Saturday, July 23, 2011

Varekai: You Don't Need Wings To Fly

Friday night was Varekai night.  It was performed by Cirque du Soleil which I have first encountered in Las Vegas years ago.  It was nice of them to pay Manille a visit.

As I watched their performance, a number of thoughts came up to my mind during the show.


It was held in a huge blue and yellow tent right across the infamous Quirino Grandstand in Pasay.  When I entered I took my seat inside the tent, I couldn't help notice that the entire tent could only seat a few number of people in comparison to say, Aliw Theater or Araneta Center or PICC.  We were seated so closely at the stage even though we were not seated on the VIP area.  It really didn't matter if you buy the cheapest or the most expensive ticket.  You will be able to see everything.     

There's a person having his picture taken.  He didn't even bother to move away from my shot. LOL!

Waah! I got a blurry pic of the cast.  Major Darn It!

Those are the swings which threw the cast all over the place. 
Sorry, no cameras were allowed during the show.

I like the stage how it was set up.
Those bars that you see behind were the ones where some cast
were climbing like a (coconut) tree once in a while during the show.

Behind me, there were some people having better pose than me.

I Want To Do That Too

Every time someone gets thrown up in the air, or someone is hanging on the rope and running around while up in the air (Oh yes! They were "running" up in the air), I can only think of one thing - "I want to do that too".  If only I was light and agile and so flexible, then I could have done the same.   Everyone was graceful - even the well-built men (Teehee!).  The best part was the swinging and flying up in the air part of the show.  They could jump so high in the air without the fear of breaking their necks in the process. I want to feel as free as they had when they get thrown up.


The tent was a start.  And the costumes were nothing I have ever encountered before.  Everything looked like they came out of someone's fantasy.  They probably were.  And they were all so beautifully made.  There were two characters that sang along the music that was a bit fanciful.  I could not understand the words though.  The characters, when they spoke, used some French accent with the spitting and spatting.  But then, there were times that they weren't.  They even used Filipino words.  One that stuck on my mind was "titi" pointing out to the groin area of someone in which one character was stepping on it purposely as part of a funny skit.  I think they found the word funny because the character giggled as he was repeatedly the word.   

The one thing that ruined the show was the audience.  It wasn't really our fault.  We were expecting too much from the performers.  I think the anticipation of seeing something so great ruined it for us.  People are not clapping even though the performers has actually done something great already.  And sometimes, people are clapping inappropriately out of politeness.  There were times when there was a feeble act on the show and some people clapped incessantly.  And sometimes, when there was something great that happened, people clapped hesitantly.  It was kind of funny too.

The Story The Way I Understood It

There was a beautiful being who lost his wings and fell from the sky into the hands of non-people in the forest.  They were trying to teach him how to walk and fly even without his wings.  They were also trying to make him "marry" a girl from the "tribe" of non-people.  There were some colorful and edge-of-your-seat performances before they got together in the end. And that was when he finally learned how to walk/fly.

Anybody who knows better can correct me on this... ^_^

Manila Hotel sponsored finger foods before and during the intermission.

And all I got was a chicken wing.  I already ate before I got there so I wasn't really hungry.

The long line of women waiting for their turn to get inside the bathroom.
There were a lot of these on the grounds.
It's either women have small bladders or they just drink too much!

I got freebies that I took home from the show.

The best thing about all of this is that I got the tickets for free.
No sweat on the pocket.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Around Seoul: Myeong-dong and Nanta

My favorite subway station was Myeong-dong... where all the nice shops are.  Even though it was raining, it didn't stop us from going there.  It was because we had to catch up a Nanta show at 2pm.

Wet Umbrella Packing Machine
(Believe me, that's what it's called.  I googled it. ^_^)

While waiting for Julia at the station, I noticed that people kept stopping by this machinery.
It's a good thing that we don't have it here.
They use a lot of plastic bags that they just throw away.
It was very Earth-unfriendly but still, it was interesting.
Forgive my ignorance.  It was my first time to see something like it. 

There was some kind of stage in front of Megliore Mall in Myeong-dong Station
where my dad had to sit among three other Koreans.

It was the weekend so there's no stopping these Korean girls from shopping.

The cobblestone paths made this shopping district such a nice place to shop.

We had to stop by for lunch.
Julia chose for us.  She explained that this fastfood restaurant
was the one Korean students go to for food when they were
in the elementary or middle school.

For those who didn't want to get soaked under the rain, they line up for the 2pm Nanta show.

It was my idea to watch Nanta. The Seoul ads in Star World (cable TV) gave me
the idea to watch the show which seemed very dynamic on TV.
I wasn't mistaken. It really was something to see in Seoul.
A tourist should not pass it up.

Julia and I were both wearing black tops.
With the theater's lighting, we looked like we were wearing deep blue shirts.

We took turns in taking a photo in this booth.


My sister, Che

My student, Julia

How are the people in the toilet supposed to know about this?

Sexy guy?

I really hope Manila can give theater shows like this. It doesn't have to be held in a big theater.
In fact a small theater (like that of Sibol in Ateneo) will do.
A display of Philippine traditional instruments and dances performed in a modern way
would really be very impressive to both citizens and tourists.
Sigh!  I wish I could organize something like this.
It would really be a nice tourist activity... something to look forward to in Manila.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Around Seoul: Hanggang Dinner Cruise and 63 City

We were running late for the 19:30 departure time of the cruise.
It's a good thing we got there right on the dot.  
Our table is the only one left empty at that time.

My dad started out light on his meal.  But mind you, I think he went for many more servings.
(See for food photos served in the cruise)

My Korean student, Julia, met us in the subway exit.
She wanted to show us Seoul herself.
It was my first time to meet her.
She was really nice 

I still don't get the Korean V-sign ^_^

I was messing up the V sign of Koreans ^_^

63 City Building
You can go on top and see the whole of Seoul at night.

They had a wax museum, IMAX theater and some kind of Ocean Park 
like the one we have here in Manila inside the building of 63 floors.