Thursday, May 26, 2011

Proud to be a Bella

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May 21 2011 had been added to my list of memorable days thanks to the girls of Belle de Jour Power Planner. That special day was the BDJ Girls' Rendevous for the month of May. The theme was I Dream, therefore I can. It was one of the biggest event to date. Almost 100 slots were available to be filled. The invitation to the event was given through various contests.

I got my slot in this event through the Belle de Jour Facebook Fan Page. They posted a question at exactly 2:54 PM of May 5, 2011. They posted a question as their status which was:

Question, Bellas: 

How do you unwind/relax when you're stressed from school or work? 

The first 25 BDJ Girls who will comment on THIS THREAD will get a slot at the BDJ Rendezvous: I Dream Therefore I Can! : )

When I saw that post, I immediately wrote "I watch my favorite teleserye." Woah! Believe it or not, I got the lucky 25th slot. Weee!

The Rendevous was held in Ace Water Spa in Ortigas. I thought that swimming will be involved, but BDJ later on clarified that there won't be. Awww... How sad. But nah! It is okay. I went there on a bright sunny morning. I have observed that the building was just newly opened because of the flowers at the entrance. The Ace building was named D' Ace PLaza.

I was greeted with a warm welcome by the BDJ girls at the registration table (photo shown below; I am the one with a brown bag nearest to the girl in blue). They also gave me a goodie bag stub, a raffle coupon, and human bingo paper. I kept the first stub for later; I dropped in the box the raffle coupon; and the third paper, I took out and started to go around for a signature campaign.

Shown below is a picture of my Human Bingo paper. It was full of names written by my new friends. Wow! I am amazed at how BDJ gave an opportunity for the Bellas to be BFFs at the start of the event. The most memorable girl for me in this part was Erica because she was the only one wearing bright blue shoes. Yay! What a rare find! I had her name on "Someone who's wearing blue shoes".

After a few minutes, the event was started by the host Jasmine. Her photograph is shown on the following photo. She had a very bubbly personality. She facilitated the games with excitement. We had a lot of games, like a memory game (pointing out all the girls who answered the Human Bingo), an apple game (sponsored by Bizu), and a dress up game (sponsored by SM GTW).  But that was just the beginning. 

As I said earlier, there was a raffle stub. I didn't expect that they will give out prizes at the start of the event. Jasmine started to pick up some coupons from the drop box. And yay! I won a pair of sunglasses from Fly Shades! So happy! Shown below is a photo with my fellow Fly Shades winners. 

After all that hype for games and prizes, it was time for the information part. The first speaker was Ms. Belinda Reyes from GlaxoSmithKline. Her talk was about being successful in the corporate ladder. She said that each one of us should continually have a pursuit of learning. Ms. Reyes advised the girls to have a personal strategy for survival in our respective fields. She ended her talk with a very inspiring quote: "Believe in your ability to succeed, engage in lots of positive thinking, be a realistic optimist"

There were more games and raffle draws after that.There was another round of memory game where the leader would memorize our names with an adjective. I was given the monicker "Merry Mariel". Unfortunately, our team, named Oh La La, lost. Awww... but the good news was that, we were first to fall in line for lunch. :P

I was very happy that the food was free. There were clubhouse sandwiches, mini empanada, buffalo wings, and Italian spaghetti. I loved those healthy choices! Yummy!

Of course! I won't forget my most favorite part! Desserts! I think these were from Bizu Patisserie. I love the mini blueberry cheesecake and tiramisu. <3

During lunch, the noisiest and adrenaline pumping part was up next. Hahaha! It was because of KC, a model of Strip. Together with Joni, they held a game where girls were able to win gift certificates. But I think every Bella won at the sight of KC! Hahaha!

The girls who won prizes from Strip:

The next part was another inspiring talk from Ms. Jill Ngo-Crisologo. She is a renowned dancer and owns her very own dance and fitness studio called Peak Performance. Her topic was about following your passion and earning from it. She told us her story of how she started dancing. Ms. Ngo also had struggles at first, like undergoing lots of auditions until she was able to be a part of a dance group. She reiterated that we should not be discouraged when we are faced with failures and rejections. What I won't forget from her is this statement: "We may not earn much from our passion, but we end up happy with it" :)

Ms. Jill Ngo, before ending her talk, told us to stand up and dance to the song "I permit myself". She lead all the Bellas in doing the steps. 

The final speaker was a professional model and columnist, Ms. Bianca Valerio. She talked about how to enhance our looks. Our appearance talks a lot about us, she said. Ms. Valerio told us to invest in ourselves because no one will invest in someone doesn't invests in herself. She also gave tips on groomming, putting on makeup, choosing the right nail polish, and posing for photos. 

It was from Ms. Valerio's talk that I got my most important lesson of the day: to accept our physical attributes as it is. I never liked my hair because of its bushy quality. But when she said. "Accept your hair as it is", my heart jumped. It is nice to hear that coming from a model, who was always viewed with perfection from head to toe. And she said that it should not be just the hair, but every part of our body. Wow! Her final advice was to highlight our assets. :)

There were more games after Ms. Valerio's talk. And personally, I was getting information overload. Hahaha! After that, the BDJ staff handed out colorful sheets of paper for us to fill out with our dreams and learnings. 

I wanted to enter a game and win a prize! When Jasmine said, "We need 15 girls to come and share their learnings!", I quickly ran to the front even if I was not yet finished! I was very determined to win this time! :)) And yes! I made it to the top 15! Yay!

The photo below shows other girls who were first in the line:

The next photo is my piece of paper with my dreams and learnings on it:

Yay! Because of it, I won a gift certificate from Browhaus. 

I was so happy to be there! It was so funny that Jasmine ended the day with an ambush as she said, "Wala nang prizes! Tapos na!". Hahaha! All the girls then stood up and started falling in line for the goodie bags. Wow! I never had a day like this. I couldn't believe that everything was free: the prizes, the inspirational talks, the goodie bags, and even the food! Aside from all of these material goodies, I went home with far better treasures: my new friends. Thanks Belle de Jour for this awesome rendevous. 


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cute Kids at McDonald's

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I had my lunch earlier today in McDonald's SM Bicutan. Upon entering the store, I saw children behind the counter. They were assisting the service crew in getting the orders of the customers. At first, I wondered what was it about. Then, I saw the print "McDonald's Kiddie Crew 2011" on their T-Shirts. Awwww! They were so cute. 

After saying my order, the kids read it on the register and got my food, with guidance from the regular crew. :) The day started to be cute after that. 

The kids doing their workshop. You can see the determination in their faces. :))

 Other than helping out in giving orders, other kids also helped out in cleaning the tables:

 I was also happy seeing them work. I wish I were a kid a again. :))


Monday, May 9, 2011

At the CassPh 8G: The Carnival

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Cassiopeia Philippines, the local chapter of the official TVXQ fans club held an event last May 7, 2011 to bring together all dear Cassies (TVXQ fanatics) in the country. This event, held annually, has the objective of uniting Filipino fans through games and contests. Being the 8th Gathering so far, it was aptly themed as 8G: The Carnival, and was held at the Trade Hall of Starmall EDSA.

My sister, Kich, and I, being TVXQ fans, attended this grand event. We were excited as it was our first time to go this occasion.  We woke up early in order to get there before 10 AM, the time which the event was supposed to start. Unfortunately, the event started late. But no worries, Kich and I met our new friends, Theena and Vic, while waiting in line. Woah! There were lots of Cassies who came to the gathering as well. Red lines were forming outside the Trade Hall.

I think it was 10:45 AM when the doors finally opened. All of us were very excited as we happily showed them our tickets. The staff didn’t take the ticket stub, as I expected them to. Hmmm… Strange :3. By the way, we got our tickets from the pre-selling meet-ups. Each ticket was worth P200. And because we got our tickets in advance, we got a free photocard (shown below)! Yay!

Each Cassie was also given a raffle coupon entitled Sail the Red Ocean, where we were required to visit the booths and complete four stamps to qualify.  

The prizes for this raffle promo are the giant streamers that were on display for everybody to see:

The first thing that we did at the event was to buy Tohoshinki albums. Kich and Theena were guided by the Astroplus® Lady to the booth. They enthusiastically joined in the crowd of fans. Kich bought the Tohoshinki Complete Single A-Side and B-Side Collection. She bought not one, but three bundles. One pair for her and the other two were for her Cassie friends who couldn’t attend the event. She was very happy with the freebies that came with it: three TVXQ notepads, a poster, and a personalized bagtag! Wow! Plus, there was a chance to win a TVXQ T-Shirt in the raffle.

After buying the albums, Kich, Theena, Vic, and I started to go around the place and check out the stalls and kiosks. The event had the carnival concept. True enough, the booths were reminiscent of a festival: colourful and playful. The following pictures show the different carnival-themed booths. :3

The Wrong Number booth which was about Q&A:

The spin-a-wheel booth aptly called as Dong Bang Spin Ki:

The Darting Booth:

The Henna Tattooing Booth:

The Photo Booth:

And finally, the Tarot Card Reading Booth (picture also shows the TVXQ Cards on the table):

There were also other retail booths that sold albums and other K-Pop stuff (top left: [I forgot the name of this booth guys, sorry]; Top right: Candysky; Bottom left: Fangirl Asia; Bottom right: Odyssey

In my opinion, the most outstanding booth was the official CassPH Merchandise Kiosk. They sold lots and lots of red stuff especially dedicated to TVXQ. There were T-shirts, ballers, lanyards, umbrellas, post cards, and yummy chocolates! Yay! :3

When I saw the Cassiopeia Philippines Membership stall, I decided to register myself. I wanted to be part of one of the biggest fan clubs in the country. Truth be told, this is the first time that I officially joined one. Cassiopeia membership fee was only P50. Yay! I can't wait to get my card!

After that, we had fun taking photos of the giant TVXQ streamers. Shown below is my version of me and Yunho. 

I also had a Henna Tattoo on my arm (costs P50). :3

Cosplayers also graced the event. They were mobbed by Cassies who wanted to get a photo. Shown below is Min cosplaying JaeJoong, with Kich and me. 

My sister Kich with Shin, who cosplayed Yunho at the later part of the event:

A cosplayer/staff wearing the Traditional Korean Dress, called the Hanbok:

At about 1:00 PM, the show started. We paused from taking photos for a while. And we saw the stage was highlighted by the large themed backdrop.

The videos from the Gintong Itlog ni Junsu Video Subbing Contest were shown on the projector screen The winners got the chance to own a TVXQ standee of their choice. Sadly, nobody chose Chang Min. So the staff decided to put the standee for a raffle. 

Performances from various groups entertained the watching Cassies. However, Kich and I missed this part as we were queuing at the photo booth. (T_T) By this time, the crowd thickened and the whole place turned into a sea of people in red.

Kich was very happy because she was able to personally meet her online friends. I, too, was filled with bliss because I met new people. By 3:30 PM, we decided to go home, but not without taking some TVXQ memories... or pictures with them, rather. Thank you to the winners of the standees who let us take these pictures. We are hoping that we would also have the chance to take photos with the true-to-life TVXQ members, possibly in the 9G next year. (^_^)/

Kich with the Yunho standee:

Me with the JYJ standees:

8G: The Carnival was a day filled with fun. Not only that, Filipino Cassies were also able to meet each other. They have proven that it was just not about the fan gathering, but about TVXQ. In other words, it is about keeping the faith. Always. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Second Pilgrimage

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Two years ago, I went on a pilgrimage in Cebu for a very special intention. Help was given to me through Mama Mary. I wanted to pass the Chemistry Board Exam in the country, along with my friends.  Since then, I have been always grateful to God. I made a series of blog entries to express my thanks to Him. You can view it at .

Now, I need help again. It’s something that I can’t solve on my own. Does the solution exist somewhere? I really hope so. Inspired with the success of my previous pilgrimage, I have decided yesterday to trek on a new one here in the metropolis. I will ask help from Mama Mary as what I’ve done before. Afterall, Don Bosco once said, “Trust in Mary and you will see what miracles are.”

I decided to start my pilgrimage today at The National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians. It is located in Better Living, ParaƱaque. The church is huge, and it is made up of gray and white stones. Furthermore, it is styled with modern architecture.  A landscape with a bronze statue of Don Bosco is seen before the church entrance, as shown below.

The next picture shows the church's Altar. I'm sorry for the quality, guys. It looks better in reality. :(

A Holy Mass was celebrated at 12 noon and I attended it to mark the start of my religious journey. After that, I prayed at the Adoration Chapel. The whole place inspired piety. The yellow lights, the visible garden, and the three pillars holding the Blessed Tabernacle all result to holy ground. The silence of the place was calm and peaceful to the soul. A photo of it is shown below:

The next photo shows my pilgrimage journal.  I will use this to write records about my church visits. It also holds prayers and reflections that I might realize along the way. The scallop shell is the symbol that I chose for this journey (I drew it by hand using a black pen). I got this inspiration from the Way of St. James. It is a pilgrimage set in Europe which I hope to trek someday.

Other than that notebook, I will also try to share my journey here in my blog. I can’t promise you real time updates though. So I do hope that whatever will be the result, I may find the journey relevant as much as the destination.

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