25 December 2008

English Corner: Spelling

Thursday, December 25, 2008 by Chelo · 4 comments
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Almost everyone in the Philippines owns a cell phone - from the sophisticated executive to the street vendors. In this day and age, it is a necessity. Thankfully, the cell phone has made communications easier and conveying & receiving messages are literally at our fingertips. Why, even children 7-8 years old use cell phones.

The down side to this is the deterioration of spelling & grammar of everyone, especially the youth. Acronyms replace full spelling in an attempt to squeeze in letters in one "send". English teachers are up in arms, parents are worried, and students...do not care.

I have made a quiet resolution to use full spelling as much as I can afford the time. When sending text messages to students, I spell out the words. Non-negotiable.

Just like using the right utensil for eating, impeccable English proficiency is becoming rare among Filipino youth. Let's help do something about it.

09 December 2008

Tumblers by Tes

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 by Chelo · 1 comments
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My friend, Tes Tirol, came up to me and told me about some ballet tumblers she designed & asked if I wanted to help sell them to ballet students. I've been extremely busy (when was I ever not???) and so I diplomatically said, "Ok, let's see it."

Her husband, Rean, brought the tumblers and, lo and behold, oh, they are the prettiest ballet tumblers I have ever seen, in pink & lavander hues.

And, what's more, they're only P300 each!!! Steal, really.

Ssssh! Tes has other products soon to be out in the market, too. I told husband & wife to hurry up because I was not quite done with Christmas shopping.

If you love ballet items, just email Tes: tes.tirol@gmail.com.

Love the tumblers, Tes! Can't wait for the rest of the items!

01 December 2008

Philippine Ballet Theatre's ANDRES

Monday, December 01, 2008 by Chelo · 1 comments
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Philippine Ballet Theater presented "Andres", the story of one of our Philippine heroes, Andres Bonifacio set to dance. It was shown on the last weekend of November at the CCP Main Theater.

I enjoyed the show, seeing it from the eyes of a Filipino. Admittedly, the younger dancers were "young" in their acting, perhaps, not having experienced too many moments of angst enough to capture the pain of our countrymen of old. Nevertheless, the tableaux, not just the literal one, did its job.

I was proud to see my student, Charmaine Bianca Perez, now several performances more mature. Her technique, of course, was flawless, as is so Bianca.

I was disturbed that the audience was not as numerous as the show deserved. No matter what justification goes behind the scenes, the many empty chairs speak for themselves.

Congratulations Philippine Ballet Theater. May our countrymen love the Philippines and our culture because of your efforts.

24 November 2008


Monday, November 24, 2008 by Chelo · 0 comments
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I often listen to different types of speakers - motivational speakers, preachers, teachers, et al. I listen not only to what they are saying but also to what they are not saying. I wondered once why the same statement said by one speaker uttered by another means differently, registers with more depth, hits home a little more by more than just a sliver.

For instance, I have a mentor who tells me to read my book pretty much in the same way the next professor does, tells me to lock up to have quiet moments to recoup & re-charge, and tells me to my face what is possibly wrong with me at the time, hitting bull's eye about the deed but never demeaning the doer. And it dawns on me that the difference is the life beneath the words.

If that mentor tells me to read a book, she has read two or three. If she tells me to lock up for quiet moments, she has basked in the stillness of quietude. If she tells me what is wrong, it is because she has been that way herself and overcome.

That is why some speakers hit home. They live the lives they preach.

21 November 2008


Friday, November 21, 2008 by Chelo · 0 comments
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My younger son, Nathan, is, thankfully, an orderly boy. It took him a long time answering his Kumon sheets on his diagnostic entrance because he wanted to make sure the numbers were well-written. He insists that his pencils are sharpened before we do home-school, and cleans his table squeaky clean before and after working. It is really an easy task to teach and manage him. Recently, he piped in, "Mom! We have to 5S our home!" I had just heard about 5S from my husband who, explained to me that it is a system that puts order in an environment so that everything is in place and that there is a place for everything.

I have begun, at my younger son's cue, to simplify my home and, one by one, remove clutter. Moreover, I resolved to simplify my life on a bigger scale, and weed out the inessentials, if one could call it that. Sometimes, I tend to think that everything is important. When I review my day before I turn the final lights off, I realize that 40% could have been trashed.

I haven't figured out what 5S means in detail. But, it has helped me dramatically. Perhaps now, I will have the time to stop and smell the flowers on the way to the ice cream store.

11 November 2008

Who Am I?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 by Chelo · 1 comments
We are never without the urgent. Bills demand to be paid. Tick lists have a way of getting longer than one is quick to do. Appointments gatecrash into each other. And we are left in a frenzy, never having time to do the important, the relevant, the significant.

This is why it is necessary to come back to the basic questions: Who am I? Why do I exist? Why am I here? The answers determine what we should do, priorities we should keep, and those things we should weed out.

Nature fulfills its raison d'etre simply by being. They do not even possess half the faculties humans do. Shows us how we learn some of life's best lessons from things around us. Sans words.

10 November 2008

God Hears

Monday, November 10, 2008 by Chelo · 0 comments
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When everything seems to cave in, when the noise level rises above decibels no human can tolerate, and when the tiredness numbs and we are devoid of words...God hears the sighs uttered from the heart. And you know what? Believe it or not, we hear His whispers, still and small.


08 November 2008

Agreement of Subject and Verb Simplified

At the risk of sounding simplistic, perhaps this will help determine the basic agreement of subject and verb:

The "s" (to make the subject plural generally and to add to the predicate for a singular subject) appears only once.

For example:
The boy sitS. Not: The boy sit.
The boyS sit. Not: The boys sits.

In the first erroneous sentence, the "s" should be added to the verb.
In the second erroneous sentence, the "s" only appears to make the subject plural.

Hope this helps. Of course, there are other rules. But, we can begin with this one. Happy speaking or writing!

Dimensions of Depth by Alice Guillermo

Saturday, November 08, 2008 by Chelo · 1 comments
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It was an intimate gathering of hearts & minds when they launched " Dimensions in Depth" the book on Bettina's late husband and multi-awarded artist, Onib Olmedo. Daughters Gisela Olmedo-Araneta & Franjo Olmedo-Arias were, naturally, there, too, with their families. That was this afternoon at Powerbooks, Greenbelt 4, Makati.

I was fashionably late. A few minutes, but, nonetheless late enough not to have caught the names of those who spoke to honor Onib, the man & artist. That each one spoke with sincerity was expected - Onib elicited no less and the stature of the speakers could have allowed them no less either. I was spellbound by the meandering manner in which they wove their words into poetic prose, if that term were permitted in literary lingo. I realized that, since my U.P. Literary Circle days, it has been a while since I've had the sublime pleasure of being surrounded by professional writers in one gathering. It was exhilarating for the writer in me.

I understood why Onib was such a great artist. He was a writer, poet, artist. And he was excellent in all respects. His paintings showed his depth. His poetry showed his humor. His prose revealed his heart in words.

I went home and looked at my Onib Olmedo painting, the only one that hangs in my living room. I whisper a prayer, "Thank you, God, for the life of Onib. Thank you for his gift of making us see through his paintings, the truth about our souls."

02 November 2008

To God Be All Glory!

Sunday, November 02, 2008 by Chelo · 0 comments
The ABAP Cup competition is finished. Praise God for His grace & anointing upon us. We are humbled at the privilege of having been awarded on several notes for ICA, STI Academy & talents inC.

2nd place - Junior A category (ages 6-9), Classical
1st place - Senior A category (ages 12-15), Classical
1st place - Senior A category (ages 12-15), Contemporary (same dancers)
Joy Coronel Award for the Most Promising Female Dancer in Senior A category - Jiselle Ann Magbanua
Best Choreography for Jun Saagundo's "Sa Ngalan ng Ama" tied with Ecole de Ballet Manille

STI ACADEMY of T.Jan & T.Jun
3rd place - Junior A category (ages 6-9), Classical
1st place - Junior B category (ages 9-12), Classical
1st place - Junior B category (ages 9-12), Contemporary (same dancers)

talents inC of T.Pia
2nd place - Junior B category (ages 9-12), Classical

Our real victory, however, lies in the lives I witnessed backstage as the dancers prayed, "Lord, win or lose, we will dance for you." Our heart was to praise Jesus through our dancing. We prayed for victory, but not at the expense of character. God works in the heart, where no one sees. Perhaps this round we may have gotten the physical awards; but, it makes me wonder who, in God's eyes may have won the real gold: those who, perhaps, did not win but sowed seeds of silent praise to God; those who, perhaps, did not win but sincerely rejoiced for those who did. It makes me remember that the ultimate yardstick is His, who holds the hearts of men.

We accept the victory humbly. We know full well that it is by His dispensation that we won. And we give Him back all praise and all glory, as we ought.

28 October 2008

My Ballet Mentor

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 by Chelo · 2 comments
She brings about an air of aristocracy wherever she goes. We, her students, naturally bow our dancer's curtsey whenever she comes into the room. Decades ago, when dancers were called to perform for a VIP occasion, she insisted that the ballet dancers eat with the guests, then appropriately & formally dressed, instead of in the kitchen where they were originally assigned. In class, whether out of a passion or perfunctory rigmarole, she exacted elegance even in the minutest hair accessory. Holes in tights certainly had no room. On a tour with the company, she singlehandedly billeted us all away from the halls of a hospital accommodation and brought us to the best resort the city could offer, at her expense. In class, steps had to be executed in the beautiful Russian method. We danced. We danced.

Most of all, she taught us that we dance and we keep dancing because we love it. Inday Gaston-Manosa. Pillar in Philippine ballet. Mentor. Artist.

26 October 2008

ABAP Cup 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008 by Chelo · 3 comments
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The Association of Ballet Academies Philippines (ABAP) holds the first-ever national ballet group (ensemble) competition this October 31, 2008 at the Meralco Theater. 17 schools will participate in several age & dance categories. The Philippine ballet scene is alive & well.

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