Sorry its been a couple of weeks but we’ve been busy! We finished up the most difficult week of shows yet. Two shows a night, 10 shows in all, in 90 degree heat and 80-90% humidity, outdoors. Definitely learned all about stamina. The audience was just as enthusiastic as if we were in an air conditioned theatre! We spent most of the week doing insanity and laying out by the pool! It was nice. Our last day there we had a giant pool party. We had some pretty epic chicken fights, which I won, and it started pouring. We started playing tag in the pool and dancing under the waterfall. Others, “locals”, started taking pictures and filming us! Don’t worry the minute the lightning started we were out. But then we were stuck huddling under the sun umbrellas to stay as dry as we could possibly be after just getting out of the pool while it was raining. Finally it died down and we made it back to the hotel.
The next day Chelsea, Randy, Pip, Yvinne and I left for Manila. Manila was amazing, busy but amazing! We were there for PR. Our first day there the promoters took us out to dinner at the hotel. It was this incredible buffet. There was made to order pasta, sushi, steak, roast pig, pretty much anything you could imagine! So delicious.
We had really early morning the next day 5am lobby call for a morning TV show! Umagang Kay Ganda, its like Good Morning America for the Philippines. There was an interview and then a live TV performance! That night we got comp floor seats to see One Republic. Now they are not my favorite band in the world so I didn’t go in with high expectations. This concert was epic! They are now one of my favorite bands. The cellist was incredible. The guitarist did this incredible bolero solo in the middle of the show that just showed such exquisite musicianship. Pip and I made our way toward the front of the stage and were crammed in the crowd. It was awesome! The lead singer spoke about how most of the members of the band came together through the church. His grandfather was a preacher. Ironically the song they played before he mentioned this, I interpreted as a worship song. When he started to talk about this I felt this sense of calm rush over me in the middle of hundreds of people, I felt oddly calm. It reminded me that I’m not alone in the business as a Christian. That success doesn’t mean you need to loose sight of your faith in order to fit in. I know this seems trivial and that I have been veering in that direction. That is not the case but there is such comfort in being reminded of this fact. It was incredible night that made me feel like myself for the first time in the a while.
We had the day off the next day and definitely spent most of it sleeping and catching up on US TV. I did take one venture out of the room and it was to get Starbucks. Now the Philippines take Christmas time very very seriously. It’s a Catholic country and they spend all of October, November, and December celebrating it. In fact at one of the TV interviews they made an announcement about it “only being 45 days till Christmas!” Christmas music is everywhere, its not foreign music either, it’s the good old fashioned stuff! The mall connected to the hotel, big surprise, was completely decked out and the Starbucks had, you guessed it, holiday cups. I have never been so excited!
The biggest cultural shock in Manila was the intense security. We have to walk through a metal detector every where we go. All the mall cops have fully loaded semi automatic on their hip next to a small first aid kit. Ironic. The mall we went to for our mall event had security out front with sawed off shotguns along with an automatic rifle over an arm. Now, we are use to getting starred at asking to have our pictures taken but never have we been followed by a mass of people. After the performance, we thought “hey lets go shopping we’re in normal clothes now we’ll be fine.” WRONG! We were escorted by armed guards to cotton on then had a group follow us into the store and ask for pictures. I mean I have never felt like such a celebrity. It was hilarious. It died down after that but we still had an armed guard with us everywhere we went. It was nuts. Ended up at a Chinese food place for dinner and were surprised with dinner and show! The waiters did a line dance about have way through our meal. We had no idea what they were saying but it was hilarious. Definitely laughed for about 5 minutes once it was done.
Next day our promo was in a movie theatre! It was the coolest press confrence I’ve ever seen. They had our trailer running on the big screen and got to perform on the stage. This was also the day that the Typhoon hit the Philippines. Manila, thank God, was not effected. We barely got rain, but the rest of the country wasn’t as lucky. We still had a great day of press, it was just a weird feeling knowing there were others suffering while we were in a cushy movie theatre.
We were suppose to go see Matchbox 20, who are actually one of my favorite bands of all time, but it got canceled because of the storm warning. Since we couldn’t go to the concert Gio, our promoter, took us out to dinner. We went to Café Juanita and got some traditional Filipino food. SOOO GOOD! Definitely my favorite local food so far on tour. Gio just ordered a bunch of dishes for the table and we dug in. I officially have a favorite desert now, Sticky Toffee Pudding.
The next day was our final day. We had a TV interview in the morning and then a mall performance later that day and then get on a plane over night, but not before Gio took us to the most amazing lunch. He order so much food. Our table couldn’t hold it all! I loved pretty much all of it. The TV interview was on the longest running show in Asia. A music variety show called ASAP. They came into our dressing room and showed us the cue cards that would be shown to us during the taping. After they left Yvinne and Pip thought it would be best to add more a plug for the storyline of the show. When we got to the moment of filming and we started to go off script the AD holding the cue cards freaked out and started yelling at us off camera. She totally scared Randy and he forgot what he was saying. It was hilarious. We have learned so much doing these media events. The Mall show later in the day went really well then we headed to the airport.
It was an overnight flight to Kuala Lampur, then a hour drive the hotel, sleep for 3, get up get on the bus to go back to the airport to get on a plane to go to Hong Kong and then to Surabaya, Indonesia. In total I had 18 hours of travel that day… I was very tired but so grateful.
This tour is giving me experiences I never thought I would have. Can’t wait for what Indonesia has to offer and in turn this career!
There will be more pictures soon. The internet is being difficult and won’t download photos on to the website. I will update soon. For now use your imagination!