The “ONE OK ROCK 35XXXV Manila Concert” United Filipino Jrock Fans

I’ve been listening to this band for a while, and when their songs were featured in the Rurouni Kenshin live-action trilogy, I knew they were gonna be big. Aaaaaaaannddd I was right, fast forward a few years, now they’re touring around the world.

Last year, they announced they were having an Asian tour on early 2016 and I couldn’t be more ecstatic! It’s about time a Japanese band comes to perform in the Philippines! I was pleasantly shocked when I found out Philippines was included. ‘Cause at first, I believed only a few people would be listening to jrock/jpop (Japanese rock/Japanese pop) music (and they are most probably animé fans too). Yes, the Rurouni Kenshin movies were a hit in my country, but chances are no one would be curious enough to check out the band, or so I thought.

So last Jan. 19, ONE OK ROCK made history and had their first-ever concert in the Pearl of The Orient. Taka, Toru, Ryota and Tomoya performed their hits and the Filipinos, to my surprise, sang along to all of their songs, and those include the lyrics in Japanese! I noticed that they altered some of the Japanese lyrics to English but it turned out that the fans knew the Japanese version better. Most Filipinos don’t even speak Japanese, unless you count “arigatou” or “konnichiwa” as “speaking Japanese”. LOL. But apparently, the Filipinos were well-versed in their songs.

My friends and I were situated at the back of the VIP standing section so for the most part we could barely see them, but who cares. HAHAHA. We were having tons of fun headbanging and jumping to the energetic music. The euphoria is definitely on a whole other level when you’re listening to it live as compared to just when you’re playing music from your ipod. And can I just say, Taka’s voice, as well as the energy of the whole band, didn’t waver one bit throughout the whole concert!! They most certainly didn’t disappoint the crowd and gave an awesome show! Fortunately, I somehow managed to get some “decent” shots!

Continue reading “The “ONE OK ROCK 35XXXV Manila Concert” United Filipino Jrock Fans”

Paradise Palawan Part 2/2: El Nido!

This post is a continuation of my previous post about Puerto Princesa. El Nido is a municipality located northeast of Puerto Princesa, the capital city of Palawan in the Philippines. It is known for its flourishing marine ecosystem, pristine beaches and island-hopping tours.

I stayed at the Og’s Pension, which is located at the beach front. It is a budget hostel among many other hostel/hotels in the area. But this to me is the most affordable, considering its location.

Og's Pension
Og’s Pension
The view from Og's Pension. Beautiful!
The view from Og’s Pension. Beautiful!

 

There are 5 island hopping tours (Tour A ~ Tour E) available in El Nido, and most of the hotels/hostels offer them and can be availed at least a day before the intended tour. Some of these packages can be combined to fit a one-day schedule, like Tour A & C (although I would not recommend it), but ideally, 1 tour package a day would be the best option. In my case, I chose Tour C.

The tour starts early in the morning, around 8:30~9am with the boat waiting at the seashore to pick up the tour’s passengers. You have to be there at the scheduled time since they would not wait for latecomers. In case you don’t make it, you have to re-schedule again on the next day!

Some essentials to bring:
-Water (LOTS of it)
-Sunblock (LOTS and LOTS of it!)
-Sunglasses
-Hat
-Shawl (preferrably a long one, if ever you sit at the side of the boat that’s facing the sun)
-Ziplock case (For your gadgets. The locals sell them at the beach front, but it’s better to bring your own case)

Tour C Itinerary
Talisay Island

It is about half an hour away from the El Nido beach front. We only stayed for less than an hour snorkelling and then we headed to our next destination.


Hidden Beach 

As a person of novice swimming skills, reaching this place can be a bit of a challenge. We had to jump off the boat and swim our way to get to this place. But I must say it was all worth it!

Matinloc Shrine

This is where we had lunch. I have to commend the boatmen for cooking the scrumptious meal for everyone! We had grilled fish, eggplant, tomato and cucumber salad, as well as bbq and fresh fruits. Perfect meal for an island hopping trip.

The most we could do while we were here was to do some sight-seeing and just chill!

Secret Beach

This wasn’t called “Secret Beach” for nothing. This is another swim-your-way-to-get-there kind of beach. You have to go across a narrow passageway so be careful of the sharp rocks on the side. I bumped my knee into one!!

You can also snorkel here and there are lots of fishes frolicking around!

Helicopter Island

This is the last part of the tour C package, and we arrived here at around 3 or 3:30 in the afternoon. It’s my favorite destination out of the 5 islands ’cause it was serene and you can just appreciate the views and calm waters.

 

So there! It sure was a very rewarding trip and I got to marvel at our country’s famous travel destination! If you come to the Philippines, make sure to include Palawan!

ONE OK ROCK to embark on an Asian Tour this 2016

ONE OKE ROCK Asia Tour
ONE OKE ROCK Asia Tour

 

It is ACTUALLY HAPPENING. Just when I thought ONE OK ROCK has performed in every country except mine, they released this! Moreover, I’m pleasantly surprised to know that they have a lot of fans in the Philippines! I’m guessing they knew about the band from the Rurouni Kenshin live-action movie series (which I think appealed many, whether they read the manga/watched the anime or not). It’s great that the Filipinos are now more open to Japanese acts, compared to before when only anime fans liked jpop/jrock. Although ONE OK ROCK’s songs are mostly in English now (with a mix of Japanese), to me, they still have that jrock vibe to them. And that’s what makes them awesome! Not to mention their high energy performances!

I can’t wait to see them next year! 🙂

Mayer Made My Day… Again!

Three days ago, John Mayer tweeted about his return to the studio again this coming January. (Woohoo!!)

And for someone like me who loved his Continuum album the most out of all his other (stellar) albums, I am more than excited for this! Hopefully he’ll have a collaboration with Pino and Steve (from John Mayer Trio) again.

But before he goes back to the studio, he’ll be on a winter tour with Grateful Dead as Dead & Company! Tour dates can be viewed on their official website.

 

Featured image via Consequence of Sound

 

A Week Of Seoul Searching

Seoul has always been one of the must-see places in Asia, and the rise of the Korean celebrities to global stardom has made this city even more popular among tourists. I have to admit, I wasn’t particularly curious about the Korean culture until I watched Super Junior. So I guess I’m one of those who got affected by what they call as the Hallyu Wave/Korean Wave.

Last month, I was fortunate enough to go on a Seoul Searching trip to South Korea’s capital city.

Aside from the different places we’ve been to, we also had a chance to mingle with other tourists during our stay. Since we all had different bucket lists in our Korean experience, we got to try various activities in Seoul. 🙂

Just a word of caution: prepare yourself as you’re about to get smothered by tons of pictures. I mean it! Haha.

Our first two days consisted of going to Gyeongbok Palace, the National Folk Museum, Insadong Area and the very famous Nami Island.

Since it was November which is fall/winter time in Korea, we didn’t stay out too late because we couldn’t take the super cold weather (I’m talking about 7-16 degrees Celsius as the “warmest” it could get during the day). It was one of our biggest struggles during our trip, especially to some of my peers who DID NOT bring thick jackets! :O

Continue reading “A Week Of Seoul Searching”