Hallo! This is the blog for the October ’11 Tour of the Philippines. Mabuhay!
I think I’ll start off by saying that the person (or persons….) who writes the blogs is… still a secret, so you will have to guess! But we hope you enjoy our day-by-day analysis of the tour – and we think you’ll get a pretty good picture of what we got up to while here.
So we left on Friday 21st October, and we started our long voyage across the world, stopping in Dubai on the way. Some of us managed to catch a glimpse of the Berj while there, and it did look pretty cool! Our connecting flight was instantaneous, so we got the big plane rides over and done with quite quickly. We touched down in Manila quite late in the evening on Saturday, and were treated to a midnight dinner at the AIM Conference Center (yes, it should be CentRE, but there you go) and went straight to bed.
On Sunday we rose fairly late and had a rather large breakfast, despite the piles of food we had devoured only nine or so hours ago! This was followed by a rehearsal of some concert items in a large room somewhere in the AIM complex. Subsequently we left the AIM for a TV appearance on ASAP Rocks, the most watched Sunday TV show that lasts for about three hours. Anyway, we went on and did Carol of the Bells for live television, which was quite fun. We were surprised with the efficiency of it all – in fact, it was too efficient! We got there, changed into our robes, and rehearsed about half the song in the ad break, did it live, left the studio, got changed, and left again! We were done in under an hour, which was amazing!
Carol of the Bells is rather a dramatic one to do, except because of the microphone placement we couldn’t do our trademark moves, but I think we managed to captivate the audience nonetheless. After this we had lunch in a restaurant called 145 oF, where they had lots of things out for us to eat, and it was delicious. It was quite a late lunch because of the TV thing, so we were all pretty hungry by then and ate practically everything!
An autograph signing in Shoemart Mall, which is apparently the third biggest shopping centre in the world, followed this. We love to do these meet and greet things, because it’s great to talk to our fans and see how happy we make them with our music. It’s also quite funny to see how excited they can get, and we love to hear the screams and applause as we walk around! When this had finished, we returned to the AIM and had a proper celebratory dinner, with an enormous roast pig and piles of profiteroles and barbequed chicken, beef, everything! We were also treated to some traditional Filipino music and dances, which was great fun. We went to bed that night with happy hearts – but maybe our stomachs weren’t so happy with the sudden overload of food!
Well, Sunday was a pretty busy day! We weren’t as busy on Monday, however we did do quite a few things. In the morning, as we had breakfast, our feet were measured so that Crocs (one of the sponsors of our concerts) could send us some… well, crocs! Having tailor-made flip-flops is pretty awesome!
After this session, we went up a few floors to where there was a gathering to do with the charity program Children’s Hour. We are part of this, as some of the money we raise from concerts is put into this. The charity helps Filipino children living in poverty to get a better education, have better health, and be happier. We are proud to be a part of this. In fact, we met some of those children at the gathering. We then found out that a playground had been planned, and it is to be named after us! Yes, there will be a playground called the Libera playground! It is such an honour for us to have that named after us.
After the unveiling of the plaque that will go up outside the playground, five of us were interviewed on the subject, and then on the concerts and the new Christmas album (WHICH YOU SHOULD BUY, by the way – thought I ought to plug it in somewhere). When this was over, we had lunch and then went of to the Manila polo club. We’ve been there before and, quite honestly, we’ve missed it dearly! We had a long swim in the pool until it began to rain, and then we went bowling. This was also really good fun, and Liam got five strikes in a row at one point!! Following this was a trip to the Shangri-La in Manila, where we had a mammoth dinner. The length of the bar was infinite, and there were colossal piles of food everywhere! I’m surprised the coach could drive off when we were done!
Tuesday was a concert day, so we had to take it easy. In the morning we had a bit of a lounge around after a photo shoot outside. We then had a thorough concert rehearsal (blindfolded, of course) tomake sure we knew all the positions we have to find in the blacks outs, and harmony parts and things like that. This was followed by a trip to the famous Balikbayan handicrafts store. We’ve been there before on previous Philippines trips, so it was good to go back. Liam and Josh did a jazzy improv session on the piano they have in there, and we bought gifts for relatives and ourselves. We returned to the AIM for lunch, and went swiftly on to the PICC for our concert. It was gigantic on the inside! The stage, TV screens and lighting looked promising, and we were very excited to get on with the sound check and perform! We had a very receptive audience, and we felt very comfortable on stage. They applauded loads, and were ecstatic when we did Himig Pasko at the end! When we were done, we had another autograph signing, which was again very enjoyable. On the way back, Josh turned seventeen – as by the time we got back to the AIM it was Wednesday! We had a quick bite to eat before bed, and that was Tuesday!
This is as far as we’ve got so far, more blogging to come when more has happened!!!