Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fandom Tourism

I was sitting at my desk eating a late lunch when the phrase hit me. Tomorrow I'll be flying to Taipei with 8 other girls of all ages, shapes and sizes to go on a kind of trip that I now call Fandom Tourism. Finally, a word to describe this crazy thing that I do!!!

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.

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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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hHo0BHxlio

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

BENEFETE - Jon Santos Live and In Person(s)


Jon Santos, stand-up comedian par excellence said that comedy is the sum of tragedy plus time.

On the date of the bombing at Glorietta Mall in Makati City, Philippines, high school class of '82 held a fundraising show starring one of our best products Jon Santos. With a hope of raising money for our homecoming and our charity, the batch bravely faced the thought that no one would watch our October 19 show because of the bombing. Who would want to laugh at a time like this?

However, as they say, the show must go one and with a 3/4 full house, Jon set to entertain his audience and promptly made all of us forget our worries for a couple of hours.

I found his Armida Siguion-Makareyna character absolutely hilarious. His parody of comparing the olden days of kundiman (which the real Armida Siguion-Reyna has popularized) and the modern sound of rock brought the house down especially when he sang the rock song lyrics to the medley of popular kundimans. Jon brought tears in my eyes when he pretended to teach one of the audience kundiman and segued smoothly to the mandarin theme song of Meteor Garden Ni Yao De Ai. He knew I am an avid fan of the drama's stars F4.

Jon's other popular character, Ate Vi also showed up. And tons of political characters from former presidents Erap, Cory and Fidel to Imelda Marcos presented in the funny guise of running for the barangay elections.



Overall everyone had a total "blast" as in I went to the mall and had a blast kind. Jon only joked about the bombing during the Saturday show. It gave all of us an insight to the intelligent kind of humor this person has..of his sensitivity. My 14-year old niece Ysabela summed up nicely what Jon personify as a comedian - that humor need not be "bastos" or slapstick and green.

For that Jon should be proud of his craft. For us his classmates in highschool, this event generated a new brand of respect for a certain Mr. Santos, who claimed not the richest in class nor the most successful in their careers but the most flawless. Absolutely right, flawless humor.

p.s.
Lest I forget, musical entertainment was provided by Kinki Hooters and The Dawn, who gave a good cover of one of my favorite songs of all time, U2's With or Without You. It was nostalgia baby when they sang Envelope Ideas during the Saturday show.

Credits: To professional photographer Buddy Manaois of Batch '82 (badong@rocketmail.com)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Terrorism: Closer to Home

Friday was an ordinary working day were people working in Makati usually eat lunch out in Glorietta mall...just to break the monotony of eating on their desks or food from the jollijeeps (those meals on wheels plying Makati City streets).

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

OPM Break: OJ Mariano Best of Me

My husband and I took a little break from everyday life to watch the concert of OJ Mariano (http://www.starrecords.ph/album.asp?id=99&page=9) entitled Best of Me at Ratsky's Bar along Tomas Morato in Quezon City. It was the first time I listened to a local artist live in a long time. Produced by Bright Lights Entertainment, owned by my good friend Dennis Arce, OJ's guest was Kyla, monickered as the R&B Princess.

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.


video

video

Congratulations OJ! Congratulations Dennis!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

An 80's Artifact


Look at what I found in my shoe cabinet! It's an old pair of espadrilles circa 1980's. I, of course, kept it because it's purple and in those days this color on anything is hard to come by (I did say that earlier right?).
I also realized that espadrille is a french word..and after all these years, the product is made mostly in Bangladesh. Huge credit to wiki for these tidbits of information. I was just so happy to see it and wear it once more. The quality of the pair is still intact. I thought the rope sole would give way once my not so light body weight mass steps on it but lo and behold! It stayed exactly as I found it.
Now I have to remember to wear it at home. Big danger if I wear it outside and then it rains! And I wonder, does anyone except for citizens of Catalonia and spanish europe still wear this? It was a huge hit in the Philippines back in the 80's. We would even buy several pairs of different colors and brag about our latest buy during no uniform fridays in high school. You could say that it was the "havaianas" of the 80's in its popularity.
Great timing! It's almost my high school class reunion...

Monday, October 15, 2007

DOOMED TO EXTINCTION


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

The View Before I Go To Sleep

Every time I lie down on our bed, the view that I see before I fall asleep would be my purple cabinet. I just love the purpleness of it. The rest of my bedroom is painted white except this portion. The top most cabinet houses my luggage. The cabinet on top of the TV is my bag haven. For a woman, I have a pretty small closet. I even share this with my husband. So every year, I am forced to sort through my stuff and let go of items that I have not used and/or don't need. For someone who lives in a birdcage (what I call my one bedroom flat), it has become a necessary evil for an original pack rat like me. But here's a secret, hiding under our bed are boxes of stuff that won't fit anywhere yet in the birdcage.

One day that TV is going to be plasma. *Runs off to add to wish list*

Sunday, October 14, 2007

All Flip-Flopped


As soon as the weekend rolls around, me 'ol feet is usually just in flip-flops. Ever since I was introduced to Havaianas (http://www.havaianas.com/), I found myself collecting flip-flops most especially those with purple themes and designs. Since I wear a size 40, it was hard at the beginning to buy my size in Manila. I bought one in Japan and one in
Singapore on previous trips.

Lately though, the Havaianas shops now carry my size and most importantly carry inventory of purple themed flops. Aside from Havaianas, I also possess a couple of Sandalias Dupe and Reef.

Since the Philippines is a year round tropical country, flip-flops to me is the best casual footwear because of its versatility. I can wear my nicely designed flops out on dinner with my husband and friends or to the supermarket. Sunny days are flip-flop days but is also a godsend on rainy, wet days. When I travel to other asian countries flops serve me well during those long sightseeing walks.
There are a couple of flops that I am wanting. But not until I get tired of my flavor of the month Reef (shown photo with my purple manicured toe nails of course).
How about you folks? What's your foot fetish? More of my purple foot fetishes in future posts.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

My One Color World

Word warrior...that's what the Tickle test of intelligence said about me. Naturally, I believed it fool that I am. So I've decided to test this talent and blog about me. And the only thing that I can think of to start with is my obsession with one color (well a set of shades if I'd like to nitpick..hehe) and that is PURPLE.

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.

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So to my potential readers (no harm in dreaming, right?), I hope you have fun here, write me comments and keep coming back okay?