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Showing posts from March, 2017

An afternoon at the beach

I wanted to go to the beach... this was, perhaps, the only opportunity I have to see the beach in the summer. Val and Amani were happy to oblige, and chose to visit Laiya, Batangas. Because I failed to get day-trip reservations, we ended up touring the different resorts, deciding to stop in the resort I liked the most; which, in this case, was Virgin Beach Resort.
What I liked the most about this resort was that it was peaceful and relaxing. It reminded me of Paradise Cove in Hawaii, where I attended a luau; I wasn't impressed by the food so much, but I particularly loved the relaxing feeling of being on the beach. The other resorts were dotted with big groups of people and were very noisy (thanks to the ubiquitous karaoke and videoke machines)... something we're all trying to avoid.

In the Next Room (2017)

I was in Greenbelt Mall one afternoon, looking for an activity that could double as "cultural education", but not another visit to the museum because there wasn't a new exhibit yet. Then I passed by OnStage, the theatre housed in Greenbelt 1, in which the Repertory Philippines was performing "In the Next Room", a period piece by Sarah Ruhl.
Yeah, why not? I haven't seen a play in a long time. And so as I settled into my seat, I noticed the stage... it was beautifully designed down to the most intricate of details. Signature Rep. I was expecting nothing less from the training ground of some of the Philippines' best theatre talents.

I just didn't take to heart what the second part of the play's title, "The Vibrator Play" meant... because it seems to be anachronistic to the Victorian era (19th century) setting. What was I thinking? This was the Rep, after all... it keeps pushing the boundaries of Philippine theatre audiences.
While the p…

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Beauty and the Beast (the animated Disney classic) is one of those movies that bring back memories of the good old days... in grade school. Yes, the cartoon was shown in 1991. So when I heard that Disney was making a live-action version of this beloved classic, I put the premiere date in my calendar and waited (im)patiently until the day arrived.
However, due to circumstances that I couldn't avoid (aka statistical analyses and physical exercise), I ended up watching the movie the week after it opened in San Pablo City, Laguna. It was a much-awaited showing, indeed, because the cinema was packed with parents (who relived their first time seeing the cartoon) and their children (who were seeing this version for the first time).
And so the "tale as old as time" began. Emma Watson (who I first saw as Hermione in the Harry Potter series), waltzed into the screen as Belle, the female protagonist. And I can say that she definitely is not Paige O'Hara when it comes to her si…

Boards UP

The first time I entered an establishment where I had to pay for lunch but can play all board games that I want was in Ludo Café in Makati. I went there after French class with my classmates. Little did I know that this concept was about to pick up a storm in Los Baños in the form of Boards UP.
Krishna, Jojie, Erin, and I tried it out one cold evening in which we needed to relax and eating dinner just didn't fit the ticket. While waiting for our meals, we picked (of all games) UNO Stacko. I thought that it was a good idea because there were no plates; the pieces weren't in any danger, at that point, of plopping into our food.

Dinner and UNO Stacko do not mix. A post shared by Rochie Cuevas (@rochiecuevas) on Mar 17, 2017 at 8:24am PDT

As the evening progressed, we also played Cards Against Humanity (never tried it before; totally hilarious!) and Machi Koro, coincidentally a game I was playing with Ate Maddie, JP, and Daddy during my vacation in the Calaveras area. Because we h…

Optimism is Ridiculous: The Altarpieces

After my Saturday French class, I trooped to the Ayala Museum to visit the exhibit called "Optimism is Ridiculous: The Altarpieces" by Thai painter Natee Utarit.  
I was kind of concerned because the artwork might be highly politicised or highly critical, given the title... nothing wrong with that but my purpose was to relax while looking at the artwork. I didn't want a political interpretation dictated to me; I want to see the collection for itself and see it for its visual properties.
As I walked around the exhibit, poring through the paintings, I noticed that these were really big pieces, most could fit behind the altar in churches! And they were all thought-provoking. For instance...
The piece below says that churches, the traditional home of optimism and faith, have become home of cynicism, resistance and pessimism. Interesting, it's an idea that I have noticed in the dioramas. That is, the Filipino resistance movement and the first government officials used to…

An evening of chamber music at the National Arts Centre

Learning that there was a free concert at the top arts high school in the country, I dropped what I was doing and went to the National Arts Centre with Cindy and Rexie. I have to say that the high school students were able to stand their ground as they performed with seasoned artists from different orchestras all over the world. I was so happy for these students... and I am sure that their parents are so proud of them too.

Many of the songs that the students performed, either solo or with a group, sounded very complicated. Looking at the concert playlist, I could only recognise musicians Handel, Brahms, Mozart, and Bizet... Take note that I am not much of a classical music fan, listening mostly to Beethoven and Mozart (particularly the Requiem).

Anyway, despite my relative ignorance with this field of music, I still enjoyed listening to the different pieces. One of the most memorable one, for me at least, was the "Kinder Suite Op 142" by Schytte. That's because the musi…

Swan Lake

A classic piece of ballet.
A big finale for a fiery season of Ballet Philippines, that started with Firebirds and Other Ballets. Too bad I was only available to watch the performances on the season's opening and on its closing.
Swan Lake. One of the first ballets I have seen at the CCP. I think I first saw it as a pre-schooler; my memory is quite hazy about those days but I clearly remember that I liked the music back then.So it was quite a treat when I learned that Swan Lake was going to be performed by Ballet Philippines as this season's ender.
And I'm back, watching the finale of Ballet Philippines' current season. A post shared by Rochie Cuevas (@rochiecuevas) on Mar 3, 2017 at 9:56pm PST
And the nice thing was that the CCP was adorned with photos and memorabilia from the several times it had performed Swan Lake. Based on these mementos, I can hazard to guess that I saw this ballet for the first time in 1985. 
The ballet was superbly performed by the dancers. The …

Last Full Show

There are pieces of art that celebrate the beauty of the human body. There's David and Venus de Milo representing sculpture, for instance; or the Creation of Adam, representing paintings. 
And then there are those art pieces that show us the body as it is, with all its flabs and its excretions.  It is far from perfect but is nevertheless a sight to behold. That's what Danilo Dalena was showing in an exhibition of his works at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines. I popped in on its last day of showing; which is why there was a lot of visitors and there was a party going on right outside the gallery. 
Some of the works gave me a glimpse into what the Manila Jai Alai building looked like inside back in the day. It's an architectural gem in Manila, hailing from the Art Deco period. However, Manila is evolving and is more than willing to let go of the past (along with its architectural richness) in favour of a modern but less culturally and artfully impressive future (think…