Dec 25, 2013
Peoplescape: Jeanne Torrefranca
I met Jeanne back in May 2012 at the Chu Un Temple along V. Rama for the regular Thursday Zen meditation. I was then hanging out with my Vipassana Meditation crew. Through some kind of social osmosis, I oscilliated into the yoga group where I started attending yoga classes and hanging-out with them. Jeanne and her merry crew would invite me to their animated weekly "Saturday night milk-and-juice poolside chillout" at what is now Dragonfly Yoga Studio. Arlien would bring her homemade cookies/brownies, Reds would do the firedance, Jason, Anton and the parkour boyz would do some tricks and Jeanne would strum the guitar and sing some tunes. Her velvety-smooth voice would give Sade a run for her money. Other yogis would be there and gather around - Gem, Freyja, Celeste, Blanne, etc. They were the heady days of poi, kirtan, asanas and juice (a yogic version of sex drugs and rock en roll). This scene is what I remember Cebu with as I left for Coron to continue my travels.
But why is Jeanne "Fab People"? Certainly not just because she can do a flawless Downward Facing Dog.
Free Yoga Teacher Training
Last year, in May 2012, yoga was just a minor blip in Cebu's radar (nothing like what it is now). There was Shanti Shala (now closed), Surya Nanda Yoga Studio, and YogaHub was just opening its doors. There weren't enough students. Jeanne, in a bold and unprecedented move, spearheaded a free yoga teacher-training program against the wishes of her colleagues and friends. Why train more teachers when there is not enough students? Why 'free' when there are costs involved? Unwaveringly, steadfast in her resolve, Jeannne stood firm and continued the program saying, "the students will come when the teachers are there". Just one year later (now), her words proved prophetic. There are several yoga studios now, gyms offering yoga and even hotels and resorts catching on the trend by offering yoga practice as well. And guess what? A lot of the certified teachers who are now teaching these yoga centers now can trace their early beginnings from the humble free yoga teacher-training program Jeanne initiated. Her program continues without abatement. I am currently under her tutelage for Ashtanga teacher-training.
Dragonfly Yoga Studio Sanctuary
As I write this, we are three adoptees by Jeanne, residing at Dragonfly - with Regina Bustamante (yogini and yoga teacher-in-training) and John Conway (parkour guru). Like D'Artangan of the 3 Musketeers, Jason Robles is the 4th musketeer who is non-resident, but very much a part of the scene. At the recently held Sunrise Festival, she housed the entire Maharlika crew - all 20+. Just a few days ago, Jeanne offered her studio for a French humanitarian volunteer to crash at the studio while in transit for Ormoc. Indeed, Jeanne's Dragonfly studio is more than just a studio or a gathering place for like-minded individuals. It's a haven...a sanctuary...a refuge for people to get their bearings until they move on. Jeanne doesn't charge. Yoga sessions she conducts at the studio are free. It's a karma gift.
When there are yoga events happening around the city, the organizers usually count on Jeanne's support - in any capacity. She was there to help choreograph YogaHub's photoshoot for the Real Yoga Real People marketing campaign. When Arlien hosted the 2-day yoga retreat at Rancho Cancho, Jeanne was there to rally everyone for the Kirtan. Jeanne is almost a given in any yoga event in Cebu. But she's there to get the job done - not to grab the limelight or claim credit. She doesn't call attention to herself - she doesn't have to prove anything. Paid or unpaid, she's always there for the greater good.
Compassionate Yoga Teacher
Jeanne is a teacher's teacher. With compassion and a full understanding of the challenges facing a student, she tries to be supportive, encouraging and inspiring, allowing the student to make gentle progressive strides in the practice. It's never about her ego.
I have only begun to scratch the surface on why Jeanne is Fab People. This blog is certainly not the last word. If you know her, I'm sure you have your reasons why Jeanne is FAB. Why not fill-in the other blanks. Use the comment form below.
Jeanne, sorry if this piece made you blush. I didn't mean to lay it on thick. I chronicle what I see - and this is what I see. I am privileged to be in your orbit. Thank you for your kindness, support and your friendship.
The following people like this:
Reader Comments:Jeanne Torrefranca
(Dec 29, 2013) Wow...kaw talaga. Just read now, the Fab write-up. Blush, but nice to be appreciated din. Thanks for the words, both written and unwritten.
(Jan 2, 2014) A fabulous writeup for a fabulous person!
(Dec 29, 2013) Wow!!!! Amazing woman!!!
(Dec 29, 2013) One of the great people I met indeed!
(Dec 29, 2013) The more we get to know Miss Jeanne, the more we admire her!
(Dec 29, 2013) A living testiment to the spirit of selfless act of kindness!
(Dec 28, 2013) A very influential and visionary person indeed! Great write up, Cyber Monk Gigit! Miss both (Margie Moran) your brilliant energy!
Arlien Alcoseba Buhain
(Dec 27, 2013) Compassionate and generous Teacher Jeanne is indeed FAB!
(Dec 25, 2913) couldn't agree more and i have the pleasure of calling her family. will share!!!
Joanna Co Lizares
(Dec 25, 2913) the amazing Jeanne!
Cecile Savitri Villarente
(Dec 25, 2913) super like!
(Dec 25, 2913) she's beautiful inside and outside...
(Dec 25, 2913) Superlike! She's one of the best yoga teachers I truly admire.
Next feature: 2013: a Year in Review
Blogs about Jeanne Torrefranca
- Ashtanga Primary Series Yoga in Cebu May 5, 2017
- 3-Night Cebu Stopover Apr 6-9, 2017
- Thank You Cebu, til the Next Time Oct 21, 2013 - May 15, 2014
- Aqua Yoga with Jeanne Torrefranca at Dragonfly Pool May 4, 2014
- SUP Yoga with Jeanne Torrefranca at Plantation Bay Mar 23, 2014
- Jeanne's Community Outreach Program Mar 2, 2014
- New Year Yoga at Dragonfly Yoga Studio Jan 1, 2014
- Fab People: Jeanne Torrefranca (Yogini) Dec 25, 2013
- Cebu Yoga Immersion Nov 14, 2013
Cebu City, Philippines
More Information about Cebu City
Suggested Destinations in Cebu
- Camotes Islands - caves, beaches
- Cebu City - rich in culture and history, 2nd largest city in the Philippines
- Moalboal - amazing coral reef system, sardine bowl, deep drop-off for freediving
- Oslob - Butanding (whale shark) watching
- Bantayan Island - long stretch of fine white sand beach, Virgin Island for snorkeling
- Malapascua Island - divers' paradise for seeing the rare Thresher Shark
- Cantabaco Cave - Toledo
- Barile Waterfalls - Barile
- Whale Shark Tour - Oslob
- Carcar - chicharon and lechon in public market
»» next story: 2013: a Year in Review
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