Saturday, November 03, 2012

Big Bang Alive Galaxy Tour in Manila, Philippines

Dreams do come true. Never have I imagined that one day, Big Bang will visit the Philippines and hold a concert in this country. I was even torn during the global poll of countries to be included in Big Bang's world tour - whether to vote for the Philippines or not. I'm kind of possessive when it comes to Big Bang. I have that odd selfishness. Yes, I want Big Bang to be famous around the world, for their music to reach continents. But there's a little voice in me that desires to keep them in their state of fame, their status quo, for my own consumption. I ended up voting for the Philippines, though. Practicality knocked on my head. When you weigh the costs and benefits, flying to Korea to watch their concert is more costly than plainly flying to Manila from Cebu. I have prayed for the concert to be held in Cebu, so that I won't have to spend that much anymore, but Manila's the capital. I can't do anything about that. The heavens still answered my prayers, because the concert day was set on October 24, which happens to be our sembreak. It means that I have no class! I won't be absent from school! *happy dance* And let it be known, 24 is my favorite number. Does Kobe Bryant ring a bell?

I thought I was going alone to Manila, but I compelled my sister (I love you lots) to go with me. She does not need to watch the concert with me. I just need someone to be with me in Manila, at least. Amazingly, Bianca decided to watch the concert. She made the decision on the last week of September, and followed my flight schedule. FYI, I already bought the concert and plane tickets way back in July. I was so happy for her. Bianca is the sole person to be blamed on my insanity for Big Bang. She was the one who introduced me to Big Bang last January 2009, forcing me to watch the Haru Haru M/V. I did not immediately fall in love with them. Bluntly, I was discriminating them for being too emo. It was after she showed me G-Dragon's photos that made me fall on my knees for his beauty. I take my bad words back. They are the best. I can't even. Thank you, Bianx! You know I love you.

We were already inside SM MOA Arena this time (around 7PM). The concert's gonna start at 8PM. We did not have to queue early because we had reserved seating. One tip during concerts, don't buy standing or free seating tickets. It's advisable to buy reserved seating tickets, so that you don't have to fall in line very early. I've read fanrepo saying that there were pushing in the line, and worse, some were not able to get inside in time. The concert already started when they finally got inside the arena. I wouldn't wanna miss any performance in the concert, especially the opening or intro.

Bianca and I parted ways, so I'm alone. I was in lower box, she was in upper box. Here's an awesome thing. My ticket is Lower Box B, but when the concert started, I ran to the front. I stayed in Lower Box A the entire time. What a steal! There's about 1 thousand pesos difference with the price of both tickets, so I saved 1 thousand pesos! Awesome, right? I even complained before why I was not able to buy Lower Box A tickets. God will make a way, God did. By the way, most of us ran to the front. We all deserve a pat on our shoulders, VIPs. By the way, do you notice those fans? They are concert giveaways! They were individually placed on each seat. The crown and the light stick are the only Big Bang merchandise I could afford. I don't want to spend too much on Big Bang, anymore. You make me poor, BB.

My boys! I was dying of too much euphoria. I can't even contain myself. I was going to explode when I saw them live. Jesus Christ! I can't, for the life of me, express how happy I was that night. Asdfghjkl! I did not bring any camera, except for my phone, because it was not allowed, supposedly. Some were still able to enter with their cameras. I hate my being overly obedient sometimes, but no regrets! I love my fellow VIPs for their HD pictures and videos. Thank you for sharing, guise.

Seungri, Taeyang, and Daesung talking to the VIPs. They love Manila! YB said, "Manila ladies are hot!". Not as hot as you are! You're way too hotter, YB. Can I just say that Seungri ruined most of the VIPs bias list? God! Seungri looks much much more handsome in real life. He is way too adorable. I love him! Daesung is handsome in real life, too. Don't call him ugly.

Taeyang! He went topless later in the concert, dancing in front of us. Holy mother cow of all heavens! I was not able to take photos of the shirtless YB, though. I was too busy staring at his abs. Crap!

The lights during their Blue perf was superb.

TOP! Gasp! TOP is so freaking handsome. Bianca's bias before was GD, but when he saw TOP, she switched. I'm happy about that, because GD's all mine. GD is so handsome, too. Oh God. Their handsomeness is too much for my life to handle.

I took some short fancams during the concert and uploaded them in youtube. Here's my playlist of my uploads. They are very shaky, so I'm so sorry. I have recorded their Encore performance, and it was the longest that I recorded, but the girl in front of me accidentally hit my hand, so my phone flew into the crowd. She returned it to me, dismantled into 3 pieces, saying sorry. My phone is okay, but the video could not be played. Something wrong happened to the video. I'm so sad. It was an accident, so I forgave the girl. 

Anyway, you can watch other HD fancams, which are most definitely better than mine. I was not able to take decent photos and videos, because I want to focus on the boys while performing. I even sometimes stop with my shouting and just stand there at awe, marveling at their beauty. I still can't believe that I saw them in real life. It has always been by dream, but it's unbelievable. It's hard to sink in and absorb.

Here are some lovely messages from Big Bang:
  • SEUNGRI: Manila is so hot.
  • TAEYANG: Manila ladies are so hot!
  • SEUNGRI: Manila, you have such a beautiful voice. Better than me. That's true. Thank you for coming today. Please don’t forget tonight. I promise you, we will gonna be back again because I LOVE THIS PLACE, I LOVE THIS COUNTRY, MANILA BABY!
  • TAEYANG: I love this country, Manila baby!
  • GD: This is my first time in the Philippines....everyday and every night. There are a number of shows, but you're the best.... for those posters, photos, I see them all so thank you, thank you very much, I wanna say thank you all.. Ok.
  • TOP: We'll try to come back very soon. (TOP mostly spoke in Korean)
  • DAESUNG: This tour is very special to me. I visit all of you guys all around the world. We will try the best for you, also I will do my best for you guys too. Thank you for coming tonight. We love you!
  • TAYEANG: I can't leave you like this.
  • GD: Paalam. Salamat. Magandang gabi. Mahal ko kayo!
  • TOP: Mahal ko kayo!

Here are some funny moments:
  • Taeyang did a somersault, which almost failed, but he covered it up with another tumbling.
  • Seungri said, "Manila, sigaw!", but we did not understand him so we did not shout. GD laughed at him.
  • TOP wore a cute headband and did his choomTOP or bingu dance.
  • GD accidentally dropped his mic while fixing his hair(?). So cute!
  • They splashed water at each other and at the VIPs. 
  • Seungri played with the stuff thrown at them, especially the panda stuffed toy and the inflatable crayons.

Here are some mix of I'm-so-angry-and-so-jealous-of moments:
  • Some VIPs were able to touch them! I saw videos where some were able to touch and hold Daesung, Taeyang, and GD!
  • GD went to the side and grabbed the hand/camera of the girl, looking to the camera while singing. I'm so freaking jealous of that girl!
  • GD got wounded on his forehead. I'm not jealous about this, but I'm kind of anxious.
  • They threw their shirts, jackets, towels, and other stuff to the VIPs! I'm jealous because I did not get any! I would love to get sweaty clothes from them. I would never wash them.
  • I did not get wet from the water they splashed to the VIPs. You must exert more strength in splashing water, baby loves, to reach me! Argh! It's like holy water!
  • All our missions failed! All of them! Even the fan chants! They all failed! Nevertheless, we blew Big Bang away with our earbud-breaking shouts and when we sang along with them albeit the not-so-perfect lyrics. Hey, at least we tried our best to sing Korean songs.
  • We failed in greeting TOP a happy birthday in Korean. Anyway, #happyTOPday!
  • I'm having a severe separation anxiety. I miss them so badly. I miss them so much! I wanna see them again. NOW!

This is, by far, the best night of my life. Hence, I am very thankful to a whole lot of people. Thank you to:
  • GOD for making all this happen. You made my dream come true. 
  • YG Entertainment, Live Nation, SM, Ovation Productions, the staff and crew, all other sponsors, and all other people behind the concert.
  • BIG BANG, of course!
  • My family and relatives for the cheese I spent.
  • Ira (my sister) and Bianca.
  • BBVIPAKO for giving out free gold ribbon strips and Salamat banners.
  • The girl who freely gave me a set of fingerlasers.
  • Big Bang Philippines for organizing the missions and fan chants, and for keeping us updated.
  • VIPs for being so friendly and supportive of each other.

October 24, 2012 was such a happy, happy wonderful day. I love that day to bits and pieces. No regrets. Definitely one for the books. I love Big Bang. Forever. VIP. Thank you, Lord.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Manila 2012

Exactly one year after, the 24th of October, I was back in Manila. I will never forget this day. The only reason why I was in Manila on that fateful day was because of Big Bang's Alive Galaxy Tour. That will  have a special blog post, so for now, let's just stick to the moment prior to the concert.

To capture a photo of the sky on board a plane is one of my dreams. That's another item crashed off my bucket list. The difficulty level of achieving this is not so high, but I'm an obedient person who follows the rule of turning off all gadgets while on air. However, I defied the rule and screw my obedience to finally (and personally) take my very own photo of the sky on board a plane. I really sneaked in the middle of the flight and waited for the flight attendants to be busy. Ninja moves! I realized that I'm gradually fulfilling my dreams and slowly crashing off items in my imaginary bucket list and my "10 Things I Want to Do Before I Die" list. I feel so alive and happy for that.

Touchdown Manila! We then headed to SM Mall of Asia. It was our sole itinerary during the trip, since the concert is held at MOA Arena. We stayed there the entire day. What I'm most proud about us was the way how we commuted going to MOA. We planned on riding a taxi cab, because it's really scary to get lost in Manila especially that we're only tourists. However, my uncle welcomed us at the airport and guided us on how to reach MOA by shuttle bus and multicab. Our adventurous spirit was spreading like wildfire, so we rode a shuttle bus going to Baclaran. The fare was only 20 pesos each. After reaching Baclaran, we rode a yellow multicab going to MOA. The fare was only 8 pesos. We only asked our way around, trying our very best to speak in Tagalog, but my sister did all the speaking. It was really fun, and I was so proud of us for taking the risky way like a boss!

Another item crashed off my bucket list - ice skating! I did not skate last year when I was in MOA because I was wearing a tight pencil skirt, so this year's my chance to skate and I did not back down. You can really see how much fun we had. You can also really see that we don't know how to skate. It's obvious that we are first-timers, but after a time, we did it on our own.

I was really slouchy while skating, I look like I'm a hunchback. I keep on bending my knees, because it's a basic. I'm too afraid to fall, and thank goodness I did not. My sister fell once, but I'm glad that she didn't hurt herself. We were so jealous of all those professional skaters and those who are not, but who know how to skate gracefully. We idolize those who performed that afternoon. They were ridiculously good.

Bianca did not skate. She just stayed on the side of the skating rink and took our photos. Thanks, Biankee! Bianca is my fellow VIP. She's my favorite person to fangirl with.

After a tiring day of strolling, going to and fro the Arena to check out some Big Bang merchandise  and going around the mall, shopping, we landed on Aristocrat for our dinner. We tried restaurants not found in Cebu.

We mostly shopped at Uniqlo, because there's no Uniqlo in Cebu and Big Bang used to be an endorser of Uniqlo. The wife of Bianca's idol (Akanishi Jin) is also a Uniqlo model. Plus the fact that some of their clothes are affordable. Oh! Bianca and I saw Michelle Madrigal in Uniqlo. She's so petite and beautiful. I was starstruck that my eyes just automatically followed her going out of the store. I literally gasped when I saw her.

Aristocrat's food are majestic! I think the java sauce did the trick, but honestly, even without the java sauce, their food is superb as they are. When you add the java sauce, the flavor just burst in my mouth with all its crowning glory. I hope an Aristocrat resto would open up in Cebu very soon.

I cannot publish this post without this photo. This handsome kid is so friendly. I smiled at him and he smiled back, he even waved at us. He is such a cutie patootie! I have a soft spot for cute kids, and no, I'm not a pedophile. I simply love kids, because they bring me joy and they unleash the child in me. 

This time, we were already at the airport waiting for our flight home. We headed straight to the airport, because my sister had to catch her early flight. Unfortunately, her flight was cancelled due to Typhoon Ofel. It was raining really hard. It was so funny because after the concert, I was like "Oh my God. My life is complete. I can happily die now". But when we arrived at the airport, with all the cancelled flights due to Typhoon Ofel, I was like "Lord, I was only joking. I still wanna live. I don't wanna die, yet". Anywhoo, do you notice that girl behind my sister with a yellow green bag? I'm sure she also watched the concert, because she was wearing a Big Bang Alive Tour shirt. I was smiling while looking at her, and when she saw me, she smiled back. We, VIPs, are definitely friendly. I can attest to that.

My Manila trip this year was short, but absolutely jam-packed. We just stayed there for 2 days and 1 night, but we were very busy. We were not able to take much photos, because we planned on taking shots at Manila Bay, but Typhoon Ofel is a traitor. We wouldn't want to bask in the rain just to take photos at Manila Bay. I'm still thankful that our flight going to Manila was not cancelled. If it was, and the result was that I can't watch the concert, then I'd probably go berserk, wail hysterically, and destroy all the things in the vicinity. You'd see a deranged person in the airport, more violent than Claudine Barretto. That's hypothetical, so don't be afraid of me.

No offense, but I still love Cebu more than Manila. In my perspective, Cebu is a more livable city than Manila. It's really hard to commute or travel around Manila, because of the traffic and because of the evil drivers. I'm not generalizing, but most drivers are so mukhang pera. Most taxi drivers demand a huge amount of money for a short distance. Come on! Most of them ask 400 pesos for a travel from MOA to NAIA 3. I mean, seriously? I understand that the taxis were limited during that day, probably because of the increase of passengers who watched the concert. But the fare that they demand is so irritating. Can't they just rely on the the taxi meter for the fare? I never experience that high a demand in Cebu. The highest fare that a taxi driver demanded from me in Cebu is around 250 to 300 pesos, and that's from Ayala to Lapu-Lapu City (very far compared to MOA-NAIA 3 distance). I hope the local government can do something about this problem. They need to regulate it, because it gives a negative impression for the tourism of Manila. Still, we were fortunate to find a taxi who only asked 300 pesos. He also engaged in our chit chat, too. He came from Ormoc, so it was not so hard to communicate with him. He's funny and told us "Adik kasi kayo sa mga Koreano" after I told him that we have been standing for hours waiting for a taxi. Alam talaga na we watched the concert, even if we did not tell him. Ikaw na, kuya. 

That's all! Pardon me for the ramble. I still hope to go to Manila, maybe next year's Big Bang concert? They promise to return, so I shall wait for them.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Molave 2012

I'm a probinsyana and I'm proud of it. I embrace my being probinsyana, because it's an element of who I am. My personality's composition would not be complete without the probinsyana in me. There's something about having that probinsyana character in a person that is so special. Probinsyanas who subsequently live in the cities have peculiar traits, in a good way. The probinsyana spirit must be cherished by whoever possesses such. Probinsyanas are very elemental, and perhaps that's the primary reason why I am very close to nature. There are more from the probinsyanas than the mere fact that they came from the province. On that note, let me immerse you into my homeland - Molave, Zamboanga del Sur in Mindanao. This is where I was born, where I spent the first twelve years of my life before I transferred to Cebu. Molave will always be my home, but my domicile is a bit of complicated. I go back there every summer, but I have no intention of returning there as a resident. I plainly pay a visit.

This Catholic church is St. Vincent Ferrer Parish Church. It is the modified version of the church. The church before was a typical old Catholic church, which was located just at the front part of this church, now the parking area. Now, it is modern, better, and bigger. This is where our family always attended Sunday mass. As a child, I never really wholeheartedly listen to the mass (even until now). My siblings and I would always ask cents from Mama to buy food at a store outside the church. I remember, we would always buy cotton candy. Sweet tooth!

House of Saints is a new addition to the church, which has been up for about two years, if I'm not mistaken. Honestly, I only noticed it this summer 2012. Yes, this is another backlog post way back from summer.

The following photos showcase Molave Plaza, the town's park.

People can actually go up through the stairs and witness the view around the park and the park's proximity. It's not too high.

A view from the top. We can see the church's cross from there.

Another view from the top...

...and another. This is just basically the coverage of the view from the top.

You see the building under construction? That's the Municipal Hall.

The landscape design of the Municipal Hall is superb. This is not the whole landscape design, though, but I assure you, it's wonderful!

My post only features the church and the park, because we weren't able to take photos of the other sites around the town. Molave is just a decent, simple town, but a tad advanced and modern than its neighboring towns. It has more establishments compared to the other towns in the province.

Have I told you about the story of how Molave got its name? I think I already have, but I forgot the specific post. Well, this town has the tallest Molave tree that was visible way from afar. Thus, the natives from the mountains always point to the tree as a guide every time they have to come down from the mountain. When they are asked where they are heading, they would answer, to the Molave tree or simply, Molave. And that's where Molave derived its name. Sadly, I have never seen that Molave tree in the twelve years that I have lived there. The tree has probably died or was cut down before I was born. 

Oh! I planted a Molave tree at our school when I was in Grade 6. I would always take care of that little free, protected by a fence around it. I haven't gone to the school, but last time I went there (about 5 years after planting the tree), I haven't seen the fence. However, there were slightly big trees in the area where I planted it. Perhaps my tree was one of those.

The photos were post-processed with vintage-ish curves presets, because I'm feeling nostalgic.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Corporate Attire with a Fashion Twist + Marites Vitug's Book Launching + RB's Birthday

Wednesdays are Corporate Attire days! The four of us donned different floral designs on our dresses on that day. Hence, the dainty girl in us jumped for joy for the floral party. Rafael is a photobomb.
That day, September 26, was RB's birthday. The one wearing that cute floral blazer.

Yes, we're still fashionable, despite the corporate-attire rule. We bring fashion into the formal world of the legal profession. There's no law in fashion, right? 

Since it was RB's birthday, we surprised her with kalamay, sandwich, chocolate cake, mocha cake, her favorite steak sauce, her favorite lip balm, and some other stuff.

Eating time!

After snacks, we went down to attend the book launching of Marites Vitug's Hour Befor Dawn: The Fall and Uncertain Rise of the Philippine Supreme Court. This is a sequel to her Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court. She's the one and only (I suppose) journalist who has been sued for libel by a Justice of the Supreme Court. Fortunately for her, all the charges filed against her were voluntarily dropped by the Justice himself. I loved her speech! You can really tell that she's a great journalist with the content and substance of her speech. I was even engaged to listen to her all throughout her entire speech. It's very seldom that I listen to a speaker, I only listen when the speaker speaks with wit and humor. She has those. She was even so honest about naming her book Twilight to jump into the popular saga and attract attention, but her editor suggested Hour Before Dawn, so as not to be so obvious. I commented that's it similar to Breaking Dawn, though. Anyway, what is most interesting about her speech is the part where she narrated her conversation with Justice Velasco over dinner, about dropping the charges against her. Unfortunately, I could not afford to buy her book, because I'm saving my money for Big Bang's concert, but my other classmates are so lucky to buy her book (at a discounted price) and to have her signature on the book, personally signed by her after the purchase.

Class picture! We waited for our professor to arrive, expecting that he was going to have a lecture after the book launching. While waiting, we took class pictures, because we love our section. 408 love!
Since our professor did not arrive, we went off to RB's house for dinner. Foooood!

At RB's house, having photo op after dinner, right after our tummies were filled with so much delicious food. That's her mom in yellow. Can I just say that I adore her mom? She is so fun and talkative. She loves to take pictures of us and really wants us to do wacky all the time. 

This is the kind of wacky that her mom wants. Both arms raised, tongues out, and big grins on our faces. She says we're too formal, but we were just shy. So yeah, she got what she wanted.
We were going upstairs to their rooftop and party the night away with a drinking session. It was really fun, you can see it on our faces.
Thank you, RB! Happy birthday! We, 408, love you!

All photos belong to Charro, the pretty girl in pink skirt and lace top. Thank you for the photos!

P.S. I tweaked my blog, again. It's somewhat a major change, because it's the entire template that I changed, including the fonts. I opted for minimalism, because I think my previous (newly edited) template was too girly and dainty for me. It doesn't fit me. I'm not too girly and dainty. I preserved the header, though. I love it too much at this moment, so I'll allow myself to marvel and savor my header.