Last August 26, Ballet Manila opened its 22nd performance season with the breathtaking premier of Ibong Adarna and it all took us on a surreal trip back to high school PH Lit! Here are our favorite moments from the show:
1. Gia Macuja as the singing Ibong Adarna
Returning to the Philippine stage for the first time in years, critically acclaimed stage actress Gia Macuja-Atchinson enchanted the crowd with her powerful soprano chops as the singing mythical bird. Gia is internationally known for roles in Miss Saigon and the Lion King.
2. Bodjie Pascua as “Ermitanyo”
An entire generation grew up listening to his stories as Batibot’s Kuya Bodjie. This time, Ibong Adarna proves that he can also weave his magic onstage. He portrayed the character of the hermit who narrated the story. He also played a key role on the show’s turn of events.
3. Stellar choreography
Soaring higher from his roles as principal dancer and resident choreographer of Ballet Manila, Gerardo Francisco Jr spread his wings to come up with Ibong Adarna as his first full-length choreographic work. The show’s choreography left the audience at awe with dynamic group moves, powerful high lifts, and clean turns. The standing ovation was well-deserved!
4. Costumes, stage design
We also loved how the stage and costumes took us to a new Berbanya. Most of the costumes had the thematic brown, gold, and green, but each design was customized to make each character distinct from each other. The stage design also veered away from the usual “medieval western kingdom” theme and boasted a setup mostly made of bamboos with a slight tribal feel.
5. Diwa De Leon’s musical compositions
We were also amazed at how Diwa De Leon gives the show’s musical scoring a whimsical twist by using Filipino instruments like Kulintang and Bungkaka to name a few, accompanied by a symphonic orchestra.
Ballet Manila’s 2nd Performance Season titled “Flights of Fantasy” is opening this month, and based on the press preview – it’s definitely something you can’t miss. This year’s repertoire “soars high” with two world premieres, one classical ballet, and an unforgettable edition of a Ballet Manila original. If that’s not enough reason for you to check it out, we’ve listed down five reasons.
1. See “Ibong Adarna” like you’ve never seen it before.
We’ve all had to read this book back in high school, but Ballet Manila’s production breathes new life to the story. This Filipino Legend comes alive with fabulous costumes and breathtaking choreography.
2. Relive your childhood with Lisa Macuja-Elizalde’s “Snow White.”
You can bring the whole family for this show, as the Prima Ballerina promises an entertaining mix of the Disney and classic versions—truly a production that will be loved by all.
3. Get an introduction to classical ballet 101 with “Swan Lake.”
If you’re new to the ballet, “Swan Lake” is a great introduction, as this is the show that puts classical ballet on the map. This will also serve as an introduction for Ballet Manila and its Vaganova roots.
4. Watch ballet dancers dancing to your favorite contemporary songs.
If you’re a fan of both ballet and pop music, “Ballet & Ballads” is perfect for you! Watch them dance to contemporary tunes and witness them shatter the ballet stereotype. Also, Christian Bautista will sweep you off your feet with his smooth voice.
5. All the beautiful and handsome dancers!
Having good-looking dancers is just really a bonus to the already beautiful productions, but it doesn’t hurt to fawn over them!
Ballet Manila’s 22nd Performance Season “Flights of Fantasy” opens this August 26 with the world premiere of “Ibong Adarna.” Tickets are now available at www.ticketworld.com.
When The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf® brought in their Master Blender and Global Director for Tea, we found the perfect opportunity to share his knowledge with tea-loving Filipinos.
In a special tea workshop held in BGC, participants had a rare chance to learn from David De Candia’s decades of global tea expertise.
Here are a few interesting things we learned:
1. The Tea Master is not how you picture him in your head
It’s fairly easy to imagine a Tea Master as someone who resembles a monk from a 70’s Kung Fu movie. After all, tea is often associated with bearded Zen gurus who seem to speak only in riddles.
David is far from that typecast, however. Born and raised in the Bronx, he wears hoodies and walks with a certain spring in his step. While his quick wit easily fills any room with laughter, nothing captures his audience quite like his incredible passion for tea. Watching him lead people through the cupping session, it’s easy to see why he’s a sought-after expert in the industry.
2. All teas come from the same plant
While Green, Black, White, and Oolong sound like different plant varieties, all these teas actually come from the same bush—camellia sinensis. The difference lies in the amount of controlled oxidation that they undergo during processing. Black tea is the most oxidized, Oolong teas are semi-oxidized, and Green tea isn't oxidized at all. White teas, on the other hand, are picked before maturity.
3. Hand-plucked teas are better than machine-harvested teas
In the case of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, only the most flavorful parts of the bush are harvested. This means that only the bud and the top two leaves can be plucked from every branch. Harvesting machines cannot distinguish between leaves, so everything must be done by hand if true quality is a priority.
4. …and they are picked early in the morning.
Who knew that the time of harvest affects the taste of tea? According to De Candia, tea leaves start losing moisture when the sun is at its peak, so leaves must be plucked early in the morning.
The taste of the finest quality teas depends on many minute details like this.
5. There exists a Filipino Tea blend
Tea might not exactly be a major crop in the Philippines, but that hasn’t stopped local demand from growing. More Filipinos are drinking tea, in fact, that De Candia himself has decided to collaborate with top Filipino chefs and create a series of tea blends that capture the flavors of the islands.
BEYOND was given birth to via a simple conversation between Charles Paw, CEO of Digits, and Dan Matutina, a graphic designer & co-founder of branding and design agency, Plus63 Design Co.
Believing that Filipino comic artistry was something that needed to be brought to light, Beyond the Box worked together with the country’s foremost comic artists, namely Harvey Tolibao, Manix Abrera, and Mervin Malonzo, to create a unique comic book compilation created solely through the use of the iPad Pro.
Why BEYOND? Because to “go beyond” is about creativity, discovery, and adventure. It is a creative collaboration between like-minded individuals who believe that modern technology can be used to push the limitations of creativity, resulting to endless possibilities.
Get to Know the Artists Behind BEYOND
Harvey Tolibao, Manix Abrera, and Mervin Malonzo are considered Filipino comic book royalty. With works that span across different publishing houses, both local and international, it’s no wonder that each of these artists bring something unique to the table when they collaborated with Beyond the Box for BEYOND.
BEYOND: The Comic
A unique comic book compilation, BEYOND was created solely through the use of an iPad Pro by top Filipino comic book artists Harvey Tolibao, Manix Abrera, and Mervin Malonzo.
Malonzo and David’s TERRORIUM is a story about the days after the world has ended due to violent outgrowths of carnivorous flowers. It follows two colonists assigned to find out what exactly happened to a major scientific expedition that has gone radio silent for two months.
A mysterious woman named Aida hires a misfit band of agents to investigate a deserted island infested with beings dubbed the “Afflicted”. Tensions rise as each of the characters come face to face with both physical and psychological monsters in Harvey Tolibao’s action-packed and adventure-driven Grimmer Trance.
Manix Abrera’s Tunguhin documents an anonymous character’s voyage through a black and white abstract world. A silent comic, it provides a blank canvas for readers to determine and create their own interpretations of the narrative.
Many people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We at ARC PR could not agree more, which was why we were more than happy to work with Quaker Philippines as they hosted a flat lay workshop with one of the most influential food stylists in the country, Sherose Ontimare of www.foodfortata.com.
The star of the event was oats, one of nature’s ultimate supergrains. Guests were given leeway to experiment and create their own personalized oatmeal recipes and to take creative flat lays. This was done to emphasize the significance of breakfast and how oats can help them start their days right.
In the end, some of the guests took selfies, while others stood in the sunlight in order to get that perfect shot. It was definitely an Instagram-worthy day!