James Patterson's $300,000 Self Destructing Book Called 'Private Vegas'.

Money can't buy everything but $294,038 can buy you James Patterson's self-destructing book entitled 'Private Vegas'. Yes, you read that right almost three hundred thousand dollars for a SELF-DESTRUCTING book.  Like, literally self-destructing.   

Fortunately, James Patterson chose a number of individuals who can read this book for free and I was one of the lucky ones.  Watch this 30-second video before I tell you about how I survived reading a self-destructing book.  

Papal Visit 2015.

This might end up like as a post of scattered thoughts because I don't know where to begin. What I do know is that I want to document and share my experience attending the Concluding Mass of Pope Francis in Quirino Grandstand and Luneta Park.

Flashback to 1995.   Pope John Paul II went to Manila for World Youth Day.  I remember watching him on television and didn't want to do anything else.  I cried.. I smiled.. The feeling was indescribable! Until now I still wonder why we didn't go to Roxas Boulevard, especially since we had a place in that area, to see the Pope in person. 

Twenty years later, it hit the news that the new Pope was scheduling a visit to the Philippines.  Pope Francis who has everyone awed from his colorful pre-papal history (he worked as a bouncer and admitted to being dazzled by a young lady during his days as a seminarian) to his interesting stands on controversial issues (gender identity, annulment, climate change, atheists and other religions). I wanted to see him but I didn't know how or when.

All I had left was prayer.  I prayed and prayed and as Pope Francis' visit drew near, my prayer was answered.  I was honestly surprised!  A combination of circumstances which, without going into details but I'll call 'the silver lining', led me to passes for the Concluding Mass on the Pope's last full day in Manila.  But I wasn't prepared for what was about to happen next.

Me and T at the Quirino Grandstand and the stage behind us is where the Pope will celebrate mass.

Live Stream of the Papal Visit PH 2015.

Where can you watch the live coverage of Pope Francis' visit to the Philippines?   Here are legitimate sources.  Just press play to start your stream.  I am getting goosebumps and teary-eyed just seeing him on the computer screen, what more in person! 

Beauty and the Beast in Manila.

Last Sunday, T and I watched Beauty and the Beast at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).   This is the first international tour of the original Broadway musical in celebration of its 20th year anniversary. 

New Year's Eve in Valkyrie Night Club at The Palace.

There's a new happening place in town called Valkyrie at The Palace.  It's not only the newest, it's also the biggest club around with a capacity of 2,500 people!  T and I weren't able to go to the opening because of my schedule (apologies if I sound like a broken record using this phrase all the time in my blog entries) so when we were invited by our friends to spend New Year's Eve there, we said we were game!

Looking Back at 2014.

As you may have (or may have not) noticed, I have been absent from the blogosphere for quite some time and even on social media, posting only a few photos here and there.

To be honest, I have suffered from quite a burn out from all aspects of my life.   Don't get me wrong though.  I am truly grateful for all the opportunities that I have been given the past year and just need a bit of time and space to rest, recuperate, and do things that don't involve my phone, the computer, or the Internet.  So I decided to go on a hiatus just for the holidays.

And since I have this tradition of reminiscing the past year before it ends, what better way to ease into blogging by looking back at the fun memories of 2014?  Here we go!

New Year's Eve 2014

One of my favorite photos of the year was the one I took during New Year's Eve in Tagaytay Highlands.  I just had my phone in hand, wanting to take a photo of the sign '2014', when the fireworks suddenly filled the sky.