Gloria in Manila

U2 | The Joshua Tree Tour 2019

The Joshua tree, which in fiercely adverse conditions, was seen by U2 as a symbol of faith and hope in the midst of aridity. The tree was named, by early Mormon settlers, after the Old Testament prophet Joshua as its branches reminded them of Joshua raising his arms to pray. — Valentina Magli

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After four decades, U2 has finally found its way to the PH.

I literally cried when they sold out 2 nights in Singapore. I mean these are legends, and it might be the only time I will ever get to watch them perform live and I missed my chance.

Blessed by the universe, they decided to add a PH leg closing their tour and I was so so so happy. I was like, GOD thank you for listening to me! And what was interesting, their VIP floor tickets sold cheap! It was like the universe was saying okay go on, watch and have fun.

Dec. 11 – Concert Day

Woke up at 3am to catch my 5am flight to Manila, it was pouring but I was too full of excitement, it didn’t really bother me. What turbulence? lol.

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After lunch, we drove through the almost 2-hour traffic up north to Bulacan, to the Philippine Arena where they will be holding their concert and was greeted by the blaring pipe-in of Where the Streets Have No Name on repeat for the next 4 hours. The crowd was very diverse, from Boomers to Gen Z, it was a picnic at the parking lot with all the collapsible chairs and coolers of beer, while waiting to queue.

Started queuing at 4:30ish to claim our tickets and get into the venue.

We finally got inside after queuing for more than 3 hours and was welcomed by a 200 ft × 45 ft state-of-the-art 8K video screen that flashed a loop of varied poetry from acclaimed poets and novelists from around the world, even featuring poetry from our very own Bino Realuyo, Eric Gamalinda and Dr. Jose Rizal as a prelude to the concert that started a little past 9pm.

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After The Whole of the Moon played by the Waterboys, I knew it was cue that the concert was about to start and we made our way through the mosh pit to the front of the stage. Just as the lights went out, Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam took the stage and kickstarted the show with Sunday, Bloody Sunday and everyone was up on their feet, hands swaying, singing, screaming.

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After a couple of songs, Bono paused to greet the more than 45,000 people in the arena “Mabuhay!” And likened to a church service, Bono made known his prayers for an epic night of rock n roll transcendence.

Then they started singing Bad from the 1984 album Unforgettable Fire, and I got so overwhelmed, I started crying. How wonderful that one of my favorite songs was being played live by legends right in front of me.

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As the concert progressed into the Joshua Tree album, the ginormous wall morphed into a backdrop of American deserts, endless highways, emblematic mini movies and a play of psychedelic visuals towards the end.

At one point, U2 dedicated the song Ultraviolet (Light My Way) to pay tribute to women game changers, to women who came together to rewrite history. To quote Bono: “When women in the whole world unite to rewrite history as her story that is a “Beautiful Day.”

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This included Filipinas Lidy Nacpil, Cory Aquino, Lea Salonga, and Maria Ressa. And so much blah has been thrown at U2 being political and shit. The band’s been playing freakin punk rock since 1976. For those unaware of the genre (and are so called fans up until..), it’s supposed to be political, look it up. They’ve always had a reputation for their strong humanitarian conviction and activism, so get over it.

Playing their encore, some songs were accompanied with Tagalog subtitles, just shows how inclusive this band is.

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After thanking everyone who came and stuck with them throughout the show, expressing their admiration of the indoor stadium, making mention that the Philippine leg is their 2,050th show, that not having come sooner, they have no excuse, and Bono saying ”from our single island to your thousand islands, thank you for making us feel so welcome on your islands, you’re making a new history for yourselves but the truth is, none of us are really an island and what happens in one country affects the other side of the world. From typhoons to drought, the way we live in one country affects life in every country. There is no them, there’s only us. We are…,” they closed with One, from their 1991 album Achtung Baby.

The concert ended at almost midnight and up to leaving the arena, I’ve been singing love is a temple, love the higher law, we got to carry each other, carry each other, some serious case of LSS.

And through the grueling exodus exiting from the car park that lasted around 1am to arriving BGC at almost 3am — took a shower, ate a bit of breakfast (dint realize I was starving from the concert) and went to the airport at around 5am to catch my 7am flight home and straight to my seminar.

Literally no sleep for more than 24 hours, but having endured the traffic, long queues at the ticket booth, food stalls, comfort rooms and the arena, and coming down with fever and all, just to experience an impeccably choreographed 2-and-a-half-hour show and hear the uncannily seamless voices of the band performing live and up close, was golden. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

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Here is their PH setlist:

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Gloria

New Year’s Day

Bad

Pride (In the Name of Love)

The Joshua Tree:

Where the Streets have no Name

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking for

With or Without you

Bullet the Blue Sky

Running to Stand Still

Red Hill Mining Town

In God’s Country

Trip through Your Wires

One Tree Hill

Exit

Mothers of the Disappeared

Desire

Encore:

Elevation

Vertigo

Even Better than the Real Thing

Every Breaking Wave

Beautiful Day

Ultraviolet (Light My Way)

Love is Bigger than Anything in its Way

One

 

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Thank you U2 for the once in a lifetime experience and thank you Poi and Jobelle for sharing this epic night with me! Truly magical.

xx

DMV

Enemies of the Heart | Guilt

Subscribed to this devotional recently and I’m just gonna leave Day 2 here. Just in case you stumble across this, read up.

Andy Stanley: Enemies of the Heart 

Devotional Day 2

“Fessing Up”

Scripture: 1 John 1:5-10

The first enemy of the heart is guilt. Guilt is the result of having done something we perceive as wrong. The message from a heart laden with guilt is, “I owe!”

Consider the man who runs off with another woman and abandons his family. Without realizing it at the time, he has stolen something from every member of his family. He has robbed his wife of her future, her financial security, and her reputation as a wife. From his children’s perspective, this man has stolen their Christmas, traditions, emotional and financial security, dinners with the family, and so on.

Now, the man who did all this doesn’t think in terms of what he has taken. Initially, he thinks in terms of what he has gained. But the first time his little girl asks him why he doesn’t love Mommy anymore, his heart is stirred. He now feels guilty. Dad owes.

Nothing less than paying that debt will relieve a guilty heart of its burden of guilt. People try to work it off, serve it off, give it off, and even pray it off. But no amount of good deeds, community service, charitable giving, or Sundays in a pew can relieve the guilt. It’s a debt. And it must be paid or canceled for a guilty heart to experience relief.

How do you get your guilt canceled? The answer comes in one of the first Bible verses I memorized as a child: 1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (kjv).

Confession has the power to break the cycle of sin. And like most medicinal remedies, it works when applied properly. Proper application happens when we confess our sins, not just to God, but also to the people we’ve sinned against.

Guilty people are usually repeat offenders. And as long as you’re carrying a secret, as long as you’re trying to ease your conscience by telling God how sorry you are, you’re setting yourself up to repeat the past. However, if you start confessing your sins to the people you’ve sinned against, odds are that you’re not going to go back and commit those sins again.

Confess both to God and others, and you will slay this enemy of your heart.

What are you feeling guilty for? Confess your sin to God and to whomever you have hurt. Do it today.

“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:5-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Bewitched by Children’s Laughter

I did not dream of having kids. It was never part of the plan.

I wanted to write and live in different places, experience this diverse, expansive earth everyone keeps talking about.

At some point, I even wanted to go to outer space, discover aliens, leave footprints on the moon, trek Mars, name stars.

But you see, life has a sick sense of humor and who would have imagined I’d end up birthing 3 boys instead.

The irony.

I wasn’t ready.

Stuck in the mundane.

I think I’ll never be ready.

Fine, joke’s on me.

But I kept on, even when my mind was in total chaos. I still keep on.

I had the choice to get away, to run away as I always do, but I stayed.

And trying to be a mother, keeping up a facade of this supposedly strong person and parenting alone while my heart shattered into infinite pieces, was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure.

But oh, the laughter of children, the sweetest songs, such beautiful music to my ears, I could listen to for a lifetime.

The course of our lives sometimes do not play out like how we pictured it in our heads but somehow, we always end up where we should be.

And most times, much happier.

 

xx

DMV

First of the Year | 2018

2017 brought me a lot of adventures (and misadventures); a lot of uncontrolled laughter (and unnecessary bawling); a lot of realizations (and a bit of confusion); a lot of reconciliations and healing; a lot of color and an ocean of words; a lot of scary firsts and wonderful endings.

Keeping my head above water, surfacing with a stronger and wiser heart.

To everyone who’s been part of my rollercoaster, thank you for sharing your pieces with me, you’ve made me whole.

Going into 2018 with 2016 hair, uncut nails and a whole lot of I don’t give a damn 😂

First of the year with the loves of my life

Cheers all!

xx

DMV

Infinite Apologies

When apologies fall on deaf ears and reconciliation is overlooked by blind eyes.

A half smile.

I felt the distance in your voice when you asked how I was as I sipped my coffee; it left a bitter and sour aftertaste of pride and anger and hurt.

Quiet dead spaces.

I am sorry.

I keep wishing these three words could restore the fault lines I moved that quaked our existence and paint the cracks I created with gleaming peace.

And I will not stop.

Because I understand my mistake and I am pained just the same.

Because you are invaluable and beautiful and loved.

We live through a multitude of things, from life changing experiences to extraordinary adventures to immense sorrows and uncontrollable laughter.

And moving along, we stumble upon people who shape us and lift us out from the weighted burdens of life.

Some leave an indelible mark and these are the ones who are most fragile to keep.

We are not invincible and our hearts will shatter. Theirs will too.

I am sorry.

And I will not stop.

Because what we had (and I’m hoping we still have) was real, I was as real as you were but I admit I am not infallible and so is everyone else.

I am sorry.

And I will not stop.

Because despite hits and misses, we grew the same roots and bent the same shoulders and broke the same bones and it was okay; our thoughts in place, our intentions clear.

You had me, I had you, and somewhere in between, that was enough.

I am sorry.

And I will not stop.

Because I hold you close to my heart and I will not wait until the dam is full and our waters overflow and will no longer be contained and our heartstrings become tangled and yanked and torn, no I will not wait.

I am sorry.

And I will not stop.

Because I will not let this pass only to be buried and ignored. I will take my chances.

Your presence resonates a rare comfort that lulls a restless soul and I kind of miss that.

I am sorry.

And I will not stop.

Even if you feel agitated and this becomes a vicious cycle of me stepping in, voicing out, just so you could hear and see that I am truly sincere.

I am sorry.

And I will not stop.

Not until you grace me with a full smile that will revive an ebbing fire.

What we shared was the rasp that carved me into this odd sculpture, imperfect but beautiful nonetheless.

I would not have been whole if not for you, that is how much you mean to me.

I am sorry.

And I will not stop.

xx

DMV

 

2017 fresh page

Today starts the first chapter of a new book and as I close the old one and keep it at the memories section of my library, I flip through the pages one last time. I find that it was full of adventure and fun discoveries, new people, new places and new learnings. I find that there were times I became unguarded and it was somehow, liberating. I find there were more laughter than tears, and many more firsts for me.

To the people who co-authored my book, you’ve definitely added more art and color and I’m very thankful for making it really pretty.

As we embark to 2017, may we learn to dream more, share more, laugh more and love more.

To another good year ahead! 🍻

DMV

32nd

Hello August!

So what went down last week.

Bukid kick off

Went up to Michelle’s farm and stayed for the day. Chilled, hiked for a bit and had some incidental digital detox because there was no signal there (haha).

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This and Risa’s cansi FTW!

What’s awesome with the farm’s area is that it includes a 20 minute hike to this hidden treasure.

And nice that the fam and some friends put up these signs along the way.

This is part of the Lunao sulfur river. Entry point is on private property and the owners decided to not keep it open to public to preserve this precious gem. It used to be open and shared to everyone but sadly lots of irresponsible tourists would leave their trash behind.

Portiko Trivia Night

First time to go and it was so much fun! Good brain exercise.

Team R-18! We’ve to stock up knowledge for next Wednesday.

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Check out Portiko Cafe & Lounge

Eat like a Viking

Celebrated with family before flying to Manila, us August celebrants 🎉 Yay for free buffet!

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My loves!

Check out Vikings SM City Bacolod.

Manila bound

Originally my flight out was 9am but Cebu Pacific moved it to 1pm.

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Snapchat: chikiverd

Flight was 3 hours delayed and I was stuck in Manila traffic for 4 freakin hours. Hell.


Had late dinner at Gringos with Jobelle, mojitos and lights off by 12 midnight.

Snapchat: chikiverd

Happy birthday Surf trip

Road trip to Zambales to catch us some waves. First time to try surfing. Left Makati round 4:30am, arrived Crystal Beach 9ish, I think. Way to north was so picturesque and I made super cool new friends.

Good morning 32!

Such an awesome day to go to the beach, weather was great!

Who’s under your table?

They make surfing look so easy but it’s really exhausting! So got out of the water, bought me some beer and chilled on the beach. Perrrfect.

Sunset sesh.

Check out Crystal Beach in Zambales. The place is really nice, the instructors are so friendly and accommodating and the resort’s rates are affordable too.

Got back to Taguig around almost 10pm and had late dinner at Burgers and Brewskies (always) with this bunch. I just can’t miss their burgers, sorry.

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Home bound

Brunch at Locavore. The food is soooo good!

And off to go find some Pokemons (lol). This craze.

Grabbed coffee with these crazies before my flight. Sooooo bitin! I wish I could extend another week haha!

Amazingly traffic wasn’t bad, my flight was only delayed 30 minutes. Super awesome birthday week!

Cheers!

xx

DMV

Encore

I feel the love! This from my friends and colleagues when I got back to work.

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Kids’ day out

Instead of throwing a party, me, my sister and her husband decided to take the kids to theme parks in Manila for Lily’s 2nd birthday.

 

July 1 – MNL Bound

All set! So many firsts for these kids.

From the airport we went straight to Enchanted Kingdom.

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Nice that we still got to avail of the weekday rate plus government discount plus student discount.

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Happy birthday Lily!

Enchanted Kingdom rates here.

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We had Lily’s birthday dinner at Mandarin Sky complete with birthday cake and Tagalog birthday song (haha).

 

July 2

Mark took the boys to buy car parts up at Banawe and had them try Mamonluk.

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Then we met up with fam for Lily’s birthday lunch,

And went to Dreamplay at the City of Dreams in the afternoon.

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Tired chipmunk (haha).

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Dreamplay rates here.

Sneaked in a couple of slots at the Casino while the kids were playing (lol).

Dinner with fam at Dampa and went home at exactly midnight.

 

July 3 – HOME

Our flight was supposed to be at 5:30pm but was very very lucky to be chance passengers for the noon flight. Yay!

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Such a great weekend! Kids really enjoyed, weather was really good, flight was a bit bumpy but we all got home safe and in one piece. Thank you God, thank you universe and Happy Birthday Princess!

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xx

DMV