15 Year Old Issa

15 year old Issa never would have thought that one day, 29 year old Issa would be reading her diary to teenagers. 162 teenagers and 5 teachers to be exact.

Although, 15 year old Issa also thought that 29 year old Issa would have kids, a mansion and 3 personal assistants by now so I think we don’t need to be TOO hard on ourselves.

I am writing this today to thank you for keeping all my memories, all my thoughts and all stories. We did good. We actually did good.

Progress

8 years ago, around this time of the year, Alex and I cooked for our respective partners- Yssa & Paolo.

Keiko if you’re reading this, yes, your mom dated a lesbian. lol.

It was baked chicken and we forgot to season it so it was bland and I vowed to never cook again.

Tonight we celebrate this memory and the internet because I cooked garlic herbed chicken and 1. Herbed it, 2. Seasoned it and 3. Perfectly baked it.

That, my friends, is what you call *progress*

Christmas Firsts

After many weeks (and what seems like months), we finally got our first Christmas tree. We don’t like to buy things and tried our very best to look for a second hand tree but weren’t so lucky and ended up with this beaut. It cost a pretty penny too, so this is the only Christmas tree we’re ever going to have, as much as I am concerned.

I had always imagined this day in my head- setting up our first Christmas tree with my husband, drinking hot coco while Christmas songs played in the background but the truth is, the starts of it were pretty… Unmagical.

I realized that I did not know the first thing about setting up OR decorating a tree, that the damn Christmas balls weren’t even strung and that all that glitter fall out was going to haunt me for the next 2 years of my life.

Sometimes the worse part of being an “adult” is realizing that you don’t know the first thing about being an adult.

I realized this while setting up a tree. 😂

But in all that chaos, we played some jazz Christmas music, Paolo made us coffee and it slowly started becoming the Christmas experience I had in my head. Sure it took me 2 hours to string each ball but we finally have a tree and I am actually very happy.

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Oh, and I finally deleted the hscebu website. I don’t know why that made me very sad.

An Appreciation Post

This afternoon as Paolo and I were walking into the condo I said this to Paolo-

You know, I actually did not realize that ever since we started living together, I’ve been really happy to come home. That means a lot to me because I spent so many years never wanting to go home.

I am grateful for this life. Thank you for this feeling, Lord.

Also, please let this hang over go away.

‘Tis the season for Ginebra San Miguel calendar

Come “ber” months, aside from the frenzy that the start of Christmas season brings, the launch of Ginebra San Miguel Calendar Girl has also become a much-anticipated event. 

Ginebra San Miguel calendars have become a staple in neighborhood sari-sari stores, mini groceries, barbershops, and laundry hubs. In recent years, the Ginebra San Miguel calendar has turned into a sought-after Christmas giveaway, appealing mostly to consumers and fans who want to add the special merchandise to their collection of celebrity souvenirs. 

 

 For 2020, Ginebra San Miguel recently introduced lovely Kapuso actress/TV host Sanya Lopez as its newest Calendar Girl during a festive media launch held at the Novotel in Quezon City. The world’s leading gin brand revealed Sanya Lopez as “The Island Girl” with the calendars set amidst some of the country’s most beautiful islands as backdrops. 

“It is an honor and a privilege to be chosen as Ginebra San Miguel’s 2020 Calendar Girl. I feel excited and nervous at the same time. To be part of Ginebra San Miguel’s history, to be entrusted with this role as a brand ambassador and to be the newest addition to the Ginebra San Miguel family is a huge blessing,” says Sanya Lopez. 

Ginebra San Miguel Inc. (GSMI) officials General manager Emmanuel Macalalag, National Sales and Marketing manager Allan Mercado and Marketing manager Ronald Molina formally welcomed Sanya Lopez in a grand ceremonial toast during the launch featuring her own Ginebra San Miguel cocktail called “Sanya’s Island Mix”, a concoction of pineapple, buko juice, and gin. 

“We chose Sanya Lopez as our brand ambassador because she embodies what Ginebra San Miguel represents – courage, passion, optimism, and never-say-die spirit. Sanya is truly ‘ganado sa buhay’ as she worked her way up to become one of the most recognizable faces in the entertainment industry today,” says Molina. 

All of the six calendar layouts will be made available soon. 

RISING STAR 

Since being discovered in 2012 by the late German “Kuya Germs” Moreno, GMA star builder, Sanya Lopez has treaded the path to being a serious actress taking on roles that showed off her acting prowess including her portrayal of Hara Danaya in the TV remake of “Encantadia” and in her recently-concluded series “Dahil sa Pag-ibig”. She will soon be seen opposite Superstar Nora Aunor in the film “Isa Pang Bahaghari” directed by Joel Lamangan. 

 “I consider the challenges and struggles that I went through in life as motivation to never give up in pursuing my dreams. It is my family that inspires me to be ‘ganado sa buhay’,” relates Sanya Lopez. “For me, when you say ‘Island Girl’, you see a woman who is strong and independent,” she adds. 

As Ginebra San Miguel’s “Island Girl”, Sanya Lopez will be joining the “Ginuman Fest” tour, the gin brand’s annual series of music festivals that brings together gin lovers around the country as One Ginebra Nation. 

 To prepare for her Ginebra San Miguel calendar girl shoot, Sanya Lopez went on a no-carbs diet. “I only ate fish and chicken. I also did a lot of cardio workouts, mostly running, muay Thai and boxing,” she shares. 

 She was, likewise, thrilled to be photographed by one of the country’s most talented young photographers BJ Pascual. 

 

A LONG-STANDING TRADITION

Inspired by the hit US TV series Charlie’s Angels, the Ginebra San Miguel Super Angels, which eventually evolved into Ginebra San Miguel Calendar Girl had popular beauty queens, models and actresses grace its calendars since it was started in 1988. 

Ginebra San Miguel’s first calendar girl was model/TV host and now fashion designer Monina Tan, who posed in the calendar ala Marilyn Monroe. 

After their respective reigns, beauty queens who posed for the calendar were Binibining Pilipinas-Universe Anjanette Abayari (1994), Binibining Pilipinas-International Alma Concepcion (1995), Miss Asia Pacific International Michelle Aldana (1998) and most recently, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach (2019) with the theme aptly called “Center of the Universe”. 

Sexy stars Janna Victoria (1999), Patricia Javier (2000), and Aubrey Miles (2003), were a hit in their sizzling calendars while singer Geneva Cruz (2001), ex-teen stars Rica Peralejo (2002) and Angelica Panganiban (2007) surprised the public by shedding their sweet images in the calendars. 

 Actresses Belinda Bright and Maricar de Mesa (2004) were the first calendar girls to appear together, while Marian Rivera owns the distinction as the only actress to become a Ginebra San Miguel calendar girl twice, in 2009 and 2014. Long-time best friends Anne Curtis (2011) and Georgina Wilson (2013) have also been calendar girls, along with Ellen Adarna (2015), Arci Munoz (2016), and Myrtle Sarrosa (2018). 

 Like Sanya Lopez, other Kapuso stars who joined the ranks of these popular celebrities were Maureen Larrazabal (2005), Iwa Moto (2008), Krista Ranillo (2010), Solenn Heussaff (2012), and Kim Domingo (2017). 

 GSMI is the producer of heritage brand Ginebra San Miguel, which is celebrating its 185th anniversary this year. Ginebra San Miguel is a 14-time Gold Quality Label awardee of the Monde Selection International Quality Institute, the world’s most prestigious body that recognizes the highest standards of taste and quality in the food and beverage industry. 

Other GSMI products include GSM Blue, GSM Blue Mojito, GSM Blue Pomelo, GSM Blue Margarita, GSM Premium Gin, Don Enrique Mixkila, Antonov Vodka, Anejo Gold Rum, Vino Kulafu, and Primera Light Brandy. For more details, like the Ginebra San Miguel official Facebook page www.facebook.com/BarangayGinebra or log on to www.ginebra.com.ph.

Monsters The Musical- A Review

(Photos taken from Monsters The Musical IG page. Screen capped cuz I’m a G.)

What can I say about Monsters The Musical? Well, since I’m at a complete loss for words, allow me to borrow my friend, Alem Garcia’s words- “the show in one word was FLAWLESS.”

As we all know, Monsters The Musical is a musical play about being brave. With hints of it having an #LGBTQIA centered synopsis where of course, #LoveWins, my ignorant self thought that it would simply just be about that and nothing more but believe me, it was more than “just that”. And then some.

This modern love story which was beautifully written and directed by THE Sir Jude Gitamondoc cleverly uses our ever loved and cherished Cebuano talent, Cattski‘s, music to add an unexpected twist and new light to her songs that we 90’s kids grew up with.

If you need a refresher to her music- catch it here. If you haven’t heard her music yet, you can thank me later.

With an amazing cast that added so much life and character to the story and songs, Monsters The Musical was familiar; it was our kind of funny; it was heart warming and more importantly, it felt like home.

But I would have to say the star of the night was definitely Jacky Chang. As a seasoned singer, I always knew she could sing but it was her acting skills that blew me away. Her portrayal of Bea, a strong willed yet troubled woman, is what truly captivated the crowd together with her magnetic chemistry with co-star, Trixie Alturas, whose acting also really captured our hearts. Trixie’s powerful vocals and amazing stage presence has me eager to see more of her in the upcoming months and years to come.

Of course, Marlon Tansengco and Von Saw‘s performances did not go unnoticed. They were all very, very good actors and I truly wish I could go into detail about their characters and why I love them so much without going too much into too much detail and robbing you of the experience of learning the story so I will just have to leave it at that. for now?

Overall, Monsters The Musical is a beautiful production with so many components that made it great. The acoustics were top notch, lights & technicals world class (hi Justin! I’m a fan!), the set design was straight to the point & no frills and while there were a couple mic issues, they were surprisingly resolved quite smoothly.

Monsters The Musical may be positioned, somewhat, as a modern love story but I still feel like it is a very classic love story (in it’s own ways). It talks about love between friends, family, one’s self, facing our most inner demons, being brave and honestly, I can’t imagine anyone who couldn’t relate to it.

I had an amazing time watching Monsters The Musical, I laughed; I cried; I pondered on my life and how precious yet fleeting every moment is and I feel like I came out of it a better person and for this experience, I am truly grateful.

As I end this review, I would like to commend the Cebuano theater community and supporters for our unwavering support for the arts. The Center Stage of SM Seaside was packed and every one in the audience was so amazing & behaved- not that I am surprised but I would still really like to congratulate us, as well. Cebu is ready for more productions like this and I am looking forward to us taking on bigger projects and taking our talents to a wider audience.

Congratulations to MDF Productions for a more than successful first production, Sir Jude Gitamondoc, Cattski, all the cast and crew.

I am looking for more runs! I also think that Jake’s character could get his own spin off. hahaha.

xx,
Issa G.

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