October 20, 2012

This Week I Wore LIPSTICK!

It is really bad when you see your wife and you have more make up on then she ever wears!

Ever since we have known each other Lady Hiva usually wears Lip Gloss…however, lately she has tried to wear lipstick. I don’t like it. The wax taste when I kiss her is HORRIBLE. I asked her to stop wearing it. Little did I know that several times this week it would be me, not Lady that is wearing the lipstick. And if that was not bad enough, I wore foundation too! (something else my wife does not even do)
LOL! Look how she even put make up on my bald head!!!

Over the course of the last week and a half I have been on TV and Radio several times. It has been a really fun experience. Let me give you some short details before I tell you the stories:

·         8 interviews
·         12 hours of air time
·         5 Networks
·         14 Radio/TV personality Interviewers
·         Wore makeup 5 times
·         2 times asked if I was related to Kerri Bradshaw (Don’t they realize she is JUST a character; the real person’s name is Sarah Jessica Parker)
·         5 times was compared “Oh, Dustin, like Justin Bieber…” (Hmm…how do I answer that?)
·         3 times had the song “Dust in the Wind” quoted
·         1 time had the song “Dust in the Wind” played as we were ending the interview LOL! Which I decided to play along and sing with the track record…(they must think I am a quack sometimes!)
·         Received 25 texts from friends saying they were watching me…

The topics of the interviews ranged from voting, to me learning Tagalog and living here in the Philippines, to visa applications and immigration—they were all done in Tagalog. It was interesting to see the different personalities of the interviewers play out in the interview. Some were fun and hearty…others were more formal. All of them were surprised to hear me speaking Tagalog. According to them it was hard to look at me, a white American male, that speaks their language.

Each interview included callers and texters that wanted to ask questions or say something to me. It was fun to see that they were all supportive and excited that I spoke the language and would answer their questions.

Some highlights of the week include surprising the staff as we walked into the studio when they asked the Public Affairs person with me if it would be alright if they put makeup on my face and I started laughing because I understood. Then I was surprised because it was only then that they told me I would not only be on radio but broadcast on TV. I am glad I happened to wear a suit that day. In the morning as I was dressing I almost just wore a shirt and tie like I usually work in. The only problem is that I wore a white shirt with a light blue tie…then they covered my face in white powder so when I see the photos I look like a GHOST! HAHA

Look at all the WHITENESS!!!

Another time I was explaining that people pay unnecessary fees to visa fixers because they do not know they can just apply on their own and to pay those fees they usually have to borrow money from people. I accidentally said, “Utong” instead of “Utang.” As soon as I said it I started laughing, luckily the two Radio personalities laughed with me…(if you don’t speak Tagalog you can use Google Translate to see what the difference is—my only hint is that one means debt and the other is a part of anatomy) YIKES! Chalk that up as a journal entry story!

I have people sending me emails because they must have Googled my name and found my authors webpage at www.dustinbradshaw.com. I also have received countless texts and people at work from all over the place, including all the drivers, are telling me that they heard me or their family heard me. It is fun to see that they treat me as if I am one of them. I like that feeling.

At the Embassy they all tune in to watch when they know I will be on the TV or Radio. On Friday several of them made Lady Hiva stand in front of the TV for a photo while I was on the news and then all day wherever I went they would jokingly ask for an autograph. HAHA…you KNOW she LOVED that!

One of the feelings that I don’t know I will ever get used to is when we pull up to these places I get out of the car back seat and the Public Affairs assistant gets out of the front then the driver pulls off (Lady Hiva and I don’t have a driver so it already feel like I am being spoiled) then I hand over my stuff to the PA person and we head into the building. All the time  people are staring and a camera is rolling…literally in my face as we walk. What if I need to blow my nose or something?!  

Once in the car I finally have time to think over the interview about all the stupid things I must have said or the things maybe I shouldn’t have said. Sometimes I would ask the P.A. assistant what she thought of it and of course she would say nicely that is was great or something good…even if it was HORRIBLE I don’t think she would say anything. It is over now I guess you just let it roll.

Who knows how many Facebook pages I made it on this week. I would stand there in the hallway for several minutes taking photos with TV and Radio production staffs before I left the building. It is an odd feeling. Don’t they know it is just me?  I would rather be the person sitting and talking like friends than the person they put make up on…

Here is one facebook page from the one of the TV stations:

By the way…as they were putting on the makeup all I could think is “How many other people’s faces this brush had touched” Then when they put on the lipstick (of course it tasted nasty) all I could think was “What if the person before me had a cold sore or something???” Oh well. Life goes on right?!

October 10, 2012


One of the great things about living and working here in Manila is that there is a strong relationship between the Filipinos and the Americans. It shows in all aspects of life, from music and pop culture to careers and education. This past week I have been able to enjoy more time with Filipinos in several avenues.

First I was able to address a large group of Political Science and International Studies majors at one of the large universities in Manila. It was fun to do that because I have an educational background in both of those areas. The students were lively and interested. I tried to make the topic “Voting and Democracy in the United States” also lively and interesting. I was surprised how detailed their education was when it came to United States politics. They were very thorough…they knew answers to tough questions that some American students may not know. It was fun to joke and laugh with them as we discussed the topic at hand. Of course they threw a few curve ball questions at me but luckily here humor goes a long way.
I think I was putting them to sleep...hahaha

They could not get the light to go off!

THis is a photo with the Chancellor, the Dean and some of the Faculty...I had to laugh when the Chancellor standing next to me suggested that we do a "jump shot" HAHA

It was weird to be there and be the person that is treated like a VIP. I was met at the car by a senior Political Science student and the security staff and they walked me to my meeting with the University President (who is an Ohio State grad). As we walked I was not allowed to carry my own bags and I found out that the student was one of five seniors that had planned this event as a senior project. I realized then that I am more used to being on HER end of the situation. Not the person that is treated like a VIP, but  the person that has stressed over this event for months and is putting out fires by the minute hoping the whole thing turns out without a hitch. I tried to make sure to be warm and cheerful to help her realize that I appreciated all that they were doing. (It was a bit awkward to have people carry my bag and if I picked it up, they acted as if I committed a grievous error…not sure I could get used to that).

It was also surprising to see that they had a HUGE banner made that said “Welcome Dustin Bradshaw” in the middle of the University Courtyard…I had to take a photo with it and the two guest students that spoke with me about their year of high school in the States. Lady Hiva asked if I asked if I could have the sign…haha.

The next day I was at the radio station talking about similar things—in Tagalog. Now, explaining the Electoral College is HARD in ENGLISH…imagine what that is like in TAGALOG!! HA! And on live national radio…no pressure, RIGHT!?! It was fun though. Being in the radio booth and seeing how much movement and action is happening to make the program run smoothly is interesting. It was fun to see all the comments come in about me speaking Tagalog. Thankfully Filipinos are forgiving of my “white guy” accent and are just happy to hear me speak the language.

Tuesday found me on the radio again. This time the Radio Personality was female and it was fun again to interact with them. The station is streamed online all over the world so that was interesting too. I was watching the screen that showed what they were filming and again was amazed at how all the guys behind the window pushing buttons on a table full of controls keep the show running and professional looking. I did find if funny to see that we were in the basement of a building but there was a large photo of Makati city hanging in the background so it looked like we were in a high rise office talking…haha. Off to the side of us, just off camera was another photo just taken at night; there were hooks at the top so they can replace the photos during the night shows…Who knows tricks like that work?! Media can spin everything!

It is really fun. I enjoy it. The Filipinos are fun loving and generous people so it makes nerve wracking experiences like being on live national media in a foreign language seems alright. Good times…

October 06, 2012


I love books. I know I have said that before, but I do. Yesterday we went into a bookstore here in Manila and I loved to see all the books on the shelf. Like a treasure hunt, you never know what surprises lay waiting as you wander the aisles. Both Lady Hiva and I love books and are constantly exchanging good books to read.

We have recently acquired Kindles for both of us, because of convenience. However, I still have a fondness for the paperbound book—the smell, the feel, and the experience. I don’t like to ‘ear-mark’ pages or have a book abused carelessly…Lady Hiva tells me “they are made to be used…” And I love to see books on the shelf in our home. It is true that you can tell quite a bit about people by the books they have on their shelves.

It has now been one month since the official release of by book, WHITE LILIES IN AUTUMN. It has been a wonderful learning experience. Throughout the month I have heard from readers via text, email, Facebook, and in person etc. I have been able to see what aspects of my writing and book that people do not like and I can watch for the next book. It has been most interesting to me to hear what parts or characters in the book that readers can relate with.

I had one reader wrote to me and asked if I would contact a person in their community who is struggling with their family current situation. I sent the family a copy of the book with a personal note that I know they can and will have the strength overcome—it may seem rough right now, but eventually it all works out. Other people have written how much it touched them, helped them cope with a current trial, or how they have a new outlook on life due to reading the book. It is fulfilling to see that the book is touching people as I hoped it would.

As reviews show up online on book review blogs, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads, I enjoy reading the readers thoughts, especially those that do not know me personally so I know that it is just the book itself that sets their opinion. (So those of you that have read the book I would love to see your reviews go up too.) One that surprised me is one of my bosses, who is now at another Post found out about the book and put it on her international leadership blog (goes to show that nothing keeps past her--no wonder she is the boss!)

So here is to having great books on our shelves—books that help us become the people we want to become.