Thursday, January 20, 2011

Reyjr goes Hawaii Five-O!

Hawaii Five-O! That unmistakable opening title sequence music brings back childhood memories. The original series ended wayyy before I was born and so I never saw a single episode, but despite that, the opening theme sounds fresh to my ears...

Hawaii Five O!

I've been to Hawaii twice - the first time was in the year 2000 during the 14th International Tour of the UP Concert Chorus.  Everyone was excited about Hawaii - the first stop of the 2000 Millennium Concert Tour - I was particularly interested because of all the hype about Hawaii being a paradise, with luscious forests and active volcanoes, creamy white sand beaches and surfing waves...

Liz and Rey at the Honolulu International Airport in Hawaii (taken on April 16, 2003)

...and so imagine our surprise when we saw hills of pineapples and coconut trees not unlike the view of a road trip to La Union from Manila. :p I guess I was in the less exciting part of the beautiful island of Oahu. Hehehe.  We were hardly disappointed though. We were later taken around the city sights and the beautiful beaches of Honolulu, and we stayed at the YMCA Camp H.R. Erdman in the North Shore of Oahu.

Hawaiian Beaches!

During my second trip to Hawaii, we stayed inside the University of Hawaii at the Hale Manoa Dormitory. I stayed at Room 308-I, haha! The highest floor had a nice view of the city.

I also remember you can either walk to the Students Services Center or take the free shuttle. That was where we had out daily breakfast unless there was an early call for a performance. I also remember the library with free internet - it was a big deal back then to get that kind of luxury especially since we were so far away from home.

Hanauma Bay, Hawaii with Camille and Liz (taken on April 18, 2003)

We also had the chance to visit some of Oahu's most famous beaches including the Hanauma Bay, Ala Moana Beach - where some of us actually went swimming, and Kailua Beach which also had a wonderful backdrop - the mountain range so characteristic of Hawaii.

Other tourist destinations we visited were the Iolani Palace (with the huge Banyan trees nearby) which was actually the residence of the last ruling royalty of Hawaii. I remember insisting to take photos of a nearby photo booth that had the typical Hawaiian floral designs on the side. Haha.

It was not all fun and games of course - we had a lot of performances -  from the Easter morning mass at the National Cemetery of the Pacific at the Punchbowl Crater, to a full 3-part concert at Leeward Community College Center in Pearl City. We work hard and party harder! :D

A familiar backdrop? Think Lost or Hawaii Five-O!
This was taken on Kailua Beach - the Windsurfing Capital of Oahu

Aloha Waikiki Beach!

On the night before we left Hawaii for Seattle, Washington, we walked around probably the most famous beach in Hawaii, Waikiki Beach, and even visited the statue of Duke Kahanamoku - the man credited for bringing surfing to Hawaii.

Duke Paoa Kahanamoku statue on Waikiki Beach -
he brought surfing to Hawaii (taken on April 23, 2003)

Hawai'i was a truly memorable experience - the people were wonderful and very hospitable, the atmosphere very laid back and relaxing, the beaches breathtaking. If given the opportunity, I would love to go back and ride a helicopter over a volcano or just simply hang out in one of the fantastic Hawaiian beaches.

After a few days in paradise we greeted our hosts Aloha, waving our hands in the "Aloha hand" style and wishing we meant "hello" instead of "goodbye!"

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