Monday, December 31, 2007
Happy New Year! Manigong Bagong Taon!
- from MOPWORLD
Thursday, December 27, 2007
It started with my high school reunion last December 8th. Meeting high school classmates after 25 years was a blast. Totally very tiring but so much fun. Since we had an open bar, I was happily trying what the bar had to offer most of the evening amidst the hard work of running the program.
Looking at this pic, I wonder when Vic (the guy who was hanging on me..) became really close...must be the alcohol. Hahaha! Well, this bunch of people continued on with the celebration a week later. On Dec. 14th, we all headed out to Tagaytay (http://www.tagaytay.com/) where a classmate has a beautiful home called "T" that has a great view of the lake and the smallest volcano in the world.
It must be the cool air and the fabulous place (http://www.chilline.com/tagaytay.html), but once again alcohol invaded my senses. Sitting on a deck chair, looking at the stars one cannot help but gulp down a whole pitcher of kick-ass margarita. Which led to dancing on top of a big rock beside the pool (nature's version of "the ledge").
There is also my sister Des who flew in from Dubai on Dec. 2nd. Any sibling of mine who flies in for a visit from their part of the world is already one big party. So Des stayed on until the 14th of December. Before she flew back, we had a great time drinking at The Bar of the Manila Peninsula. She wanted to feel the ambience of the site of the latest rebellion attempt! In the midst of chatting and catching up, I did not realize that I downed several of those mango daiquiris. Paging MJ: If you're reading this, this is one drink that you should try :-)
The rest of the photos are here: http://gigidm.multiply.com/photos/album/15/Tatsi_in_Manila_2007_-_The_Gimmicks
Though my other sister Teng already arrived from Denmark on Dec. 16th, another party kept me in alcohol and that's my company Christmas party last Dec. 19th. I had a great time emceeing the event and gulping down San Miguel Beer Lights until the wee hours of the next morning.
A couple of days later on the 22nd, Butch and I threw our very first party at our home. Though I was downing San Mig lights and red wine, I was so busy running around and entertaining guests that my head cleared up by mid-afternoon. I forgot to take photos though!! The few that I have are here: http://gigidm.multiply.com/photos/album/16/The_1st_Party_at_the_Purple_Birdcage
And the last so far was Christmas Eve. We (my sister Teng, brother-in-law Ramon and husband Butch) were lounging about at the house watching my husband cook dinner with Fundador and Coke cocktails and enjoyed it so much we missed Mass! I also realized that this was the first Christmas I remember that I wasn't wearing purple.
It ain't over yet...the partying...but the respite of just vegging out - sleeping the whole day was a welcome break to recharge and to be thankful.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
'Tis the longest holiday season celebration in the world - the Philippine Christmas season.
MERRY CHRISTMAS wherever you are in the world!
Maligayang Pasko from Manila and MOPWorld.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
She came in the middle of the night..sibling # 5 of Kamp Braza. The "red" girl of the family. Hard to miss her in Manila's chaotic airport. She has this bright red luggage set.
The minute she rode my car, I've been basically sleepless since. But I was so happy to see her again. It's been a year and the last we saw each other wasn't the best of times.
She used to be "Des" short for Maria Lourdes but now her business card says she's just Maria. In Dubai where she is now based, her first name is used while in the Philippines, traditionally the second name is used to distinguish the many "Marias" of this country. Oh well!
This time the medical tourist in the family is home for eye laser surgery. Last time she was here, she had arm liposuction. According to her she will have dental surgery next time she comes home to visit. Oh well!
So now, she said she can see clearly..goodbye to her contact lenses and eyeglasses. She's off to socialize after a couple of days of being our home patient. Oh well!
But I can't wait to spend time with her this weekend. She's an exasperating character but she's happy and I'm proud of her. Thank God she is still "Tatsi" to her nephews and nieces. We can all call her that until the next name evolves.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
It was already getting colder when we arrived. Loved the autumn chill! It made walking for miles and miles bearable. Despite the shock of seeing Chungking Mansion...we adapted to our surroundings and promptly went on to do what we wanted to do - see places we were not able to see back in 2004 and see friends we have not seen for a long time.
It was always a wonder to me that a place that is barely a couple of hours away from the Philippines could be so different in climate, culture and overall texture. I had fun re-acquainting myself with Tsim Sha Tsui. Just roaming around the area near our place was already a lesson in sight and smell. We were already anticipating the coming days.
Whereas before we had a tour bus bring us to our classy hotel at Harbour Plaza Metropolis (http://www.harbour-plaza.com/en/index.aspx), now Butch enjoyed his first sight of Hongkong via the A21 bus. No difference since the buses were very comfortable double deckers. And did I say our bus' upholstery was purple? Such fun! I also loved the sofa of the Adidas store. Thank God the budding chef was also quick with the camera because we later found out it was prohibited to take photos inside the shop. :-D
So Hongkong was purple galore in autumn and I definitely took advantage! More about how I took advantage of purpleness tomorrow.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
The price of the shoes? 390 NT$ each which is approx. 500 Php. A steal!!
These pair of shoes are off travelling again. It's been 3 years since I've been to HK so I am excited to see it again and most especially to see it with my budding chef hubby and my ever travel partner. I hope I can find more size 9 flat shoes over there.
I'll be back to tell the tale....Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The Jubilarian batch is very excited (that's us!) to host this party. We've lined up great entertainment for all alumni. Raffle prizes are also up for grabs.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Reverting back to my normal fangirl mode, inside Carlos P. Romulo theater last Saturday were a bunch of local celebrities in the audience. Sighted were good-looking actors TJ Trinidad and Rafael Rosel. The Eigenmans were in almost full force from Rosemarie Gil, Eddie Mesa, Mark Gil and Ryan Eigenmann.
I laugh reallly loud but that evening, Ms. Leah Salonga was laughing louder than me! She was across the aisle from us sitting with the play's director Bobby Garcia.
During the break, we also spotted Boy Abunda who was sitting at the last row in the orchestra section. Bembol Roco was also in attendance as well as Vangie Labalan, a well reputed voice talent and theater actress as well. Denise Laurel was with the Eigenmanns.
One thing I realized is that though there was this desire to ask for photos, the atmosphere was very intimate that NO ONE was taking photos with the celebrities! And I wasn't that desperate. Now if those were Takuya Kimura or any of the F4 boys....the story will be very, very different.
The only photo that I have the desire to have is with batchmate and friend Jon Santos who by the way performed so well as "Perlita", the gay owner of Studio 54 in the play. After all, I am his # 1 Fan...hahaha!
Note to self: I should get myself more of that purple knitted blouse on this coming Hongkong trip. I found that in a mall somewhere in Jordan, Kowloon side.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
At 8:15pm Tuesday, a bomb exploded at the House of Representatives killing one member of Congress and many more seriously injured. The rest of the story is at www.inquirer.net
The House of Representatives (Batasang Pambansa) is about 20 mins from where I live. Though my drive home along Mindanao Ave. was very peaceful, at the other side of the avenue things were apparently chaotic.
..............Lord, we pray for peace.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
To compensate for this lack, I collect whatever he has be it his album with his group SMAP or his movie or drama or photobooks. I am again looking forward to seeing him next year, where you might ask, I really don't know. But see him I will!!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Remember the video about our first Taipei food? Well here is the sequel of that video. Right after eating, we decided to walk around Ximending and check out the place especially Rose Music Store where we will be buying Vic Chou cds the next day. That is why we are primarily here anyway - to be in time for Zaizai's album launching and promotion events.
Ximending at night during the early evening is full of life. It is filled with young people hanging out, shopping or having dinner. You can see for yourself that the weather is already unpredictable...I will find out later that it CAN be cold! Brrrr...
Now here is something unique...Taipei's hit charts look mainly at purchases from this store, the Rose Music Store. I was so used to seeing HMVs, Tower Records or other music stores in other countries except here. So this is usually a first stop for any fangirl attending events such as album launches or autograph signing.
More video blogs later...I am starting to like this video bloggin' thing. Be forwarned my friends! hahahaha!
Saturday, November 10, 2007
So when i arrived home, I was happy to see but almost could not recognize...our alcove!
While I was taking photos of the alcove, I notice that I have updated my entertainment mecca with new tokens and souvenirs of love. Hahaha!
Hmmmmm....I want more of those purple ribbons...nothing but the prettiest for my pretty boys.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Many Takuya fans would rather not speak about this but Takuya is married with two little girls named Kokomi and Mitsuki. He married his boyhood idol Shizuka Kudo who was once a very popular member of an all-girl singing group Onyako Club.
Though many are wishing that he be single again, I would rather be his mistress forever. Hahaha!
That's about it Kuya Buddy. I hope you are a bit enlightened. And entertained. I hope you can take pictures of him because he is really a very pretty guy.
The rest of his story is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takuya_Kimura
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I want to do this again..horde purple stuff but Ochie is now back in Manila and there's no one crazy enough to do this with me. In the meantime, I'm browsing through the stores and bookmark!
I am so upset that I cannot give due homage to my unreachable star. Again, for those who are not from this planet, this man IS JAPAN'S MEGASUPERSTAR. And he is my Man of La Mancha. The one I crazily love. I may be a fan of F4 but Takuya is my heart for the past 3 years. My impossible dream!
I did see him in Japan in 2005 but he was up on stage and I was only one of the 80,000 people in the dome. I want a moment with the guy but he does not go out of Japan much. He does not "do" autograph signings. He does not hold fan meetings. In short, it is very, very, hard to see him.
I am in awe of Takuya's multitude of talent - acting, singing, dancing, playing the guitar, natural athlete, cooking, etc. He has a lot of imperfections - average height, uneven teeth but sexy, sexy as hell. Oops!
Since I cannot make a video of him yet, I'll just show you people this video of him singing with his group SMAP one of their hit songs Lion Heart.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
The first thing that we did after checking in at our hotel was eat. There are street food available just a few steps from our hotel. This is very amateurish but meet the girls and our not so inviting food. Our palate just wasn't used to the "chinese" taste. We all loved the fried rice but the pork...mmmmm...no comment.
Without further ado, meet the my travel partners and our first taste of Taiwan food.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
The Ximending (http://www.sinotour.com/scenic/102612.html) area alone holds many treasures for shoppers. I could not control myself when I bought all these cds! Too bad I don't know the name of the cd shop (but its in the 2nd floor of the shops fronting the main road) but everything that I asked for they have - SMAP, Kokia and Masaharu Fukuyama. I even got the Original Sound Track of Princess Hours, one of my favorite korean drama.
Aside from cds from Japan and Korea, another happy discovery is that Taiwan is a mecca for purple lovers like me. Sweaters, bags and shoes are all available in purple. And the prices! If only I have smaller feet (I am probably the only geisha incarnate that has size 9 feet! Hahaha!) I would have come home broke. There are a lot of stores that sell cute flat shoes for NT$ 190 or around Php 250 pesos. The more expensive ones are at NT$ 390 or Php 550 - yeah right! I could not even get shoes that cheap in the Jatujak market in Bangkok.
Presenting the hoodie sweater and flat shoes that I got. Wore them on my trip to Yilan, Vic Chou's hometown. Aren't they adorable?
Sweater = NT$ 390 (Php 550)
Flat shoes = NT$ 190 (Php 250)
Ochie bought me a couple of underwear and my happiest buy of all is this bag from Baleno (http://store.pchome.com.tw/baleno/). Just in time since the bag I use everyday already died on me. Not sure if I will still see this same bag in Hongkong this month end so I grabbed it.
So shopping done, me and the girls went about what we originally came here for - sightseeing of Meteor Garden locations, Album launching events of Vic "Zaizai" Chou and of course, the F4 Party Part 2!
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
One of the non-negotiable places that I wanted to see in Taipei is the current world's tallest building - Taipei 101. I told the girls that I am not leaving Taiwan without seeing it. So before we did any fangirl activities, we had a short debate whether to go during the day or night. I guess the pictures tell which opinion won.
From Taipei Main Station, the building is about 10 mins away on foot. I must admit that at first sight, the Petronas Tower in Malaysia looked more impressive especially with the lights on. But this building stands above the rest in Taipei that when you go around the city, it serves as a beacon and guide to all.
The experience I had at the 86th floor viewing area was one of the most awesome I have ever had. There is a free audio tour that guides you where to look and tells you what you are looking at. Not for the acrophobic (fear of heights), the sight of Taipei in lights was surprisingly beautiful.
To get to the 86th floor, one must take a 30 second elevator ride from the 6th floor of the building. 80 floors in 30 seconds!!! And that is courtesy of what the Taiwanese claim as the fastest elevator in the world. Going down is a bit slow - yeah 37 seconds! But if they go any faster my eardrums would probably blow up into pieces so thank God for that extra 7 seconds of slowness. Hahaha!
Visitors must not miss the souvenir shop. Though the T-shirts are a bit pricey at NT$ 650 (approx. Php 910), they are of good quality and design. Plus, for some reason you won't find much t-shirts in the night markets and Ximending area. Puzzling...
And the coolest thing for me is that they have a mailing station right there where you buy a postcard and a stamp for about NT$ 6, write on your card and drop in a mailbox. There are even stamp pads that you can use that says "family", "friend", etc. So Ochie and I decided to exchange postcards and mail each other from 101.
I walked away, looking back and saying in the words of my nephew Spade - awesome, awesome!
Thursday, November 1, 2007
During the 2-hour flight, I listened to Vic Chou's album Remember I Love You (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remember,_I_Love_You) to familiarize my ears to the sound of the Mandarin language again. It has been a while since I listened to Mandarin songs (more about why later..) and the short flight is just about right for one album.
On arrival at the Taoyuan International Airport, I thought it looked like Fukuoka's airport. Very simple. Not as breathtaking as Suvarnabhumi in my humble opinion. What will make the airport unforgettable to a fangirl tourist like me is this:
Naturally, everyone on the Cebu Pacific flight who is a fan of F4 stopped and took pictures to the amusement or snickers of non-believers. To heck with getting out of immigration - photo op muna!
While I was lining up to get my passport stamped, I suddenly felt an old excitement which I had not had in quite a while...anticipation of seeing not only Taiwan but the 4 boys who greeted me and the places where they were seen, walked and filmed.
The only cog in the wheel of this nice welcome was the sight of about 50 Filipino workers being literally horded out of the airport by this nasty Filipino-Chinese coordinator who shouts and gives horrible sounding instructions in Tagalog. I felt offended by his harsh instruction of a very simple thing such as taking their jackets off (I wonder why this was such a big thing for him?). I can only wish them good luck and say a quick prayer for their success.
......taking deep breathes......
The girls and I rode the airport shuttle that took us to Cosmos hotel where one can take a short cab ride to the Ximending area where we stayed. Now, Ximending..that's another story.Note: This purple blogger will never compare her own country's pauper looking NAIA airport. Ever. Period.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
For the past 4 years, I could not put a name to this hobby that I have gotten into - that of travelling to a destination not only because of the sights but also because of the events that feature my favorite asian artist.
In May 2004, I went to Hongkong to mainly attend the F4 Pepsi Event at the Hongkong Convention Center. For those who does not live in this side of the planet, F4 is a group of Taiwanese guys who gained popularity all over Asia via a drama called Meteor Garden. The group is composed of Jerry Yan, Vic Zhou, Ken Chu and Vanness Wu. If you're asking for more check out (http://onlyf4.proboards48.com/).
So with 17 other girls from the Philippines, we waited for F4 to arrive at the airport coming from various engagements in China. We chased after F4's van on their way to rehearsals. Imagine me running around the streets of Hongkong!!! I experienced all modes of transport from subways and taxis, to double deckers buses to the wooden ferry boat and the tram just because of the itinerary fandom brings.
A year after in August 2005, a friend and I went on a journey to the Land of the Rising Sun - Japan. No we, were not there for the cherry blossoms (it was the height of summer!) or for the sights of Fukuoka, Japan. We were there to watch the concerts of SMAP. A pop group composed of Masahiro Nakai, Kimura Takuya, Katori Shingo, Inagaki Goro and Kusanagi Tsuyoshi. After F4, I became crazy about SMAP who as a group has released many albums and singles and individually acts in movies and dramas. Again for those of you who do not know anything besides American entertainment, here is a preview of who SMAP is.
And so we walked, and walked and walked some more. From our hotel to the subway station, from the subway to the Yahoo Fukuoka Dome and back. I can still remember screaming in the streets of Fukuoka how I miss my car!
And so tomorrow is another Fandom Tourism kind of trip. I will probably see Taipei 101 as it is the tallest building in the world for the moment. But I am so very sure that I would walk many kilometres, sweat and stalk the cd stores of Ximending. I will tell the tale when I come back.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Credits: To professional photographer Buddy Manaois of Batch '82 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Who would have thought that about 10 people (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view_article.php?article_id=95697) will die and so many more injured? The blast was a tragedy. And though this country of ours has already experienced a number of tragic events, what made this different is that now, I know one of the casualties.
For the families of these people who were probably just enjoying a day or lunch hour at the mall, it is difficult to accept that danger lurks in such a usually enjoyable place. This is not the first time that a bombing has happened in this part of the city but knowing one casualty who you used to work with and who you saw last month at the badminton court, makes it seem more real..more heartbreaking...more outrageous.
For many of us who are still around it makes us more diligent and observant about our surroundings. Events such as this makes us more thankful that the Lord is kind to spare us. And finally, this incident makes bonds of friendship tighter, bonds of being in a corporate team more cohesive, family ties are renewed and re-cemented.
Rest in Peace Onin and may you become one of the angels that help pray for this nation's survival.
Friday, October 19, 2007
OJ's opening song was George Michael's I Gotta Have Faith. Though the song is upbeat, for some reason, the energy of OJ was low. He did not have an instant connection with the audience at first but as he sang one song after another, he finally warmed up to the audience.
OJ has a good voice perfectly suited for songs by Luther Vandross, Peebo Bryson or Eric Benet. However, in some songs, he seemed to be scared to hit the high notes (or was it a lack of musical direction?). His rendition of Luther Vandross' Dancing with my Father moved me to tears...ask my husband who was surprised when he saw me sniffling and reaching for my tissues. I was loving his rendition of Through the Fire when he suddenly decided to change costume and has his back-up keyboardist sing the rest of the song.
The best parts of the show were his medley of Boyz 2 Men songs and the duet with Kyla, who sang 2 songs prior to the duet. It was a beautiful duet that I finally remembered I had video features in my phone camera. Unfortunately, I forgot to set the video time to longer than 20 seconds so please bear with the shortness of the following clips.
Congratulations OJ! Congratulations Dennis!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Photo albums, in my opinion are doomed for extinction. Far and few can be seen at the bookstores these days. The advent of digital cameras, computers and other forms of storage like the Ipod have made the albums less and less needed. It is now more expensive to make prints and more often inconvenient despite the advertisments of one hour developing. The plug and download functions of my digicam is just too fast.
I love my purple albums and will one day make a project of printing a few of my pictures especially the travel ones. Just as a conversation piece...and I'd like to be able to use that nice album I picked up at Jatujak Weekend Market ( http://www.jatujakguide.com/main/about_jj_eng.htm) on a recent trip to Bangkok, Thailand. In the vastness of Jatujak, I stumbled on this nicely crafted handmade paper album just before I expired of thirst and exhaustion. Its shades of purple and the elephant decor is just too hard to resist. I got the big one and bought a smaller version for my fellow purple-crazy friend Ochie.
There are actually tons of purple stuff that can be found in Thailand but that's another story...I am now on the lookout for a purely purple album similar to the sizes of my old ones and I will tell you all once I am successful with my mission. :-D
One day that TV is going to be plasma. *Runs off to add to wish list*
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
I don't know how or when it started but I loved the color ever since I was in grade school. My Maming (that's how we call our mom) used to have a headache looking for purple stuff for me because in the old days purple colored stuff was rare. So both of us would always have a victorious feeling whenever we find one.
So I will definitely talk about what I have collected since then and how I live a purple-colored life. I would probably talk about my other obsessions like Japanese entertainment and my obsession for anything japanese at the moment as well as my other silly and crazy pursuits, the latest one of which is collecting flip flops that are well, purple in color and/or design. Or my loot from trips...and the trips itself. Like this one from a recent trip to Singapore.
So to my potential readers (no harm in dreaming, right?), I hope you have fun here, write me comments and keep coming back okay?