SM Aura Launches Weekends at the Courtyard, My New Fave Hangout

SM Aura is one of the country’s most beautiful malls, featuring unique food and shopping options. The mall glows with an elegant atmosphere and I love spending time there because it’s less crowded. It’s my respite whenever I visit Bonifacio Global City, because I love basking in its airconditioning while exploring its upscale haunts. There’s always something new to discover at SM Aura, and hidden in a nook is Weekends at the Courtyard, my new favorite hangout place.

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Lea Salonga Announces “I Dare to Dream” Winner in Star-Studded Concert

It has always been a dream of mine to watch Lea Salonga perform live. I’ve always known she was a legend, but I only got to appreciate her when I transitioned into a showtune queen and slowly realized the impact she has had on musical theater. After all, this is the woman who played Kim in Miss Saigon, Eponine and Fantine in Les Misérables, and Grizabella in Cats. Let’s not forget that she voiced two Disney Princesses: Mulan and Jasmine in Mulan and Aladdin!

My dream of seeing Salonga perform live was granted when I watched her lead a star-studded night at I Dare to Dream, the concert finale of Globe Studio’s digital reality series I Dare to Dream. Inspired by Disney Princesses, the show follows six young girls who pursue their dreams with the help of Disney Legend Lea Salonga; host, vlogger, and ate Janina Vela; and experts in the field where the girls want to excel in.

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What Went Down at Wanderland 2017

A virgin has a lot of expectations. He plays his first scene over and over his head, picturing how it would go. Depending on his imagination, it could be as simple as a quiet tryst, or complete with fireworks and explosions in the sky. I’m still a virgin in many ways, and I lost my Wanderland virginity this year. I imagined it to be quite the experience, but it lived up to be so much more.

This year had an interesting lineup. The headliners were The Temper Trap and The Ting Tings, and they were joined by Explosions in the Sky, Yuna, Purity Ring, HONNE, LANY, and Woodlock. Locally, there was UDD (formerly known as Up Dharma Down), Gab and John of Urbandub, Tom’s Story, Fools and Foes, and Reese Lansangan, along with the winners of the Wanderband competition, Banna Harbera, Lola Amour, and Mickey Sulit.

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10 Acts I’m Excited to See in Wanderland 2017

The Wanderland Music and Arts Festival is coming up next week, and I’m thrilled because this will be my first! I’ve only been to one music festival (the 7107 International Music Festival in 2014), so I’m looking forward to reliving the fun I had in Clark.

In preparation for #GlobeWanderland, I’ve been listening to the musicians on Spotify nonstop for the past week. Here are the 10 acts I’m excited to see this year:

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How I Survived My First Silent Disco

I gave up on the party scene in my early twenties. At that point, going to a club to get wrecked (sorry, my age is showing) didn’t appeal to me anymore, and I much preferred staying in or hanging out at a Starbucks somewhere. If I was in the mood to drink, I would choose a quiet bar or lounge where my friends and I could actually talk. I also gave up beer for wine.

I wasn’t always this boring. I started partying when I was 15 years old, back when Valkyrie or even Embassy didn’t even exist. The clubs everyone went to were Absinthe and Temple in Greenbelt or Basement and Ipanema in Eastwood. I also went to pre-Nectar gay clubs Bed and Government. I peaked too early so I became a tita early. So when I was invited to the Silent Disco, a headphone party in the Ayala Triangle, I thought I would hate it.

I loved every single minute of it.

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Pentatonix Rocks Manila!

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I am a casual fan of Pentatonix, but when my friend offered a good seat for half the price, I couldn’t say no.

Pentatonix is an a cappella group composed of Avi Kaplan, Scott Hoying, Kirstin Maldonado, Kevin Olusola, and Mitch Grassi, and became famous for winning the third season of The Sing-Off, an a cappella singing competition. After they won, they hosted a popular YouTube channel where they do covers, medleys, and originals.

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Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour in Manila

Madonna concert Manila (5)

It was 2005. I was in the Physical Education Annex of the University of Santo Tomas, waiting for my Folk Dance class to start, when someone from the next class played Madonna’s “Hung Up.” Confessions on a Dance Floor just came out, so kids my age were listening to the Queen of Pop. And it was good. That album won Best Electronic/Dance Album at the 2007 Grammy Awards and broke a record for topping the charts in 41 countries. It is now one of the best-selling albums of the 2000s.

I was hooked.

I soon lapped up her previous albums, filling my iPod Mini with songs that were older than me. I fell in love with “Material Girl,” “Borderline,” “Holiday,” and “Like a Prayer.” I watched her movies, read her books, and sang along to her concert tours. I also listened to the pop singers who emerged since then, but I haven’t seen one who could match Madonna’s daring, artistry, and re-invention.

While I was still in school, I made my mom promise me to buy me a ticket in case Madonna goes here. She readily agreed, probably thinking that Madonna has reached her peak and she’s too old to tour. But I patiently waited. I waited for 11 years. Late 2015, amidst another rumor that Madonna is touring the Philippines, it became true! The Philippines would be one of the stops for her Rebel Heart Tour!

I still remember the promise my mom made me, but I’m already working. The tickets were so expensive, so imagine my joy when Globe sponsored my ticket! And what an experience it was. Madonna is not just a singer. She is an entertainer, and she performs just as well as she did in The Virgin Tour in 1985.

I want to tell you more about my fandom, but I wrote a lengthy review on WhenInManila.com, which turned out to be a recap because I loved it so much. The Rebel Heart Tour proved why Madonna is still called the Queen of Pop. And she’s not going anywhere.

Read my review/recap here.