The Whimsical Wanderer

Lifestyle blog by Chelsea

Friday, April 29, 2016

Seoul Summer 2016

"Let's just organize a dance workshop."
"We can, but people can learn the dances themselves through youtube."
"True. What's your plan?"
"Something bigger."
"You sure?"
And that marked the start of a whole new adventure.

Seoul Summer 2016 -a K-pop cosplay and dance cover contest- happened last March 6, 2016 at SM Light Mall. It still amazes me how my friends and I (SeoulSearch Productions) were able to pull this thing off. I really didn't expect anything big to happen or many people to attend, but thankfully the outcome surpassed our expectations by a landslide. 

The preparations prior to the event were very hectic, but not as hectic as it was on the day itself. Sleeping at almost 3AM only to arrive at SM Light Mall by 7:30AM, and head on straight to work fixing the tech, music, and visuals, it was VERY TIRING, but I loved every single bit of it.

We ended the event with a new love for organizing events and a big chunk of respect for every single person behind them.

Scroll down to see some of my favourite pictures from #SEOULSUMMER2016 taken by Kevin Lee, Trixie Yusay, and your's truly.
Our Stage! I was freaking out when I saw this because, SEOUL SUMMER 2016 IS FINALLY HAPPENING!

What actually goes on behind the stage. I was in the middle of mixing the music to be used for the rest of the games.

While I was behind the stage, this was happening. Post-it game!
Some of my personal favourites from the Cosplay contest. #SLAY

No, they're not sleeping. This is actually another game called Random Play Dance where the contestants simply dances the choreography to the playing song. The only challenge here is for them to keep up with the constantly changing songs. Funniest part of the event, this was so much fun to watch.

This time, the best shots from the Cover Group Dance contest! <3

Thank you to our judges for the cosplay competition. (L-R) Zack Tolosa, Keith Chan, and Dondie Martin.

Many thanks as well to our judges for the Cover Group Dance Competition! (L-R) Elij Tolosa, Sef Remollo FROM A-TEAM!!, Austin Lee, and Joey Tay (not in the picture huhu)

The event was also packed with special performances by known cosplayers and groups like Zack & Elij Tolosa, Sheeny, and First Class, just to name a few.

Our winners for the cosplay competition! 
From Right to Left
2nd Runner-up: Ghia Lim
1st Runner-up: Justine Garcia 
Champion: Patrick Carmen 

Winners for the Cover Group Dance Competition!
From Right to Left
2nd Runner-up: Royal Empire
1st Runner-up: B.EXID
Champions: Red Intense

Check out this video to see what else happened during the event.


To the manpower, and to our friends who came by to help, thank you to everything. You guys don't know how much it means to us. 

Finally, to SeoulSearch Prod, 
on to the next one. ;)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Wandering in: Ilocos Norte

Hello there! I'm finally in the midst of my summer vacation that will run from March up until August so this only means that I get more opportunities to go out and do more stuff this summer other than basking in my my usual k-drama marathons. Thankfully, my family made use of the Holy Week to get away from the busy streets of the Manila and do what most people in Manila do during the Holy Week, go on a vacation. 
This year, my family planned on going to the beautiful Ilocos Sur. 

DAY 1:

When I was told that we were going to leave by 2AM I told myself I should just sleep on the way there, and I did not regret my decision at all. I asked my dad who has been there a number of times how long it takes to get to Vigan, he said it usually takes about 8-12 hours depending on the traffic. However, because of the number of people going to the same place as us we spent a whooping 16 hours on the road. I got more sleep than I bargained for (not that I'm complaining), but in return I stepped out of our car with a sore butt. 

We arrived at our hotel late but that did not stop us from getting us some scrumptious Vigan empanada, longganisa, and Bagnet in the plaza.

Vigan Empanada

DAY 2:

We started our Good Friday right by going to the Bantay church and doing our Visita Iglesia.

Bantay Bell Tower
It was quite near the Vigan Plaza so we decided to have our fill there and we took our time walking around Calle Crisologo taking in all of the city's timeless beauty.

Kalesas everywhere!
Once we finished walking around we made our way to the Paoay church, the sun has already set and the church lights were on and I couldn't help but fall in love with the sight of it.

I fell in love with this beautiful church
We had our dinner and set off to Laoag where we will spend the night. 

DAY 3:

We started off the day after an early breakfast, we made our way to the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. We weren't able to spend much time there because there were so many people but I did get to look at this breathtaking view. 

We made our way to the Bangui Windmills in Paoay, it was such an amazing sight and did I mention the weather that day was actually colder than what we expected the weather to be when we were packing our bags, so I spent most of that day shivering and sulking over leaving my jacket.

After the windmills our next stop was...THE BEACH! We drove to Pagudpud and arrived there late in the afternoon. I was excited to finally get to take a dip on the way there but the weather was too cold. I was shivering and I swore I wouldn't be able to survive swimming with that kind of weather. As a result, the kids took a dip while the rest of us just gathered in the hut eating isaw, hotdogs, and pancit.

DAY 4:

Out of all the days in Ilocos, this was my favourite. Right before lunch time my family and I found ourselves screaming on a 4 x 4 and sliding down sand slopes in the Paoay Sand Dunes, some place I really recommend to whoever plans on heading over to Ilocos Norte. 

Out of all the 4x4's, we ended up with the Hello Kitty one. Not complaining though!
We had a little stopover just right in front of the beach. Hello overly windswept hair!
Sand Boarding
After this, we made our way to the MalacaƱang of the North a.k.a Former President Marcos' house. One of the thoughts I had was "Wow, this is a really big house."Although it was only 2 floors, it was so wide and so much space to move around in. The air was fresh and the view overlooking the lake was divine, I could tell why the former first family used it as an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, it felt so peaceful and calm.

Half of the GINORMOUS master's bedroom.
The next plan was to go back to Vigan, but my family decided to take a detour and go to the Baluarte Zoo. We arrived there at about 5 or 6 PM so it was already getting dark, but that didn't stop me from risking my life to take a picture with a tiger.

Doing my best to not get my hand bitten by a tiger.
We were told that there will be a fire dance at 7PM so we decided to stay and enjoy the show.

Fire dance, short drive, and a number of sprints around the Vigan plaza later, we enjoyed the beautiful dancing fountain in the middle of the plaza. Safe to say I took a shower earlier than I expected that night.

Following the show was dinner of course! This dinner was my favourite. Courtesy of Cafe Leona I got to taste the staple Vigan Longganisa and Bagnet along with..

Wait for it.

Vigan Longganisa Maki and Bagnet Maki. Yes, you read that right.

Vigan Longganisa Maki

Bagnet Maki
Vigan Longganisa and Bagnet!
Once the succulent works of art have been devoured, my little brother and I took this time to walk around the beautiful Vigan streets. It was the night of Easter Sunday, everyone already took off and have gone back to Manila which means we were able to take in and appreciate even more the beautiful streets of Vigan along with the relaxing 22 degree celsius air.

DAY 5:

Our last day in Vigan was well spent. We had the hotel all to ourselves so we enjoyed our breakfast without the hustle and bustle of everyone around us. After breakfast, my father and my brother rented bikes from the hotel and went all over the place with it. I got to borrow it for a while and I gotta say, it was fun biking around a tourist spot without hitting any people. I wasn't able to take any pictures as well because... I was biking. 

Right after we got off the bikes we hopped on to the Kalesa, only the most essential thing to experience when you go to Vigan.

The first stop was the Vigan Museum. On display were the military uniforms and weapons they used before, equipments used for cooking and other things you would normally see in the Vigan household back in the day.

The next stop was Former President Elpidio Quirino's house. This house was one of my favourites, it was spacious but it had a sense of comfort and home wherever I go and every turn I took, there was something new to see. My favourite parts of the house? The kitchen and the fountain (yes, the fountain)

He had a small replica of the Spolarium in the living room
Look at all the plates
Living Room
Look at this adorable kitchen!
The fountain in the middle of the house.
We went back to the Baluarte zoo for our last stop and since we were already running out of time, our kalesa tour was cut short (tears have been shed).

Once we checked out of the hotel, we hit the road straight back to Manila and bid the beautiful streets of Ilocos Norte goodbye.

Aside from the meals overflowing with vigan empanada, longganisa and bagnet, I would like to thank this trip for showing me just how much my beautiful country has to offer, and making me want to go back there and explore even more places in our country. 

How about you? Any places in the country you would like to visit? Tell me in the comments below!

Friday, January 8, 2016

KCON2015 Youth Conference Experience

I haven't been attending the Kerygma Conference for a consecutive of 2-3 years because of competitions and school, so when I knew that the Kerygma Conference this year won't be interrupted with any schedule of mine, I decided to take this opportunity to the fullest.

To those who don't know what the Kerygma Conference is, let me borrow how they defined it on the official website.

Kerygma Conference is an annual inspirational and learning event led by the Light of Jesus Family under the leadership of Bro. Bo Sanchez.The first Kerygma Conference was held in 2007 with more than 5,000 attendees. It has grown quickly year-on-year with attendees coming from the Philippines and all over the world.

The streams were held in the SMX Convention Center where there were talks going on simultaneously that will cater to every person's needs! There were streams for Business and Career, Leadership and Education, Church Ministry, Wellness and Health, Family and Relationships, and last but not the least, the very amazing YOUTH CONFERENCE (which is what I will focus on).

The moment I entered the hall I knew it was going to be one heck of a ride. There were no chairs so everyone had to sit down on the carpeted floor and there were inflatable attractions in every side of the room. It was when I sat down with my cousins when I found out that everyone was seated in quadrants and every quadrant was equivalent to one team (I will expound more on this later). 

The Talks:

The KCON Youth Stage from my view. 
Just as it began the energy was already way up in the stratosphere with the opening worship. Everyone was already jumping, singing, and shouting as if we all forgot that it was only 9 in the morning.
I took this photo when (Tito) Bro. Obet/ Daddy O giving the first talk. 
Once we were all warmed up, we were asked to settle down Bro. Obet Cabrillas, who is mostly called by the Youth as Daddy O gave us the first talk of the day. He talked about the true meaning of home and how us, the Youth can turn our simple houses into a place of rest, happiness and love.
Justin Fatica

The next talk was given by the guest speaker Justin Fatica. He started his talk by asking 2 kids to have a joust battle. All of us thought he was joking but after 2 boys raised their hands and went near the stage, we realised he wasn't. Justin wasn't your typical preacher, he preached with a rough and loud voice about the true realities that everyone is facing. He asked if there were people who are having a hard time with their families, those who have lost their fathers, and even those who wanted to kill themselves before to raise their hands, and what shocked me was the number of people who did raise their hands. 
After showing us all the shocking truth he asked us to work together in being more sensitive and caring for each other by asking those who have been through the same trials to hug each other for them to know that they are not alone (that part really touched my heart, I almost cried). All throughout his talk he kept on repeating one phrase making sure it will stick with us even after his talk and that phrase is "YOU ARE AMAZING." Its simple and short, but Justin made sure that his statement didn't leave us unchanged.

Bro. Bo Sanchez

The last talk was given by Bo Sanchez, the founder of The Feast, bestselling author, and world renowned preacher, however when he gave us his talk that day he stripped himself of all of those titles and put on a different cap. He showed himself to us as someone who was addicted to porn, a person who didn't do good in school, and many more qualities from his past that won't make you believe that he would be a preacher today. His talk solely focused on how our failures and imperfections shouldn't define us in the future, and it will be because of those imperfections and failures that we will be successful in the future.

The Games:

Going back to what I said in the intro about how everyone was divided into quadrants, it was because throughout the program, the 4 teams competed with each other through games and cheers. Below are some of the games that took place.
Obstacle Course

Joust Battle between the ladies

Next Level Soccer Game
I wasn't able to get pictures of the other 2 games which were the "Sumo" game and the game where the guy who jumps and sticks the highest on the velcro wall wins, but these will do.
Youth Champion Banner
Everyone who participated played their hardest and those who stayed in their seats screamed their loudest for their team to have the honour of being called the first KCON YOUTH CHAMPION and earn the winning banner for the team.

And yes, my team (Ignite) won. Couldn't have gotten those extra cheering points without my over enthusiastic cousins and I who sacrificed our voices and energy jumping and screaming for the team though *wink wink*

The Worship:

This was my hands down favourite part of the Youth Conference. There was just something about the energy in the room when all of us were jumping up and down singing love songs to the Lord. 

There was one time I just stopped singing and looked around at all of the teenagers around me singing along with eyes closed and hands high and in that moment I felt that all of us could've spent our weekend any other way, but all of us chose to be there. All of us chose God. Everyone in the room was damaged one way or another, but that didn't stop them from singing their lungs out  and raising their hands during worship because they knew that the God they placed themselves before loved them for who they are, sins and imperfections included.

Also a quick shoutout to this brilliant young man Rizmon Reyes for the beautiful spoken word that gave me goosebumps the whole time. Please tell me you have a video of it because the world needs to hear your piece. 

The Conclusion:

The emotions, thanksgiving, and joy I felt that day still remains with me up to this day, and I think it will stay with me until the next Youth Conference next year. It made me aware of how powerful the youth is with our knowledge, determination and faith along with the amount of time we have left compared to those older than us, gives us the most powerful edge among the rest.
Being in that room made me feel that all hope is not lost in the world just yet. It made me excited to see how the youth of today can take over and change the world in the future. It made me look forward to how many more hearts everyone in that room will bless. 

If you want to see more of what happened, click on the SDE video below or head on over to my Facebook page to see my snapchat story.

The KCON Youth Conference showed me how much love their is in the world and how powerful HIS love is above all. It showed me my way back to comfort, to love and  to happiness,but most of all, it showed me my way back home. 

I wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world. I hope you can join us next year for the next KCON Youth Conference!

Disclaimer: The pictures used in this post are taken from the Light of Jesus Youth Missions Facebook unless stated otherwise and also not including the pictures that includes my face.

How about you? I would love to know what you thought about this article. Feel free to comment below on what you think.


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