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It’s Robert’s (fondly called Bobby) 35th birthday! And his friends — five couples and three girlfriends — are waiting for him to show up at his surprise birthday party. He is the only bachelor among them. Will he wish to finally find the one? Or to stay content and happy as a bachelor? Is he really ready for commitment?
JUST because Repertory Philippines (Rep) has been around a long time -- it is currently on its 82nd season -- that does not mean that it is an old dog that can’t do new tricks. Case in point, its closing show in its current season is its very first original musical adaptation of a Filipino classic -- The Quest for the Adarna, produced through Rep’s Theater for Young Audiences (RTYA).
BEING in your 30s means finding a partner, settling down, and having children. Or so they say. The expectations for people this age what Company: A Musical Comedy — the first of three Stephen Sondheim musicals to be staged in Metro Manila this year — revolves around.
IT WAS between two or three in the afternoon in a hotel room in Cambridge, Massachusetts where Vietnamese American writer and professor Viet Thanh Nguyen was preparing for a book reading session at a local bookstore later that day. Everything was calm until a series of notification alerts filled the air.
“NA-PARALYZE AKO (I was paralyzed).”
THE HOUSE LIGHTS of the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines were off, but the stage, filled with a set of a palace’s ballroom, was illuminated. The lights transitioned from warm and bright, to cool, then slowly faded to black. Tony award-winning lighting designer Jennifer Tipton sat in front of a computer with the rest of the production team as they switched scenes and checked the lighting changes for Ballet Philippines’ staging of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.
ON a gloomy morning in mid-August at the Quiman Trading workshop in San Fernando, Pampanga, lantern-maker Chris was concentrating on making a frame with some thin steel before his fellow lantern-maker and mentor Bong welded it. Afterwards, the frame would be wiring and papered over to become a multi-colored lantern. Chris and Bong were among 20 craftsmen who have been working on three designs commissioned by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) — a sundial, a line of baybayin script, and star-shaped lantern — since May this year.
THE STORY of a love affair, musical numbers, choreographed marching, and a 16-piece orchestra come together in the Philippine Opera Company’s (POC) staging of Passion, Stephen Sondheim’s one-act musical with book written by James Lapine. The latest Manila run of the 1994 Tony Award winner for Best Musical opens in September.
ARTWORKS depicting social issues, graphite drawings and installations, and paintings of an industrial landscape viewed with augmented reality came out on top in the 16th edition of the Ateneo Art Awards held on Sunday at the Ateneo Art Gallery of the Ateneo De Manila University in Quezon City.
ACTRESSES Joanna Ampil, Angelica Panganiban, Cherry Pie Picache, Lorna Tolentino, Agot Isidro, and Mylene Dizon all agree that there is more to being a tita (aunt) — in this case referring to middle class, middle-aged, urban aunts — than work meetings, yoga sessions, salon appointments, tea time. The actresses star in the new iWant original series, Call Me Tita.
THE HOPELESS romantic Tolits grips his cellphone tightly as he takes a video of Aileen singing the Filipino rock band Aegis hit, “Basang-Basa sa Ulan.” During the wet season, the rains pours down on Villa Venecia where the flood has not subsided for weeks — a recurring situation since 2014.
REPUBLIC ACT (RA) 11333, or the National Museum of the Philippines Act, takes effect today. The Act clarifies the role of the National Museum.
IN 1968, Manila City Mayor Antonio J. Villegas commissioned a painting from National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco. The result was Filipino Struggles Through History, composed of a series of four paintings, for the Manila City Hall. The huge mural depicts significant events in the country’s history — from the great Rajahs who ruled Tondo to events in the American period. The artist finished what was to be among his greatest artworks shortly before he died on March 31, 1969. In 1996, the mural was declared a National Cultural Treasure by then National Museum director Gabriel S. Casal.
IN THE early days, animals in the forest bullied the sun for producing unbearable heat. When the sun disappeared for quite a long time, the animals apologized daily by writing “Sorry” on stone, smoke, and fire, and spelling the word out with their bodies. In desperation for sunlight, the chicken unceasingly chuckled until the sun rose. Unfortunately, when the chicken and the sun gave each other a high five upon rising, the chicken turned into fried chicken. Thus is the legend, according to Max’s Restaurant.
“THE ARTIST is a creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim,” Oscar Wilde wrote in the preface of The Picture of Dorian Gray. In his work, an artist values how the audience sees not its creator, but rather themselves and their environment.
BALLET MANILA will be staging a classic, two fairytales, an opera and a cantata for its 24th season at the Aliw Theater in Pasay City.
FAIR-SKINNED, brown-eyed, and dark-haired, Ai-Da speaks with an English accent. She wears a white long-sleeved blouse and black trousers. Since April, she has been studying her subjects and sketching them using her bionic arm in a company in Cornwall, England.
SIX choral groups — one from the Philippines and five from Indonesia — will compete at the first Asia Choral Grand Prix hosted by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) on July 21.
IT WAS late one evening when a young woman, along with two friends, was walking through the Paseo de Roxas underpass in Makati on her way home after a long day at work. Mural artist A.G. Saño was painting at the steps of the underpass when she recognized him. She happened to have been a participant at his art and environmental engagement talks at a university in Camarines Sur, Bicol some years before. He then asked the woman and her friends if they were interested in helping him paint the mural. Mr. Saño said that “it is innate among our group to have strangers engage if they want to paint.
HAVING TAKEN a break after its third season in 2016, The Voice Kids returns with original coaches Sarah Geronimo, Bamboo Mañalac, and Lea Salonga.
PAINTINGS by National Artists Arturo Luz, Fernando Amorsolo, and Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera hang on the walls along the entrance hallway of Ivan Acuña’s apartment in Mandaluyong. In his living room, more of his painting collection is stacked on the floor. Across them are pieces of Chinese porcelain displayed above cabinets against the window. The collection of paintings and cityscape view from his apartment are where he draws inspiration for his own abstract paintings.
IT WAS a cloudy morning when the crowd began to gather at the Marikina Sports Center on Saturday, June 29. The line of attendees coming in stretched around the entire perimeter of the venue from the main gate. Unlike the weather, guests were dressed in eye-catching bright outfits -- the colors of the rainbow.
VIRGINA LLAMAS was a homemaker who prepared impeccable signature dishes. Her husband, Carlos P. Romulo, was appointed as the Philippines’ permanent delegate to the United Nations with the rank of Ambassador the day after Manuel Roxas was sworn as the first president of the Philippine Republic. In 1946, the family settled in Washington D.C. — their home for the next 14 years. It was at that time that Virgina introduced Filipino cuisine to American guests and foreign diplomats. Her recipes served as inspiration for Romulo Café’s home-cooked dishes.
IT TOOK around 10 minutes for the tram to get from the Manila Hotel to Intramuros via Bonifacio Drive. It was a warm morning on the country’s 121st Independence Day celebration and media guests were on a cultural tour from the hotel to the Walled City. First stop (among six locations): Fort Santiago.
IN RECENT weeks, a photo of the bloodied faces of Melania Gaymonat and her girlfriend Chris went viral online. While on a bus ride in the early hours of May 30 in London, the women were attacked by a group of young men for refusing their demand to kiss each other. “They started beating me, I was bleeding all over — I was really bleeding,” Ms. Gaymonat told BBCWorldatOne. According to a report by The Guardian on June 8, a fifth arrest has been made in connection with the attack.
MANY OF the first pharmacies, theaters, and department stores in the City of Manila were found in the district of Binondo. Founded in 1594, the city had a pivotal role in international trade and the place of the world’s first Chinatown in this role is the focus of a new museum.
AS THE Ayala Museum shuts its doors for a year while undergoing a major renovation, art lovers will not miss out as it will be holding mobile exhibits starting this month.