Movie Date with the Girls: Step Up 2

So while Alfred was on his way to Boracay last week, I had to kill time doing other stuff with other people (though I really just spent a lot of time sleeping during my 4-day weekend).

That Sunday, I decided to take my nieces (who are no longer little kids) out to see a movie. I think I mentioned that in this post.

I gave them the privilege to choose the movie, and being the young teenagers that they are, they chose Step Up 2 over Horton Hears a Who (I personally wanted to see Horton with them).

It actually turned out to be a good choice for the girls, and me too. I enjoyed the movie.

I only saw a feature on the making of Step Up 1 but didn’t get to see it so I had no idea that there already was a Step Up 2. Anyway, I think it was the right movie to see with the girls because it seems to have got them to thinking about choosing the friends they hang out with, and also about what they need to prioritize. It didn’t talk much about family which was a theme that the girls really need to focus on as well, but I guess you can’t have everything in one movie.

Andie’s admission into MSA got me to thinking about young dancers out on our streets. I don’t think they would ever get the chance that Andie got, except maybe if they went on to join dance contests on TV shows. Even then, I don’t think they’d be taken into any real training program for dance and learn about different genres and all that.

Or maybe I’m wrong, and I’d like to be proven wrong. I’ve seen young people who love dancing and form their own groups. They rehearse everyday and make themselves available to dance in fiestas in different barangays (local communities). All they’re hoping for, is to become good enough to become part of dance companies who perform regularly in TV shows. Some of them make it, most of them don’t.

What would be great, is if there’d be dance companies who’d reach out and organize dance workshops or dance camps for these kids. They’d get the discipline, learn new stuff, and maybe even just learn how to exercise and stretch properly, along with safety measures so they can avoid injuries while practicing or performing.

Back to the movie.

Missy quitting 410 and showing up at MSA was a surprise, or maybe I wasn’t paying much attention earlier on in the movie. But her jumping right in and rallying the new crew to step up and continue the fight, was a bigger surprise.

But the dancing was awesome. The music was great.

Come to think of it, when you watch the movie, you aren’t supposed to be thinking or analyzing, but just enjoying the scenes and tap-tap-tap to the beat. In all honesty, all the thinking I did, happened after the movie. While watching, we were just captivated by all the cool moves.

Thursday Thirteen – #10


I can’t believe I almost missed Thursday Thirteen again this week…
In the spirit of Idol Gives Back, which was an awesome show that I almost missed too, here are 13 ways to give back – online.

1 to 6: On my sidebar I have my ‘one-click donations.’ All you got to do is go to those sites and click on the button to make a donation. It doesn’t even take 5 minutes of your time (on hi-speed Internet)

The Child Health Site

The Breast Cancer Site

The Literacy Site

The Hunger Site

The Animal Rescue Site

The Rainforest Site


7 to 9 Care2.com is another site that offers you an opportunity to click to donate and they have quite a number of campaigns going there. Sign up to learn more of what you can do. Click on these three buttons to start your own race.

10 Save the Children UK used to have a Philippine office and I was involved with some of their projects as a teener. You can shop at their site to make a difference. Just click on the logo and it’ll take you to their page.


11 ECPAT is a global network of organizations dedicated to combat the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. I was very active in this network in my young life and was involved in many activities. Here’s a link to a page that lets you make donations to the cause through PayPal, but please explore their website for information on this issue plaguing the world’s children.

Ok, I am two links short but I really got to go and get ready for work tonight. I’ll come back and add two more to these links. C’mon, let’s all give back…

Edit: Ok, here are the additional links.
12 I found this website a long time ago (I already forgot how) and was fascinated by the work they do. I even wrote to them asking for any possibility that they may feature kids from the Philippines and Asia, but they weren’t prepared for that at the time. Today I remembered how I was so interested to maybe even organize a local chapter or start something like this here. Maybe I shouldn’t give up on that. Visit their site and learn how you can Make a Child Smile by sending them and their siblings real cards. You can make a donation too, if you want.

13 This website is for a local foundation taking care of abused and abandoned girl children. I’ve never really worked directly with the organization itself but I’ve worked with some of their girls in the past, through my involvement at ECPAT and the youth organization we built – Young People against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Childern. Visit the CRIBS Foundation website and checkout their How to help link to find out how you can help a child in the Philippines.

Move along now, you got 13 sites to help you give back 🙂

27 Dresses


Well isn’t this just the cutest widget? I was looking for a trailer or a picture to post along with what I wanted to say about the movie 27 Dresses but I found this instead – Jane’s organizer! Click on the tabs to see photos, watch the trailer, or to get the code.

I really enjoyed watching it and admiring how beautiful Katherine Heigl is. I first saw her (or at least that’s as far back as I remember her from) in the TV series Roswell. She is most known now for Grey’s Anatomy, probably.

27 Dresses isn’t your typical ‘always the bridesmaid never the bride’ story. It isn’t even about how magical weddings are though it does touch on how there are different perceptions of a wedding or of marriage. It is about a young woman who takes joy in taking care of the needs of others.

She’s got talent, that Jane. She could be rich as a Wedding Planner. I, on the other hand, would probably NOT be able to organize my own wedding when my time comes. I couldn’t even organize a simple dinner and videoke night for my colleagues at work!

Back to the movie… It was, to me, about waking up from a dream. Seeing the truth about an ideal that held all of one’s hopes and dreams. It’s also about taking care of yourself above all else, without necessarily being selfish. I am all for being a person for others, because everyone needs that too, but in truth, you can fully give of yourself until you have loved and cared for yourself enough.

Okay, so maybe the movie really is about movies, but that’s how I am when seeing movies. I think about other things that scenes or lines remind me of. I guess that’s why I don’t do good with reviews. Hehe 🙂

Rice Shortage

Rice shortage in a country that should be largely agricultural just doesn’t make sense.

In the news today, we saw long lines at the market with people waiting on the NFA (government)-subsidized rice. Some of them waited 3 hours before they could go home with 1 kilo – supply that will probably last them only today.

We usually buy commercial rice and today, my dad came home saying that the usual rice we get is now pegged at 40 pesos when last week it was only at 33. We’re not worried for ourselves because we don’t consume that much rice as we used to. Besides, when my grandpa harvests rice from his fields, he will give us our 1 sack ration.

But we are affected by all of this talk of shortage. The Agricultural Department keep on saying we have enough stocks and there’s a 58-day buffer stored somewhere. But they’ve got to see that with the skyrocketing prices of commercial rice is driving people to opt for the cheaper NFA rice. That’s why it’s so hard to get a-hold of any.

I’m not so into international news anymore and I am so wrapped up in my own non-political world sometimes. I had to ask my dad what’s causing this so called shortage. Apparently the economic boom in India and China have tipped the balance of rice (food) consumption while the supply from rice exporting countries have not really changed. Countries like Thailand and Vietnam, I hear, are also putting limits on their exports to ensure they do not lose local supply. Good for them. But going back to the Philippines, how come we are only 90-98% self-sufficient for our own rice supply? Didn’t we use to export rice ourselves?

And didn’t Thailand and Vietnam used to send their experts here to learn from us when it comes to rice? Oh well.

Some say land conversion from agricultural to industrial has also contributed to this problem. There are lesser and lesser land devoted to agriculture and farming. Add to that the farmers’ woes of where to get the funds for the next planting season. It isn’t also uncommon to find farmers’ children aspiring for lives away from the fields. No, I don’t think it is wrong for them to dream and work at achieving those dreams. But who’s to say who would be left tilling the fields? Why is farming still a poor man’s job? Why haven’t we got the technology that will allow farmers to stay in the fields but also live comfortably? Oh well…

There are efforts by some restaurateurs to make half-servings of rice available for patrons. This is in response to the fact that kilos and kilos of rice is wasted everyday because of customers who don’t actually eat all of what they order. This is actually a good move. I mean, if they wanted more, they could just order another serving. I wonder how Tokyo Tokyo all you can eat rice will be impacted by this?

Anyway, I think the pantry in the office has also joined in the efforts to reduce rice wastage. I hear the cups are getting smaller. 🙂

Sometimes they don’t grow up the way we thought they would…

My cousins had kids at a young age and so I was around babies and kids for quite some time now. We seemed to have new babies being born into the family every two years if not yearly. The first of the babies was my cousin Nikki. For 10 years I was the baby of the family, and then she came. I was not at all intimidated by her coming, I was actually excited too. I waited with the rest of her family outside the delivery room. At the time, I don’t think we knew she was a girl yet.

I was too young to really take care of her then, but I’d like to think I kinda did. Or else I gushed over her and played with her like she was a stuffed toy. Hehehe. She grew up at a wonderful time in our family. Really. But her being the baby was cut off abruptly at the age of… maybe about 3 or 4. We had two new baby girls born 2 days apart to two of my cousins. They were the cutest and most adorable babies ever.

Being in highschool then, I was really more like one of their caregivers, or so I’d like to think. One of them was the first infant I ever really carried in my arms. I remember having been nervous about it too. We lived right across the street from them at that time, in our old neighborhood. I always found myself going there just to see them, kiss them or hold them close.

As toddlers, I took one of them to my highschool sportsfest and she got scared of the clowns!

Then there were times that they would sleepover at our house. Even when we moved an hour away, they would be glad to go and stay the night with me – they so loved my stuffed toys. hahaha.

I remember one time, only one of the girls went home with me and it was during the time her mom was working overseas… She was so sweet and innocent and so missing her mom. She asked me to sing to her like her mom used to. And we said “I love you” in different languages, just the way her mom used to do at bedtime.

She just graduated from gradeschool and will be taking exams to enter the highschool that the other girl is already attending (she was delayed one year). And today, I was just so surprised (and admittedly a bit disappointed) that there was something in them that I would have never expected from what used to be such sweet little girls.

I took them out to the arcade and a movie this afternoon. I invited another niece, a year or two younger than them. Another friend of theirs tagged along too. They really seemed to have a lot of fun. Unintentionally, I ruined it for them at the end of our evening. I just couldn’t pass up not talking to them about the behavior I hear they’ve displayed recently (one’s misbehavior is totally not connected with the other’s, by the way). I couldn’t let it go, I didn’t want them to continue being like that. It’s just not them.

I didn’t like being the person to lecture, I’d prefer being the fun aunt or older sister. I told them that. But I sincerely hoped I made my intentions clear with them, which I tried so hard to explain. I have high hopes that in the future, they just might thank me for that talk.

In a way, though I am not their mother and not even a first-degree aunt, I feel responsible too for however they turn out. I used to bring them along with me to work, or to just go strolling in the mall, and to some event or another. I used to teach them stuff. Then I just stopped. These two weren’t really born in the best of times or circumstances. Though we all did our best to raise them as generally happy children, I know there are some aspects of their lives that could be the subject of teen angst and God knows they are nearly at that stage already. Somehow I think that is what’s causing the misbehaving. I just truly truly hope they know they have loving moms and aunts around them (and there are a number of us) who will be willing to hear them rant and are actually anxious to find out how they feel deep inside.

Anyhoo, it probably is a good idea to just stay visible for them and to keep on taking advantage of the fact that they still like hanging out with me. I know they wouldn’t be that way for long.

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