Barçablog 6 – “In Croatia I’m a 12…”

I’ve been sort of secretly disappointed with myself for the years I’ve let go by without finishing these videos and basically abandoning this blog. So instead of just feeling that all the time, I figured I could also do something about it and finish them like I promised myself and others I would. Here we go…

This video is the weekend after La Merçe. I think it was the one weekend many of us from the program just stayed in Barcelona and didn’t jet to another city. We explored the home turf, and it was an awesome reminder of why we all chose this city in the first place. El Palau Nacional, Estadí Olímpic, Port Olímpic, La Rambla, meeting new friends from Vere Island and Croatia, and Plaça de Catalunya…there’s a little bit of everything in this one. I don’t get homesickness for anywhere quite as much as I do for Barça. Here’s to nostalgia.

Thanks again.

Kev

 

barçablog cinco – La Mercé, Correfoc, and Gratuitous Cursing

A year ago today, I landed in Barcelona with 30 some-odd strangers, hopped on a bus to Castelldefels beach town, and started a journey that has literally changed my life. It’s insane how people look back on their experiences in life and how it’s shaped them to be who they are today, and already I’ve filed that part of my life as one of those chapters. It wasn’t my first time traveling outside of the country. Hell, it wasn’t even my first time studying abroad. But whatever it was; some sort of combination of the rich culture I was a part of, the awesome relationships I forged, and the INSANE experiences I shared all coalesced into something only describable as powerful and meaningful enough to affect me even still. Yeah, I know it’s super vague to put it that way, but equally as vague has been this insane amount of nostalgia that’s plagued me the whole last week leading up to this anniversary of sorts. Maybe I’ve got a thing for milestones. Maybe I’m a romantic in that sort of way. Or maybe you should just get your ass on a plane and experience for yourself what I’m talking about. Trust me. It’ll change you. And a year later, you’ll still be riding the wave.

Exhibit A: This video right here. It’s been a GOOD LONG WHILE mis amigos Barcelona. The last barçablog I threw up here was a solid 9 months ago…UNFORGIVABLE. That’s kind of why I sentimentalized a little bit up there, and also it’s why I may have overdid myself a bit on this video. It’s a solid 15 minutes of action, but for good reason! For lo and behold, finally, my time at La Mercé festival has been immortalized in digital video glory.

For those of you not on the up and up on what the hell la fiesta de La Mercé is, worry not…because you’ll see it all here through my slightly skewed, ever shaky lens. Basically picture this: Spain’s second largest city shuts down for a weekend to party, complete with free wine tasting, parades with giant piñata puppets, outdoor midnight carnival rave, the grandest fireworks show you’ll see outside Paris on Bastille Day, and a FIRE RUN, in which a fatty dragon rolls down a boulevard shooting fireworks into the crowd and and army of men dressed as devils follow suit. BY FAR the craziest thing I’ve willingly been a part of.

Also, a word of warning about that part of the video. My mother has expressed her displeasure more than once with the amount of cursing which goes on in not only my videos but also at times my writing…language which she finds befitting for a sailor. Flattering as that may be, as a response I must say that I always strive to find moments in my speech and diction upon which only the choicest of profanity would only serve to enhance my eloquence. Even so, I couldn’t help but notice how during the Correfoc, even I failed to use my swearing as a compliment to my verbal articulation. In my defense, I challenge ANY of you motherfuckers out there to stand beneath a twirling tower of pyrotechnic pain with an ungloved hand holding a camera and not let a few vulgar F-bombs slip through the defense. Therefore, I did my best to cover up what nautical language may have leaked out, but don’t be all too surprised if I failed to plug all the holes.

Anyway, that’s all that I can think of to say for now. This one’s for everyone who ended up making those 3.5 months the best of my life. Enjoy. And thanks =)

Kev

P.S. Anushe Shoro rocks my world for hooking it up with the fireworks footage.

Barçablog Cuatro – No Smiles

So 6 days back and I’m already homesick. And real sick. Like bedridden for days and relentless fever sick. But I’m on the mend, and endless amounts of free time has given me the liberty to explore all kinds of pursuits…like playing the piano, and editing these videos at an alarmingly rapid rate. Like, for real. I just took a Therafllu NIGHTTIME, and I’m still going…at 6:30am. Thank you, fever. You got me on a hot streak. We’ll see how many more of these I can get out before school and my good health inevitably set in and productivity slows once more.

But for now, enjoy the benefits of my recent illness! This is still way back in September, when all was still so fresh and new. We had a group trip to the region of Castilla y León in Spain, class mandated and all. The bus ride over was quite the adventure, what with most of us hung over and 12 hours of driving (and STOPPING) to kill. For the rest of the week we were mostly learning about Art History for our pre-semester course, so a lot of building tours that soon grew boring and deciding whether or not something was clásico. I will say this, though…Gustavo Vega, our professor for Art History, he was the guy Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man in the World” wishes he could be. Seriously. Watch for him in the video…you can’t miss him. He’s THAT interesting.

All that learning nonsense aside, we still did manage to have some good times on the group trip. Epic bus rides, swing competitions, an insane group dinner at an indian restaurant that I failed to capture on video, photo shoots, and a chinese restaurant in Spain made for some great adventures.

Miss you guys already. Enjoy the video.

Thanks again,

Kev

Dear Lexi,

NOTICE: The following video was made for the sole purpose of making Lexi cry.

Okay…so “sole” is maybe too strong a word, but “primary” wouldn’t be far off. Anyway, way back in August, as you might have seen in the last Chris & Kev video, Chris and I had this ingenious plan to take our videos of the drive down, and then edit them together in viewable webisodes to be released once a week. Now, had we succeeded in our idealistic plan, this video would have been PERFECTLY planned to be released this week. But alas, I must now remind you that we are Filipinos, and are thus operating on Filipino time, which states that we must be late for any and all appointments or deadlines, and should it be something for a close friend, well then the only understood and acceptable terms of completion are sometime before one party’s life has ended.

That being the case, I found it necessary to expedite the editing process on this next video, because, frankly, once Lexi gets back, this video’s message loses a lot of its luster. Therefore, we’re skipping ahead about 18 hours on the Chris & Kev timeline to Lexi’s going away party.

This video isn’t exactly a Chris & Kev episode, I have to admit. No shenanigans here. Well, mostly none.

Now Lexi, I know you’ve been wishing you could stay longer in Canterbury like I wanted to stay in Barcelona, but this might help ease the blow of coming back somewhat. This little video might pack a wallop, so go get your Kleenex, grab the cuddliest thing you got over there, and make sure your closest English friends are at hand, lest you find yourself TRAPPED IN A GLASS CASE OF EMOTION.

Enjoy the video, and enjoy your last few days across the pond, amiga! We’ll see you in a few =)

Adieu,

Kev

Mashed Potato Musings AND Chris & Kev go to Whitey’s Castle 1.4 – “Trapped in the Cockpit”

[WARNING: long-winded sentimental diatribe to follow]

Let’s get real for a second. Can we do that? Ok…it’s Thanksgiving today. I am currently all alone, sitting in a room no wider than my wingspan, with next to no money in my pocket, far from my friends, and even further from family. And I couldn’t be happier. The last half year has easily been the best of my life, and I am incredibly thankful. I’m thankful for the experiences I’ve had. I’m thankful for the family I’ve got. I’m thankful for everything I’ve been fortunate to have, some of which I don’t even feel like I deserve. And I’m mad thankful for all the awesome friends I’ve made. One of these awesome people recently told me that my time here, this abroad experience I’m having, it’s not something that will be easily be relatable to anyone else. She was absolutely right. I’ve found that try as I might to explain it, no one will ever really fully comprehend the impact these experiences have had on me. They are, in a way, uniquely intimate and all to my own.

This blog is as much for my benefit as it may be for you. Be it through writing, video, and maybe later even acting, creating these blogs lets me do what I love. I love telling stories. And though you may never completely understand what all these past few months have meant to me, these stories help to relate that meaning in the best way I can. I hope you enjoy hearing them as much as I enjoy telling them. Back in the day, me and my brother used to pray and give thanks for “our house, our food, our toys, our cars and our bikes.” I guess nowadays I’m more thankful to have people in my life worth telling these stories to. So thanks. Thanks for you. Happy Thanksgiving.

***DEEP BREATH***

Hooookayyy…now that I’ve got that nonsense out of my system, let’s get down to the good stuff. Finally…a new episode of Chris & Kev!!! I have no joke been trying to upload this little spitfuck for three days straight, but my internet has thwarted me each and every time. The level of frustration that festers inside me when this happens…for serious…it makes me want to do unspeakable things. But I withhold, and I like to think I am a better man for it.

Anyway, a little DISCLAIMER about this next video. Forgive me for tooting mine and Chris’ horns, but you are about to witness, I think, one of the most HIGHlarious episodes of our drive down to SoCal. Problem is, the majority of the action…is in the dark. But, creative solutions to creative problems! I took my shot at it, and I hope you enjoy.

Thanks again.

Hasta pronto, amigos

Kev

Barçablog Tres – Boquerainy Days

TOLD YOU I was back in bidness! Gotta get back to showing my time in Barça, but this one’s quick and dirty. We had a short first week in Barça before a group trip to Castilla y Leon, and we all we did really for that week was go out. Unfoturnately, those don’t make for the best footage, and you all had your fill of that from the last Barçablog, didn’t you? Meanwhile, I’ll deal you this! During that week, I did check out La Boqueria de St. Josep with Kelly, and Parc Güell, which will be highlighted in another video, because I’ve been there enough times to warrant it its own little episode.

Now before you watch, get your knowledge on:

Back in 1217, tables were installed in near the old city gate to sell meat, thus inaugurating the first Boqueria market in Barthylona. 200 and some years later, it served as a pig market at this same site under the moniker Mercat Bornet. Fast forward to the turn of the 19th century, when the city constructed a separate market in a new location, just off La Rambla (today’s current site). It took another 35 years before the city finally decided to protect it from the rain and bird poop, and even then, construction didn’t start on an official structure enclosing the market until 1840. Plans for the structure have changed a bunch of times since then, but the iteration you see today has been around since 1914.

Anyway, that’s my Wikispeedy version of its history. Hope you enjoy this video. It’s short, but satisfying.

That’s what she said.

Til next time,

~Kev

Chris and Kev go to Whitey’s Castle 1.3 – The Phone Call

At long  last…my blog is back up and running (well…still crawling, really)! Several angry e-mails were written, profanities were sworn at my faulty internet, and this video has been on deck to be uploaded for longer than Bri was waiting at the airport here in Barcelona on Saturday (sorry Bri, but welcome to my blog! =) ).

I’ve been crazy busy and on the move lately. I spent the last week being spoiled by life: classes were cancelled left and right, jetted out to Paris to spend a romantic weekend with the other half of the namesake for these webisodes (and his girlfriend Elisa…hope you didn’t mind playing awkward 3rd wheel!), then came home to find more friends from across the pond who came to Barcelona for the week (shoutouts to Lexi, Bri, and Miguel here)! Oh, and in between all that, school, of course. Had a couple papers due in a couple classes, and my first and only midterm is tomorrow morning…followed shortly by a flight to Dublin! Basically, every weekend starting from this past one, I’m heading out to a different city abroad and seeing what shenanigans I can get into.

Okay, enough about that stuff…let’s talk about Chris and Kev! The first few episodes were great set-up, and after this episode, things are gonna get REAL SERIOUS, REAL FAST. Actually, they’ll probably get less serious, but definitely more insane. All the craziest things that were only briefly alluded to in the trailer are yet to come.

And to the less than handful of others who might also exist and check this blog…more videos and pictures coming real soon, I promise (though “soon” is a fairly relative term, now isn’t it?).

Thanks for stopping by,

Kev