Sunday, May 31, 2009

Divas 4 Divas Concert

Here we go...the photos during the concert. There were so much drama en route the concert venue. We expected that traffic would be heavy so we left the hotel two hours before the show starts. It was a very wise decision because we had a hard time looking for the venue. I have directions but apparently, it's not a very good one. After we were able to look for a good place to park, our next struggle is to find the Black Academy Arts building where the concert will take place. People of different races all dressed very nicely were coming in and out of the vicinity, so one would think that they are also going to the concert, but apparently, there was a graduation going on and most, if not all of the people that we've seen were attending the said event. After having to ask from a few security people, we finally managed to find the theatre. Now, our next problem is to look for one of the producers of the show, whom we've bought our tickets from. For some reason, our tickets got lost in the mail and a week before the concert, I've called the producer and she assured me that we could still get our seats even without the tickets. Thankfully, a Filipina from the production side helped us find the producer. Our tickets were replaced, everything was settled and we were part of the crowd that were first ushered in to the theatre. When we finally went in and got seated, all the worries and stress went away. I was just so extremely happy for the once in a lifetime chance to see my favorite singer Regine Velasquez in a concert with the other divas. I was glad that hubby didn't get bored at all. He was definitely amazed with how talented they are. He was also amused with the crowd. You know how it is with Filipino audience, all the screaming, shouting, applauding, clicking of cameras and videos, we enjoyed it all. We have front row tickets and at the latter part of the show, I was one of the fans who was able to shook hands with Regine! Nawala akong poise oi! Gibiya-an ang bana sa lingkuranan, hehe! Gosh! I can't thank my hubby enough for making this possible for me. It was fun and I enjoyed the chance to be with Filipinos and hearing them speak Tagalog and Bisaya again! Enjoy the photos, friends...

Why? Unsay drama? Naay ti-ki?!?

A pose before the concert

We have front row tickets

PRIMO band

The 4 Divas (opening number)

Their outfits underneath the cloaks

Divas in their red shimmering outfits

The elegant Divas

In their colorful gowns

The audience

Crowd jammin' with the Divas

The Divine Diva - Zsa Zsa Padilla

The Concert Queen - Pops Fernandez

The Pop Diva - Kuh Ledesma

The Asia's Songbird - Regine Velasquez

Regine internalizing her song

The show is over

Hubby after the show

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A prelude to the concert

To say that I was super excited was an understatement. I've been dreaming about this day eversince we bought the tickets. I'm talking about the Divas4Divas concert in Dallas, Texas last night. It was my first time in Texas and going straight to a big city like Dallas was overwhelming. Two important things that I noticed while I was there, it was hot and traffic was heavy. The heat didn’t bother me as much as the bumper to bumper traffic at 70 mph. If you don’t drive aggressively, you’re pretty much stuck with whatever lane you’re in. Luckily, I was not the one on the driver’s seat. Otherwise, we couldn’t have made it to the hotel in one piece. It was 3:00 P.M. when we got to Hyatt Place, the hotel where we stayed at. We relaxed a little bit and freshen up before we head out for the concert which started at 8:00 P.M. The room was very nice with huge flat panel TV, plush king-sized bed, cozy corner sofa-sleeper, granite kitchen sinks, wet bar and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. The sole purpose of the trip was to watch the concert, so we didn't really intend to stay long and didn't get to do other stuff. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the experience minus the traffic, of course, hehe! Here are some photos of the hotel and our room. The official photos of the concert itself will be posted on my next post, I promise!

University of Phoenix (located right next to Hyatt)

Hubby is watching TV

Aww, cartoons, eh!

EC dropping even while on vacation!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A quick trip to Dallas, Texas

The highlight of our one week vacation is going to Dallas, Texas to watch the Divas4Divas concert. I am definitely a fan of Regine Velasquez and watching her perform along with the country's top performers is a once in a lifetime experience. There's not much Filipino shows in the southern part of U.S., so I was really happy when I found out that the Divas will be having a concert in Texas. I'm super-duper excited, lol! Thanks so much to my Langga for putting up with me, hehehe! Actually, hubby watches with me sometimes when I'm glued to T.V. watching my Filipino shows so he recognizes Regine and Zsa Zsa. But his favorite is Wowowee, Game Ka Na Ba, and most of Sarah G.'s commercials. See! I've been an influence to hubby's TV viewing, hehehe. Anyway, the concert is gonna be tomorrow at 8:00 P.M. in Dallas. I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vacation in Branson Part I: Savannah House

We just came back from a 4-day vacation to one of the much talked about city of Missouri. It was our second vacation for this year and probably the last before our big one to the Philippines in December. We stayed at Savannah House. It's a charming and elegant hotel in a peaceful country setting with a breath-taking view of the Ozark Mountains, yet just minutes away from all of Branson's excitement and activity. The rooms are spotlessly clean, free deluxe breakfast every morning, free hot cobbler, cookies and ice-cream each evening, wireless secure High Speed internet access and my favorite part, in-room Jacuzzi tub and an outdoor pool. On Memorial Day itself, it rained pretty good so I didn't mind staying most of the day in our room and taking a relaxing hot bath with a nice nap afterwards. Anyway, here are the photos. More blogs about Branson on my next posts.

The hotel

It offers a pretty view of the mountains

Hotel's facade

The inviting pool

Hotel's cozy living room

Such an actor!

Relaxing on the recliner

One pose before heading out

In-room jet tub

Ready for a hot jet bath

Saturday, May 23, 2009

First Day Experience in Branson

We're now here in Branson, Missouri!!! Traffic here sucks...but it's alright...we're on a no rush. The drive to Branson which I thought was only 2 hours actually took longer than that. But I enjoyed the scenic drive up north, so I wasn't going to complain. It rained a little bit when we got here but that didn't stop us from doing the stuff that we came here for. We went to Titanic Museum and Hollywood Wax Museum today. The visit to Titanic was neat. The building looks like a real ship. They have all sorts of neat information, artifacts, galleries about the huge sunken ship, crew, passengers and even about the famous Titanic movie. They even give you a boarding pass bearing the name of a real Titanic passenger when you get in to the museum, then before you exit out of the museum, you'll be able to know if that passenger survives or not. I've seen the Titanic movie but the visit to Titanic museum today made me learn a lot of facts about the ship that sank on April 15, 1912.

Something uncool happened though. It was raining, traffic was heavy on our way to the museum, then when we got there, I found out that the batteries of our camera need to be changed. Great! The charger and the other set of batteries were left at the hotel and it's unthinkable to go back in that crazy traffic jam, so Jeff and I were debating whether to go in without a camera or drive back out of the parking lot and find a convenience store and pick out new batteries. I told him I'm not going in and pay the exorbitant fee of $25.00/each without a camera. I need to take photos, you know! So hubby was forced to drive us out of the parking lot and look for a convenience store. It probably took us another 20 minutes to get back to the museum with a new set of batteries for our camera. So I'm back to my jovial and excited face again when we stepped out of the truck, ready to start the Titanic tour with our camera on hand. But guess what!!! There was a sign in front of the ticket line that says "No cameras or videotaping allowed!" Arrrrrgggghhhhh!!!!! All I managed to say to hubby was, "I'm sorry, Babe!" Imagine the trouble we had to go through just to get new batteries but we couldn't use the camera after all, lol! Thankfully, he wasn't mad at me or anything, he just said "Well, then let's get back to the truck and leave the camera there, then." We both enjoyed the experience inside the museum but we don't have photos to go along with it. However, I was able take photos inside the Hollywood Wax Museum but I'm just gonna post it next time.

Tomorrow, we're gonna be hitting Tanger Outlet Mall for Memorial Weekend Sale shopping. Hubby is fascinated with all sorts of History so we're visiting the Veteran's Museum sometime tomorrow. Then at 8:00 P.M, we're going to watch "Acrobats of China". I'm excited! For now, I'm signing off. Oh wait! The hotel serves free cobbler, ice-cream and cookies so we're taking advantage of that before going to bed. Well, it doesn't sound healthy but who cares! We're on vacation anyway, hehehehe!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Off to Branson for an early summer getaway!

One more day to go...We're heading to Branson, Missouri for a much needed vacation. Too bad it's not to the beach like what's in the photo. Anyway, we both took one week off from work and we're pretty much excited about it because it is another quality time bonding moments together. I've been hearing so many good things about Branson from my co-workers and even on the internet. I can't wait to experience them ourselves. Our itinerary includes visits to museums (Titanic, Hollywood Wax, Veteran's Memorial), shows (Acrobats of China), chill-out romantic dates (dinners, Moonshine Beach), outlet mall shopping (Tanger), swimming (if weather permits), movie date (Angels & Demons) and a whole-day fun at Silver Dollar City. I am the designated planner of this trip and hubby thinks I'm doing a great job. (*wink) He really knows how to make me feel flattered, lol! Anyway, I hope the weather won't ruin this trip for us. Branson is like 2-hour drive up north from our place, so I'm guessing it's gonna be a little cooler there. I would really love the chance to go to White Water theme park but looking at the weather forecast for this weekend, I don't think it's a good idea. I might as well just be content in taking a dip in the hotel pool. But with or without thunderstorm, this trip promises to be fun and memorable.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Victim of credit card theft

Two of our credit cards have had fraudulent charges for the past two months. It's driving me nuts! Our Chase credit card had 3, we filed a dispute and they didn't make us pay for any of it at all. They replaced our cards with a different account number and we signed in for fraud protection insurance. That was a month ago! To my dismay, I found out yesterday that our Capital One credit card had another 2 mysterious charges. Arrgghh! Jeff called them and dispute the charges again. I wonder why we're getting a whole lot of fraudulent charges these days. It sucks! The only good thing about it is we have online accounts for our credit cards, that way I can check everyday online and be warned right away of the questionable charges even before we get our paper bills. What concerns me is how to stop them from hacking into our accounts again. That made me thinking what if it's our computer system that's not safe? Are we not very careful with the websites we're dealing transactions with online? It is inevitable that we use credit cards for our online purchases. These are very important ones like the phone cards that I use to call my family back home, Netflix subscription, travel purchases, Jeff's computer games, my Apple IPOD music store and so many other small stuff that we have to buy online because we could not find them in the mall/stores. We don't want to deal with this dilemma all the time but I hate to think that we have to stop using our cards for our online purchases. It's very inconvenient. Has anyone been a victim of credit card theft as well?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I'm breaking stuff here!

Within 1 week, I managed to break 2 vacuum cleaners. I hope I didn’t sound like I’m proud of this stupid feat, but I may be one of the very few that had achieved this. I didn’t realize how did I do it, but the belt of our old cleaner snapped. Well, it could be that it had become frayed after years of usage. But the fact that I was the one using it when that happened somehow made me feel liable. We could have had simply bought a replacement belt, but as I’ve said, it’s an old vacuum, Jeff bought it a few years before I even got here which was almost 2 years ago, not to mention it would no longer stand on its own because the release button is broke, too. Guess whose fault was it? Yours truly. When I decided to clean for the first time since my arrival, I jerked the vacuum cleaner back before pressing the release button. So, we really think we need to get a new one. So off we went to Walmart. There were so many different kinds of vacuums to choose from. They even have cleaners designed for pet owners. We don’t have pets but for those who have, you might want to check this out for your pet supplements. Anyway, we chose the bagless cleaner with HEPA filter. I was excited with our purchase that I use it right away when we came back home. A big mistake! I accidentally sucked up the spaghetti-strap of my black cami. It made a whirling sound and smelled something rubber burning before I frantically hit the on/off switch. Apparently, I wasn't quick enough because it snapped the belt in two. Waaaahhh!!! I felt so bad. Hubby was so kind in telling me that it's okay because we bought an extra belt anyway. But that didn't stop me from feeling so stupid. I told hubby that I'm calling myself the great vacuum destroyer, hahaha!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Our plane tickets to the Philippines now booked!

After a few weeks of searching for the best travel deals online, we got a very good one at Expedia. I'd be flying ahead of Jeff because I'm gonna take care of the final details of our wedding. My flight schedule is in November while Jeff's is going to be on the 3rd week of December. We decided to book our flights as early as now, so as to avail the different promo deals that travel websites are offering. Rose, of Texas Life, was the one who actually suggested to me a couple of websites to check out. I've looked into Travelocity, CheapTickets and Expedia. I've heard horrible reviews about CheapTickets so I concentrated my comparison between Travelocity and Expedia. The latter is slightly cheaper than the former, though both sites are very reliable and safe when it comes to booking online. I'm quite happy with our purchase. We expected to spend $2,000-2,500/each, considering the time of the year that we would be flying. Thankfully, I only paid $1,239.70 for my ticket, while Jeff's ticket costs $1,520. Then, an additional $60.00/each for our roundtrip flight from Manila to Cebu. Not bad, huh! I think it's cheaper when you book your flights 6-8 months before your departure day. Jeff had been to Cebu twice to visit me but never did he get this good of a deal online. He's pretty much happy with our purchase too! Yohoooo!!! Philippines, here we come!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pacman did it again!

*Warning: Some images are graphic*

We were prepared for the much-anticipated "Battle of East and West". I took out my Starbucks Mocha Frappucino coffee from the ref and Jeff, his bottle of Budweisser while sharing bags of Tortilla Chips dipped in Salsa con Queso. We were literally camping out in our living room while waiting for the main event of the night, our very own "People's Champ", Manny Pacquiao going against the "Britt Hitman" Ricky Hatton in MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada. Of course, it was just Jeff and me watching the fight but, man, I'm sure it sounded like a whole gang when I started howling, screaming at the top of my lungs, hooting, clapping, and literally jumping up and down out of my seat when Pacquiao unleashed a powerful left hook that knocked Hatton down in Round 2. To be honest, I didn't expect it to be that easy and quick. I've wanted our Filipino champion to win but I've also expected a tough fight considering how good his boxing opponent was. We paid 50 bucks to watch it on Pay Per View and the fight was over in less than 6 minutes, lol! Nevertheless, I'm sure all Filipinos who have watched the show live in Vegas as well as those who watched it on Pay per view didn't mind the quick bout, so long as the result is our champion being triumphant in the end. Manny Pacquiao is the world's greatest fighter in this generation and I'm so proud of him for giving honor to our country once again. Congratulations, Pacquiao! You're the best!!!

Our champion did a quick prayer before the fight

Pacquiao and Hatton

A powerful left-hand blow into Hatton's chin send him down to the canvas on his back in Round 2

Manny Pacquiao coming out victorious

The new International Boxing Organization (IBO) light welterweight champion