March 29, 2012

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Launch.

First of all, to anyone who's been following my blog for some time now, you probably know how important this event is for me and why I'm beyond excited to share this moment with you. As it is also the first ever The Girl Around Town entry, you'd know this is my first event ever here in the Emirates! I was fortunate enough to have been invited to the product launch of Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow (HFOW) Foundation  last March 27 at Emirates Towers, Dubai. When I received the invite, I quickly grabbed Brandon (my Blackberry) to save the details on my calendar and literally started counting the days! I can't believe I'd get this chance at all but thank you my lucky stars for making it possible!

As fate would have it, I encountered a few glitches and nearly missed the event! Typical The Girl and The City scenario. I wasn't very familiar with the venue and it so happened I was all alone so I have to figure it all  out on my own. I would like to thank my ninja skills for at least arriving in time to have a decent chat with everyone who's still there. While most of the participants have come and gone, I still managed to meet a few like the lovely ladies behind Glambox Middle East and finally met the face behind the lovely woman named Leah who was really sweet, very accommodating and one gorgeous Benebabe herself.

That's me getting matched and swatched by our very own Kabayan Benebabe Suzy while the other Benebabe Melissa volunteered and gladly took these photos for me. Thank you for taking good care of me, ladies! Always a pleasure to meet Kabayans who are hardly home but always reppin'!

I got matched under the Medium category first and then it was a close call between  Honey "I'm So Money" and Beige "I'm All The Rage" shade after that. It's really so important to try them on so you'd end up with your perfect match. With Benefit's wider range of options including 3 more shades under its 3 main categories, your chances of getting that perfect match is quite possible! I have found mine and went on choosing Honey "I'm So Money".

Lastly, I finally met Gabby - the beautiful face behind Benefit Cosmetics! I have a bit of a trivia about her. I think it's nice that Benefit chose to have Gabby as their model as to not have a face template of some sort to represent the brand. Works for me who's always been the girl who inserts herself in every picture when she can. True in my digital fictional dreams, true with Benefit Cosmetics. *wink* And then I just had to snap a photo of them Benebabes looking so much like girls who just wanna have fun! Aren't they so cute and adorable? Thought so too! 

Thank you so much for the wonderful experience Benefit Cosmetics Middle East and to Leah of Euro RSCG for the invite! I had the best time and again, I couldn't be happier to experience and share another first with Benefit Cosmetics. With the product launch being my first event to go to since TGTC's born and the HFOW being Benefit's first ever liquid foundation in almost 30 years! They say you never ever forget your first time, not going to argue with that! Despite some rough patches along the way, I definitely enjoyed the event! Besides the glitches were all on me and at the end of the day, it was all worth it. If this is what it takes being thenewone in this kind of thing, I say bring it - I'll take it!

I'll be doing a more in depth and detailed post about Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation within the week so if you're interested, please do come back and check it out under WWJS! Thanks for reading! This is one of my fave memories so far and I'm glad to have been able to share it with all of you!

TGTC at the Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Launch
ETA: You can find Benefit Cosmetics on Facebook and Twitter. Just click on the links I shared, like and follow away for beauty updates and whatnots! xx

March 24, 2012

TGTC's Hairstory

Growing up, I've struggled with so much insecurities. Name it, I think I have had it. Hair pains, complexion woes, weight issues, and even the fact that I've been wearing glasses all my life.

Do you remember when I told you about my fear of going to fitting rooms and buying jeans altogether? I have had my fair share of salon fear too, something my littler sister Chaching and I have in common. Let's just say hairstylists can be a little too rude when they finally get a sight of our hair. They'd let out comments that while are true can also be hurtful. Hearing them over and over again, complaining about how it's going to take long and how pricey it's going to be just to have it done can really be a killer especially when in a salon filled with girls of your same age. Letting out jokes and making a funny feat out of your greatest insecurity can be a battle a little tough to handle. At your awkward teenage years, it can be deadly.

During my younger days, my Aunt would take me with her to the salon and have my hair done the way hers would be. That's why I started off highschool with the shortest possible hair and that's also when I learned a pixie cut will never ever work well with me, unfortunately. I'm looking at you, Audrey Hepburn. Lesson learned the hard way so the years after that, I became the most predictable girl when it comes to hairstory.

As much a I hate to admit this, I haven't had full control of my hair eversince I started with the infamous rebonding treatment and that's been going on for a decade now. My hair rebonding budget has defined both my hair length and my hairstyle for years! And I think that's the biggest mistake I've made as far as hairstory's concerned. It's always been rebond-trim-repeat. I didn't have further experimental hairstyles. I did not go into changing my hair color. I have had only a total of 3 hairstyles in my twenty something years of existence. I know, predictable and safe and maybe, just maybe a tad boring...

TGTC's Hairstory Circa 2010-2012

They say you can tell a lot about a girl's life based on her recent hairdo because more often than not, a girl's lifestyle change is accompanied by a hairstyle change and the more drastic it is, the more impact it brings. Take the famous Filipino fictional character of our generation, Basha. She's a character played by Bea Alonzo in the movie One More Chance. Basha broke up with her longtime boyf, quit her job and to complete the 380 lifestyle change, had her hair trimmed to the shortest possible length! And then there's me. You can bookmark my life with the "drastic hair moves" I made and so far, I've only had two. One was before making the biggest move of life yet, I decided to get a full fringe! And after experiencing one of the worst heartbreaks this life can offer, I decided to dye my hair semi-blond, or what they call ombre hair.

The Girl and The City's madness of an ombre hair
Looking back now, it was rather an interesting journey. And funnily enough, it all just boils down to acceptance and hardwork. True in life, true with hairdos. Acceptance since I've come to terms with what and what's not suitable for me and my hair type. And I will just have to make it work for my benefit. Hardwork because well, I now wake up extra early to have them blowdried and reach the ombrefied level that I want. Something I've never done nor considered doing before. If only I've discovered these earlier on in my life, I would've saved myself from all those confined and awkward years and I kid you not, literally save myself a lot of money from all those salon trips. And lastly, the courage and the balls to do what you really want to do in life. I've been long wanting to have an ombre hair, you have no idea how liberating and self-satisfying it was to finally look into the mirror and see someone who's finally made it a possibility!

And oh, next time you bump into a girl with such madness of a hair, ask her her hairstory. I have had my hairstory retold over and over again the past days that's why I thought of finally sharing it here on the blog now. But sometimes explanation ruins the mystery of things so when I get asked, I just smile. But hey, it wouldn't hurt to try. So... tell me, how about you? What's your very own hairstory?

March 23, 2012


* Obviously on a Snow Patrol Roll here on the blog and this is my final installment of the experience! Warning: An extremely wordy, as in word vomit heavy, entry ahead, enter at your own risk. HA! :D Happy reading!!! :)

Question. Do you know who Gary Lightbody is? If no, please proceed here. Next question. How about who Tom, Paul, Nathan and Jonny are? If no, please proceed. Last question. Snow Patrol*, anyone? What are you waiting for, read on!!!

An awful shame that before March 9 of this year, I'm only down to 1/3 and my lone yes belongs to the last question. Before you pass on judgments about me being a complete bandwagon of a fangirl, I'm coming clean. I had no idea who Gary Lightbody is. Or Tom, Paul, Nathan and Johnny for that matter. But I have known and loved Snow Patrol since 2000 and late. Fair enough, all right! I've read from an interview that Gary actually has the same observation, regarding them being known as a band but not as much as an individual which is really a blessing, so I guess my argument is valid?

I have been singing their songs inside my head but not really feeling them at that moment. Though I can totally remember a memory of me walking out of the cinema with my friends when we had to stop when we caught a familiar voice suddenly singing a song with some powerful lyrics on the background. The perfect words never crossed my mind cos there was nothing in there but you... It was right after watching Spiderman 3. Took note of the first few lyrics, and voila! I wasn't wrong. It's Snow Patrol*'s Signal Fire. And it has become a part of my own soundtrack as I was undergoing some major changes in my life back then - graduating from college, studying for the licensure exams and being the most infatuated whoever on earth.

It was an entirely different story if you ask my littlest sister, Anei. This time around, with Snow Patrol, she's the intimate version of a fangirl. I didn't know about that too until that night. She's got loads of stories to come with every song, reminding her of a certain person, memory or situation that goes way back during her highschool days. I can't lie, I was kind of surprised how we are really so much alike in so many twisted ways. It's like a fangirl chromosome's been a default in our genes, being passed on from one sibling to another. If you can remember, she made a remark after watching The Script last time, hoping, wishing, waiting it'll be Snow Patrol's turn to rock Sandance the next time around.

They say be careful what you wish for... I say be very, very careful.

The whole set wass magical! You have to believe me when I say they even sound a whole lot better, like ten thousand folds better, during live performances! That's not saying they sound bad on records because that's clearly not the case, that's to stress a point that they actually have so much more to offer as a band if you get the chance to catch them live. Gary's voice is incredibly powerful. I can get lost in it and would not even think of coming back. Jonny's drum beats echoes the loud lubdub's of my not-so-still fangirl heart especially during Fallen Empires which I think is their all-out-performace-level among the bunch! Nathan, Paul and Tom's collective yet individual efforts will get you spellbound, temporarily suspended and permanently distracted to each song's melody and rhythm. Like you're in your own bubble of quiet, trapped inside a snow ball, with all things pretty and sparkly!

I tried to remember every song by heart. I wanted so much to enjoy every bit of the experience because I live for nights like this! Sad they didn't get to perform New York and You Could Be Happy, couple of their saddest songs ever that's got the power of making me cry but heck, no complains! I loved Called Out in The Dark and the way Gary sang it, there's some hotness in there I can't quite put my fingers on, ha! Chasing Cars is overplayed but definitely not overrated, still so beautiful and sincere even more compelling live. But I've always loved Run more. It reminds me of a memory that I never had. You're All I Have is such a bittersweet song that if I'll be asked to dedicate a song to my future whoever, I may pick this one up! "There's a darkness deep in you, a frightening magic I cling to." It was only after the concert when I found out the words to This Isn't Everything You Are, "just take the hand that's suffered and hold on tight, this isn't everything you are". I'm so happy I took a mental video of it which is now my official song for 2012.  When you took the call, how could you know that he'd slipped away last night? When you wish you'd went home days ago, to say goodbye or just hello. Don't keel over now, you bet I won't! So so so happy I got to hear Lifening coming from Gary himself. Him saying those lines now serves as my daily note to self, a reminder of the simplest of things and how "this is all I ever wanted from life". I'm hopeful I'd be able to reach my own Lifening phase and praying I'd recognize it when it's finally happening. When Gary asks for your hand, for God's sake dear, just freaking take it! Just Say Yes is definitely an earcandy! It's so ticklish that it will definitely make you giggle as if somone's tickling your ears! Needless to say, if it was only humanly possible to get punchdrunk from taking and drinking in so much words and emotions and feelings last night, I would've been the drunkest of them all. And will probably suffer the most intense hangover known to mankind and I'm not even talking about alcohol.

I can't remember having such a good time in so long, the last time I smiled and laughed and danced so hard! Well, not since The Script last November. It's a different case if you ask me. With The Script, I came there wholeheartedly. I know every song that they sang that night from the heart. Heck, I even know Danny's whole birth name before coming to that gig. With Snow Patrol, I had nothing but a couple of tracks and a fangirl heart filled with hopeful anticipation. Nothing more, nothing less. Little did I know that night is going to be one of those nights I'd feel very much alive! Up to now, I'm still thanking everything that has made March 9 a possibilty for me! You know how it feels like to miss someone you've never even met? That's how I feel about the whole experience. No kidding. That I'd miss that feeling even if I've never felt it before.

Final Question. When and where did you meet? On a full moon, barefoot in the sand, overlooking the Emirates skyline, with my happy dress on. Lovely meeting you Gary, Nathan, Paul, Tom and Jonny. So, so incredibly lovely. I wouldn't have it any other way.

March 21, 2012


Once upon a time, I met a guy named Gary. He's tall and lanky, cute and awkward. He's funny and totally random too. He's got the happiest eyes to match his lips when he smiles and laughs. His mass of curly hair forms a calculated mess like he was having a very bed hair day which I find a tad sexy. He also plays the guitar and sings quite impressively. He's not reluctant and but definitely a rockstar. He's a loveable jerk and an even adorable clown rolled into one. He's got this familiar feel on him that makes you think you know him from the past or from your highschool but the truth is, before last night, you had no idea who he is. He's like a pair of slippers you'd casually put on after a day's work in high heels. He's comfortable and easy. He is once a dream and luckily enough for me, that has come true and now a memory.
And I live happily ever after.
The End.

Last night, I met Snow Patrol's frontman, Gary Lightbody. In all his velvety voice-sexiest accent in town-skinny legs-adorkable being-scruffy smiling face-all hairy chest-sixfooterish self glory. The night before that, I had no idea who he is, what he looks like and what he's capable of. I was warned and was ready to be swept off my feet. Unfortunately for me, I was wrong. Being swept off my feet alone is an understatement of the century. I was completely and totally blown away.

It was love at first sight.
How can you not love Mister Lightbody, let me count thy ways... 
i. He doesn't talk much. And when he does, it's only to credit the moon, a fangirl's effort, crack us up and crack us up some more. He's right when he said SP*'s shhhload of fun. Can't lie now, they really are!

ii. He took note of the moon and made us all look at it. It was a beautiful flavored and shared moment. I hate myself for not remembering the song from the set he associated the full moon with!

iii. How his voice sounds extremely wonderful and amazing live. So clear. So sincere. So bold. Whenever he'll alter the original tone and make an adlib, girls would go crazy and a massive amount of Aaawww... will arise! Followed with occasional fangirl blabs like Have my son, Gary!, I love yewwww, Gary!,  Gary! Marry meeee! I can't lie. I'd agree to have his son in a heartbeat, too.

iv. Midway through the set, he noticed something from the audience. He went down to get it from a fan wearing it and asked if he can have it, "You're stuck in it? Are you stuck in it?" Turns out it's a personalized SNOWPATROL* paper box robot costume! Guess what happens next?

"It fits me like a glove yeah? Or like a box. " Bonus points for sarcasm!!!!
Adorkable Gary is adorkable!!! Of course we all let out a hearty laugh! Especially when he couldn't get out of it easily afterwards! When he finally did, he said thank you for coming up with a costume and that they appreciate the effort - and that he'll be sure to wear that costume on his next AA meeting! Once again, we all ended up laughing! This guy is definitely something else. His laugh's contagious by the way. Beware. A Gary Lightwinning moment!

"I couldn't get out!" He was bending and struggling and looking as adorkable as ever on stage!
iv. Then he made a dedication. One that sent me over my sentimental edge! A dedication!!! "To you my robot friend, this song is for you." It was Run. It was very touching. I let out a very appropriate jealous fangirl squee.

v. He semi-choked on the last lines of To think I might not see those eyes, makes it so hard not to cry... *insert clears throat hereand then chuckled while singing the next lines. It was the cutest thing ever!

vi. Then came another dedication. This time to the host, Atlantis The Palm, for making Snow Patrol* in Dubai a possibility. It was Chasing Cars. It was one of my infinite moments. I let out both appropriate and inappropriate fangirl squee!

vii. He publicly apologized about having to be a jerk earlier at the hotel lobby, turning down photo opportunities because he's clad in shorts and according to him no one would want a sight of his skinny legs. How adorkable! So he made an announcement, an open invitation that later it'll be his utmost pleasure to have photos taken with anyone all night now that he's wearing trousers. He sounded so sincere and funny at the same time. How'd he do that is beyond me, way beyond me.

viii. The many times he raised his hands in the air - he kept throwing air punches and air push ups! Kept slamming an invisible wall. Hitting his own chest hard with his hand. Every word, every lyric from the heart.

ix. His words. Most of the time, it feels like it's your own. Like he's been stalking your life and magically came up with the just the right song for it. For you. How his singing can make you feel you're alone there with him when in fact there's a sea of 17,000 people around.

x. The way he sways his head from left to right, taking his sexy bed hair with it each time, curly tops jumping on their own, dancing to the music and the beats especially during Fallen Empires.

xi. He's awkward and intense and sincere and funny and carefree. Never thought such packaging is actually humanly possible. Gary Lightbody has defied my thoughts and reality in a span of 2 hours. Now my life is changed forever.

xii. That moment he said goodbye, goodnight and happy dancing.

xiii. Save the best for last. This has got to be my favorite version of all. Gary Lightbody's stunning smiles and genuine laughs. I swear, I die a little every single time. And he did smile and laugh a lot that night. Look at that smile on the upper right hand of the photo, just look!

photos in this set grabbed  from Sandance Official FB Page

PHEW. What a typical fangirl story all right! Girl meets boy. Girl falls for boy... along with half the world's female population. Nope, you cannot quote me on that. That's Marla Miniano's and that's not my name.

Two things. Before and After. I had no idea who Mister Lightbody is; now my fangirl life is changed forever.

Last night, I met Snow Patrol's frontman, Gary Lightbody. It was love at first sight.

March 18, 2012

How To Spend A Friday 8.0

SANDANCE at Nasimi Beach
SANDANCE Festival by Atlantis The Palm at Nasimi Beach is now starting to make waves into the music scene not just around the Emirates but internationally as well! Dubai, being multicultural and an open city as it is, have made hosting an event like this a possibility and a successful one at that! It's like Coachella in the Middle East, by the beach and overlooking the breathtaking Dubai skyline. Or something like that. I've never been to Coachella so that says a lot but I've always figured it as something infused with music and fashion. And if you've ever been to a Sandance event, I bet you'll agree with me that it's a little, if not a little too much, of both.
This is my Sandance 2.0 experience just as it is the Sandance 2.0 for the year 2012 as they kickstarted this year with SandanceNYE and I heard it was a blast! Since it happens fairly on Dubai's version of a weekend (aka Friday), I blocked the date and day off my non-existent social calendar! How convenient, aye? It also keeps getting better and better!This time around, Snow Patrol* is the one headlining with DJ Calvin Harris alongside DJ Yoda and Erick Morillo spinning on the side so you can tell how it's going to be a this-shhhh-cray kind of night! Maybe the line-up also explains the ticket price hike. I remember it was just 200 & 350AED for REG and VIP respectively during The Script's. Now it's 200, 250 and 400AED for ADV, REG & VIP. And from just about 12,000 Sandancers last time, we were whopping 17,000, give or take more, this time around! The open beach venue's packed to its core and that's probably still an understatement! In Tagalog, hindi mahulugang karayom!!!

I went with my sister Anei and my sister from another mother, Teen. When we were about to enter, a Kabayan approached us and asked if he can tag along if only for the door policy purposes so meet, Rio. Ironically, he was there for the DJ sets and had no idea who Snow Patrol was! We thought that's cool! Because then we can compliment each other as that night was all about Snow Patrol* for us! And then he turned out to be really one funny fella in the shortest time we shared walking towards the loo to retouch after our entry so we found ourselves a new found friend and added company that night! We were one of the few Kabayan bunches out there as there weren't many which is sad. It would've been nicer if we will be hopping from one group to another, but given that we were outnumbered by them with the sexiest accents in town, I have yet to find the courage to do that. Even liquor courage wasn't enough the last time I tried. HAHA! So maybe next time, or maybe next lifetime. Whichever comes first.

In the Philippines, we've got front acts before the concert proper, sometimes a band alone or a solo performer and more often than not, they're underrated by the concert goers. I was used to that kind of setting until Sandance. We had M People with a blast from the past lineup, DJ Yoda and Dan Greenpeace spinning before SP* and the most surreal thing happened! I ended up dancing the hours of anticipation away! I danced like a crazy person, the as-if-nobody-is-watching kind of dance! I cannot even begin to remember when was the last time I danced that long, heck! The last time I danced, period! It was as good as things - barefoot in the sand, with my happy dress on, under the Emirates' full-moon-lit sky, surrounded by beautiful people, dancing into some music - can get. I was already the happiest sans Snow Patrol. No kidding. So just imagine what happens next when they finally took over the stage that night!

Crowd's awesome as expected! Free flowing alcohol drinks from the bar and from your neighbor's pitcher. If my dress can only get drunk, it would've been as I've been the recipient of spillage a couple of times but I'm not complaining! Though I really hope the tightness of the security at least covered the strictly 21+ rule cos there's no way a minor can handle this kind of chaos! You know it's been a good night when your legs are wobbly and your vision's blurry and your voice's slurry - or at least that's what majority of the crowd looked like! You can't really blame people if they get wasted and had too much of a drink but that doesn't mean they can't be held responsible for their actions, particularly their bad behaviour. And honestly, our encounter with some Arrogant Araboies pales in comparison to some of the major things I've heard (or at least read) from Facebook! So I'm going to let that slide! I loved this night so much to have doubts and complains and regrets! Especially not when the skyline started beaming with neon lights! The fireworks has started right after SP*'s set! We were making our way out of the crowd when this happened so we basically just stood right where we were for a good ten minutes and just watched the fireworks! One awesome thing after another, only at Sandance!

By the time DJ Calvin Harris' spinning, we were back to our original place, our own little spot on the beach side's elevated part. I wanted so badly to get back where the party's at but aside from too much people out there already, I suddenly felt all the adrenaline rush subsiding, I'm all used up! My happy dancing monkey self's gone. At least for a good couple of minutes! I did try to enjoy his set, which is awesome and amazing by the way, while sitting on the sand and occasionally dancing in place. Particularly when he mixed up Coldplay's Paradise! That's one of my excuse-my-dancing-in-place-to-myself-but-I-just-had-to moments! Winning! Then a catchy beat suddenly filled the air! "I feel so close to you right now | It's a force field I wear my heart upon my sleeve..." Oooohhh... Now, that's tight!

The rest of the night's spent socializing, at least that's what my sister and Teen ended up doing. My anti-social self took the better of me and transported itself into a parallel universe. But... what happens there stays there and out of this blog. HAHA! Though part of my parallel thoughts was the realization that I work to live and not the other way around. And I live for Fridays like these! I love weekends well-spent with good company! And Sandance-ing is definitely one of my favourite versions of How To Spend A Friday! Hands down! Already looking forward to my Sandance 3.0, any chance you're bringing Coldplay soon? Because that's the ultimate not going is not option drama!

March 9's not just worth the wait. It's worth the hardwork and patience and I'm not going to lie, worth every extra bucks we had to shed in order to pull off a last minute fangirl miracle. Because my dear, as shallow and as worldly as this may sound, money can buy you happiness. Which is basically a fair deal because you can earn money back, time and happiness? I don't think so. Thanks a mill, Sandance Crew! This is definitely one for the books - erm, in my case one for the blogs too!

If you're a music fangirl and a dork for live concerts like myself, I suggest you make it a habit checking out Sandance's up and coming gigs from now on! To do that, you can either like their page on Facebook or follow them on Twitter for updates, meet and greet chances and even free ticket giveaways. They usually announce the line-up ahead of time so you'll have all the time to save up and prep up because it's pretty pricey for a one night only kind of thing! But it's going to be worth it and you can quote me on that one! They're like our modern day Genie in a Bottle! Make your musical wish now and who knows yours may just come true. Calling all fangirl gods and goddesses! We were lucky enough to have ours granted twice in a row. The Script then, Snow Patrol now. What are the frickin' chances right? It might be your lucky strike next time and when that happens, you know it! See you on the sand!

March 14, 2012

What I Wore To Sandance 2.0

I have had this maxi dress for a while now and I have been saving it for an unknown event in my future. You ever had that feeling over a dress, wanting to wear it during a specific time and place in your life? Have you ever had those moments with your dresses too? Well I had mine with this one from Forever 21 and I can only think about one perfect event to finally wear it out, what with it's boho-beach-vibe and tribal prints all over. Sun. Beach. Sand. Beats. Dance. Bands. Sandance!

Don't be fooled though, I have my denim jacket and scarf with me but they're not in the photos! Because it turns out, I was right about one thing, it was pretty chilly come night time. I really get easily "chilled" that's why dressing up for Sandance this time around, with this kind of Emirates' weather was a bit of a task for me. I thought the maxiness of the dress would've done the trick, I even considered wearing leggings underneath and totally crossed out shorts, cropped & singlet tops on my what-to-wear list! I was literally shaking even with my jacket on that I had to add a scarf and look really awkward amidst the beach venue. I made an effort to curl my hair just for kicks and I liked it! Amazing how your hair and a statement eyewear can add such character to your look! I can't lie, ombre hair and Rayban aviators kind of completed the look I was aiming for that day! The I-may-not-care-but-I-actually-planned-on-looking-as-badass-as-possible look. Kidding! I really just wanted to look like how I feel towards that glorious day of watching your favorite band live in concert - easy, breezy and happy! Check, check aaaaand check!

March 13, 2012

How We Made Snow Patrol Happen

Never ever underestimate the power of a determined fangirl's heart. I still feel so grateful thinking about how we managed to pull off a fangirl miracle with so little time left and limited sources as well.

Facebook Status December 15, 2011: Being the overreacting fangirl that I've always been, y'know... I brag. Irish boyfs are coming to town!!!
December 2011. It was then when we found out Snow Patrol is going to headline the next Sandance happening on March 9! If you can remember, our first ever SANDANCE experience was with The Script last November and I still stand by my words, it was the best concert experience ever! So you'd probably think we'd approach Snow Patrol's similarly - not going is not an option.  If only for the fact that The Script is to me as to Snow Patrol is to my littlest sister, Anei. Honestly and initially, that was the plan.

January 2011. Advanced tickets were sold during the SANDANCE NYE celebration. We were still undecided and we were too stubborn to purchase tickets at once thinking we still have lots of time left. (What were we thinking really??? We obviously weren't...)

February 2011. Reality got in the way. BIG TIME.

March 2011. Tickets are already selling like pancakes and we're still undecided! I kept reading about tickets being nearly sold out 3 days before the said event and we still do not have any in our possession! Monday morning, we thought we were really lucky and it was really meant to be because we were still able to make reservations under our name and we just have to pick them up! But as fate would have it, last Thursday, I'm almost near the place already, it's in Dubai and I came from Sharjah, when I found out it's a bogus and the tickets are already sold out and there's no reservations in the first place and that we are basically screwed! I'm looking at 'ya Kabayan working at McGettigan's Pub! PANIC ATTACK. Go to Plan B.

Our Plan B's basically to be at the venue by 1PM. We had it all figured out. We made it a point to not go home before sundown with nothing but our broken fangirl hearts by making sure we'd be there in time for the first 30 minutes. We were ready. We were not supposed to hear the words SOLD OUT being said right smack into our hopeful faces. But that's exactly what happened.

March 9 | 230PM. We were in line by this time, on queue and it only started moving around 230PM. We were 25 persons away when the line got cut and the men in black suits started waving the most heartbreaking hand gestures ever - the "no more" sign! And then the words followed suit. "We have no more tickets. Already sold out. You'll just be wasting your time in line, under the sun." I refused to listen! This cannot be happening! We've done just about everything for this not to happen! I felt so helpless and well, restless. We were being stubborn by just standing there hoping they'd release at least 50 tickets more! Until they asked for the line to be dissolved! We were just 25 persons away... We're almost there...

Which couldn't have been the case IF ONLY

- we knew about the Metro going off service until 1PM during Fridays
- the next train didn't get delayed
- we didn't consider paying a ridic amount of cab fare from Union to Dubai Internet City station
- the cab didn't take the wrong turn into one of the hotel's entrance
- we fell in line right away rather than going up front and coming back to the other end of it eventually
- it was a one is to one together with the first come first served policy
- we secured an advanced tickets from the very beginning (!!! !!! !!!)
Poor decision making can make or break a fangirl's life. We learned this the hardest way possible that day.

5PM. We stood there under the blasting heat of the Emirates' sun with desperation written all over our faces for about two more hours! We just couldn't make ourselves give up and go home. The people who shared our same fate have done just that - gave up and gone home. At least they have their boyfriends to absorb their tantrums and make things better for them, or at least try to make it better. We don't have that luxury so really, going home is not an option! We were already trying our best holding back the tears, there's gotta be a way. There's gotta be something else we can still do! Anything at this point really!!!

T'was when we saw a light! A random thought crossed my mind and then THE idea! I saw a fairly below 21 looking kiddo talking to one of them men in black suits! Ding ding ding dinggg!!! We still have a way to get in! A spark of hope! All we have to do is look for minors who secured advanced tickets, took the risk but failed and will have no other choice but to sell theirs anyway because they can't get in! That's what the boy's doing, he's trying to make a way in but obviously failing. All that's left to do is wait till we can make our approach! But before I can do that, my friend already spotted 3 more people with a slightly different case but the same consequence - they can't get in so they'd have to sell theirs too! I swear, that moment I felt the weight of my entire fangirl world being lifted off my shoulders! Though I have to say, those were the saddest faces ever. I instantly knew how badly they wanted to watch but they can't and as a fangirl myself, I completely understand how that feels like. I secretly promised I'd make sure to enjoy this night not only for me but also for them. Bless your hearts, kiddos!

630PM. You'd think it's easy breezy after that, yes? Well, it's not. At least for me. The security's higher this time around! They're requiring original copies of your identification cards and as fate would have it part xxxxx, I only brought a photocopy of my passport so I was put on hold!!! They were even asking concert goers to remove their sunglasses/eyeglasses just so they can confirm the appearance on your ID! Ahdksjdldhadhsakhfwietryewigrddsbksgfsdjhgfsdjgskjhfkasfhdhfdsfysdfnslfdsdlhadlafh!!!

The guy in black suit was so firm that I nearly fainted and cried right there in front of him and everybody else when he said I still can't get in and I'm still on hold! Why. Whyyy. Guess what happens next? I held out my sister's ID, thinking it will serve it's purpose as a guarantor BUT the most bizaare thing happened! He actually scanned it as if it were mine! So when he said, "PROCEED LADIES..." I DIED! I nearly kissed and hugged him right there!!! Looking back, that could possibly be the lone lucky strike we had during the whole time. What perfect timing, what a blessing in disguise - like literally! I was jumping on my way to the next stop which was where they put the barcoded orange band on your arm which also means FINALLY SANDANCE WITH SNOW PATROL IS HAPPENING FOR ME!!!

March 05, 2012

WWJS E02: Lindsey Kelk's I Heart Series

So before I jump head on to this book reviewing thing I have been holding off for so long already, I did make a research on how to go about it. For a while, I wanted to make my English teachers proud by coming up with a book report format but that's tight. I figured I'd just drop the guidelines and do it the Joys' way which also means the same disclaimer applies, you know the drill. Let the bookclubbin' blabs begin!

WWJS. Lindsey Kelk, according to, is a British writer and children's book editor. Lindsey likes to wear shoes, shop for shoes and judge the shoes of others. But according to me and my limited-to-her-novels-that-I-marathoned-during-the-first-month-of-the-year knowledge of her, she's basically someone I will owe whatever awesomeness my life will become this 2012! In fact, I am going to start with a handbag!
My January in words: In love with a certain Alex Reid and lived the life of a woman like a little girl named Angela Clark.

Angela Clark is a twenty something Londoner who found out about her cheating husband-to-be and his on-going affair with a tennis partner on the day of her bestfriend's wedding while she's appropriately dressed as the bridesmaid. She may have also broken the wrist of the groom while making a bit of a scene at the reception when she discovered that the bride, her bestfriend, knew about it all along and didn't say a thing to her. She may have also booked a flight to NYC on her own, on impulse, with nothing but a pair of Loubs to take with her among the not so many things she's managed to put in her suitcase. Who could ever believe that a massive breakup due to cheating covered with loads of lies all over can shake and break and shatter every fiber of your being can lead to the best days of your life yet? Letting you experience several adventures, taking you into the most unimaginable yet every girl's dream places, allowing you to meet a lot of wonderful people along the way? Definitely not Angela Clark. Well, at least not until she's discovered what life outside London has to offer, far from everyone she knows of, where she started living the life she never knew she wanted, or even existed in the first place!

I judge books by its covers. I know it's not a very reliable statement for someone who's giving book review a shot for the first time but that's just how a book seems to talk to me and get my attention in the first place. And so far, it has only failed me once. HA! Lindsey Kelk's I Heart Series covers, to say the least, hit me right smack in the middle of my book vanity! You know what they say, a book can take you anywhere you wish to be. And who wouldn't want to be in New York, Hollywood, Paris, Vegas and coming this June, in London? Well, not me! Aside from the obvious fact of wanting pretty covers on books and the fact that I almost always end up picturing myself in place of the girl in every chic lit story, I really loved how Angela Clark's life progressed from Day One, also known as her bestfriend's wedding day, the event that changed her life - for good. I found myself living her life in my parallel universe, from letting me expecrience the thrill of what it must've felt like to be in the Empire State Building overlooking NYC's skyline at night to the joy of actually having to write "In a coffee shop" under my favorite slambook question of all times - where and when did you two meet to the inexplicable joy and satisfaction a pretty and glorious handbag can give and how, as womanly as possible, it can make anything better.

Obviously, if you've just been under the rock after a massive break up and thinking of ways on how to finally get back on track, then this book is for you. I mean no offence nor sarcasm, I'm just saying if that's the case, then Angela Clark is most definitely your kind of girl! However, I myself can attest to the fact that while everything else happened due to getting over a certain person and a certain heartbreak, a break up isn't really necessary for you to enjoy this series! I for sure enjoyed it sans any breakup whatsoever. Lindsey Kelk's has managed to keep things interesting by adding few touches of women's weaknesses along the way - boys, bags, shoes, dresses, bestfriendship, travels, shopping, even online blogging! You'd be surprised how the series will let you fall in love with it and how you'll allow yourself to just be lost in Angela's world the whole time you're reading it! As for the recommendation, seriously? Are you not convinced yet? I think my WWJS caption says it all!
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