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High notes for Passion

“What is the cost of a few words when a life hangs in the balance?” Doctor Tambourri, who is airing for the terminally ill Fosca, asks the young soldier Giorgio Bachetti in Stephen Sondheim’s one-act operetta, Passion.

What it takes to have company

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?

Bringing a legend to life

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).

Cine Europa adds Bohol to its run

CINE EUROPA opens its 22nd edition in Metro Manila on Sept. 20 at its new venue at Cinema 1, Greenbelt 3 in Makati City. It runs until Sept. 24.

On life and love with Company

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.

Viet Thanh Nguyen and understanding of two worlds

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.

All things beauty at Rustan’s

RUSTAN’S The Beauty Source launches the month-long Beauty Addict 2019: the GLOW Beauty and Beats Festival at Rustan’s Makati.

Franco-Asian flavors at Solaire

CONTINUING its Culinary Masters Series, Solaire Resort and Casino brings Singapore’s top celebrity chef Justin Quek and his signature Franco-Asian dishes to the restaurants Red Lantern and Lucky Noodles.

Jennifer Tipton on the unfading value of lighting

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.

Good, Truth, Beauty: The CCP’s motto translated into light

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.

Discovering Passion

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.

Of augmented reality and social realities

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.

Titas are the focus of new TV show

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.

Put another dime in that jukebox musical

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.

History lesson from author Gina Apostol

DURING SUMMERS in the United States, teacher and historical fiction novelist Gina Apostol busies herself with her next book. Once she has completed her concept and gathered research, she just keeps writing.

Style across generations

FOR HER 2019 holiday collection, Criselda Lontok showcases her bold colors and designs for the sophisticated woman.

For the wrist of the adventurous

AS TIMEPIECES adapt to people’s changing lifestyles and developing technology, being fashionable remains a constant even among the adventurous.

A smartwatch for 94 (and more) workouts

AMERICAN fashion brand Fossil has joined the trend of fitness watches with the Fossil Sport Smartwatch.

Tweaks in TP’s 4th rerun of Mabining Mandirigma

A NEW lead actor, a fliptop rap number, and gender-bender roles are few of the updated elements in the fourth rerun of the musical on the “sublime paralytic” Apolinario Mabini’s life.

New law re-focuses functions of the National Museum

REPUBLIC ACT (RA) 11333, or the National Museum of the Philippines Act, takes effect today. The Act clarifies the role of the National Museum.

Botong’s mural is not lost — it is safe at the...

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.

Keep the kids away from these balloon animals

BALLOON animals are usually a feature at children’s parties. Unless they are by American artist Jeff Koons.

The edgy jet-setter

DARK and bold colors of rock ‘n’ roll are in season once again with the launch of Longchamp’s winter/fall 2019 collection.

Max’s Restaurant launches new TV ad, loyalty card, and dining promos

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 Ateneo Art Awards at 16: looking for new perspectives

“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.

BM’s 24th season revisits classics, takes on an opera adaptation

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.

AI-generated poetry, paintings, and drawings: Is it still art?

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.

Ten films for 15th Cinemalaya

A SURPRISING turn of events as a midwife applies to work abroad, a student’s act of theft turns into viral video, a robot’s friendship and adventure with a young boy, are among the diverse stories that will be told in this year’s Cinemalaya films.

Myx launches its own YouTube channel

TO MAKE artist performances accessible to everyone at anytime, Filipino music cable channel Myx has launched a new YouTube channel called All Music Myx.

The persistence of love

SARA and Callie are out late one evening at NYC’s West Village and share their first kiss. A bystander then viciously attacks them — Sara’s injuries are so bad that she falls into a coma.

Cultural Center to host the 1st Asia Choral Grand Prix

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.

Aurora inspires listeners to be ‘Different’

IF DAVID BOWIE and Björk had a child, it would be Norwegian singer Aurora (full name: Aurora Aksnes). The singer’s unique evolving sound and track themes in her new album, A Different Kind of Human — Step 2, illustrate why.

From Hong Kong to Macau and back

HONG KONG has always been a popular vacation destination among Filipinos. Shopping districts, food hubs, the Victoria Harbour, and Disneyland are some of the destinations that come to mind.

A new mural on marine life decorates the Paseo underpass

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.

The Voice Kids returns with the original coaches for Season 4

HAVING TAKEN a break after its third season in 2016, The Voice Kids returns with original coaches Sarah Geronimo, Bamboo Mañalac, and Lea Salonga.

Inspiration from the outdoors and lessons from a National Artist

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.

Despite the rainy weather:The march goes on

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.

Romulo Café keeps up to date

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.

A field trip around Intramuros

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.

Play says ‘No’ to violence against LGBT

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.

A songbook of life and love

By Michelle Anne P. Soliman, Reporter THEATER REVIEW Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Presented by AtlantisTwenty June 14 to July 7 Meralco Theater, Pasig City THE ORCHESTRA began playing a...

A celebration of Carole King’s music

WHEN Kayla Rivera was 11-years-old, she recalls singing to “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” — her favorite Carole King song.

New museum focuses on the history of Binondo

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 its main building is renovated, Ayala Museum to mount mobile...

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.