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Si Papa Piolo!!! (Adventures in Qatar)

Filed under: Features — GSM0d at 4:53 pm on Friday, September 16, 2011

First time ko naka-bonding si Papa Piolo Pascual at sa Middle East pa!

Parang honeymoon lang sa Libya. Nagpuputukan.

Actually, nakasama ko na siya sa Rome pero di kami nag-bonding dun kasi iba hotel niya. Pero ngayon, bumonding si Papa P sa amin kaya naman kaming lahat ay tuwang-tuwa.

Bonding na siya sa amin ni Jovit Baldovino and TFC head Mickey Muñoz mula sa plane ride.

Bonding siya sa amin sa pagtambay sa Qatar lounge for five hours.

Hanggang sa pasyalan sa Qatar, join siya.

Qatar is a magical place. Behind us is the spectacular pearl bay of Qatar where they park their “Pearl” boats.

These boats are actually reminiscent of the pearl boats that Qatar used back in the 1800s, when they didn’t know yet that they’re an oil-rich country—to harvest pearls in their sea.

Now these boats are just fishing boats.

Behind the boats is the Museum of Islamic Art, the venue for the Tribeca Film Festival, which was founded by Robert De Niro after the 9-11 attacks to rejuvenate Manhattan.

Ang Al-Thani family ang nagpapatakbo sa Qatar. Ang kanilang Amir ay si Amir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani .

Nagsagawa ng isang mapayapang “coup” para mapalitan ang kanyang ama noong 1995.

Ngayon, ang Qatar ay isa sa may pinakamataas na per capita income sa buong mundo dahil sa kanilang langis at natural gas reserves. Sa sobrang yaman nila, may kuwento akong narinig na may pinatayong hotel ang Amir. Nang-ma-realize niya na overlooking pala yung hotel sa kanyang banyo, pinatibag niya ang 40-story hotel na fully-furnished. Kahlowkah sa yaman!

Etong bonggang-bonggang mall na ito ay balitang patitibagin din ng Amir kasi gagawa siya ng football stadium dahil host ang Qatar sa FIFA World Cup ng 2022.

Meron na talagang football stadium and Doha (capital of Qatar): the Khalifa International Stadium which has 60,000 seats.

FYI, mag-so-solo concert lang naman dito sa engrandeng stadium na ito ang ating kababayan na si Charice Pempengco on September 29. Bongga, di ba!

Tickets are priced at 350 Qatari Rial (times 11 sa peso so bale 3,850 siya sa currency natin). Mabuhay ang Pinoy power.

Balikan natin yung titibagin na Villagio Mall sa Qatar para makagawa sila ng mas malaking football stadium for FIFA Cup 2022. Palaisipan talaga sa akin kung bakit niya titibagin ang mall kasi ang dami-daming open empty lots sa Qatar.

Ang rason ay dahil sa napakagandang Torch Doha hotel sa likod namin ni Jovit Baldovino.

Ayon sa kuro-kuro, gusto dawn ng Amir yung mga VIP ng world cup na doon titira sa hotel na yun. Kahkahlowka, parang lego land lang niya ang Qatar. Build and tear! Ang yaman!

Piolo did not join this picture as he was busy shooting the wondrous Torch Doha Hotel with his hi-tech Canon camera. “Kristina [KC] gave me this.”

It was not the first time he brought up the name of KC in our conversations. In fact, he would bring her up all the time. Di lang alam ni Piolo na tuwing sinasambit niya ang pangalang KC, sobra ako Kinikilig dahil isa akong true blue KC- PIOLO love team fan.
Noong araw kasi, SHARON-GABBY fan ako. I was grade five then. But now that I’m in 4th year college (Chos! Mangarap ba, Sanchez?), next gen fan na ‘ko nina KC at Piolo.

Mga sambit ni Piolo tungkol kay KC:

“Ang tagal din namin ni Kristina sa Paris.”

“I surprised her one day when we rode the train. Natulog siya and when she woke up, I brought her to Assisi, a fascinating town in Italy.”

“What I like about Kristina is her humility. She’s very grounded. With all the things she’s gone through, having a diploma in Paris, yet…Alam mo, napakatalino yet she’s level-headed. It’s so easy to approach her.”

“Si Cristina na ata ang pinakasimpleng tao na nakilala ko. The simplest things in life make her happy. Hindi mahilig sa grand things at napaka-down to earth niya.”

Hindi naman masyadong obvious na in-love siya kay KC. Kung di pa umiyak si KC on national television at umaming may pinagdadaanan sila ni Papa P, I would not have guessed that there was a minor problem in their relationship the way Piolo talked about her.

Since he was talking about the love of his life half of the time, I asked Piolo if I could publish his answers to the following personal questions which he was very elusive to share to the press—the sensitive topic about his relationship with KC being on the rocks. Kumbaga sa FB relationship status, “it’s complicated.”

At least ngayon, mas maliliwanagan na kasi magsasalita na si Piolo, as in now na!

G-Spot: Did you get to watch KC cry in The Buzz?

Piolo: I did not get to watch but I heard.

G-Spot: What was your reaction?

Piolo: It’s something really personal that I haven’t thoroughly discussed with her. Mas mabuti na kami munamag-usap.

G-Spot: KC has spoken, even Sharon has spoken. Why have you kept quiet all this time?

Piolo: Hirap kasi when you’re in showbiz, everything gets magnified and everything is talked about. Hindi pa rin ako sanay…Para hindi na lang lumaki, I will just settle this between the two of us.

G-Spot: But you know you can fix it?

Piolo: For sure, oo naman. Were going to fix this. Hindi naman ako papasok sa isang relasyon mapa-showbiz man o hindi if it’s not for the long haul or if it’s not good for me. I did not wait this long just to waste my time.

G-Spot: Do you consider KC as your one true love? Siya na ba?

Piolo: Oh yeah…I hope so!

OMG! I’m so kilig! So ayan na mga PEPsters, Huwag na kayo mangamba kasi aayusin na nila. Konting tampong kulangot lang ‘yan.

Abangan na lang natin ang susunod na kabanata, malay mo, wedding bells na! Haay, sana sila na nga ang magkatuluyan!

Oo nga pala, may part 2 pa ito dahil nadumog kami ng fans sa Kuwait! As in dumog!

When in Rome…

Filed under: Travelogue — GSM0d at 7:24 pm on Friday, September 2, 2011

When in Rome, do as the Romans do daw, kaya….

“When in Rome, kelangan mag-Vatican. Suwerte pa namin ni Gabby Concepcion at ang kanyang friend na si Gerry Espe dahil Wednesday kami dumating.

Tuwing Wednesday, nagmimisa ang POPE sa labas ng St. Peter’s Basilica. Imagine our excitement na makikita namin si Pope Benedict XVI!

Kaya kahit dalawa at kalahating oras sa gitna ng matinding araw ang misa ng papa, tiniis namin ni Gab, makuha lang ang blessing ni papa Benedict sa dulo.

Paulit-ulit ko sinasabi for two hours, “Ang hirap naman maging Katoliko!”

Pero ayaw ko naman umalis. Baka kasi di na kami uli papasukin dahil kinuha na yung invitation namin.

Nakikita niyo ba yung ga-munggong parang kalahati ng tuldok dun sa likod namin ni Gabby. Yun ang altar ni Pope Benedict.

E, yung Pope, nakikita niyo sa altar? Hindi? Kami rin. Kaya alam niyo, ang wish ko nung bine-bless kami? Na sana makita ko naman nang malapitan ang papa pagbalik ko dito sa Vatican.

Alam ninyo? God granted my wish. E, kung alam ko lang na napakalakas pala ng blessing ni Pope Benedict, sana nag-wish na lang ako manalo sa lotto! E, di nanalo pa siguro ako.

After the Europe Kapamilya Caravan, my husband followed me so we went back to Rome.

This time, through the help of Consul General Danilo T. Ibayan and Ate Flor Icasiano of the Embassy to the Holy Sea, we were able to see the pope up close.

Pero marami requirements:

1. Men had to be in tuxedos and women in black veils and long sleeves.

2. You need a limo to bring you inside the Saint Peter’s Basilica, diplomat’s entrance. Buti na lang, may nagmagandang loob na Pinoy na naghatid sa amin sa loob.

3. You need an invitation—thank you, Consul Danny and Ate Flor.

E, bakit ba kelangan makita ang pope?

1. Kasi katoliko kami. The pope is the father of the Roman Catholic Church.

2. Iba ang blessing ng pope. It extends to your family and all the religious articles you are holding while he is blessing you. Di ba nga, na-grant agad ang wish ko?

When in Rome…

Kelangan kumain ng Italian food, preferably pasta—sobrang al dente!

Dinala kami councilor Jessie Ramirez sa isang maliit na restaurant sa Trastevere area. Uminom kami ng white wine. Palibhasa puyat kami pareho ni Gabby, nalasing kami after eating.
Umupo kami sa gutter sa labas ng restaurant at tumawa nang tumawa. Para kaming tanga.

When in Rome…

Kelangan gumimik sa Campo al Fiori at Piazza Navona. Naglaro kami ni Gabby. Isang contest. Sinong makaka-hook ng pinakamarami. Kay Gabby, padamihan ng girls na makikilala niya. At sa akin naman, padamihan ng boys na aakitin ko at makikilala.

Ang tanga ko noh? Kinalaban ko si Gabby Conceocion, na umakit sa puso ni Sharon Cuneta, Anjanette Abayari, Dindi Gallardo, Snooky Serna, Jenny Syquia at napakarami pang naggagandahang mga celebrity at beauty queen. Siyempre, natalo ako!

When in Rome…

Do as the Romans do!

E, ano ba ginagawa ng mga lovers dito bawat kanto? Susmaryosep! Kung makita mo lang, kulang na lang kama at sign ng Victoria Court o Sogo sa tabi nila.

Walang kamatayang pag-me-make-out, halikan, lambutsingan, fingeran, oo! Fingeran!

Kahit saan! Sa kalsada, sa gutter, sa park, sa harap ng simbahan, sa palengke, sa tindahan, as in kahit saan. E, do as the Romans do, di ba?