Saturday, October 10, 2015

To Lose the Use of My Hands

The other week, while we were having dinner at home, we found out that my dad's old security detail got into an accident while cleaning his motorcycle that cost him his thumb. My mom delivered the initial details in hysterics and we all thought he cut his hand, but we sighed a minuscule air of relief when we confirmed the loss of just one thumb--the one on the right hand.

Almost immediately, we began counting the many things Mang Jun wont be doing anymore (or have a hard time with) given the disability. Can he still drive? Can he fire his gun? Will he be forced to go on early retirement? How will he eat? Can he ride the motorcycle? Will writing be difficult now? Will he get a desk job now? Well, a thumb is one of five on each hand, but it is a crucial one. So although we are grateful that it was all that he lost---it sure, would be best if he still a complete set of five fingers, right?

Enter Paranoia

As I continued to think of the catastrophe, I suddenly realized the value of my own hands. Not that it is more valuable than others (than yours), but as a dentist, understand that I would be "nothing" without them. While other senses are essential for my work, the ability to move my hands is what makes everything possible. I need my hands to hold instruments and manipulate structures in the mouth. I need my hands to help patients and I will be rendered useless, without them.

Dentistry is the perfect marrying of theoretical and practical skill. Back in school, they made us go through a lot to make sure our hands are ready for the battle. We drew and colored the skeletal system of cats, sharks, humans; we carved teeth anatomy on waxes like real sculptors, making sure we got every curve and pit that perfectly differentiates teeth from each other; we are asked to complete a list of clinical requirements (within a time limit)--the work of our hands scrutinized and graded in the most grueling step-by-step fashion by overly critical instructors. In the six years before we earn the degree and title, our hands are put to the test. They are trained to perform and that is what I do, day in and day out in the clinic. I let my hands perform what my mind deems fit for the well being of the patient. If I lose my hands, even just one (even just a finger), I sincerely wouldn't know what to do.

The Dentist's Hands

My uncle (the one who was the dentist before me and the reason why I became one) used to man the fireworks display committee during New Year's Eve. He and the boys would usually go overboard, even with the loud firecrackers but that all stopped when he became a serious dentist. A profession wasted, if he loses his hands, we're now more into the light display rather than loud exploding spectacles.

The loss of Mang Jun's thumb made him cry like a baby. When my mom received the call from his sister, she mentioned that he was bawling. I would be the same, I can only imagine. The drama queen will go on all sorts of emotional acrobatics until I fully come to terms with my brand new life. I'm sure it wont be easy. I fear early onset arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. I fear all kinds of misfortune that could fall onto my hands because once a upon a time I wished to become a dentist and I wouldn't know what to do if I am told that I can no longer be one.

For now, I remain grateful that my hands are perfect---slightly rough and calloused (a little veiny too) but fully functional in the clinic and for extra-curricular activities such as coloring and Clash of Clans. Haha! Stay safe everyone!!!

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Weak Heart

He has a weak heart
broken into pieces
the blood flows in slow motion
through his veins

He has a weak heart
missing pieces
his breathing is faint
always catching his breath

He has a weak heart
It whispers
It cries for help

Weak heart...
Weak veins...
Strong Healer
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Song In My Head: Big Girls Cry

I first heard Sia in "Chandelier", that's a good song too. I like Sia, she's just all the about the music and I like artists like that. This song, I think I just heard on the radio on my morning drive to work and I didn't know it was Sia until I Shazam'd it. I immediately searched for it on Spotify and I've had it there for awhile until I listened to it intently, and realized this is MY SONG. Not exactly reflecting my emotions at the moment, but this speaks who I am. I am a big girl now---34 years old, quite grown, but I cry and I cry like a baby. I don't think there's anything wrong with that... 

Big Girls Cry

Tough girl
In the fast lane
No time for love
No time for hate
No drama, no time
For games
Tough girl
Whose soul aches

I'm at home
On my own
Check my phone
Nothing, though
Act busy
Order in
Pay TV
It's agony

I may cry, ruining my makeup
Wash away all the things you've taken
I don't care if I don't look pretty
Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking
Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking
Big girls cry when their heart is breaking

Tough girl
I'm in pain
It's lonely at the top
Blackouts and airplanes
I still pour you a glass of champagne
I'm a tough girl
Whose soul aches

I'm at home
On my own
Check my phone
Nothing, though
Act busy
Order in
Pay TV
It's agony

I may cry, ruining my makeup
Wash away all the things you've taken
I don't care if I don't look pretty
Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking
Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking
Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking

I wake up, I wake up, I wake up
I wake up, I wake up, I wake up
I wake up, I wake up, I wake up
I wake up, I wake up, I wake up
I wake up alone

I may cry, ruining my makeup
Wash away all the things you've taken
I don't care if I don't look pretty
Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking
Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking
Big girls cry when their hearts is breaking

The title of my blog often gives the impression that I am a sissy and I guess I am somehow because my tears have the tendency to fall like water from an open faucet. I cry easily and I cry without ceasing. Actually, I gave myself the name "drama queen" because I've always been called one. I cry at movies. I cry at difficult situations (i.e being caught by the traffic police). I cry when pets die. I cry listening to sad stories and when I am telling a sad story. I cry when singing (especially praise songs). I cry when I am being shamed or shouted at. I am a girl and I cry... but it doesn't mean that I am weak. 

Just because I am bawling my eyes out, does not mean I cannot fight battles because I can. Yes I cry, and I can cry and I have cried everywhere: in the chemistry laboratory at CEU, in the zoology laboratory at CEU, in the canteen at CEU, in restaurants, in cars, in bars--even in front of strangers. Sia said it best when she sang: "I may cry, ruining my makeup... I don't care if I don't look pretty.. big girls cry when their hearts are breaking". My exterior is not tough, I break easily. Those who know me well, know that I am fragile and weak like that, but they also know that when I break I can pick myself up and live another day. 

So yes... I may be a drama queen and my tears will always be overflowing... but that's just the diva in me. My core is strong. My foundation stable. My secret: My God is unbreakable

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Monday, July 13, 2015

I Have A New Puppy

After Binky died, I wasn't sure if I'd ever have a dog again. I wanted to... having a dog to take care of was something I truly enjoyed, but at the same time, I knew that losing one again is going to be so devastating (especially if it happens the way Binky passed) so I was quite hesitant. Actually, a neighbor reserved one his puppies and told my mom I could have one but I couldn't take it. Even when one of our dogs gave birth to puppies, my mom was asking me to choose one, but I couldn't. I would play with them... but I knew I wasn't ready to be a "mom" again. People kept telling me to move on and find myself a new Binky and I always tear a little when I tell them that I can't.

Hello. This is my favorite pose. 

Last month, however, I got a dog from a friend. A few nights before that, we were talking about my blog and I briefly mentioned that I haven't been writing much (and I noticed that it came after Binky's death), so she decided to just send me a puppy. So yes, quite unexpectedly, I am a mother again. 

Replacing Binky

When the puppy arrived in the clinic, it was a complete surprise. The doorbell rang and I wondered why because there was no patient scheduled at that time and then Monique came to me saying: "May delivery para sa iyo" (There is a delivery for you) -- and from her face I could read bewilderment. It immediately got me curious, so I walked to the front and I found a nice looking girl in the reception area who smiled when she saw me and quickly handed me a puppy with a bow. Puppies get delivered now? Yeah, I guess they do. 

Ate Binky, can I wear one of your old shirts?
Anyway, the puppy is so cute... so small... and very sweet. Not knowing what to do, I received it from the seller, noted her instructions and took the new puppy to the back of the clinic where I cried. Tears just kept on falling and I didn't know what to do. I was crying for two reasons: I was crying because it was a lovely surprise and I felt quite lucky; but mostly I was crying because it felt as though I was being forced to forget Binky. You see, I wanted Binky--not a new puppy, but it was there and I didn't know what to do. 

Monique was actually more excited about it than I was. So many thoughts were running through my head: "What if he's not as perfect as Binky?", "Am I ready to take care of a puppy again?", "What if I don't ever learn to love this puppy?", "What if this puppy dies too soon, too?" and of the many thoughts I had, the most shallow of them all: "But I wanted a girl puppy... this is a boy!" 

Getting to Know Beckham

Good morning! Sorry for the bed head... 

It has almost been a month since I've had the puppy. It took me two days to finally decide on a name and I chose: Beckham, for my love of David Beckham, but you can call him Becks for short or Becky for fun (just kidding!). 

Beckham is a lot different from Binky:

  • He's always hungry. Show him food and he's going to keep on eating even if his belly is about to burst already. Binky was thin, everyone used to think I do not feed her enough but she really doesn't eat much. Beckham, on the other hand, has a bottomless pit for a tummy so I've just decided to put him on a diet (just kidding). 
  • He's always sleepy. Eat and sleep---his favorite activities. Right after he eats, he'll collapse on the floor and sleep. Sometimes he'll play a little--play with his toys, run around the place, bite on things--but mostly he's just lying on the floor like a rug and he stays asleep even if the doorbell rings or you try to sweep him off the floor with a broom. Hehe. Binky was more alert. The sound of the doorbell was music to her ears because she knows someone's arrived and she'd run to meet the visitor. 
  • He doesn't like the camera. Binky was natural in front off the camera. She would smile, tilt her head and look straight at you--it was that easy to take a picture of her. Beckham, typical guy, hates posing in front of the camera. One time, I tried to take a selfie with him and he had his eyes closed on every photo--even looked asleep in one. What is it with boys and photos, anyway?
  • He's quite a comedian. I guess it goes with the fact that he's a male dog. Binky was a prim and proper, like a princess and Beckham is like some clown. He is slightly crossed eyed and he has expressions that are really funny. He has ridiculous antics too and he makes everyone laugh at home.

They are so different from each other but they are both very sweet and adorable--so all the other differences mean nothing, really. The day Beckham arrived in the clinic, I was surprised because he was already very nice to me. Our first night was difficult because he didn't sleep much, but he didn't cry--after that, the next nights were so much better. Eventually, we both developed our own routine together at home, in the clinic and in the car. In other words, inasmuch as I tried to resist getting attached, I found out that he is not very difficult to love---and that I am ready to have a puppy. 

My New Baby

Beckham is 4 months. He sleeps beside me, at the bottom of the bed, and joins me in the clinic when I work. With his sweet face, he has already won the hearts of patients and I hope that he wins your hearts as well. Sometimes I talk to Beckham about Binky and I'd say something like: "Ate Binky just sits on the passenger seat, so you have to behave", but he still insists on sitting on the center console. He does a lot of funny things like that... and I can't wait to discover more about him. Ready or not, I guess some things just happen,you know what I mean? 

Having a new puppy too soon after Binky's passing, troubled me greatly. Actually, I've taken several photos of Beckham but I hadn't posted any of them, until today. I dunno... I guess I felt guilty to love and take in another puppy into my heart. Binky was so dear to me and she still is... and I didn't want that to be forgotten--and I hope that you never will. But this dog deserves to be loved, too. Binky will always be dear to me... none of that will change. But life goes on and mine will---with Beckham. I'm sure that somewhere in doggy heaven Binky is smiling. 

I miss you Binks! 

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Did I Jump At Ariel's Point?

I've been to Boracay several times already. Definitely not as much as the usual LABORACAY crowd, but my last trip there was my fourth time and every time I go, I experience something different. This trip, I got to visit Ariel's Point. Confession: I knew nothing about Ariel's Point when they sent me the itinerary, so I Googled it and thought it was quite interesting. You pay Php2000 for the all-inclusive extravaganza: roundtrip boat ride; buffet lunch and unlimited drinks; and free use of facilities for kayaking, snorkeling and cliff diving. 

All aboard the boat... it's time to party!

You get a discount if you are a guest at the Boracay Beach Club; nonetheless, you can book online or as a walk-in. We made reservations 2 days before and gathered at the registration point at 11:00 am, on the day. To get there, we road a boat and they started serving beer the moment we got to our seats. It was, maybe a 30-minute ride, after which we got to the island where we could pick huts or tables to settle in. 

While there, you get to enjoy cliff dives from three different heights: 5, 8, and 15 meters or you could go kayaking, snorkeling or simply take a leisurely swim in the sea. An hour from our arrival, lunch was served, but from the moment we arrived at the island, the drinks were overflowing. They were serving beer, sodas and rum coke. They also served banana fritters for an afternoon delight, right before we boarded the boat back. 

To Jump or Not to Jump

I posted the photo below during the time I was contemplating over whether to jump or not. When we got there I watched people take their dive down 5 meters, 8 meters and 15 meters. The 15 meter jump looked very ominous and deadly but I watched everyone jump down the 5 meters (some of my companions did right away) and decided I could do it. 

Before lunch I made a declaration: "I am going to jump!" and I was quite psyched already. Some people commented on my post on FB and Instragram, telling me to go for it and I thought: "I might as well, you know, I'm already here." But right before I finished my food I got a message from my best friend: "Crix, careful sa Ariel's Point... dami kami patient who had accident there before when I worked at Bora". (Crix be careful at Ariel's Point. We had lots of patients who had accidents there when I was working in Boracay before.)

Anyway, I didn't jump. It wasn't really her text, I am not making her my excuse. I had the same feeling before she messaged, my thoughts just became more certain. I am not afraid of the water (I was swimming without my life vest and going deep with goggles to explore underwater the whole time). I am not afraid of heights (I used to jump from the roof of our house or jump from a high tree). What ate me was the "what if" and when you're paranoid and can think as far ahead as 10 steps all the time... the YOLO thing has a different interpretation in my head. I only live once and freak accidents can happen anytime. 

Ariel's Point. The amazing 15 meters with a man mid-air and about to plunge down. On the left side of the photo you can see the 5-meter and 8-meter planks. 

Anyway, who knows... maybe my calculations will be different in another time? Of the group I was with, five people jumped and they said it was awesome. By the middle of the stretch of time we were there people were drunk already and guys were jumping naked, cupping their groins a they dove. Two girls jumped topless, hugging each other for cover. Ariel's Point is a different experience. Probably not my kind of fun, but it was for some. 


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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Seafood Can Kill Me

Part of my friend's vacay itinerary is to visit DAMPA. It is a shop and cook kind of restaurant and it serves mainly seafood. You go to the wet market to buy the food and then you choose a restaurant and tell them how you want the food cooked. It's a bit pricey, but the food is fresh and is cooked amazingly so it's really worth the money you pay. 

So anyway, when my family goes to DAMPA they know to order for me fish and chicken/pork. I am allergic to seafood so places like DAMPA is not really for me, but I enjoy it nonetheless. Anyway, on our drive to Macapagal, I only then thought to remind my friend about my allergy. "Oh shoot!" She forgot but I told her not to worry about it because I can just order something for myself--and I got steamed fish with tausi (very yummy by the way!)

On Instagram I said:  "Literally... to DIE for". 

My seafood allergy has evolved since it was first discovered. Before, it would only manifest as hives all over my body. As time passed I no longer had to worry about the hives, instead I had to deal with swollen lips and an itchy throat. Fast forward to today... I don't even get the hives and the swollen lips anymore. During an allergic attack, my respiratory system is suddenly impaired so my chest hardens, I begin to wheeze and my breathing becomes labored. 

So basically, I can really DIE if I eat seafood. At dinners with friends they try to convince me to fight the allergy. They tell me stories about how they used to get an allergic reactions too and they just pop a pill. I tell them, "You want to experiment and see what happens?" And they'd ask me: "What will happen to you?" and I answer: "I will DIE" and they immediately say, "Oh yeah, don't try it anymore." Well of course I do not know that, but better safe than sorry, I think.

My Seafood Experiences

People always have fantastic things to say about seafood. At home when there's seafood on the table everyone is happy except for me. My experiences with seafood are sad...
  • At first everyone thought my allergy was just with shrimps. My mom served squid one lunch time and I kept on telling her I'm allergic to squid too but she wouldn't believe me. She left me in the dining room: "I want your food eaten by the time I get back from taking a shower, okay?" I painfully ate the squid on my plate and finished it. After a while, my chest stiffened and I couldn't breathe. I went to my mom's room, she was still in the shower and I started knocking. It took her awhile and when she opened, she didn't know what to do. I remember saying: "I told you I was allergic!"
  • One time in the US we were having dinner with relatives. They had shrimps and crabs (really large ones) and they had steak and potatoes for me too, so I was really excited to eat. Everyone was busy cooking and when they started boiling the crab, my chest stiffened, my airways locked and I couldn't breathe. I was just watching television with the other kids and I suddenly couldn't breathe---I scared the hell out of everybody. They made me take some medicine and I was taken outside of the house, so now I am never allowed in the kitchen when seafood is being cooked there. 
I' have seafood horror stories but these two top the list. People always feel sorry for me when I tell them about my allergy but I tell them it's okay, because I really don't know what I'm missing. All my experiences with seafood are bad---so I know I am better off without it.

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P.S. You know how to kill me if you want to. It's really very easy.

Monday, May 25, 2015

I Don't Have a Lot of Friends

My Facebook and other social networking accounts may show that I have numerous connections, but those are professional and personal contacts (mixed with countless acquaintances). In my life, I have met and connected with lots of people but only a few people have made a true impact in me. My close friends are consist of camp neighbors (who are my childhood friends), high school friends (my soul mates), my dentist friends (college and workmates) and some loose friends not belonging to a specific category. These people hold a special place in my heart and I love them. Most of them I grew up with, but some I met later on in life--which shows that friendship is not determined by numbers and not even by proximity. 

When I was living in London, I left my friends for two years. I was so far but I became very close to a lot of them while I was away through letters. My friends and I sent letters, back and forth, and soon enough my two years was up and I was coming back home. When I did, when I was finally back, it was as if I hadn't left. 

Speaking of friendships that defy distance, a good friend of mine left for the US years ago and we have remained close as ever despite the fact. She is also a dentist, we were classmates in CEU, and she used to copy from me (haha). She left around 2009-2010 and although I've been promising to visit her, I never got to it, so I was very happy when she announced that she will be coming for a visit. 

You see, I wasn't very fond of CEU. When I first got in (during enrollment) I wanted to turn back immediately but my dream of becoming a dentist is real and that was a perfect fuel. For years I merely came into school to learn then rode the car back home as soon as my classes were done---but it all changed when I met my friends. All NERDS and sporting big backpacks as I was, I felt at home and truly one with them. It was hard for me to find a comfort place in CEU but I did in the company of my friends and Quin was one of them. 

When she left, it was a very sad thing, especially when I needed a hug and all that we could manage was a virtual one via Skype. It is not easy to make dramatic crying in Skype but we managed. But after years of a virtual friendship, she is finally home. 

Quin arrived in Manila last week. She is here for only two weeks and since she got here, we have been going out. We aren't as wild and carefree as we were in College though, but I guess things really change when people age. At Reserve, we feasted on a lot of food, drank a few beers and wine, then complained about the loud music. Haha! Ever since she arrived, I have been her on and off driver/dentist/tour guide. It does not help that I am not familiar with most of the streets in the metro, but Googlemaps is proving to very helpful with this. 

Tonight I am meeting her again with our Dentistry friends. We are taking her to Locavore for amazing Filipino food and then Tipsy Pig for drinks. Good luck to all of us because we all have work the next day, but on Wednesday I am taking a leave as her driver because we are heading for the BEACH! 

Last hurrah for summer!!! This is the trip I was telling you about before...

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hanging Out at Sports Bars

The very first time I got into a "sports bar" was in the United Kingdom. I joined a summer camp sponsored by the Air Force along with two other Filipino girls my age and for our last night we had a "party" and we were allowed to go into the nearby pub. It was fun. The front part of the pub was the adult part of the place where legal age individuals drink--and the back part was like a game room. We were only allowed at the back room and we played all kinds of games, for free. It was really fun!

Anyway, speaking of sports bars, my sisters took me to a sports bar a few weeks ago. Loyal fans of Manchester United, they wanted to watch the game live and I tagged along telling them I was just there for the food and drinks--but I had loads of fun. I don't follow football like they do, but appreciate the sport. You see, were all introduced to football when we were living in London. We were there when the World Cup was in France and we wished for England to win. Oh, I remember watching the games on the telly and doing just as the announcer said: to stretch our hands to the screen and say "Go England, Go!" I fell in love with David Beckham around that time and we followed Manchester United even after he left. Well, I sure am so much less of a fan compared to my sisters who'd even miss out on sleep just to watch the game (on a school/work day) but watching the game with them that night, sure reminded me of how fun football is: the sexy shorts, the big butts, the handsome blokes. Sigh!

Skinny Mike's is a fun place and they serve good food. We had their cheese fries, nachos, spicy chicken wings and we enjoyed them thoroughly. I was a bit disappointed that they didn't have Hoegaarden but they had Stella Artois so that is fine. To get a good seat, we arrived early and secured a booth. The place had television screens scattered all over the place and you could either setup in a booth, get a table or sit in the bar. You come into a place like Skinny Mikes to enjoy the game live on an HD TV screen with beer and grub. You can come as a solo or you can be with a group and whatever game is on, they can play it for you. 

The night we were there Chelsea and Manchester United fans arrived in groups. Some came solo flight and watched the game standing up, a bottle beer on their hand--and there was even a girl who sat by herself on the bar, gazing at the television in front of her. There were all kinds of fans that night... all having a good time.  

Unfortunately, Manchester United did not win the game. They "almost" scored several times, but their luck was down that game and I heard it hasn't gotten better since. Oh well, maybe it was my fault. I remember during the World Cup while Brazil was playing, I decided to come into my sisters' room to watch with them and the moment I got in, things started to go wrong so I had no choice but to leave because they were all shouting at me: "You're bad luck! You're making them lose the game! Get out!" 


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Monday, April 27, 2015


Sari-stores are forbidden in the officers' quarters. In camp we had the concessionaire (row of stores) and commissary (grocery) so there was no need for "sari-sari stores". Once upon a time, the quarters looked identical to each other (white houses with green roofs), so putting up a store would definitely destroy the harmony and esthetic appeal of uniform houses. Unfortunately, the no "sari-sari store" policy meant that people had to travel far to get even just a bottle of Coke--and sure wasn't convenient. What if you needed sugar or tomato sauce for your cooking? The drive would take about 10-15 minutes to and fro--such a hassle. 

Anyway, even though it was forbidden, people had underground stores in some houses. There are no signs. There is often no proper store set-up--just a room installed with shelves, and they become known to all by word-of-mouth. There's probably one store per street, all hidden from the camp commander. (sneaky sneaky)

Now my story is not really about our underground stores at camp... 

photo sourced from here

Since all the stores were illegal, they usually come and go. When a new store opens, we all get excited and we check out the goods. Anyway, I have several stories about stores that I'd like to share with you:
  • My bestfriend and I always buy snacks to eat in the afternoon. We'd walk two streets to the best store used to buy loads of snacks and then we'd offer some to our crush. "Kuya ______, you want chippy?" Sometimes we'd almost give him everything we bought, leaving very few for us, but it's okay because at least we scored points (or so we thought).
  • I also have another girl friend who loves to snack with me. We live beside each other and during the lengthy summer vacations it could get really boring that we'd go up the roof, to get a good view. We'd climb up through the water tank and then because we're some kind of daredevil, we'd dare each other to go down by jumping from the front, where the roof is a bit low. One time we brought mats and we sun-bathed on the roof and napped there. When we woke up, we decided to jump down and for some reason, we did not notice that my mom's car was already parked below (she came home early). We jumped down and she saw us--shock of her life--scolding of a decadde for us. 
  • There was a store in the second street owned by an old lady. We loved lola. We would see her walking home from the grocery and we'd help her wed'd her bags and she'd give us goodies. One time we saw foreign coins at home and we decided they're worth more and that meant more chips so we tried if the old lady would accept it and she did. For the rest of the week, we scored chips that felt "free" because we've been picking loose coins from the house. Almost everyday, we woulld be there, but one day the old lady turned us down and said: "My son said to tell you we would only accept pesos as payment from now on". Ouch!
We had an underground store in our house too. The first time I was very young then and our maid had the brightest idea to build a store without asking my mom and when my mom got home she was in great panic. I, on the otherhand, felt I was in snack heaven. I got home from school and there were chips and candies ready to be had. The second time, my mom allowed a maid to build a store in her room and she sold chips, coke and basic cooking ingredients. It was convenient for us because we just bought stuff and she'd collect the payment from my dad every month. So you can say that we benefited from that store and our yaya always had customers. 

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Let's Play at Ludo

Ludo is a unique kind of restaurant that people frequent to play GAME BOARDS. They've got a massive collection of unique games so you and your friends could explore their library for something interesting. 

I first heard of Ludo when my sister and her friends were supposed to try it, but failed because it was fully-booked. That is the most important thing you have to know about this place: it is quite small, so they can only accommodate a few people. You may get lucky and get a table when you walk in, but it is better if you make reservations because the visitors of Ludo are not there to dine--they're there to play, so the turnover is not as fast as you would hope. As a matter of fact, the guests have the tendency to stay there for hours because the games are long (and most groups play more than one game).

Anyway, my dentist friends and I tried it a few months ago. We've been trying to go since December but they're always fully-booked so we thought we'd never get the chance.

We played two games. 

We initially wanted to try out the game that according to the games master, "will put friendships to a test", but another table got to it before we did. You see, at Ludo, you don't find games like Monopoly, Chess, Snakes and Laddes or Scrabble. They don't store usual games so don't expect any of those to be there. Instead, they have "never-before-heard-of" games that only the games master can explain, so after you pick a game board, someone will come over to explain the game for you. 

The first game we played was a speed category game. There are cards that determine the category (movie titles, boy names, fruits, etc) so the first player draws a card. He then presses the red button on the wheel (picture above) and this will start the timer. 

THE GAME: Let's pretend the category is "GIRL NAMES". After pressing the red button, I can press "C" and say "Crickette", then the next player picks a letter and gives another GIRL NAME. This continues until all the letters have been pressed and all but one player is eliminated. Note that if there are still more than one player all the letters are pressed, the game goes for another round but this time players are required to give TWO answers per letter. 

We enjoyed this game thoroughly. It is a fast game, but after you've done all the interesting categories, you'll be forced to move on--and so we did. 

The second game we played is a STORYTELLING game. It is a bit slow and does not pick up immediately, but it is an interesting game to play. It's a race to the top, which you manage by scoring points according to how well you interpret cards. 

THE GAME: At the start of every round, all players have a set of cards. One player is assigned to lead and he picks a card from his selection and gives out one CLUE (keyword) to best describe the card. Everyone will then pick a card from their own stash to match said "keyword", then the cards are displayed (without revealing the owner of the cards) and everyone guesses which one is the LEADER's card. 

This is a bit confusing but basically, you can pick the best clue for your card so that people can guess, but then since you do not want ALL to guess the main card (because you wont score any points if that happens), you can either make your clues confusing or you can completely mislead them with a keyword that is unrelated to your card, but note that if no one picks your card, you get ZERO points. So basically, you'd want to give clues that people will understand but you don't want everyone to be able to guess it.

The food isn't that spectacular.

Like I said, the people who visit Ludo are not there to DINE, they are there to PLAY, so do not expect a culinary paradise. There are not much to choose from the menu: there's pasta, chicken and gyoza. The pasta is "just okay" and the serving is small so it is not for sharing; but their chicken is crazy good, that we ordered two. I also liked their gyoza because they have unique fillings such as the cheese gyoza and the wasabi gyoza. 

What they have plenty of, are drinks. Their cocktail and shake selections is larger than their food menu, due to the nature of the restaurant. People would rather just drink in between game playing so there's a lot to choose from. 

Anyway, we had a great time at Ludo. The place was a bit young for us, I'd admit, but we're young at heart so we were able to blend in. The place housed college students (well they all looked like college dudes) and they are loud as college students, too, so the place is a bit chaotic with all the laughter, shouting and taunting! A fun kind of chaos, of course!

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