On blogging

I have been in and out of blogging for quite some time now. And to be honest, I am struggling. I have yet to find my voice and my style, and consistently write and publish posts that are reflective of what is truly going on in my head.

I started blogging in i.ph (thevideokequeen.i.ph) probably around 2006 or 2007 and have since lost all my posts there when i.ph went on “permanent vacation”. Back then I wrote about my thoughts, how I felt about stuff, whatever happened during the day, or a huge event that I went to. Then I moved to blogspot around 2009 (thevideokequeen.blogspot.com), which I have managed to keep until now, albeit missing a lot of posts from around 2010 to 2012. That was the time I had a self-hosted blog (thevideokequeen.com) on WordPress.org, a move that was totally unexpected, but proved to be quite fulfilling. The idea of managing and focusing on building your own site actually made me write more, focusing on music and events, and making concert or album reviews. I really enjoyed what I was doing, and then the site got hacked. Unfortunately, I don’t have any backups on my posts and lost everything. I tried to post on my original blogspot account, but the pain of lost memories lingered. I lost steam.

All throughout these blogging “episodes”, I have retained the blog title “videoke queen.” I guess maybe it’s because it is only when I am singing, facing a videoke machine, that I learn to let go and just enjoy the song. I edit a lot when I write. And if I am left to do as I please, I will edit and critique my work until I end up not writing anything. It’s awful. My blog title, I think, is my subtle reminder to let go and be unafraid to share my thoughts. It’s a work in progress.

Fast forward to several years and unwritten stories, I find myself in a different location experiencing a lot of new things and meeting a lot of people. For the past year, I have resorted to posting photos on Facebook to capture these “moments”. It’s not enough, though. I realize I have to go back to writing again and sharing the blizzard of insights and ideas whirling inside my head. It’s time to revive the videoke queen but this time, I guess I will be sharing different stories. I will try to make it more personal, and reveal more of my thoughts rather than just chronicling a concert or a show. Thus, expect posts on various subjects from now on. It’s a huge risk for me, opening up like this. But I guess the best way to connect to people is to give more of myself.

Have you ever struggled like this?  If yes, how did you deal with it?

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Mr. Big Live in Manila 2014

Written and posted for Manila Concert Scene 🙂

Mr. Big rocked the Mall of Asia Arena last Halloween (October 31), making it their third time to perform in the Philippines to the delight of Filipino rock fans.

The show started at around 8:50 pm, and when the lights dimmed and the crowd went wild, I knew this would be an energetic show. Mr. Big, the American rock group composed of vocalist Eric Martin, lead guitarist Paul Gilbert, bassist Billy Sheehan, drummer Pat Torpey (who, according to Mr. Big’s official site – mrbigsite.com- is currently battling Parkinson’s disease) and tour drummer Matt Starr, gave an amazing rock show with more than 20 songs!

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Fans looked forward to hearing their old hits such as To Be With You, Wild World and Just Take My Heart. This longing was satisfied by Mr. Big and more by also playing new songs off their latest album The Stories We Could Tell, released just last September 2014. The concert was such a treat for guitar fans. If you were a guitar enthusiast, you would definitely love the group’s dynamics and serious display of musicianship onstage.

There was some serious shredding that night, with Paul Gilbert letting his guitar sing beautifully in almost every song. He also had an electrifying guitar solo during the middle of the show. Not to be outdone is bassist Billy Sheehan’s 5-minute bass solo, who was introduced later in the show by Eric as “the real Mr. Big”. His was the best bass solo I have ever witnessed live. It was hypnotic and beautiful.

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One of the memorable parts of the show is when Paul and Billy had a guitar face-off, which instantly made me think of friends who would have loved to witness such a crazy music battle. Mr. Big also gave their Filipino audience a surprise when drummer Pat Torpey (who was playing percussion beside the drum set) suddenly took over the drums and played Just Take My Heart. The audience were cheering especially when Eric exclaimed “Pat took a special trip to see you, Manila!” As the show progressed, one could notice a difference – an evolution – of Mr. Big’s music from their formation in 1988 and to their most recent album. Truly, they have come a long way but still kill it on the guitars and vocals.

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The band loved performing for their Filipino fans so much that after their supposedly final song, Addicted to that Rush, they played five more songs (including their monster hit To Be With You) for their encore and even switched places/instruments at one point

Congratulations to Pulp Live World for making this happen! Thank you so much Manila Concert Scene and Kris Rocha (Kris Rocha Photography) for making me a witness to this iconic show!

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Malasimbo Music Festival 2014

I’ve been hearing about how amazing the Malasimbo experience is for the past couple of years so I decided, well, I’ll make it happen this year. So Piso for Malasimbo was set up (Just kidding! But I did save up for this), tickets were purchased once released, and accommodations were booked in advance to maximise our money’s worth. They say spend on experiences and not on things, and yes, this was all worth it. I must say, this weekend has been incredible. It was the perfect opportunity to relax, reflect, and soak in all the good vibes the place and the event has to offer. The music, the concert grounds, the people, the vibe, Puerto Galera- everything is just beautiful.

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Festival grounds at dusk

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You can find art installations scattered all over

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Poi and hoops workshop

RFID tag (serves as gate pass and wallet - just load and swipe for food and drinks. Sobrang high-tech!)

RFID tag (serves as gate pass and wallet – just load and swipe for food and drinks. Sobrang high-tech!)

It was amazing how everything was set up. The acoustics were fantastic even though it’s an open-air venue. During the event, one could choose from just chilling/lying down on the grass, dancing in front of the stage when you feel like it, wandering around the festival grounds appreciating the art installations or the Mangyan’s native wares, or getting your pick of what to eat or drink. You’ll find food stalls and tables and benches just behind the stage. The ‘dabo ‘dobo (rice topped with chicken adobo and served on coconut shells), kesong puti on pandesal, and that legit bibingka were so goooood!

Omar brought some soul Sat night

Omar brought some soul Sat night

Jose Gonzalez and his sweet guitar skills captivated the audience Sunday

Jose Gonzalez and his sweet guitar skills captivated the audience Sunday

IMG_7113 To be honest, I didn’t take a lot of pictures or videos during the performances because I just wanted to be in the moment and soak it all in. All that new music is refreshing and I was just too happy to be present, swaying to the beat and getting lost in island rhythm. I particularly loved Kooii, Jordan Rakei, Jose Gonzalez, Similar Objects, Lowleaf and Robert Glasper Experiment’s cover of Get Lucky (Daft Punk). Mishka Adams got a lot of love from the crowd and was so gracious during the streaker fiasco in the middle of her set. We were right at the top of the amphitheatre and this naked guy just appeared on our left and started walking down towards the stage. He got some cheers alright. You never really know what to expect from this festival. Haha! During the day, we would either chill on the beach or do some activities like snorkelling or parasailing.

One highlight of the festival, I think, is the surprise performance by Baco, Oriental Mindoro’s dance troupe Sunday night. They performed a version of pandanggo sa ilaw to showcase Baco’s Festival of Lights. It was a nice way to show a bit of Filipino culture to all the foreign visitors at the festival. It was so beautiful! A Proud to be Pinoy moment!!

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The topic of pricing always came up during this weekend. My Aussie friends definitely found this festival way cheaper than what they have back home considering the quality of the artists, the beauty of the venue and Puerto Galera as a whole. But as I was explaining to them, the way the festival is priced isn’t really for the general Filipino audience. For us, this is something that has to be planned beforehand if you want to experience a relaxing weekend getaway. It’s all good, and definitely a perfect way to start summer. I am looking forward to attending again next year with my sister, my ultimate concert buddy 🙂 Kudos to the organizers of Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival! Now I know why everyone who has ever gone to Malasimbo can’t stop raving about it and just come back year after year.

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Barbie Live! The Musical December 11-15, 2013 at the MOA Arena

Yes, my Facebook feed is filled with weddings, engagements, baptisms and all the cute pictures of kids and babies of friends and relatives these days. So when I got an invite from the SM Mall of Asia Arena for Barbie Live! The Musical, I thought “Yes! Finally I have something to give these guys”. Hahaha!

It’s interesting that Barbie, THE doll, now has a musical to its name. I’m sure this production will be filled with glamour and glitter, amazing fashion, and some pretty lights and sounds. 

Barbie LIVE! will delight generations of Barbie fans and will leave the audience feeling entertained and inspired,” said Lori Pantel, Vice President, Barbie Global Marketing. “EMS Entertainment has brought together an experienced, industry-leading creative team and brilliant cast to bring this fantastic story to life in a fun and magical way.”

Barbie Live! The Musical opens today, December 11, 2013 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena and runs until December 15, 2013. Tickets for Barbie™ LIVE! is now available in all SM TICKETS outlets located in all SM Cinema ticket booths. For schedule and ticket information, visit www.smtickets.com or call 470 2222.

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Barbie™ LIVE! is promoted in the Philippines by Vivre Fort Entertainment and Happy Junior Productions in cooperation with Mall of Asia Arena, SM Cinema e-PLUS Tap to Pay, Richprime Global Inc., Toy Kingdom, Barbie Store Philippines, myDSL, LG, Astroplus, Intercontinental Manila, ABS-CBN, Studio 23, Velvet, Lifestyle Network, Fox International Channels, ABS-CBN Publishing, Businessworld, Philippine Star and 105.1 Crossover.

To know more about Barbie Live! The Musical, visit www.eplus.ph. ePLUS Tap to Pay members get a special 20% discount on Barbie Live! ticket purchases by simply presenting their ePLUS Tap to Pay card at SM Tickets outlets nationwide.