17 November 2012



Gatsby Styling Dance Competition
10 November 2012 - 4PM Market! Market!


The champions of Gatsby Styling Dance Competition 2012 are none other than... our kids, the resident competing team of UPLB Street Jazz Dance Company. Woohoo!

1st runner-up: Next 2 Innocence
2nd runner-up: ICI Dance Company


I'm one proud alumnus.

During our time (yes, I had my share of the limelight back in college) UPLB Street Jazz is not that known. There were a lot of other good crews in the Metro. So all we ever wanted then was to get noticed. And yes, get noticed we did.

We introduced a different style of hiphop here in the Philippines back in 2006. We called it LA Style or laidback hiphop. It was a trending genre in the US (you know GenTwo or Kaba Modern?). But the local hiphop was quite different. So it was a gamble for us. Good thing the hiphop community welcomed our style well. And thus, Erik Javier and Louie Canaria, and even Thea Baraquio (our main choreographers) were born. They created some noise in the Philippine hiphop scene.


We were so unique back then that people always watch out for our performance. Or so we felt. (Haha... feeling!)

So that was then. we only aimed to get noticed, to create an impression. And now? We're aiming for the win (No, I'm not part of the team anymore). In the past few years we've been aggressively aiming for that. Until Gatsby. CHAMPIONS, baby!!! I couldn't be any more proud.

I know this will just be the start. Tonight our kids will again battle their hearts out at Skechers Year 8. And every molecule in my body is ecstatic. It's on hyper mode, dying to get to MOA Arena and cheer for our kids.


Good Luck TEAM!

WHOEVER WINS, I will be proud of you. I mean whoever wins 2nd or 3rd place, I will be proud of you... Champions. :-)

Go for gold!

I'm having issues with uploading photos in blogger, i.e. data storage limit :-(. I will update this post for the photos as soon as I resolve the issue. Ciao.

01 November 2012


Last time I went home to Tagum City, I noticed a few changes. Some were good and some were uhm... neutral.

For the latter, I noticed that my cousins who used to be live with my parents are not there anymore. Since their eldest sister Criscel had finished her degree in Criminology and has now actually found a job as a police officer, they moved out and rented a small place downtown. Criscel wants her two sisters to continue college, thus, they looked for a place right across the university. Our place was relatively far from civilization so it was a sound decision. However, I was just sad for my parents since they now have no one to assist them in the house chores, or in manning the sari-sari store. We also used to have an adopted family member, Bryan, who was also very helpful around the house. However, he moved out as well after he finished some short courses on automotives and also on electronics.


So anyway, there were also good changes.

having a blast with the karaoke, with my aunt Berna and her family :-)
First, Papa was able to finish building and renovating a house in our second lot (right behind our house). It was his project, and he worked on it for a few months.

Papa giving me a tour

the house - ready for occupancy
Papa originally planned to sell the two parcels of land that we own (aside from the one where our house is built), especially as my seaman cousin is very interested in building his house near ours. I opposed Papa though. I told him we might be able to make some steady income out of it. And besides, Land continuously appreciates.


The last time I went to Star City was when I was in Grade 4. I was in elementary school and was still based in Tagum City then. We spent a summer here in Metro Manila to meet in the airport a balikbayan aunt who worked as OFW in Singapore. And while were at it, we dropped by Guimaras for a side trip and spent a couple of days there (very memorable side trip, btw), then went to Angono, Rizal to visit another aunt, and then had a trip to Manila Zoo and Star City with my cousins. :-)

Since I moved to Luzon to study college, I never got the chance to go back to Star City. Maybe because Enchanted Kingdom opened, and it is much much much much nearer to us. Hence, when a good friend of mine Wrej asked me if I could join her in their company Family Day which will be held in Star City, I could only say YES YES YES!

27 October 2012


Los Baños, or “Elbi” as we fondly call it, is a place that I consider my second hometown. I have generally lived most of my life in four places: Tagum City (~11 years), Davao City (~4 years), Los Baños (~6), 
Makati (~4).

Carillion and the Fertility Tree

Feb Fair

26 October 2012


Thanks to my prompt paying habits, the devil decided to enrich itself with a whopping P17,000 additional credit limit.


Wait... did I ever request you to increase my credit limit? NO. You just took the liberty to increase my expense capacity. Isn’t that a blatant act of stealing my very right to decide my own lifestyle? I mean, with this single move, you have successfully “incepted” into my brain thoughts about buying a new pair of leather shoes, a 1-week set of dress shirts, a wristwatch, and an air ionizer.

And if I try to divert my mind away, I start thinking about a portable mp3 player with FM tuner, an A/C unit, an HTC Wildfire, a personal refrigerator, and a roundtrip ticket to Coron!

Jeez, Citi, you’re one huge stress. Even after I quit being your employee.


Back when I still had so much extra time, I download all sorts of game apps on my phone (that I find interesting). This I find useful in dodging boredom during jeepney rides, bus rides, mrt rides, elevator rides, #2 moments in the toilet, et cetera. And one of those games that I made an impact on me is Draw Something by OMGPOP. It is an app where you choose a word from a group of three that you will have to describe to another player (someone you know, or someone random from the web who also has the same application in his/her gadget). The catch is, you have to draw your descriptions or clues, a la Pictionary.

I liked playing this game so much because it stirs the creative side of me. And because of that, I created a blog entry before to serve as my “art gallery”. :-)

Anyways, before I became busy with my studies, I was able to craft another collection of artworks via Draw Something. Here they are:

21 October 2012


Not a few people cried the moment they learned about Wymer's health condition. Much more when he passed away a short period later. To most of us, it was a mere couple of days from the moment we learned about his illness to his passing away.

Jorell Wymer Sagenes is one of those people you'd consider yourself lucky to get to know with. He's that big goofy guy with big dance moves, and with an even bigger heart. He has a ready smile and an ever-sincere attitude, and it is plain impossible not to like him. That's why, even if we were involved in the past in a sort-of falling out as a dance crew, I was still very affected when I learned about his condition. Most of us were.

It was sudden. And heartbreaking. And it was all over in a few. We drank the night away to cope with the incident. As if the pain we feel was close to how his best buds and his family feel.

* * * * * * *    

A week later, people are still mourning. And celebrating. And praying that he'll have a joyful journey returning to the arms of our Creator.

And me? Well, I just want to write about it because Wymer is a special person who I believe should not be forgotten.

Bon voyage, Wymer! May you have a fun time dancing with the angels up there. :-)


p.s. both pics were stolen from Facebook

07 October 2012



Just this year, Malaysian airlines Air Asia joined the fray of the already stiff local flight competition. It is a budget carrier just like Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines that targets passengers who are willing to give up flight conveniences (e.g. extra baggage, insurance, on-board meals, etc.) for a surprisingly low airfare. Being the natural stingy that I am, I booked my Davao vacation in Air Asia. Guess how much I paid for a roundtrip ticket.


It is a far cry from PAL’s ~P10,000. While in college, Mama always booked me a PAL ticket despite the dizzying price tag because she wants her unico hijo to come home safely and conveniently. And now that I’m working and I pay for my tickets, I never looked back at PAL.


Kimchilandia Chronicles – Chronological recounting of Lonewulf’s great Korean adventure


If you are under 18, or have a weak heart, please do not proceed on reading this entry.

I am actually warning you. See those cartoon characters they used on their entrance booth? Definitely not for kids.

HEY! Why are you still reading? Didn't I tell you to leave this page?


There. Don't say I didn't warn ya


Kimchilandia Chronicles – Chronological recounting of Lonewulf’s great Korean adventure

Christo Redenter
Yup, that's right. It is the Christ the Redeemer statue. But nope, we were not in Rio de Janeiro (how I wish we're there). Actually, we were in Jeju Soingook Miniature Theme Park. It features miniature versions of some of the most famous architectures, landmarks, et cetera around the world.

See? It's just a miniature version.
Anyway, please enjoy viewing our trip to the Soingook Miniature Park. :-)


When I was a child, we had this tradition in our neighbourhood that involved people secretly gathering on someone’s birthday (normally at the request of the celebrant’s family) and surprising him or her with an early morning serenade. Normally, people gather between 4-5am and starts to sing the serenade in front of the celebrant’s house – the first song is supposed to be sweet sounding and it is meant to gently wake the celebrant up. We normally use the song Silayan. And then the mesmerized celebrant lets us in and we continue the merrymaking indoors, singing different songs that celebrate life and gratitude to God. The singing normally ends with people dancing to an upbeat song, e.g. Mingaw mingaw ang tiyempo, sa pag-uros sa hangin... And then... eating time ‘till break of dawn!

We call this whole affair the mañanita.

12 September 2012


The yummiest doughnut in town, is coming to my hometown!
/* Ugh, don't you just love rhymes?! */

KRISPY KREME, SOON TO OPEN IN DAVAO! Weeeeee... *happy dance*

By the way, they are looking for a Krispy Kreme Ambassador who will be based in Davao City. So shoutout to all my friends who are interested or who knows someone who's interested.

If you are all of these:

- Male (5'6) or Female (5'2)
- 18-27 years old
- graduate of Marketing, Mass Comm, or any related course
- has a pleasing personality
- and is very excited to be a Krispy Kreme Ambassador :)

please drop me a line. Or email an updated CV to me (thegreatnoel@hotmail.com) or to jmbathan@jambajuice.ph.

Actually, you just need to email the latter addy. I only included my personal mail because I'm a nosy creature.

27 August 2012


Before I start this entry, let me just make a (belated) congratulatory shoutout to my two brods in UPLB Street Jazz, Louie Canaria and Erik Javier. Yeah, I know I have already done this in Facebook but I just want to make this moment a part of my blog. :-)

Both Louie & Erik were part of the Megacrew entry of the UP Streetdance Club which won 3rd place in World Hiphop International (Megacrew Division). Erik is also part of The Crew, a subset of UP Streetdance Club which competed in the Adult Division of the same event. They bested all the other entries... GOLD baby!

with Louie and his Bronze

Erik's Bronze and Gold
Great job, you guys!


Okay, since I am now in a roll, and since I’m still on vacation, let me squeeze in this entry posts that I missed writing about due to my uber impossible work-school routine.


First up, I want to congratulate my friend Jaja (Pooja Sujanani). She recently got married.

If you’re wondering if that’s her in the image, yes, you’re right. She is a pure blooded Indian who grew up in Bohol.


Kimchilandia Chronicles – Chronological recounting of Lonewulf’s great Korean adventure

I knew this is a quite delayed post for my March trip, but I vowed to finish these Kimchilandia entries even if I have to do it inch by inch. :-)

You see, I have started my Masters in June and since then I barely had time to rest. Much less blog. But anyway, here’s another tourist attraction we visited while we were in Jeju Island.

Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum.

Mr. Ripley with Balinese dancers

Mr. Ripley in few of his countless excursions

03 August 2012


I'm quite sure this was how I looked back in 2007
Just a few days back, I was able to read an ancient letter I wrote back in 2007. It was a very personal email I sent to a good friend of mine, Ate Charm. And yes, as the title of the entry says, I cried after I read this letter. Well, it was actually pretty odd that I cried, but yeah, I did. Maybe it was the nostalgia. Maybe it was my innocence back then, or perhaps reading the letter made me vividly recall the melancholy I was feeling while typing that email.

Anyway, whatever it was, it's not important. I just want to share the letter here just to give you readers a glimpse of who I was or how things were when I was younger. :)

Just to set your expectations, there's nothing really extraordinary about the letter. No juicy stuff. It's just a correspondence I had with a friend. But it was extra special to me because reading it took me back to the time when I was very melancholic: I was stuck in college, missing my friends and colleagues who have left campus ahead of me, I was about to graduate and thus I was starting to miss the people I'm about to leave behind and Elbi-life in general.

WAIT. I take back what I said about "no juicy stuff". There are juicy stuff but I censored them as that I thought they are too private. lol

So anyway, here's the letter.


--- On Wed, 4/4/07, noel co<thegreatnoel@hotmail.com> wrote:

From: noel co <thegreatnoel@hotmail.com>
Subject: te charm!!!!!
To: kewl16_sj@yahoo.com
Date: Wednesday, April 4, 2007, 3:00 PM

ate charm, musta ka na??

sorry ngayon lang nakapag-email.. busy talaga eh

29 July 2012


Kimchilandia Chronicles – Chronological recounting of Lonewulf’s great Korean adventure

Wow. I have been soooooo busy with my work-school routine that I am recently finding it hard to make time for blogging.

But anyway, since I am currently uploading bulk photos of my Aunt's wedding and his son's christening (rushing this for my dear mama who's so eager to see the pics since she wasn't able to attend because she is in the province), I will squeeze in posting this one entry.

Luckily, this is not too time consuming as there is no long story to tell.

not your ordinary chess set
That pictured above is something that you don't want to play with. Because that set, believe it or not, is food.

It is chocolate molded into chess pieces. And while you're reading this entry, you will see a lot of "cute-ly" styled chocolates, because well, this entry's about the...

CHOCOLATE MUSEUM! Are you ready to salivate?

Shortstride & Arigato by the entrance of the museum

the facade

the welcoming lobby is a chocolaterie

06 July 2012


Kimchilandia Chronicles – Chronological recounting of Lonewulf’s great Korean adventure

We kicked off Day 2 of our Jeju sub-trip by having a warm morning with teddy bears.

I used to love cutesy stuff when I was young. Figurines, collectibles, potpourri, stationery, anything scented, stuff toys. However, that affinity disappeared when I started college. I don’t really know why 

I stopped liking cute things maybe because Elbi made me realize that life is tough, and cutesy stuff are just impediments in one’s coping with the bluntness of reality. (huh?)

So anyway, enough of that uhm darkness. I’m here to talk about light, delightful stuff! What’s good about the Jeju Teddy Bear Museum is that it made me get in touch with my old self. Now I’m liking cute stuff again. =)

Move over Michelangelo

I mean, how could you not be joyed when you see these adorable bears...

11 June 2012


Kimchilandia Chronicles – Chronological recounting of Lonewulf’s great Korean adventure

umi-emo si koya

Folk villages are a common type of tourist spot in Korea. It is one of the must-go-to attractions in Kimchiland, so I insisted that we should visit at least one. However, even if there was one near Seoul, we were only able to visit the one in Jeju (one of the two in the island).

The Jeju Folk Village features an actual village, albeit uninhabited except for dolls, where you get to peek inside traditional village homes, farms, backyards, etc. The village also features an administrative house, where the most influential man in the village ought to live.

The compound has some restaurants and souvenir shops where you can shop for neat Jeju thingamajigs. Plus, there's an area where you can don traditional Korean costumes, for a fee of course. And it even has a hut filled with Jang Geum memorabilia. Yes, that Jewel in the Palace girl.

Wait. Why am I spoiling everything? Here, take a peek of our experience in the Jeju Folk Village.


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