After weeks of planning, desperately scrambling for concert tickets, booking flights and accomodations, worrying about the tickets, flight and accomodations, and generally getting stressed and excited at the same time, finally, the moment has come: it’s Rainy Day in HK! The concert was only for two nights, but for PH Bi’ers Rizza (Rizzaritz), Carol (La Med), Karen (PinkJiawen) and myself (fatgrrl_slim), it’s a total of 6 full days of fun, walking, excitement, walking, pictorials, walking, sight-seeing, walking, shopping for Bi/Korean items, walking, meeting our multi-national cyber-friends, walking…
Day 1: No Rain, Just Ricky
Thursday – 6 October 2005
Rizza and I arrived in HK ahead of the others: Thursday, October 6. Yeah, you can say we were a bit too excited, but we actually did that for a purpose. Aside from seeing Bi’s concert, we also figured it will also be a great opportunity for us to get in touch with executives of Sony-BMG in Hong Kong because our ‘other Man’, Ricky Martin, is releasing a new album. Day 1 is reserved for meeting up with our AFRM-Macau (now AFRM-China) President Madalena, and making a courtesy call to the Sony-BMG offices to let them know that Ricky fans still do exist in this part of the world. I won’t delve too much into that since this blog entry is supposed to be focused on Rain, not Ricky…
Anyway, one thing we have noticed as soon as we landed in HK is this: everything seemed to be quiet on the Rain front. In fact, too quiet. Last July, when we went there for Rain’s fan gathering, I became HKD100 poorer right on my first hour in HK because of Rain stuff. This time, save for the latest issue of Jessica magazine that has Rain and Nikki Chow on the cover, there’s not a single thing about Rain on the newsstands. All we saw were Jerry Yan’s and Vanness Wu’s faces. We found that a bit odd coz we thought, with this mad scramble for Rainy Day concert tickets, everything must be Rain-crazy in HK by the time we arrive (which is a couple of days till the concert). But nope, there was nothing. Weird.
The only Rain-related thing that got us excited that day was this store in Causeway Bay which sells the HK release of the Rainy Day DVD. What caught our attention was the freebie that comes with it: a huge poster of Rain. I already have the DVD, so I didn’t even think of shelling out another HKD200+ just for the poster, especially since I have more than enough great photos of him from the July showcase.
I can’t have the poster, so I’ll just take a photo of it. :)
Rizza and I were dead-tired from all the preparations for the HK trip, so we just decided to stay at our hostel and rest for the remaining part of the day. A great idea, considering what happened starting at Day 2 of our stay in HK.
Day 2: The DOHC Billboard is the new Holy Grail
Friday – 7 October 2005
Karen is due to arrive at noon that day. It’s her first trip to HK (her first trip anywhere outside the Philippines, actually), so we really have to give her specific instructions on where to go, what to do, etc. We were slated to wait for her at the bus stop near the hostel, but since she won’t be showing up ’till noon, Rizza and I decided to spend the morning looking for that 10-foot DOHC poster/billboard of Rain and Nikki Chow, said to be somewhere in the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station.
When I first read that news about the billboard just a few weeks prior to the HK trip, I was all too confident that we’ll easily find it. We are staying at Tsim Sha Tsui, the MTR station is just below our building, it should be easy to find, right? WRONG. Apparently, there are many exits to the TST MTR station – Exit A to P, plus many sub-exits in between. Rizza and I painstakingly made the pilgrimage to the TST station, going up and down all the exits and dodging passengers who are always in a hurry, basically covering the entire TST area (which isn’t exactly small), and finding NOTHING. I told Rizza, “First, it was his concert tickets; now, it’s his billboard. The DOHC billboard is the new Holy Grail!” Somewhere between exits M and P, I already had a hunch that maybe, just maybe, they’ve already taken the billboard down. But that won’t make sense since Rain is coming to town, right? (Note to self: next time, follow what your gut says to save yourself from walking any further.)
By noontime, we finally gave up and went to the bus station to pick Karen up. When she arrived, we asked her if there was any activity in the airport since Rain is said to be arriving around the same time as her. She said there was nothing. Now that’s REALLY weird. I thought HK is Rain-crazy? Later on, she got some text messages from our Malaysian Soompi friends, informing us that they have arrived in HK and that they also didn’t find any activity at the HK airport. But Rizza was able to confirm via the internet that Rain has indeed arrived around noontime that day and that apparently, there are only a few fans who welcomed him at the airport (probably due to security reasons) and that he went to Exit B while Karen and the Malaysians went to Exit A (or something like that. It could be the other way around).
After resting for a bit (with the overly-excited Karen startling us when she suddenly exclaimed, “Makikita ko na si Bi bukas!” ["I'll finally see Bi tomorrow!"] when we thought she was fast asleep), we toured Karen around the TST area (more like we forced Karen to walk around the TST area), basically looking for a cheaper cyber-cafe (since the one in the hostel is too expensive) and for Rain’s Drama Soundtrack – with freebies – which our friends from RainPH asked us to buy for them. We went to HMV; they have the CD, but it costs HKD110. No way. We decided to look for small record stores which are selling the CD for something like HKD85, but for some reason, the only stores in the TST area are video shops. We may have to go to Mongkok just to find the cheaper CD. We walked further to look for a cheaper cyber-cafe, but again, we found nothing (later on, we found one and it was actually just below our building. After all that walking, we found out it was right under our noses all this time. Dang it.)
Madalena is scheduled to meet us for dinner that night, so we decided to give our feet and legs a rest in the hostel before we have to meet her. At 7pm, we met her at Grand Hyatt Hotel, just across our lowly hostel, where Madalena treated the three of us to a sumptuous seafood buffet that I’m still raving about until now. The food is simply heavenly. I probably ate three-days’ worth of dinners that night. After eating, we decided to give ourselves a small workout and walked – AGAIN – towards Avenue of Stars so that we can show Karen the view of Hong Kong Island at night. But not before we had some photo ops with Madalena and used The Peninsula’s bathroom on the way to the harbour. :)
Rizza, Karen and moi with our Macanese friend Madalena after dinner at Grand Hyatt.
After using The Peninsula’s bathroom, we just had to have a pictorial there.
In front of HK Space Museum. My pic took Rizza ten tries and ages of waiting for the traffic to ease out before she was able to get a good shot.
As soon as we reached the Star Ferry Terminal towards Avenue of Stars, I pointed something to Karen: “Do you see that turtle-shaped building right there? We’re gonna be there tomorrow. That’s the Hong Kong Convention Centre.” That’s it, it’s pictorials galore after that.
The spectacular night view of Hong Kong island.
Goofing around the Avenue of Stars. (photos by Rizza)
Hey Rain! Are you ready for us?! (hehe, as if he can hear us all the way from Kowloon island)
Snooping at dating couples. We’re so bad!
Walking back to our hostel, we chanced upon a magazine stand and FINALLY, we saw Rain’s face on a poster and a photobook. However, those are the same ones we got last July, only re-packaged and re-sold. Of course, we passed. We’ll just wait for the post-concert stuff.