Category Archives: arts

Wandering around museums

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

~ Pablo Picasso
If you find reading books to learn about a country’s history and culture too tedious, go to museums. That’s a more exciting way of learning given that there are visuals to aid it. And museums, being (mostly) quiet, offer a break from the daily nuisance of a bustling city.
It seemed unlikely, but in spite of living in Baguio City for 9 months, I didn’t visit the BenCab Museum. When I went back to the place a year later in January, 2017, it was originally part of my itinerary. But curling up during chilly mornings in Baguio is irresistible, so instead of going out early, I heeded the bed’s call.
Being an item in my bucket list this year, it must be ticked off, so in May, when my friends and I went to Baguio (my second visit this year), we went to the distant museum despite the limited time we had.

Continue reading Wandering around museums

Please follow and like us:

Tam-awan Village—a treasure trove of culture and artworks

​​Baguio City became my second home for nine months. When I decided to go back to Manila and start anew, I realized there was one more thing to do before leaving the Summer Capitalvisit Tam-awan Village.

Dubbed as “Garden in the Sky,” Tam-awan is a village of art galleries built by Chanum Foundation on a roadside hill in Baguio Citya 10-minute drive from the city proper.

The trails found in the village were built around the natural terrain of the place, making it a bit difficult to traverse if you’re not one who loves hiking.

Not everyone loves art (or the other way around), but visiting galleries is a good hobby to practice. In particular, here are the reasons why you must visit Tam-awan Village.

It presents in a nutshell the culture of the people of the Cordilleras and the Mountain Province. To fully understand their culture means to immerse in the community. Circumstances don’t always permit that, so we look for another avenue through which we can get snippets. We won’t get the whole picture through the gallery but at least we’ll learn from fragments of the story by rummaging through their works of art and replicas of their houses. These masterpieces give us a glimpse of a life we’re not living in a place we’re not dwelling on.

We get to see the world through the artists’ eyes. Every once in a while, we need to look at the world from a different point of view, sometimes to eliminate the negativity, and other times to simply look at the brighter side. From an artist’s perspective, the world is a large canvass on which we can paint our dreams, aspirations and realities, be they good, or bad. Looking at their artworks opens a door in our minds leading to a colorful reverie. And then we get their wisdom and apply it in our lives, or at least try to understand it.

It inspires other artists to continue honing their skills. And maybe, it even makes them dream of putting up their own exhibit.

It also rekindles the fire of a lost interest in art. Some were born with the talent, butperhaps because of things they consider more important, or practicallost interest in art along the way. Sometimes, it’s also because they’re thinking they’re not good or will never be good at it. I believe there’s superior art and mediocre art; a brilliant idea and a trashy idea. But constantly doing something improves our skills. And to constantly improve, we need inspiration which we can draw from a myriad of brilliant ideas expressed through artworks.

It gives travelling (or living in a place) a deeper sense of purpose. Oftentimes we travel for the sights to see and the foods to eat. And there are those who travel to fill their social media accounts with panoramic photos of scenic spots. I hope our purpose for travelling is not limited to these. By visiting art galleries, we learn a lot, or at least get an overview of the stories our forefathers lived, and of the present realities that people, whom we don’t speak to every day, live.
Please follow and like us:

Shrek the Musical—an energetic mix of contagious humor

“It’s a big bright beautiful world…”

What the world presents is quite different from the picture formed by expectations in your head. This reality—and other life’s ironies—dawned on Shrek and Princess Fiona, but the effect on their lives is something that makes everyone wonder, “Why did I not ever wish for this to happen?”
Shrek is a big, fat, ugly Ogre who was sent out by his parents at the tender age of seven. He knew from the start that there’s a “big, bright, beautiful world” out there—but not for him. He thinks that only the physically beautiful deserve it; not someone who’s hideous looking.
Princess Fiona has been locked up in a tower since she was a child. Every day, she expects that her Prince Charming will climb up the tower and rescue her from the solitary loneliness that has been her companion.
Lord Farquaad, the vain, short ruler of Duloc realizes that he needs to rescue Princess Fiona from the dragon-guarded tower and marry her, so he could be king. But he didn’t want to do the mission himself.
They are unsuspecting that their lives will change one fateful day. Sent by Lord Farquaad shortly after arriving in Duloc, Shrek, together with his new-found quirky friend, Donkey, embarks on a mission he accepts with the sole purpose of recovering his swamp from the unjust ruler. The three has different expectations. Little do they know that their stories are written with a different plot.

Photo by Philippine Star
Originally shown in Broadway, Shrek theMusical performs live in Manila starting on Sept. 19 till Oct. 12 at the Meralco Theater. I had the opportunity to watch the Shrektacular show during the preview night on Sept. 18.
I couldn’t contain my happiness as I was served with a cup full of firsts in a single night. I haven’t seen any of the Shrek films, so I absolutely had no idea about the story. Another first was watching a live musical. And it was also my first time at the Meralco theater.
So, how did the musical go?
First of, there’s no doubt that the story is good—perfect for both young and old audiences.
Second, the characters’ costumes and the props are magnificent; the stage design, spectacular. On the technical side, the audio is undoubtedly excellent, as everything is clearly heard. The lighting effects are well-planned and -arranged , adding to the overall grandiosity of the production.
For the cast’s performance, I give each of them two thumbs up for an undeniably great one. All of them have successfully immersed themselves in the story and took the spectators to another world. Not to mention the synchronized movements that I bet are difficult to memorize and the coordination that all of them have skillfully mastered.
Looking closely, however, one may see the glitches in the blocking, but these are too minor to affect the musical.
Starring in Shrek the Musical are Rycharde Everley as Shrek, Shiela Valderrama-Martinez as Princess Fiona, Nyoy Volante as Donkey, Jett Pangan as Lord Farquaad, Nel Gomez as Pinocchio and Carla Guevara-Laforteza as Dragon. Shrek is directed by Bobby Garcia.
Applause reverberates around the theater at the end of each song. Resounding laughter can also be heard from the audience with each quirk. These reactions are enough to conclude that Shrek the Musical is a must-see.
Overall, I offer a standing ovation to the cast and crew for pulling off such an energetic and humorous night of story telling.
You may buy tickets at For details, call Ticketworld 891-9999.
Please follow and like us: