Two days with Tegan and Sara (Tegan and Sara Live in Manila 2013)

If this is a dream, please don’t wake me up.

I first heard Tegan and Sara’s music more than ten years ago, when my friend Marie (the most hardcore TnS fan I know) introduced me to them via her multiply page. I listened to their songs and stalked them online and immediately became a fan. Aside from the fantastic music, I loved how close they were (makes me wish I had a twin!), and how they’re so funny and out and proud. They were in that grand bucket list of musicians I want to see perform live, right in front of me (which includes Metric, The Weepies, Leona Naess and The Spice Girls, among many others). A false alarm, several online petitions, crushed Singapore dreams and many months later, here they are! ASDJKAJFDLKASJLFKJALKS *shaking and crying*

We arrived at the Meet and Greet at around 8 am, and I bought my ukulele with me so I can have it signed.TnS impostors:

ImageAt around 7pm, we were over the moon when we saw them inside the Greenbelt premises. It was worth the wait, just to see them a meter away from us, and I told myself I’d hug them even if the bouncers drag me away from the stage during the signing.

Sara whispering sweet nothings in my ear. Must be discreet. Haha. (I kid). Photo from Marie (Thanks!)ImageWhen it was my turn, I gave them my Tegan and Sara merbird fanart in a flash and proceeded to ask them for hugs (shameless but I don’t care haha), and was so distracted by hugging Tegan that I don’t know if Sara heard my flustered “yesss” when she asked me if the fanart was for them, heh. No pictures were allowed, BOO. If the organizers asked me to pay 100 so I can take a photo using my camera phone I would have gladly paid them on the spot. Money-making shenanigans! Not cool. Why can’t you just give us what we want, which is a bit of time to show our love and appreciation to the twins, and a chance to preserve that memory with a very quick snapshot? Knowing how kind and gracious the twins are, I don’t think they would reject that request. We really hoped we were informed about what we’d be getting with our money because if we had known ahead of time that pictures (even using our own phone cams) weren’t allowed, we’d have purchased both the cd deal and the 1500 Greenbelt deal (which was quickly sold out). I might have had to pawn some things or something like that, but my point is if they had been more transparent, we’d be less angry and they’d possibly get more profit, if that was what the organizers were after. We, the loyal fans of Tegan and Sara, just hate feeling like we’ve been duped. We offer you our money and our trust and we feel like we’ve been betrayed with all these last-minute surprises and changes. To say we’re pissed and disappointed would be an understatement.

Anyway, the Universe was kind, and…I GOT TO HUG THEM. BOTH OF THEM. They were so nice about the whole thing, which makes me love them even more. The gf and I got our cds signed and we were on a fangirl high the whole night.

At the concert venue, we arrived at around 9 and met awesome earlybirds. Can I just share that these people are the most amazing concertmates I’ve ever met this lifetime? Everyone was so disciplined and organized and we were able to rally the troops to form a cheery, fun-filled line out of our own initiative (What do you say, let’s organize the next TnS concert ourselves? HAHA) Join the Tegan and Sara Philippines group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/teganandsaraphilippines/) at FB if you want to meet the very friendly and welcoming group. 🙂 Everyone shared their snacks and the place was filled with good vibes till the times the gates opened.
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A tip to the organizers–I think any fan in any event would also appreciate feeling appreciated, and during the ingress, there’s bound to be crazy devoted earlybirds. Before you go barricading them, it would be best if you’d talk to them–communication is key and the way to a harmonious day–to inform them about how you need them to vacate the premises or if it’s okay for them to stay there but the metal barricades would have to be placed there for the gate setup, or any explanation, really, instead of just pretending to not hear them when they’re talking to you, or ignoring them completely.  They’re not unreasonable, they’re just there crazily earlier than you because that’s how much they love the performers. Haven’t you felt that kind of devotion towards a band/musician? Niceness begets niceness.

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One of the best parts of this day was when I was blathering about how I really really wished my merbird fanart would show up in their instagram page, and a few minutes later, I was called and saw the most amazing sight. All my creys:

ImageLook how creative the fans are! Karen and Kasey made cookies. HARDCORE.

ImageThe masks above are for our “masquerade party”. We interpreted it as a mask party and our chance to pledge our allegiance (and meet fellow secret fans in the office haha).

Marie and I got matching shirts. We bought official merchandise, a shirt and a set of postcards.

ImageWe all want to be near the twins, so my tip to the “pushers”: Next time, arrive early if you want to be nearer than stage rather than elbowing the earlybirds, okay? Be nice. It’s okay, though. The energetic performance from the twins made the night an unforgettable fantastic one. Karen was lucky enough to get Tegan’s pick, which I caressed, using my face. I guess this means my face has been Tegan’d. Good times.

My hands were trembly from excitement so the photos are blurry, heh. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Thank you, Universe for making me really lucky and making this year the best year yet. ❤

P.S. After we got our Tegan and Sara tickets, the gf and I were thinking of dream concerts here in Manila, and Metric was on the top of our list. A few days later the announcement about Metric appears. MAGIC.

P.S.S. Here’s another fanart I did, Tegan and Sara as characters from Riverdale! I was addicted to Archie comics and having them as staple characters in Riverdale (resident heartthrobs) would have been crazy exciting:

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Ways to help typhoon Yolanda survivors

Dear friends:

You’ve probably learned about the distressing state in some parts of the Philippines, most especially in the Visayas region due to the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda. The devastation saddens me to no end and my heart goes out to my kababayans there who are struggling right now due to the lack of basic necessities.

There are so many ways to help, and I’ve compiled different ways to help in this post, be it through buying art, selling clothes, or even just as simple as pasaloading to Red Cross.

Despite this tragedy, I’m grateful that a lot of people are showing compassion and using social media for the greater good and initiating action. Every bit counts, and I’m optimistic that together, we can make a difference.

Donate money to the Philippine Red Cross through SMS:
Text RED<space>AMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4143 (Smart)

You can donate the following denominations:
Globe: 5, 25, 100, 300, 500 or 1000
Smart: 10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 or 1000

Help through art-related ventures:

From Katha Magazine: (Kindly check the FB page of Katha Magazine for updates re this auction)

Image– Leigh Reyes is auctioning her pens for the Yolanda survivors, check out her site for details.

– The artforhaiyan tumblr (artforhaiyan.tumblr.com) lists art-related ventures for this cause.

– The Bloom Arts Festival on November 15 at the Collective will have a donation area for people who want to help in cash or in kind, and a portion of their raffle ticket sales will also be donated.

– Check out “The Goody bag” designed by Wiji. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to families of the survivors.

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If you’ve been following me on instagram (@aphazia), you might have seen a lot of my posts lately are illustrations of my merbirds. I made some merbird coloring cards (only Php25 each!) and some other special edition merbirds that I’m selling for a cause this Saturday, November 16, at Moonleaf Maginhawa, during the Muni X Moonleaf 2014 Planner launch. ALL proceeds from this sale will be donated to the Yolanda relief efforts. I can also customize a colored merbird for you on the spot, for a negotiable fee (highest price is Php100), depending on the design.

Help through books/comics:

There are a lot of fundraising efforts in this Saturday’s Komikon.

Bookbed is donating all the proceeds from books sold in their site to the Phil. Red Cross.

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More ways to help:

This page is regularly updated and filled with various ways to help.

For our friends abroad, you can still help! CNN has compiled a comprehensive list of where you can donate. Read it here.

The 2nd issue of Katha Magazine is now out! :)

We’ve just released the second issue of Katha Magazine today, and I can’t be any more excited!

For this issue, the theme is “The Joy of Giving and Receiving”. The magazine is overflowing with a lot of nifty treats and a super special surprise for our readers. It’s a perfect read for this sunny Sunday, and we hope that you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed making it. 🙂

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We do this for love and it’s absolutely free! You can read the second issue here: http://bit.ly/katha-issue02.

You can also download our tablet-friendly issues here: http://bitly.com/download-katha.

Feel free to share the Katha magazine love with your friends. 🙂 Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

On moving and attachment

A few months ago, we were blessed with a fantastic opportunity, which we immediately grabbed. This blessing would mean we’d have to move and we accepted that with giddy hearts. We’re not yet truly done with the whole moving shebang, but I couldn’t resist decorating the new place even when it’s not the top priority–eep!

The previous tenants used extra-strong double-sided tape in affixing stuff to the wall, so there are some unsightly adhesive spots. Since I had to cover these spots, I stuck some of my artworks and art/snailmail that I received from awesome people to the walls using my ever-favorite washi tape.

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ImageI’m happy about the numerous white walls I can affix stuff to and our bookshelf! I’ve always wanted a tall bookshelf with a glass panel so that it won’t be too dusty (asthmatic problems hehe) and hard to clean, and so that I can admire them books–my preciousssessss.

But! We’ve also invested in some under-the-bed storage boxes and filled four (!!) of them with books and magazines. We’ve also converted some cabinets that should be for shoes into bookshelves, cause for me and my partner, books trump shoes.

Our former home didn’t have an elevator, so it was quite a challenge moving with these babies. These are only half of what I’ve decided I couldn’t part with.

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ImageI’m a morning person and I love the sun. However, the afternoon glare is a bit too wild in this new place. I didn’t like the flimsy white curtains sold at the mall, and couldn’t find dainty lace ones (any leads?). The thick white ones were too pricey. Good thing I was able to buy a fabric shower curtain that had this nice metallic gold and white pattern in one side, and silver and white in the back side. I wasn’t able to buy curtain hooks so I made do with what I had, and used safety pins. Success!

I want to hoard those shower curtains, but the one I saw seemed to be the last piece. Heh.

Speaking of hoarding, the main lesson I’ve learned with this move (this is the third time I’ve moved) is that I should lessen my hoarding and my attachment to material things. I gave away more than thirty books and more than fifty magazines that I loved and cherished to people who might be able to give them better homes than just throwing them. I wanted to donate them to charity but I don’t have a car and it’s a challenge lugging them around. I also considered selling them since I could use the moolah, but it was a bit more complex setting that up, (bank deposit, coordination, shipping, meetups, etc.) and I needed all the time I could get, so I decided to just give them away. For weeks I’ve carried some to work for office friends who might be interested. I hope they like them, and that they’re well taken care of. 🙂

I also realized that I’ve accumulated quite a lot of arts/crafts materials, since I tend to forget that I already bought this brush/card set. My goal starting now is to organize my supplies more, so this won’t happen again. I should also use these hoarded materials, which is what I’m doing now with my washi tape. If you’ve taken a peek at my Instagram account, username’s @aphazia, you’ve seen these already:

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I like the designs of Cath Kidston so I used my pretty floral mint green and pink washi tape and used it to decorate the cabinets. I’m happy I got over my fear of using the pricey washi tapes and realized how life quickly changes and how each day should be filled with things that make you happy. So go on and use that nice perfume before it evaporates, dress up (you never know what possibilities await you!), go wild with your expensive art supplies and make beautiful art, or make a mess–just use it now if it gives you joy. 🙂 Have fun creating!