Monday, 23 January 2012

Katy Perry's California Dreams Tour in Manila

Clear the Drain
More than 25,000 trooped to the concert grounds in Pasay (I'm not mentioning the venue due to their plan to cut 182 trees in Baguio) to see Katy Perry LIVE!

This is Katy's second time in Manila and she reminded everyone that "this is the last California Dreams tour event..  you make it the 125 show.. so that means, you have to show everybody else..." Well, we sure didn't disappoint her! The venue was a big giant karaoke mixed with shrieking fans ranging from 5-year olds to past 40! Yup, there were several 5-year olds with their parents and yayas in tow and singing the lyrics word for word!

Ivan Dorsche onstage with Katy in Furne's creation
The audience went wild when she said "the first boy to take his shirt off comes onstage." There were lots of takers where she had to weed out the 14-16 year olds and contend with 21-year old ripped,  Pinoy Big Brother Ivan Dorsche who not only got some face time but got pecked on the lips!

After a year's tour (from February 2011), I must say that California Dreams with its cotton pink, candy colored set is the best so far that I've seen (true, Kylie Minogue's Aphrodite too). Her outstanding performance makes up for the show's tardiness (started two hours late) and poor exit routes.

By the way, bravo to Dubai-based pinoy fashion designer Furne One who created some of the outfits in this tour. Specifically, the beaded apple green halter gown with an oversized tri-color boa which she threw to the audience (I Kissed a Girl), the blue jacquard doll dress with floral applique and crystals (video).

Here's the setlist:
1. Teenage Dream

2. Hummingbird Heartbeat
3. Waking Up in Vegas
4. You're so gay
5. Peacock

6. I Kissed a Girl
7. Circle the Drain

8. E.T. 

9. Not like the Movies
10. The one that got away acoustic version

11 Hot and Cold where she changed seven times

12. Last Friday Night (TGIF)

13. Firework, where she admitted that this is her favorite song. She performed  this with foam spray guns, gigantic bouncing balls and actual fireworks!!

14. California Girls in a gigantic hershey kisses-bra!

The confetti filled stage. Thanks Katy!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Yoga Retreat with Lucas Rockwood in Samui

Absolute Sanctuary in Koh Samui
What a great way to start the new year - detox and yoga - in Absolute Sanctuary in Koh Samui with 21 other like-minded individuals from different countries- 14 countries to be exact.

I've attended several yoga retreats before but nothing beats Lucas Rockwood's style. He was not at all imposing and in fact, more gentle and perhaps lenient offering several alternatives on how to execute a pose. He defined Yoga  as "taking your power back."

The schedule was not strict and allowed some leisure time in between to go to the beach - either Cheong Mon or Chaweng or remain at the resort for treatments (massage, facial, colemas, etc), short courses (like napkin folding!) or lounge in the pool area.

Daily schedule
The day started with a flow practice at 7:30 am, then breakfast at 9:30, free time from 10:30 to 1:00pm, Yoga Lab from 3 to 4:15pm, gravity yoga  from 4:30 to 6pm, dinner at 7pm and pranayama from 8 to 9pm.

The Yoga Lab was more like a workshop intensive focusing on different aspects of vinyasa flow practice. We had a total of five workshops: Transitions, Inversions, Nutrition, Back-bends and Jump throughs.

Lucas is an advocate of healthy eating. He tried all kinds of diet and lost 40 pounds through yoga and a plant-based diet lifestyle. During the Nutrition workshop, he introduced healthy foods vs toxins. The healthy foods consist of (1) fruits and veggies, (2) natural meats (hormone-free, no medication and dioxins), (3) sprouts or live foods, raw nuts and seeds, (4) essential fat acids (flax seeds, cold water fish), (5) sea veggies, liver fermented foods (kimchi, kefir, kombucha) and (6) water. He recommended to move away from products especially those with shelf life and go towards free produce. The ingredients used to preserve packaged food products are  harmful. He advised to make it a habit to read food labels and check for preservatives (such as transfat, sugars and colors) and excitoxins (MSG and aspartame). Also, to refrain from the intake of alcohol, rancid fat (mostly deep fried foods), polysaturated fat and genetically modified organisms (GMO).

I liked the gravity yoga at the end of the day which is essentially stretching.  The movement required to hold the pose for a longer period than normal and to use body weight (yours or a partner). On the right is a photo showing Lucas  putting weight on the back to stretch the hamstrings.

I truly learned a lot from Lucas and joining his retreat is a good way to jump start the year health-wise.

Here's Lucas' explaining the jump through/back: