Whoa! I can’t believe that it’s been almost two months since we came home from our trip to new york thanks to Globe x NBA!  Well, before anything else, I’d like to describe Ponggo to you when he’s watching practically any sport on TV in the comic below.

My friends have been asking, why does Ponggo always have to look like the bad guy on this blog?  Well, that’s the advantage of being the cartoonist between the two of us.  I get to edit everything! Hihi. *Evil grin*  I mean, I always accuse Ponggo of telling me amazing stories about his golf game and I tell him, “It’s awesome that you’re the hero of your story but who gets to validate that? I wasn’t there.”  Well, look who’s talking? 🙂

Watching a Game

So, last year, we won a couple of tickets to New York to watch the NBA All-Star Weekend 2015.  It was an adventure packed 6-day trip and we couldn’t be any happier!  01 Brooklyn Coffee IMG_3078 copy

Part of the NBA All-star Weekend 2015 was held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn so we also got to soak up some art / interior design / cultural inspiration in between the NBA games. 🙂01 Tippy at the Porch IMG_3111

(Above: Sorry, I don’t really know how to pose. I swear, I’m learning…I think.)

Yup, that’s the obligatory oh-my-gosh-there’s-snow-let’s-have-our-photo-taken picture.  The “warmest” day we had was +2 degrees and the coldest was -18 with a -31 feel!!  Now I know how resilient the human body is now that I’m dealing with a 40-degree weather here. 🙂  Before the trip to New York, we were extra paranoid and we made sure we had a constant supply of vitamin C and citrus fruits because we didn’t know how we were going to adapt with the crazy weather. 02 Bark IMG_3079 copy 03 Madison Square Garden IMG_3258 copy

Recalling everything that happened during the trip, we had so many surreal experiences actually.  I don’t know how to rank them.  When we were at the game in Madison Square Garden, Bill Clinton was there as well as Beyonce, JayZ, Rihanna and other celebrities! Ansel Elgort was also at the All-Star Celebrity game.  That was probably the highlight for me.  Hahahaha. Ponggo hates me for slapping his back upon finding out that The Fault in Our Stars lead was playing.  I found myself shamelessly waving to the big screen.  Doe-eyed Adrian Grenier of The Devil Wears Prada & Entourage was in the audience too! *Sigh* ❤04 Basketball IMG_3006 copy

DSLR’s weren’t allowed in the NBA games but we almost forgot about that fact when we were given a private tour of the historical Madison Square Garden before the main event.  We actually got to step on the same court where Steph Curry was warming up!  We also watched Christina Aguilera, Arianna Grande, Nikki Minaj & Magic perform!  So many awesome things happening to the point that when I was Tweeting, I just felt that I will eventually run out of superlatives. 05 NYC

And oh, we also got to see Grant Hill while he was being interviewed for the NBA TV. I usually judge people who wave at the TV camera but that’s just what we did when we had our chance.  *Woops, please forgive us!* But, we were so happy when relatives & friends started sending us messages that they somehow saw us in the background. Hahahaha. #MissionAccomplished01 Klay Thompson IMG_9772

We also had a couple of things signed by Klay Thompson himself!  Whoa.

02 NBA Logo IMG_9759 12 Chelsea Cupcake & Sprinkles IMG_9598

Aside from the NBA games, we also literally got a taste of New York.  We got to tour the Chelsea Market and where we realized that pretty much all the new restaurant concepts being introduced locally were somehow inspired by the places and food there. 🙂06 IMG_9615

Above: You’re staring at where the Titanic was supposed to dock in New York.  That’s the Hudson River and part of it is FROZENNNNN!!! *Crazy!* It’s funny when people say, “Hey, it doesn’t look cold at all.  According to your photos, it was some sunny day”.  You just don’t know what we had to deal with!

One night, on our way to the NBA VIP afterparty, we chose to walk in the wee hours of the morning.  I was wearing dangling earrings.  One of them fell and I just can’t seem to put it back on because I can’t feel my fingers.  When I got home, I realized that I lost another earring because I can’t feel my ears.  It’s funny because I was wearing a pair of ear muffs and a beanie!!

But, it was a fun change and challenge especially for a bunch of people from the tropics. Hehe.  By the eve of Valentine’s day, we actually dared each other to eat ice cream with no jackets.  Apparently, ice cream just feels like cream when you’re in a place that’s colder than a freezer!!!! Hahahaha.  I was busy taking pictures and I had to place my popsicle somewhere thinking, “Oh no it’s going to melt…Oh, then again, maybe not!”
Times Square New York

Above: Quintessential New York

As we were crossing the street, I told Ponggo to stop & take a photo of this because that’s what we usually see in the movies anyway.  I’ve been to New York a number of times before but I never really got to sleep in Manhattan.  For this trip, our suite was located in the middle of Times Square and that was just awesome! 🙂09 Mast Brothers IMG_9652 (with logo)

Above & Below: Packaging & Succulent inspo from Chelsea market.

Yes, I bought them Mast Brothers chocolate just because I had to quench my curiosity since I always see these pretty things on Instagram! (But seriously, you should check out their account.  It kind of makes you want to wish that the universe will conspire to have a chocolate company commission you to do their packaging artwork!)10 Cactus IMG_9623 11 Artist & Fleas IMG_9668

So we crossed the street and here I was running back & gravitating towards this huge poster.  I can’t wait to go back to New York city and explore more art the city has to offer!  13 M&M's World IMG_9713

Of course, no Googly trip is complete without a visit to a colorful place. Hehehehe. I thought I’d be able to stop myself from buying these M&M’s Colorworks edition but I ended up taking home a cup of customized lentils for my sister. #WhatIsLifeWithoutChocolates

06 Karlo & Ponggo

Then again, the usual photo op in the snow with one half of our boyband: Karlo & Ponggo. Whilst shopping, Karlo actually sent us a message  that (a) he was outside (b) it was snowing & (c) he was able to scout for a perfect photo location!  #KidsDeprivedOfSnow15 Empire State Building You’re looking at the EMPIRE STATE…building.  😉  I just couldn’t imagine how insanely cold it is up there now with the wind and all.  Regina Spektor best describes the climate we had to deal with:

♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
Frozen noses, frozen toes
The frozen city starts to glow
And yes, they know that it will pass
And yes they know New York will thaw…
♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
17 Blue Loot IMG_9823

Blue Loot: I don’t know why I’m addicted to this hue lately.  I mean, it’s also reflected in the fact that I’m consuming more blue in my watercolor set and ink lately. 18 Bryant Park Frozen IMG_9656

Here’s another proof of how cold it wasssssss!  The fountain at Bryant Park was frozen as well.  Now I know why people have been laughing at me during my Big Blog X trip when I told them that it’s ideal to visit the Philippines in January & February because it’s “cold” (i.e., cold being +23-26 degrees C).  Going home, it was such a hilarious thing to look at the weather app.  What?? We actually had to shift from -31 degrees Celsius to +31 degrees! Ha!

But, we had an awesome, surreal, fun trip all in all. (See? I just ran out of superlatives and adjectives.)

Ponggo Karlo Miguel Mitch Ku Carla Dunareanu Dino Laurena Aaron Atayde

And yes, I miss this fun & witty bunch so much!  L-R: Ponggo, Karlo Miguel &  Mitch Ku of ABS-CBN, our tour guides for New York & Chelsea Market, Dino Laurena of ABS-CBN, the incredibly down-to-earth Carla Dunereanu and Mr. OOTD Aaron Atayde. 🙂 Missing in this photo are yours truly & Nikko Ramos, who was like our little brother during the entire trip. 🙂

If you’d like to win a ticket to the NBA just like us, check out the Globe x NBA Raffle here. 🙂  Don’t forget, you have until April 10 to JOIN!?!?!?!

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Things I Said I’d Do + New York Days 1 & 2
Our Lucky Day in Rome
Postcards from Tuscany