A lot of us drink 3-in-1s in the morning that we forget that coffee has a lot of nuances and flavors. Like a person, each blend is different, shaped by different circumstances to bring a unique flavor. There are drinks that are strong, while there are drinks that are more subtle, the kind that you get to know after a second or third date. I was able to learn more about the intricacies of coffee through Starbucks Philippines’ Coffee College.
Who can ever forget the iconic scene in Sister Act where Whoopi Goldberg led a choir of nuns in singing “I Will Follow Him”? I loved the movie (and its sequel) growing up, so imagine how joyful, joyful I felt when I heard that the musical adaptation will be flying to Manila for a limited run.
Eagle-eyed readers will notice the impressive list of names that adorn Crimetime, Maria LM Fres-Felix’s new crime anthology. On the cover is a blurb by award-winning crime author Charlson Ong. At the back is another blurb by award-winning fictionist Butch Dalisay. Inside are more praises by writers Sarge Lacuesta, Joel Pablo Salud, and Joselito D. Delos Reyes. There’s a glowing preface by National Artist F. Sionil Jose.
It’s a star-studded introduction to Felix’s anthology, but if its purpose is to entice reluctant buyers, it doesn’t need it. Crimetime is a compelling series of mysteries that will keep you guessing, set in Quezon City and starring Inspector SJ Tuason. As someone with a diminishing attention span, I was able to finish this book in a few days.
When it comes to plays in the Philippines, the leading name in English-language theater is Repertory Philippines. They are behind some of the country’s best plays, having produced 443 productions since it started in 1967. Yes, the company has been around for 50 years and they celebrated their golden anniversary with a lavish gala at The Theatre at Solaire.
REP: 50 Years of Telling Stories pays tribute to its history by inviting its current roster of talents and alumni to weave together the company’s story. It covers every aspect of producing a show, from narration to music, choreography, producers, performers, comedians, set designers, and directors.
I started using Grab in 2014 after I got held up at knifepoint. Pre-Grab, I would take the train, bus, and tricycle around Manila, priding myself for knowing the routes to get to anywhere within the capital and for being the Cool Guy who’s okay with commuting. But after that night, when I rode the bus after going to the theater, and when the man sitting next to me demanded I give him my bag, I told myself that I was given a second chance at life and that I should preserve it.
I still like to think of myself as the Cool Guy who’s okay with commuting, but when it’s raining, it’s late, or when I’m in a hurry, I rely on Grab to get around. Yes, it’s more expensive than a P12 bus ride, but I’d rather pay more to arrive safe, comfortable, and most importantly, alive.
Last Thursday, I was invited to a backstage tour of Cirque du Soleil’s Toruk: The First Flight, an acrobatic performance inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar. As I mentioned in the story I wrote about my tour, seeing the Mall of Asia Arena without the bells and whistles of the show was like looking at a penguin enclosure, as it was just a massive gray slab. But when the curtains were pulled back during opening night, I was left breathless.
I watched the first show of Cirque du Soleil’s Toruk: The First Flight last night and fell in love with how they transformed the Mall of Asia Arena into Pandora, the moon where the Na’vi live. It was a visually spectacular show mixed with gravity-defying acrobatics. Before I saw Toruk, I was given the opportunity to do a backstage tour and see how they produce everything.
One of the things I like to do when I’m tired (like the past few days) is to listen to Newsies‘ “Seize the Day” on full blast. I love it because it’s such an empowering song about courage, unity, and standing up for one’s beliefs set amidst a booming score. So imagine my joy when it was announced that Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical are partnering to bring Newsies to Manila! It made me want to shout “strike!”