Friday, April 13, 2018

Perfectly Ed Sheeran

Flashback

Sometime last year, hubby and I were talking about Ed Sheeran and how we would love to see him perform live. I vividly recall that we were in our car on our way somewhere when we vowed that we will watch him if he returns for a concert.

A few months later, I heard the announcement that Manila was included in the Asian leg of Ed's Divide Tour. I was ecstatic! I never imagined that my prayers would be answered so soon.

The concert was slated on Nov 7, 2017 at the MOA Concert Grounds. The date, however, posed a few challenges for us. First, it was a weekday, workday and school day. And second, our car was not allowed on public roads that day due to number coding restrictions.

I was still mulling over the logistics of it all when about a month before the concert, Ed figured into a cycling accident which left both his arms broken. He had to cancel the first few legs of his Asian tour but fortunately for Manila, it was only rescheduled to April 8, 2018.


It was a looooong wait but it was way better than a total cancellation. Also, the rescheduled date was better for us because it was a Sunday and it fell right smack on hubby's birthday. It was going to be a happy birthday indeed.


One More Day

Fast forward to April 2018. I was trying to keep my excitement at bay and only started getting anxious a day before the event. I was not able to sleep well that night because I kept thinking about the concert. My irrational self feared about last minute cancellations and would refuse to calm down until I have seen/heard that Ed is already in country. It was already midday Sunday when I chanced upon a tweet from the concert's production company that he arrived the previous night via a private plane.

D-Day

Sunday was family day and since it was also hubby's birthday, we started it with a mass then a breakfast date with our unico hijo. Then we came back home to pack and spend a little more time with our son who we will be left behind. We left home after lunch and dropped by the Monasterio de Santa Clara in Katipunan to pray, among others, for a good concert weather and that everyone will have a good time.

We checked in at a nearby hotel and rested there until about 5pm. By then, I was on full Ed Sheeran mode and every cell in my body was giddy with anticipation. I was too excited that I could not eat. But I had to force myself to have something so I ate an asado siopao and 4pcs of siomai. Hubby, on the other hand, had a lauriat meal from Chowking.

As we were walking towards the venue. Ed Sheeran songs were playing around MOA and a throng of of people with Divde marks on their faces and wearing Ed Sheeran shirts were walking right past us. My giddiness just went up another notch.


Before going in, we dropped by the official merchandise store first and bought 2 souvenir shirts - one for me and one for the tweener we left at home. I immediately changed into my Divide shirt once we got inside. Then we found a spot and we waited.


After several false alarms, Ed finally took center stage at exactly 9pm. With guitar on hand, he opened the show with the upbeat song "Castle on the Hill". It was the start of almost two hours of unforgettable musical experience. Ed said that his goal is for people to lose their voices in his concert so he encouraged everyone to sing at the top of their lungs. He said that if you don't know the lyrics, make something up. Just sing along. So people were singing and screaming the whole time.

We were watching from the Gold section of the venue and we were pretty much dependent on the big screen placed near where we were standing. I didn't even see his silhoutte in the stage because, well, short girl problems. But regardless, hearing him sing live and sharing that experience with a bunch of passionate Sheerios around us was enough. He was one big ball of energy from start to finish. A one-man-band that proved how phenomenal of an artist he is. All the effort and money we invested for this night was all worth it. It was truly a memorable night that we will treasure. 


Photo Credits to @teddysphotos

Aftermath

On the way back to the hotel, we passed through the open area in MOA along with several concertgoers. As Ed Sheeran's "Perfect" was playing in the background, people were collectively humming and singing the song. It was pretty obvious that everyone was still on a high and it was pretty difficult to go down from that place. It was like a hangover that wouldn't go away. Heck, I can still hear Ed's live singing voice days after the event. To cope, I have created a Divide Tour MNL playlist in my Spotify account and downloaded concert videos from You Tube so I can relive it over and over again. Yeah, I think this is going to take a while. Until then, here is the list of the songs he played/sang during the concert. Maybe you'd like to relive them, too. =)
  • Castle on the Hill 
  • Eraser 
  • The A Team 
  • Don't / New Man 
  • Dive 
  • Bloodstream 
  • Happier 
  • I'm A Mess 
  • Tenerife Sea 
  • Galway Girl 
  • Feeling Good
  • I See Fire 
  • Photograph 
  • Perfect 
  • Nancy Mulligan 
  • Thinking Out Loud 
  • Sing 
  • Shape of You 
  • You Need Me, I Don't Need You

Friday, May 5, 2017

Where the Sand Meets the Sea

Sometimes I wonder why we flock to the the beach during the hottest days of the year. We say to cool off but do we really get refreshed from staying in that sun-filled area called the beach? But that's not really it, right? It's the people we go with and the camaraderie that we experience when we're with them. It's the break we get from our monotonous lives. We pack our things and leave the cold stone houses we live in and bask in the beauty of nature. For a few days, we drop our routines - work, school, or otherwise - to spend time with people we love. 



Kids enjoying the sun, the sand and the sea.

Swimming in the beach does not appeal to me that much as it did before. But lounging under the shade of a big tree or inside a nipa hut does. Give me a book to read or a companion to talk to plus some chips on the side and I'm good.  

The light inside our hut resembles a pupa. I feel like a beautiful butterfly is going to come out of it soon. 

Beautiful tree lights to illuminate the place at night.

Sunrise at the beach is always a sight to behold. 


Time to say goodbye. 'Til next time...

Laiya, San Juan, Batangas

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Concha's Garden Cafe

I've been to Concha's Garden Cafe thrice -- once in their Tagaytay branch and twice in their Quezon City branch. So I guess that goes to show that I enjoy dining there. 

The Tagaytay branch has a cozy feel because of its size and it has a beautiful view of the Taal Lake. 

The Quezon City branch, on the other hand, is a lot bigger in size but still has a homey feel to it. It can accommodate bigger groups and has 4 function rooms for private affairs.
  
One amusing thing about this resto is that they do not have uniform plates. Their plates have different designs and it's kind of fun, especially for kids, to choose the plate they prefer to use.   


Homemade Okoy P180

It took 3 visits before I was finally able to have this dish as it's one of their bestsellers. And it did not disappoint. I love that it's thin and crispy. You can eat it as it is or dip it in the vinegar-based sauce that comes with it. I am looking forward to having this again soon.  

Mango Kaani Salad P250

Simply love it. 

Conchas Laoya P600

The Laoya dish is also one of their signature dishes. It is like bulalo but sweeter. Personally. I am not so crazy about this dish because of its sweetness but still a good one. 

Sisig (Capampangan) P280

I am a big fan of sisig but I like my sisg dry and crunchy. The Conchas sisig is neither. It's still tasty and all but lacking the crunchiness that I love.

Pinakbet P250

What could possibly go wrong with Pinakbet? Nothing. 

Adobong Pusit sa Gata P330

Yummy Pusit! Just don't forget to check your teeth before leaving. 

Oriental Fried Chicken P250

Tasty chicken with sweet and sour sauce. 

Pasta Ziti in Garlic P270

We're big pasta eaters and this makes it to our fave pasta dishes. Love the garlicky taste.  

Concha's Kamoteng Turon P100

For the sweet tooth.

Leche Flan P180

Creamily yummy!

Chichapop P120

Our take home items which we consumed while watching the premiere episode of Destined To Be Yours.

View from Concha's Tagaytay

Branches
Richland Hills Subdivision 1, 
Sta. Rosa Tagaytay Road 
Brgy. Puting Kahoy
Silang, Cavite 


KM 58 Maharlika East, 

Emilio Aguinaldo Highway
Tagaytay City, Philippines


34 Scout Madriñan cor. Tomas Morato Extension

Quezon City, Philippines

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017