Camille Blogs a Bit

Writing about design, technology, maybe philosophy, and daily living (in Singapore)

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Tag: our story is of moments (page 1 of 2)

Japan: Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe (Part 2)

Personal cultural highlights from our trip:

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Japan: Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe (Part 1)

In between transitioning jobs, I asked Charlie to go with me to Osaka (and tour the nearby prefectures) since it seemed like the perfect time for vacation for both of us. It was the first time I’ve visited Japan in summer (an earlier trip with family happened in May, just as spring was ending, where the weather was cool and perfect). I may have gotten feet tan lines and facial irritations (getting better now, thankfully!) but experiencing two summer festival events made the trip worth it!

Of course, it needn’t be said that everything was made better because Charlie and I finally get to take a break from this Long Distance Relationship thing. 

We just stayed at an Airbnb in Osaka for all eleven nights, then went out on day trips to Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe. We took it slow because it’s supposed to be a vacation, and I didn’t want to be too exhausted just before I start my new job, heh.

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A Doctor Who Party

I’m not used to planning surprise parties and OH MAN it is one of those more stressful/paranoid-inducing things a person can experience. Emile and I had our “HE-KNOWS!!!” moments, but Charlie was so overwhelmed by the surprise that it was just so worth it. 


It was Charlie’s birthday last Thursday (11th) and I thought of maybe surprising him with a party at his place. But I couldn’t do it alone, so I got Emile to help me as co-host (and co-provider of food — i.e. alcohol and cocktails). He also picked up the customized Doctor Who cupcakes I ordered from Love Lots Cakes, so I really couldn’t have done it without him. 

The Party Menu

  1. Doctor Who Cupcakes – c/o me
  2. “Charlie Alexander” – black-russian inspired drinks by Emile
  3. The other cocktails – we were going along with the sonic screwdrivers, c/o Emile
  4. Fish and Chips (for fish fingers and custard) from MOMO – we only got two because of my budget, lol
  5. Vanilla pudding (because we couldn’t find just custard from the grocery, we got pudding as a substitute, hahaha)
  6. Carbonara – I originally wanted to order the Fetuccini (sp?) from Banapple, but I was getting short of money so I had our cook from Save22 cook for me instead. But I paid for the ingredients and everything. We ended up having too much of this. 😛 
  7. Chocolate cake – it had some coffee-tasting stuff. Sponsored by Angelica (from Cafe 1771
  8. Popcorn




How the surprise happened 

A few weeks before the birthday: 

  • I asked for a quote from Love Lots Cakes (you need around a month before the event so that Mel (the artist) can check if her schedule is free. It was P1.5k per dozen for my set of Doctor Who cupcakes, and I ordered two. 

  • Messaged Emile to be my partner in crime because I really needed help to prepare everything and make sure it will seem like a “normal” day for Charlie. 

  • Set up a FB event to invite some of Charlie’s close friends. We couldn’t invite a lot more people mainly because we’re only having it at his condo, and we wouldn’t be able to fit everyone. 

  • Ask permission from Charlie’s brother. Since they shared the place, we had to make sure he’s ok with us having the party there. Luckily, a few days before the birthday, while Emile and I were preparing dinner (Charlie was working) his brother was there and I got to ask if we could have a surprise party for him. He said ok, as long as we don’t spill stuff and keep the condo clean, and keep butts off the top of the sofa. 

On the day:

I went to work as usual, but stayed only until lunch. As soon as the carbonara was cooked, I went to Charlie’s place to meet up with Emile (who also just picked up the cupcakes). He parked his car in the condo parking, but opposite where Charlie usually parked. Because they wouldn’t let him park on a different floor, I had to be sure that when Charlie and I come in later in the evening, he wouldn’t notice the car. I got to the place first, so I dropped by National Bookstore to get some things: 

  1. Blue velvet paper – which served as our “tablecloth”. They didn’t have the exact same shade of TARDIS blue, but it would have to do. I put it on the tables so we could “spill-proof” the area. 
  2. POST-IT notes – I originally wanted a “freedom wall” for people to scribble in messages or draw stuff for Charlie, but I didn’t want to stain the wall accidentally so I settled for post-it’s
  3. Markers – for the notes
  4. A white cartolina – for a huge greeting card

When Emile got there, we dropped off the cupcakes, alcohol, liqueur, and glasses at the condo before going to the grocery to buy additional stuff. I got some disposable utensils, and we bought some lemon, the vanilla pudding, additional mixers and vodka for the drinks. Right after paying, I got a cab to go back to Ortigas since I usually ride with Charlie after work. It had to feel as NORMAL as possible. 

One thing that wasn’t part of the plan: Charlie’s car was coding. I had to text everyone to say that we’ll probably be arriving around 7.20 PM instead of the originally-planned 6.30 PM. All the while I was worrying that Charlie would want to have dinner at Ortigas instead, since we’re going home later than usual. Good thing we had a late “merienda” at KFC, which meant he’d still be good for dinner afterward. 

On the way home, he asked me, “What do you want for dinner?” and I could only say, “I’ll think about it later!” 

On the way to the condo, Angelica also texted me asking where we were, and for some reason Charlie chose it as the time to bug me about my text and what Angelica was messaging me for. Good thing I replied quickly about thanking her for the gloves she gave me, which I used in Shanghai. A conversation that actually happened, except it was a few days earlier. 😛 NICE SAVE. 

But that didn’t stop me from worrying how I’m going to pull off the surprise successfully, because I was actually thinking, CHARLIE KNOWS. lol. 

Anyway, I HAD to make sure we didn’t go straight out for dinner after parking at the condo, so I told Charlie I needed to poop first. I can’t say I wanted to pee, because you can just pee at any bathroom. But everyone knows you can only poop comfortably at your own place, or in a house/condo — not a public restroom. 

So we were going up and I was updating Emile and Peter every minute. FINALLY we got to the floor and Charlie opened his door and he noticed the post-it notes on the wall, but didn’t think much about it yet until everyone got to say, “SURPRISE” and someone opened the lights and Charlie was successfully surprised, except it was so unexpected that he also thought: “Dammit, I was planning on working tonight.” 

Later on, Anton and Paoie surprised us (again) by making us think they couldn’t go anymore. Cholo feigned having something wrong with his stomach and Charlie accompanied him to the bathroom where Anton and Paoie surprised him with raisin bread from Baguio (lol). 

AAAAAND, that was it. I am so relieved it’s over. 😀 Although we missed some people who weren’t able to go, everyone had fun. I’m so so thankful for Emile, Aldous, and Donna who helped with the preparations, and Cholo who also arrived early, and everyone else who made it. You guys made Charlie a happy bear! 🙂 

I will be writing a film review on I Do Bidoo Bidoo soon, but I am taking this time to say that it was bad enough that I told Charlie we should make a film together (I can do production design, and will probably only do that for him). I’m not a writer but I swear, I think I could have written a musical way better than that. 

That says a lot considering I told myself I quit anything film-related. 

all the silly things

my relationship with charlie is the opposite of my parents’. when I’m home and when my parents are home, I hate what I see and I just 

want everything to be different with us.

it’s great that it is.