Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Last night's Fever

When my college philosophy teacher gave a lecture on the Latin term "Carpe Diem," I was certainly sitting at the front of the class and paying attention. Carpe Diem means to "seize the day," and it was popularized by the movie "Dead Poets' Society." At least that's how I feel, thinking about my life and my rather crazy schedule over the past years. I've been on a plane, train or car practically every week since I can remember; and when I'm actually in Manila, I'm either working ferociously or attending a whole string of events. Or on BBM.

The last two weeks are just one example of my crazy schedule, although these have just been deliriously busy even by Travelife standards. I started the last two weeks in Hokkaido, survived the Tokyo earthquake, partied in Manila, lunched in Singapore, spent six hours in Bali and six days on a ship that docked in Malaysia for an afternoon, cooked a wagyu steak dinner one night in Manila; then at 7 am the next morning I was off to Batangas for two days, and then to Cebu for three. And the weekend was spent in another country. I finally returned yesterday afternoon, but just for a few days as it's Sri Lanka from next Monday.

Anyway, yesterday, after leaving the airport, I stopped off at home long enough to change clothes. Then it was straight to work for some serious overtime to close Travelife Magazine's April-May issue (a beautiful summer issue that will be on newsstands on April 15, with Angel Aquino on location in Boracay) before heading out for an evening of partying for the opening of Fever at the Sofitel, Manila's newest hotspot.


Yesterday I'd woken up at 4 AM to make it to the airport on time for my flight to Manila, so for once I was actually feeling fatigue and was ready to hit the sack by 10 AM. But I just couldn't resist saying hello to friends and checking out what's great about Fever. Fever, by the way, is the latest project of Tim Yap and his friends, who are also behind Opus, Republiq and other party places all over the country. (We've just returned at 1 AM from Opus tonight, by the way, and it was very lively for a Wednesday evening)
Befittingly, Fever was draped in red and it was certainly the color of the night. Venue launches are pretty standard events for us and we've seen quite a number by now. But perhaps what was most interesting about Fever's launch party was that they had pole dancers as entertainment. I'd never actually seen one before except on stage in the musical Rent, and it was quite fascinating to watch all that action around a pole.

I left pretty early with the party still in full swing, though, as it had been a long day and the rest of the week was just jampacked with work and events that I needed to save my energy for.

Tonight, however, I found myself at another club. A group of friends had organized a sayonara dinner at Opus and we'd had a very late start. I'd rushed in from a meeting so I was last to arrive as usual, and at 9 pm we were still deciding what to eat. Being basically a creature of habit, I ordered what I always eat at Opus: a bowl of soup, the short ribs for the main course, and the strawberry pavlova for dessert to share with my friend B.


As always, we had lots of interesting conversation, and lots of it based on travel. One couple had just returned from the Maldives, another was on their way to New York, and still another was thinking of going to Osaka for Holy Week. One couple who I would have thought had traveled the world the most said they actually preferred to avoid exotic places and to just focus on the same old destinations each time.

"If I had to go to a new place each time, it wouldn't be a holiday," the wife said. And the husband added: "And I hate packing and unpacking in different hotels."

Of course each person has his or her own Travelife and travel style. But after this couple had so clearly stated their preference for the unexotic, I just had to chime in that in the next issue of Travelife Magazine, I'd asked our contributors about the most exotic destination they'd been to and how long it had taken them to get there. Everyone's answers had been interesting and intriguing, and some of the responses had been so Travelife in feel that you'd think I'd written them myself.

Everyone's interest was piqued. "So who had the most exotic destination?" They wanted to know.

"You'll just have to read about it in our next issue," I said. Travelife Magazine's April-May issue comes out on April 15.

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