a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Mt. Pulag's Akiki-Ambangeg Trai

A day hike to Luzon island's highest peak

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Belly Dancing Experience

Surpirse, surprise! I finally took belly dancing at the gym. Me - who has two left feet, had tantrums during cotillion practice, never-ever joined any other dance class, have muscles in all the wrong places, zero-interest in anything that requires poise and grace and who thinks dancing is boring!

I don't really know what made me join, I had way too much apprehensions such as:
a. What if the girls were all snooty?
b. I don't have kikay dancing clothes, just soccer jerseys and shorts..what to wear???!
c. What if the instructor was some skinny freak who lacks patience in teaching dance dummies like me?
d. What if the girls are already so damn good at it, I'd look stupid and be laughed at?

I guess, deep inside, there's a trapped inner hot chick in me (hehehe!), begging to be unleashed, so I took the plunge. To my surprise, it was one of the best times I've ever had in my entire life. This dance is so sexy! I never thought I'd get into it. I used to think belly dancing was only for those giggly, flirty, kikay type of girls - those who cannot go out without make-up or whatever stuff on their face...Man, am I eating my words now. I absolutely looooved it! I get to shake my booty and boobs all over. Football makes me sweat more but  belly dancing provided a great alternative to working out.

I went with my friend from work and wore normal gym clothes. The veterans, mostly women in their 40's wore those "coin belts" that jiggle at the slightest movement and black capris. I'm thinking of buying those too. We took the class for beginners so the steps were "easy" as the instructor always says but I had difficulty in some of the moves like jiggling the pelvic bones (what the heck?!) . Sometimes I'd pause because I couldn't figure out how to shake my booty but then I realized that dancing is all about letting lose so instead of being eternally mindful of my actions, I let  loose. I guess that's what made it really fun, plus all my apprehensions were nothing but that. None of the girls acted snooty, the instructor was super nice and she has a normal body. None of them gave "stares" when we walked in without the coin belts. (I wore an old shirt, my shirts, and futsal shoes). Best thing of all, I didn't feel conscious at being a beginner at this craft. Everyone was just having fun. I would love to do this again! :)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Third Wheeling in Baguio

About two months ago, on a last minute decision, I decided to go with my officemate and her boyfriend to Baguio. (Talk about third wheel!) We went there Friday afternoon after work. Her boyfriend doesn't like long driving so we took the 5PM bus trip from Victory Liner, Cubao. The ticket costs 380 pesos - one way. Baguio's one of my favorite destinations, because of it's cool, calming weather. I swear, I'm meant to live like a Polar bear. Cold weather makes me happy even if I don't have anyone to cuddle with. I haven't been there in four years and I terribly missed the place, the strawberries, cheap food, cheap pasalubong, cheap veggies and most of all - cheap silver.

We stayed in Ruth's boyfriend's parents' place so we also got free food which made our weekend more amazing because we can spend more on shopping goodies. I got home armed with silver earrings for some of my officemates, peanut butter for my family and some other food, strawberry wine - really cheap - costs less than a hundred and the tastes like juice. We weren't able to do some sightseeing though. Ruth's boyfriend is from Baguio and is pretty much used to everything in it so me and Ruth just went off by ourselves.

Saturday -  we just went to SM Baguio, had pedicure at Going Straight and went around the market to check out the goodies - mostly silver, clothes, strawberries and lettuce. We saw this shop along Session road which sells brand new, trendy chic clothes. A pair of pants costs about 200-500 pesos depending on the style. Belts are at hundred pesos each. Shirts and blouses - super cheap, ranging from 100-400 pesos. In the market, silver earrings range from 50-100 pesos (50 or cheaper for studs and 100 pesos for dangling earrings).

On Sunday, we went to the Grotto (Mother Mary's shrine) and I climbed like a hundred steps. I was breathless and sweathy when we finally got to the top. It was very serene there, plus, halfway to the Grotto, there were lots of stalls which sells silvers, sweaters, rosaries. Silver jewelry here is more expensive than the ones we found in the market (same design). Right before the Grotto, you will be welcomed by vendors selling roses and candles so you really don't need to bring anything when you go there. The roses are about 10-20 pesos per piece, very affordable. Candles, I think it was about 10 pesos or so. What can I say, it's so easy to love Baguio if you are after affordable R&R.







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