Thursday, September 15, 2011

A ferris wheel and a broken heart

Today was a very interesting and happy day.

It began with a photo date with photographer par excellence Tom Epperson at the edge of a roller coaster and then on a ferris wheel. It was windy and hot and I was in a long gown, but Tom made it all fun. This was a photo shoot for the Philippines Yearbook project this year, and from what I hear, it's going to be one amazing book.

About 60 families posed with three generations, and all were photographed by Tom in the most interesting situations. For my family, we were dressed in long gowns and photographed in a theme park. Another family was asked to dress in pajamas, and someone else posed on a surfboard in a sports club. Crazy, funny and interesting photos designed to make people smile.

Philippines Yearbook will be launched by Grace Glory Go and her son Vernon Go in November. After my experience, and thinking about the other 59 sets of people, I can't wait to see this amazing book.


Then I headed straight to office to pick up one of my computers, which had just been totally revamped. Yes, I've bought the most powerful MacBook Pros on the market and for some reason, they've broken down on me three times in the past 12 months. So since September, I've run through three MacBook Pros and I've been close to tears each time.

This last time, at least my computer waited to die until after Travelife Italy Night. It had probably overworked itself to death because I returned home from our ultra-successful Travelife Italy Night last Thursday, sat on my bed and flipped open my computer. It sputtered for a moment and then went completely dark. I never heard from it again. How ironic that this happened exactly after Travelife Italy Night.

"Didn't you just buy that computer?" My friend asked yesterday. I nodded, heartbroken. "Last July," I replied. He grinned at me. "You see," he said, "you should turn it off once in a while."

He meant that I should get off my computer once in a while. Among my friends, I'm famous for never being offline except when I'm in the air. I'm even answering emails on my laptop while pulling luggages through crowded airports.


So today, just before dinner, that was what I was concentrating on: trying to recover my life from my resurrected computer. The guys who resurrected my computer also put in the new Lion system so I've got an upgraded system as well -- and that, I can tell you, takes lots of getting used to. I don't know how to scroll down because there's no scroller, and I'm still trying to figure out how to work my directory. But in the middle I gave up to head to the residence of the Indian Ambassador in Forbes Park for a cocktail party which turned into dinner and then into after dinner.

I arrived, late as usual, and the guests were already gathered around the ambassador's dining room partaking of the extremely delicious Indian supper. After such a long day, I was completely exhausted and had intended to just drop by for a few minutes. But then the delicious meal beckoned; and just as I was about to say goodbye, Senator Loren Legarda walked in. Senator Legarda had wanted to attend Travelife Italy Night last week as well, but unfortunately she'd been out of town.

So we sat together for a while talking about Travelife Italy Night and our upcoming Travelife Sri Lanka Night, and also about the places to go and the things to do in Southern India. She also told me about how proud she was of her two sons as they were both abroad and actively pursuing their talents and interests. I'd known both of her sons since they were babies so I listened to her news with great interest.


I waited for Senator Legarda to leave and was about to also say goodbye, when Ambassador and Madame Kumar invited me to stay and chat for a few more minutes. I was the last guest by then and the three of us went to sit in their beautiful living room, full of antiquities and crafts.

Sitting in that living room with Ambassador and Madame Kumar made me quite nostalgic, actually, because this was exactly how the series of Travelife India Nights had started. Travelife India Nights had come from two minutes of idea and inspiration after dinner, when I'd dropped in on them and we'd sat till late talking in that very same spot. And since then, we've had three very successful Travelife India Nights and close to a thousand people have experienced the beautiful dances and music of India as produced by Travelife Magazine and the Embassy of India.

So we talked about culture, world affairs and the politics of corruption. Three quite different topics but everything seemed to flow effortlessly into each other. And when I next looked at my watch, it was past 1030 PM. I really enjoyed that talk, and it was truly relaxing to just sit with them and exchange ideas and opinions. The perfect end to a busy day, I thought.

But then I went online when I reached home and found lots of wonderful things people had written about Travelife Italy Night -- everyone enjoyed the food and entertainment and had a great time. Reviews have started to come out in the newspapers and also in various blogs. And reading these nice reviews was an even more perfect end to a busy day.

Thank you to everyone who joined us at Travelife Italy Night, and to everyone who's written or posted nice things about our labor of love.

Absolutely free, open to the public

Travelife Sri Lanka Night on Saturday, Sep 24, will be free and open to the public, but you will need prior reservations as there's limited seating. However, this will be the first and perhaps only event promoting beautiful Sri Lankan culture to the general public in the far-off future, so I hope many of you will take advantage of this free event courtesy of Travelife Magazine and Picar Development Inc. and join us.

To reserve, please call Bernice at Travelife Magazine: 8138400/ 8922620.

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