Monthly Archives: October 2012

5 things: Guide for a fangirl’s first time

A week ago today was one if not the most surreal moment in my life. It’s one of those particular moments in one’s life that—no matter how elusive or short-lived—has this euphoric effect enough to last a lifetime. In my case it’s when a “fangirl” watches her favorite K-Pop group in concert live for the first time.

Yes. I’m admittedly a BIGBANG fangirl, albeit novice; compared to the thousands of other die-hard Bigbang fans I never knew existed until last July when news broke about the Group coming to the Philippines as part of their first world tour. With everything that has happened from then until the actual concert, I’ve learned a number of things fellow greenhorn fangirls and fanboys need to know when watching their favorite K-Pop groups before, during and after a concert.

1. Be up to date! (Pre-concert)

Thanks to the birth of the Information age, news about Bigbang coming to Manila spread faster than wildfire. Following the group’s blog, YouTube account, FB fan page and all other sites that provide information about the Boy’s latest whereabouts come in handy. Even tweets from the concert organizers, AllKpop news, and posts from the official fan group in the country make you all giddy inside.

Note to fangirl: All these information add to the anticipation which is part of the fangirl-fantasy-come-to-life process. Heighten the excitement by being in the know.

2. Save up! (Pre-concert)

When the date was finally revealed—October 24, 2012—the next thing everyone was talking about was the ticket prices. And boy, the tickets had a hefty sum on their tags. But then again for a fangirl, I really wanted to save up for the best seat or spot though costly.

However, when I finally came back to earth and convinced my alter ego fangirl that I don’t have the luxury of buying the most coveted tickets, I came to conclusion that the important thing is that I get to watch the concert and see the Boys in the flesh.

Note to fangirl: If you want to really splurge on the best seat and official merchandise, save up! As early as now, the fangirl better put good old piggy bank to wise use for next year’s concert. Aja!

3. Be an early bird! (Concert day)

The concert was scheduled at 8pm but I was shocked to find tweets from fans who were already at the venue as early as 10am, only to realize later that there were fans who stayed overnight at the SM Arena just to secure a spot in front of the entrance line. *Talk about fangirl determination!

Staying overnight for a concert may seem over the top but then, there were fans who missed the Intro song because of the poor management scheme implementation at the concert entrance. It’s way worse than MRT rush hour. Imagine that.

Note to fangirl: three to five hours before the concert schedule is just about the right time to arrive at the venue. It’s not too early, not too late. Avoid playing victim to unwanted circumstances at such a wonderful affair. Be early so there’s no hating, just *insert fave K-Pop group* loving.

4. Savor every moment (Concert day)

A day before the concert, the organizers announced that cameras (DSLRs and even point-and-shoot ones) are not allowed inside the concert venue. However, browsing through the comments from various netizens revealed that in previous concerts held in the venue, this regulation was unsuccessfully practiced. I went to the venue confident about bringing a camera, certain about the rule being a flop. But nobody told me I had to hide the camera well enough so the bag inspectors wouldn’t see it. I ended up leaving it at the baggage counter for the whole duration of the concert.

Lo and behold it was a blessing in disguise. I got to watch the concert with full undisturbed attention as opposed to my seatmate who, half the time, only watched the concert through his camera’s lenses.

Note to fangirl: Don’t be a cameraman in moments as epic as this. Leave the HD documenting to the organizers and the band’s communication team. Live the moment. Savor every second of it.

5. Go Social (Post-concert)

A day after the concert I was still in a trance. There’s no better way to feed on this natural high than sharing it with all your fellow concert goers online. Social media has this magical way of creating strong-knit online communities and I’m happy to be part of it.

Note to fangirl: I ended up solo watching the concert but I was never lonely. I even gained a handful of new friends who share the love for Bigbang. So don’t fret fangirl, you’re not alone!

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*Credits to YG comm team for the superb photos (as tagged)

Purple bliss says: Are you a K-Pop fangirl too? Are you a VIP? Share it in the comments section! =)

Commitment to Health Series 1.2

Here it is, ladies and gents, the much awaited second edition of the Commitment to Health Series (a weekly interview from people who decided to journey into a healthier lifestyle and live up to it).

Our success story for today is from one of the kindest people I know. And he truly deserves this awesome change in his life.

Purple Bliss: Please introduce yourself.
Romeo: Hello, I am Romeo A. Rabajante Jr., Roms to many. I’m 27 years old and a Multimedia instructor.

Purple Bliss: What was your starting weight and your current weight?
Romeo: I was 120kg (265lb). All I wanted was to lose some weight (at first) and now, I weigh 84kg. Praise God!

Purple Bliss: How long did it take you to be in your current weight?
Romeo: Two years.

Purple Bliss: What moment sparked or inspired you to work on your weight loss journey?
Romeo: I’m a UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fanatic. I love watching the game because it’s very much related to my sport. One day, one of the matches featured was a 47-year-old fighter, Randy Couture. I was really amazed that with his age he can still fight and win matches. He became my idol since then so I said to myself that when I get old I want to be fit. Even when I reach the age of 80 or something, I can still jog, lift weights, and basically be physically fit.

Purple Bliss: What methods did you use to achieve your goal?
Romeo: I did some research before I went on a diet, research about the ideal weight for my height (BMI), effective diet programs, and exercises that you can do at home within 20 to 30 minutes per day. So when I started my mission, I set up my goal weight to 70 to 80kg. And then for my diet I used the fruit diet, which was very effective but very difficult to maintain. Why? For one, fruits are expensive and another, imagine yourself while eating with your friends and all of them are freely eating what they want but you are bound to eat only fruits.  Believe me it’s so sad. But I praise God because of this method I significantly lost 25kg (55lb) in 6 months, so that’s from 120kg to 95kg. That’s how effective the fruit diet was for me. During this time, I was eating mostly mangoes, grapes, oranges, bananas and other fruits. But then my body got used to it so I stopped losing weight. This is where I focused more on my exercise program in order to start losing weight again.

Purple Bliss: What is your current fitness/exercise routine?
Romeo: I see to eat that I exercise every day. I have three types of exercise programs that I alternately use. The first is similar to kick boxing, second is jogging and lastly, weight lifting. Each program lasts for about 30 minutes or more.

Purple Bliss: Do you get bored with your exercise regime? How do you cope with it? (If you don’t, how do keep yourself hyped up to exercise?)
Romeo: Of course I get bored with my exercise regime, especially after a hard day at school you just want to rest and all. But when this strikes me, I allow my body to rest about a day or two then I force myself to exercise. Another thing that I do is that, I read articles related to fitness so that I can improve my current program. I also read success stories about people who lost significant amount of weight for additional motivation.

Purple Bliss: Please describe your healthy eating plan. What is your main focus? (cutting fat, eating natural etc.)
Romeo: When I was 120kg, I focused on eating fruits and drinking water. But now, since my weight is lower than 85kg, I have no restrictions in my eating anymore but I see to it that every day I drink milk for my bones, eat fish at least twice a week, as much as possible eat vegetables, drink lots of water and I stop eating before I get full.

Purple Bliss: Is eating healthy expensive for you? How has your eating habits changed since you started your journey?
Romeo: During my fruit diet days, it was very expensive but now, not anymore because I don’t have food restrictions. My journey made me realize that before, I ate too much to the point that I still eat even though I’m already full. I eat less vegetables and more oily food which was very bad for the health. Good thing I realized that so now I eat more vegetables, and less oily food. I feel better and I feel that my eating habit is healthier now.

Purple Bliss: Do you avoid certain foods? What are they?
Romeo: I don’t avoid them entirely but eat or drink in minimal proportions of pork, beef, soda and manufactured fruit juices.

Purple Bliss: What are the best three tips on weight loss that have helped you reach your goal?
Romeo: Exercise every day, eat healthier food, and check your weight and waistline everyday.

Purple Bliss: What obstacles have you faced in reaching your goal and how did you overcome them?
Romeo: I cannot think of any obstacles that hindered me from losing weight, especially because I was really determined to lose weight. I just have to keep on reminding myself that I have to be fit and losing weight is for my own good.

Purple Bliss: How has your weight loss changed your body image?
Romeo: I feel more confident now. It is a nice feeling when people compliment me on my weight loss; I feel that somehow I am inspiring them.

Purple Bliss: What advice can you give to anyone who wants to start a weight loss journey?
Romeo: Losing weight is difficult but possible. As what Tony Gonzaga said in the movie “My Big Love”, if you want to lose weight start today, not tomorrow, not next week, but today.

Then when you have decided to lose weight, set your goal, research for diet and exercise programs that fit you, check your weight and waistline every day, never give up and commit everything to God. ###

*Answers are not verbatim

*Photos are owned by the Interviewee

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Thank you so much Sir Romeo, my Digital Multimedia instructor back in College. He’s really supportive with this endeavour and I am continuously amazed by the changes that he successfully reached.

This Certified Purple Bliss love badge is for you Sir. A special award given only to awesome people who are certified advocates of positive change. Congratulations and again, Thank you!

Purple Bliss says:  What’s stopping you from starting your journey to a healthier you?  Share it in the comments section.

5 things: Commuting in the Metropolis

Living in Manila requires patience and a lot of self-control. “Why?” you may wonder. Well, one word—commute.  It’s a typical scene finding people randomly cursing over the long waiting line at MRT Cubao; people picking fights over some insensitive guy not giving way for a seat to a pregnant lady or an elderly; and even people fainting from all the pushing and bumping while waiting in line at the train station during rush hour, only to be welcomed by icky skin to skin or skin to sweat-drenched shirt uber close contact with total strangers once you get to finally ride. My friends and I call it the “MRT sardine ride” because we all look like a bunch of sardines being pressed together, forced to fit in one small container.

Moreover, when we talk about jeep rides, I’ve seen people venting their anger at the barker because of almost an hour waiting in a snake-like human line, outside Galleria on a rainy Monday evening. And the stress is not exclusive to public utility vehicles. Imagine driving your way home amidst unruly drivers all speed racing to their destinations or halting for an excruciating 30 minutes in heavy traffic.

Often, our best friends in these stressful situations are two things: cell phone and iPod Touch but just when you think things couldn’t get worse sometimes; these trustworthy gadgets end up with empty batteries just when you need them the most. So here are five things you can do to take your mind off all the stress minus the worry of empty batteries.

1. Think of happy thoughts.

Instead of hating and cursing the bus driver who only seemed to learn how to drive yesterday, reminisce on candid moments with your loved ones that would surely put a smile on your face. My nieces and nephews are full of fun antics even in their young ages and thinking of their quirky habits never fail to make me smile.

2. Read entertaining materials.

Any reading material that can take your attention away from all the negativity related to commuting will do, be it a book, a magazine, or the newspaper. My mom tells me not to read when riding moving vehicles because it’s “bad for your eyes” but when traffic movement is on slow motion, I’d dive in a light, feel-good book like Bob Ong’s “ABNKKBSNPLAko?!”   Next time, don’t leave the house without a pocketbook in your bag.

3. Be productive.

Work on your to do list while waiting in line so that you’ll have a clearer picture of what to do once you arrive at your destination.  If you don’t have a pen and notebook at hand, mentally creating the list also works, just don’t forget to write it down later and post it somewhere you can easily see.

4. Pet magic

Thinking about pets can also bring a happy vibe to your otherwise tiresome day. You don’t have a pet? Don’t worry, it’s not about owning one but avoiding the negativity by thinking of really cuddly animals. Just like that super cute Chow Chow your neighbor owns or that chubby hamster at the pet store near your home. As for me, I love jelly fishes, I want to have a pet jellyfish and thinking about having a pet jellyfish already makes me happy like a 5-year old excited to have her first pet for Christmas. =)

5. Anticipate arriving at your destination.

How? Think of food. *haha When going to work, imagine the warm sweet Hershey’s chocolate drink that would jumpstart your day. When going home, nothing beats anticipating the lovely meal cooked especially for you by family. And grabbing dessert afterwards seals that “tummy happy” moment.

At the end of the day, when you really can’t manage your temper, if stress and fatigue gets the best of you and you find yourself hating your job because you have to commute two if not 3 hours everyday just to get to work, I suggest you find yourself a job closer to home.

I find myself happier and less stressed when my friends and I chitchat about commuting because my work is only 3 rides and around 20minutes away from home. *bliss! How about you? =)

Purplebliss asks: What other things can you do to avoid negative vibes when commuting in the metro? I’ll be looking forward to your answers in the comment section below.

Book Review: Three Weeks With My Brother

 

This isn’t supposed to be my first book review to be published in this blog because I have absolutely no idea how to write a proper review of sorts. However, I’ll just go ahead and do it. Bear with me as I pour my emotions into this post because at the very moment of this article’s writing, I’m still crying my eyes out. My head hurts with all the sobbing as I finished reading Three Weeks with My Brother seconds ago.

It’s a memoir of Nicholas and Micah Sparks as they travel the world in three weeks and contemplate on all the highs and lows that have happened in their lives. The book features two parallel stories, one about Micah and Nicholas’ travel around the globe- from Peru to the Cook Islands, India to Norway, going to Cambodia, Easter Island and a whole lot of other places they thought they would never be able to go to. The other story is a chronological account about their family’s life- from unforgettable childhood memories to coping up with teenage years, getting married then losing their mother, dealing with grief, then as you think the worst is over, they lose their father and then having their sister diagnosed with brain cancer.

Despite knowing the deaths to be expected in the book (as it was placed in the back cover), I still found myself sobbing real hard to their heart-breaking experiences.

Reading this book made me reminisce my own childhood, my life story, my parents and how they brought us up (my sisters and me). Somehow, amidst the cultural differences, I’d find bits of similarities with my life and theirs here and there and I bet a lot of people who would read the book could also say the same thing. This affirms a belief that there is a common universal denominator with how poor to middle class families strive wherever they are in the world.

When the really emotional parts of the book started to unveil, I had to stop reading, hide the book in my bag and look up as I tried my best not to cry. You see, I read everywhere, by that I mean the restaurant while waiting for my order, the jeep on my way home, the station while waiting in line for the MRT to arrive. No matter how hard I try though, a tear or two would escape my eyes and I’d catch worried glances by people as I rode the train back home earlier today.

When I finally arrived home, I read the last five chapters of the book. Good thing I read it at home or else I’d be a total mess. Neighbors would think someone died in my family with how I wailed on my bed reading paragraph after paragraph, each getting more emotional then the former.

More notably, as I was reading the last few paragraphs of chapter 16 (the second to the last chapter), my eyes were covered with tears, and I couldn’t even read the words anymore. I was sobbing so hard I had to cover my mouth or else people in the house would think I’m experiencing a breakdown.

I had to muster the courage to read the last chapter. And just as I thought that the teary-eyed moments in the book were over, a sentence or two would make we wail again. And without a doubt, the last three sentences of the epilogue summed up everything that the book was about.

 

On a more technical side, the author’s transitions were well thought, I was curious as to how Sparks would be able to make two totally parallel stories work but as expected, he delivered. The juxtaposition of events were awesome, more so because they actually happened. Layout-wise, the pictures from their childhood, graduation photos, and those from their trip added a more personal touch to the book.

I cried my eyes out with this book. It is definitely my favorite Sparks’ work to date. Now I can say I understand more profoundly where he gets all the emotions in his writings. “The Rescue” for example is close to his heart as it had traces of his son Ryan on it; or “A Walk to Remember” that was dedicated to his sister Dana.

I definitely love this book because, more than anything, all of it is real. This opened the door to understanding who the author truly is. I commend Sparks for it takes a lot of courage to trace back such a personal part of your being and sharing it with the world, leaving you vulnerable all throughout the process.

For the workmanship, the honesty, the bravery and the love of Nicholas sparks, I give THREE WEEKS WITH MY BROTHER five out of five purple bliss stars! ###