Monday, December 29, 2008

More Reason to Celebrate...

After my sister's Gift-Giving project, I found that there's more reason to celebrate this season...
  1. My brother Denver surprised us with his arrival last Dec. 22nd. He flew in from Dubai, UAE which makes it 4 Kamp Braza siblings in Manila. Our parents would be very happy in heaven as this is the first time in 2 years that the 4 of us were in one space and time. Wish we could make it 5 Kampers but there's still a next time...
  2. My purple world grew..much more! Pics to come. =)
  3. Seeing old friends in the old neighborhood. Christmas Eve was spent hearing the traditional mass at our old neighborhood's open air chapel. It was great to see old family friends and exchanging quick updates on our respective lives.
  4. Spending 3 days at the beach with my whole Kamp. Loved that we got to spend time to bond with each other and just be together.

This season is fast becoming one the best for me...

Oh and lastly, 3,000 + visits! Thank you to all my friends who bother to drop by and check up on purple-crazy me. I love you all! & And keep coming back please!

And before I get mixed up again in the merry activities leading to New Year - Happy, Blessed 2009 to all of you out there!!! May your Kamp flourish and be continuously blessed in the year to come.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Indeed the season of giving...

My youngest sister Maria (Tatsi to her 9 nephews and nieces) came home for a month-long vacation from Dubai and one of the things she has planned is to do a gift-giving to the slum area near our community. She raised funds from her generous friends in Dubai which she used to prepare 500 bags of basic staples like rice, coffee, canned goods and noodles.

She enlisted the help of the whole Kamp (our pet name for the Dimaano family and relatives) from shopping for the goods to packing them assembly line style into individual bags and giving away claim tickets to each family in the squatter community she chose.

And finally on Sunday, December 21st, Tatsi rented a closed van, packed the whole Kamp into a couple of SUVs and we're off to distribute the goods.

The day was extra special since Kamp Braza Shanghai (our other Maria in the family and her husband Ramon and son Joshua though not in this pic) also flew in for the holidays. They were promptly recruited and were just so happy to help out.

The line was already long when we arrived. Tatsi, Ramon and our uncle Jolly took the front. My husband Butch, sister-in-law Pam and nieces Selina and Ysabela took the middle while my sister Teng and my nephews, Joshua, Spade and Juan took the rear.

Our youngest "volunteer" is only turning 3 years old. And what did I do? Took pictures, patrolled the immediate area to make sure only those with claim tickets get near the gift giving line.

It was such a humbling experience for all of us. It made us happy to be of help even with just this little thing and made us appreciate the many blessings that God has bestowed on our family.

It made all of us proud of our dear Maria Lourdes to have thought of doing this project. She was able to really bring the meaning of giving to each and every member of the family down to littlest member.

We hope that we could do more next year and do it together with our dear family members who are far away and who we miss so much.

From Kamp Braza (the children and grandchildren of Paterno Braza Dimaano and Erlinda Dimaano) to all the Kamps in the world, may you all be happy kampers this Christmas and for the rest of 2009.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
MALIGAYANG PASKO AT MANIGONG BAGONG TAON!





Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm in BAG Trouble!!!

Yes, i am in big bag trouble! I was not into luxury bags before but this year, two bags caught my eye and I just could not say no to their purple beauty..

I saw this bag in the Ferragamo store in Dubai last June just a few days before I was leaving for Manila. I fell in love with the shape and the color (obviously..LOL!) and said to myself that I will save up to get me one of these soon.

A couple of weeks later I received a call from my sister with only just this question "Ferragamo is on sale, am i buying this for you or not?"... never before was I subjected to shopping pressure than this! With a deep breath, a huge swallow of air and 2 seconds of thought, I said, y-y-yess!

I had to wait for my precious for almost 6 months and finally just a few days ago, it is now in my hands! I am loving it. Though it looked small, it is roomy and could fit my humongous wallet and make-up kit.

And when I thought that would be the only expensive handbag that I would buy, never did I expect that one day in September, I would find another precious again.

Kamp HQ (my family in Manila) went to the cemetery to visit my Maming's grave to commemorate her birthday and voted to have dinner afterwards at the Alabang Town Center. After dinner, we all broke into mini groups to do some shopping. I was just tagging along with my sister-in-law Pam when she called me to join her in this store and pointed this Kate Spade beauty.

Once again, I was stunned and awed! I already imagined myself going to work with the beauty in my arm. I sat down and shook my head. I was going to Shanghai in a few days and does not have the budget to spend. But they have a credit card 3 months to pay interest free promo and my sister-in-law Pam is the biggest BI (bad influence for y'all who are wondering..hehe) in the world so a half-hour later I came out of the store with a new bag.

I'm broke but I'm happy... I have been humming this Alanis Morissette song Hand in my Pocket for the last two days. Hahaha! I have accepted my handbag fate. That I will probably add more and will eventually have a tiny collection.

I know my sister Maria/Des will protest and ask why do they have to be purple. I will try NOT to buy all purple bags... I will really try! :-)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Twilight, The Movie..Lessons from/because of/as a result of..

I had to add "the movie" because I have not read the book and will probably not read it just like the Harry Potter books. But the late bloomer that I am does not close doors because who know..2 or 3 years from now..:)

So anyway I went to see the movie today at Trinoma and here are some of the things that I have learned from watching the movie and events that lead me to watch it.

1. I have learned that husbands, the likes that thrive on action movies even the B-ones, may like and anticipate this kind of movie. I cannot forget the face of playmate Butch when he was watching the movie trailer the other day. I guess it's the "action" in what Edward can do in the movie that made him turn to me (a non-fan of the vampire genre) with pleading eyes and asking me if we can watch.

2. I have learned that as one grows a bit older, one's energy can get zapped after a trip to the supermarket and then on to the movies. So what better way to regain your energy than sleep and snore your way through the tons of trailers and commercials before the actual start of the movie! And don't forget to tell your movie partner to wake you up when the movie is about to start.

3. I have learned that Och, my best girl who went with us to the movies does not like the movie as much as the book because a lot of the girls who are crazy about the book were crazy about the movie as well. My fangirlfriends basically stalked the movie theater and watched more than once! I thought I was the only one who thought Edward was either constipated or drank animal blood turned bad for breakfast at that scene where they saw each other for the first time in class. Hahaha!

4. I have learned that I will never be cured of being a hopeless romantic and a sucker for plots that also portray strong family relations. Nevermind that I saw this nice touch in the movie with the Cullens. Concepts such as unconditional love, accepting who your family member loves as part of the family, and distance never becoming an issue as long as you reach out and talk to family members often - always top my list.

5. And finally I've learned that this sentence that I picked up from an email forward is so very similar to Bella's character (and to some extent mine) that the words kept repeating in my head especially after Bella said her last narrative in the movie.

Email:

"As I mature, I learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in." - author unknown

Of course the word "stalk" is taken under the context of hounding, bugging, begging (?), conniving, etc.

Bella:

"I know what I want" (when Edward refused to turn her into a vampire).

I suspect without reading the rest of the books that Bella would do her best to stalk Edward to give in to what she wants.

And so in the spirit of hoping someone's object of affection gives in one day, I accompanied Och to the salon yesterday. Because my personal take on this matter is that one must look nice while one "stalks" because one must be ready if the object of one's affection does give in. Hahaha!




Twilight, the movie website - http://twilightthemovie.com/

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The day we were asked..deal or no deal?

My celebrity batch mate Jon Santos invited me and several of our batchmates to be his "kapamilya" (members of his family) as he joins the US syndicated show Deal or No Deal hosted by Kris Aquino on ABS-CBN.

Everyone was excited because we will get a look at how a game show is put together and of course, we were excited that Jon will play and hopefully win. I was especially excited because it was going to be my TV debut. LOL!

So one afternoon in late October, we all gathered at our famous doctor batchmate's clinic Faces and Curves (http://facesandcurves.com/) and headed out to ABS-CBN. It was such a big production determining who rides with who and who will bring which car as there were like 20 of us including a couple of spouses and children! So we took a few seconds to take pictures. Of course I was in full purple glory for my tv debut. =)

So there we were at the ABS-CBN compound. While waiting for our turn to do the "taping", Jon treated the whole tribe to Starbucks. It gave us the chance to chat up a storm and catch up on each other's lives. We also spoke about what Jon's threshold of happiness would be if faced with the question of whether to deal or not to deal.


After a couple of hours, we were finally ushered inside the studio and into Jon's dressing room where we waited for another half hour. This TV business (and I guess the whole entertainment business) consists of a whole lot of waiting. =)


So while the celebrity contestant figured out his outfit and puts on make-up, we his cheering squad continued to chat and laugh and well, did some make-up retouching as well for what are those big lighted mirrors for?

And after a nerve-wracking 30 minute show where thankfully I did not have to give a number, the batch celebrated Jon's win with this photo in the main stage.


And Jon's generosity yielded our batch fund a good amount of money which we can use for our next charity activity. We capped the day with a sumptous dinner at Little Asia in Greenhills - yum!

Thank you Jon for another unforgettable experience. And thank you for your generosity!

You may still catch Jon together with Candy Pangilinan and John Lapuz at their "Spooftacular Showdown" at the Music Museum on November 28 and 29, 8pm.



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Paping..

Happy Birthday Paping!
It's been two years since you left. I miss you and Maming.
I love you.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

36 years old and gorgeous as ever...

You are the sunshine of my life
That's why I'll always be around
You are the apple of my eyes
Forever you'll stay in my heart

Happy Birthday Takuya!!!

so unoriginal..so cheesy..so trite..
so true.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Purple World Has Expanded Again...

Hah! You guys think that because I was busy with my fangirl pursuits, I wouldn't have time to further enlarge my purple world? Wrong! While I was watching, screaming and buying fangirl souvenir items, I also did some purple shopping.



A trip to Japan will not be complete if I don't indulge in a few pens from Muji (http://www.mujionline.co.uk/index.asp?). In fact, it was my first purchase together with SMAP's latest album from Tobu Shopping Mall. I horde up on Muji pens wherever I find myself near one. I found more pens in this nice store along Ginza called Toy Park. I loved their shopping bag so I kept it for obviously purplish reasons.

The purple sweatshirt from Uniqlo (http://www.uniqlo.com/jp/) is just one of the few purple pieces that I got. Thanks to my travel buddy Vic, I was introduced (to the dismay of my debit card..) to this wonderful store called Uniqlo (read Yunikuro) which is everywhere in Tokyo and Yokohama. Their prices are totally reasonable even for Philippine standards. And yey, they have sizes for relatively (hehe..) big girls like me.

Now those nice Tombow pencils were a gift from Vic. I was actually mulling whether to buy them or not when she beat me to the cash register. Thank you and I love you Vic! Hahaha!

The purple Pringles (Tomato Mozarella) is new to our eyes so we were munching on this variation during the trip.



The craziest purchase I made was this gorgeous toy camera I found in Roponggi Hills. The Holga 120N Medium format plastic camera (http://www.freestylephoto.biz/holgawood_camera_formally_known_as_holga.php) is something that I could not resist. It was impulsive and crazy to buy something which will probably just earn a nice place in my shelves. But I absolutely love it and will play with it with my nephews and nieces. Hope I get the film installed right because I can't remember the last time I used one!

The goodies with the camera were not my purchases but wow did it expand the purple world some more! Thanks to my new friend who goes by the online name of Jasmine, I will never know that stuff like Grape Chocolate existed in this world.

And finally I got a Crocs Prima in grape (naturally) because I've always wanted to buy one and surprise of all surprises it was a couple of hundred pesos cheaper in Tokyo than Manila. Did not realize I don't have a pic but here's what it looks like - http://www.shoebuy.com/crocs-prima/190623/473396?cm_mmc=yahoo-feed-_-none-_-none-_-none.

Needless to say, the purple world is once again happy, happy, joy, joy!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Longest Hangover..

One month since I flew out of Manila and 24 days since I came back, my soul is still back there..in Japan. My longest travel hangover ever!!

Maybe because I had the ultimate fangirl experience of watching both SMAP and F4 in one trip..or that I've met fantastic people..or that I just love Japan period. It does not help that I now go to my Nihonggo classes every Saturday and study everyday. I would still catch myself staring into space and remembering everything.

After a busy couple of weeks, I finally downloaded photos I took with my mobile phone (which incidentally died on me yesterday). I can still remember the excitement I felt as we neared Tokyo Dome last September 30th. It was my first time to attend a Tokyo Dome concert and despite the rain, I was so happy to look around. I even wanted to ride the roller coaster if the weather was good (though it did not stop many folks. The coaster kept on operating despite the rain) but I chickened out. Next time...

I braved the rains and did my concert souvenir shopping. I was a good girl and did not bring my camera. I did not want to go through the hassle of leaving them and claiming later. It was a good decision because with 80,000 people trying to leave the dome at the same time after a concert, claiming something might take me forever.
I was overwhelmed with happiness after the SMAP concert that I forgot to take a quick photo with the stage behind me. Thank God I did not forget to snap a shot of me with my concert buddies - Minori, Minori's oneechan (sister) and Vic, whose face almost did not make it to the frame. Gomenasai Vic.


And of course my F4 concert experiences in Yokohama and Tokyo. Both times I was pretty much sitting by myself. I can still remember my excitement to find the arena. It was my first time in Yokohama and I did not get lost. And I cannot forget my 1st night arena seat which gave me a great view of everything especially the boys.


So obviously I can still blabber non-stop about the experience. I am definitely getting the SMAP concert dvd when it comes out on Dec. 17. I am hoping and hoping aloud (paging the folks who produced F4's Japan Tour!!!) that F4 will also come out with their own concert dvd.
Watching the concert dvds and reminiscing about my special trip will probably shut me up...or not?! =)


Saturday, October 25, 2008

So many men...so little time


17 days after I got back from Japan, I have to admit that my soul is still back there. And while browsing through the tons of photos I have, I was amused at how many men sightings are in my photo folders.

Not only was I busy spotting Kimura Takuya or watching concerts of SMAP and F4, I was also diligent in spotting many other Japanese actors/idols who I have some sort of liking to. Gomenasai Takuya. Gomenasai Zaizai. Gomenasai Vanness. Gomenasai Jerry. Gomenasai Ken. Please forgive my wandering eyes.

For the rest of the men sighted by mopworld, please head on out to this site: http://gigidm.multiply.com/photos/album/47/So_many_men_so_little_time..._

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kimura Takuya..on my mind

For the past 4 years, Kimura Takuya has been tattooed in my mind. So it's no wonder that when I was back in Japan, all I was pre-occupied with when walking all over Tokyo.

This one I spotted Sept. 30th while walking in the Shinjuku area. It was raining but I did not care, Vic just had to take my pic in the rain!

This next pic was taken in between buildings! We were walking through Harajuku St. last Oct 1 when I spotted this big billboard. I had to click the camera just at the right time because it was a busy street and cars zipped back and forth. Success!!
And on our walk back, I was happy that we were taking that road. So with quick fingers, travel sister Vic had to take this shot. LOL!
We spotted this Fujitsu shop across the street in the Ginza walk. Again, it took all effort to take a clean shot!

And then we spotted this "mojakura" billboard towards the subway exit to Roponggi Hills. I loved this shot of me taken by none other than Vic, my travel sister.


And would I have insisted to my host family that I would like to see the Sankaku-hashi bridge if not for Takuya's 2004 drama Pride? Of course not! But no self-respecting member of Takuya's harem will miss being on this bridge if they find themselves in Yokohama.

And who would have thought of going to the Parliament building and have their photo taken in the middle of the street if not for the memorable scene in Takuya's latest drama CHANGE?

And I couldn't go home without seeing Odaiba and Fuji TV. It was a no brainer choice between Fuji TV and Tokyo Tower. Hahahaha!! Fuji TV is the home studio of Takuya and his group SMAP and their long-running variety show SMAPXSMAP.

For 2 years, I have envied Ochie for her pic in this mini-set of SMAPXSMAP's Bistro. So when I sat down and had my pic taken by Rachel, I felt such satisfaction that when we left Fuji TV, I said to myself "I am ready to come home".

There are more photos of billboard sightings which just goes to show what sort of "superstar" Kimura Takuya is in Japan - huge! For the rest of the photos, please click the link below.
http://gigidm.multiply.com/photos/album/46/Kimura_Takuya..Tattoed_on_my_Mind




Friday, October 10, 2008

F4 Japan Tour 2008 in Tokyo...One More Time

One more time, I went to watch F4's concert this time in Tokyo last October 7. I was still alone in my stand seat but not exactly because May and Rachel were just a binocular away.

Nippon Budokan was a bigger venue than Yokohama arena and that night, it was packed to the rafters. Congratulations to the boys! My only complaint is that stand-o audiences did not see one part of the stage because of the venue design.

So I was there on my East-Row F-Seat 14 chair and was pleasantly surprised that one more time it was Zaizai's side during the opening number. I don't know exactly how to describe it but the boys seem "genkier" that night. Maybe because the opening show blues are gone? Or they had the chance to get drunk and do some bonding in between concert dates...whatever...they look more harmonious.

Everyone was gorgeous that evening but I'd like to especially note that Vanness dropped the eyeliner and was therefore drop dead gorgeous. LOL!

So one more time, I want to complain that we can't see the stage below us but one number we were all surprised when Jerry went on the crane and was like soooo near us. From then on I stopped silently complaining and said to myself that the production folks already thought of it and compensated.

One new thing in the show was Vanness singing a Japanese r&b song acapella which I find really sweet and cool. Then before Ken sang Lalala, he said he hurt his arm and couldn't wave it too much. Awww... poor baby! He was the one who always told his fans "safety first" and he wasn't careful. Despite this he proceeded to push the sleeves of his t-shirt and showed his *chokes* arms. It don't look hurt to me...

When Zaizai's broadway number came on, something was obviously wrong with the center revolving stage. After Zai's number, the show stopped for about 10 minutes due to technical difficulties. What is admirable about the japanese fans, actually everyone there including all gaijins like me was that no one complained and patiently waited. I took that opportunity to chat with my seatmate.

The show was announced to be resuming shortly and all I could think about was what will the boys do to compensate. I know the Japanese for their pride in the quality of their work. They must do something..and voila! Zaizai came out again with his fingers doing the number 1 sign and everyone went wild. He did his number all over again! Wow!

The show is pretty much the same as in Yokohama except that this time, I appreciated the dance sequence of Vanness with girls. They were very sexy and Vann baby, you were meant to dance with women..

During the Memory Pieces number of Jerry, everyone was so amused when the tiger mascot carried Jerry piggy back style! Jerry himself was laughing and couldn't sing properly for a few seconds. That was fun!

Zai-Ken fans would also be happy to hear that during Qing Fei De Yi, Zai and Ken air kissed! Then Zai did the rabu rabu wave with Jerry. That was fun too! The conversation between them (though I have no idea what they were talking about) seemed to be candid and not scripted. When Zai asked Jerry to introduce the next number, Jerry said in English "ladies and gentlemen", then he wanted to speak in Japanese but was still thinking in english because what he said was "next wa" - Japenglish! He then said the right words "tsugi wa Vanness!"

Again, for some reason I find the numbers of Vanness sexier this time around. I had goosebumps when he took off his hat and shook his hair (maybe he would cut it shorter again..) during Listen to Your Heart. One more time, I will say that I love the boy to bits but the hair and goatee does make him look older than his 30 (already?!) years.

We, stand -o people were again blessed when the next guy on the crane was Zaizai for his japanese songs. He was in front of us sooo long that I had the chance to scream "Zai, mahal kita!". Who cares if he heard me and knew that was I love You in Tagalog. Hahaha! I just wanted to shout my love..

Jerry sang, in my honest opinion, One Meter better this time around. No twinkle, twinkle little stars on the piano this time. And were those real tears because my heart felt like it was being squeezed with how the number seemed to be so sad.

One more time, I enjoyed Zaizai's Mama Shuo (thanks to May). But then something caught my eye that made me amused though no one seemed to care - the spelling of the word boarding was wrong! It was spelled "boading". Hahahaha!!! Again, who cares? The cute bazooka distracted me from proof reading the whole thing on the projector screen. =)

More show of genki-ness when Jerry gave Zai a kiss and a rose (isn't that a Seal song?) during their duet. Jerry yasashii ne...

One more time, Show Me Your Love was a great number. Zaizai was shaking his butt nicely, Vanness and Ken worked the crowd singing closely to the crown and throwing kisses!

As they sung Goodbye, I was again in tears because this trip is coming to a close and I am not only saying goodbye to Japan but to F4 and the many friends who spent time with me - Mayo, Minori, Minori no onechan (gomen ne I forgot her name), Chicharu-chan, Satoko, Sakura, Kana, Yuichi-san, Eve, Yoke-chan, Winnie, Pyo, Michi, Sylvia, Naomi and Jasmine.

The show was made more special because I was already going home and not seeing the Oct 8 show and as I told my seatmate who is now a new friend, Manami, she gave me the pen light as a souvenir to take home. How could I stop crying?

The boys came out one more time after the encore because no one simply moved from their seat. They said their goodbyes and thank you's one more time with Zaizai bowing for so long at each part of the stage. That was really kakkoi. Again, how could I stop crying?

It was only when I was hustling out of the venue and I felt someone pat my back and said daijoubu (it's ok) that I stopped crying. Kyoko, from Kobe who I bump into everywhere from Taipei to Yokohama and now Tokyo was behind me and saying kiotskette kudasai (be careful). I laughed and told her that she should be the one to take care because she got hurt during the stampede in Taipei last January.

So one more time, goodbye F4... so long my boys. Until the day that I would say "hao jiu bu jian".

Note: Thanks to May for the correction of my chinese pinyins. =)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

F4 Japan Tour 2008 in Yokohama...All to Myself

Last night, I had F4 all to myself at the Yokohama Arena because I ended up watching the kick-off concert of F4’s 3 city, 7 show tour hitori ne – alone. For some reason whoever was supposed to watch with me did not show up.

I was even excited to go to the arena from where I am staying in the suburbs of Tsurugamine, Yokohama. I arrived at Shin-Yokohama (some 8 local train stations away and 5 subway stations from downtown Yokohama) at 5pm. My ticket said gates will open at 6m and show will start at 7pm. Since I was early and hungry, I decided to find a good place to eat and gladly found it not far away from the arena.

I was back at the arena as the gates were just opened. Following the throng of people, I went about finding my seat. My F8-39 seat was a lower level seat on eye level with the stage. My SMAP concert arena tickets would still be “the” arena ticket for me so far in my fangirl days but I’m not complaining since the venue is not as gigantic as the Tokyo Dome. I can still see them clearly without having to resort to binoculars.

Lights went off at 7:15 pm and the show started. The concept of the introduction was legends and knights. There were 4 legends from the North, South, East and West. I could not remember who is which because I was focused on the entrance of each member from the 4 ends of the stage. The member nearest me was Zaizai. Perfect! =)

Opening number is obviously Waiting for You. All 10,000 plus ladies in the house went wild. Jerry was handsome and looking cool. Zaizai was his usual smiling self, gained weight (sexy...) with his blue hair. Ken thank God shaved all the hair on his face and looks healthy (he is not fat! just filled out nicely with a tiny belly..hahaha!) Vanness on the other is buffed as usual and for some reason looks like the Asian version of Prince. I love the guy but he just went a bit overboard with the eyeliner.

After Waiting for You, F4 sang the old familiar Can’t Help Falling in Love with You. A flash back of all their most popular music videos were shown and then Ken came on for a solo. He sang a song which I could not remember the title (something about a new day) and Lalala which everyone was happy to sing along with. Then Zaizai came on to do his solo of some jazzy song with a cute choreography. Yes folks, Zaizai danced! After the upbeat number Zaizai sang Missing You. Next to come on is Jerry introduced via a little boy fantasy concept singing a newly arrange song which again I could not remember the title (Memory Pieces! It was my LSS the whole day today..hahaha!). The cute number ended with a lucky fan getting a cute and big Winnie the Pooh teddy bear from Jerry.

Zaizai came on to fill in a gap and asked the audience to do the wave and then Vanness came on to do a solo. He sang a song I like (Mama?) with back-up vocals, then another ballad and finally segueing to Listen to Your Heart. By this time, the boy (oops, he’s already 30 now!) has already thrown his top away. I was actually waiting when he would do it. =)

Then it was Ken again. And to my surprise and delight, he tapped danced and sang a jazzy version of Ai Bu Ding Tian. The guy obviously used his idle time well because he was just perfect tapping away. I just wished he practiced the dance while singing because there were times that I could not hear his voice from gasping for air. Nevertheless he deserved a huge applause which the crowd did give. Ken’s next number was well-timed because he sang an acoustic ballad in English. Folks, sorry about my many senior moments. I will just edit my post later when I’ve done a little digging in my files.

Up next was Zaizai again singing two Japanese songs in a row – his own Wherever you Are and the national romantic ballad of the Japanese I Love You. The Japanese ladies in the house, which is most of them, can only exclaim sugoii! If he forgot even a word of the songs, I did not notice. Then there was about 3 seconds of dead silence and Vanness came back on singing something about Lucky Love with a guest DJ/rapper who I don’t know (hahaha!!). It was Jerry again after Vanness and sang (was it? it is!) One Meter. My ears ached but I forgave him after a second because he was just looking so hot!! =) After his gut wrenching song he walked over to a piano and played a bar of the scintillating Twinkle, twinkle little stars moving on to his cover of the Japanese version of Wo Ke Yi (part of Mars OST). While singing this song, the trailer of his new drama Starlit was being played at the big screen. It looked like its going to be a good drama.

I never thought I’d hear Mama Zuo sang live but last night Zaizai delighted his fans with his airport where in the world theme number. Aside from dancing, Zaizai went on a harness and did back flips and all sorts of flying antics. It became my favourite solo of the show!

As the show seem to be winding down, out came Ken and Vanness singing Wo Bushi F4 rock version! It was a fantastic number and fantastic to hear them singing Zaizai’s song. And then Zaizai popped out of center stage wearing a hospital jacket...of course everyone guessed that he will sing Jerry’s song from the drama. Suddenly Jerry came out also wearing the hospital jacket so the whole arena went wild because they sang duet. It was such a great segment that it became my favourite group number of the whole show.

Then the boys sang old favourites from At the First Step and Season of Fireworks. Thank you speeches followed and finally Goodbye from the latest album. As they disappeared from the stage, the crowd kept on clapping and chanting F4. We knew they would come out again. They have not sung the F4 global anthem!

They all came out at my side of the stage and I almost fell off my seat with how tight and skinny Zaizai’s jeans are. Both he and Jerry were wearing jeans and boots but Jerry’s was a bit loose. I would have died twice if Jerry was wearing skin tight jeans too! So of course they sang Can’t Lose You and Meteor Rain as the encore numbers. Now it’s perfect.

As I run outside of the arena to catch my trains, I thought to myself that though it was the first show and there were some off key singing the overall grade for the show in my opinion is excellent. The costumes were not too over the top. Although the stage is simple and set up like a cross, overall direction and production design was good. Visual and hydraulic equipment were used very well and they did not scrimp on hiring back-up dancers. The band is of course from Taiwan and all are friends of Vanness. The re-arrangement of their old songs was fantastic.

Congratulations F4! Wish to see you...in Tokyo.

** Sorry no photos. Cameras were not allowed too.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

SMAP Concert..Yume Janai (It's Not a Dream)

I was not so happy to arrive in Tokyo yesterday (Sept. 29). Aside from the rains, the traffic from the airport to our hotel killed me. We wanted to try and get tickets to the Sept. 29 concert of SMAP but after checking-in at our hotel at around 5:30pm, tired and have not eaten since 9am, all we can do was drop our bags at the hotel and find something to eat in the Ikebukuro area.

After successfully finding a McDonald's (hahaha!), we decided to just get to HMV to get our copy of SMAP's latest cd Super Modern Artistic Performance. Once back in the hotel, I surfed local tv and much to my delight, there was a replay of an old Pussma (Kusanagi Tsuyoshi's show) episode with Kimura Takuya guesting. I set about preparing from the next day and promptly fell asleep.

Tuesday was another rainy and gloomy day. Plus temperatures suddenly dropped to 16 degrees (61 degrees) which for Filipinos like me is already collllddd! Vic, my SMAP buddy and I are so excited to get to Tokyo Dome but we had to content ourselves going to Shinjuku unti it was time to get to the Dome.

We knew we had good tickets but we did not realize just how good!!! The saying that good things come to those who wait is true in this instance. C-17 is an arena seat right in front of the right hanamichi (stage). 10 meters away from any of the SMAP member who would come to that part of the stage. 5 rows from the railing. What can a fangirl do but scream and jump when we were ushered to our seat! I mean sugoii! Wow!

The show started at exactly 6pm and lasted for a wonderful 4 hours!!! Talk about value for money, even if we had to fly to Japan to watch it. It was really great value. I have only been to Sample Bang in person but have watch all of SMAP's concert on dvd and I must say that they have exceeded themselves in terms of concept for this show.

I liked their horizontal walk on harness during the opening number. I loved the vampire concept which they've taken to the sequence break clips. The songs were spaced out well to give the boys the time to breath and allow them to dance beautifully. And most of all, I loved the arrangements of old songs..like the jazzy Tomadachie, Say What You Will. I closed my eyes amidst 55,000 people in the Dome and just enjoyed the music. Also the lullaby rendition of Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana in the sequence clip..

Now the main reason that I was there is this member called Kimura Takuya. With a stage so big, my eyes were literally glued to Takuya. Since we are in front of the right stage, were always excited to see him sexily sashay (there's no other word for it, believe me!) down the catwalk to our area. We saw every bit of facial expression, stared him down from head to toe. I especially remember the time he just popped out in front of us during Keep On. He was just gorgeous. Of course, I couldn't stop screaming when Takuya did his solo Style..he was wearing a lilac T-shirt with his green pants! Again, a purple person can only take so much! The description during the individual intro was soooo apt - sexy, wild and hotstuff!! He is the only Japanese who looks gorgeous in an American Indian outfit with a feather on his hair. I just don't know how he does it.

But then I also get to enjoy the other members. Especially since they insist on coming to our side of the stage. One member I enjoyed in this concert is Tsuyoshi Kusanagi who is actually my least favorite. I love his Sou Desu number. It has a catchy tune and dance moves that were so easy to follow. Plus other SMAP members were backing up. All the time in this song Takuya was in our side (sorry can't help but remember again..hehe) asking everyone to do the dance with him.

Aside from songs from the new album, I was happy to sing old songs like Sekai Hitotsu Dake no Hana, Yozora no Mukuo, Sonomama, Aoi Inazuma and many others. When I heard them sing Orenji, I couldn't help the tears from flowing. It is one of my favorite songs. I was just so overwhelmingly happy. I can only tell my Japanese friend Minori in halting words..ureshii..san nen..mattemashita. I waited 3 years to see them again and the difficulties and challenges that I had to overcome flashed before me.

I was back to singing along and dancing when another favorite was sung - Original Smile. I thought the show was finished after Arigato but then there was a second encore. This time, Takuya rode the crane on top of us. Suddenly he dropped his drinking bottle!!! My heart stopped beating for a second..could it be? Unfortunately it dropped directly behind us.

It took us 30 mins to get out of the Dome and into the train. And in the rain! I did not care about getting wet but I just had to take off my cardigan and put it over my bag of concert goods. As I take pictures of my loot, all I can say is that IT IS NOT A DREAM!! I came, I bought and I watched.

And it won't hurt to dream again...

Monday, September 29, 2008

TOKYO AND YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - Ikimasu!

It looks like it's going to happen.

The ultimate fangirl's dream.

Two boybands, 3 (hopefully 4) concerts in 10 days. Two sets of concert goods to buy.

Meet ups with fellow fangirls from all over the world. Immersion with a japanese family.

I am off to the airport in a couple of hours.

Heaven.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bye for now..SHANGHAI!

I had a great time getting acquainted with Shanghai, China. From the Pudong International airport, I felt a fangirl's welcome when I saw several huge lighted billboard of Takeshi Kaneshiro.



There were many impressions that the city gave me but none of what I expected. It is cosmopolitan, huge and throbbing even under the watchful eye of communist China. There's just a lot of people but many are fashionable and young.

The city is very commercial with all forms of enterntainment from an opera house, cinemas, and tons and tons of shopping.

Of course the most important thing of all is that I like the new kamp my sister and her family has made in this part of the world. It is warm, cozy and there's more to discover the second time around.

So i'll be back. And will definitely sample what this city has to offer. And with more Mandarin words in my vocabulary..definitely.

For the rest of the pics, head on out to http://gigidm.multiply.com/photos/album/39/Ni_Hao_Shanghai_vol.1 and http://gigidm.multiply.com/photos/album/40 and lastly http://gigidm.multiply.com/photos/album/41

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Shanghai, more random discoveries

So on our 2nd day in Shanghai, there are more new discoveries...
  • Chocolates are 3x more expensive than in Manila. Too bad Hershey's does not have a store in 'ye ol hometown.
  • If it's a foreign brand, its bound to be more expensive than most probably anywhere in the world.
  • The concept of "diet" soda in McDonald's or other fast food chain is not yet known. The city is simply not diabetic friendly.
  • Amidst the dozens of modern shopping malls, stores around the Yu Yuan Garden in the Puxi area are to me still better.

Still no photos. Mopworld inconveniently forgot to pack her camera usb connector. Duibuqi. :-(

Friday, September 12, 2008

Enjoying Shanghai...

After Day 1 at Shanghai, here are random thoughts about this huge, huge city.
  • Pudong International airport looks no different than NAIA Terminal 3 except there are huge, huge (that's my buzzword today..LOL) framed photos of Takeshi Kaneshiro modeling for Armani.
  • That I love my sister's home in The Emerald and thinks that this is where Show Luo and Barbie Xu shot scenes from Corner with Love (my Chinese friends who visit this site, tell me if I am wrong please).
  • I now have huge, huge respect for the concerted effort of not giving out shopping bags for anything you purchase. So prepare to carry all your stuff as is or be poorer by at least CNY 1.00..better yet just don't forget to bring your environment friendly shopping bags. =)
  • That despite the huge, huge business of imitation (aka fake) products in this country, the Shanghainese people would rather be caught wearing no brand items than carry/wear imitation goods.

Posting pictures soon. More thoughts later...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ni Hao, Shanghai!

While I twist and turn and get my requirements ready for Japan's nail-biting visa application process, I have an opportunity to de-stress in China's largest city in terms of population - Shanghai.

I will have the chance to bond with my sister Teng and her family. They recently moved to Shanghai from Copenhagen, Denmark and has settled in this posh expat neighborhood called The Emerald (http://shanghai-emerald.com/) in the growing metropolis called Pudong.

I am looking forward to seeing the world famous Pudong skyline and other attractions that Shanghai is famous for. I'll see if I can squeeze in a little "purple" shopping. =)

So I'll post again when I get back and will tell you all about this new adventure. Now if only I can remember where I kept my Mandarin dictionary...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Attempting the Impossible...

I am one of those who have crossed the great fandom divide and love both SMAP and F4 or F4 and SMAP. It was unthinkable before for these two groups to share the same space and time. SMAP is from Japan, superstars, unreachable. F4 is from Taiwan, newer to the scene, phenomenal.

But after F4 guested on SMAP's long running TV show SMAPXSMAP, all thoughts of them intersecting was shot to the heavens and well I went with the shot to heaven. LOL.

F4 is having their concert run in Japan and the avid fan that I am wants to go. But my world again was turned upside down when SMAP announced that they will be having their live concert run more or less on top of F4's run dates.

A fangirl must do what a fangirl must do. Watch both. I have waited a long time for the chance to see SMAP again. A long time to have the chance to go back to Japan.

And so I am attempting something which I thought was impossible. I am in the process of twisting and turning to make things happen. And I hope that all the gods will be with me again.

Kamisama mo ichido onegai shimasu...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Beijing, Beijing, Wo Ai Beijing


Time does fly when you're having fun. I was working long hours the past couple of weeks and my only therapy to tone down after 12 or 14 hour days was watch olympic games. I enjoyed the volleyball, swimming, diving, some tennis, some basketball and some athletics.

After the closing ceremony which by the way is another fabulous production, I will miss the Olympics and wish London the best of luck in 2012. Beijing would be a tough act to follow.

And just like the opening ceremony, there are images that I will remember forever in my mind but most especially the tower of memory that kept me ooohhing and ahhhing as the human tower formed itself into many things.

Not only images, but now and most of the world who watched the number where Rain from Korea and Wang Lee Hom from Taiwan sang together with other Chinese performers, we can hum this tune that is my last song syndrome for the day... Beijing, Beijing, wo ai Beijing...



Sunday, August 17, 2008

The New Orly Diva


Me! I am the latest Orly diva. Thanks to my sister-in-law Pam who bought me my own bottle after using her bottle several times. Guess she got tired of me borrowing..hahaha!

Seriously, I was balking at the price tag of this bottle. But when 2 weeks, 3 week later my nails are still the same, I was convinced that it is worth every peso.

Of course no purple person will stop at having one color so I went in search of more Orly's. I was so loving Orly's websites. You'll know why when you follow the links *winks*.


Corporate Website: http://www.orlybeauty.com/

My online shopping will definitely extend to nail products.
And my nails will never be the same .. it will be more gorgeous! Hahahaha!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Awesome Opening Ceremony

The Beijing Olympics had an awesome, awesome opening ceremony. Many may disagree but in my lifetime of watching Olympic games, this one held me in awe the most. I was just facing the tv but my mouth was wide open as if i was in the Bird's Nest stadium.

The richness of the Chinese culture was utilized to the max and paired with the latest in technology, the result was an astounding show. The fireworks alone left no doubt that China is one of the best in lighting up the sky. They lighted up a whole city!!

This is my favorite part of the ceremony. Li Ning, running on air towards the olympic torch and chasing the scroll as it opens.

Kudos to the Chinese Olympic Committee and most especially, the citizens of the the People's Republic of China. The many years of effort and preparation paid off. I can't wait for the closing ceremony. =)

Photo courtesy of http://www.china.org.cn/olympic/node_1114380.htm. Xie xie ni!

One world, One Dream!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

And I thought I did not buy purple stuff in Dubai...

I did buy a few! From the top..

I bought that Indian flats after my Bur Dubai adventure with our friend Richard. It's a very comfortable pair and I've worn it a couple of Fridays at the office.

I love my bedroom slippers from Ikea. It was actually my arrival gift from Tatsi and wears like a pair of socks.

Now that watch... took me a couple of days to decide to buy. It is actually not very expensive but I saw it when I was just a few days away from going home which means I am running out of cash! Hahaha!! So a couple of days before I left for Manila I bugged my brother Denver to walk with me (and it was a long mall walk..sorry Daddy Dab) to Aldo Accessories to get this piece. My brother was so astounded because he thought I was mulling over something very expensive.

Those decorated jewelry box and pencil case are exquisite finds. I love them because they are unique and has that touch of Arabic design. They were on sale so I did not have any 2nd thoughts of buying. Also on sale were those nice purple jewelry accessories.

And will Gigi travel anywhere without buying notebooks? Never happened yet. That gorgeous bundle of paper was from Borders and now I realized is one of the most expensive thing that I bought during that trip. It's the Thai silk material I guess...

And the last thing I bought was a bunch of souvenirs and that refrigerator magnet was one of them. It was just so cute that I had to buy alternative items because I hogged my own souvenir from someone who was supposed to receive them. =) If that was not a case of purple desperation, I don't know what is it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Wu Chun's and Calvin Chen's Stalkers!

********photo taken down as requested by an anonymous comment************


It is a quiet weekend for me and as I was scrounging around for photos of what to blog about, I stumbled on this one sent by fellow fangirl Eve.

These girls were what remained after that hectic weekend of Chun's and Calvin's visit. The boys had dinner at Abe in Serendra. As they ate, we had dinner and waited by the fountain. It was funny because we were all posed to try and have one last photo and that space in front was supposedly for them. =) Too bad we did not succeed...

But it was still a weekend to remember. I can't wait for September to roll along so I can shop for anything and everything Feilunha in Shanghai. =)

P.S.
Again, thanks to Eve for the pic.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Back to Purpleness - Purple Watches!!


I am not a watch person. All my watches are cheap ones that I found during my travels or gifts.

The one on the far left was bought in the Bugis flea market, SGD 5.00 =)

Next to it was bought in the sidewalk of Tsim Tsa Tsui in Hongkong, HKD 10.00 =)

That cute flowery watch was given by my travel buddy and resident brat Ochie in Puerto Galera, Philippines (not Boracay Island as previously written, sorry Och).

The purple Timex (http://www.timex.com/) watch on top is my weekend and beach trip staple. To order an extra strap, I had to wait for 6 months!! It's my most expensive watch, PHP 1,700.00 =).

Cool beans, right?!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Icing on the Cake


Group photos with Wu Chun and Calvin Chen!!

It was a surprise. Announced at the very last part of the Meet and Greet. Everyone could not stop screaming at the thought of going up the stage and having their photos taken with Chun and Calvin. Never mind if in a group. It was still an exciting experience.

Thanks to Eve (beside me kneeling in front) for sending these previous and unforgettable photo.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Weekend with Wu Chun and Calvin Chen

It has been too long since any Taiwanese artist came over to the Philippines. The last I remember was Jerry Yan in 2005 for the Bench event in Cebu,an island province south of Manila.

So when I heard about Wu Chun and Calvin Chen coming over to promote their drama Romantic Princess, I dusted off my fangirl shoes and went chasing.

First stop was the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Through my friends in PAL, I was able to gain access to the arrival lobby of the airport. With a handful of Filipino fans and a bunch of overseas fans, I finally saw the boys in person for the very first time.

Second stop was the very short Meet the Fans event at the ABS-CBN studio compound. I was laughing so hard when we got to the line formed outside the studio because I was probably the oldest fangirl there!! After waiting for more than an hour, the boys finally made an appearance for about 15 mins. We couldn't hear what they said because my photos indicated they said a few words but the screaming was just too loud.

And then late lunch at the Grams Diner at The Loop (which is inside the studio compound) to watch the boys' guesting at E-Live, an entertainment talk show. After our meal, I went home to wait for their appearance at Pinoy Dream Academy, a reality talent show. The boys did not disappoint me when they did a duet live. It was my first time to see them perform live and now I look forward to more.

The following day Sunday, I was able to attend their Meet and Greet with the ABS-CBN folks through the kindness of my former officemate and friend, Dennis who's talent, OJ Mariano was asked to be a guest in the event. After the event, we had the chance to literally chase Chun and Calvin all over Manila as they did a quick tour of Luneta Park, Rizal Monument, Bay Walk and the CCP complex. It quickly dawned on me that my fangirl shoes never did any car chase in its home court! This was actually the first time as I usually run all over Taiwan and Hongkong.

Last stop was at Serendra, the hippest place in Manila today. While the boys had dinner at Abe, we had our dinner just across the restaurant at A Different Bookstore. I realized that I can still eat without blinking and looking at my food as my eyes were glued to Abe's door for any signs of activity.

We were hoping to get one last photo with the boys, but they were just too tired (or already had a few rounds of drinks...hehe) and dragged away by their security team. Nevertheless, Chun's very endearing "sorry" was enough to cap an otherwise fun weekend.

Which made me only so eager to get to Tokyo for the F4 Concert! I heart these boys unconditionally...

For the rest of the photos, head on out to http://gigidm.multiply.com/photos/album/34/Weekend_with_Wu_Chun_and_Calvin_Chen and http://gigidm.multiply.com/photos/album/35

And for videos, posted my unartistic video clips at the following youtube links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH_Dhaqblz8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odoFtkhY2FA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8pYtdaqpAU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJFx77ejnu8

Saturday, July 5, 2008

One Year and 5 months...


Is what it took for me to finish one book!

The saga started in February 2007 when I brought the book with me on a trip to Singapore. 5 trips and 4 countries later, I finally finished it.

Sad and pathetic...

Because I used to finish one paperback within 24 hours...8 hours if it is a James Patterson book.

Not because the book is not good. It was actually...but...

I guess a lot of things distract me now in my enjoyment of reading. Probably the busy work schedule, the even busier fandom activities, maybe the travels or the addiction to the internet and the onset of blogging?? Or ALL of the above!!

Despite this, I will continue to buy books. I will keep them in my shelf until the day that my feet gets tired of chasing my idols, or i have already travelled to my satisfaction or my back could not stand sitting up and typing stuff on my blog or ALL of the above. =)