As I have earlier recounted, this preoccupation to which I am in now, as a blogger came to me not by design, as it never was actually planned. Many years ago, my daughter Alee whose real name is Ma. Winnalee, made out a Facebook account for me but I never used it. Alee was so excited about Facebook that even our housemaids before, became Facebook accountees, courtesy of Alee.
I told myself then that I cannot be a serious Facebook advocate as it would surely consume much of my working time. But early this year, when the Legit Status Hiphop Dance Team to where my THREE (3) daughters became competing members, the Legit Status parents organized a group among themselves, myself included, to take care principally of raising funds to safely bring the over 40-male/female team to the competition venue in San Diego, California. And Facebook was made as the principal medium of communication. When I churned out lengthy messages in my Facebook timeline reporting on the day-to-day developments about the 2015 World Hiphop International Contest (“WHHI”), I was advised and counseled thereafter by my sister-in-law, Amy Young, that as an unwritten rule in Facebook, only ONE-LINERS/pithy sentences is DE RIGEUR. If not for my UP Law classmate’s (i.e. Jose Camano) further prodding I would have not plunged into this BLOG writing venture. Thank you Padi Joe!
Yesterday, my FB friend and former love-interest of my brother-in-law, Boyet Evangelista, Peachy Ablan sent me a message coaxing me to write a BLOG entitled: “MY WIFE, DANG”. I told her that that would be one of the MAIN EVENTS of this BLOG SITE, and for this time, my BLOG SITE visitors have to be content with the curtain-raisers.
And here’s my BLOG about Alee…
Alee was born on November 6, 1998. It was my son Anthony, whom we endearingly call as Ton, who has been wheedling his mother, for him (i.e. Ton) to have a baby brother (to be his playmate, according to Ton), and when Alee came into this world, Ton, still a toddler at 10, confronted his Mom, Dang, at her hospital room at St. Luke’s as he (i.e. Ton) with a funereal look in his face sardonically said to his Mom: “Sabi mo lalaki, yon pala babae na naman.” [English translation: “You told me that the baby will be a boy, and yet, the baby is a girl again.”] My wife Dang was only able to manage a smile for this taunting remark from our 10 year old; then, a teeny-weeny Ton. A day thereafter however, Ton came back to Dang and said: “Mama, okey na rin pala, kahit na babae, maganda naman pala nakita ko kanina sa nursery!” [English translation: “Mama, it’s okey, though the baby is a GIRL, she is however pretty, I learned about her as I took a peek at the nursery room.]
Alee seemed to be practically destined for the arts particularly music and dance. Well, when she was about FIVE (5) years old, she was so hot and was an avid fan of the WESTLIFE singing group and the group’s song “MY LOVE” was her favorite. At age SIX (6) during a Christmas party in one of our family gatherings, she swayed her two (2) other female cousins: Gabby and Wendell, to perform an impromptu group dance number as she counseled her cousins: “SUNDAN NYO LANG ANG STEPS AT MOVES KO!” [English translation: “Just follow my steps and dance moves.”]
And, in another Christmas outing in Baguio, the Philippines’ summer capital, when she was about SIX (6) years old, she did an impromptu pole dance number, using a vertical pole to the delight and guffaws of her maternal grandpa, Tony Evangelista. And when she was in Grade 2 at the Holy Spirit High School, she courageously participated in a solo singing contest at the school.
As early as her 3rd year in this world, Alee was enrolled by Dang at the Halili-Cruz School of Ballet (“HCSB”) and in her first international competition in Singapore in July 2006, Alee won her FIRST Gold Medal in a solo ballet performance. But the more fruitful harvest of medals in a ballet competition where Alee received numerous awards was at the 2009 Bangkok International Ballet Dance Contest where she won SIX (6) Gold Medals. I remember too during Alee’s first trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, California in 2007; Alee skipped all meals during their almost 12 hour stay not taking any bite of food. Alee insisted to just ride and ride and ride, creating much anxiety upon her paternal aunt, Tita Bebot Llorca-Esconde and her Ate Shayna. They were compelled to stay at Disney till its lights went out.
Alee was really a passionate ballet dancer as even after arriving home at midnight, following those grueling hours of rehearsals at the HCSB grounds, she would still play the CD which contains the accompanying music for her dance number, in our home’s living room, move some of the furniture to make room for her turns, spins and pirouettes. And she would do a couple of dance rehearsals still in the middle of the night.
Now, Alee has turned her love for dance unto the hiphop genre.
Perhaps, because it is the IN thing among the teens. And perhaps too, because some of the teens of today who are among Alee’s more amiable friends would tease and taunt her with the thought that ballet is for JOLOGS only. JOLOGS is a fad term coined by the youth in our country, the Philippines, that connotes “UNCOOL or NOT HIP”.
Today, Alee who is now in Grade 12, is the Team Captain of the Sayawatha Dance Team which is the official hiphop dance team of the Miriam High School, one of the more reputable all-girls secondary school in Metro-Manila. Alee actually skippered her Sayawatha Team into winning the Championship title in the DANCE WORLDS Competition in Disneyworld, Orlando, Florida in April of this year under the tutelage of their hardworking and most creative coach, Randell San Gregorio.
In the first week of August 2015, Alee together with her elder sisters, Shayna and Cheska, saw action again in the international hiphop stage in the Megacrew Division at the 2015 World Hiphop International Contest in San Diego, California as members of the Legit Status Hiphop Dance Team. The Legit Status Dance Team ranked 5th among 53 nations which competed. Last year even, Alee was invited as GUEST dancer of the ALLIANCE Dance Team which competed in the Varsity Division at the 2014 WHHI held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The team reached the semifinals only as the team may have been unable to gel and bond together as some of the original members of the dance team failed to procure the US visa, and stand-ins got recruited at the last minute including Alee.
I was actually fearful that the daily grind of rehearsals would take a toll upon Alee’s academics. More than that, Alee registered almost a week’s absence when she, with her sisters in the Legit Status team, competed in the US in August 2015 when the school year in the Philippines has just begun. But me and my wife Dang, got surprised when Alee joyfully announced a couple of weeks ago that she even landed among her school’s SECOND HONOR STUDENTS. I would guess that Alee’s rigid routine to study on those break-intervals during rehearsals as well as her habit of studying even in the wee hours of the morning, after just a couple of hours sleep (as her almost daily dance rehearsals would at times end at 12 midnight) helped her tremendously so.
Two (2) weeks ago, as some kind of a school project, Alee asked me to check what she did as a summarization of the customary perception shared by her amiable friends about her persona, psyche and character, and here is Alee’s summarization about what her schoolmates think of her:
“Alee is a goal driven girl and she would not let anything or anyone stop her from attaining and capturing her dreams. She is a passionate dancer and has shown versatility by jumping out from ballet and now crumping, sashaying and dancing through hiphop music. Indeed, there is a lot more to dancing than what most people think. Dance fosters discipline, creativity, common sense, patience, hard work and love. I believe that dancing has transformed Alee into the successful person that she is. Without doubt, Alee has proven herself to be an exquisite dancer with a great technique and soul.
“Alee is also a responsible and respected team captain. Everyone in Sayawatha loves her! Most importantly, Alee is an amazing friend! You can always count on her to make you smile and make you feel important! I am amazed how she still has to the time to study while juggling her terpsichorean duties. Indeed, Alee has taught me to draw strength from the competing teams during those dance contests and to fight for others who have gone tired, a fight not just for myself but for our Sayawatha Team. I will forever be thankful to God for allowing me to spend FOUR (4) wonderful years of my life with Alee Young!
“In terms of hardships and difficulties that usually come along the way, Alee always remains optimistic despite all the negativity and challenges that may confront her. Alee always makes sure that the people around her are doing well in school and with their respective lives. It has always been Alee’s habit to help those who may feel lost in regard to a certain topic or those who may feel alienated and alone. Truly, when anyone would first meet Alee, anyone will surely feel an instant familiarity as though you have known each other for a long time before. Indeed, one would never feel awkward around her. Alee is the type of person one could always turn to when you need to vent out because you know that she will be there to help you get through one’s tough and hard times.”
Tomorrow, October 31, 2015 Alee’s hiphop dance team will compete anew as the DEFENDING Champion in the Smart Hiphop Dance Contest at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Let’s say a little prayer so that Alee’s team brings home the BACON anew!
POSTSCRIPT:Though Alee’s Sayawatha Hiphop Team, the team name of MIRIAM HIGH SCHOOL, only placed THIRD in last night’s SMART HIPHOP DANCE CONTEST, what was consoling was that the CHAMPIONSHIP AWARD was garnered by the College of San Agustin (“CSA”) Team which is being coached by Cheska’s BF, Jayjay San Juan; while the SECOND PLACER, the hiphop team of LA SALLE, is being coached by Shayna’s BF, Vimi Rivera. Cheska and Shayna are Alee’s elder sisters.