Awesome Festivals

Genki Umbrellas – The Coolest Transparent Umbrellas in Town… (until everyone has one)

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Are you a fan of transparent umbrellas that you’ve seen Charlotte holding in Sex in the City or Scarlett Johansson of Lost in Translation (see a sample of the umbrellas in Shopcrazy)? The company asked me to review and feature it. I don’t usually write these kind of stuff and I told them that the only way I will put it in my blog is if they would give me 100 umbrellas to give away to OAP readers. They agreed.

So, I’m giving away 100 transparent Genki Umbrellas which comes in white, pink and violet. Just buzz me if you want a Genki umbrella. Reviews and photos will be greatly appreciated. Please send them at [email protected]

I’m reserving the first few umbrellas to OAP readers who already bought Avenue Q tickets and to past winners of the IKEA contest. For the rest, I’ll give it on a first come first serve to people who would ask for it. We need to meet, of course, so I can give you the umbrella, preferably in Makati or Serendra area. I will be giving umbrellas away until supplies last! I can assure the first 50 people who commented below to have one.

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BTW, the umbrellas are really cool! I like the white while Rache loves the violet…and pink. Though they are only cool until everybody in Manila has one. The umbrellas that I have to give away are manual umbrellas and they say that the plastic used is easily worn out. Also, you cannot use it for sunny days since it is transparent.

Watch out for my Genki umbrellas photos — I’m just waiting for the rain so I can get a shot of the Genki umbrella in action.


Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

PS If you want to buy in bulk, I can connect you with the distributor here in Manila.


Hooters Manila and Aidan’s Chicken Wings Fantasy

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After 5 months of waiting, Hooters Philippines opens in Manila Bay, Esplanade, Mall of Asia! Finally, Filipinos can now taste Hooter’s famous chicken wings in Manila. I’m sure you are excited like me. The best time to go is now while the Hooter girls from the US are training the Manila Hooters. Most of them will leave on May 2, some will leave on May 7 while the Hooters from Guam will stay on for a few more weeks. They opened just in time for the World Pyro Olympics — Awesome!

Here is a photo essay of Aidan’s first Hooter experience and some tips:

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A photo-op with Hooter Girls or eating the chicken wings? Aidan surprisingly loves the chicken wings.

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Aidan must be thinking ” Excuse me, can I please finish my chicken wings?”

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T-shirt (P367) says, ” Hooters Girls can’t take their hands OFF me!”

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Hooters Girls Philippines (white sandos only). Our top 3 favorites are Leslie, Rhya, and Erica. Maybe you can request them when you reserve…

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Avenue Q Final Run – 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Miss the Opening Night of Avenue Q’s Final Run!

Avenue Q Farewell Picture Avenue Q: carla felix pic

1. Get to see the first time performance of Carla Guevarra-Laforteza as the new Kate Monster and Lucy T. Slut.
There is a long insider story on why Rachel Alejandro, 2007 Theater Best Actress-Musical Winner for Avenue Q, was replaced by Carla. Carla was a Miss Saigon alumni and honorable mention in the 2007 Theater awards for her performance in “Song & Dance”. Rachel is the soul of the past two sold-out performances of Avenue Q. Can Carla take Kate Monster and Lucy T. Slut to a whole different level? (If you know the insider story, please post on the comments section.)

    Rachel Alejandro (“Avenue Q”). The best word for her turn here is exquisite, if not awesome.
    Among the many pleasures of this musical, Alejandro’s aching rendition of
    “There’s a Fine, Fine Line” will be remembered for some time.

    – by Gibbs Cadiz

    2. If you missed the first two runs of Avenue Q, this is your last chance to see it in Manila.
    Avenue Q is performing in Singapore in late October at the Esplanade Theater for a three-week run produced by The Singapore Repertory Theater. I’m glad that they decided to have a final run in Manila. Don’t miss this for the third time – it is really good!

    “ This definitely is the MUST-WATCH theater event of 2007.
    IT WILL REALLY SUCK TO BE YOU if you miss it!!! ”
    – Spanky Enriquez, Manila Boy

    3. Be the first one to blog about it!
    One of my SEO secrets for my OAP blog is to be the first one to write a review or post about an event. For the first run of Avenue Q, I probably published the first review ever: Avenue Q High on Sept 7, 2007. I got a lot of hits for this and that is why I’m watching on the opening night of Avenue Q: The Final Run. Also, you will be the star if you can participate in the chit chat and buzz about Avenue Q’s opening night.

    “I’m still on an Avenue Q high after watching the final dress rehearsals of Avenue Q last night at RCBC.
    This is the best musical broadway show that I’ve ever seen since Rent in Manila.”
    – Anton Diaz, Our Awesome Planet

    4. OAP is selling the best value tickets for the opening night of Avenue Q’s Final Run!
    In partnership with Ticket 2 Me, I’m personally selling limited tickets to the June 13, Friday 8pm Opening Night and June 14, Saturday 8pm Opening Night for the Avenue Q Final Run. The shows will be sold out before June. I want my OAP friends to never miss this opportunity to watch Avenue Q’s final run!

    Avenue Q is what has become of Sesame Street while we’re away getting a college degree.
    Coming back, we find a grungier, less innocent neighborhood.”
    – Socky Pitargue, Tennis and Conversations

    Avenue Q: The Final Run! June 13, 2008. Friday. 8pm. RCBC Theater
    June 13 Seatplan. Reserve Your Best Seats Now!

    Orchestra Center (P 1, 300). Special Online OAP Price $ 30.0
    Orchestra Sides (P 1,100). Special Online OAP Price $ 25.0
    Loge (P 1,000). Special Online OAP Price $ 23.0
    Balcony (P 500). Special Online OAP Price $ 11.0

    Official PayPal Seal

    All Major Credit Cards are accepted. No Service Fees or Processing Fee. Compare Prices @ Ticket World.

    Avenue Q: The Final Run! June 14, 2008. Saturday. 8pm. RCBC Theater
    June 14 Seatplan. Reserve Your Best Seats Now!

    Orchestra Center (P 1, 300). Special Online OAP Price $ 30.0
    Orchestra Sides (P 1,100). Special Online OAP Price $ 25.0
    Loge (P 1,000). Special Online OAP Price $ 23.0
    Balcony (P 500). Special Online OAP Price $ 11.0

    Official PayPal Seal

    All Major Credit Cards are accepted. No Service Fees or Processing Fee. Compare Prices @ Ticket World.

    Alternatively, you can reserve via email ([email protected]) and pay me in regular peso rates by depositing payment in my BPI bank account.

    5. It is the best Happy Father’s Day gift you can ever give this 2008!
    Manila celebrates Father’s Day on the Third Sunday of June. Tickets to Avenue Q will be the best gift you can ever give this 2008. If you are away from Manila, you can purchase online and let me know if it is a gift so that we can personally wrap it with your greetings. Please specify it in your order above in the comments/ special delivery instructions.

    “Look out for the wonderful performances that make you pause and think “am I reacting to the puppet or the actor?”,

    the darn good singing from most of the cast (a few weak links won’t spoil the broth except for the overly picky),
    moments of feeling transported back to childhood/young adulthood/actually most of life’s roller coaster

    moments throughout the show, and laughter that won’t stop till that last encore.”
    – Mila Tan, Watergirl.
    Awesome Festivals

    7 Tips on Havaianas’ Flipping for the Beach Contest

    Flipping for the Beach Havaianas
    Havaianas launched the “Flipping for the Beach” Contest this summer to discover the unexplored gems and favorite coastal destinations in the Philippines. Department of Tourism Secretary Ace Durano fully supports the contest and declares that the 7 winning destinations will be included in DOT’s focused tourism destination next year. Secretary Durano, together with Vince Rodriguez, Executive Producer of Studio 23 ‘s News Central, Ms. Anne Gonzalez, Managing Director of Terry S.A, and top 7 travel writers in the Philippines will form the panel of judges for the contest. I’m honored to be part of the panel of judges and recognized as one of the country’s top travel writers along side with the editor in chief of Mabuhay Magazine, Travel Life and the other travel publications in the country.

    I’m excited to be a part of the judging on May 10. We will choose seven (7) winners who will receive the following:
    – An exclusive Havaianas pair
    – A 3 day/ 2 night all-expense-paid trip for two to the destination he or she wrote about
    – Summer goodies from David and Goliath, T-Box and Dakine

    Anawangin Beach-12
    (7 Waves in Anawangin Beach. The 7 waves special Havaianas series celebrates the Brazilian ritual of welcoming the New Year. Dressed entirely in white, Brazilians go to the edge of the sea and hop over 7 waves just after midnight. This ritual is believed to bring good luck and to open new paths for the year that is just beginning. I think the 7 waves for Men was inspired by Anawangin beach..)

    Please make sure that you adhere to the contest guidelines:

    1. It should be about a Unique Beach Getaway in the Philippines
    2. Focus on distinctive experiences that you can expect from that destination
    3. Deadline is on May 1, 2008
    4. Write with no more than 500 words!
    5. With at least photos taken at the destination. Make sure to take a picture of yourself in the destination as proof that you have been there.
    6. Document via video (60 to 90 seconds running time in VCD or DVD format)
    7. Photos and videos don’t necessarily have to have Havaianas featured in them. (But if you have one, why not?) 

    For more details on the mechanics, please see flyers and counter-standees in select stores and for other inquiries, please call the “Flipping for the Beach” Secretariat at (632) 7809898 landline, (0927) 6621127 mobile, or email [email protected]

    Some thoughts and tips:

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    Movie Reviews

    U2 3D Premieres in Manila

    rache U2 3D Up Close

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    Official U2 3D Website: U2 3D Movie

    I watched the premier press preview of U2 3D movie last night. I was not ready to witness a historic technological advancement in concert films history. I would agree that this is even better than watching the U2 concert live. At one point in the movie, I felt I was in the front row crowd singing “Sunday Bloody Sunday” with U2. The imagery created by the concert performance and video screens are something to see. You can be intimate with Bono who sings directly in front of you in virtual reality — a defining moment in 3d movie history. The combination of 3d images and text, 5.1 surround sound quality and actual participation of the IMAX crowd, makes the experience surreal.

    It would have been great if the entire crowd in IMAX was standing up with the crowd and singing. But again it was press night and most of the oldies just decided to sit back and watch. I know that you will be watching this specially the U2 fans out there. Please come with a mindset that you are attending a concert and having the best virtual reality interaction with U2 and the stadium crowd. Sing, wave your hands, clap, bring out your cellphones and forget for a moment that you are in a 3d IMAX theater.

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    U2 3D was shot during the last leg of the “Vertigo” tour in South America. U2 is not only recognized for their musical invention but also for reaching out to millions of fans through new technologies. This technologies include the use of video screens during the 1992-93 “ZooTv” tour, LED displays on their 1997-98 “PopMart” tour, and recently, the use of dimensional, light beaded video curtains above the stage at their 2005-06 “Vertigo” tour. They were also the first bands to embrace the Apple iPod device coming out with a U2 branded iPod. Bono wanted to go somewhere magical with the creation of U2 3D. He decided to shoot the South America Vertigo tour to capture the enthusiasm of the crowd who are excited to watch U2 after an eight-year hiatus from the continent.

    Here is a 30 second clip on the U2 3D movie:
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    Our Family Posts

    One Night in Manila

    I’m excited that my short contribution for Lara Day’s One Night in Manila article in Time Magazine was published already. Lara asked three people about their recommendation to people if they only have one night in Manila. I was interviewed together with Jake Macapagal, 40, theater and independent-film actor and JLizette Claudio, 26, head of artist and media relations, MTV Philippines. Check it out:

    One Night in Manila by Lara Day


    Barney Live in Manila!

    Barney Live
    Aidan was speechless. It was priceless to see the wonder on his face when we saw Barney Live on its opening night last Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007. We told him that there is a surprise that awaits him that night. I’m sure he did not expect to see Barney live 🙂

    Together with his cousin Carlos, they danced the night away with Barney. He was so happy.

    Barney Live-3
    Baby Bop, B.J. and Riff joined Barney in his adventures in Manila. It is like watching the actual Barney CDs live. Rache and I enjoyed seeing Aidan, Carlos and other kids dance with Barney.

    Barney Live-2

    This is our favorite Barney song “I Love You, You Love Me” which was the last but memorable song for the night.

    I love you, You love me
    We’re a happy family,
    With a great big hug And a kiss from me to you
    Won’t you say you love me too?

    I love you, You love me
    We’re best friends Like friends should be
    With a great big hug And a kiss from me to you
    Won’t you say you love me too?


    You still have time to catch it until Dec. 23, Sunday @ the Araneta Coliseum.
    For ticket inquiries call 911-5555. P1,575 | P1,260 | P1,050 | P945 | P735 | P525

    Awesome Festivals

    The Why Not Forum 2.0


    For those who missed the first Why Not Forum, check out the second Why Not Forum at Mag:Net Cafe Bonifacio High Street

    The Why Not Forum 2.0
    Jim Paredes of the Apo Hiking Society
    Leonard Co, Ethnobotanist
    Erik Mana, Master Illusionist
    Grace Dimaranan, President of the Animation Council of the Philippines
    Fr. Jomar Legaspi, Founder of Learn.Ph
    The Philippine Everest Team
    + spoken word performance by Juddha Paolo and Kooky Chua

    Related Posts:
    The Why Not Forum 1.0 — Bakit Hindi?
    Light Symphonies and ROX @ Boni High Street


    Awesome Festivals

    The Starbucks Planner

    I can still remember our excitement in the office when Starbucks first opened its first cafe in 6750 building. Some of our meetings then are held in Starbucks so that you are seen as cool. We feel so happy to have our Starbucks coffee every morning. A P100+ Starbucks coffee was a big deal at that time and there was a debate on why you should pay for that price. I realized that Starbucks 6750 opened 10 years ago, December 4, 1997. Happy 10th Year Anniversary to Starbucks!

    Starbucks Planner-2

    For the first time, I will be raving about their 2008 Starbucks planner. They have been doing this for 5 years now and this is the only planner that appealed to us. The leather cover was more than enough for me to ignore the marketing messages embedded into the planner. It is similar in feel to the moleskin notebook that I use. In our office, it is cool to have one of these planners and the race for these planners started last November 6, 2007.

    Christmas Blend Release FIvvNAL, Beverage Release FINAL

    After 24 cups of coffee (12 Christmas blend + 12 usual flavors), you will get this 2008 Starbucks Planner. You can collect the stickers until January 15, 2008. For each redeemed planner, Starbucks will make a donation to Project Sparkhope, a joint program with UNICEF Philippines providing early learning facilities for pre-school children in remote barangays all over the Philippines.


    Mall of Asia

    Manila Bay Cruise by Metrostar Ferry @ Mall of Asia

    Metro Ferry Manila Bay Cruise-5

    Mall of Asia complex is already an integral part of Aidan’s childhood memories. Every time we would go out, Aidan would say “go to SM” or “go to Mall of Asia”. I don’t want to sound like an endorser of SM but it is now part of our daily conversation with Aidan.

    Another awesome addition in the MOA complex is the Metrostar Ferry Manila Bay Cruise. For P120, you can enjoy a one-hour round trip around Manila Bay. Aidan love boats too so having a one-hour ferry ride was awesome! Most of the Manila Bay cruises have disappeared already when the Manila Baywalk was cleaned up by Mayor Lim.

    The Metro Ferry dock is located beside The Shrine of Jesus, The Way, The Truth and the Life (Church across Mall of Asia). I would recommend to take the sunset cruise (5.00pm) or the evening cruise (6.30pm) on Fri/Sat/Sun in time for the MOA fireworks. (I need to check the exact time again because the soft opening departure hours are different from the regular schedule. Please comment if you know the actual schedule.)

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