3 Comic Books, 1 Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day gets more and more exciting in the Philippines!

Beginning 2002, Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) has been an annual promotional event done on the first Saturday of May by the North American comic book industry in an effort to introduce comics to new readers. With its popularity, it reached the Philippine shores and now, Filipinos get to enjoy the same freebies as long as they are patient enough in falling in long lines at their favorite participating bookstores.

Last year, a friend and I accidentally participated in the FCBD of Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street since we were really headed to the store, got a free comic book each, and met some of the great graphic artists of the country together with their sketches. Not on the first, though, but third Saturday of May (That was a May 19 and I don’t have any idea why).

Our free comic books each and the FB stamps on our wrists at last year's Free Comic Book Day  of Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street

Our free comic books and the FB stamps on our wrists at last year’s Free Comic Book Day of Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street

This year, I went with another friend, Claa, a fellow blogger, at National Book Store Quezon Avenue, Quezon City for the Free Comic Book Day of National Book Store (NBS), CASTLE GEEK, and Neutral Grounds wherein we received not just one, but three free comic books! With the theme “Setting the Record”, the event aimed in setting the highest number of sketches done on a blank cover comic, a record they hope to beat every succeeding year.

The three establishments combined seemed so hyped-up with this event. In fact, aside from the increased number of freebies, they also came up with a Survival Guide, which was used for the event’s promotion, great discounts on comic books, and added comic-related items and more on sale, to make it more exciting to the fans and would-be fans.

The Survival Guide to Free Comic Book Day -- Setting the Record (Photo grabbed from National Book Store's Facebook page)

The Survival Guide to Free Comic Book Day — Setting the Record (Photo grabbed from National Book Store’s Facebook page)

Claa and I arrived at the NBS branch at 9am and were surprised by the number of fellow participants already waiting outside. This just proved that comics in the country already established a wide fandom, and of course, the industry is ready to welcome more.

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The line around 9am, outside National Book Store Quezon Avenue

The line continued on the registration area

The line continued at the registration area

Right after writing our details on the registration form, the freebies started with these:

First set of freebies: FCBD 2013 tattoos, sticker, and well, I don't know why, but a lollipop. :)

First set of freebies: FCBD 2013 tattoos, sticker, and well, I don’t know why, but a lollipop to brag about. ๐Ÿ™‚

Then we headed toward another long line for, what else, but our much awaited three free comic books! Yey!

Another line for the free comic books! ^_^ Patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue...

Another line for the free comic books! ^_^ Patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue…

The comics were spread out on a long table and the participants chose three from this collection.

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FCBD 2013 (31)

My free comic books: Ugly Doll Comics (vizkids), Scratch 9 (Hermes Press), and Kellerman L’Amour (Bantam). Oh, I’m such a girl! LOL.

After checking the number of items we got, we were stamped with CASTLE GEEK logo and we were good to roam around the area.

The first to see upon entering the place was National Book Store’s discounted local and international comics. Great deals to greet everyone!

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20% off on graphic novels!

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Manga, or Japanese comics, were also available for less than 100 pesos.

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I found Fushigi Yuugi manga! I didn’t buy them, though.

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Then on the stack of 200-peso comics was where I found Stephen King’s N., which was from the author’s short story collection, Just a After SunsetIts original price was 789 pesos and I can’t wait to read it!

Stephen King's N.

Stephen King’s N.

Back issues were also on the event for only 75 pesos each, courtesy of CASTLE GEEK.

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Aside from the comic books, souvenirs, and comic- and movie-related stuff were also sold at the event.

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FCBD caps

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T-shirts sold for around a thousand pesos each

Pop figures or something. hehe

Pop figures or something. hehe

Want some popcorn? Darth Vader wants to serve you while you watch your favorite movie! :3

Want some popcorn? Darth Vader wants to serve you while you watch your favorite movie! :3

V for Vendetta masks for around 1,000 pesos. I love it!

V for Vendetta masks for around 1,000 pesos. I love it!

Faber-Castell joined the fun, too, and featured its artist pens which anyone can try by sketching for free!

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Faber-Castell’s artist pens!

Sketch for free and feel like a professional artist with every stroke!

Sketch for free and feel like a professional artist with every stroke!

Speaking of sketches, an FCBD isn’t complete without any graphic artists in the vicinity, especially in this one since the record to be set was about drawing. Because of that, an area was allotted for the artists, although at the time we were there, there were not that many of them yet.

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One of the artists

One of the artists

Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street also gave three free comics this year, while its other participating branches (SM Mall of Asia, Greenbelt 5, Power Plant Mall, EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, Greenhils’ Promenade, Gateway Mall, and SM North EDSA) gave only one. Establishments Druids Keep and Planet X Comic Shop also took part on this exciting day. Hmm… Looks like the FCBD competition of our local bookstores are getting fiercer and fiercer.

I don’t know if NBS, CASTLE GEEK, and Neutral Grounds reached their goal, though, but I hope they do.

May the third be with you on next year’s Free Comic Book Day! ๐Ÿ˜€

 

 

—-
REFERENCES:
Wikipedia
FLIPGEEKS
Fully Booked
Free Comic Book Day Philippines Facebook page

Whiterock Rocks!

Summer is officially on and we can definitely feel the scorching heat in the air! So if you’re up for some total fun and your skin is yearning to soak under water, it’s time to consider your options for that perfect getaway with your friends and loved ones.

If you don’t want to go too far from the metro but still want the perfect venue, a great choice may be Whiterock Waterpark and Beach Hotel, or simply Whiterock.

Photo grabbed from Whiterock Waterpark and Beach Hotel’s Facebook page

Located in Matain, Subic, Zambales, Whiterock is a resort covering a vast area of seven hectares. And just like what its name implies, it is a waterpark  and beach resort in one, so aside from the wide Subic beach in which guests can experience adventures like jet skiing and banana boat riding, there are also wave pools, water slides, and swimming pools to expect, and even other recreational activities like rappelling, wall climbing, and and ziplining.

It also has around 175 hotel rooms for those who want to spend a night or two in it. Guests can choose accommodations from the main building, Subic View building, Beach side area, and Seaside area as long as there as are still rooms available.

Whiterock map (Photo grabbed from its website)

Whiterock map (Photo grabbed from its website)

Hmmm… Actually, I haven’t really tried being a guest at Whiterock, I was just part of a little group on an ocular visit, searching for the perfect venue for our work’s company outing. And we aren’t exactly a department tasked for this stuff, it just so happened that the Admin Head, a friend and who’s assigned to this yearly, invited me and my package friend to join her, so along with one of the company drivers, we journeyed Zambales to check out different resorts.

Two of the rangers on a mission of finding the perfect location for a company outing! :P

Two of the rangers on a mission of finding the perfect location for a company outing! ๐Ÿ˜› (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth Alegre)

Photo opportunity with our camera-shy driver, Kuya Allan. :)) (Photo grabbed from Deth Alegre Boss)

Secret photo opportunity with our camera-shy driver, Kuya Allan. :)) (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth Alegre)

Just a short tour around the resort was enough to get our jaws dropping. Coming from the entrance, the first we saw was the Team Building Grounds. It is so wide that I’m quite sure that the more-than 100 employees in our company can merrily run and roll at it–only if we want to, of course–all together.

Team Building Grounds

Team Building Grounds (Just guess what kind of weather we had while there)

Proceeding to the left, we passed by Pistahan ng Whiterock, a nipa-hut style  function venue, which was one of the improvements made last year.

Pistahan ng Whiterock

Pistahan ng Whiterock

And then there’s the kalesa to add to the native feel of the function area. It’s free to ride in for some photos.

Whiterock (15)

Whiterock (16)

After that, we were welcomed to a little colorful paradise for kids and the young at heart–the Children’s Play Pool area! This where my package friend and I spent most of our time talking and having fun like we were already on the actual outing. LOL.

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We just loved the playground ’cause it brought us to our childhood days where we didn’t have anything else to think about but silly stuff. A bit emo, but there really are those kind of days. hehehe

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Photos at the Children’s Play Pool area were taken by the funny Kuya Allan

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… In which he joked that when we get back to Metro Manila, he’d not only be a driver, but also a photographer. Good job on acquiring a new skill! :))

My package friend and I couldn't help but be crazy while at the swing. Photos were taken while our swings were in motion. XD

My package friend and I couldn’t help but be crazy while at the swing. Photos were taken while our swings were in motion. ๐Ÿ˜„

Right behind the playground is the pool itself complete with kiddie slides. Off limits for us on this part as we didn’t bring extra clothes with us and hey, we were merely on an ocular visit.

Kiddie slides at the Children's Play Pool!

Kiddie slides at the Children’s Play Pool!

At the side of the pool

At the side of the pool

The Children's Play Pool taken from a higher place (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth Alegre)

The Children’s Play Pool taken from a higher place (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth Alegre)

A little while later, the Admin Head, Boss Deth, called us to the Grand Pool. And oh, this isn’t called such for nothing. Aside from being big, it has two big white rocks in the pool itself, and even a bigger white boulder that serves as a wall, in which, yes, the name of the resort was taken. The former rocks even have an interesting legend which you can read on the second photo below.

The Grand Pool also has a see-saw slide behind it

The Grand Pool also has a see-saw slide behind it

Legend has it...

Legend has it…

Of course, we couldn't leave the place without a photo one of the white rocks.

Of course, me, my package friend, and Boss Deth couldn’t leave the place without a photo with one of the white rocks. (Photo grabbed from BossDeth)

Because the pool is huge, guests can play ball in it complete with a net and even ride on the big life buoys. And guess what, its life guard was nice enough to let me and my package friend experience one of the latter for a few seconds. hehe

With this photo, who would think that we were only on a short visit? XD

With this photo, who would think that we were only on a short visit? ๐Ÿ˜„ (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth)

At the right side of the Grand Pool is the Rampage Pool then beside it is Big Bowl Waterslide which looks so exciting to slide at.

Rampage Waterslide

Rampage Waterslide

The Big Bowl Waterslide. Shame I could only imagine myself going in circles in it at the moment.

The Big Bowl Waterslide. Shame I could only imagine myself going in circles in it at the moment. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ๐Ÿ˜›

To complete the ocular visit, we went to the other side of the resort where in we passed by the Giant Wave Pool and Children’s Plunge Pools, before finally heading to the beach.

The Chilren's Plung Pool at our back. Please don't mind our silliness with the innocent statue. hahaha

The Chilren’s Plung Pool at our back. Please don’t mind our silliness with the innocent naked statue. hahaha (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth)

The beach is nice! The sand is white that I don’t mind sacrificing my fair complexion just to enjoy that part of the resort!

The beach area. See the mountains there? That's the Subic Mountain Ranges! Nice view,huh?

The beach area. See the mountains there? That’s the Subic Mountain Ranges! Nice view,huh?

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Photo op with white sand! :D

Photo op with white sand! ๐Ÿ˜€

We headed to the Viewing Island which I think is perfect for some solitary thinking while staring at the horizon. Haha Oftentimes, my thoughts are only good for the lovers of solitude.

At the Viewing Island

At the Viewing Island

Then since we weren’t official guests, we were only able to disturb the peace and quiet of the jet skis on their parking space. Well, at least the staff assigned to it allowed us to experience them albeit us looking stupid. The man had fun watching our wackiness, by the way.

Turn to the right!

Turn to the right!

Turn to the left!

Turn to the left!

Stand up and put your hands up!

Stand up and put your hands up!

Wait! We were already surfing on the parked jet ski! Wahahaha XD

Wait! We were already surfing on the parked jet ski! Wahahaha ๐Ÿ˜„

Aside from the dining and entertainment areas, the only places we didn’t get to see were the accommodations since according to the crew that entertained us, all the guest rooms were full at the time, so of course, we couldn’t just barge in to check them out.

Despite that, we were happy with the visit, no matter how short, and we were convinced that it’s the perfect place for our company outing that all the other resorts we checked became so, so nothing compared to it. Sadly, it wasn’t approved by our work’s management because with a beautiful place like that, the company’s budget for the outing didn’t match with Whiterock’s rates. Pffft.

But looking at the brighter side, at least we got know such a wonderful and fun place. For free. ๐Ÿ˜›

Interested with the resort? Visit Whiterock’s webpage at http://www.whiterock.com.ph and find yourself wanting to be there in a jiffy!

 

 

Whiterock Waterpark and Beach Hotel
Matain, Subic, Zambales
Tel. #: (047) 222.2378 / 232.2857
Mobile #: +63922.813.3630 / +63917.863.0844
Telefax #:(047) 232.4446
E-mail: reservation@whiterock.com.ph

Slumber Party in the Dark

When the clock hits 12, darkness begins wrapping the place and people vanish one… by one… by one…

Photo grabbed from D1978C via Flickr

Photo grabbed from D1978C via Flickr

Nah. It’s not some horror story.

 

My work’s office has an unusual lunch break culture. Instead of the usual break time, most employees start going to the pantry or outside to eat lunch at around 11:30am, then go back to their workstations afterward to take care of some personal stuff. Then once the lights go off at exactly 12nn, they take their naps, which they do either by resting their heads on their desks with their arms as pillows or by lying on the back of their chairs, then when the lights are turned on at exactly 1pm, they wake up all ready to face their works.

 

When I was new in the company, I found this everyday habit completely awesome on the part of the employers since they allow total relaxation for their employees. But as months passed, I realized that it is not only for the benefit of the latter but also of the former. It is a two-way street after all.

 

Napping has a lot of advantages especially for workers and employers, whom all the jobs are being done for. Wondering what I mean? You better read on:
 

Photo grabbed from Zerteh via Flickr

Photo grabbed from Zerteh via Flickr

1. It makes us more alert

It’s official from a NASA research: Napping, though it’s not as long as sleeping, boosts alertness by 100%. Another study also shows that a nap as a break makes a person more alert and active compared to before the rest happened.

 

2. It promotes faster learning and better memory

Need to pay attention to your work? Taking a nap before attacking that hard task has an amazing result of helping you focus and keeping your memory working properly.

 

Photo grabbed from marcinbunsch via Flickr

Photo grabbed from marcinbunsch via Flickr

3. It helps avoid suffering from information overload

If you’re piled up with a lot of tasks, never do the mistake of not getting some nap. According to studies, failing to rest leads to decrease of productivity. So it’s better to take a short nap to have your mind refreshed.

 

4. It gets your creativity and senses going

A scientist in the name of Sara C. Mednick revealed it: Taking a nap is as good as a good night sleep when it comes to sensory perception. It also boosts creativity as it untangles the knots in overlapping ideas and binds the related ones at the same time.

 

Photo grabbed from Hilali via Flickr

Photo grabbed from Hilali via Flickr

5. It is good for the health

Lack of sleep is never good as it increases the cortisol hormone in the body. Cortisol is not bad, as it helps us deal with stress, but an excess of it leads to glucose intolerance and abdominal fat, it undermines muscular and immune systems, blocks memory and learning, and reduces levels of growth hormone and testosterone in the body, which can all cause diabetes and heart attack. Tsktsk. There’s just too much that can happen to our health if we don’t take that short, sweet nap.

 

6. It improves our mood

I have proved this numerous times. I am often so groggy and irritated in the morning, but after napping during lunch break, I am already feeling okay, I laugh, smile, and am very much ready for the rest of the day.

Well, that is because of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that handles our moods, sleep, and appetite. But during lack of sleep or stressing moments, the body uses more serotonin and it also stops producing it. The aftermath, then, is that we are caught in a bad mood.

 

Photo grabbed from fiatlux via Flickr

Photo grabbed from fiatlux via Flickr

7. It is budget friendly

Which is better, paying for something or getting it absolutely free? I am almost sure that everyone would choose the latter. If we get a cup of coffee, we spend for it, while decreasing our memory’s performance, but if we just take a nap, we get to energize ourselves not just for free, but also in a natural way! Isn’t way better? ๐Ÿ™‚

 
 

Taking a nap is not just like that, though. Follow these simple napping tips from Dr Mednick for a more effective one:

 

1. Stick to a regular schedule

Ideal napping time is from 1pm to 3pm, but for people like me whose only break is from 12nn to 1pm, I get to sleep only within that time. I think it’s okay, as long as I stick to that schedule.

 

2. Naps should be quick

When we take a nap, we do it quickly, otherwise, it may already be called a sleep. The ideal duration is 30 minutes or less so make sure to set your alarm. In my case, I start resting my head at 12:30pm, so when it is 1pm and the lights are on, I wake up.

 

3. Do it in the dark

The reason is simple: It helps us fall asleep faster. If you can’t turn off the lights in your office, you can opt to wear an eye mask.

 

4. Be in a warm place

Our body temperature drops when we sleep, so Dr Mednick advised this or at least bring and use a blanket. But if you’re living in a tropical country like the Philippines, this is a bad idea, otherwise, you’ll wake up drenched in sweat.

 

 

I always say that when it is lunch break, I really take a break. And people should really give me a break. So for that precious hour, I toss away my work load and relax, either by eating outside the office or taking a nap right after munching my lunch in the pantry. I especially do the latter when I know that I will be needing that extra energy to work my mind for my current task.

You should take a nap, too, during your lunch break even though your office doesn’t have the same culture as ours. It’ll help you big time in finishing a quality assignment or two. Well, of course, it’ll not only benefit you, but the company you’re working for as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 
 
 

Sources:
Art of Manliness
WebMD

Lee Min-ho and My Fangirl Momma

My Mom is so much in love! โ™ฅ_โ™ฅ

And no, not with my Dad, but with someone else whose age is almost the same as mine, and I totally don’t mind it, in fact, I support her all the way. He’s tall, handsome, seems nice, and the name is Lee. Min. Ho.

The guy is pretty famous among girls, but if you’re not familiar with him, let me help you get to know him a bit.

Lee Min-ho for bench

Lee Min-ho is a South Korean actor popularly known for his roles in the TV series Boys Over Flowers (2009) as Gu Jun-pyo, and the hit action drama series City Hunter (2011) as Lee Yoon-sung. With a face and body like his, it wouldn’t be surprising at all that he already has more than 20 endorsements, the latest being for the Philippine-based clothing brand bench/.

My Mom is a dedicated housewife for already 16 years, a full-blooded homebody, and her only leisure these days is to go head over heels for this Korean hottie. So when I read the news at Yahoo! News Philippines that Lee Min-ho would be visiting the country on November 16, 2012 for a Benchsetter Fun Meet at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, I immediately informed her, and oh boy, you should’ve seen her reaction and how she swore in excitement.

It was a fun sight, seeing my mother so elated. And so, as a supportive daughter, I offered to pay for the tickets and to go with her, which included me not going to work since the event fell on a Friday.

We learned that what we needed to be part of the fan meet were invitations which we could acquire through purchases of bench/ items with Fix Professional products. Seat locations depended on the minimum single-receipt amounts:

Patron โ€“ 1,500 pesos

Lower Box โ€“ 1,000 pesos

Upper Box A โ€“ 800 pesos

Upper Box B โ€“ 500 pesos

We opted for the 500-peso worth of invitations, which were then exchanged with actual tickets at the ticket booth of the coliseum on the day of the event.

Invitation and tickets to Lee Min Ho Benchsetter Fun Meet

Invitations and tickets to Lee Min-ho Benchsetter Fun Meet

Combining my mother’s extraordinary patience and her determination to see Lee Min-ho in person (though not close), she waited in line from the time we arrived at around 2pm ’till 5pm when the gates at The Big Dome were opened, while I wandered at the nearby mall since I have the tendency to drop dead (figuratively) whenever I stand doing nothing in idle lines.

My Mom and I while waiting in line.

My Mom and I while waiting in line.

I came back at around 4:30pm and the crowd was impressive. I went to McDonald’s for some fries and saw that the lines stretched up to the Telus building in Gen. Macarthur Ave., Araneta Center. How’s that for a simple fan meet? O_o

To our front

People in front of us

On our back

People on our back

Gates opened at 5pm and by around 6pm, we were already comfortable on our chosen seats at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Our location at the Upper Box B was pretty decent considering that we only paid 500 pesos for it. I actually felt sorry for those in the Patron area ’cause the event wasn’t a concert, so I guess it didn’t feel all that good to be standing and pressing themselves against each other, while the spotlights seemingly incubated them like chicks. Many of them had their arms raised, fanning themselves for some air.

Inside The Big Dome at around 6pm

Inside The Big Dome at around 6pm

While waiting for “the moment”, my Mom tested her binoculars (Yes! Like a girl scout, she brought our real, heavy binoculars from home! XD) to see if she could see the people on the stage from her place. Luckily, yeeeeeeessssss, she could totally see up close!

Mom testing her binoculars

Mom testing her binoculars

On a side note, I had an interesting find inside The Big Dome. There’s this pair of foldable binoculars called Eyemax that’s made of paper and, of course, lenses for only 75 pesos. For that price, it can make its user 4x closer to its subject, though it’s not very comfortable in the eyes. Patented by Ivergo International, Eyemax is handy and perfect for concert places like the Smart Araneta Coliseum. ๐Ÿ™‚  

Folded Eyemax

Folded Eyemax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfolded Eyemax

Unfolded Eyemax

 

Testing, testing!

Testing, testing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, I didn’t know Lee Min-ho’s real effect on girls until that day. At past 7pm, the crowd started screaming when photos of him were shown on the stage. I’m talking about mere images here, of him, for his bench/ endorsement. No real him yet. O_o

No Lee Min-ho yet, just images.O.o

No Lee Min-ho yet, just images, yet people started screaming. O.o

Then it was proved how age doesn’t matter when it comes to being a true Lee Min-ho fanatic. With an emcee talking on stage, an energetic grandma was shown on the screen for the audience to see. She was, indeed, very proud to be an enthusiast of Lee Min-ho.

Grandma is an enthusiastic fan!

Grandma is an enthusiastic fan!

And I guess the guy is really that hot to be able to capture even the heart of an old lady. If not, the fan meet wouldn’t gather such a large crowd. Can you believe that the 16,500-capacity Smart Araneta Coliseum was full that night just for such an event?

So many people for a fan meet. @_@

So many people for a fan meet. @_@

There was even a pissed off lady who sat beside my Mom who said that she was supposed to be in the Patron area, but she couldn’t be accommodated anymore, so there she was, unfortunately sitting with us in the Upper Box B. But what could be more unlucky that night than not being able to get in? Yes, she also said that there were still more people waiting outside.

The event’s organizers surely knew how to push the right buttons of girls. Before 8pm, the crowd began cheering as the stage showed… No, not Lee Min-ho yet, but dancers walking to the center where they danced to popular K-pop songs Nobody by Wonder Girls, Sorry, Sorry by Super Junior, Fire by 2ne1, and Gangnam Style by PSY.

I want nobody, nobody, bachu!

I want nobody, nobody, bachu!

Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry... So apologetic! haha

Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry… So apologetic! haha

Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh... 2ne1...

Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh… 2ne1…

Oppa Gangnam Style!

Eeeeehhh~ Sexy lady!

Everybody sure was ecstatic when the dance numbers were done! After all, it wasn’t those that the people went to The Big Dome for.

Mom waited patiently, but still screamed with other fans

Mom waited patiently, but still screamed with other fans.

We thought there would be other stuff to show, but then, there he was, finally! Waving to thousands of his fans in a very demure way. So ironic with how wild his admirers went upon seeing him. hehe.

Lee Min-ho waving to fans who went wild upon seeing him.

Lee Min-ho waving to fans who went wild upon seeing him.

Lee Min-ho's Profile

Lee Min-ho’s Profile

The whole program comprised of a question-and-answer portion wherein the questions were sent by millions of fans to Twitter, Spin a Prize, Look Alike contest, and Act that Scene, wherein lucky contestants were picked before the dancers performed.

Lee Min-ho with interviewer/translator. Forgot her name, though. V^_^

Lee Min-ho with interviewer/translator. Forgot her name, though. V^_^

Funny thing about the event was that, I’m quite confident that about 99% of the audience can’t understand Korean, but then they roared in excitement every time Lee Min-ho spoke… in Korean! The same goes for his every movement, especially whenever he licked his lips or smiled. It was funny, amazing, and mystical at the same time. And of course, it was even more amusing to see my Mom going crazy right beside me, so I didn’t try to stop her.

A simple lip-licking sent fans to paradise. XD

A simple lip-licking sent fans to paradise. ๐Ÿ˜„ Fans: Kyaaaa~ / Me: (~-_-)~

Lee Min-ho and fans. @_@

Lee Min-ho and thousands of fans. @_@

The fan meet ended past 9pm. Like a ride in the amusement park, we spent more time waiting in line than the actual ride itself. But I guess it didn’t matter to the frenzied enthusiasts who might have went home very much contented, and who knows, maybe many of them weren’t able to sleep that night or even the succeeding nights. hehehe.

The end. :D

The end. ๐Ÿ˜€

As for my Mom, of course, I don’t have to say how the night made her year. She. Is. Mad. About. Him. In fact, she also went to SM Mall of Asia with my sister and her boyfriend the day after next for another Lee Min-ho event. Her location was way closer to the guy that time that even my sister’s boyfriend understood why she is enamored with the Korean star.

One happy lady. ;)

One happy lady. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mom is a very simple person. She’s never into material things (Except perhaps when it comes to lotsa food! ^_^). So for her simple pleasures (which are just a few), we support her and let her do what she wants. ๐Ÿ™‚

Back to the Past: A Trip to the Museum of the Filipino People

“Free” is such an inviting word.

That’s why my friends and I didn’t miss the chance to explore the National Museum of the Philippines last October, as the said museum opened its doors for free the whole month for its celebration of the National Museum Week.

Museum of the Filipino People located along Finance Road in Manila

My friends and I were lucky that despite our busy schedules, we were able to visit on the last Sunday of the month. And though not everyone in our little circle was present, it was nevertheless a fun-filled educational day for us as we got to bond, laugh, and learn more about our country all at the same time.

My friends and I smiled at the camera as the elevator transported us to the higher floors of the museum.

The museum actually has two buildings, one is the National Art Gallery in P. Burgos St, Manila that houses sculptures and paintings from the famous artists of the country, and the other is the Museum of the Filipino People along Finance Road, Manila, which is a trip to the Philippine history since it is the archaeology and anthropology branch of the museum. We didn’t get to see the former since it was already near closing time when we finished our tour to the latter, and besides… The real reason is that I didn’t know there are two buildings until I started writing this entry (Hohoho! My ever-so honest self strikes again! ๐Ÿ˜€ ).

On regular days, the museum charges 30 pesos for students, 100 pesos for adults, and 80 pesos for senior citizens. The fee is very affordable, so if you missed going to this museum in October, it’s still worth it if you’ll pay on your visit to it. In fact, I think it’s a lot better to go to it on a regular day.

There were many off-limits rooms with “Temporarily Closed” signs on their doors. Maybe those rooms were being renovated, like with the National Art Gallery in August and September, or maybe that’s all people can get for free. Through the elevator, the fifth floor would even greet visitors with darkness and the same signage. I didn’t read the details, but whatever the reason, I think it’s good that the museum left something people can be curious about and make them come back some other time.

Anyway, I will only post the photos of my favorites in the exhibits. Just like the museum, I’m also merely giving you a glimpse of what’s inside it. It’s really much better if you’ll see it for yourself.

The Ifugao House

One of the things that people may immediately see on the first floor of the Museum of the Filipino People and even while in one of the elevators is the real Ifugao house, which is amid the green grasses and trees in the courtyard.

Since people can freely move inside and out the hut, it is almost never vacant. That’s why we decided to take a tour around the building first before re-visiting it for some photos. Good thing we got it all to ourselves the second time we came near it.

The miniature model of the Ifugao House inside the museum.

An Ifugao House located at the courtyard of the museum where visitors can experience how the hut looks and feels like inside and out.

This is how the hut looks like inside. ๐Ÿ™‚

Welcome! Welcome! The house itself is elevated and people can enter through climbing a ladder.

Fascination with Crabs

Crabs are one of my favorite sea creatures because they’re just so delicious, especially their eggs. And though the ones in the museum aren’t edible at all–they may even be deadly–they were still apples in my eyes which led me into taking snapshots of some of them, no matter how scary they look.

Spiny Spooner

Rock Crab

Giant Spider Crab

Sleepy Sponge Crab

Red Frog Crab

Long-Armed Crab

How and Where They Found It

Isn’t it interesting how archaeologists were able to gather those treasures we appreciate in museums? The National Museum has miniature re-enactments of how these hardworking people retrieved artifacts that helped us Filipinos know our beginnings.

Old, big, and scary jars which reminded us of the 1986 film Halimaw sa Banga.

This is how some of the old jars were recovered by archaeologists.

Second burial artifacts

Discovery of ancient burial jars in caves. The shape is an indicator if the remains inside a jar belonged to a male or a female–a woman’s has breasts on it.

Other Interesting Creatures and Relics

Visiting museums are worth it. We get to see replicas, miniature re-enactments and models, preserved bodies of animals, and more, which give us more insights about the things in the past and those we co-exist with. Below are still some of the photos that caught my attention.

Replica of a cave with stalactites

Borak

Woods that look more like stones

Winged Fruits which reminded me of the Golden Snitch

Eagle

Grasshoppers

Butterflies

Photo opportunity with butterflies ๐Ÿ™‚

Sea Plants

Coral

It was a big and scary starfish

 

Manila Day Out

Manila is quite far from us, people from other parts of the metro. With that, we didn’t go straight home after our little educational tour. Instead, we went to other parts of Manila to make the most of the day.

My friends posed for the camera while buying some dirty ice cream in Rizal Park.

Eating didn’t stop for me with dirty ice cream. I craved for green mangoes when I saw them and bought one for 15 pesos. “Look at the camera, Manong!” ๐Ÿ™‚

Dinner at The Sicillian Pizza, Dapitan St, Sampaloc, Manila, A. K. A. My Territory since the street is located near my college building at the University of Santo Tomas. Because of that, I led the way from the Rizal Park to this place. hehe

Since we were already around UST, we decided to go inside for a short cut to our last destination. Of course, the experience wouldn’t be complete without a photo or two with these three famous letters. ๐Ÿ™‚

These two big A and B letters weren’t existing yet when I left UST. So although I was a mere silhouette because of the time of the day, and I’m Bachelor of Arts holder, I took the chance and had a photo with them. ๐Ÿ™‚

Last stop for the day: My friend’s family condominium unit along Espana, Manila.

It was a tiring yet fulfilling day! You should visit the National Museum, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

“Late Blossom”: Love is Ageless, it Knows No Limit

Photo grabbed from AsianWiki

Though your hair may already be graying, your skin sagging, and wrinkles long been forming on your face, it can never be too late for true love.

Late Blossom (Keudaereul Saranghamnida ; ๊ทธ๋Œ€๋ฅผ ์‚ฌ๋ž‘ํ•ฉ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค), a 2011 South Korean indie film and one of the featured films at the recent 2012 Korean Film Festival in the Philippines, revolves around the lives of four old people whose ages do not limit their abilities to love and be loved. 

 

The Story

Kim Man-Suk (Lee Soon-Jae), a milk delivery guy that uses his motorbike, is a grumpy old widower on the outside but is really soft and sweet on the inside, while Ms Song (Yun So-Jeong), a scrap paper collector and seller, is a soft-spoken old woman who is alone almost all her life. They run into each other before dawn a few times and eventually, develop a strong affection for each other.

Meanwhile, Jang Kun-Bong (Song Jae-Ho), the neighborhood parking lot manager, and Jo Soon-Yi (Kim Soo-Mi), who has Alzheimer’s disease, are a married couple who once had their three children living with them but, naturally, as they started having their own lives, left the couple living alone yet contented together.

The two couples journeyed through old age accompanied by each other’s love and new-found friendship.

Just like what I said in my blog entry, All Hail the Hallyu Wave! (2012 Korean Film Fest)Late Blossom is very touching and was worth more than the every tissue I pulled out of my pack during its screening in the film fest. I am not the emotional type, but I cried while watching the film, when my friends and I were talking about it right after seeing it, when I retold its story to my sister, and even when I remembered some of its scenes while I was on my way to work. The film was that amazing in pushing the right buttons of its audience.

And how can it fail to be great when each role, whether major or minor, was played by an actor who’s expert in his or her field, plus the fact that the South Korean film industry has a seemingly effortless ability to make everyone cry with just the right facial expressions, words, settings, and angling of the scenes. With that, it is not surprising when it became a box office hit in its home origin.

 

Thoughts, Sentiments

(Warning: Spoiler Alert)

“That’s how I wanted to grow old,” Ms Song murmurs as Jang Kun-Bong slowly walks away, relieved and thankful, while carrying his wife on his back. Already late for work, the old man accidentally leaves their home’s gate unlocked which enables his wife to go out and wander around the village, oblivious of how she’ll go back. Upon learning about this horror, Kun-Bong then spends the next hours running and shouting around the neighborhood, looking for the love of his life. When he finds her walking with Ms Song and Kim Man-Suk, he runs toward her, very much worried, and holds her tightly. This scene, filled with strong emotions, is when one can learn how powerful love is, that it can incessantly work its magic despite oldness and the other half’s shortcomings.

The enormously worried Jang Kun-bong holds his wife tightly when he finally finds her. (Screencap from Late Blossom)

Ms Song’s sentiment may be the reason the movie gets a sobbing crowd. Or at least in my case. Everybody wants to grow old with someone who shares the same passionate feeling as ours, and whose only condition in perpetually loving you is just you being at their side through good times and bad times. Just that. It doesn’t matter if you’re not able to give as long as you’re simply there, breathing the same air they breathe, and occupying the same space that they do. So just imagine that thought, coupled up with a film that shows exactly that kind of unending love rolling right before your eyes, and you’ll surely be fumbling through the things in your bag, hoping you can finally get a hold of your tissue. I’m speaking based on experience, yes.

Then as though the tears that already flowed out of your eyes aren’t enough, the film continues and later on, the viewers are presented with a weeping old man on the verge of committing suicide with his wife. He can’t take the fact that due to a severe disease, death will soon be snatching his beloved away from him. “Goodbye. I’m a timid old man. I couldn’t go on without you. So hold on to my hand. Let’s find each other again,” the married old man is saying behind the camera, as the scene zooms out showing the now departed couple, peacefully holding each other’s hand.

Again, everybody wants something like that. Who doesn’t? There’s a realest of the real love that even death can’t completely break into two. It’s somewhere out there, and the only thing you can do is wish that someday you’ll be one of the fewest lucky winners of that kind of love. But what are the chances? That is the question.

Like teenagers. Grumpy but sweet Kim Man-Suk and soft-spoken Ms Song on a date. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Screencap from Late Blossom)

Then if sweet love exists, there’s also a bittersweet one that no matter how you admire each other, you have to willingly let go of the relationship right away out of fear for possible heartaches and sorrows.

While walking home from the late married couple’s wake, Ms Song tells Kim Man-Suk that she’s going back to her hometown ’cause due to age, both of them will both depart from the world soon, and she won’t be able to take it if the latter goes first. As a person who has been lonely almost all her life, she thinks it’s better to stop what they share right away than wait for that moment to come. Upset by what he just heard, old Man-Suk walks out, leaving behind the authentic, black leather gloves which the old woman gave her, but comes back immediately when he finally comprehends Ms Song’s sentiments. He agrees about the set up but asks the woman if they can meet each other before they both pass away. At the end, Man-Suk leaves the world looking elated while Ms Song hears the familiar sound of Man-Suk’s motorbike, opens the door, and finds him outside, flashing her a smile and inviting her for a ride. They’re finally reunited and nothing can hold back their happiness together anymore.

I read before that if a man truly loves a woman, he will let her go. Maybe that’s it, maybe that’s it. And that form of sacrifice is indeed very touching.

 

How about you, have you watched Late Blossom? Did you cry as much as I do? If so, what do you think is the reason it was able to conjure so much emotion from you? ๐Ÿ™‚

All Hail the Hallyu Wave! (2012 Korean Film Fest)

Long before the Gangnam Style that’s still making the world dance today, South Korea has already been creating a huge impact in the Asian entertainment industry, all thanks to its relentless efforts in what is popularly known as the Korean wave. Whether music, film, or drama, admit it, we all know at least a single title from one of the mentioned sub-industries of that country.

This year, as a proof that there is no pausing for a break for its homeland, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and the Korean Cultural Center opened the 2012 Korean Film Festival last September 18, 2012.

The 2012 Korean Film Festival ad

Starting from SM Megamall that ran until the 23rd of September, the film festival, now on its fourth year, then went to SM City Baguio from September 26 – 30, and its last stop will be at SM City Cebu from October 3 – 7, 2012.

With the theme “Family Time”, the seven featured Korean movies were all top-grossers when they were first shown in South Korea. Want to know what the movies are all about? Read on for the Korean Cultural Center‘s short descriptions about them:

Ho Hwang’s “Spellbound” is an unusual mix of horror and romance, and focuses on the love story between road magician Jo-goo and the muse for his overnight success, Yu-ri. Yu-ri is haunted by ghosts and Jo-goo, who falls in love with her, has to rise above his fears to save the two of them.

Jeon Woo Chi

The film “Jeon Woo Chi” tells the story of the eponymous playful apprentice who gets imprisoned in a scroll, having been wrongfully accused for murder. He gets freed 500 years later as a last resort to bring back the order into the world.

Bunt” deals with the mentally-challenged Dong-ku who suddenly finds himself without โ€˜useโ€™ upon the arrival of water purifiers. In an attempt to use his only capabilty, Dong-ku finds himself joining the baseball team.

The sports drama “A Barefoot Dream” is a story of a former soccer prospect who heads to his dreams, the International Youth Soccer Championship, albeit with numerous almost-failures of detours.

Also in the list is the drama “Late Blossom“, a heartwarming film on the lives of the two couples living not far apart from each other. It follows the two couplesโ€™ respective struggles on life and love.

Arahan

Arahan” follows the story of the honest yet clumsy rookie policeman Sang-hwan and the martial arts specialist Eui Jin. Together they fight the evil Heuk-woon whose greed wreaks havoc to mankind.

The musical-comedy “Highway Star” tells the story of Dal-Ho and his dream. Dal-Ho wants to become a famous rock singer, but was forced to play trot to make ends meet. He later gets the chance to release an album but belatedly realized that he has to sing trot instead of rock nโ€™ roll. His shame drives him to hide his face but his voice and his mysteriousness catapult him to unprecedented success.

Admission was free to every movie and was on a first-come, first-served basis. And you know what they say about the opportunities that aren’t grabbed, so my friends and I watched three out of the seven (Four for my guy friend) at the first leg of the film fest, one on the 21st, A Barefoot Dream, and two on the 22nd, Late Blossom and Arahan.

A Barefoot Dream

I can confidently say that all that we saw are worth watching. A Barefoot Dream showing had the most fun audience I’ve ever belonged with. It was like watching a live Manny Pacquiao bout where people react and cheer enthusiastically to the players in the film. The crowd might only be making fun of it, but it was really enjoyable that my friends and I finally joined a little while later. And the story is so much inspiring.

If the first film made us laugh big time, Late Blossom, though it also gave us the right dose of humor, is very touching and was worth more than the every tissue I pulled out of my pack. Aside from the screening itself, I found myself crying when we were going back to some scenes we loved after watching it, when I told the story to my sister the next day, and when I remembered my favorite movie parts while I was on my way to work. That was how much it affected me, in fact, it was the only film that was able to squeeze so much tears out of my dry eyes. Seriously. This film deserves more than five stars!

Then there was Arahan, which isn’t really my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s also a good one as far as effects, humor, and plot go, but sometimes, there are things that aren’t for our tastes, and in my case, it’s this. And I guess it isn’t one of my friends’, too. There was this moment I found funny in the cinema when all of us, the viewers, were laughing at a scene and I noticed through my peripheral vision that this friend wasn’t showing any sign that she was with us, so I looked at her and saw that she was actually sleeping. haha. So there, the proof that it isn’t the type of film she’ll be into, too.

I shall be writing separate reviews of these three Korean films in this blog in the next days.

We were supposed to see Spellbound, too, but luck wasn’t on our side by that time anymore. After eating our scrumptious dinner at Pizza Hut, we went straight to the cinema at 8pm only to be greeted by so many people also vying to see the movie on the big screen for free.

That much people lined up for the Sep. 22, 8:30pm screening of Spellbound at SM Megamall.

We didn’t give up easily at the sight of the mass, mind you. We hoped and tried to fall in line, and yeah, we even dared and asked other people, who seemed to already have sure spots inside, if we could cut in, but to no avail. Hehe So much for trying to cheat our way to the cinema. But we were that eager to see it!

I have two theories on why all of a sudden there were too many who wanted to see Spellbound: One, people, mostly Korean entertainment fans, have read its synopsis on the Internet, and, just like us, found it decent and so the reason for the line. Two, hey, it was Saturday night, the official start of the day-off for those who work six times a week, so why not begin relaxing by watching something on the big screen for free? That’s just a line, let’s fall in line! Aja!

At the end, we weren’t able to get in, but despite that, at least we had so much fun by taking a lot of photos as the line advanced. Then since the night was still young, we headed to Seattle’s Best Coffee, sat on the chairs, and no, we didn’t order anything (Good thing the crew didn’t reprimand us or anything). Just made ourselves comfortable there, talked about the past and wondered about our other batchmates, and other stuff that signal that we are truly getting older.

Ahh… The joy of being with long-time friends.

Cam-whoring with friends as the loooooonnnnngggg line to the Spellbound Sep. 22, 8:30pm screening at SM Megamall’s Cinema 9 progressed. At the end, we weren’t able to get in, but these photos… At least there are these photos. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Photos grabbed from Yuko Konishi-Legaspi ; Edited by yours truly)

Wait! The Korean Film Fest isn’t over! Are you in Cebu? Well, you are most welcomed to watch the seven Korean films from October 3 – 7 at SM City Cebu. Check out the schedule below:

SM City Cebu schedule from http://www.koreanculture.ph

Be amazed and inspired, laugh, cry a river, and please don’t forget to bring a lot of tissue when you watch Late Blossom.

Enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜‰