To fulfil my self-imposed requirement, I seriously considered travelling to Tel Aviv, Israel in 2012 to watch the Sticky and Sweet World Tour. I chose Tel Aviv because that seem to be the nearest country where I can watch that concert. Also, being a Filipino I need not apply for a tourist visa in that country. But due to budget constraints I obviously was not able to go.
Then just about two weeks ago, my super friend Jesse who’s based in Sydney messaged me and invited me to see the Rebel Heart show in Australia. He sent me the link on how the purchase should go. This is despite the fact that Madonna performing in Manila is already becoming a big buzz. I was so close to buying the ticket! But for some weird reason, obviously I did not.
Until two days after chatting with Aussie Jesse, the big news was announced that Madonna for the first time will perform in Manila. I did not believe it still, until I personally checked the official Madonna website. And when I saw for myself that Madonna is indeed coming, I was like feeling so moved!!! I know I’m not religious, but I felt so moved, it made me wanna pray!!!
Then, 4 days prior to the official selling of tickets to public, I received a text message from Citibank informing me that I got the opportunity to buy Madonna tickets because of their pre-sale program. I of course did not let this chance go! I moved my ass and bought 2 ticket seats.
I need someone to accompany me during the concert so I bought 2 tickets. One for my dear sister Gaying. My sister during the event has been assigned to pinch my nose and slap me in the face to remind me that what I am about to see and experience is not a dream.
Now that I got myself her concert ticket, one of my life’s bucket list will finally become a realization. See you there…
One common yet unofficial belief of religious and unreligious Catholics is that they can make a wish every time they enter a Catholic Church for the first time. Others, may they have a religion or none, would take the opportunity to make a wish every time they came across a wishing well.
I love churches and wishing wells, these spots gives me the feelings of positivity, optimism and upbeat emotional strength. Both feels like they have strange and mysterious healing powers!
Almost all people, I guess, after making a wish in these places would either forget about it or let fate and providence be the arbiter if such longing will be granted or not. No one I guess ever thought or dared of going back to the church or wishing well to follow up his or her wish. Relaying a reminder for the granting of a yearning is not part of the tradition or the custom of making wishes. This is definitely something rare and uncommon.
And since I am rare and uncommon, I did the rare and the uncommon. I followed-up.
Last Thursday, after touring a very interesting meat processing plant in Malvar, Batangas, me and my colleagues decided to go for a side trip. We went to the old heritage town of Taal, Batangas. For a very brief exploration, we went to 2 old churches and one mystical wishing well in Taal.
We went to the St. Martin De Tours Basilica, the largest Catholic Church in Asia and at the Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay, one of the few churches in the world that was given the special privilege by the Vatican for plenary indulgence. To cap our short Taal trip, we went to the old spring-fed wells of Sta. Lucia, a miraculous wishing well.
Since I have been to all these three spots just a couple of weeks ago, this means, I would not have the opportunity to make a wish. Thus, to make this trip a more fruitful one, I simply expressed a reminder for the granting of my wish. The same request I made the first time I went there.
At the miraculous Sta. Lucia wishing well, people are obliged to return to this site when their wishes has already been granted. Grantees return so as to offer white or violet-colored flowers and to pray their deepest thanks. Since my wish has yet to be granted, I did not bring with me any flower but nevertheless say a short prayer of thanks for being well and alive.
Still at the miraculous Sta. Lucia wishing well, while dampening my face, my neck, my arms and my hair with the banal na tubig (sacred water) fetched from the well I was literally uttering in a sweet gentle tone, “Follow-up lang po… follow-up lang po…”.
Everyone was laughing when they heard me say this. Maybe it’s because it’s unusual to follow-up. My colleagues knew that I was just there few days ago, that is why they were giggling when I was making a follow-up.
So, to make my wish become more potent, I called for reinforcements! I requested my colleagues’ that part of their wishes is that they wish that my wish be granted!
When dining out, I always consider the dessert as the main course. I admit, I love dessert and I have the biggest sweet tooth ever!
You may not know it yet, but if you happen to be in the Greenbelt area in Makati City Philippines, one superb dessert can be found at Lorenzo’s Way. And I strongly suggest discovering what you might have been missing! It’s called Banana Choco Lava Cake.
It is the type of dessert that would not overwhelm on the first bite. It has just the right amount of sweetness. It’s a warm, moist chocolate cake that would make you feel like it just came out of the oven surrounded by a creamy sauce topped with thin slices of caramelized bananas!
It’s the type that would make you crave for more every time you have a bite. This dessert is so unbelievably yummy!
Me and my elder sister Gaying believes that there is a direct and positive correlation between the way a person looks and the number of flyers that person receives every time he or she is in a mall. We believe the more affluent-looking or rich-looking you are, the more flyers will be handed to you by Flyer Ladies and Flysheet Dudes inside a mall.
That is why when I and my elder sister Gaying would be together inside a mall for some shopping, we have some sort of a small competition. We would tally how many flyers would be handed over to each of us. The person who receives the most number of flyers at the end of shopping wins.
Scoring would actually depend on the type of flyer given to us. If the flyer would be about a luxury car, a posh condo unit or a high-born club membership that would mean high points. But if the flyer is about a missing pet, a launching of a new soy sauce brand or would be about a dishwashing liquid that would definitely trigger hilarious pang-aapi (verbal oppression) and riotous heckling towards the person who received it.
And since it’s my Ate Gaying’s birthday today and though we did not go shopping today, let me concede and declare that today even without any flyer (just for today though) that she looks richer and more high-heeled than I am.
Sige dahil bertday mo, mas mukha kang mayaman ngayong araw kesa sa kin. Happy Birthday Ate!
“We stayed in an old Spanish-colonial house”. This is my usual response to a lot of friends who asked where did I and a couple of friends stayed when we were in Taal, Batangas. We actually stayed in Paradores Del Castillo, an old Spanish-Filipino house turned into a hotel.
For those who love the old world flavor with the illustrado-Spanish-Filipino touch, you will truly enjoy staying in this hotel. And true enough, as soon as I saw the façade and entered this old house, I immediately wanted take photos of the whole place. Every space, wall and décor seem to have rich characters. It would be one of those places that Ernest Hemmingway or Jose Rizal would approve of. It felt like I was in some old Filipino period movie produced by LVN or the Sampaguita pictures.
Here are a few photos of this beautiful and uniquely Filipino hotel.