Monday, October 30, 2023

I was never a Hamilton fan.

Our Hamilton Manila Experience

I was never a Hamilton fan, and I still do not consider myself as one. Sy, however, is a huge Hamilton fan. Humongous. He actually sat me down and forced me to watch it on Disney+ before (100% against my will lol). So, when I heard that the musical was coming to Manila, I made sure to book tickets for him right away.

To be honest, though, I actually tried to get out of it - all the way to the day of. I asked Sy if he could maybe watch with my mom instead, but he wasn't having it.

And so, with a heavy heart (wow drama), we headed to The Theatre at Solaire to watch the show. The upside in my head was that I'd get to watch David Park as Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson. Spoiler: as my luck goes, he ended up not being there on the night we watched. Lol.

Fast forward to us sitting in the Grab. As we were on the way to Solaire, Sy mentioned how excited he was to watch Lin Manuel Miranda... and I panicked. I don't know why I assumed Sy knew that musicals don't work that way; but well, he didn't know. I had to explain that we weren't, in fact, on the way to watch Lin Manuel Miranda; and in true single-mom fashion, I felt like a failure.

When we got to Solaire, however, I knew that I had worried for nothing. Sy started taking photos of literally everything (something he never does): the signs, the merch, heck, even the escalators.

And when we got to the merch store, he was like a kid in a candy store. Let's be honest: musical merch is never cheap, so I was set on buying him the cheapest thing there.

But then he mentioned that his friend was flaunting a
Hamilton keychain at school; so obviously, I felt the need to one-up that kid's parents (even though I have no idea who they are lol) and got him a hoodie. Money well spent, though, because Sy wouldn't shut up about how comfy it was (he wore it right away during the show).

And the minute we entered the theater? My goodness. His face lit up like no other!

Now, it has to be said that, as a self-proclaimed non-fan, I warned Sy that I might fall asleep coz I was hella tired and even asked him not to wake me up in the event that I do... but by the end of Act I, I. Was. In. Tears. Like, bawling-my-ass-out type of tears.

And that's when I remembered why I'm not a fan of Hamilton. While it's true that I don't listen to rap, the main reason why I can't love Hamilton is because of how close it hits home. I hate how I see myself in Eliza (and sometimes even in Alexander Hamilton). I hate how the lyrics of Eliza's songs hit me in a way I can't even describe. And mygahd, do I hate Alexander Hamilton!

By the end of the show, my eyes were so red and puffy, we had to go to the restroom so I could freshen up and get myself together.

The thing is: I had been having trouble crying lately. In fact, the last time I cried was when I was in Europe, so even Sy was a bit surprised. I know I cry a lot when I watch musicals, but Hamilton is different. Hamilton fills my heart with anger and hate, which I guess you could say is the mark of a great musical, but I could never watch it or listen to it of my own accord.

Anyway, after the show, I pretended our Grab was waiting so that Sy would run with me to the parking lot. Naturally, I had to give him the full musical experience; and there, he got to get autographs and take pictures with the cast members. He wasn't expecting it, so the experience was extra special for him. I had honestly never seen him so happy and it made me wish I could go back to a time where I felt the same way when meeting celebs.

In the end, I was more than happy that I went. I got to witness pure bliss on my kid's face. I got to release tears that had been pent-up for months. And the show ignited a fire in Sy that I wish had been ignited before. For the first time ever, he has asked me to take him to more musicals. And as a girl who grew up with an aunt in West End, you can only imagine how esctatic I am to be sharing this beautiful world with him. Here's to more musical experiences with you, my not-so-mini me. I love you!

Thursday, October 19, 2023

The Netflix Doona pop-up is too cute for words!

There's a Netflix Doona pop-up in Manila right now, and I'm so glad I was able to go to the launch because it made my KPop-loving heart oh-so-happy!!!

To be honest, I wasn't feeling well this week; but as God would have it, I was better by the time the Doona events were happening. Woot woot!

I started my day with a Doona press con in the morning, headed to the gym to see how much better I really was, and then I dressed in a Blue Hour Yeonjun-inspired KPop outfit to head to O Mango Six Coffee & Dessert (IN THE SOUTH - OMG!) for the Doona pop-up.

I was internally squealing when I got there because before even entering, I was greeted by Suzy Bae and Yang Se-jong at the windows (OMG x2).

After stepping in, stills from the series were on display alongside outfits that they actually wear in the series.

Yes, this is an actual outfit that Suzy wears in Doona (OMG x3) - and ohmygoodness, she is so tiny!!!

The loot bags were on point too - complete with banners, photocards, and a lightstick (OMG x4). It actually felt like a K-fanmeet (if you know me, you'll know I know what I'm talking about).

I actually thought that was all, but when I walked in, I was BLOWN. AWAY. The entire venue was fully decked out in Doona-ness. There was even a cute photo booth that we could take photos to our hearts' content.

At the event proper, which was being streamed live from Korea, I even got to ask Suzy a question (OMG x5). I was so shookt because I initially didn't think much of it. I thought several people in the room would be asking questions, but it turns out I was the only one from the Philippines who was gonna ask one. I also talked at the wrong camera the entire time, but whatever. :p

The highlight of the event for me, though, was getting to chika with my friends and Netflix fam, and meeting new people. Even though clients were up my bum with work the entire night, I had such a great time. And I was sooooo happy I got to have some good coffee and spicy tteokbokki to cap off my night (OMG x6)!

That's a lot of OMGs. Sorry. Anyway, you can still catch the Doona pop-up at O Mango Six in ParaƱaque (it's Wazeable and is right by City of Dreams) until October 21, 2023 - just in time for the release of Doona! Doona starts streaming on Netflix on October 20, 2023. 

Watch the trailer here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

What's your biggest wish?

I recently asked Syrena what his biggest wish is and he answered, "Transformers figures". Since then, all I could think about is how nice it would be to be a child again - to not have to worry about paying for the next bills or having to get up to work to pay the said bills.

I started thinking about what my biggest wish is, and all I could come up with is, "I wish to be healthy - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually."

It's almost like fate that MaxiLife invited me to their event in cooperation with Make-a-Wish Philippines, really, where they granted the wishes of children with critical illnesses.

I took Syrena with me to show her how much joy simple gifts can bring to these children. But when we got there, I realized that Syrena shares that exact same enthusiasm for lil things. Basically, it's me that's the problem. Lol. It seems I had lost sight of the joy that lil things can bring.

For these children battling critical illnesses, the power of wishes is more than just a source of happiness. It is a source of strength, and the event served as a testament to the transformative power of wishes coming true, underscoring both organizations’ commitment to uplifting lives and safeguarding wishes.

Mervin L. Pobre, PhD, President and CEO of MaxiLife, said something great: "In every child's wish, we see an opportunity to make a difference. We believe that each moment counts. We are not 
providing financial support for their medical needs but instead inspire hope through granting their wishes and empower them to wish bigger."

I seem to have lost my spark to believe in wishes after I was diagnosed with an unexpected illness recently. But after witnessing this event (where I, by the way, stayed completely silent all throughout because I was holding back tears... ya know, gotta put up a strong front in front of my child - and also didn't wanna ruin my makeup lol), I made a vow to try my best to make the most of every single day, no matter what.

According to a 2021 report by the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME), over 
60,000 children die annually before their fifth birthday because of medical complications in the Philippines. Despite this, numerous children in critical conditions still wish to grow up and have fun with their friends and family.

Looking back, despite all of my (seemingly never-ending) complaints, I am so blessed to have made it this far in this journey called life. No matter what happens, I know that I lived it fully, but I now also make sure to reach out to the people I love every single day. I make sure I tell them I love them. I make sure to help people, if even just in the small ways that I can.

Sometimes, we do things without thinking twice about how much they matter to other people; but trust me: every lil thing matters. So ask someone how they are. Check up on people. Let them know you're there for them. The smallest things matter. Everything you do for others matters.

Through this event, MaxiLife provided families with a chance to live the way they should. Partnering with Make-a-Wish Philippines and granting children’s wishes at the event was actually perfect for them because they spread awareness about the opportunity to be the catalyst of someone's life-changing moment, and I am so glad I went.

I initially went to teach my kid a lesson. Who knew that I would end up being the one walking away with something valuable?