Officially In Love

With Pinto Art Museum, that is.

When I went there with Jel, Anna and her little Angel during my birthday month this year, I knew I would want to go back and enjoy the art pieces some more. Not that I didn’t enjoy going there the first time, I totally loved our first visit. But being the shutter bugs that we are, we snapped pictures here and there in that almost four hours that we were inside the museum.

I also wanted to try the Museum Cafe, so I was really bound to go back. It was just a question of when and with whom. Well, this time, it was sort of a spontaneous trip with Marc, whom I haven’t seen in quite a while. I told him about this cool museum and I was really glad he was willing to check it out [Thank you!].

And so, I giddily stepped inside the Pinto once again.

With a map and no abaniko from Manong Registration this time (I was kinda looking forward to holding an abaniko, actually), we started with the first gallery. I didn’t really realized that the first gallery is for housing some sort of a show (I think it changes monthly), so I was a bit disappointed when instead of the Beavis and Butthead-ish artworks at the loft area (I was excited to show that to Marc because he likes the duo), we saw art pieces that depict bicycles. He bikes, so I guess he sort of appreciated them.

At the main area, we found these:

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This reminds me of Imagine Dragons’ “Bleeding Out”.

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The first one reminds me of BenCab’s Sabel. And the other one of Les Miserables.

This trip was way faster than the first one because I was not in a snapping frenzy. In fact, I really didn’t want to bring out my camera had there been no new paintings in that first gallery. I would have been contented with just my camera phone. But, alas, Schneider was unleashed, so I managed to snap some interesting shots.

Kuya Tour Guide, the same one who snapped one of our group photos the first time, chat us up and said the museum is huge and he warned us that we’re in for a workout.

He probably sensed that we didn’t really need some touring around, so he left us in peace. [Promise, Manong, next time na punta ko, I will avail of your friendship, I mean, free service.] When we reached the bigger gallery, which, I think, is great for cocktail parties, he captured a willing audience of three young students.

I would have wanted to join the group, but I was starving by this time. It was 12 noon. We passed by the ramped gallery and I finally realized what the ramp is for. This lovely museum is wheelchair-friendly! Well, it shouldn’t really be a surprise since the museum is founded by a doctor (a neurologist to be exact), Dr. Joven Cuanang. There are even special backdoors for the PWDs. How thoughtful of them to do that!

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By the time we reached the center of the museum, where the cafe is conveniently located, we were more than ready to eat. The aroma from the kitchen caught us, actually.

10295460_10152181623028842_4849049775587341313_oI knew the Cafe is operated by Bizu, so I know it’s kinda pricey. I failed to mention this to Marc that that’s one of the main reasons why I wanted to go back–to sample their menu. We would have eaten lunch at the city center just like what we did the first time I went there, but I really wanted to try their food. We each ordered a set menu at P595++. It comes with a soup, an entree and a dessert. Marc got the lamb shanks with couscous and mine’s the spring chicken (from Abra daw) with couscous. With the one bite I had of the lamb, I thought the sauce was too strong for my palate. But I think Marc enjoyed it. The spring chicken is tender, but the thigh part was a bit dry.

Desserts were halo-halo and yema tart, which didn’t have the obligatory shots. Mine was the yema tart and it was served while I was still eating my entree. The salted caramel ice cream was melting when I finally got to it. I felt kinda cheated since I was expecting a huge tart. I should have ordered halo-halo, too. Oh, well. We can’t always have the best.

We continued our museum musing after that quite maarte lunch. It’s nice to see that most of the things in there didn’t change (well, it was only roughly three months ago, but you get what I mean); and there are some stuff I failed to notice the first time. They were some sort of happy surprise. Like this most unwelcoming receiving area.

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They were covered with words! It sure is easy art because what the artist just did was cover these things with printed words, but, wow. I spent a good while marveling at these painstaking works of art.

This particular art piece also surprise me. It’s not really a painting. It’s made with colorful threads. I really don’t know how the artist did it, but his works were so special, it has its own room. I did not recognize love the first time, I swear. 🙂

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I cannot say I am artistic enough to be able to create something that can be called a piece of art. I do crafts and they say it is sort of like arts, but that is saying too much about the stuff I create with my hands. I couldn’t help but really wonder how artists do their art pieces. Perhaps that’s why I love arts so much. They make me wonder and that’s some kind of wonderful.

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Of course, I still believe that Mother Nature is the greatest artist among them all. And in a museum, I was surprisingly enthralled by Her.

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I came across these dried stuff that turned out to be Apitong seeds [Thanks, Manong Tour Guide!] in one of the many window seats (where you can actually take a siesta or lounge while charging your gadgets). Manong Tour Guide saw me took a picture and he told me I could play with them as he picked one and let it “fly”. It immediately transported me back to my childhood summers.

And then I saw this tree from one of the many beautiful windows. It could have been a cherry tree with blossoms from a far, which reminded me of something and made my heart skip a beat (it’s D-minus 5!).

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It was Marc who discovered that the “flying seeds” were from that tree when he got in the bedroom and saw it from the huge window. We spent some time calling for the wind (you know, whistling) to see some more flying seeds. I unsuccessfully caught the flights in picture. I later on realized a video should have done the trick. Well, I’m sorry. I was enjoying it, and my mind wasn’t working full time. But, really, it was fun. I now have a great idea for an unconventional but really cool confetti. hehe

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We went inside the “Forest” room, and I can say it could be unsettling for some to enter that supposed to be “zen” room. hehe Not good for the praning. But I really like that installation art. I look forward to seeing one by Yayoi Kuzama in the future.

When we’re done with the galleries, we went outside to explore the gardens. It was refreshing to see so many shades of green below and blue above. But the dark clouds were kind of threatening, so we decided to call it a day. But before finally stepping outside the Pinto, we just had to taste the lemongrass iced tea they were selling near the exit/entrance of the museum. It was love! I had to sit down in one of the white chairs in the garden to fully enjoy it. It’s refreshing and it’s the perfect finale to end the museum musing. And at P20, it beats the horrendously overpriced tea sold at BenCab’s. I didn’t even tried it when we went there just because I thought it was so expensive (more than P100).

And that humble lemongrass iced tea is another reason to go back. 🙂

The Wonderful “Wicked”

My wretched self has something wicked to tell.

Months prior to Wicked’s opening in January, she was all excited about it. Then came 2014 and poof, the excitement was gone. She was so psyched to watch it on Broadway. Dream bigger, she said! She had let go of the idea to watch it on her birthday month. And then it extended for another two weeks. A friend asked her to go watch it with him (thank you, really!). With a lot of some hesitations, she said, Sure. And, boy, did it take a very long while for her to get into the zone! But that’s another story to be told some other time or maybe never.

And so finally, last night, I saw Wicked! And it was WONDERFUL!

Never mind that I was complaining (to myself and to a degree, to another friend) about how expensive the tickets were and how the mamahaling cheapest seats came with a free additional thrill to the experience: the lula factor. I had to go back downstairs (from the 4th floor) to get myself a bottled water to calm my nerves, actually. (Good luck with the bungee jumping dream, Self!)

I also felt a bit bad seeing that perfect seats (two rows from the stage, center) where we were seated for The Phantom of the Opera Hangover two years ago. It was for free! See, I should make it clear that I really don’t like paying for expensive form of entertainment. In my ideal universe, I always get to do art appreciation for free. So it was really a  struggle for me to be 100% excited about watching Wicked, even if it’s the cheapest seat I paid for. Forgive me. That’s how twisted I am.

Anyway, with all those drama having been unfolded and out of the way, let me tell you now about my Wicked experience. It was WONDERFUL! Oh, wait, I’ve already said that.

But, really, it was WONDERFUL. The stage is how I expected it to be, magical but not cluttered. Although, TPOTO’s stage was more extravagant, of course. Seeing Glinda, the Good Witch, come out of a bubble, you would know this show is gonna be enjoyable. Hearing everyone’s lines, you would know you’re in for a fun night. And watching them dance and hearing them sing their hearts out, you would wish the show would never end.

Of course, I also sang my heart out, albeit silently. I wanted to be lost in the characters’ voices, and lost I was. Specially, when Fiyero entered the stage with “Dancing Through Life”. Thank goodness for the patented (mind you!) spectacular binoculars that CCP was selling, I enjoyed his not-so-very good dancing skills. It was so awkward and funny and  adorable that I loved every bit of it! And I knew it, the moment I saw him dance, I actually knew it. My straight-dar (junked the gay-dar, it’s already obsolete) is working fine. He’s straight! I later confirmed here.

Fiyerrrrrooooooo! You had me at your very awkward dance. And those very, very blue eyes! Although I really didn’t see them from where we’re seated, would choose those blue eyes over blue diamond tattoos (from the book) any time.

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Speaking of the book, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire is quite far from the story the musical is telling. The book is much more detailed, of course, and much darker. I’m glad they didn’t portray Fiyero the way he is described in the book. Because that wouldn’t really sell, I think. The prince charming should always be, well, charming, at least in the most normal kind of way.

Another confession. I’ve been listening to the music for a long time now, and everyone (at least the fans) knows how powerful Idina Menzel’s voice in playing Elphaba was and how adorable Kristin Chenoweth’s Glinda was in the original cast of the Wicked in Broadway, so I wasn’t really expecting to be wowed by Jemma Rix and Suzie Mathers. But, oh my goodness! These ladies pulled off their roles magnificently.

I had fun watching Glinda hop, twirl, dance, sing and be everything a perky witch could be. I loved her “Popular” performance with Elphaba. It would make you want to be Elphaba and be friends with her and learn the “toss-toss” and be popular but not as popular as her, of course.

Elphaba is a sight to behold (not only because she is green) and a a force to be reckoned with (not only because she is actually a powerful witch). Jemma Rix may not be THE Idina Menzel, but she is one fine lady who can sing and touch your very heart. I almost clapped (alone) when she sang “I’m Not That Girl”. It was so perfect. When she and Steve sang “As Long as You’re Mine”, I could have cried, but I couldn’t because I had to hold the binoculars in from of my eyes (my eyes can only do so much). And when she and Suzie sang “For Good”, it was wicked. And, and… a lot more. Yeah, basically every song she sang was wow.

With the other characters, Boq was funny and Nessarose was fine, too. But I would have wanted to see a more hateful Wizard of Oz and a more horrible Madame Morrible. But maybe I was too happy to even feel negative emotions all throughout the show. Because it was so WONDERFUL!

Looking forward to see it on Broadway (or somewhere else other than CCP works fine, too). 🙂

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UPDATE!
Look who likes me…

fiyero liked me

Or at least for a brief moment, Fiyero liked me! Eeeeeeeh! Kilig. Because I live for mababaw moments like this. 🙂

Lovin’ Linkin Park

It was a rather ordinary day at the office yesterday when I got a very spontaneous and very special invite to watch the Linkin Park concert last night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

I didn’t think twice about it. It was like bumping into a college crush you haven’t seen in almost a decade and you really just couldn’t help but grab the chance to at least say hello. It was just like that. Well, actually, it was exactly that.

I actually shrieked upon getting the invite from a good friend and ex-colleague to watch the concert with them. Chester and Mike were my kind of rockstars when I was in college. I used to know their songs by heart! Their songs were poems to my ears. I know, I know. I don’t look like it. And I’m pretty sure I would have a hard time convincing post-college friends about this fact. But, heck, my speech for an English Communication class was about music and I even used some lines from Eminem’s Kill You as an introduction.

Texas Chainsaw, left his brains / all dangling from his neck / while his head barely hangs on / Blood, guts, guns, cuts / Knives, lives, wives, nuns, sluts

I sure did get my classmates’ attention with that. But I digress. Back to Linkin Park.

The songs suddenly came back to me as I crafted a plausible plan to get to the MOA Complex during the rush hour. And I was thankful I decided to wear black that morning. I couldn’t be more concert-ready!

A little before 8 PM, I was already with Yani and Benj. Yani’s sisters and their friends were there, too. It was actually a girls’ nightout with Kuya Sonny! hehe

During the front act’s performance, we hunted the second floor of the Arena for food. Ang cold burgers (na kasing-cold ni Ate na nag-serve) ay kulang. We were still hungry. And we really don’t know any song by Urbandub.

A few minutes before the show started, they let people from the upper boxes and general admission to the lower boxes. Seeing the commotion, we too inched our way down to the better seats.

And the most amazing rock concert I’ve been to so far started!

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We screamed to their songs (at least to the ones we know by heart); we banged our heads to the music (but tried to maintain a lady’s composure, of course); we raised our hands and sway (whenever Mike or Chester wanted us to do so); we stomped our feet (when our hands got tired clapping); we made noise (because that’s what you’re supposed to do when watching Linkin Park); we danced (when we didn’t know the song anymore); we sat down (to catch some air); we rose from our seats to scream, sing our hearts out, bang our heads, stomped our feet and dance some more; and most importantly, we enjoyed our time rocking with the band! A rockin’ girls nightout, it indeed was! Couldn’t thank Yani and her sisters enough for the unforgettable time.

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It was an exhilarating show. The first time they were here, I was a freshie in UP Baguio and wished to see them play live. The concert was in Manila. But I was friends with one of the organizers. He called me up to let me hear them sing. That was the nearest I got to my wish, until last night!

Here’s the setlist, by the way. I stumbled upon this while looking for the song na parang hinaharana lang kami, ayon nga kay Benj.

It was a wonderful feeling to realize that even forgotten dreams do come true. And when Universe surprises you with one of them, there’s really not much to do but take it in and just be grateful.

A lesson I got from this: Never ever let go of your dreams, however big or small they are. Sometimes you have to work hard to reach these dreams; but there are times one is just thrown your way because perhaps you’ve somehow done something good and the Universe thinks you deserve it. | Thanks for that wonderful surprise, Universe. Rock on!