Sunday, April 26, 2009

A very successful run for charity

What a great way to start a weekend! Our Corporate Social Responsibility team at work and yesterday just held the "Run Forest Run, Kythe 3k lang" run-for-charity event in McKinley Hill. It was the first time we held this kind of run-for-charity event on the site-wide level (there have been two previous runs for charity but these were done on the department and sub-department level) and I'm very pleased to say that it was a brilliant success!

The organizers got there pretty early. I arrived at the site at 430am and the other organizers Wen, Zaza, Tiano, and Alvin were all there and had already helped in pitching 6 of the 7 tents. The other organizers Elaine and Carmela, as well as the rest of the volunteers (marshals, water station personnel, finish line checkers, etc) started coming in after, and by 6:30am practically all 91 runners were there, getting ready to run either 3, 5, or 10 kilometers. Since I was one of the organizers (and was also hosting the activity), I had to "organize" and as such, couldn't join the race.

We had two beneficiaries for this run-for-charity: Haribon and Kythe. Haribon is an environmental organization dedicated to the conservation of Philippine biodiversity. They are currently working on the Road to 2020, which aims to restore one million hectares of rainforest using native tree species by the year 2020. Kythe is an organization that aims to provide quality of life for pediatric patients by uplifting their spirits and strengthening hope in these patients and their families.

The funds for these two beneficiaries were raised through pledges that the volunteer runners would get from their friends and family for their run (exactly the same as how I do my annual marathon for a cause). With 91 runners, I'm crossing my fingers that we raised more than P150,000 for these two beneficiaries. We will only find out this coming week how much money was raised, so hopefully we meet our targets.

In any case, it was a great team effort. And with all the experience and information we gained through this exercise, I'm pretty sure our next run-for-charity will be an even bigger success. I can't wait! :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

An amazing week in Singapore

I just got back from Singapore for a few days of rest and relaxation with my many friends there.

Actually, there really wasn't a lot of rest and relaxation, but there certainly was a boatload of fun! From the few nights of bar hopping and solid drinking (such an expensive hobby in SG!!) to my return to The Mind Cafe to the movie-watching (I managed to see "Shinjuku Incident" and "Gran Torino" while I was there) to meeting up with my friends there (and meeting a few new ones while I was at it), my days in Singapore were pretty jam-packed as they always are.

I actually got to perform an impromptu, stripped performance of The Killers' "Mr. Brightside" in Timbre as well. The artist performing there, Michaela Therese, was a friend of my buddy Tim and he requested that I sing it while Michaela backed me up on keyboards. It turned pretty well.

The highlight of my trip though were the concerts that I saw while I was there. I got to watch Oasis on Sunday night in the Indoor Stadium and The Kaiser Chiefs in Fort Canning Park on Tuesday. I knew a few Oasis songs but I knew only one Kaiser Chiefs song so I was worried I wouldn't enjoy it. But strangely enough, as great as the Oasis gig was, I enjoyed the Kaiser Chiefs concert a whole lot more.

The Kaiser Chiefs' songs are so catchy that you can enjoy them even if you are hearing them for the first time. It certainly happened to me. And a lot of their songs have very easy-to-pick-up choruses with repeating lines that I actually managed to sing along with them, especially in "Na Na Na Na Naa" and "Oh My God" (Oh my God I can't believe it, I've never been this far away from home). And the lead vocalist Ricky Wilson just had such an incredible presence on stage and an infectious energy that he had the entire crowd rocking out with him from the beginning. I was so into the concert that I have become an instant fan, and I'm now planning to get all their three albums.

So anyways, here's probably my current favorite song of theirs, Na Na Na Na Naa from the album Employment.

video uploaded in youtube by user sarcasmmister

I couldn't really find a better video of them performing this song (everything else I could find was taken from a shaky hand LOL) but you really do need to see them live to realize just how good they are. In fact, if they somehow end up anywhere near flying distance, I would be very willing to head over to see them perform again. I guess they didn't win a 2006 Brit Award for Best Live Act for nothing.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Definitely not the result I was after

This is so not good. Liverpool just lost to Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal. What's worse, they lost in Anfield. And as if that wasn't bad enough, they just had to lose with a scoreline of 3-1. Sh*t.

The only way they can get through to the semis now is to beat Chelsea away and by a better score than 3-1. It's a two-goal difference but if Liverpool win 2-0, they tie on aggregate but Chelsea move through due to the away goals rule.

It doesn't help that the English Premiership season is at its tail-end now and Liverpool are still barely behind Man Utd coz Liverpool can't really afford to have their attention divided at this point.

If I had a say in the matter, I would honestly let go of the Champions League. After all, if they manage to come from behind to beat Chelsea, they will most likely run up against Barcelona who just thumped Bayern Munich 4-0. Note that Bayern are a team that won their previous round with an aggregate score of 12-1 so this loss indicates just how good Barca are playing at the moment.

Strangely enough, I am now hoping that Man Utd can beat Villareal, get through to the semis., and have a rough time the rest of the way. The longer they remain in the Champions League, the better the chances that they drop points in the premiership and allow Liverpool to overtake them.

Oh well, just a couple of months before the season ends. I just really hope that Liverpool can somehow take the English Premiership...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Sound of Music in the Antwerp Central Station

Check this video out (thanks for the link, Mark! :)). It is so cheesy and so cool at the same time LOL.

Video uploaded in youtube by user

Apparently, there is this reality TV show in Belgium about musicals, and they did this performance in the Antwerp Central Station to promote it.

It must've been really interesting for the people who were there at the time. Heck, if I was there, I would probably have missed my train on purpose to watch the whole show LOL.