Saturday, July 22, 2017

The different kinds of goodbye

Already half of 2017 has gone by. How has yours been? My 2017 so far has shaped up to be full of goodbyes. There was a goodbye that made me sad and brought me to tears. There's the kind that's bittersweet and the kind that brought me a feeling of lightness and joy. And for each goodbye, there was a song that came to my mind to describe that goodbye. 

Loss of a beloved friend

This is the sad goodbye. Earlier on this year, I lost a dear friend to cancer. Mark had been my friend since high school. He loved trying out new tech stuff. He made me try a U-sim before when we were younger and couldn't afford to have a phone plan. It gave free load to its users that you can use to text any network and in return, you just have to endure receiving ad messages. He was also the one who made me try Facebook when it was just starting out and everyone else was on Friendster. Remember those days? 

He also loved movies. He was my go-to-guy when it came to opinions of whether a certain talked about movie would be worth watching. I remember being one of the first of friends to watch Harry Potter because he was such a fan and watching a 3D film long before IMAX came into popularity. 

One of my last photos with Mark, taken during the last time he came to visit

 
And even when Mark went to live in abroad, we stayed in touch via LINE. Honestly, when he told me he was sick, I cried. I knew there was a possibility of losing him to the disease. That's how I lost Dad. But I always thought really that he'd pull through. He'd kick cancer's ass. Unfortunately, Mark succumbed to the disease in February. I miss him a lot. I sometimes think he's just busy living his life in London but that one of these days, he'll come back. He'll reach out via LINE again. Sometimes when I pass by Conrad Hotel, I remember him and I miss my friend all over again. 


  
Letting go of a love that can never be 

For a time, I was so in love with someone whom I thought just got me. It was unfortunately a complicated relationship. And even though I wanted to believe we could pull through it, you know against all odds, I've finally accepted that sometimes, no matter how much you want it, there are just somethings that aren't meant to be.

It was a dark period in my life I would say. Full of drama. But now that I've finally said goodbye, I no longer wake up with a heavy heart. Nowadays, I'm just feeling free. Ready and open for new possibilities in life and love. 
    

 

 

Stepping out of my comfort zone

I've been in my current work for 6 years now. But I'm saying goodbye to my current company. Stepping out of my comfort zone and taking my chances at a new job. I'm excited about what lies ahead but I'm also somehow sad to be leaving.

It's a job that's challenged me, frustrated me, stressed the hell out of me but overall pushed me to become better at what I do. My superiors are seriously nice people - so easy to approach. And I have over time, made so many friends at the office. 

Soon I'll be saying goodbye to my baby account too - Lenovo. I've enjoyed handling it all these years. I so believe in their products that my phone and laptop are Lenovo. Heck I even think their Motorola Moto Z line of smartphones with its Moto Mods are seriously cool that I've even thought about buying that too! 

One last Motorola event for the road 

I will miss working with these wonderful peeps


Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end right? 







Saturday, June 17, 2017

It's Britney B*tch!

Confession: I've been a Britney Spears fan since I saw her video of her debut single, Baby One More Time on MTV back in high school (how very telling of my age now! Ha! Ha!) But anyway I'd never forget that sexy school girl costume complete with pigtails with the furry scrunchy. I thought Britney was the cutest thing! And her dating Justin Timberlake of N'Sync only made me like her more because they were such an adorable couple!

Fast forward to 2017 and hello! Britney Spears, the pop princess herself announced that she was finally going on a world tour and the Philippines is part of it! I was excited as I am sure a lot of older millennials who grew up listening to her music and admiring her abs!

So guess where I was last Thursday night, June 15?

I was at SM Mall of Asia Arena to watch Britney Spears live in concert! 

To be honest, I didn't think I'd be able to watch anymore. The tickets were quite pricey - well most concerts are specially when held in MOA Arena or Concert Grounds and well, I wasn't completely into the idea of shelling out so much money!

But I have this girl to thank for giving me the chance to see Britney in concert!

Erin and I at #BritneySpearsMNL concert together


Some people said it's not worth it to see Britney in concert especially because she lip syncs. Yes, I quite believe she was lip syncing most - if not the entire time - she was on stage. It's no wonder her audience interactions were short. But anyway, who cares if she does? It's a known fact that Britney's not famous for her vocal chops. That was more Christina Aguilera - were you old enough to remember those days when they were constantly pitted against each other?

You pay to see Britney Spears in concert because the pop princess is a true blue performer!



I loved my seat. I was so near that stage! Not as near as Erin who was at the SVIP row but still near enough to see Britney close.

The concert was awesome. Britney sang most of her hit songs that seriously gave me that wistful feeling such as Baby One More Time, Boys, I'm a Slave 4 You, Toxic, Circus, Drive Me Crazy and Womanizer just to name a few. Yes, it's a real trip down memory lane just like when I watched Backstreet Boys and The Moffatts in concert.

To kickstart her concert on a high note, she sang Work Bitch. Oh  a lot of people gays and ladies alike know this song for sure! It's become quite an anthem. You wannna hot body? You wanna Buggatti? You wanna Maserati? You better work bitch!  



I'm one of those people who's glad she was able to bounce back from her troubled past. I so remember her awful Video Music Awards performance - her supposed come back performance. I remember her shaving her head and being photographed by paparazzi without underwear on as she went down the car and hanging out with then party girl Paris Hilton.

Now at 35, Britney looks hot!






The concert's production was also a sight to behold.

Check out those laser lights!

And this confetti blast at the end of the show

This photo montage of Britney through the years added to the night of nostalgia

And just as the concert started on a high, it ended exactly the same way as Britney sang her final song, Til the World Ends.



The arena that night was almost a full house! A lot of people - mostly my age - came to watch her perform. Some even went to the extent of dressing up like Britney in some of her memorable costumes like Circus and Baby One More Time and I'm not talking about just the celebrities here like Sarah Labahti. I'm talking about the normal people who are true blue Britney fans.

A cherry on top of an already wonderful night? There was a mini reunion with my other friends, Ryan, Ver and Hazel. It was such a coincidence that our seats were in the same area.

From the gym to MOA Arena for Britney Spears in Manila concert


Seriously, I'm thrilled I got to watch Britney Spears in concert. It's definitely a once in a lifetime experience.


Photo credits: Anerine and Ryan 

Videos grabbed from YouTube 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

#FCBD2017 Discovery: Paper Girls

The first Saturday of May is annually celebrated as Free Comic Book Day. It's an event that's made to encourage old comic book lovers to continue their love for reading comics and to get new people specially kids to read comic books.

Confession: As a kid, I was very fond of comic book reading. It didn't start with Archie Comics because I discovered Archie when I was in fourth grade. I used to have a whole collection of Casper, the Friendly Ghost, Wendy the Witch and Richie Rich comics until yes, I grew older and became a big fan of Archie and his pals and gals.

So when I found out about Free Comic Book Day, I naturally wanted to go - after all they give out free comics! Finally this 2017, I got to experience - well somewhat experience Free Comic Book Day.



I made sure to drop by Fully Booked - Mall of Asia on May 6th, the first Saturday of the month mainly becau I saw they were giving out a Betty and Veronica comic that day and I've been hooked on reading Archie graphic novels with Archie and the gang re-imagined in the modern age. They even have new looks, did you notice?

And because I was already at the book store and Free Comic Book Day also meant graphic novels at Fully Booked can be availed with a 20% discount, I browsed around. I honestly wasn't planning to buy any graphic novel because most of what I see are Star Wars, DC Comics and Marvel. But when I picked up Paper Girls, I was intrigued with the story plot.




Paper Girls is about these four 12 year old girls who deliver newspapers back in 1988 at the fictional Cleveland suburb of Stony Stream. In the early hours of the morning of Halloween, the town is struck by an invasion from a mystery force from the future and the four girls discover the most important story of all time. It's a mystery and sci-fi story. Not a huge fan of sci-fi stories but somehow this comic book series written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Cliff Chiang caught my interest. 

While the story centers on four young girls, you can tell right away from the first cover that these characters are not your average girls. Look at that - a 12 year old who smokes. And their facial expressions - it's like these girls are ready to fight and I don't mean hair pulling and scratching kind of fight. In other words, they've got grit.

The story itself is very intriguing. I'm intrigued as to what kind of invasion had taken over their quiet suburb. 

Is it these people who are somehow talking in a different language?



What kind of monster is this?


What are these creepy creatures? I'd run the other direction, far away from them if I was to ever encounter these hooded creatures. Not going to stay to find out who or what they are.  


Are they enemies or allies? 


On Paper Girls 2, the girls even find themselves transported to the future - the year 2016 where Erin, one the girls, meets her future self and together the two Erins continue on to solving the mystery. 

Erin of 1988 on the left and Erin of 2016 on the right

What do you guys think it'll be like to meet your future selves? Hey if given the chance, I probably would like to meet my future self - see how I turned out. 

I'm really hooked on this comic series. I want to find out what happens next to the girls. I need to get my hands on Paper Girls 3 but I'll have to wait until August comes rolling around. According to Fully Booked customer service, it'll be available only around that time.

But anyhow, if you like comic books and on the lookout for something new to read, or if you want to try reading a comic book (it's nice! it's you know easier to read than a book), I would recommend Paper Girls. The story is exciting and so action packed. 

Thanks to Free Comic Book Day, I discovered something new and awesome to read in the form of a graphic novel.  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Thoughts on One Direction Embracing a New Music Direction



I loved One Direction. As someone who grew up in the 90s loving boy bands, is it any surprise really that I loved 1D? Their songs were kinda hard not to love anyway. But like so many boy bands before them, they parted ways and it all started with Zayn Malik leaving the group and pursuing a solo career. Who would've thought right? People including me always thought it would be Harry Styles who'd be the first to leave the group and go solo. That kinda reminds me really of the time N'Sync said they're taking a hiatus and the next thing we knew, Justin Timberlake was releasing his solo album.

Anyway, 1D is back. Well, not as One Direction the group but as solo artists. So now I'm sharing my thoughts on their new songs.

Zayn

Well it truly was a shock to hear Zayn's new music when he debuted his new album, Mind of Mine post 1D. It was so far off from the songs he used to sing when he was a member of One Direction. From bubble gum pop to seductive and scandalous - he sang about sex and drugs after all. A music critic described his debut album as having similarities to The Weeknd which come to think of it is true. Zayn's music does remind of that. I think the broody, yes-I'm-a-grown-ass-man-who's-having-sex worked for Zayn really in shedding his boy band image.

He's released a new single this year for his sophomore album, Zayn: Still Got Time.



This is definitely not The Weeknd music. It's more Drake this time around. I like this song. It's got a gentle and playful beat to it. And Zayn's buttery smooth voice is just perfect as he sings to a girl, you've still got plenty of time to find and fall in love. Who wouldn't swoon really? It's far different from his first album that had the heavy beats where Zayn showed off his vocal range ability - particularly the high notes with his falsetto voice.


Harry

I've always been a fan of Harry. #Haylor shipper right here!

So Harry has finally dropped his first album after One Direction! While his first single from the album is Signs of the Times, I don't care much for it. It's supposed to be an anthem according to my friend, Fate who made a full review of his album. My favorite song from his album is Two Ghosts - a story about two lovers who were once in love but somehow drifted apart and are now just two strangers. I do believe this song is about Taylor Swift.


I agree with Fate's review that this album shows off versatility. For this particular song, Harry reminds me of Robbie Williams. But critics say overall his album channels Mick Jagger. Either way, with his stage presence which he showcased again at James Corden's The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke, his fashion sense, his good looks and talent, I just know Harry's going places.

Niall

In total, since 1D announced their hiatus, Niall has released two songs for his yet-to-be-named solo album and I've listened to both songs.

This Town showcases a post-1D Niall singing about a loss love on an acoustic guitar. Very Ed Sheeran. It's a beautiful sad song.



Slow Hands is Niall borrowing a page from Justin Bieber's book. It's got a sexy and dance-able beat to it. Seriously sexy. Zayn's songs are also sexy but like I said, his approach took the shock approach. Niall's on the other hand pays tribute to his boy band roots. I would say Niall's got a promising future especially if he sticks to the kind of music he's creating now.




I'd like my geeky hot crush to sing this to me while we make out please! Ha! Ha! 

Louis

Unlike the others, Louis has only dropped one song post 1D: Just Hold On, a collaboration with Steve Aoki. One critic says it seems like Louis is channeling Calvin Harris in this. Overall, I think it's a cute song with a nice upbeat tune to it. The meaning behind the song is inspiring. It's saying when you're going through a rough patch, don't give up. Just keep going. I enjoyed listening to this more than Harry's Signs of the Time.



Last but not the least, Liam

Liam's the last of the guys to release a solo album/single. According to an interview he did, he almost didn't venture into becoming a solo artist. He thought of just sticking to song writing. But well opportunity knocked and he answered. As a first time try, I would say, Strip That Down isn't so bad. Doesn't this song remind you of Ed Sheeran, Divide album? Well that's probably because Ed Sheeran wrote this song for Liam! That's the opportunity that came knocking.



Ever since its release, I've been listening to this every morning as I get ready for work. It's got a very cute and catchy tune but don't digest the lyrics too much. When I did, I realized what a cocky, shallow song this is. Honestly. Liam singing about girls being all over him when he walks into a party, driving a Ferrari and stealing a girl from his man. No heart at all. For someone who wants to shed his boy band image and show he's an adult now, Liam fails with this approach.

I would describe this as a hook up song where after the other falls asleep, the guy or the girl quietly slips out of the room, without so much as a goodbye or an intent to stay in touch. I can't imagine Liam singing this to Cheryl, his girlfriend and baby mama. But like I said, it's got a real nice beat to it so it's no wonder it's a hit song.


With all the guys venturing into being solo artists territory, I think it's safe to say it's truly goodbye to 1D. But I think it's wonderful that they're still around, releasing new music.