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.



 



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

#MYOH2017 Took Us Back to the 90s


Confession: It was an old flame that started my love for Havaianas. 

I remember that very first pair of Havaianas - the soles were ocean blue with golden like waves design  on it and gold straps. He sure picked out a good pair to give to me because from then on, I would buy myself a pair every so often.

There was a time I loved wearing Havainas so much (because they're so comfy and cute!) that I would wear them to the office. If I didn't have a meeting to go to that day, it was the only footwear you'd find me in. Ha! Ha! I knoooow - not a proper office attire. But I was young and had not much care for fashion. So casual wear at the office meant wearing Havaianas to work.

I know there's a lot of other people who love Havaianas and would be willing to shell out Php1k or more for a pair. Isn't it a wonder an event such as Make Your Own Havaianas which lets you customize a pair by mixing and matching soles, straps and pins, exist and has in fact been an annual event for over a decade now.

Another confession: MYOH 2017 was my first time to attend the event. My friends from work, Eileen and Nicole are apparently big fans of the flip flop brand because they've been attending the event annually. This year, Eileen invited me to go - probably because I mentioned I'm in need of a new pair of flip flops.

So off I trooped to SM Megamall last Thursday to attend my very first Make Your Own Havaianas event.

This is me with Nicole. Eileen was going to take a photo of me posing alone in this glow in the dark backdrop but then this eager lady showed up so there pinagbigyan ko! Ha! Ha!




The annual event always has a theme. This year, it was all about the 90's.



This was the view from the second floor of SM Megamall Fashion Hall. Not a lot of people down there. That's because the event was really set to open to the public that Friday, May 12 to 14. Thursday was apparently for the fans of the brand and the media. Good thing really because I have little patience for long lines and I don't like dealing with a crowd.

Also, I'm just going to note that design wise, this was quite simple. But you know, it's the 90s. I'm not sure you can actually describe that decade much visually. Nicole and Eileen said the same thing. After all, they had been to the past MYOH events where they had themes like Japan (so hello cherry blossoms, ramen and sushi!). But I suppose the simplicity is also because this year's MYOH is not just happening once. It's going to be happening in different parts of the Metro and some provinces.

I honestly had no idea what was going to happen at the event. I imagined we'd actually be making our own Havaianas - like a DIY project. Where have I been living that I didn't know what actually happens at this event? Ha! Ha! Frankly though, I'm relieved it's not DIY because I have no DIY skill.



So I was handed this. Apparently, this is where you mark the box of your selected sole color, strap color and the pins you'd like.

Nicole showing me how the whole Make Your Own Havaianas work


And so I started to mix and match my own pair 

Check out the 90's inspired pins 

I'm a little deep in thought here on what pair to create and what pins to put. So many nice options to choose from!


But well, I finally decided on my pair - actually two pairs. And this is me finally getting my own customized Havaianas done.



This is Karl - he was the one who actually did the work of making my own Havaianas

The pair is considered sold once the pins are put on the strap so it's important that 1) you are set on the pin or pins you're getting because once they're placed, there's no removing them (well it can be removed but it will take a long time to do so) 2) you fit your customized pair before the pins are placed to make sure they actually fit your feet comfortably (Nicole and Nikko had an issue with their pairs though they were not the ones at fault in that scenario). 

So here they are - the two pairs of Havaianas I bought! I got a little carried away truth be told. I was just going to get one pair. But well... they are cute!

I thought I'd get a pair in green 'cos well favorite color 

Boombox pin 

And a shoutout to the 90s pin 

For my second pair, I thought I'd get a commemorative pair to mark my first ever Make Your Own Havaianas event!
In case you're wondering about the sole design, that's supposed to be a tetris game - at least that's what I was told! 

I got a TV pin this time 

and a cassette tape! Remember cassettes? 


Meet Nic, Nikko and Eileen - the peeps who accompanied me at MYOH, guided me on what to do and oh yes, of course, took my photos!



Aside from the 90s music playing in the background of the venue, there was this 90s collage photo board.


Oh look! Pin ups of the 90s heartthrobs - there's Leonardo DiCaprio, Nick Carter and Devon Sawa. I once thought Leo and Nick were twins! Cos well they're both blonde, blue eyed and beautiful! I had pin ups of those three guys in my room before plus JTT (Jonathan Taylor Thomas). Hmm... I've only now come to realize that I had a thing for blonde guys when I was a teenager!

There was a photo of a young and handsome Prince William too but Nicole's covered his beautiful face! Ha! Ha! I remember a lot of the girls from 6th grade class swooning over this British royal. I believe it was right around the time Princess Diana, his mother died when a lot of girls were hit with the British royal fever. Never had a crush on him though.  



I enjoyed my very first Make Your Own Havaianas event and I so want to come back next year. Thank you Eileen and Nicole for bringing me with you! 



If you missed the SM Megamall Fashion Hall Make Your Own Havaianas 2017 event, don't fret! Here are the other schedules and venues where you can catch the event: 

  • 📍May 18-21: All Flip-Flops Bonifacio High Street, All Flip-Flops SM Iloilo, and All Flip-Flops SM Tarlac
  • May 25-28: Alabang Town Center, All Flip-Flops SM Naga, and All Flip-Flops SM Cabanatuan
  • June 1-4: All Flip-Flops Robinsons Ermita, Sole Patrol Robinsons Calasiao
  • June 8-12: All Flip-Flops TriNoma, All Flip-Flops Ayala Cebu
  • June 15-18: All Flip-Flops SM Lanang Premier, All Flip-Flops SM Seaside, All Flip-Flops SM MOA
  • June 22-25: CommonThread Rockwell
  • June 29-July 2: All Flip-Flops SM Mega Mall, Red Dot Laoag, Centrio Mall Activity Center