Wednesday, November 19, 2014

When grief hits...

It just hurts so freaking much.

There are those random moments I could imagine him trotting into the room like a puppy and giving his "I am the cutest dog" smile. Or see her stretching to greet me with heavy breathing when I get home.

Is this really how it is?

It's kinda amusing how the neighbors who buy from the store, the sorbetero and other people who pass by seem to really miss them too. It means we're not the only ones affected by their passing.  And the sorbetero even mentioned that one of our dogs barked at him one time. It's been months since she passed on. I feel like I am just imagining them every time. Maybe it's not just me.

The Christmas tree now has plushies of dogs, piyo-piyo and a taiko (based from a game). We're doing a plushie themed tree because we can't seem to disassociate their fluffiness from the holidays. A friend said maybe we should adopt a new pet, but I don't think that I am ready yet. I did mention to JM and Dang something about it though, certain considerations for pets.  Maybe we shall find out some time next year. It's just that for all the things going around me, the feeling of missing them is hitting me hard right now.

A friend said she took quite a while to get over the sorrow.  Another friend said that a new dog will help me get over my grief quicker.  But I don't know if I want to rush the process. I feel like I have to completely and naturally have the sense to move on before we get a new pet for our home.


I sometimes feel that I am already ok and I could manage.  But this week is just one of those terrible moments that I get home and grief strikes me. I sometimes couldn't sleep so I really hoop it out. Or write. Or do anything that would distract me from these feelings.

These feelings would run their course and I would find a way to adapt. Somehow.  I just don't want to rush it and feel like I am throwing out memories of those beloved pets.  One day at a time. One day.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Want a hoop dance class in Manila?

Hey everyone! It's been a while since I wrote anything. Interesting times going on so there's a lot of thinking and working behind the scenes.

Anyhow, as you all know I've been hooping since 2012 and totally into it as a form of exercise, as well as a way of relaxing. :) I've been teaching on and off in Ayala Triangle but it's been raining a lot so classes have been infrequent.

Why hoop?

People do yoga, jog or take dance classes. I like hooping. The case I make for hooping is this: it's fun! And it teaches you new things about yourself. That you could actually dance. That you could go beyond your idea of your physical limits. And that you can do this and still enjoy all those other activities and maybe even merge them.

Hooping is cardio for me. I end up moving a lot and I don't notice the time. Hooping and changes in my lifestyle has helped me lose weight.  In the process I realized that I can make new friends (hello, happy hoopers!) and that I like performing.

What does it take to hoop?

  • A person with an open heart and mind
  • A hoop
  • Lots of water! (because I swear, you could sweat a lot when you hoop for quite a while)

Hoop classes in Manila, Philippines? Sign me up!

You could catch me on Tuesday nights in Ayala Triangle (630-8pm). But I think there's going to be other schedules soon.  I will keep you updated.

If your free time is different from my class schedule, feel free to send me an email (click this link to see what my email address is).  Or just comment here and send me your details. I am pretty sure we could work out something.

Let's unleash the hooper in you. ;)

Hoops are not just toys. They are, but they could be more. It's all up to you. If you've seen hoopdancers on YouTube, Facebook, or anywhere, and you think you would like to do that too, let's work on that goal together. I was inspired when I watched a group of hoopers in 2012 and I was surprised that I could learn it. And have fun. And be one happy hooper. :)  I am grateful for the hoop because it seems to spread the joy around when I pass it on to others and maybe I could pass it on to you as well. I am hoop geek and a happy one. I could talk all hoop numbers and hoop techniques one moment and shift to the changes in my life that hooping has brought about.

The process is really different for everyone else. It's really amazing to see the lovely paths that every hooper takes. Hopefully, having classes with me would help you on this journey. Hope to see you soon!

PS: If you're on Facebook, I update my page with performances and some hooping inspirations I see online. Check it out. :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Come and watch Flow Art Show this August 30, 2014 in Makati City!

My friends and I are holding a show on August 30, 2014 7PM at The Bulb Studios (Makati City). We'd be showcasing our skills with various props as well as our thoughts and feelings through the various performances that night.  We hope you could come and join us.  See what's in the world we're seeing and maybe the magic of flow arts will captivate you as well.  

The artists who would be performing are:
  • Mic Callo 
    • Mic is a performer who is adept at using various props like poi, hoops, contact staff, and even aerial hoop. She is also a teacher of flow arts like poi and hoops. One of the things I love about her performances is how she incorporates her love of dance while spinning.
  • Clair Ching
    • That's me! I am a hooper who started out by finding a way to get regular exercise.  I really like the technical aspects of hooping but lately I've been learning how to dance because of it. ;)
  • Thea Gloria
    • Thea is a pretty amazing young woman! She's so full of energy when she spins poi and dances with her hoop. You have to see her perform and be drawn to her vibrant style.
  • Oli Khosiking
    • I love watching Oli spin and I think you would too. He's got pretty poi skills and my heart stops whenever he does his tosses and catches them precisely. And I love his song choices so I can't wait for the day of the performance.
  • Alvin Lopez
    • Alvin is a master of isolation hoops. I first saw him in flow arts fest with various props doing contact juggling, hoops and a couple more. In the last 2 years, he's been getting much better with his technique as well as footwork.
  • Ehrlich Ocampo
    • He is also known as FireChill.  He's really versatile in terms of his dancing skills. When he mixes his dance techniques with his poi and levitation stick moves, he's someone to really enthrall the crowd. Must be some kind of magic? Yes!
  • Star Ore
    • Love the way Star hoops! His performances always have a story and it shows in the way he prepares his props, costume, makeup and hoop moves.  You will definitely see how much he loves his art and you can't help but do so too.
  • Hanz Pastor
    • When I first met Hanz in a spin jam, he was mostly drumming.  These days, he sometimes performs with his S-staff while the drum group he belongs to would continue playing the music.  He explores his chosen prop with a passion you can't help but see.
  • Paulino Servado III
    • You must have seen Paulino in various events as part of the Planet Zips group.  He's got so many years of experience as a performer and up to now I get mesmerized when I watch him spin.  There's just something about the way he gives life to the poi.

So please come and watch us! :)  We want to give you guys a glimpse of our lives as flow artists who can't help but spin (and anti-spin!) everything. ;)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dream it. Work it.

Sometimes it's easy to lose sight of the things we want. Sometimes it's because we don't work on it.

In Tagalog, we say something like:
Libre ang mangarap.

(Dreaming is free.)

That's true. You could just dream all day. All night. No one is stopping you after all.  It's just that dreams do have a price if you want to achieve them.  Honestly, the price is something that would push you out of your comfort zone.  And if you're not willing to pay the price, how can you achieve that dream?

Many times that I've been pushed out of my comfort zone, I cower and freeze. It's debilitating and it's draining.  Despite the many fears, I am slowly inching out of the comfort zone (I believe) but if I want results, I have to change my mind and throw my fears away.  Well, or find ways to handle them.

Growing up with too many issues, I have gotten too weary to face too many things head on.  But lately, I just know I have to do it again but I need to temper myself so as to not get burned out.  It won't be easy but who ever said it was?  And if I stopped now, I won't just be affecting my own dreams but even the ones I've shared with others and that's something I can't stand.

So it's time to work it. The price has to be paid. And I need to remember that every day. I can't just be too hard on myself either because I might get burned out.  But I know I shouldn't stand still. I know I am not alone so it will be fine.  I have some trusted people with me on this journey and if we trust each other enough to work together, things will be fine in the end.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hoop Love Coach Scholarship May 2014

It's almost two years since I started hooping. I wanted to lose weight for practical and medical reasons. I also knew I had to create new habits that would help me achieve that.  I started walking more during my morning and evening commute. I also added some exercise routines into my daily activities.  One of the things I did was poi but I wanted to do something else as well. Thankfully, I got very inspired by some hoopers during SpinD, a flow arts gathering I attended in early 2012. Actually, I am still amazed that I'm still hooping considering that I couldn't even get the hoop to rotate more than once or twice around my waist when I started.

But frustrations when I began showed me that part of the journey is overcoming those frustrations.  It might not be easy to deal with those things but time and again, I'm reminded that my hoop journey is not to be compared with anyone else.  My struggles and successes are different from yours and we could learn from each other.

What is hoop love and why I want to share it:

Hoop love for me is about two major things:
1. The hoop practice itself 
2. The development of one's self during the time that you are practicing

The hoop practice is something very personal and whether you do it for fitness or for meditation, you do it on a regular basis. Whatever kind of space you have and whatever kind of hoops you have, you could practice. It's not how fast you learn a technique nor how beautifully you could execute it the moment you learn it.  It is about the time and discipline you give your practice.  Throughout the time that you practice, you could be by yourself or with other people. Each kind of setting could give you new things to learn about your interaction with your hoop, with yourself and with other people.

I have found myself and my friends developing hoop skills and also our personalities throughout this time.  I noticed that the more we spend time practicing and developing our hoop skills, the more we realize that there are things in our lives like overthinking or lack of self-confidence that we end up dealing with.  The hoop may not be the only tool for us to learn how to face these issues but inside the hoop we could find release and even healing.  I would really like to think that even for some of the most technically oriented people (like me), I could share something to the world, as we are a diverse set of people with varied learning styles. I do believe that hoopdance is one of the best examples for me in terms of learning how to express myself and that even the most clumsy and awkward people like me can embrace that and let it flow.

Vision as a hoop love coach

Hooping is always surprising me with new things I learn about object manipulation, as well as my own skills and how I dance. In some ways, hooping is giving me some kind of confidence and this is one of the things I wish to impart to others as well: who they are today could be much better tomorrow as they find their joy in the hoop. It's probably not as obvious because I really focus on a lot of technical details such as breaking down moves and teaching it in that manner.  There are also spiritual things that I learn from the hoop -- spiritual in the sense that it has something to do with a person's sense of being. I do want to share it as well and I'll find my voice not just in writing but when I interact with people face to face.

I do want to get myself trained so I could become a more effective guide to other people on their hoop journey. I do think that everyone can learn how to hoop and let go and let it flow. And it takes a balance of technical skills as well as a whole lot love and encouragement to others.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Jamming, spinning together and playing capoeira

It might seem weird for me to write something about flow arts and capoeira in one post but I've done that before anyway so nothing new. Maybe now my focus is the interaction between people.

In capoeira, we have a thing called the roda or the wheel. It's basically everyone gathered in a circle. At the center of which are the players of the game. I've always been nervous when it's time to gather for the roda. I've been behind many lessons in class so it was hard for me to feel confident about playing. Everyone is soooo good and I actually still feel bad that I seem to be behind.

And then there's jamming while playing with your favorite props. In the usual spin jams I've been too, people would play with their props of choice at the same time. Sometimes we follow our own feelings and find individual flow. Sometimes there's a collective vibe and just feel the flow as a group. My unforgettable experience at Brasilipinas was with Ehrlich and Athena while we were in the middle of a circle of people. I don't know what really made it different but I just know that there was a collective and infectious energy that night and though I wasn't able to do a lot of fancy tricks it was one of the best moments I had while hooping.

After that I just know that we shared the same space and the same mood. This made me think that I really like playing or spinning with other people too. And it's like capoeira. You share the same space and the same music. You might move differently from each other but you both have to interact with each other's movements and mood. 

Lately I've been getting more comfortable with my capoeira friends even outside our training setting. I guess it makes it easier for me to trust them when we play together. That they will respond to my movements without being show offs or even when they do, they will also guide me and give me that opportunity to learn. Some people just have that effect? But eventually I guess I'll find it easier over time :).  For some reason I actually find myself wanting to play more capoeira and I don't know if it's me starting to find some kind of flow as I keep on trying and just not stopping despite a lot of moments where I'm almost hit because I was approaching a kick instead of escaping it. 

It's really a matter of time for me to get used to this kind of interaction. But I suppose that me wanting to learn would eventually triumph over the fear of getting hit or hitting someone whether with my limbs or a prop. And I guess it's time to just have more fun.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Reflections and affirmations

There are times when you watch a movie and you hear those lines that are just so trite or so cliche. But really it sometimes makes perfect sense.

Last weekend, one of my friends and I had a talk and she just told me to never give up because she is sure that things will come around. It's one of those things that I know deep in my heart but at the same time it's getting hard to believe each day. There are times when I even want to give up doing the #100hapydays project because I sometimes lose sight of what makes me happy. But the harder it is to feel instantly happy, the more I need to reflect on my life and remember that it's not all bad and that I still have enough strength to move and do good things in life - not just for myself but other people too.

It's hard to get up when there's just too many things weighing you down. You fight the urge to shout at the world. You keep some things inside and it's not nice. But more often than not I'm reminded that I'm not the only one fighting battles left and right. Other people do too. Some can talk about those battles more freely. And I could only do so in such a vague manner because there are things that I would still prefer to keep to myself and just share with few trusted people.

Too many things to deal with. 

And I can't run away from them. And I shouldn't add to them. And I must realign myself to my personal values and not lose sight of them while I look for the solutions. 

I've been collecting images from Facebook that give me the timely reminders. Some of them might sound like the advice that you are always given and it might be really like that. But I do need these reminders and affirmations now more than ever. The battle is in the mind and busy-ness will just be some kind of escape, not the answer.

The body will just get tired after all that busy-ness. But the mind won't stop hammering you with all the thoughts and worries you might have. So instead of filling your head with all that negativity you need to fill it with positivity and some affirmations that would heal. It won't be quick but it will be part of the process. And hopefully you won't ever give up and instead find it easier to breathe and just deal.

At the moment these are what I have to remind me to keep moving.