Hear ye! Hear ye!

It has been almost a month since I bought something for myself from Ebay. That was quite an achievement because I usually purchase several items for personal usage within a 30-day period. I’ve been focusing lately on Ebay selling and it was taking a lot of my time. So, as a gift for my birthday next week, I waged a bidding war for a peculiar jacket — the Gazette newspaper print one! Of course, the action begins in the last 10 seconds and the price have hiked up in those last moments. LOL I eventually won and I am very excited to receive the item on Friday!

John Galliano Gazette Newspaper Print Hoodie Jacket

(Photo from the Ebay seller).

I know Mon will particularly love this design because he is a BIG FAN of the KPop group, B2ST. He was once happy to see another shirt with an interesting print from Galliano in my closet because he knew that most of the members of his favorite group favor the design. I promised him that we could use the jacket together, and in fact, I think it would most probably spending more time with him. =D

Hyunseung from B2ST with a John Galliano Gazette newspaper print hoodie jacket

(Photo from coordinuna.com)

On a different note, I have tried to transfer some of my PayPal funds to a bank account because all the shipping I have done last Monday and today has greatly affected my finances. =/ The 21 day period is definitely a pain to deal with and I cannot wait to finally have my funds become available. I don’t have a credit card (I’m better off not having one) so it was Mon’s PayPal account and since we are doing this business together, I just think of it as an extension of our partnership. We had to open a PayPal account back in 2011 because the guesthouse we stayed in Seoul required a deposit and it they only accept payment via PayPal.

It was my first time attempting to transfer funds to a bank account and the process of doing so was not really that difficult. From the Home page, I click the “Withdraw” link, which redirected me to the “Add a bank account in the Philippines” page:

Add a  bank account in the Philippines - Withdrawing money from PayPal to a bank account in the Philippines

I have searched online and found a list of bank codes in the Philippines, listed on a page from Ebay.ph. I had to manually input the Bank name “BANK OF THE PHIL ISLANDS (BPI)”, and honestly, I was worried whether there should be an extra (BPI) in the end. I then added the bank code “010040018” indicated in the list, as well as entering the BPI account number twice.

Review your bank account information - Withdrawing money from PayPal to a bank account in the Philippines

After pressing “Continue”, I was led next to the “Review your bank account information”, where I was informed of the return fee, in case of wrong information (e.g. incorrect account number, names not matching). I think this was a one time process/s because it was sort of enrolling this bank account to be the default destination of PayPal funds when withdrawing.

Withdraw funds to your bank account - Withdrawing money from PayPal to a bank account in the Philippines

After pressing “Save” comes the part where I had to indicate what amount the amount of money I wish to send to the bank account. The dropdown in “From this balance” indicates the USD and Php balances. I only have Php 100 in my PayPal account, which was the fee credited back during the one-time verification.

Review your withdrawal - Withdrawing money from PayPal to a bank account in the Philippines

Then comes a review of the withdrawal, where I had to check and double-check the information from first line to last. And another thing, since I will be transferring less than Php 7,000, there will be a Php 50.00 charge from the account. Ugh, it made me hate the 21 day process more. =/

Your withdrawal is being processed

All I can do now is wait for two to four business days for the transfer to happen. I am crossing my fingers that it would take just the minimum two days because it will already be Thursday tomorrow. I am still stressing out and nitpicking with Mon’s name because I’m not too sure if he had added a dash (-) on his given name when he registered for that bank account. LOL PayPal, don’t fail me please.

For some “Fashion Ball” — we wore a T-Shirt!

The month has barely changed from November to December and it was already our company’s yearend event a.k.a. Christmas party. On one hand, why was it so early? Other companies might not have even released their 13th month pay and yet we already had our party. On the other hand, I was quite delighted with the date because it meant less traffic and it would be easier to go to-and-from the venue. And for the first time after four years, I went to the party without Faye as she was still out of the country!

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The jampacked PICC Plenary Hall

Mon and I were really pinching the penny because of our trip next week so we decided to keep our outfit simple. I was initially over the Moon with the supposed Yohji Yamamoto Pour Homme top that I was about to wear, but the cancellation of the transaction meant that I had only a day to look for something to wear. Then, why bother? Let’s just wear a similar shirt!

My 'extended arm' picture taking skills still work

We have a knack for coordinating our outfits and the last time we did so was in 2010 during a ‘masquerade theme’ Christmas party.

Military-inspired jackets with painstakingly-made epaulettes from 2010's Christmas Party

Anyway, we traditionally invite a guest host every party (a celebrity) but this year, we invited two hosts. First was Rovilson Fernandez (from the ‘Amazing Race Asia’ fame, whose partner Marc Nelson has coincidentally hosted our party last, last year) and Joey Mead (current judge on ‘Asia’s Next Top Model’). Rovilson was unexpectedly funny because I thought that he’d end up being like Marc, who was eloquent, but lacking in the humor department. I had high expectations with Rovilson because Luis Manzano really carried the whole event last year, so the former had big shoes to fill and it was surprisingly well-done. As for Joey Mead, the girl was a goddess. My jaw dropped because I did not expect her to be that beautiful, and the girl can really walk. O_O

Rovilson Fernandez and Joey Mead --- such a beauty

Joey Mead schooling everybody over her runway skills

Anyway, more than the hosts, I had a great time seeing interesting looks from others who attended the party. There were several fashion contests/segments and there were two outfits that really caught my attention. The first one was a girl wearing a tuxedo and I think that it was an excellent take on Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘le smoking‘. What I loved most about it was the fact that she was not tall nor extremely skinny but she did not end up looking like a penguin. I was living for her! Her ensemble reminded me of one of Minzy’s (from 2NE1) look from the ‘Can’t Nobody‘ music video. And the second one was this, let’s admit it, costume and replica of Lady GaGa’s infamous red lace outfit from 2009 MTV VMA. I was not familiar with the candle thing but maybe GaGa carried something similar to that but the people went crazy when he got at the end of the runway and blew the flame off. Werq!

Ugh. Why an out-of-focus shot. I really love this girl's interpretation of Saint Laurent's 'Le Smoking' - it also reminded me of Minzy's look in the 'Can't Nobody' music video

'Le Smoking' Minzy in 2NE1's 'Can't Nobody' music video
(Photo from forums.allkpop.com)

Chanelling Lady GaGa's 2009 MTV VMA red lace outfit --- that was some MAJOR dedication

But I was more happy to see Mon go up the stage with his teammates, to accept an award recognizing their efforts. I really liked how he looked on stage with a leather jacket and white skinny jeans, together with that black shirt. I had been pitching to him the idea of wearing this leather jacket I personally intended to use for our trip to Seoul and he only agreed last minute before we left the house.

Mon and his teammates, recognized on stage

Mon looked dashin' =D

The food was great as well. I couldn’t remember who was the caterer last night but we had several trips back to the buffet table. I didn’t even care about dieting nor the fact that I was still drinking CarbTrim — let’s now see your efficacy! Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, I was unlucky with the raffle. I was so unlucky that my ticket number 1414 was almost picked several times. The numbers, 1412, 1413, 1415 and 1417 were picked out of the bowl, as well as 1424, 1434 and also 1484. Fate has to remind me again that I should work hard if I want something and not be dependent on luck.

With his, hopefully, winning ticket for the raffle

To make matter worse, the committee in charge of the program had to drastically and deliberately delay the raffling off of the MacBooks. There was a band who sang non-stop for more than 30 minutes, as if it was a shaking-off medley to test the people waiting for the raffle. It actually worked because when they began drawing out stubs, a string of names had been called and the people were no longer present. It was literally a drawn out event that the whole thing had not finished until a little past 2 AM.

Mon and I's most decent picture together using my camera LOL - Manila, Philippines "mulberry bag philippines" comme des garçons
(The best picture that our crazy and energetic officemates can take, given the festive atmosphere)

I just dragged Mon to the ‘wall’ (or whatever you call it) because we haven’t had our picture taken with it. The raffle was almost over when we positioned ourselves to take pictures and we had to rush taking each others’ photos. We then ran out of the venue, a time-tested tactic of ours, to avoid the rush of people scrambling to go home.

Black 'Red Heart' shirt from Play by Comme des Garcons, brick pants, black 8-hole Doc Martens, black Mulberry Bayswater in Congo leather - "mulberry bag philippines"

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A better shot of the two of us!

We got home in about an hour, which was pretty fast, considering we went all the way to Marikina. I just felt a bit nauseous, maybe because of the glutton-fest that had happened a few hours back that I had to drink a can of pineapple juice. When I was already checking over my bag from last night, I was mortified to see that the bottle of alcohol inside had accidentally opened and spilled on the bottom of my Bayswater. >_< I was hoping it would dry off but as it has already happened last night, then the mark will most probably be permanent. Why haven’t I checked on it last night? I could have done something to prevent it. Big consolation: the liquid hasn’t penetrated the leather and the finishing/sheen from the outside was not affected.

Alcohol stain inside my Mulberry Bayswater

All in all, the alcohol stain hasn’t dampened my spirit. I had a fun night even if that raffle has annoyed the hell out of me.

That visually arresting blue ‘cape’ of CL: 2NE1’s airport fashion

CL with the blue Comme des Garçons FW 2012 jacket

Airport fashion is always an interesting subject for me. Whenever celebrities travel, they can’t sartorially let their guard down because those hideous sweatpants may end up being ripped apart by the tabloids and netizens. So I was just browsing over 2NE1 pictures online when I saw their airport pictures the moment they touched down in Incheon International Airport almost a week ago. The first thing that punched me in the face was CL’s brightly-colored cape!

3.1 Phillip Lim

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BIG BANG ALIVE TOUR 2012 (MANILA) POST!!!

Sol Restaurant -  Side Dishes

So yesterday, I had a fantastic day with Mon, Lot (his sister) and Faye. We initially intended to go to Music Bank in Diosdado Macapagal Avenue at around 2:00 PM, but remembered that it will not open until 3:00 PM. We then ate first in Sol Restaurant, few meters away from Music Bank, as we will definitely have a hard time eating a proper meal during the concert. There were few people in the restaurant and all of them were Koreans having, presumably, their late lunch.

Sol Restaurant -  Peanuts

Sol Restaurant -  Bibimbap

Sol Restaurant -  Japchae

Sol Restaurant -  Seafood Noodles

So at around 3:30 PM, we finally went inside Music Bank and started singing our hearts out. We had a little hard time looking for some of the KPop songs we would like to sing, but we got there in the end. We spent around two hours, while we were slowly frozen to death by the airconditioning. By the time we got out, I have already developed a runny nose; though I didn’t know if that was because of the room’s temperature or Faye’s virus finally contaminating me (she was not feeling well since Monday). LOL

MUSIC BANK in Diosdado Macapagal Avenue

Oppa Gangnam Style! - Music Bank, Diosdado Macapagal Avenue

Their 'Kahit ano' on the menu - Music Bank, Diosdado Macapagal AvenueWe didn’t actually know if it was a good idea to go to a noraebang before going to a concert, because we would most likely be losing our voice. But we still have a couple of hours to compose ourselves before the mayhem in The Arena. When we got in the Mall of Asia, we saw this crowd at the back of the venue:

A slew of Filipino Big Bang fans - Big Bang Alive Tour 2012 Manila

We were to enter in the Coral (Blue) Entrance and there were already a lot of people queuing for the mandatory bag inspection. We did not immediately fall in line because I wanted to make sure that I can sneak my point-and-shoot camera inside. I just observed how the inspection was done and I saw a couple of DSLRs and even point-and-shoots were confiscated by the guards on duty. So I just shoved it deep inside the side pocket of my bag, covered in unused tissue and with my iPod on the top so the guards would immediately see I had nothing to hide. Well it worked but we did not take pictures until we were finally seated in our respective seats.

While waiting for the Upper Box doors to open - Big Bang Alive Tour 2012

The stage - Big Bang Alive Tour 2012 in Manila

We were seated in Section 401, which was directly in front of the stage. One of our tickets was in Section 404, but as the person who was to sit next to us did not arrive (or the people, because seat numbers four to seven were vacant), there was no need to push through with our original plan of snatching that one seat.

Faye's light stick --- a present from us when we went to Seoul last year - Big Bang Alive Tour 2012 Manila

(We haven’t seen any light stick similar to Faye’s <3 We bought this from the souvenir shop in Doota Mall last year)

And then the concert started! After the curtains fell, the boys were revealed to be inside these illuminated tubes, as if teleported from somewhere.

Big Bang after emerging from those tubes - Big Bang Alive Tour 2012 in Manila

Look who's having fun!

Seungri and Tae Yang directly in front of the stage - Big Bang Alive Tour 2012 in Manila

Big Bang on stage - Big Bang Alive Tour 2012 in Manila

I did my best with what my camera can do and I noticed that it was far easier and better to take videos, as my hands were not that stable to take photos in low lighting. I managed to take several videos, but bothered only in resizing three of them. I also have uploaded the first one in my previous post. And also, I was not screaming like a banshee in these videos (unlike the 2NE1 videos I took, where I was screaming Bom’s name like it will lead me to salvation). (*Note: Change the quality to “480p” ([in the gear icon above] to view the best quality)

Big Bang Alive Tour 2012 Manila – Fantastic Baby

Big Bang Alive Tour 2012 Manila – Haru Haru

Big Bang Alive Tour 2012 Manila – Lies

If I have to be perfectly honest with the whole experience, I sat during most of the middle of the concert because: a) I did not know the songs they were singing, and b) I was really too low-energy (a.k.a. old) to match the energy of the people around me. However, the line-up of the songs was perfectly-made that I cannot NOT stand up and sing along with the songs I knew and loved (e.g. the songs I recorded above). LOL My mental discography was very archaic and I was stuck in Big Bang circa 2008-2009.

T.O.P. with the very girly mouse ears and Daesung walking out of the frame LOL - Big Bang Alive Tour 2012 in Manila

Tae Yang, T.O.P. and Daesung about to leave the stage - Big Bang Alive Tour 2012 in Manila

The crowd in denial that the show was finally over - Big Bang Alive Tour 2012 in Manila

At Php 3,900, we got our money’s worth. =D Compared to the three-thousand plus we shelled out in that joke/milk-the-opportunity strategy called “The Party” last year, Big Bang’s first concert here in Manila was very good, production-wise. Although it was apparent that most of the boys gave a very vocally lackluster performance (Tae Yang’s voice was cracking, and as how Sharon Needles put it, he was Christina-ing it out a lot; and GD seemed to have quite a lower energy). Daesung was the most consistent among the boys and I have new respect for him because of that. There were also a lot of Roselle-Nava-sing-with-me moments, which I didn’t like. =/

Another theory given by our friend China (who had to brave the fiasco at the topmost seats, along with two other people), was that GD sensed the overwhelming bias of the crowd towards T.O.P. and he was already resigned over that fact. LOL I didn’t even know how factual that theory was but I think that he still gave a decent job, albeit the low energy. Also, we were wondering why he did not perform his latest single, Crayon (whose video shown before the concert even started has sent the crowd to a shrieking frenzy). But I was extremely envious of his Givenchy Rotweiler shirt. Ugh. LOL

Freshened up! - Louis Vuitton Montsouris GM Backpack and Gucci messenger bag

With Faye after the concert --- while looking at the interestingly-dressed members of the crowd =D

Guess who has an exam the morning after? HAHAHA

Naturally, we were hungry after the event but as almost all the establishments were closed by 10:30 PM (the show ran few minutes over two hours), we did not even bother eating a snack. We actually had the choice of going to McDonald’s but it was jam-packed, so we decided to just part ways. The rain also did not help. I forgot to bring an umbrella and I just had a gray cardigan inside. As I was more worried of the vachetta parts onn my backpack, more than myself getting wet, I just buttoned it around my bag, liek a new-born baby. I didn’t want any watermarks to ruin the leather. LOL

We’ve heard that SNSD (or some other group from SM Entertainment) will be going to Manila next year. Lot is one BIG SNSD FAN and she will most likely watch their concert, if ever they would organize one. But as the light sticks are probably insanely marked up here, we will be just buying some in Seoul this December when we go back. I might even buy a few more just to sell when that happy day comes. LOL