As everyone knows, I (with 30+ other bloggers from the Philippines) traveled to Malaysia last December 16 for the bi-annual Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards (aka the NAPBAS). I was a finalist for Most Original Blog Design and I sadly did not come home with a glass trophy and a new Olympus camera. That’s okay, though! I mean, the only thing worse than being a loser is being a sore loser and I honestly have nothing to pout about because the Nuffnang folks made sure we had one hell of a trip! Plus, being a finalist was/is already an honor, when you consider the selection process that went into it (hindi lang basta-basta!).
Our journey to Putrajaya, Malaysia started at 530am on Friday, December 16 and lasted for TWELVE FREAKIN’ HOURS. Air Asia was a NAPBAS sponsor so we all met up at the Nuffnang PH offices at Bonifacio High Street before being shuttled to Clark. It was my first time to go to Malaysia and lazy me didn’t bother to do any prior research. In my ignorance, I had this silly idea that Malaysia was like Singapore or Hong Kong lulz. I was in for a surprise, especially after finding out how far Putrajaya was from Kuala Lumpur (about a REAL 40 minutes away by teksi).
(I asked one of the cabbies we took what putra and jaya mean and he said that “Putra” is the surname of their first Prime Minister while “jaya” means something like “success.” It’s pretty, don’t you think?)
We barely had any time to get ready for the NAPBAS which was slated to start at 630pm. I was worried; after all, we weren’t on Filipino time anymore. Kaith (my roommate) and I got showered and dressed as fast as we could and were only half an hour late.
My dress has kitties, flowers, and beach balls on it! I got it for 65PHP a yard at the fabric store at Farmers and it was among bolts of fabric meant for pillow cases. I was a little worried about my dress being too informal seeing that all the primers we were sent prior told us to prepare for a night of GLITZ & GLAMOR!!!. In the end, I decided I didn’t care and went with something more me. I need to get those darn sleeves fixed, though!
In between socializing— which I spent trying to get some goddamn beer (sponsored by Tiger; had to tweet to be served!) and sticking to the Philippine bloggers (because I swear, the Malaysians and Singaporeans are so intimidating all dolled up)— and the program proper, the finalists were asked to go into the VIP room to be briefed. First thing to enter my mind? “I am going to see Xiaxue up close.” I’m pretty sure everyone knows who Xiaxue is and my dorky friend, Sanya, is a huge fan so I asked to take her photo.
(I actually feel like a mega creep seeing these bloggers in the flesh for the first time and knowing so much about them.)
And because I’ve always wanted to do this…
Obviously, my editing skills pale next to hers (she also had a better smile in the first two photos I snapped of her but they’re all blurry). I also purposely did not dye my hair pink before the NAPBAS so as not to have the same hair color as her. XX, u scary.
Some photos of Team Philippines!
After the awards night, we had about an hour to get ready for the after-party at Zouk in Kuala Lumpur. By bus, KL is about an hour away and we were quietly calculating how much time we had at the club (the bus was picking us up at 230am to head back to Putrajaya), what time we’d get back to the hotel, and— most importantly— how much sleep/rest we’d get for the night. We were tired (though I was pumped on adrenaline) and we wanted to be up in time for the all you can eat breakfast buffet.
Zouk was no fun at all! I love drinking and I like to dance funny every now and then (usually when drunk) but I have long outgrown clubbing. Zouk was packed to the rafters and it was ridiculously hard to get around. The VIP room set aside for the NAPBAS people was tiny with a low ceiling so it was loud, crowded, and smoky. Not my music, not my scene.
At a little past 2am, I gladly exited Zouk to look for the street food cart we saw on our way in.
And that’s Day 1 of my Malaysia-NAPBAS trip (minus my meandering on and on about how I was a big ball of nerves up until the winner in my category was announced)! I’ll get Days 2 and 3 written and published within the week aka before 2012, hopefully.