a nice swimming pool and other things that can make groups bind together better.

The pseudo pond going to the cabins have at least 10 turtles that makes it quite cute looking and relaxing. If you are the kind of person who likes to look at aquariums to relax, the pond is quite a nice relaxation and photography subject.