Monday, October 29, 2012

Mt. Pico de Loro Trek

It was a normal morning. At around 3:30 am, Victor and I made our way to the rendezvous point for our Mt. Pico de Loro climb with the Jamboree Mountaineers. This isn't my first time going on a hike. I'd expected it to be pretty relaxed, like Gwanaksan and Yongmunsan in South Korea.
Breakfast at Gwanaksan with other exchange students
The path was rocky but not slippery
At Yongmunsan beside the 1,100 year old Ginkgo Tree (2008)
But hey! I was wrong :P It was pretty tough! The downhill climb was rigorous, but also amazing. The tree roots formed a sort of mud staircase that we traversed to get to the rest of the path. I saw an iguana, which we tried to photograph, but the pic became blurred for some reason.

The path was really slippery because of the mud, and I took it real slow coz aside from the fact that I was sore from muay thai training, I also had a hard time keeping my balance. I didn't want to get a sprained ankle before my fight on November 24.

After almost three hours of trekking, I was like, "This is supposed to be easy?" haha, but honestly, seeing the trees and dragonflies and lizards and frogs was worth it.
At the "big rock" landmark
 And then there was the first peak, where the wind was cutting cold, but the view, exhilarating.

With Joselle
Over there, is the Parrot's Peak (Beak?), the second peak, which I didn't have the courage to climb. I have a slight fear of heights, you know. Maybe when I'm braver, I'll climb it next time. But I heard I get to step on just a 12-inch slab of rock, below which is the no-survival cliff. :P

Victor and I stayed behind, where it was safer haha

Haggard me
Nightfall caught up to us on our way back to civilization. It was scary walking on the path and then realizing there's a cliff right beside you and you didn't notice coz it was too dark. But no one got hurt, and that's all that matters. I was dead tired after the climb, but it was darned fun. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sexism, Strikeforce and the UFC

Fighting is a guy sport... which is also what they said about track and field, until women began to dominate marathons, half marathons and even mid distance divisions. I remember reading something before about a general who said that women shouldn't enter the military nor do sports because they bleed every month, something that makes women weak. It was a disgusting statement. Something inside me wanted to rebel, to prove the general wrong. That women can be just as good as men.

And then I stopped myself mid-thought. Why must women be as good as men? Just to point out the obvious, women are not men. Our bodies are different. We don't have the testosterone levels needed to bulk up and match the physical strength of males. No, but why does this mean we are inferior? It's like saying an apple is inferior to an orange. But is it? Maybe in some respects. An apple may have more fiber, but an orange has more calcium.

Men may have more muscle, but women have better oxygen and H20 economy.

I think this is why I was so disgusted when I read this article about the UFC finally allowing women to compete. Dana White (UFC President) was against this for a long time because there is a "dearth of quality women." I've idolized fighters like Blade (Christine Toledo) for a long time, and here's someone who says we lack quality female fighters.

But I think I understand. Indeed, I believe we do lack "quality" because the quality White is looking for is "Male" quality. Typical macho society ideal, a woman will only be good enough if she is like a man. Dana White on Strikeforce fighter Ronda Rousey:
"She's nasty. She's a real fighter...She's a dude in a girl's body."
Rousey is the reason why women can finally compete in the UFC. But I'm not sure if this is something to rejoice about, if this is a sign of "progress." I believe from here on, women will be expected to "fight like a man" to maintain the interest of audiences. Oh, but I forgot to mention that aside from having to fight like a man, a woman has to be pretty, too. The fighters who get famous, like Gina Carano, are appreciated because they're not only tough, but pretty, too. Without the pretty factor, a woman's athletic worth declines even if she takes first place.

It is in sports that the game of male superiority and female inferiority is played out most clearly. We have to face the fact that the pretty-and-athletic woman is still considered a "delicacy." People swarm to watch the likes of Maria Sharapova, because prettiness and a hot bod greatly augment athletic achievement. But women are still out of place in sports. While men only need to bother beating another guy in sports, in the end, women still have to prove that they can beat their female AND male counterparts in order to be accepted as a "quality" athlete.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Two of my poems accepted in the Philippines Graphic Magazine

So aside from me signing up for my first official Muay Thai fight (wtf did I get myself into???), I received an acceptance letter last night from Ms. Alma Anonas-Carpio of the Philippines Graphic Magazine. I'm so happy that I feel like I'm gonna do good in my first fight! I'm gonna train much harder starting today.

Here's the letter I got:

Hi Anne,

Thank you for submitting your poems to the Graphic. We have selected two of your poems, A Sense of Loss and Habagat, for our literary section. They are lovely pieces and it is our pleasure to carry them in our pages.

Alma Anonas-Carpio
Literary Editor

*Positive thinking*

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Tanka in RIBBONS: Tanka Society of America Journal

Here's my tanka, which appears in the Spring/Summer 2012 of TSA Ribbons:

I can't quench
my lover's thirst
so he sends me away
even an empty glass
is filled with air

The book can be ordered from Amazon but they're out of stock, I believe. The other seller that ships overseas is, link here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Now Available: Contemporary Literary Review India October 2012

And it's out! The Contemporary Literary Review India, October 2012 is now available online and in print. The print version is available for order here.

Two of my poems, The Debt Comes Due and Reruns are featured in this issue. :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blogger Pageviews are all gone!

I've had this blog for years and it has a decent amount of pageviews and visits. BUT THEY'RE ALL GONE! My blogger records show I have zero (0) pageviews from year 2008 to 2012.

:/ :/ :/ Oh misery!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Food, Baking and Blogging

Forgot to blog about this random thing. Boyfriend and I wanted to do some baking. He really loves brownies so we set aside one day for this. We weren't able to buy some important ingredients, like chocolate chips, so we manually chopped (and chomped) up some Meiji Dark Chocolate.
Look at this mess!

Since we didn't have an oven at our disposal, we became resourceful and used the turbo broiler instead. The brownies were still a bit liquid in the middle, but they were yummy, nevertheless.

Oh, and by the way, we also launched (at last) our joint food blog where we show the world our food-loving (takaw) side. Hungry? Check out our tumblr, A Scale of Yum to Yuck, and we'll help you get hungrier. :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Of Cowards and Fools

To the anonymous writer of "RH bill, Ateneo, and La Salle: Of lemons and cowards"

Get a friggin editor.

On a side note:
You, writer, are not making sense. You speak of moral cowardice, but what exactly do you mean by that? By taking a pro-RH stance, the Ateneo & La Salle professors ARE fighting for what they believe is morally right given the situation of the country. The Ateneo seeks intellectual DIALOGUE. You, as an educated individual, should know that this is vital to finding the best solutions. If you believe that the stand of the bishops is the ONLY morally correct stand, then you are not only being closed minded, you have taken doctrine into a position higher than the law of love that Christ himself taught.

So you say "pregnancy complications are not in the Top 10 causes of women's deaths," so therefore there is no need for an RH Bill that provisions solutions for lowering these deaths? What hypocrisy is this?! You could, in turn, say that since HIV/Aids is not a top killer in the country, there is also no need to use condoms! This is utter foolishness!

Oh wait, you have a solution already right? Natural Family Planning and Abstinence! Oh, wait again, in which statistical survey did those things succeed? Guess what, NOWHERE!

I think you and your kind are the cowards and lemons here. You cannot even think for yourself nor reveal your name. IF you truly want to critique the stand of the Ateneo & La Salle, then release a paper criticizing their stand, point-by-point. You just made yourself look eternally stupid by resorting to name-calling.

New Barbarian/Gladiator Look for My Warrior

I just love this tribal look for my Sylvari warrior. I think it fits her innate leafiness.

Still missing the helm since I ran out of fine crafting materials. But I will have it....soon :D

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Be Careful When Taking Pictures in Public

Scary experience just an hour ago. I usually take a bus/taxi from Buendia to get to work in Ayala. This morning, a group of 10 or so men began to pound on the windows and doors of the bus I was riding. They were pointing at someone inside the bus. I heard them cursing. It sounded like the door was about to break. The bus couldn't leave because more men blocked its way outside.

The worst part is that the bus driver decided to open the door. The men rushed in, shoving me and a couple of other passengers out of the way. The men stopped before a man, who was texting with his cellphone. They shouted at him "Anong pinicturan mo? Sino ka?" ("What did you take a picture of? Who are you?").

They yanked a lady passengers out of the seats so that they could get to the man. "Ibigay mo yung picture!" ("Give us the pictures!") They demanded.

The helpless man responded, "Sino ba kayo? Hindi ko kayo kilala." But the men had already taken his phone and were about to drag him out, perhaps with the intent to beat him up...or worse.

But then they found that the man's phone didn't have a camera. The group of men who had stormed the bus quickly retreated and scattered. I didn't see where they went.

I was shaking. I thought that the men were going to declare a hold up. It's good that I don't use my phone much in public. A similar event also happened to my uncle, who had been taking pictures in a resort some ten years back. A stranger confiscated his camera and took the film, but found nothing there. Said man has been tracking my uncle for years and harassing him, before he finally became convinced that my uncle hadn't been taking pictures of him.

Presenting: Warrior Annetookeen :P

In GW2, I'm a purple-skinned tree-hugger who must defeat a great dragon that creates zombies!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Two Poems to Appear in the Quarterly Literary Review India

Here's another reason to celebrate and hop around merrily (aside from getting to play Guild Wars 2 everyday).

Two of my poems got the thumbs up from the Contemporary Literary Review India (CLRI)! It was my literary best friend, Denver Torres, who introduced me to the pub (he also appears there, here). So I gave it a try as well.

This October 2012, "The Debt Comes Due" and "Reruns" will be published online. Not sure yet about the quarterly printed edition but I'd like to appear there, too, hehe. :D