Friday, May 23, 2014

Day 1: UIC-SSG Team Building 2014

10:31 AM Posted by Mark Glenn Cabrera , , , 10 comments
Summer is not summer without the sun slowly burning your epidermis. So, as usual, the day started with me hiding from the shadows of the buildings acting like a superhero or a total fool as I raced against time to save the world. But that's just me singing to Maddona and Justin T's 4 Minutes.

Anyway, I was on my way to the assembly area for our team building activity. Unlike before, I was armed with a wristwatch I stole from my brother. It was a magical wristwatch which gave me magical time-noticing abilities. Time-noticing, new word!

With time on my hands I even got to sing 'Happy' on my way to the school. So, aside from the wristwatch, I've got an old backpack my Mom prepared for me because I don't know how to pack shit! lol.

Grabbed from my IG: Follow me @immarkable

So I finally arrived. But even before I could actually step into the premises of the school I saw two familiar faces along the way. They were the lead organizers of the team building, Jazmine and Jason, and they were just on their way to look for a jeep that would bring us all to Sasa Ferry Wharf; and from the Wharf to Samal Island.

When I finally got inside the school I saw a group of people crowd under the shades of a small tree at the school quadrangle a.k.a Farmville. I'm usually friendly and all but it was just so freaking hot outside that I decided to go inside the SSG office.

After a while I went out to check if my co-ITE legislators, Anna and Kim, has arrived already and they did. So I went to them and we talked a bit about pretty much random stuff but it's mostly about Kim Wong's killer bangs and how I kind of hate 'selfies'. They brought it up when I used my front camera as a mirror. Kim insisted I was doing a selfie so I turned the tables and swore to the old and new Gods that I will pick on Kim's bangs for the rest of the team building. So Anna and I started making jokes about Kim Bangs until BANGS PANES! The jeepney has arrived.


So the jeepney ride was just like any other long and boring jeepney rides. It was hot, dusty and the tall grey commercial buildings provided nothing but despair. As expected everyone got a free face powder at the end of the ride.


The locals call it barge but actually it's a ferryboat because it carries passengers as well as vehicles. A barge is built mainly for carrying heavy goods in rivers and canals and we're at the sea so therefore we rode a ferry to get to Samal Island.

Check the top right photo - if you see IT!
Like duh? It's called Ferry wharf for a reason!

Anyway, it wasn't the first time I've gotten aboard a Ferryboat. I think it was my third and I didn't feel seasick this time. Just my luck!


So our final destination was a resort called Mahan Garden Beach Resort. It is located at Barangay Caliclic, Babak District, Island Garden City of Samal. It was my first time in that resort so I googled about it the night before and I got what I expected.

It wasn't much but they have a spacious front yard where most of the activities could take place.

Sounds fair enough.

My blogger instincts turned on so I toured around and took photos of the tree-houses, gazebos and of course the beach. As expected for Samal beaches, Mahan Garden offers a good white sand beach and inviting blue waters. That's good enough for me.


So the program kicked off with some welcome speeches from the organizers and from the SSG moderator Ms. Anaflor Sacopayo. Then we were grouped and like I mentioned on my previous post, I lead team called 'Powerpuff Girls with Mojo-Jojo'. It is composed of 6 girls and 2 boys with me being Mojo. You can connect the dots!

Image Credit: Bottom Left & Right photos c/o Bella Bundan.

It was then followed by a bizarre activity headed by a guest speaker where we were asked to dance some kind of ritual or something. I didn't get the name of the said exercise but it sounded Chinese and the exercise itself was like a mix of yoga, tai chi and kung pao chicken. mistake, I got hungry writing this! Sorry, I meant shaolin kung fu!

As the activity progressed, things got weirder and weirder with all the clapping and chanting but it's not without any value because the activity is made so that the groups and its members will bond. It also established more 'getting to know' with our teammates, like we got to know who's the competitive, the know-it-all, the thinker et al. More activities followed but I just feel the need to mention the dramatic chops of the execs who tested everyone's patience and temper by acting like a pain-in-the-ass. Like, bitches on the beach!


So this is it pancit!

I was running towards the front yard with my girls and the other groups. The moment we got there, we were briefed about mechanics of the game called 'Stepping Stones'. So the mechanics of Stepping Stones is simply that all members of a group should get across the other side of the garden without touching the ground. A line was drawn on the other side for obvious reasons. But here's the catch! Everyone must run to the far side of the garden and choose their 'stepping stones' from a pile of rocks, tiles and well - stones!
Image Credit: Bella Bundan
We thought it was going to be easy and I think it was. But we had to repeat three times because one of my girls couldn't get her balance right. lol. But to be fair, we got the wrong set of 'stones'. We got some big tiles yes, but we also have rocks with rough and edgy surfaces making it almost impossible to maintain equilibrium. It was the first activity so we kind of felt bad about being the last to finish but one of the execs, Jason, told us that even though we finished last, we finished the fastest. So we felt good ulet! lol. Bipolar lang. Hahaha!

The second game was the most aggravating of all. It's called Helium and it really tests one's patience. Something that I really don't have. So the objective of the game is to lower this hula hoop to the ground with each of the member holding out a finger where the hula hoop can rest. It's still about balancing and all. If your finger doesn't touch the bottom of the hula hoop then someone would blow a loud whistle into your ears, into your nerves and shatter your brain! DO IT AGAIN!
Image Credit:  Bella Bundan

One of the powerpuffs, Alysa, told us she played this game before so we decided to go with her strategy. She took the lead and told us to trust her, told us to close our eyes but it was damn hard for me! In a tricky situation with one of your senses off you're probably as good as dead. So it didn't work out like she wanted and we're sorry about that but things just don't work out the first time.

So we changed our strategy. To be honest we really didn't have any real strategy. But with our eyes wide open we started talking, we started communicating, with respect to Alysa we still listened to her every word. Then Karen spoke, and I did too because I almost had a heart-attack when my finger almost lost contact with the hula. It did several times, I got caught several times and I almost lost hope. But then we realized we couldn't possibly lower it all at the same time or one at a time, it needs two to three person to move and then wait for the other side to move. It's like maintaining a healthy relationship, there should be give and take! Char Baki!

And before we know it, we were on the ground already. Yes! We were last again but what matters is that we made it. I just wanted it done to be honest! But we made it. :D


After dinner everyone was invited to head over the function hall for a Night Jam. Later on, everyone went to the beach where they prepared a cult-ish arrangement of candles and torches. lol. Seriously, it was a cool set-up. The kind that reminds you of the TV show 'Survivor'. It was supposed to be campfire but for some reasons campfires are prohibited. I don't know what this portion is called but I referred to it as the "Intimate candlelit Sharing by the Beach" in my previous post. That pretty much describes the whole affair. Everyone opened up, except for a few others like me and my co ITE legislators who never got the chance to talk but it was okay because we were really sleepy by then and our stories would never amount to any of the sob stories shared by the others.

Even so, I liked this part of the Team Building because I love listening to stories and I could relate to some especially with stopping school, financial trials, weight problems, and someone shared about being a rover scout! Woot. It was just nice to know that you are not alone in this world. Not ever!

After that I went to the girl's dormitory to avail of the free wifi by Ilovekaye. I also stopped by the function hall where some of my co-participants where watching the indie film 'Yanggaw'. Finally, I hit the sack! And there ends the first day of the Team Building! :D

Anyway, here's a video of our Team Building Day 1 compiled and edited by Viennarz Curtiz.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Prelude to Team Building

12:39 AM Posted by Mark Glenn Cabrera , , 3 comments
I am definitely a late bloomer in all sorts and freakin angles. Oh wait! That should have been late boomer because BOOM! Lazying over summer took its toll and I lost all of my best angles. Fortunately, I didn't lose anything else than that, especially my vir...tual presence and my grasp on leadership trainings or the things I brought with me for this year's UIC-SSG Team Building activity.

It's been a long time since my last team building so I was kinda lost at the start of the program. Until came such time that we got to meet our fellow legislators, the execs and the creative team and finally my past experiences haunted me the harsh reality that I will have to go through some back-breaking obstacles, again!

Well, it's not like I went there for leisure but for a moment I forgot the things that makes a team building - a team building! Just so you know, a team building can't be without me! Char lang. It can't be without some serious challenge. Well, silly looking obstacles for that matter but not as easy as they look. And dude! I was not prepared this time. Perhaps, time and my other interests got into the way that I got used to less strenuous activities which gave me a jolt of shock upon realizing that this time I'm going to lead a team.

Whaaaat? So there I was in a position I have not yet mastered because I used to be in the support side of things. But what do you know? During some of the activities, all the things I've learned or once forgotten came back to me while adrenaline and the pressure of competition called all of the saints and pumped up all of my cells, both the living and the dead. But I couldn't have done it without my powerful team of sugar, spice and everything nice! You know that, don't you?

Obviously the highlight of the Team building was getting to know the people that I will be with in SSG for the upcoming semester but it's hard to say that the Amazing race or the Intimate candlelit Sharing by the Beach cannot be counted as highlights. So yeah, this is the best of my year so far with more than one highlight in a single event!

Anyway, this post is just a brief introduction of the amazing things I've experienced from our activity. Don't worry I'm preparing a narrative of our 2-Day team building and stay at Mahan Beach Resort, Island Garden City of Samal. There will be more details and photos next time I promise! ^_^

Sunday, May 18, 2014

When Bad Things Happen!

7:53 AM Posted by Mark Glenn Cabrera , , 5 comments
I'm writing this not because I wanted to, I'm writing this because there are times like today when I feel like the world is trying to get me and I want to blame others, hurt myself, let depression slip in, shut people out and destroy everything I see. Fortunately, I can get past all that but this is my way of coping up with the bad things that happened.

They say this is a good exercise and it's quite true. Expressing yourself and releasing the tension by writing about your 'Worst day ever!' actually helps. Crying yourself to sleep also helps too! You know, emo shit like that. A moment you regret telling to your hypocrite friends who act like they've never been to the weakest points of their lives. And yet you still count them as friends! Hoo-hoo!

But just because it works fine to me doesn't mean it would work well for you. Remember that we react differently on different fucking situations but don't forget to ask this whenever you feel like the world is plotting a murder against you - "Where, how and to whom do I share my woes, my frustrations and my anger?" You can start there! As for the rest, well, fuck you! Figure it out yourself.

Hindi lahat nasasagot ng World Peace!

So, what the hell happened to me this time? I don't want to go into details but the last straw of my agonizing day was my phone getting fucked up with a moist on the front camera and its fucking touchscreen freezes from time to time. And just to clarify, I DID NOT DO ANYTHING that could have resulted to this madness! It just decided to go batshit crazy! You know, I can deal with the front cam being foggy because honestly I'm not a fan of selfie. But damn it's a new phone! I bought it 3 weeks ago. It's my hard earned money and fuck whoever made Cloudfone!

I never consulted my friends - well, I did but I didn't listen - I know right! I'm a fucking moron and now I'm too embarrassed to even tell my friends what happened because I know their response would be 'I told you so...'. Like that would help me!? When bad things happen you would want someone who has big ears and a small mouth. I maybe describing a mouse but if a mouse could listen and not criticize then why can't you? Char lamang.

Fortunately, a service center for Cloudfone will open this month here in Davao. Probably, on the 28th of May because of some stupid superstition that 28 is a good day for openings. So that means starting today I need to fucking wait, if my assumptions are right, 10 fucking days.

I don't even know what's the point of this post, I should have just posted this on facebook so that my friends would see how terrible my writing is when I'm on the verge of an emotional outburst. So that people who don't like me would be happy about my little misery. That while some people are sharing their comfortable lives through their smartphones here I am belching about not having both - AGAIN!

Well, I shouldn't be like this considering my smartphone experience was rather short-lived but I've got 4 more reasons to foolishly post something like this, but as I've mentioned earlier I won't go into details this time. I think I'm going to blog about the one that involves 'hairs' though. Just so you wait! I'm telling you, that is something.

Patience is indeed a virtue! But I swear if my phone won't get fixed, I will go in my way into making the lives of those who forced me to buy that crappy phone (because the one I wanted was out of stock) live miserably as well. Just kidding! But if I could I would but I can't so I shan't. Pero ibang klase sila mang jamming about sa specs and warranty! Bantay lang! You know how I easily submit to peer pressure right? You probably know that I hate myself every day for that, I never learn and this just makes me hate myself more.

This may sound too forced considering my tone in this blog post but if you ever feel the same way. If you ever feel like the world is conspiring against you. I want you to know that you are not alone. Char. And if you're faced with the same phone problems, I'll update this post the moment I get to the service center aaaaaaand here are some tips to not make things go worse.

1.) If you have tried everything to recover your once well-functioning smartphone - reset, restore factory, reboot, take out the battery - and impatience is trying to kill you, prevent yourself from seeing the phone! lol. You will just feel bad and helpless and you're gonna try to do a lot more things that you think 'MAY' work but could also worsen the situation. If you're not an expert on the matter don't push it! Keep it away from you.

2.) Don't blame yourself for everything. Sometimes things just go out of your control but you can always control yourself.

3.) Don't be sorry for the f-words in times like this. That word isn't restricted to coitus so use it if it makes you feel any better. Yeah, like pretty much the way 'The Hound' used it in Game of Thrones! Fuck the Kingsguard. Fuck the city. Fuck the king.

4.) Accept that these things happen and don't 'always' blame the world. In fact, make peace with the world. Hindi lahat nasasagot ng World Peace, minsan dapat baliktad - Peace World! Whether it be genuine or with spite at least it has a positive light. The world is old as fuck so Karma and Yin and Yang is probably some serious fact! Mahirap na, baka seryosohin ka ng mundo.

5.) Try to do good things on the side so you'll feel lighter. If you still feel heavy try Dulcolax!

So I guess this is another post which I'll read and regret many years from now. But the thing is, I wrote this not because I wanted to, I wrote this because I needed to.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Cool Down the Summer Heat with a Halo-Halo!

8:54 PM Posted by Mark Glenn Cabrera , No comments
Summer in the Philippines is best enjoyed with a tall glass of special Halo-Halo. One with ice cream, leche flan, sweetened jack fruit, banana, ube halaya and macapuno! You can have red beans or sago in it if you like - which I don't - but wouldn't it be so much better if you are given the right to choose the contents of your Halo-Halo?

It's Summer once again and the sun will emit all sorts of frequency, light and radiation to helpless humans like us. Be it infrared, visible light, ultra-violet; there might even be bluetooth or wifi! The sun's very unpredictable the past few days that every now and then you don't know which SPF number to use. And who knows, you might even get a heatstroke? *knocks on wood*

I know right? Summer heat can be a bitch. And do you know the best way to cool down bitches? The answer, a vengefully sweet and icy dessert. Yes! There may be lots of other ways and places where you can cool yourself down, but, ah-ah! Nothing beats a Halo-halo! And when you're here in Davao, there's only one authority when it comes to our country's most popular dessert and it's none other than Aling Foping’s Halo Halo Atbp!

Now on its 12th year in the business, Aling Foping's Halo Halo Atbp continues on providing Davaoenos the most refreshing escape to hot summer days. And take note that their name has "Atbp." in it, meaning, you'll also get to taste the best out of their menu. Just like the Bibingka which my friends and I have all agreed of calling a "Winner!". They also have the Chili Con Carne which was not too spicy but zesty at best. No wonder it got a nod from PNoy himself. Yeah, we were told they served it to the President during one of his visits here in Davao. But enough namedropping! Here's are some photos I grabbed from their Facebook page featuring the Halo-Halo, Chili Con Carne and the Bibingka since I can't find my photos of them.

So going back to the Halo halo, the thing about Aling Foping's is that you will be the one to choose the contents of your Halo-halo. Upon ordering, they have this form which obviously you need to fill-up. On that form, you'll come across the hardest decision of your life. Regular or Special? Special or Regular? Hmmm.. The special Halo-Halo comes with a scoop of ice cream but that's not the best thing about it. The ice cream just adds to the ube flavor and the texture but then the regular Halo-Halo is creamy enough and they didn't make the ice cream so...why settle for regular when you can have it espesyal?

Now it's time to choose the content of your Halo-Halo. Remember that you're not supposed to choose everything on the list. Don't be greedy! At P105 you're only allowed a maximum of 6 ingredients to your Halo-Halo. If you want everything or you want to double the amount of a particular ingredient then go ahead! No one is stopping you! You're gonna have to pay a bit more of course.

My cousin and I trying their Halo-Halo! :D

My Halo-halo is usually composed of leche flan, sweetened jack fruit, banana, ube halaya and macapuno. That's five out of the six I'm supposed to add. The sixth ingredient to my Halo-halo is still the ube halaya because of its melt-in-your-mouth texture and strong taste that is so good I always ask that it'd be doubled.

Halo-Halo may be a hodgepodge mess with 'everything nice' mixed all together. But if you know, you get to choose and you like what's in it then you're off for a delicious treat that will beat the summer heat! And it rhymes with eat so cheat and tweet and be complete while it's not yet time for Trick or Treat. Hahaha ^_^

So go out there! Halo-Halo is our country's most popular dessert for a reason! :D

Aling Fopings is located inside Matina Town Square, Matina, Davao City. You can visit their facebook page here!