Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Driver's High

After the concert, we (I, Hoshi, Tcha and Fairy) ate at a nearby Burger King joint. Our conversation started how we all got to know each other and about L'arc En Ciel (of course!) then it evolved to discussing other Jrock acts and that the newer bands doesn't  catch our attention. We wondered. Is it about the lyrics? music style? visual presentation? or...simply because we are getting old? We laughed at such thought. We also discussed about other celebrities such as GACKT and Utada Hikaru. Then we got serious on about work and the people we deal with everyday. We didn't even realized that it's already 12MN! And we missed the last trip for the train.

The inevitable discussion of other Japanese music artists after the concert
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Thankfully, transportation in Singapore isn't a problem. And it's safe too. Hoshi called for 2 cabs and it arrived just after 5-7minutes. We let Tcha took the 1st cab since she'll be traveling alone back to her hotel. Hoshi, Fairy and I took 1 cab together. Our uncle was nice and entertaining. He likes to ask questions and share stories. I can't help but feel how similar this scene is. Most of the taxi drivers here in PH at night will also try to engage you in a conversation. Probably a way to keep themselves awake. Uncle even shared some tips about traveling in Malaysia and how to eat durian without leaving your hands so smelly.  :)

When Hoshi and I got home, I noticed that it's already 1AM. this time, I feel bad that I'll leave Singapore. This was the longest bonding moment Hoshi and I have so far. This really helped to make us closer. We talked things outside of the fandom. About family, work, plans in our career and yes, even love life. Mine's boring tho. XD

Before I sleep, I checked my towel which I used to cover Hoshi's pillow. tsk, tsk.. it has some dye marks already. But good thing, it's not on the pillow cover.

Lost Heaven
After a few hours of sleep, I woke up around 8AM and prepared myself to go to church. I was accompanied by Hoshi's roommate. I think it was a good 15-20minute walk from our place. Also, there's a Buddhist temple. It's just a stone throw away from the Catholic church. This was my first time to see two different beliefs sharing a ground near to each other. You'll get a vibe that everyone really tries to get along with each other.

The mass just ran for 1hr. And when we got home, I organized my things. On the other hand, Hoshi was preparing herself for her church service. Hoshi and I left their home at around 1PM. One of her roommates, Popoy helped us in carrying my luggage. Before I rode the taxi, I hugged Hoshi tight. Who knew that a simple letter in Questor magazine could lead to a friendship that withstood years!

My flight back to the Philippines is scheduled at 2:20PM. I was at the check-in counter already at 1PM. It took only 20minutes to finish the process. I used my free time to look for more pasalubong at their Duty Free shop. I didn't notice the time that it was almost 2PM! I was afraid that I was late but when I got to the boarding gate, we were informed that the flight will be delayed for 1hr since the first flight that day was delayed. Domino effect... Anyway, our flight officially left Singapore at 3:45PM.

I arrived Manila at around 7PM. The moment we were at the PH Immigration counter, I miss Singapore. Not only because my friends are there and L'arc En Ciel had a concert but because it was very organized. Most of us,Filipinos are complaining that the sign boards are confusing. The board says NON-RESIDENT PASSPORT but alas! all of us were asked to line there. One returning resident asked in local language that he's a Filipino and why does he need to line to a NON-RESIDENT PASSPORT counter. The personnel just replied: "Okay lang yan" (translation: It's okay.)
/sigh/ I joked myself: I'm really back in the Philippines.

ROUTE 666 
After the Immigration counter, it was the dreaded Customs counter. Again, the signboard problem. The board says WITH ITEMS TO DECLARE. Even if us, passengers who don't have any item/s to declare, we still need to line up there. The NO ITEMS TO DECLARE counter is closed. I don't get it. In Singapore, both counters are open. When it was my turn, the officer was curious with my boots. Her questions seem to hint that I need to pay taxes because I bought it in Singapore. I told her that I bought it here in PH at a department store. She replied that it still looks new. I told her that I just use it for events such as concerts. She has this surprised look as if she saw a celebrity. NO KIDDING! And she just managed to say: "Singer or Performer ka pala."  (translation: You must be a singer/performer.)
And then she allowed me to pass. /RELIEF/ Anyway, if she insisted that I should pay tax dues for my shoes (hey, that rhymes!), I have an evidence that my shoes were bought here in Manila. ^_^

I went to the receiving area of the NAIA Terminal 3 for arriving passengers. I couldn't find any available Money Changer so I opted to withdraw from an ATM. I saw another disappointment. There were some people hanging out near the ATM counters. The guards doesn't even bother to budge those people who are hanging around and obviously not withdrawing from the ATM. Doesn't they realize the threat of allowing random people in such area? So much for the IT'S MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES campaign. Safety should be a priority! Ohwell... at least I'm back in one piece.

I still have a music hang-over if you may call it. Especially with their ANATA performance.

But this trip is not just about a simple fangirl's trip abroad to see her favorite band. During my short stay there, I was able to experience for myself what our fellow Filipinos are saying about Singapore. I also got a feel of our OFWs' work and compensation expectations if ever a company based in the Philippines would ask them to come back. Most importantly, it also made me closer to one of my friends, Hoshi. We may not be rabid as before with the band and their songs. But it was nice to bond over things outside of fandom too.
I get to see the serious side of Hoshi. I've to say she has her own tough chick side underneath the bubbly persona everyone sees. I leave you now my favorite piece off their concert in Singapore.

Video credit: Youtube/   

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