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Showing posts from June, 2016

Built to last

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Everyone, at least on social media, seems to ask if everlasting love still exists. The question has become so repetitive that it no longer is a question but a dictum: Walang forever.

I think otherwise. Happiness doesn’t get a lot of press, and if it does, it only tells the treacly portion of the story. What we fail to see in every well-lighted photograph of a couple locked in an embrace are the long fights they had just days before, the doubts in their head, and the arduous path they took to know and rediscover each other.

It’s a shame that our schools don’t teach us about making a relationship work — that it takes actual hard work, that love doesn’t simply fall on our laps and stay on fire just because we will it to. That’s why I’m going to stop here, because my knowledge on the matter is suspect. Instead allow me to send a salute to all the married and about-to-be-married couples out there by way of a playlist.

Here’s to those of you who dare commit to a lifetime with someone who w…

Thinking inside the black box

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It’s very exciting for artists to see an empty space,” said Ed Lacson Jr. after recounting the diverse, if not divergent productions that came to life at the barely one-year-old Power Mac Center Spotlight, where he serves as theater manager.

The 400-sqm. black box theater was built to complete Ayala Land’s hip lifestyle and entertainment district Circuit Makati and complement the 1,500-seater performing arts theater soon to rise within the development. “A black box is basically an empty space that any artist can use, whether for performing or visual arts. It’s a canvas that they can transform however they want to,” explained Lacson. “Its difference from a proscenium type of theater is the seating, which can be adjusted in whatever configuration you want.”

And like the blank page, the limits of which are defined by the writer, Power Mac Center Spotlight has been utilized by creative minds in various disciplines. Other than the expected plays and musicals, the venue has hosted talks, pr…

Ataska

My elementary life was a period in history I’d rather not go back to and attending the press launch of Annie the Musical at Resorts World Manila reminded me of all those years spent with a confusing mix of girls — the shy ones, the quiet but not exactly timid ones, the loud but harmless ones, the loud and annoying ones, the bullies, and everything in between. I wasn’t looking at my former school mates, I was observing the cast of Full House Theater Company’s production of Annie.

Now a little older, you’d think I’d know how to handle myself. But children and teens will forever be a mysterious and surprising species. I had no idea what to expect being among them, and they always manage to catch me off-guard.

Case in point: Ataska Mercado, who, forgive me for the stereotype, would probably be sitting at the cool table in high school. The 14-year-old has done several stage plays in the past with Kids Acts Philippines (The Wizard of Oz, Hansel and Gretel, Peter Pan), but her early claim to…

Designated jazzmaster

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Rave was — and to some extent remains — an unfamiliar ground to me, and that’s because my participation in activities involving one has always been at a minimal. I first encountered the term in college, circa 1999, when Malate could practically be named Street Party District. My curiosity (and outgoing friends) led me to the “in” clubs and “it” crowds, but my inner homebody found no reason to stay.

Fast forward to 2012: EDM artist Zedd came out with Spectrum and Find You, two mainstream ear worms that had a “feat. Matthew Koma” appended to their titles. Later on I’d see the same name featured in dance tracks I would play on repeat. It turns out the man is a singer, songwriter, producer — and a DJ to boot — who gives soulful acoustic performances.

Matthew Koma served as a Northern Star when it came to negotiating my way through the loud and variegated world of electronic dance music, leading me to more interesting artists and soundscapes that made me want to linger. His songs, whether …