What a day. It started off with (of course) a great breakfast. I’m starting to love the way you can have these omelette’s made to measure. I have to say that jalapenos in an omelette of capsicum, onion, olives and ham is just gooooood! As I recovered from my omelette and coffee it was time to be saying good-bye to the UCB International directors and their wives as they were about to set off to Boracay Island for both a retreat and an International Board meeting. From here it was off to church. Firstly I asked the host of our conference Chuck Quinley for a recommendation. After having previously doing some research about Newsboys leader, Peter Furler I had found out information about both the ‘Every Nation’ movement he is involved with and their Philippine group ‘Victory’. Having heard good reports about the local ‘Victory’ church as well as from Chuck it was off in the taxi for the 10am service. They are in the Fort area across from Market Market . Uh Oh, on arrival I find the church services is for 11am so off for a coffee at the nearby Market Market before coming back for the 11am service. This was the local Victory Fort Bonifacio congregation just across the road from Market Market. It was a great experience. An usher called Joy made me feel at home and the Pastor, Joey Bonifacio gave a stirring message on Fatherhood as it was ‘Fathers Day’ in the Philippines (following the American celebration date). Every now and then Joey would launch into a little Taglish (local speak) but the lady next to me would ‘fill in the gaps’ on my understanding. I believe the message will soon be available for download on the local church website at http://fort.victory.org.ph Please get it! If I see the link appear I’ll post it here. (27/6/07 The team at Fort Victory just emailed me the link for you to download the MP3 or listen online to this great message. Click HERE
Here’s a few thoughts on the celebratory close of the UCB regional conference held in Manila. The event was hosted by UCB-IFA (Initiative for Asia) and for a start we thank both Chuck and Sherry Quinley and Ron and Joyce Titular who made the event such a success through their incredible energy, ideas and a great support team. The event held in the Asian Institute of Management building in Makati City attracted around 200 delegates from July 14th to 16th. The vibe was probably the underlying element that contributed to this event being a great source of inspiration for many delegates. Whether members of UCB, our International media partners or the local people of the Philippines, everyone came away with a renewed sense of call. Here in this photo, Chuck Quinely who heads up UCB-IFA, celebrates with the graduates of this ‘Redeem the Airwaves 2’ conference.
This was a classic I found on Chuck Quinley’s blog a little while ago. Couldn’t help love the moment grabbed in traffic for a bit of comedic talent to come forward. "Oh!" You were trying to be a serious Freddy Mercury take-off? Sorry Chuck but with a face like this, no black mustache, somehow it didn’t work.
‘Party all night long’ would have been the mandate for tonight’s escapade at the Market Market mall. Local artists and bands like ACEL, JERICHO ROSALES and the hit act of the KITCHE NADAL all played to a packed central stage are with the audience spread over five floors. The connection with the local people through this concert must be immense for the EDGE Radio team. Many of us were impacted by the fact that they had strong sponsorship from local commercial groups like McDonalds and the mall Management. You will see from the photos uploaded to Picasa that they have done a great job on the branding with the stage banner having been in place for some time promoting the free concert event.
What a great day. Today I was caught up in many things from the buffet breakfast that could swallow a man whole through to the awesome worship session that has begun the ‘Redeem the Airwaves’ conference. Included in the day was the dedication of the new studios designed and built for ‘The Edge’. The picture on the left is of Chuck Quinley, Hal Short and Jim Reyes as they cut the ribbon while one of the team watches on to make sure everyone gets a balloon. After a pleasant yet ‘full-on’ breakfast’ I decided I needed a wee follicle trim. Draw your conclusions as to what the connection was. Now being a guy who is reasonably qualified with an IQ worth using I decided to ask for directions. That was my first mistake. Where is the hair dresser? Go this way then turn this way and that way. A little later and I have to check into the local 7/11. By this time I’ve past 5 armed guards in front of small banking outlets. And these aren’t pistol armed but ‘rifles at the ready, circle the wagons armed’. OK, I work through the cue at the 7/11 to the front counter where you can buy a single banana in a display case for 150pesos and I ask ‘where is the hairdresser?’ Oh the one near the cinemas – go this way and that way. Well a long walk later and I am around the other side of the block 75m from where I had first asked for directions. Gotta love that morning air – Fresh! 🙂
Sure I had been warned about the taxi ride from the airport. To be honest I didn’t think it was that bad. I must get over the fact that I had a quiet feeling of respect for how close these drivers could drive to one another with no apparent accidents. It stood out to me that there were drivers of brand new BMWs etc also driving 4inches away from the next vehicle. Yup, this was my kinda race track. By the way if you are travelling in the front seat here are two tips for first time travellers to the Philippines and the squeamish; 1. Don’t get in the left hand side, sure you may like to drive but so far I haven’t found a Filipino willing to hand over their taxi to a novice. Yes, they’re left hand drive vehicles. 2. Have friends in the back seat you can turn and talk to. This is great fun. First you don’t have to look where you are going so you can relax and enjoy the ride. Second, you can see the fear in their eyes because they can see where you are going. 😉 Woke up this morning. Checked out the scenery. Time to face the day 🙂 This is the view from my 14th floor room at the Renaissance Hotel in Makati City, Manila.
Today (Tuesday) Ian and Mandy Worby and myself did a wee bit of shopping visiting Singapore’s largest shopping centre ‘VIVO’. It was a supreme piece of retail therapy thanks to the fluid design of the centre with only a very rare number of parallel corridors and the majority of the public space areas taken up with Dali style curves and Asian comic colour influences. A lovely little incidental I have enjoyed seeing is the ‘Emergency Room’ setups in shopping centres for people to bring their laptops or phones for repair. They have the look of a modern triage’ and give the impression that waiting in line for your ‘Mac’ or ‘Nokia’ to be repaired should be counted in the list of ‘things I did with my life’. In my Singapore 2007 Picasas album, there is a picture of one of the Mac centres’ inclusive of ‘Green Cross Icon’. Makes you think about the irony of the PC vs. Mac creative ads as I didn’t see a PC emergency room. Maybe they go straight to the cemetery. Now to be totally fair to both sides of this, "who can market their technology better than the other person debate" 🙂 You can find the range of "Mac vs. PC" ads here www.apple.com/getamac/ads/ But if you would like to see some funny "PC vs. Mac" ads then try this site www.lauriemcguinness.com
Day 2 in Singapore has been a relaxing look at the city. A walk around the marina was a twilight highlight. This panorama below shows everything from the Merlion, Singapore’s part lion part fish icon through to the new ‘Eye’ ferris-wheel currently being built (a third from the left). The ‘Eye’ will be bigger than the UK one based on the banks of the River Thames but smaller than the new "Mother of all Ferris-Wheels" in Kuala Lumpur. Currently the Singapore structure is waiting on the delivery of the bullet shaped cabins to arrive from Japan with completion expected as early as November 2007 but with a definite goal of finishing by January 2008. This day involved a lot of walking but a great deal of fun particularly looking at Bugis Markets. This is a great night time experience but just as crowded and intense during the day. Take care as there are many nooks and cranny’s so it would be easy for children to get lost and overwhelmed. However, a great deal of variety and bargains are to be had at Bugis’ Junction markets.
Well I have landed in Singapore, settled in and enjoying the view from my Hotel room on the 13th floor at the Holiday Inn – Atrium on Outram Road.
Of course every hotel needs a character attribute and the Atrium speaks for itself. Take a look at the inside and outside of this 24 storey building (below). The six lifts that rise and fall within the atrium are a smooth ride and add to the ambience with the feeling of movement changing what could have been a cold cavern by contrast. I had a wonderful day out walking yesterday and intend to get some more exercise today as well as maybe drop in a bus tour. A visit to Sim Lim Square takes care of the technology taste buds and a walk around Bugis Street markets will test your sense of direction but show you a few fashion bargains. Tomorrow, Ian and Mandy Worby from UCB Australia arrive followed closely by Ian and Niki Mackie from UCB Europe. I’ve warned the Hotel to expect them so they have put on extra staff.
Well Operation Build has begun with day one of the four day Visionathon. Our national on-air appeal is to see the ministry firmly established and the studios improved beyond their broom closet status. We really need to move out of ‘renting’ to ensure we are not in a precarious position should either of our landlord’s decide to change their plans.
If you would like to look around the office and studios of UCB Australia then visit www.vision.org.au where we have a 6 minute video that you can view in a variety of formats. If you can help us with a donation then click on the banner below.
If you would like to read the testimony of the day that saw over $75,000 raised in one hour then keep reading;