On twinkle toes’ posts about me

I don’t choose to look back on this memory, it’s been more than one year since I left and i really wanted to move on from leaving this place i called another home for a year or so. I don’t want to post hate online but i believe people are not dumb, and everyone we be better knowing my side of things as well. I will just allow this post, and my actions from here on, to speak for myself.

Im making this a public post unlike my former employer Ms. Cherrie May Umbalin who chose to hide her posts from me or my family so i would not be able to see them. Thanks to your hateful and snarking posts, people i don’t even know, and who don’t even know me, hate me. Though I try to avoid trouble, I still think that when something wrong is being said about you, I have to defend myself tactfully and honestly. I am aware of every single thing I had done. I even have all of her emails to show everyone involved, as she has decided to post about me, seeking for affirmation from her friends to wish ill on me. She was a really close person to me, until she wasn’t. I felt like I left on good terms when I started my own ballet program because I had sent her my resignation letter (before which I had already talked to her about leaving) which will be included under this post. I even sent it a month before leaving and yet I still taught at her school afterwards.

Now, I get people from other schools saying that I am stealing students. I never did drag anyone to my school or force them to come. They came and paid at their own will. Stealing or Poaching people is a funny term to be used. I mean, if a person tries and ends up preferring my training to yours, that’s on him or her, not me. And if a person decides to leave my ballet program and join your school then no problem –that only reflects on her preferences. I will tell you all though, since I left twinkle toes ballet and music academy, in Fairview, I have had only 5 of her students come and join me at their own will, wiith them messaging me first and not the other way around.

This ia a post that she recently shared online: It was sent in to me by a friend of mine since I obviously would not have seen it.

The third photo caught my attention, because this photo is actually of my current assistant Sophie. She allowed me to use the photo in this post.

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Sophie actually was the one who approached me, expressed her dislike for the school and how she was treated. She expressed to me that she wanted to work with me after as my assistant and that the only reason why she stayed at twinkle toes was because of me. It was of course her decision to come and not mine, and so I would like to clarify that, since she used this photo to show that I was inviting people.  (I will get to the schools system after this)

REASON 1: HOW THE SCHOOL IS RUN 

When I first got there, there was no system at all. I remember my first year, there even wasn’t a schedule. I was just told to come in from a given time and there was no specified ending time, which I found weird. I was the one who made the ballet schedule, being a person who actually runs on a schedule. I was really keen on setting up one. I wanted to help the school because I saw a lot of talent among the students there. I think every parent who was there really knows how much work I put into the school.

The school owner, Ms. Cherrie, and I would talk a lot after ballet because I would encourage her to set up more shows or more events for the kids or things to look forward to so that they could get better and more exposure. She did so and followed through, but the system of the school, or lack thereof remained the same. She would charge the parents extra PER MINUTE for going overtime. She always encouraged me to extend their training so that they could be charged more. I never knew that a school would charge a per minute fee of overtime. Talk about ethics. So I’m sorry to those parents who paid overtime per minute, but rest assured I only got paid per hour and wasn’t privy to her schemes.

Now, I’m not sure if that has changed or not but I’m hoping it has.

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REASON 2: HONG KONG COMPETITION TRIP

I went to hong kong with her daughter and another student of twinkle toes. As their coach, I wasn’t asked to go to Hong Kong with her and the school. I found that to be a bit saddening and I really wanted to come because you trained the kids and your presence would be beneficial for them. I didn’t push it but when the other parent expressed that they wanted to pay for me to be there, I opened it up with Ms. Cherrie. The parents expressed to me that they wanted me, the coach, to be there and not Ms. Cherrie. They knew that they wouldn’t be taken care of because her daughter would be competing too.

We enjoyed our time in Hong Kong regardless of Ms. Cherrie. I got to talk to my student and have coffee with her and her parents. We had a long talk about leaving the school, as they were not satisfied with the way things were.

In the end Ms. Cherrie told me that she wanted to discuss my payment but I told her in a message maybe we could discuss it in person. I never got a meeting to discuss it, i found that really unprofessional on her part. She then told me that she would pay me partially every month for my fee and all other expenses but we never really got to discuss the rate. I don’t know how things like this work and I was just too tired and I didn’t want to see her anymore. If she really did want to pay me she really would have paid me already. The parents on the other hand were very clear on the intent of me being there with them in Hong Kong and we constantly were with each other.

If you go to these competitions, you would not be paid for being there to support the students. Sometimes you couldn’t even watch if you didn’t have a ticket. It would be an ordeal from 7am-9pm and it was really no fun at all. On top of that, not getting paid for your time might be fun at the start because you would think, hey, it’s an experience. I was happy the first time, because that was the first time we joined and that was my first competition where I coached my students (Which i guess are her students under the school, technically). It was nice seeing the kids improve and I loved that feeling. But when it starts to feel like work and you’re not getting paid, things can get sad.

FINALLY: RECITAL

As for twinkle toes’ recital many people know that I did almost everything for them last 2017. I was backstage, i did the kids make up, most of the choreography, the program set up, i was the PA backstage, i had the headset and was even the one on the microphone announcing intermissions. But I was only paid as a teacher, and none of those other roles. That day was utter chaos and just one of the worst days of my life. I was paid but i feel like doing all of that was not part of my obligations. But If I didn’t do those things who would have? She had no sound director, lighting head, she had no trained assistants. Of course I knew how it worked, I’ve been living in the theatre for almost 14 years of my life.

That was the last straw for me, i couldn’t stay in a job where I knew I couldn’t soar any higher. I knew I could really do so much more than that. I felt useless that I got so frustrated but then I had an opportunity to go to Latvia. It felt like a chance to start fresh before coming back.

To get one thing completely straight. I absolutely loved my students at twinkle toes. Everyone knows I would spend my Sundays there or even make time beyond what was agreed upon. If you are or used to be a parent with twinkle toes you would probably know she always does this.

I posted a video of our student (her school, but my coaching) because I was proud of her. The parents of that student trusted me with her training and they were the ones who wanted me to be in Hong Kong. Now, Ms. Cherrie has and entire issue with the video, as if it’s completely hers and the student has no say in it. The student is in my program now.

Another issue was that one of her students wanted to come with me. I offered this girl a scholarship since her mom asked. If you knew this girl, she was and is really gifted. I wasn’t aware that she was on “partial” scholarship under NO CONTRACT with Twinkle Toes. It became a really big issue and I told Ms. Cherrie that under her contract, I would not allow the student to come to my program without settling her fees with twinkle toes first. I felt as though this wasn’t an issue with me, as it was ultimately the decision of the parent to pull her out, and settle her dues. I also included at first that as a scholar, the mom needs to bring in 2 students, The mom did eventually invite 2 people for me even if it did take a little while. I was informed in a text message from Ms. Cherrie later on that I was lying because she knows someone who joined my program and said that there were no other students. How would this person know? Since she only came a few times. We all can’t just run on these assumptions and allegations and post angrily online.

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So think what you will, but i really think we should just move on with our lives. That’s what I’m doing. I am so happy with the current dance program im putting up but i know i have to do this first to put this issue to rest. I am still inviting anyone who wants to learn ballet the proper way from someone who thinks that ballet is an art, beautiful and brilliant and not only business. Im crazy about it —my eyes are set on my students falling madly in love with ballet just as much as me.

I’m not someone who jokes around when it comes to ballet because just like any good teacher, we acknowledge that our community is one of tradition. Insulting me would be an insult to all of the teachers who has ever taught me. Of course, people who have not been through the training and the culture that I and many other individuals have been through, would never understand, as she does not.

Getting a tourist visa to Russia, in Manila

Surprise surprise! Im going to Russia! I recently got accepted to the training program at the Vaganova ballet academy in June. This is probably one of the only visas ill ever need, being a Japanese. I have a lot of respect for those who have to go through this VISA trouble, just to get to a country you want to visit. Most especially for those who need a visa for a lot of countries.

I had quite an experience, in getting a Russian tourist visa that I just had to write about it. The first thing I did was to call the Russian embassy, the problem was, the persons on the phone were Russians who could not speak good english, it was quite a confusing call. We ended up saying pardon me? And can you repeat? Over and over again. After this, I contemplated on getting my visa to get done by an agent. I lived in Quezon City, and with Manila traffic, going to Makati would be a huge hassle. But with the blogs I read, assured that I could do it myself so i did, and I also wanted to try to do it, for the experience.

So i went on a Tuesday, and i found out that the embassy in McKinley is not where you apply for a VISA. VISA’s are processed in the RCI building at RADA ST. in Makati. So that was my first mistake, my second mistake was that i looked up online and it said it was only open TTH but apparently upon getting to the embassy they were only open MWF. So i wasted 4 hours in traffic from QC-MAKATI and that happened to me the same week I went on Wednesday, just to find out that it was a RUSSIAN HOLIDAY. So make sure before coming here, you come on a MONDAY, WEDNESDAY or FRIDAY, come early and you should check if it is or not a Russian holiday.

REQUIREMENTS:
You will not be able to apply for a visa without the following requirements:
1. ELECTRONIC VISA APPLICATION FORM which is processed on their website: http://visa.kdmi.ru
2. ID photo (photo for the VISA) photo has to have plain white background and natural face with no hair around your face (You will have to stick this on the electronic visa application form which you will have to print out on an A4 paper)
3. Ticket to Russia
4. Hotel, Accommodation and Itinerary
5. VISA SUPPORT, VOUCHER or Invitation to stay in Russia ( this is the most important, I got mine from http://hotels-pro.ru/order/hotelspro, some hotels also send out these invitations for you with an extra charge. The price should be around $30usd extra and nothing more.
6. Passport

TIPS ON YOUR APPLICATION DAY: 
1. Make sure you come early so that you can get your name NOTED DOWN in line. I was here at 8am but i was already 20th in line. Im not one who likes to wait especially since I woke up at 6am to drive here.

2. These are the actual OPENING HOURS:
Monday-Wed-Friday
9:30-1:00pm
(Not open on Russian holidays, so you should check for holidays) ** double check this before coming to the embassy 

So i waited a good hour for the consul to arrive, he forgot that he had to be at the office. So one of the travel agents decided to just pick him up. The process itself was very smooth, I waited for 6 hours from 8am before I got called around 2pm, and he just asked a few questions and then asked me to pay at UCPB which is around a 5 minute walk from the building.  Afterwards you just come back to the embassy to give him the paper, and voila! You can get your visa either rush or not. I think prices vary depending on the kind of visa you get, but for my 30 day single entry visa I paid Php 1800.

I noticed some individuals were asked for supporting documents, but maybe that was because they weren’t applying for a tourist visa such as myself.

All in all, for my first time, It was really a funny experience to get this VISA. I just decided to write about it since there aren’t a lot of blogs about it, maybe because its rare for someone to be wanting to go to Russia. But I am quite excited for this new experience, hoping this could help someone who wants to go to Russia, from Manila too!

That’s d pointe dance shop, Manila

Hello Dancers and Dance lovers,

As you are now well aware of, I’ve been fixing my website and sharing YouTube videos revolving around my life and ballet. Today I want to feature another ballet store in the Philippines called, thats d’ pointe dance shop. This shop owned by Ms. Charmaine, is located in Metrowalk, Ortigas ave. and in Fisher mall, Quezon City. The Shop is very much complete with the basic things and they have an ample amount of stocks, of course if you need special sizes you may also request that with them. They are very accommodating. I will be attaching our new video blog to this post.

If you are ever in need of dancewear, you may visit them today, and you can also check out their online store on this link, That’s d pointe dance shop

Knowing your worth as a dancer

Knowing your worth as a dancer is always important. I always believe that you should see yourself in your own way and not in how others see you. I think being a dancer this is one of the hardest things. We are taught in class to be obedient, listen and to absorb, and we are told not to hold back during during rehearsals and shows.

There will always be someone better that is true, and for the past 22 or so years I’ve had to learn this the hard way. That there is enough sunshine for everyone, but you should believe that if you work hard enough (like really work, eat breathe live dance) you deserve your piece of sunshine too and don’t be afraid to show that you do. ❤️

Picture taken during my performance last summer as Paquita by Miguel Antonio Gonzales

Dance by Lina update, May 2016

Its our recital in 2 weeks, my birthday in a few days and I still have to rehearse my students with the other school. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t been able to update again. We started making a new line of pouches. Pouches for your small dance things. I get all the cloth from Japan and everything is Pure Japanese cotton. Well thats what my supplier would say.
We also decided to stick to skirts, laces and other things like the sort. Recently my sewer and I studied how to make Practice tutus and tutus so we are also looking into making more of those too. I know I’m not a professional designer, but I’m having a lot of fun figuring things out and working on more things. It’s starting out to be a very exciting business.
I’m not sure weather I should continue it or not after next year or just pre ready everything months before and shipping out orders. Plenty of decisions to make, but looking forward to an exciting things ahead of us this year. Its been really fun and I’ve being doing really well but It takes so much of my time that sometimes I don’t get more than 3-4 hours of sleep in a day.
Foot Stretchers, Ballet pouches, Ballet skirts, Practice tutus and dance costumes ❤ This is my focus as of now. All products are available on the link below or visit The Dance store PH for any of my products.
dancebylina.com

Kitchenails, Trinoma

Its about time that Trinoma had their own nail spa! Kitchen Nails, a new kind of concept and nail spa just opened today. So if you have any plans of coming to  Trinoma anytime soon, this is a great place to relax from the traffic or after work with friends or just by yourself.


 The idea came from the owner of the shop. She is the owner of Laybare waxing salon, the Nail It salon and some well known restaurants which i will not mention. She loves the concept of food and nail salons so she came up with the idea of combining both concepts, hence Kitchen Nails!

While doing your nails and “baking” your hands. They offer pastries and drinks. Their utensils are mostly baking utensils! So its really an interesting mix of concepts baked into one. Today we were able to avail of their Chef Specials. You can choose between a Single serve, Entree and a Chef Special. Most of their scrubs are organic and their manicure is free except if you will avail of the special ones then thats an extra Php 60.

  

Their prices are fairly reasonable, i’ll include the picture of the price list under this. The service we availed today was a manicure and hand spa, I availed of the Very berry muffin and this came with free basic color polish.

In case of reservations, they still do not have a contact number however you may contact them through social media. Enjoy getting baked!

Hanamaruken Ramen, The grove

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Im not such a fan of Ramen but Miguel is and his family really love eating Ramen. I heard about Hanamaruken ramen on a local Japanese magazine here in Manila. It was rated as one of the best Ramen restaurants here in Manila and we decided to give it a go.

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What we had, Spicy Ramen and the Salary man Ramen. I wanted to have a try of something that was not on their best seller list and the idea of a Salary man ramen sounded different and interesting.

 

 

 

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Spicy Ramen

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Salary Man ramen

Price Ranges from about 200-400 pesos. I wanted to try their gyoza side dish but they were out of it. I would come back here if I were a fan of Ramen, which I am not. But as compared to many of the different Ramen dishes that I have tasted this is probably one of the more generous of servings for about the same value as Ramen Nagi.

Compared to other ramen joints like Ramen Nagi, Hanamaruken’s simplicity enables one to have a full and immersive experience. Without the complexity of having to choose noodle hardness, spice levels, etc., one may be able to appreciate ramen as it was truly meant to be served.

Miao Cat Café opens in Manila, Congressional Ave

Miao Cat Café is located above the Cakes2Go building along congressional avenue. It was a bit difficult to park as they are still working on the parking scheme. I decided however to make a U-turn to KFC and just parked there and crossed the street to Miao Cat Cafe. In the mornings they are allowed to park in a certain area but since i could only go there late I had a hard time with parking.

There are no signs outside of the place but you’ll see a quaint entrance to the left sude of the  cakes2go store. It was a surprise to see that there was such a place in such a small building. They have a set of house rules before entering in the area where you disinfect and remove your shoes. I love the friendly cat jungle they have. They also have outdoor seating and cats just freely roam around and sleep on the floors and chairs and small holes.

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Inside the Cafe

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The cat tree with scratching posts and hanging bridges where cats sleep.

my favorite kitty in the cafe

The sisters Loida and Sam who put up this cat cafe are especially fond of cats. I was quite impressed with their knowledge of cats. I would suggest that you talk to them a lot, it is because of them that my boyfriend can now touch a cat. They go to china every month and they always visit cat cafes, I have a feeling that they are really cat lovers or cat crazy but in a good way. Their love for cats is what  they would like to share with this cafe, they want to convert every cat hater into a cat lover.

Before coming to the place you must set a reservation to either of these numbers 022747937 / 09258777617

For reservation please send a message with the format below

Name:
Date & Time:
Number of guest:
Contact Number:

They are open everyday at 11am-1pm, 2pm-4pm, 5pm-7pm and 8pm-10pm

When I asked them why they close between hours, they said its mostly because they it takes a while for them to clean up. They only alot 15 guests at most within the 2 hours also so that it does not get overcrowded in the place. They also don’t want the number of people to outnumber the number of cats. 15 cats and 15 people, just so that there are enough of them going around.

The cats also went through a “Cat Screening” of some sort. They only chose the friendly and very playful cats. Since there are also some very moody unpredictable cats.

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Milky chocolate

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Macaroni and cheese

The rates are Php 300 for Adults (Including Food and a drink), Php 150 for kids (with unlimited drinks) You can choose anything from the menu that they have. Their food and drink selection was very simple. I was more distracted with the cats that I forgot to think about eating. I had the yogurt milkshake, i loved it! And my boyfriend got the milky chocolate and mac and cheese. They also have a big selection of cupcakes and cookies that you can try. I also had a potato salad with cheese, really simple and good food.

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The kitty just slept there the whole time

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Many cats roaming around minding their own business.

I love the concept and the interior of their cafe. Its one way to de-stress after a long day at work or in school. They have cats from Arizona, Kazakhstan, Moscow and some were adopted. The place is someplace you would love to come back to, because you could see their love for their cats. To the point that they are even particular with exposing them to sick individuals.

It is nice that they are trying to somehow also make people more accustomed to cats, as there aren’t much cat lovers around the Philippines. If you are not much of a cat lover, coming here might just change your mind.

Miao Cat Café

Facebook: Miao Cat Cafe
Location: It is along Congressional avenue right above Cakes2Go (Same building) accross KFC Mindanao avenue.
Contact number: 022747937 / 09258777617

Project Pie, Eastwood

To pizza or not to pizza? That is not the question. Malamang.

Lately I’ve been feeling a special kind of hunger growing inside my belly as my Instagram feed is bombarded by pizza pies. And of course, where else would everyone be having pizza but at Project Pie. These days, Project Pies are popping out branch after branch, boasting about how they let their customers build their own pizza. Everyone’s been posting about it that I feel like Lina and I have been missing out on something really good.

We were just in Eastwood and I have just finished drooling over a fine Japanese Fountain Pen when we suddenly had no clue on what to have for lunch. We usually have somewhere in mind, but not that day. Enter Project Pie. Considering that we’ve been hearing a lot about it and that it’s pizza (do we need any other reason?), we went for it.

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The place looks so-so. I mean, signs with handwritten fonts, dangling old-looking bulbs, quotes on the wall –not really unique these days. It was lunch time on a weekday and we had the whole place to ourselves.

Instead of building our own pizza (which would not be wise in this case, as we are trying to judge their food), we went for the number 6, which had grilled chicken, red onions, cilantro, mozzarella, gorgonzola and BBQ sauce. We added bacon, because who wouldn’t? It was so good that the only complaint I could think of was that the serving was too small. Naturally, Lina and I finished it in around five minutes.

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For dessert we had the Banana Nutella. I had no idea what it was, all I know is that banana and Nutella were made for each other. When it came, it too was a pizza. With stains of Nutella on our mouths, we could barely speak. Dirty, dirty goodness.

Along with the food, I think one of the best things about Project Pie is the staff. They greet you with a smile and engage you in conversation. Kind of like baristas but for pizza.

Project Pie is a great place to have a great meal with friends, family or even alone. Next time we’ll make sure the get the joey special (two pizzas).

Miguel Gonzales

PROJECT PIE


Visit their facebook page: Project Pie PH
Open from 10am-11pm
Price Range: Php 200-300 per person, depending if you’ll share

Side trips from Manila: Mt. Manabu day hike

Cheapest adventure yet. A very cool side trip from Manila, for people who love to hike. We left Manila at around 5am on a Sunday and arrived Lipa at 7am. We could have gotten there earlier except we stopped over first to eat breakfast at a gas station. I never knew how clear and nice the roads were around the South. It was my first long drive out of town, and it was easier than driving around Manila. I wish that all our highways would someday look like this.

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Clean highway with no potholes or holes.

We spent a total of about Php500  each. The skyway from Magallanes only cost around Php 200. Php 25 for the first tollgate and Php 39 for the next tollgate. Of course rates would depend from where you are coming from. The hike only cost Php 20 for the registration fee and then another 40 for the tricycle ride going there. Although I think i should have brought the car up to the jump off point because there are parking spaces around there. It cost us Php 48 for two guides going up the mountain. It was easier for us to split costs because we were a group of 23.

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Houses you’d pass by while climbing up the mountain.

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The jump off point with all the dirty broken shoes left behind by past hikers.

There is not much to see while you are hiking up the mountain as compared to the other mountains I have climbed before. Here you would see a lot of vegetation and you would pass and stop by a lot of houses where they would serve you free coffee or some buko juice. They were also selling suman at one house. It took us almost 2 hours to climb up to the summit. We ate lunch up there and shared some food.

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A mix of rice, bacon, tuna afritata and some vienna sausage.

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The foggy view of Manila behind us.

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Our group of 23 or so and a few new friends at the Summit.

Our climb would have been quicker if not for the long stopovers and some delays along the way. This could even have been just a half day event if you just suddenly feel the urge to take a hike somewhere. Traveling with a big group comes with its ups and downs, but when it comes to splitting costs this is the perfect solution to a budget climb.