On SOLACE and Noel Abelardo


Remember THIS PROJECT by my dear friend Noel Abelardo who is now steadily making waves in lifestyle photography? The two-weekend open photo shoot turned out to be a major success, so much so that he is now hard-at-work conceptualizing the next one.  SOLACE was in fact a benefit project for our friend Abie who’s currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Thank God for HIS provision, Abie is getting stronger each day and seems to be well on her way to recovery.

Now I have been a fan of Noel’s photography since Day One. Way back when he used to just tote around a digital camera and would make me bend over backwards and crawl like a lizard doing weird poses with my cheeks, arms, and stomach sooo fat like that. I used to be 115lbs with a 27-inch waistline. But that was a thing of a past long forgotten. Thanks to Shaun T and his incessant urging of me to dig deeper! I dug so deep I developed cuts I never knew I had —  in just 60 days! If you want a copy of the video, dial 1-800-VICKYSOHOT. Thank you very much and yes, I know.

After 4 days of 'Sobriety' (Read: Defaulting from Insanity)

I keep digressing, sorry! So going back to Noel. I really can’t help but get awed by his photos – be it of a personality, a rock, raindrops, a puddle, or even something as  inconsequential as a caterpillar. Inconsequential only in the sense that we sometimes don’t pay attention to these things – caught up as we often are with temptations that abound in the urban jungle. We all know how important caterpillars and leaves are in keeping the balance of nature. I honestly don’t know what I’m driving at here and I am now just as confused as you are.  Fried much, my brain.

So again, Noel. He’s also one of the many reasons why my life has somewhat of a ‘charmed’ feel to it. He’s been a dear friend to me all these years. And just like my darling boyfriend Chris, he has seen me in various states of monstrosity – shuttling between irrationality and tormenting recklessness – but stays with me nonetheless, believing that underneath the she-devil that I am capable of becoming (sometimes) is a woman who is just as capable of great love and forgiveness. Okay, maybe ‘forgiveness’ is pushing the envelope a bit too far. I am not quite there yet. Call me again in the next few months, I may have an answer for you.  hahaha.

Here are some of our photos over the years. Yes. Those. Are. Definitely. Bat wings. Masquerading. As. (My). Arms.

Malaysia in 2008.

Uhrrrrm, that's iced tea. Honest.

Sometime in 2008.

And now, for the second highlight of this post. The SOLACE photos. What did I tell you? I have improved significantly since the ugly duckling days and to give credit where credit is due, thank you buddyboy.

Solace Outtakes: Noel and Vicky

Vicky and Abie's angel, Bianca

And now, the real SOLACE photos by Noel Abelardo…

Naked and in bloom.

Vicky for Solace.

Thank you Noel for these photos! (I want them framed ha!)

Advertisements

The Young(ish) and the Restless


THIS JUST IN. Grab a copy of Men’s Health Philippines May Issue with one of the country’s most sought-after leading men, Coco Martin, on the cover and turn to page 96 for some hard truths in modern-day relationships. Read and let me know what you think.

***

Osama Bin Laden is dead. The long-time leader of the Al Qaeda and arguably the most feared face of terror was reportedly killed in a targeted operation somewhere in Pakistan. It took over a decade of countless search and destroy operations, not to mention, inumerable deaths and collateral damage until finally… peace. Or, at least, some semblance of it.

***

UFC 129. I woke up late and almost didn’t make it in time for the co-main event which would have been a pity because Aldo and Hominick gave what GSP and Shields failed to deliver – excitement! On my way to the viewing party, my friend told me that Randy Couture took quite a beating from Lyoto Machida. Not that I’m surprised, really, because The Nature is already quite old – at least by UFC standards. It would have been a bigger upset if The Dragon were the one who got the pounding instead. But Hominick, man, you gotta give it to the guy. He took all the punches and leg kicks that Aldo kept throwing his way and when he got that elbow on the forehead that resulted to this huge bump (Joe Rogan said ‘it looks as though there’s another head growing in there!’) – I thought the guy was finished! But he simply refused to buckle and even managed to give Aldo his share of ground and pound beating just before the final round ended. If I were his very pregnant wife and I happened to be watching that fight, I can’t be faulted for going into labor right where I’m sitting! The main event, however, was as boring as most of GSP’s fights of late. I was quite certain this time around, with Shields as his opponent, he would actually end the fight via stoppage or submission – but none came. Instead, it went all the way to the judges decision – AGAIN – and a very close one at that. Though he left the octagon the same way he entered it – as the champ – I, for one, do not think it was such a great victory.

***

Formula One. Now as most of you who have been keeping tabs of my blog (especially my old blog here) would know, I am and always have been an Alonso fan. More like an obsessed fan, really. So much so that when I was in Shanghai on the same weekend that the F1 Chinese Grand Prix was held there, I kept praying I’d catch a glimpse of the Spaniard – no matter how improbable the chances of it happening were. Oh but anyway, all’s not entirely lost as I did, in fact, catch a glimpse of him – rather, of his Ferrari – at the F1 Malaysian Grand prix last month. Much love to F1 Marussia-Virgin racing team, I was lucky to have been given a grandstand pass on race day along with other colleagues from work. It was, if I’m not mistaken, the third time that I watched the F1 race in Sepang.

Here with Chris, who's forever a 'V' fan. *wink wink*

Insanity with Shaun T. Boo-hoo. Today is my final week of Insanity and I only have the greatest raves about the wonders it has done for my body and my overall physicality. That I have grown stronger, more agile, and flexible are some of the benefits that cannot be emphasized more. When I got started with it 55 days ago, I didn’t think I was going to last. Let alone complete the 60-day program without cheating. But I survived and not only that, and this is where I really ought to give credit to my uncompromising take on fitness commitment, because even during those times that I’m traveling abroad for work and/or vacation, I would never leave the hotel without doing Insanity first. Although I may have defaulted one or two times because I was too ill to even get out of bed, I made sure to compensate for it by doing double Insanity the soonest I’m better. I used to take photos of my daily workout, you know, to keep track of the progress I’m making, but got so sick of looking at the same face and body (who would’ve thought, right?!) so after a while, I stopped. But this morning, it being my 56th day of Insanity, I dared to take a photo again and see how much of an improvement has happened – if any. At the risk of sounding too self-absorbed which I really am anyway, I think I’ve achieved most of the fitness results I had set my sights on at the beginning of the program. I still have 3 more days of Insanity and one more fit test to do before I take a week of rest and recovery and then it’s back to going all-out INSANE again!

Day 20.

Day 56.

SOLACE. So last Saturday, the first of the two-part Solace Open Photoshoot series was successfully launched with my dear friend Noel Abelardo behind the lens. It was a very successful project with the actual turnout exceeding the target. I arrived late – coming from the nearby hospital where my sister was confined for the weekend due to a rare heart disease – therefore missing the greater part of the camera action, but mighty glad still to see Abie and her beautiful daughter Bianca at the set. The guys who did my hair and make-up thought it would be exceedingly cool to make me look Beyonce-ish but Noel said it was more J-Loish, but I don’t really mind all the ish-es because these days, I’m in such a gloriously happy-ish state – thanks in large part to Victory and my renewed faith.

THOR, Corned Beef Sinigang at Sentro, Chewy Junior. DELICIOUS, all of them. That’s all I have to say about these three.