Exploring The City Of Gentle People and The Mystic Island

My trip to Dumaguete City and Siquijor City last week was not good. It was not great either. It was the BEST 3 nights and 4 days of my life… so far. I’m not much of a travel blogger so I’ll probably just share some of the highlights of my trip and some random thoughts, reactions and comments here. But first, there are three things that you must know before perusing this blog entry. It is crucial that you know these to be able to comprehend why I did what I did or why I did not do what I was supposed to do. ^^

  1. I cannot swim. I cannot even float. My body seemed to be made up of rocks or something. -.-
  2. I had my period. The moment I set foot in Dumaguete, it came out. Seriously, I wanted to punch my uterus or whatever for being such a pain – literally. I waited for it the PREVIOUS week coz I know that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy this trip but it just had to come out on the first friggin’ day of my wonderful vacation. Ugh.
  3. I have a terrible case of motion sickness, specifically, seasickness.

Now that we have that out of the way, I’ll start my rant.

So I kinda intruded on a family trip. I have this 3-day vacation from work (coz of the Korean Chuseok holiday) and I really wanted to grab this chance to travel somewhere by myself. I ended up joining my high school friend and her family on this Dumaguete-Siquijor trip. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision and the next thing I know I was on a plane to the city of gentle people. The weather did not cooperate well so my flight was delayed. The pilot could not land the plane at the Sibulan airport due to the rain, low clouds and zero visibility or something like that. We had to stay up in the air for a while and we were informed that if we were not cleared for landing, we might have to land at the Mactan airport in Cebu. It was my first time to experience that sort of thing and I was traveling alone so yeah, I was pretty edgy. When we finally landed, I flagged down a tricycle but was immediately disappointed when the driver told me that his rate was P150. Wagas. I was warned by my friend and she told me I should only pay P50 so I tried another one but he was asking for P120. Even though it was drizzling, I decided to walk up to the airport’s gate and luckily I found a tricycle that did not have a problem with my good ol’ 50 pesos.

Anyway, we stayed over at Harold’s Mansion which is a backpackers’ haven. Not only is it near the airport, it is also accessible, convenient and cheap. Plus, you get free breakfast – coffee/tea/choco and toasted bread. The dishes on the menu are pretty decent and not overpriced. BTW, coffee and tea are both unlimited – you could drown yourself in coffee/tea all day long. It could not get any better than that.

FIRST DAY:

Dumaguete Tour

 

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Silliman University: Of course our first stop was the famous Silliman University. According to Wikipedia:

“SU is an American private research university in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines. Established in 1901 as Silliman Institute by the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, it is the first American university in the Philippines and in Asia. The university is named after Dr.Horace Brinsmade Silliman, a retired businessman and philanthropist from Cohoes, New York who gave the initial sum of $10,000 to start the school.”

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Highlight: The long queue of parked motorcycles, scooter bikes and Vespa outside – all owned by students. It’s like; if you don’t have a motorcycle you are not part of the ‘in’ crowd. Haha! I would love to study in that university just so I would be forced to buy a motorcycle too. And possibly get a driver’s license. LOL.

The main point here is to take a look at the Anthropology Museum. However, we arrived there at around 4 pm and the ‘curator/student’ told us that it’s already closed. The sign on the door clearly says: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Umm, dude, it’s ONLY 4 freakin’ PM and you’re closed?! Got somewhere to go? Plus, she should have just let us in coz we came all the way from Manila (well, I came all the way from Baguio XD). Anyway, the amusing thing is we went back the next day at around 8:30 AM just to make sure that it was already opened. It was still closed. We waited until 9 AM and the freakin’ curator never came. WHAT.THE.HELL. Do they open the freakin’ museum, like, ever?!

Major in Peace Studies. Kewl. XD

Major in Peace Studies. Kewl. XD

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MOVING ON… Of course we had to take a picture at the I LOVE DUMAGUETE sign along The Boulevard.

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Then we went to this resto called Kri to grab a bite to eat. I was still full from my bacon & egg brunch at Harold’s so I just ordered this tapioca & cheesecake.

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Well, it was pretty weird and I’ve never tasted anything like it before. I don’t mean to bash it or anything but the food in that place was kinda overpriced, IMO. I didn’t like it that much. We went back to Harold’s to take a rest and a power nap. After that, we decided to visit Café Antonio.

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Unfortunately, it was already closed when we got there. Too bad. I was looking forward to it coz I heard they serve delicious and affordable dishes. Anyway, we just headed over to Sans Rival – the home of the popular delicacy, Silvanas. I LOVE THIS RESTO. Like, seriously. Everything is perfect: the ambiance, the lighting, the chairs, the music and OMG the cakes! Haha. Plus, the food was affordable and sumptuous!

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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:

 Sans Rival Spaghetti – for only P38, I got to taste heavenly pasta with the right amount of sauce and meat.

Pritchon – it’s got crispy letchon bits, a bit of veggies, taco wrap and an assortment of sauce. Perfect appetizer.

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Silvanas – OF COURSE. When in Dumaguete… go figure. I highly recommend the chocolate silvanas. I’ve tasted the ordinary silvanas before but it was my first time to taste the chocolate ones and they were divine.

Cakes– now, if only I had enough space in my stomach (AND more money) I would have eaten my heart out. I only got to try the mango cake, Concorde and the dates & walnuts. The best one was the latter.

 

HAYAHAY TREEHOUSE BAR & VIEWDECK

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Now if you’re ready for some night out with your pals, this is the best place in town. They serve a variety of dishes – from seafood to pizza and pasta. There is also a cozy sushi bar. Plus, the band that was playing when we were there was absolutely AMAZING. We all fell in love with the vocalist’s voice. I would marry that guy for his vocal abilities. Hahaha. It’s a very chillaxing place to hang out.

SECOND DAY:

While having breakfast at the comfy rooftop of Harold’s, we received some bad news. It was not raining BUT the wind was too strong (perhaps due to the typhoon in the northern area) so the waves were also too big. The boat trips to Apo Island (where we were supposed to go snorkeling) were cancelled.  Change of plans. We decided to head to Siquijor already. Which turned out to be a bit of a bad decision. Haha. Well, when they said the waves were big and strong they were not fucking kidding. We rode this small ferry boat and I was already fretful about this coz REFER TO #3. Yeah. So I swallowed two Bonamine pills and braced myself. I had my barf bag ready and I also bought a bottle of water coz I read some motion sickness tips over at the port’s waiting area. It says you have to close your eyes, keep your head still, drink lots of water and choose a seat in the middle or at the back of the boat. Unfortunately, the locals (who probably read the tips as well) already occupied the seats at the back and in the middle so we had no choice but to sit up front and boy was that the worst seat ever or what.

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Long story short: the boat ride took forever and we all concentrated and tried our best not to vomit all over each other. I swear, even someone with a strong stomach could not withstand that wave-y boat ride. It was terrible and I would NEVER, EVER,  do that again. >_<

  SIQUIJOR CITY

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So I heard that this mystic island, which is known for witches, voodoo, potions and black magic, was yclept by the Spaniards as  “Isla del Fuego”, “due to the intensity of fire flies”. It looked pretty normal, at first; lots of trees, less houses and no tall buildings or establishments. We hired a multi-cab which took us to JJ’s Backpackers Inn.

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It was pretty decent and the beach was fantastic. I had some ‘me’ time and even took a nap on a very comfy hammock by the beach.

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It was so windy the whole time we stayed there. I could practically hear the howling of the wind along with the rustling of the leaves of coconut trees.

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After eating lunch we started our Siquijor City tour. First stop was the Capilay Pool. Nothing really special but I thought it was pretty cool that they have a public pool like that. It’s a cool place to hang out with your family and friends on a weekend, I guess.

Lazi Church and Convent

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Photo op time~ If you’re into ancient structures and churches, which are probably infested with spirits and termites, then this place is a must-see. I was amazed at the huge wooden doors and the stone walls which were made out of corals. I really wanted to go up the bell tower… and probably ring the bell but it was closed.

Balete Tree & Fish Spa

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I love this pic! Stolen pics are the best 😀

When you think about something scary, a Balete tree would always come to mind. So we dropped by this ginormous Balete tree which towered over a small pond-like stream where you could just sit, dip your feet and let the fish feast on the calluses.

Cambugahay Falls

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I was looking forward to this coz I saw some pictures of the famous Tarzan jump into the water. However, REFER to #2. So yeah, I thought I would not be able to do it coz of that. But as I watched my companions do it one by one, I was like, “I have to try it too.” Another problem is, I am confident about jumping but not about swimming. REFER to #1.

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However, one of my companions brought a life buoy so I borrowed that. I really wanted to do the whole Tarzan thing – swinging a bit by holding onto the vine before jumping into the water – but I couldn’t coz I was holding onto the life buoy. T_T Anyway, I was able to do it and when I emerged from the water, I immediately hugged the buoy.

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Me jumping with my new BFF– the buoy XD

I was so scared of losing it and drowning. Haha! The thing is, I was supposed to kick a bit and swim towards my friend’s mom but for some reason, no matter how much I flail and kick, the water kept on bringing me backwards – near the falls and away from the bank. I kinda panicked at that time. I thought I was gonna drown or something –even when I was hugging the buoy tightly. LOL. I was saved by my friend’s brother, eventually. XD I wanted to try jumping from the top of the falls but I thought better of it. Plus, we did not have enough time to do it.

Salagdoong Beach – CLIFF JUMP!

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This was something that I was extremely excited about. The jump at Cambugahay Falls was sort of a practice, I guess. I watched some videos of this cliff jump and I thought, “Oh, it’s not really that high.” But when we got there – ohmygosh, it was definitely HIGH. And of course I had to think about #1 and #2 all over again. >_< I swear if only I could swim, I would have jumped without thinking about it.

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All my companions already jumped and they were assisted by my friend’s brother who was waiting below with the buoy. I REALLY, REALLY wanted to jump. It was something that I wanted to try ever since I found out about it. And I know I wouldn’t be able to do it anytime soon coz I won’t get a chance to visit this city again in the next 6 months or so. L But when it was my turn, it was already getting dark and my friend’s mom (since I’m under their responsibility and she knew I couldn’t swim) stopped me. She said we needed to go so we did… I have to admit; I was a bit frustrated and depressed then. I WANTED TO JUMP! I’m not brave about a lot of things but I don’t have a fear of heights! AGAIN, if only I could swim, I wouldn’t have hesitated back then. T___T

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MOVING ON…

The ride back home was fun at first coz we kept on recalling our ‘jumps’. However, we found out that there was a black out in the city. So the roads were really dark. If it was just an ordinary city, I wouldn’t really mind. However, knowing what Siquijor is known for, I was totally creep-ed out. Plus, it was so quiet and there were no other cars or transportation on the road. There was also this high-pitched sound following us and I’m pretty sure those were bats. I was relieved when we finally arrived back at JJ’s. I didn’t get to sleep that well though. I was kinda worried that we’d get stranded in that island coz of the typhoon and then there’d be no electric power and then… yeah, I kinda have a wild and overactive imagination. LOL.

THIRD DAY:

We got an early start and headed to the port the next morning. Luckily, we were riding a bigger ferry boat now so it would not be like the first boat trip. I didn’t need to worry about getting seasick and vomiting my lungs out. I was so happy to see Dumaguete again. I would love to go back to Siquijor but next time I’ll make sure that there is no typhoon or low pressure area or whatever.

APO ISLAND SNORKELING!

No matter how many warnings we get about the big and strong waves in the sea, we still pushed through our plans. Haha! Originally, we were supposed to take the snorkeling package at Harold’s (1K includes the boat ride, transpo to and from the ‘port’, light snacks, snorkeling gear). It was so sulit compared to the others. BUT… due to the  weather condition and unexpected circumstances, there were lots of changes in our plans. We ended up renting two tricycles to take us to the place where we can rent a boat (forgot the name ^^). Anyway, the waves were okay at first but they got really NASTY in the middle. It was so freaking windy as well. Now I know how that boy from Life of Pi felt. XD

I experienced snorkeling before. It was in Batangas, I think. I remember the first time I was thrown out into the open waters with nothing but my life vest on and my snorkeling gear. I was terrified out of my wits. It was better this time coz we just ‘walked/swam’ towards the ‘snorkeling site’. Still, it was so hard for me to use the snorkeling gear and breathe through my mouth. I could only stay underwater for like 2 minutes. After that, I’d start swallowing some water so I have to go up for some air and remove my gear. -.-

Moreover, I seemed to be swimming BACKWARDS. XD The snorkeling guide would let me float by myself so I would start flailing my arms and kicking, hoping to move forward as I marvel in the awesome coral reefs and fish below me… BUT every time I try to ‘swim’ I would move backwards, instead of forward. Sometimes I won’t even budge from my place. Am I that freakin’ heavy?! >_< The two snorkeling guides were having a ball as they watched me struggle with my backwards swimming. Ugh. I did enjoy it, despite the fact that I totally failed at swimming and I swallowed A LOT of sea water. Too bad we weren’t able to see the sea turtles on the other side of the island coz of the strong winds. 😦

The boat trip back was even worse than the first one. There were 8 of us so we took two boats and they seemed to be engaged in this amazing race. Or maybe they were just in a hurry to get us home since it would be sunset soon. I changed into some dry shorts coz REFER TO #2. But it was a bad idea. The speed of the boat + the humongous sea waves soaked the hell out of us. We were dripping wet when we arrived on the other side. It was quite an experience, though. ^^

We were all dead tired from the trip to Siquijor so we took a nap and just stayed in our rooms until it was time to buy pasalubongs. As luck would have it, the pasalubong center was already closed. -.- So we just panic-bought silvanas at Sans Rival and then headed over to Hayahay for our seafood dinner. After that, we went back to Sans Rival for some coffee and cake. I swear it’s my fave resto ever. Haha.

FOURTH DAY:

Highlight: Our flight was more than 30 minutes delayed coz of the heavy rain in Manila BUT… we saw a sort of celebrity in the boarding area. It was Ramon Bautista. I’m not really a FAN but I’ve heard of his books. My friend and her siblings asked to take pictures with him and he agreed. He was really funny. ^^ There were also these two guys who suddenly came up to my friend’s sister and asked about her tats on her wrist. They started chatting and since they were not cute or attractive, I just ignored them. XD I found out later that they were actually the drummer and guitarist of this Pinoy rock band – which shall remain nameless. Haha! I didn’t recognize them without their vocalist. LOL.

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It was the most turbulent flight I’ve ever experienced so I just kept my eyes closed and listened to some music.

I had some frustrations and regrets. I wished and hoped for a lot of things. I hated being a woman because of # 2. I got annoyed, scared and anxious. But the most important thing was I had a wonderful time. It’s been a while since I’ve felt this sort of happiness – the kind that would make me think and look back on the memories. I guess I need to start exploring other local cities before I plan my next out of the country trip.

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A little memento from my snorkeling trip at Apo Island 😀

Blue Moon in Manila: A dream come true ~

I’m proud to say that I have seen CN BLUE perform live before I die. Or before they disband. Whichever comes first. XD One of my dreams finally came true. I was one of the first few people who actually ‘noticed’ and liked this band way before. My blog over at Multiply is a strong proof of that. At that time, a certain Jung Yonghwa joined the cast of the Korean drama ‘You’re Beautiful’ and I immediately Googled him. I found out that he was in this indie band called CN BLUE, who was under FNC – FT Island‘s entertainment agency. I watched a fancam of them performing Now Or Never in Japan and I instantly liked it. I love bands so it was only a matter of time before I got obsessed with them. I searched every nook and cranny of the world wide web for pictures, info and videos of them, which, at that time was sort of like an EXTRA CHALLENGE. Since they haven’t debuted in Korea yet, and they were just performing on the streets of Shibuya or Shinjuku, it was not that easy to find stuff about them. I was a fan back when their bassist was not yet Jungshin – it was a cute, effeminate dude named Kwon Kwangjin. That’s why I never liked Jungshin coz Kwangjin was my fave member and how would you feel if your fave member gets replaced all of a sudden? Just when they finally debuted in Korea…  😦

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Anyway, I watched these guys grow into what they are now. Haha! That sounds like I’m their mom or manager or sth. But, really. I liked them during those times that they were still lacking and they were not perfect. The times when they all had longish hair and they all looked like the striving rock band that they were… I liked them when nobody paid that much attention to them as a BAND. Because I know that people started noticing Yonghwa ever since his drama. I liked the BAND more than Yonghwa. I invested time and effort for them. I would diligently listen to their songs, watch their performances, read articles about them.

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I admit though, that a year or so after they debuted in Korea – when they became main stream — I kinda lost track of everything. Of course I still saw them perform in music shows, watched their radio and variety show guesting. I still downloaded their singles and albums (yeah, I know that a true fan should BUY the original copy, whatever XP)… I watched Yonghwa’s We Got Married and fell in love with the YONGSEO couple… I still supported them in any way that I can… but something changed…. I dunno if it’s just me. Their music changed. I mean, of course it did. When they became main stream, they lost the “spark”. They lost  the “fire”… IMO. I still liked them but I didn’t like ALL of their songs na. 😦 It made me feel bad coz I’m supposed to be a SUPER FAN or whatever. I just lost interest eventually…

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I was still aware of their hit songs and I still listened to their albums. But I wasn’t that hooked anymore. It was just NOT the same. 😦 I felt guilty when my friends started knowing MORE about them than I did. I was not updated anymore… But then the news of their concert in the Philippines started floating around. That’s when the SPARK came back. It has always been my dream to see them perform LIVE. I already saw FT ISLAND in a concert before and that was just PRICELESS. Seeing CN BLUE is another dream come true for me. Never in a million years did I think that I would get to see them in the flesh.

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UNFORTUNATELY, a week before the concert, I went on a 4-day trip to Singapore with my friends. So my plan of buying the MOST EXPENSIVE tickets for the BLUE MOON concert was thwarted. 😦 BUT, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I told myself that no matter what happens – even if I don’t have anything to eat anymore, even if I go broke, I would NEVER miss this concert. I bought the cheapest concert, which was the UPPERBOX B section – not bad actually… at least it wasn’t GEN AD. They didn’t open the GEN AD section, for some reason… but on the day of the concert, at around 12 noon, I think, they finally opened it coz more fans wanted to see them. 🙂

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Originally, a handful of my friends told me they’re gonna watch it too. But as the concert date came, they all backed out, one by one… until only ONE friend was left to watch it with me. I don’t really care. I watched the FT ISLAND concert by myself so I think I can survive the CN BLUE concert alone too. ^_^ But it was still great that my friend decided to come with me. 🙂

So! Enough about my history with CN BLUE… let’s talk about the concert.

I thought I wouldn’t be able to see them properly since my seat was the farthest (without the Gen Ad) and it was on the Jungshin side, meaning the right side – as in FAR right. Surprisingly, when I got there, it was okay. I mean, I could only see their faces properly on the huge LCD screen but they were NOT that tiny on stage. I could make out their movements and gestures 🙂

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The moment they stepped on stage, the whole stadium went gaga! Of course, I screamed my lungs out. By the end of the concert I actually LOST my voice and that’s a feat since I had never lost my voice in my entire life. Haha! I had to stay up throughout most of the concert coz the two girls in front of me were too perky and enthusiastic – they never sat down. I couldn’t see properly if I just sit down since they were blocking the view of the stage. Ugh. Anyway, can’t really blame them… they were just overzealous fans. XD

130615 CNBLUE BLUE MOON in Manila set list: 

1. Where You Are – It was a fantastic opening song. It totally pumped up the crowd. I couldn’t sing along that much though, coz I forgot the lyrics. Haha!

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2. Get Away – I think I heard this song from their album but I couldn’t quite remember it at that time. ^^ It was catchy and very upbeat though, that I had no problems banging my head to it.

3. One Time – Ah ha! Finally! A song that I actually listened to more than enough times. I still have it on my phone too. One of their better songs.

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4. 나란 남자 (Naran namja) – Another vaguely familiar song. Haha. Can’t remember which album though… but I know that I’ve heard it before. 🙂

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5. Coffee shop  – One of my fave performances! This was where Yonghwa’s FAMOUS SHOULDER DANCE started! Hahaha! It was just hilarious! He was so hyperactive in this perf and he was really ‘feeling’ it. XD

6. Have A Good Night – I have no idea. Haha. I guess I only listened to this once so I couldn’t remember that much. ^^;;

7. Wake Up – I like this one! It was my first time hearing it but I instantly liked it. During the perf, they showed the lyrics on the screen so we could sing along. The lyrics were good too.

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8. Love Light – THIS!!! It reminds me so much of the YongSeo couple!!! T_T And OMG Jonghyun’s voice here… so lovely and heart melting!!!

9. Feeling – I think I finally sat down during this perf. Haha. I tried to calm myself down a bit and just enjoyed listening to the music. 🙂

10. These Days (Kor. version) – Familiar… but I can’t say I’ve listened to it more than once.

11. Y, Why (Korean Version) – I love Jungshin’s powerful rap here! Okay, so he is kinda cool when he raps. 🙂

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12. 라라라 (LaLaLa) – The start of what Yonghwa called ‘DSM’ – Dark Sexy Metal… I have no idea what he was talking about. Hahaha! I love this one. It was hardcore rock! Jonghyun was like, banging his beautiful, soft hair around and everyone was going wild. Minhyuk was hitting his drums like there’s no tomorrow… Yonghwa and Jungshin were having a cool guitar face-off. Haha!

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^ Jonghyun’s yummy, milky white biceps~~~

13. Just Please (Korean Version) – Another one of my faves. I like the English version and I memorized that one so I was singing along, in English. LOL.

14. Tattoo – Yonghwa’s vocals were just AMAZING!!! Like, WOW.

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15. In My Head (Korean Version) – Another head-banging, rock on perf! I think this was where I lost my voice. Hahaha!

16. IntuitionMY FAVORITE SONG EVER!!!!!!!! I was looking forward to their performance of this! I just love everything about this song – the beat, melody, lyrics, rhythm — everything! I was practically jumping up and down while they were playing this!

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17. I’m A Loner – Classic. Of course everyone sang along to this. I mean, who doesn’t know the lyrics to this song? Like, seriously. My throat really hurt from all the screaming but I still sang along to this.

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18. I’m Sorry – This was another one of those hilarious performances. Yonghwa was just doing his crazy shoulder dance and we were cracking up so much. He was dancing like there’s no tomorrow! Hahaha! And he even told us that he IS the best dancer in CN Blue. LOL. Okay, fine, Yonghwa. Your shoulder dance is the best. Hahahaha!

After this, they went for a break and I was able to rest my legs and my voice. Haha! I have to say that I was impressed because they did not require a translator. Yonghwa and Jungshin both entertained the crowd and tried their best to communicate with the few English phrases and sentences that they know. They even made an effort of memorizing some Filipino sentences and words like ‘Kumusta kayo?‘, ‘Masaya ba kayo?‘, ‘Mahal kita‘, ‘Sabay sabay’,’Nagugutom ako‘. LOL. Moreover, their English might be broken but it was tolerable and understandable. Especially for an ESL Tutor like me. ^^ Minhyuk talked a bit too but he was the one that I did not understand that much. The crowd was too noisy and he was speaking a bit softly.

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As a fan, I think it’s very important that these K-POP groups try to communicate in English, no matter how difficult it is. The concert went smoothly and without delay because they handled the crowd pretty well. I bet it would’ve went on longer and kinda draggy if they brought in a translator. Besides, it was funnier if they say it themselves. I read and heard that some thought Yonghwa and Jungshin hogged the show and gave too much FAN SERVICE. Come on people. They ARE idols. That’s what they do – that’s what they get paid for – to provide fan service. It’s not like you didn’t like it. So Yonghwa kept on saying ‘Mahal kita Philippine!‘, it’s just part of the show. It might not come straight from the heart or whatever but at least he tried his best to express his feelings.

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Jungshin, on the other hand… He talked a lot and I think he was able to entertain the crowd better than anyone in the group. He was just hilarious. I never really liked him but after the concert, I now understand why a lot of fans like him. Once you see him perform, you will know. This kid got personality. He knew how to tease the crowd. He interacted with the crowd. He provided great fan service. So yeah, I was pretty impressed. Although he just kept on saying ‘FANTASTIC’ and ‘THIS IS ROCKING’ XD He was able to entertain me. 🙂

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Jonghyun WAS ONE HELL OF A SEXY GUITAR GOD!!! I swear! Every time he appeared on the screen we all lost our minds. Hahaha! His hair was so soft and shiny and every time he flipped it, I just melted. He was often shown on screen whenever he did his solo guitar moments, which, btw, totally ROCKED!!! Even from afar, we could totally see his MILKY WHITE skin!!! He was glowing under those lights! And those biceps!!! Damn! Sadly, he didn’t talk that much. Not sure if he was just shy, if he can’t speak English as well as the others or if he’s just not in the mood. I could barely remember anything memorable that he said. 😦 A friend of my friend told me he was also like that during the Press Conference at Megamall. He was awfully quiet. He was actually my second fave member, next to Minhyuk… Some of his fans were disheartened and frustrated that he didn’t speak that much. I think that’s just his ‘image’. He’s always been the quiet, brooding, man-of-few-words type ever since. And when he’s on stage, he’s a ROCKER. The only thing that exists when he’s on stage is his guitar. ^^

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As for Minhyuk, I was quite disappointed coz I couldn’t see his “physical body” from my seat. 😦 He was blocked by those huge LCD screens… so I only got to see him on that screen. Still, he was better than Jonghyun coz he actually talked. He talked about lechon and jeepneys. Haha! He was the one who said ‘Nagugutom ako’. Haha! This kid is so adorable!!! My heart skipped a beat every time he bangs on those drums. It was just soooo cool!

Encore 

1. Hey You – Another song that got the crowd dancing and grooving. I can’t remember the lyrics to this one so I just nodded along with a goofy smile on my face. Hahaha!

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2. Love Girl – Eeeehhh~ Another song that is reminiscent of the YongSeo couple!!! It was so cute coz the camera  caught a handful of YONGSEO placards and fan signs in the crowd… ^^

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3. Impromptu song – This cracked me up so much! It showed how versatile Yonghwa is. He could just make up lyrics or sing whatever he wants to say – in English and it still sounded awesome. He introduced the next song and he said something about it being the OST of the drama Heartstrings. Then he started cracking up. I guess he realized how hilarious he was. XD

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4. You’ve Fallen Into Me – NEON NAEGE BAN HAESSO, BAN HAESSO!!! Of course everyone sang along to this! Heartstrings was one of my fave dramas and it has one of the best OST too! 🙂

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5. Love – This was where the confusion started. Before the song, Jungshin and Yonghwa were saying something like ‘Put your hands up LEFT!’ and ‘Put your hands up RIGHT!’ So we all raised our left and right hands simultaneously. But they said ‘NO’. We were doing it wrong. Haha! What they meant was, the left side should put their hands up when YOnghwa gives the signal and the right side should do the same when Jungshin gives the signal. But it was still confusing so when the right side, OUR SIDE, raised our hands together with the left side, Jungshin mocked anger and was like, ‘NO, NO, NO! We are RIGHT. Okay?‘ Hahaha! It was so cute! When we finally understood what they want, Yonghwa proceeded to making us look like fools by repeating whatever he said. Hahaha! He made some combination of LOVE LOVE LOVE and CLAP CLAP CLAP and we had to repeat it fast. Hahaha! It was so fun! In the end, he just laughed and he couldn’t stop. I swear he was so amused.

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6. Try Again, Smile again – This was just the PERFECT ENDING SONG. I love this song because it’s very encouraging. I listen to it when I feel down. It’s very uplifting and it tells you never to give up on your dreams. Never stop trying AND smiling. 🙂 I guess it’s the song that signifies CN BLUE’s career – all the hardships, the ups and downs and the success.

(Set List Credit: @HannahCa9989)

It was the kind of concert that left me wanting more by the end of it. I still couldn’t believe I actually saw them perform. Maybe next time I would even get a chance to see them UP CLOSE. 🙂 I just need to prepare for that. Of course I would love to see them again. I would never stop being a fan. After that concert, I can now proudly say that I AM A CN BLUE FAN. I don’t just like one or two members, I don’t just like their music, I LIKE THEM AS CN BLUE – as a band. That would never ever change. 🙂

These guys are very talented – there’s no doubt about that. They are not just good-looking or funny, they can PLAY their instruments and they can perform well – LIVE. They really worked hard to get where they are. They did not take any shortcuts. They were thrown in a foreign country, which tested their survival skills and ability to adapt to the music scene. They studied the Japanese language, they risked getting incarcerated (and I think they did get thrown in jail once XD) by performing out in the streets of Japan, they lived in a small dormitory and they left their families and friends in Korea. So for all the haters and those who still don’t believe in their talent (saying that they are NOT a band, etc.) – you should see them live, in a concert, before you judge them.

Of course I took a picture with the standees afterwards. The fans surrounding the Jonghyun and Junshin standees were RABID. It was so difficult to get a chance to take a picture coz some of them seemed to be deliberating on kidnapping the standees. Hahaha!

The Minhyuk fans were better coz they were behaved and they did not have their claws on the standee. They gave each other some space while taking pics too. XD It was also difficult to take a pic of JS too. We had to do it in two secs or else, someone might drag him away from us XD

My friend and I couldn’t get anywhere NEAR Yonghwa. The fans were like forming a barricade around him. LOL. But my friend was able to take a picture of Minhyuk with Yonghwa photo bombing him XD

CREDITS: The clear and good shots were NOT MINE of course. I only own the blurred and far far away shots. LOL. Credits go to all the owners, I got it from CNBLUE FB 

A couple of pics were from santayo.ph

My Wicked Weekend in Singapore

It was indeed the WICKED-est weekend I’ve ever had in my entire 25 years of life on earth! Three of my dreams came true while I was in Singapore. I’m still spazzing like a crazy fangirl right now. It was such a great adventure and experience for me and it still seemed so surreal.

First, I was able to travel to another country. That was such an accomplishment for someone like me – an independent young woman in her early 20s who’s living away from her family and who’s only been working for merely 2 and half years. Moreover, I barely have 20k in my bank account. I still can’t believe I was able to do it. I was hesitant at first of course. I jot down all my expenses and my savings and computed again and again until my head hurts from all the numbers. My main purpose of traveling, at first, was to watch the Super Junior concert in SG. But that would mean I have to spend more because of the ticket prices. So in the end I canceled my plans and told my friend (who was the one pursuing me to go with her since she’s going to watch the concert as well) that I have to bail out for now coz I’m not yet financially ready’.

But then, last January, just before my birthday, I woke up one afternoon and checked my twitter. The said friend was still insisting that I come with her since another friend of ours is also coming with us and her RT flight from Clark only costs about P3,800 only. I dunno what went over me. It was definitely an impulsive decision. I just said “Okay, GO.” After realizing that I cannot be absent for two days from my two part time jobs, I re-booked my flight which made me spend more money than I intended to. T_T Damn you work! I had to buy another P2,500-worth ticket for Saturday early morning instead of my orig RT ticket which was Friday noon. Furthermore, instead of departing from the airport which is nearby my hometown (around 5 hours by bus), I had to go all the way to NAIA airport in Manila (around 8 hours by bus). Just thinking about all those traveling involved exhaust me.

It was my first time flying International, mind you, so I was absolutely terrified and keyed up at the same time. I have no idea what to do first and where to go. Good thing I have my friend with me. ^^ So our flight was at 6:20 AM and we checked in at around quarter to five. I traveled in NAIA 3 before but that was domestic, my flight this time is international and its in NAIA 1.

I just have to say, there are three things that I am totally NOT looking forward to the next time I travel.

  1. The grumpy and snooping immigration officers. They don’t smile, they’re so damn stern and serious. Get a life. You’ll get old soon guys. Especially the ones in SG. I was unfortunate enough to get the grumpiest and snappiest of them all. It was this old man who kinda looked gay to me. The other I.O. (immigration officer ^^) called his attention, so naturally, I turned my head to look at her as well. Then, in a SNAPPY and ANGRY voice, the I.O. in front of me said “HEY! HEY LOOK AT ME! YOU LOOK AT ME NOW!” I was taken aback by the attitude. Chill, dude, I’m not impersonating someone and I’m totally not avoiding eye contact with you. I just couldn’t bear looking at your BB Cream-ed face. XD
  2. The damn embarkation card. My friend and I were making fun of someone (I’d rather NOT namedrop ^^) for taking a long time in answering the embarkation card before. We thought, “How stupid could he get? It’s so easy to fill up.” But we were wrong. Well, for first time flyers it is kinda confusing in some way. And there are actually lots of info to be provided. Like my passport number, date I received the passport, date it will expire, the address of the person I’m visiting abroad and some other info that I couldn’t think of right then and there. I had to check through the papers that I have with me and take a peek at my passport for that. It was kinda stressful. Haha. To our chagrin, we needed to answer ANOTHER card, this time a disembarkation one, before we land in SG. Wow. Just how many embarkation cards are there?
  3. Gigantic American seatmates who snores LOUDLY and who seemed to have halitosis. Yes. Unluckily for my friend and I, we were put in the same row as this humongous American who sat in the aisle (coz I have the window seat ^^). So we have to get through him before we can visit the loo. I had my mp3 on and I was trying to get some sleep during the three-hour flight but I could still hear him snoring REALLY loud. If that isn’t enough, I could smell something stinky coming from him from where I was seated. UGH.

The first thing I did when I set foot on the soils of SG was… SMILE. I want to enter and leave the country with a smile. ^^ The weather was pretty much the same as the Philippines but it was much tolerable. What I noticed the moment I got on the SMRT (their subway train which, by the way, was simply fantastic and very helpful) was the fact that SG has such diverse set of people and culture. It was like the melting point of mixed races and nationalities which are poles apart. Indeed, it was sort of overpopulated by Filipinos, but other than that there were like 5 other dominant races – Singaporean, Bangladesh, Indian, Chinese and a bit of Japanese as well. It was so amusing that it felt like I was in a United Nations conference or something. 😀

One thing I love about this country was how progressive and advanced they are. Particularly their transportation system. I was so amazed by how disciplined and organized the transportation system was.

They have this EZ Link card that can be used for both bus and SMRT (and even at McDonald’s and 7-11). My cousin, who lives there, even told me that one time she left the house with nothing but that EZ Link card and she was able to eat and get around the city with no troubles. Imagine that! I love tapping out that card in the subway turnstile and before and after I get on a bus. It was very convenient and pretty cool for me. ^^

I really envy their country for having this structured system, which is why there is less traffic in the streets. It also makes the people more disciplined because they cannot just ride or ‘alight’ a bus anywhere and anytime they want to. They really have to wait for the specific bus with specific route at specific bus stops. If they missed the bus going to where they are supposed to go, they have to wait for the next bus with the same route OR find another route. It was so beautiful. Haha. I’m so in love with their transportation system.

EMBARRASSING EXPERIENCE ALERT! Well it was more like humiliating. ^^;; My first time to ride the bus, we were in a hurry coz the bus was about to leave so we ran after it. I was the last one to get in and in my haste I forgot to tap out the card. I also forgot what my friend told me about the people using “Hello” as a substitute for “Excuse me”. So I just walked inside and ignored the driver who was “Hello-ing” me. XD My friend told me that I forgot to tap out so I have to go back and do that. ^^;; Talk about embarrassing.

Another thing I like about their buses and subway trains are the ‘RESERVED SEAT’ part for the elders, pregnant women, children and disabled. I know we also have that in the Philippines but the ones in Singapore seemed more legit and people seemed to really avoid this seat. I felt uncomfortable when I sat at it once even though there were no elders or pregnant women around whom I had to give it up to.

On the upper deck of the double-decker bus ^^

And OMG the DOUBLE-DECKER bus! I was literally jumping up and down when I saw that and I couldn’t wait to ride on it! It was totally a ‘dream come true’ when I finally got to ride in one – it felt like I was in Harry Potter or something. ^.^  I really, really wish our bus system gets upgraded. Actually, I wish they’d give the transportation system a face-lift. That way we can avoid traffic, road accidents and people would not cross the streets anywhere and anytime they like.

THE FOOD.

Like I said, this country is so diverse that you can also find traces of other nationalities in their food. There’s a variety of choices so you won’t really get tired of the old Singaporean food. But of course I had to try out some of their famous meals. Chicken rice and Pepper Rice were both sumptuous.

Chicken Rice + Chestnut Water~

^ Chicken Rice~ 

 ^  The Indian Prata – pancake bread with different curry sauces

 The latter was kinda spicy for me though. I wanted to try some of those Indian Prata but they were out of stock when I ordered it. 😦  I noticed they have lots of noodles; there was even a stall in the food court where you can pick a variety of toppings for your noodles. I’m not a noodle person so I didn’t try any of that.

 ^ Pepper Rice

 

I tried one of their drinks called CHESTNUT WATER and I loved it! ^^

I found this really cool parody of the Philippines’s JOLLIBEE fast food restaurant. It’s called JOLLIBEAN. Haha. They sell some bread and flavored soybean shakes. I tried it and it’s pretty good. 😉

When it comes to houses, they are quite organized as well. They don’t have a lot of real ‘houses’ – like Desperate Housewives-type of houses. All you can see are apartment complex and I love that setting. It was just so organized. OKAY, I gotta stop comparing it to my country… hehe. I just really hope that by the time I have my own family, my country would be as progressive as Singapore.

FIRST DAY.

We went to this upscale and high end place called DEMPSEY HILL. Nothing much to see over there. Unless you’re blond and you have a Ferrari  or a mini-cooper or something. ^^

We had fun at Ben and Jerry’s though. The root beer that I ordered – which really looked like beer – totally quenched my thirst. I hated the weather that day. It was cloudy but for some reason it feels muggy and I was sweating.

After that we started ‘mall hopping’. The malls were pretty cool but I wasn’t really that amazed once I saw the inside. Of course the façade was fantastic, but inside, it was just like any other shopping mall. I kinda got tired from all the walking so I felt a little grumpy and moody by the end of the day.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE SHOPPING and all that but I can only tolerate much. PLUS, I didn’t really go to SG to shop. If I’m gonna buy clothes, shoes or bags, I’d rather visit my favorite secondhand stores in my city. ^.^ Plus, everything is expensive in SG. I couldn’t really complain to the people I’m with coz I’m just a ‘visitor’ and I have no right to do that.

Kaya - Singaporean spread~

ANYWAY, we shopped at FAIR PRICE before going home. That place was heaven! The chocolates, the multi-flavored Yakult and Cream-O, the NUTELLA ^^ and loads of food and stuff with cheaper prices!

SECOND DAY.

The following day, we were supposed to go to the Chinese-Japanese Garden early in the morning but we didn’t realize that the sun shines a bit later in SG. It was already 7 am and it was still dark outside! Same with the sun set, 7 pm was still bright outside. So we woke up kinda late and we just went to church. YES. I went to church. ^^;; Moving on, we went to another shopping mall (YAY…) but this time I kinda like it because I saw lots of nifty and pretty cool stuff. There was this stall that sells some pretty awesome flash disk drives with various designs: credit cards, finger, banana, animals, cartoon characters, mini-cakes and candies and other really cute things. I also got inside this shop with lots of KPOP stuff and of course I was just ecstatic. 😀

After that I had to run over to the Marina Bay Sands Theater to do something I’ve never done before – WATCH A MUSICAL. ^________^ Yes, finally I can say that I’ve seen a musical and one of the most wonderful and amazing musicals at that. It was this Broadway musical called WICKED. My spazzing and review of that deserves another blog post which can be found here.

I didn't get to see this majestic whirlwind of water in the Marina Bay but my friends recorded it ~ ^^

My dream of riding those ‘gondolas’ inside the Marina Bay Sands mall didn’t come true though coz we didn’t have time for that and it costs $10, I think. But I took some pictures. 😀 I wasn’t able to see some of the more magnificent parts of that place but I was able to enjoy my time there. ^^

THIRD DAY.

Sentosa Day. It was one great trip to wrap up our last day in SG. Although I had no intentions of going inside Universal Studios (coz it’s too damn expensive) I have to say it was definitely worth it.

 ^ Reese’s!!! MY FAVE~ 

Strolling around Hershey’s World and Candylicious felt like stepping into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. It was just amazing with a capital A.

 ^ Lotsa lotsa JELLY BEANS~

We had a fun time over there but we couldn’t really visit the other tourists’ spots in Sentosa like the Merlion thingy coz my other friend and I need to catch our flight back to the Philippines. It felt sad to leave just like that but all things must come to an end. We bid goodbye to our friend and went back to Changi airport.

^BTW, I love the escalators in the subway! They would eat you up and spit you out so quickly you’d pick yourself up from the floor afterwards. Haha. They’re so freakin’ fast! Like, really FAST. So you really need to watch your step and KEEP LEFT if you are not in a hurry coz the right side is the ‘express way’ where people who are in a hurry zoom past. ^^ It’s pretty cool once you get used to it.

 ^ My last peek at SG.

And that’s the end of my wonderful, WICKED, weekend in SG. The ending was quite simple but it was magical and memorable for me. I would love to go back there but I don’t think I can do that anytime soon. I probably have to work my ass off and prepare a lot of money. 😉

 

10 Reasons why I LOVE UMKTG-P!

(UMKTG @ Punto Miguel Beach Resort in LAIYA, BATANGAS ^^)

1. They’re COOL. There’s nothing more to say. And it’s the type of COOl that you wouldn’t realize is ‘COOL’ unless you’re actually WITH them. That’s when you’ll start thinking ‘Oh, so this is what COOL feels like’. ^^

2. They share the same interests / ‘trip’. Well, that used to be the case, but of course after almost 3 years of friendship… some things were bound to change… They can still relate to each other most of the time though. 🙂

3. They never agree on the same stuff all the time. They all have different views and opinions about things. Some are outspoken, some are silent (but deadly) and some just go with the flow. This often sparks up a debate which turns into a slight argument– but nothing really serious. No catfights on chocolate mud or hurling of rock-hard muffins or something. XP

4. They get bigger and better. Friendship INDEED grows. First there were FOUR, and now there are, like, 12 or so…? It’s like a family that expands, a club that adds new members, or cockroach eggs that multiplies by the second…? XD As new members get added, more exciting adventures happen as well. ^^

5. There’s no need to boom your own flight, plan your own adventure or go on a solitary vacation trip somewhere. UMKTG will handle everything. From your destination up to the hotel reservations and even the food. :))) All you have to do is say, “YES, I WANT TO GO” and voila ~ next thing you know, you are on your way to one of the greatest and most exciting traveling trip ever. ^^

6. They bash each other’s idols and there’s no hard feelings. At least I think so. ^^ Bashing Korean/Japanese/Taiwanese/American idols/biases is as normal as breathing and eating for UMKTG members. They even bash their OWN idols. They say that when you love someone you have to accept them for who they are. You have to be aware of their flaws… and you have to make fun of these flaws every now and then. XD

7. There is NEVER a boring time with them. Except when they’re all fast asleep. XP They are all hilarious in their own way.  You have to fully appreciate each and everyone’s sense of humor before you get to be ‘in on the joke’.

8. They engage in healthy and serious conversations.

Here’s a typical UMKTG ‘kamote’ conversation:

Ate Tam: Ano na nga ba yung sinasabi pag nakatapak ng tae ng aso?
Anne: Ewww…?
Ate Tam: Hindi!
Celine: Beh, buti nga,,,?
Anne: …kadiri…?
Celine: Yuck…?
Ate Tam: …
Celine: Ang tanga mo naman…?

^____^

9. They can be pa-sosyal and palaboys at the same time. They’re like chameleons– put them on a black background and they’d turn black. Put them in a pink environment and they’d turn pink. ^^ They can deal with all types of people– but not too much commoners ok XD — and they can cope with any sort of situation. More to the point, they are SHAMELESS. They don’t give a damn about what others think. In Tagalog, makapal ang mga mukha. XD They are indeed SURVIVORS.

10. They are UMKTG. It’s as simple as that. They have different characters, different personalities, different status in life, different family background, different heights, different weights, different tastes in guys, different professions, different schools, different hairstyles… different biases in Backstreet Boys and N’Sync, But deep inside, they are one and the same. They are all UMKTG at heart. They are Ubiquitous Multiply Kedermek Triad Girls- Palaboys. :)))) Once a palaboy, always a palaboy.

AND YES, “KAMOTE” is the trademark UMKTG expression. Well, Celine invented it so we all adopted that. We OWN it.  XD