Knowing There Will Be Only One Night with Cynthia Alexander

It was summer of 2008 when I first heard her chilling performance of Comfort in your Strangeness via YouTube.

I fell in love instantly.


But just when I’d started working and been given all the opportunity in the world to watch her perform at her usual places like Conspiracy Garden Cafe, I had my heart broken when I learned she was leaving for the US in 2012.


Three years later, I’d almost failed to catch her again after missing out on her comeback gig at the recently concluded Jack Daniel’s Philippines Indie Music Awards Night held at Whitespace Makati.

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While I was tuning in for online photo and video updates on her comeback stint, OPM made an announcement that she’d be holding a solo concert at Teatrino at Promenade, Greenhills,

Cynthia Alexander

It was the intimate four-hour concert any Cynthia Alexander fan could ever wish for. I had to be there.


Here’s what went down during her concert:

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The requests would go on and on into the night.

Alexander is an independent singer, songwriter, composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist – making her the ultimate musician/artist to date. Her musical journey as a folk/ethnic artist was reflected in her albums, which include: Insomnia & Other Lullabyes (1997), Rippingyarns (2000), Comet’s Tail (2005) and Walk Down the Road (2009).

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Multi-instrumental. Oh, the variety of sounds created by these instruments!

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Performance Art at its best. The mixed art collaborations that night were beautiful as well as inspiring.

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Mingawon Linaw’s graceful interpretation of a Maningning Miclat/Joey Ayala composition Dumaan Ako.

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Asha Peri fluttering by as Alexander performed Dragonfly.

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The energy back there was incredibly contagious.

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Vivian Nocum Limpin’s Filipino translation segment was awkwardly funny.

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And you were seriously funny.

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The ending involved a special participation from Razorback’s Kevin Roy.

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As if one song wasn’t enough, Roy and Alexander gave the audience an encore performance to remember.

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Kudos to the members of the band! CJ Wasu, Jonathan Urbano, Grace Bugayong, Malou Matute, and Zach Lucero

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Feel the Love. The audience missed her terribly.

She didn’t want to say goodbye. We didn’t want to, either. But I knew, she knew, we all knew the concert was bound end. She had one last gig at Conspiracy Garden Cafe last April 25 then went back to the US last Monday.

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To the woman who continues to be an inspiration to so many artists out there.

Happiest birthday to you, Cynthia Alexander!

Thank you for sharing with us your music! Mabuhay ka!


Stay tuned for more videos and photos at http://www.reverbmanila.com. Please follow #ReverbManila via Tumblr, and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

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N° of Little Italy in BGC: Nolita is the Pizza Parlor to be!

On weekends, we binge eat!

And when it comes to pizza, pasta, and burger – Nolita tops our list!

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A New York style pizza, burger joint conveniently located at Central Square BGC, Nolita (N° of Little Italy) has become a comfort food haven for food adventurers like you and me! So whether you’re on a cheat day or stressed out from a long, busy afternoon at work, Nolita is the pizza parlor to be!

Let Reverb Manila show you why.

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Although Nolita may not be easily seen from the ampitheater (especially on broad daylight), it isn’t so hard to find. Just take the stairway from Crystal Jade and voila, you’re at BGC’s version of N° of Little Italy.

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Line up and pick from the menu.

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You can order your pizza by the slice. We were greeted by an overwhelming list of flavors that are sure to pique anyone’s curiosity. Available flavours are Pesto Grilled Chicken with Sundried Tomato, Pepperoni, Cheeseburger, Wild Mushroom Walnut with Blue Cheese or Ricotta, Spinach and Artichoke, Spicy Italian Sausage, Regular Cheese, Shrimp Carbonara, Buffalo Chicken with (or without) Blue Cheese, Chicken Parmesan, Sausage Mushroom Pepperoni, and Roasted Veggies with (or without) Chicken.

Too overwhelming, it took us forever to order.

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Of course, your slice of pizza won’t be enough. So pair it with a burger…

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Or pasta, or even dessert!

But if you want to go all light, Nolita also has some greens in store for you.

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The pizza counter and all sorts of pizza pies.

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And if after everything we’ve just listed and shown above still can’t help you decide, you can actually make your own pizza! Customize your basic pies by adding your favorite toppings.

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As for our case, picking was the hardest part – given the variety of pizzas to choose from  – but the rest was all convenient. Just pay for your meal at the counter then find a seat. Your food will be served in about five minutes. The staff were accommodating, by the way.

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We’re so loving the warm ambiance.  We chose to sit by this area because it offers a picturesque view of the entire diner.


What did we order?

Nolita-Reverb-Manila-PizzaOne slice of Pesto Grilled Chicken Pizza.

Nolita-Reverb-Manila-All-Angus-Cheese-Burger-2An Angus All Beef Medium Rare Mozarella Cheese Burger with fries!

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One bowl of Pesto Mascarpone Pasta and a slice of Shrimp Carbonara Pizza!


Finally. Time to eat!

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The slices we ordered were just as delicious as they are in pictures, but they surely weren’t as filling when eaten on their own. Pairing it with your choice of grub will definitely satisfy your craving. For us, the Angus All Beef Cheese Burger and the Pesto Mascarpone Pasta did the trick.

The better cheese? The mozarella cheese added onto the Angus beef burger already tasted too familiar that the mascarpone in the pesto pasta suddenly felt refreshing to the tastebuds. It instantly became a new favorite; it was perfect! I think it’s the kind of cheese that would taste good with anything!

All in all, our busy Saturday afternoon felt like it deserved a heavy, carbo-loaded meal. And if you’re wondering if it’s one of those food places you’ll keep going back to?

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Yes! We’ll definitely be back when we’re around the area. Make Nolita one delicious habit!

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Even better news for BGCitizens. Nolita now delivers around The Fort BGC! For deliveries, call (02) 478 7091 or 519 7103!


Craving for a different kind of pizza? Visit Nolita at 7th Ave. corner 29th Street South, Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City!


Where do you want Reverb Manila to eat next? Leave a comment below.

Meantime, stay tuned for more food adventures (#ReverbManilaEats) at www.reverbmanila.com. Please follow #ReverbManila via Tumblr, and via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

#PalakasinangOPM: Girl Power (Pocket Performances)

March 14, 2015 – It’s been a month since OPM (Organisasyon ng mga Pilipinong Mang-aawit) rocked the Bonifacio Highstreet Ampitheater with a hefty lineup of solo acts and successfully pulled off collaborations. But before the 8 p.m. show, there was a series of pocket performances that were actually just as awesome.

OPM Pocket Performances

I decided to swing by a little earlier to get the feel of the event and catch some the afternoon sets. I was fortunate enough to witness four powerhouse ladies perform (hence the title Girl Power). Each gifted with their unique vocal prowess and sound, they actually have a few things in common – they’re all singers, songwriters, and instrumentalists!


Reverb Manila OPM Aicelle Santos

First up was my favorite power-belter slash pianist turned stage actress Aicelle Santos. I arrived at the venue just in time for her live rendition of Ikaw Pa Rin, off her debut album Make me Believe.

Former La Diva member Aicelle has been generating quite a buzz in the world of theater ever since she got shortlisted for the role of Gigi in Miss Saigon. Shortly after, she made her theater debut as Teen Katy in Katy the Musical and Aileen in the phenomenal Rak of Aegis, winning her first Aliw award for best actress in a musical. After recently staging her first solo concert in PETA last February, she’s set to take part in a historic musical Sabel, Love and Passion this April.

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I was standing beside this pretty little girl – unfazed by the summer sun – as she watched Aicelle sing her latest single Kapangyarihan ng Pag-ibig.


Tambay tayo. Tawagin niyo akong Aia.

ReverbManila OPM Aia de Leon

Hey there, Aia! Returning to the OPM scene is former vocalist and co-founder of Imago, Aia de Leon – and yes, she is back.

The thought of Imago always leaves me feeling quite nostalgic about college since their music defined that particular time in our lives. Plus they would often play for a lot of our school events. Admittedly, I was a bit sad to accept her part ways with Imago (especially after seeing her audition for The Voice of the Philippines). On a much lighter note, a happier Aia reenters the industry as a solo artist, and she’s promoting her new single Tao Lang. Her sound may have changed. But to me, different in this context is good. I’m pretty sure her fans are just as happy to see her back. For good.


One of the great things I love about watching concerts is the opportunity to hear new sounds from artists I have not yet heard of. And two of them were rising artists Mei Cruz and Cucay Pagdilao.

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Emerging pop artist Mei Cruz may be a pretty familiar face on YouTube. She’s done a number of notable acoustic covers. All in all, I enjoyed her pop rock vibe during her set with OPM. Her brand new single Hibang is quite an easy listen. It also kinda reminds me of of Moonstar88’s Migraine?

Check out her music video here. She might just be a new addition to your OPM playlist.


Reverb Manila OPM Cucay Pagdilao

Another new artist Cucay Pagdilao is bound to conquer the local pop, ballad and alternative genre. She was rocking the satellite stage with her enamel white keytar! This classically trained independent artist had some undeniable stage presence so I had to step out into the sun to watch her acoustic set. I want to see her play the piano, though. From what I’ve gathered, she has finished working on her album Music, Lyrics and Longing.

 Check out her song Nala (Ikaw Pa Rin):


My accidental girl-power coverage offered a good balance between mainstream and emerging artists. They’ve got the passion and beauty with the vocal power to match!

So who’s your new favorite OPM artist? Leave a comment below.


Stay tuned for more photo and video updates on the Collab Sessions via http://www.reverbmanila.com. Please follow #ReverbManila via Tumblr, and via Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube! 

How We Randomly Celebrated National Siblings Day 2015

It’s gonna be a long summer break, and my brother is raring for new things to try!

I decided to bring him to the Satchmi Vinyl Day concert since I was absolutely sure I was going. It was easily the perfect, if not most hipster, way to celebrate National Siblings Day. Thing is, neither of us knew it was National Siblings Day until my friend took notice and reminded me the moment she saw us at the venue. It was pure coincidence, I thought to myself.

It was a rather cute coincidence. The afternoon soon turned into an evening of discovery and discography. The audience was spoiled with overflowing ice cream, floats, and a smorgasbord of eargasmic tunes from Satchmi’s awesome lineup of bands!

The following morning. We woke up late, and there we were: laying still, imagining how we could possibly get past the hangover Satchmi’s concert had brought upon us.

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Our Last Concert Syndrome: Satchmi Vinyl Day 2015! Tandems ’91 and Jensen and the Flips are my new favorites! He’s digging Ang Bandang Shirley and Cheats! (Photos and videos will be up soon!)

Re-listening to their live performances made it a lot easier for us to cram all of our chores into two hours.


Earlier in the afternoon though – when the weather outside was just about right – we headed out to SM Aura to go to church and practice photography.

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The view from 5F SM Aura. He’s developing a good eye for detail.

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Seeing the Samsung Hall reminds me of Echosmith! They’re returning to Manila for a full concert this August!

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His OOTD. Patterns!

After a couple of snapshots outdoors, we decided to find that one restaurant neither of us hadn’t tried yet. It was especially hard; we were simply too overwhelmed by the lineup of restaurants on the 5th floor. Both our tummies couldn’t decide on which craving to satisfy, but the very moment we caught glimpse of Magnum Cafe, we knew it – Let dessert come first.

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The Magnum Cookie Dough Skillet is basically a warm cookie chocolate chip cookie dough topped with two vanilla Magnum bars, dark chocolate, and chopped pecans.

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I had no doubt the presentation was going to be just as great as the photo in their menu.

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And poof, it’s gone! Just like that. We were also kinda warming up to Pink Friday, but we made the right decision not to binge order; one was more than enough. We can save Pink Friday for next time!

Despite all the randomness, I’m glad that my brother had quite an amazing time here, and although he’s headed back home tomorrow, I’m pretty sure he’s going home with a handful of firsts – a beautiful memory of this particular weekend. I trust that he’ll have better taste in music, and he’ll definitely look forward to our next food adventure.

I must say this has been the best sibling bonding to date – much sweeter than any Magnum dessert can offer!


How did you spend your weekend with your brothers and sisters?

Share your #NationalSiblingsDay story with us.

‘Til the next National Siblings Day!

TFM’s April Play Guide for Theater Fans Like You and Me

Satisfy your theater cravings this summer.

Here are some theater productions happening this April, courtesy of Theater Fans in Manila!

NEAR YET FAR, FAR YET NEARNear Yet Far, Far Yet Near - April 11

Venue: Dito: Bahay ng Sining

Run: Today! 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM

Theater Company: Ikarus

Lead Actors: Jerome Flor as Poet/Narrator

10 Questions: Guelan Luarca as Ben and Claire (TBA)

One Rainy Evening in April: Trency Caga-anan as Frances and Tarek El Tayech as Joseph

Playwrights: 10 Questions Written by Paolo Apagalang and One Rainy Evening in April Written by Enrique Estagle

Director: Paolo Apagalang

Ticket Prices: P350

How to Get Tickets: Contact BJ at 0906 424 1107

10 Questions. The year is 2010. The place, Manila, the Philippines. Enter Ben: a quiet, reserved, conservative guy. And Claire: a quirky, fun loving free spirit. They would’ve been perfect for each other. But they can’t exactly be romantic because their best friends have just split up. Or can they? The two start chatting one night. They start playing 10 questions. What happens now? In a tale of friendship, loyalty, romance, happiness, awkwardness and everything in between, how does one answer the question of: “What is love?”

One Rainy Evening in April. Watch this play if you’ve ever thought of saying something to someone you love/used to love, but ended up not saying it. Or saying something different. Yeah, we’re going to make you cry.


 RUN FOR YOUR WIFE

Run for your Wife - April 10

Venue: Onstage Theater, Greenbelt 1

Run: April 10-May 3 (Fridays-Sundays)

Theater Company: Repertory Philippines

Director: Miguel Faustmann

Lead Actors: Jamie Wilson, Goldie Soon, Mikkie Bradshaw, Jeremy Domingo, Paul Holme, James Stacey, Steven Conde, and Mara Javier

Ticket Prices: P600, P500, P400

How to Get Tickets: Call 843-3570 or Ticketworld at 891-9999 / ticketworld.com.ph

The story of London cab driver John Smith, with two wives, two lives and a very precise schedule for juggling them both. With one wife at home in Streatham and another at home in Wimbledon, and with occupants of the flat upstairs at the latter location.

Trouble brews when Smith is mugged and ends up in hospital, where both of his addresses surface, causing both the Streatham and Wimbledon police to investigate. Having upset his schedule, Smith becomes hopelessly entangled in his attempts with his lazy layabout neighbour upstairs in Wimbledon, to explain himself to his wives and two suspicious police officers.


KABALINTUNAAN

Kabalintunaan

Venue: APC Auditorium (3 Humabon Place, Magallanes, Makati City)

Run: April 14, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Theater Company: Teatre Phileo

Playwright: Rogelio Braga

Directors: Wisdom Miuceros and Cled Laranang

Ticket Prices: Blank-ticket (any amount you deem necessary)

How to Get Tickets: Call Wisdom at 0926 187 1625

Kabalintunaan is a twin-bill play production, which is composed of “Ang Mga Mananahi” and “So Sanggibo A Ranon Na Piyatay O Satiman A Tadman”, both written by Mr. Rogelio Braga (a writer, essayist, and playwright based in Manila). These two stories both aim to raise awareness about the lives of Moros, Meranaos, Bangsa Moros, and Muslims in our country.

Notes: Ang aming malilikom na kita mula sa dulaang ito ay ihahandog namin sa Health Organization of Mindanao (HOM) – isang lokal na organisasyon mula sa lungsod ng Cotabato na may layuning mapaunlad ang kalusugan at kapakanan ng ating mga kababayang Pilipino, lalung-lalo na sa mga apektadong komunidad, sa kusang-loob na batayan.


Ouroboros: Mga Pananalamin at Panganganino

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Venue: Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan (THY), Faculty Center, UP Diliman, Quezon City

Run: April 17, 7p.m., April 18-19 (2 p.m. and 7 p.m.)

Theater Company: UP Dulaang Laboratoryo

Directors and Choreographers: Jon Abella, Al Garcia, Stephen Vinas, Dexter M. Santos

How to Get Tickets: Contact Camille Guevara at 0917 823 9531 or dupguevara@gmail.com, or the Dulaang UP office at 981-8500 loc 2449 / 433-7840 (look for Camille Guevara or Samanta Clarin)

The show features plays that mirror human’s rituals of introspection and (re)discovery:

Ang Ahas (Alexander Cortez’ translation of Jean Claude Van Itallie’s The Serpent), a ceremony of sin, violence, greed, lust, and human desires;

Para Sa Mga Babaeng Manlalakbay na Nagtangkang Magpatiwakal Habang Nasa Daan Patungo Sa Bahaghari (Joi Barrios’ adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf), a tribute to seven women in a journey to their dreams and horrors; and

Ang Sopranong Kalbo (Rolando Tinio’s Filipino translation of Donald M. Allen’s English translation of Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano), a sojourn to a series of nonsensical life events.


MAD ABOUT MOZART: SEX, SEDUCTION, DEATH, AND TRANSCENDENCEMad About Mozart

Venue: Opera Haus (3657 Bautista St. Palanan, Makati)

Run: April 22, 7 p.m.

Theater Company: Philippine Opera Company

Musical Direction: Jon Meer Vera Perez

Director: Floy Quintos

Performers: Karla Gutierrez, Tricia Amper Jimenez, Lorraine Lisen, Joseleo Logdat, Bernadette Mamauag, Krissan Manikan, Gabri Dolor Panlilio, Nomer Son, Jurgen Unterburg with RankOne guest performers Christine Crame, Anton Ferrer, Wesley Pereira, Jon Meer Vera Perez, Stephanie Reese, and Jonathan Wagner

How to Get Tickets: Call the Philippine Opera Company at 822 9609 / 0917 527 2880

MAD ABOUT MOZART: SEX, SEDUCTION, DEATH, AND TRANSCENDENCE will present excerpts from the seminal operas and oratorios of Mozart integrated with dance, stream of consciousness narrative, and mixed media. All performers – singers, dancers, actors, and musicians – will be integrated with the audience for an all-immersive 360-degree black box theatre experience. Mozart’s music is alternatingly sacred and profane, exploring the perennial conflict between the id, the ego, and the super ego. Ultimately, the programming of the scenes will demonstrate that we can attain a state of classical ‘balance’ and inner peace by exploring the layered dimensions of dark and light.


KARITAS AT DAMASO X ISANG MAGSASAKA

Karitas at Damaso

Venue: Bulwagang Tandang Sora, CSWCD

Run: April 24 and 26 (7pm), April 25, 27, May 1 (3 p.m. and 7 p.m.)

Theater Company: The UP Repertory Company
Directors: Dax Carnay and Eshei Mesina

Ticket Prices: P140 (students), P200 (regular)

How to Get Tickets: Call Mara at 0917 852 8950

This summer, The UP Repertory Company will take you in on a party with ravaged personas lingering in the darkness behind church doors and beyond the forests. No other party this summer will drive you as wild as KARITAS AT DAMASO X ISANG MAGSASAKA, an all-new twin-bill production featuring the works of two prolific playwrights from the UP College of Arts and Letters, Professor Reuel Aguila and U.Z. Eliserio, and their amusing take on Philippine culture and history:

U.Z. Eliserio’s KARITAS AT DAMASO is a musical satire about fanaticism in four devout Catholics- a priest, two nuns, and a lady – who unravel certain experiences in sin and sex in an action-filled battle of faith and wits.

ISANG MAGSASAKA by Reuel Aguila is a Palanca-award winning play that tells one violent incident through three different narratives, a testament that reality is indeed painted in multicolor and shades of gray.

In its 43rd Year of Service to Philippine Theater, we bring you a musical celebration of the lives of the common woman and man that aims to liberate minds, question the authorities, and rock the system. Under the direction of two of its prized alumni, Dax Carnay and Eshei Mesina, the UP Repertory Company takes you into these two tales of struggle in an entertaining romp of music, wit and tragedy- a summer party you’ll never forget!


Broadway Open Mic

Broadway Open Mic

Venue: DITO: Bahay ng Sining (J. Molina Street, 1807, Marikina City)

Run: April 25, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Company: DITO and Sixteen Bars

Ticket Prices: P150 door charge plus a free drink and a song slot; P 50 per additional song slot

Contact: 0922 870 2145; 0922 872 0651; 0923 224 4707; 0915 502 1497

Want to belt out your favorite broadway song? Then make sure to be at DITO: Bahay ng Sining on April 25 (Saturday). Be ready with a music sheet of your choice or notify Sixteen Bars before the event about what song you’re singing so the pianist can assist you in finding the music sheet.


SABEL, Love and Passion: A Musical Theater Production (World Premier Gala)

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Venue: The Theatre at Solaire

Run: April 30 (Thursday), 8 p.m.

Theater Company: FRStage, Inc. Production

Presenters: BenCab Art Foundation and Sureste Properties, Inc.

Direction, Book and Lyrics: Freddie Santos

Music and Musical Direction: Louie Ocampo

Actors: Iza Calzado, The Philippine Ballet Theater, Audie Gemora, Aicelle Santos, Bo Cerrudo, Tonette Taus, Timmy Pavino, and Tippy Dos Santos

How to Get Tickets: Stay tuned for further updates

For many years, Sabel served as a major recurring subject in many of National Artist Benedicto Cabrera (BenCab)’s works. Sabel, Love and Passion: A Musical Theater Production will be a highlight of BenCab’s celebrates 50 years of his artistry. This historic new musical theater production will showcase the musical genius of Louie Ocampo, with the direction, book and lyrics of Freddie Santos. Starring actress Iza Calzado and the Philippine Ballet Center, Sabel, Love and Passion will be joined by both respectable and promising theater performers to date. Among them are Audie Gemora, Aicelle Santos, Bo Cerrudo, Tonette Taus, Timmy Pavino, and Tippy Dos Santos!

So don’t miss out on these great shows!

Take your pick and have a happy #TFMWeekend!


Theater Fans in Manila

Stay tuned for everything theater from Theater Fans in Manila! Follow and/or like them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


Meanwhile, for photo and video updates from http://www.reverbmanila.com, please follow #ReverbManila via Tumblr, and via Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube! 

Satchmi Vinyl Day 2015, don’t forget!

Attention all vinyl fans and music lovers!

Get ready for an epic Saturday with Satchmi!

Here are the discounts you can avail of at the #SatchmiVinylDay2015 tomorrow:

Plus the awesome lineup of artists who’ll be playing at the Bonifacio High Street Ampitheater:

See you there!

Stay tuned for more announcements and updates from Satchmi.

Follow and/or like them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


Meanwhile, photos and video updates will soon be uploaded here and on Tumblr, and via Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube! Search and use the hashtag Reverb Manila | #ReverbManila.

Araw ng Kagitingan 2015: Remembering Our Fallen Heroes of Bataan and Corregidor

On this ground, gallant men chose to die rather than surrender.

-Mount Samat Memorial Shrine Colonnade Wall

April 9, 1942. Prisoners of War (POW). World War 2. Death March. Bataan and Corregidor – These are just some important notes I remember having to memorize for our graded recitation in my Araling Panlipunan highschool class.

But for many of our fellowmen, April 9, 1942 was a traumatic detail in our history that not even a lifetime could forget. Memories of the World War 2 were tarnished with too much blood and tears. This week, we commemorate the gallantry our soldiers when they fought against the Japanese invaders, 73 years ago.

History tells us that, among the neighboring Southeast Asian countries that were part of the Japanese invasion, the Philippines was the last to surrender to the Japanese – Bataan and Corregidor surrendered on April 9 and May 6, 1942 respectively.

A few months prior to the historical fall of Bataan, the troops retreated to Pilar, a town within the province. The soldiers were steadfast in fighting the Japanese ’til the very end. But after three months of fighting, the 75,000 starving, exhausted soldiers surrendered to the Japanese, and it was the single largest surrender ever recorded in US history.

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The lateral walls of the Colonnade narrate the story of the Battle of Bataan, which was engraved on the marble wall.

On 9 April 1942, at high noon, Major General Edward P. King, Jr., Senior American Officer on the battle-torn peninsula surrendered the Bataan forces. The infamous Death March began an ordeal which annealed the Filipino Spirit.

-Mount Samat Memorial Shrine Colonnade Wall

The Bataan Death March began in Mariveles, Bataan, where the POWs were forced to take an 80-mile march to Capas, Tarlac. Many of the soldiers who suffered to keep up were beat up, bayoneted, or shot. Others died of extreme exhaustion, starvation and/or disease. For the rest of the survivors, their horrific experiences felt much worse than death.


Today, we know Mount Samat National Shrine or the Dambana ng Kagitingan in Pilar, Bataan to be a tourist destination among locals and foreigners, especially during the summer. Back then, I knew very little about its historical importance. In fact, despite several pictures being uploaded via social media for the past four years, I’d believed Mount Samat was a local church because of the monumental cross built near its summit. I’d never really bothered to learn anything more about it until my friends and I randomly decided to visit it early last year.

From the foot of Mount Samat leading up to the entrance of the shrine, we carpooled via a pickup truck, which took us about 15 minutes. When we arrived, we were greeted by a grand staircase leading up to the flagpoles. I was surprised and felt that I was under-dressed for what was ahead. Since we came from a swimming party, most of us were only wearing slippers. It was dangerous, but it didn’t stop us from taking the foot path. Good thing I packed some H2O, a change of clothes and a towel because it was especially hot. About 75% of the Mount Samat experience instantly became a cardio workout for me.

Here are some shots captured by my phone camera:

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Ang Dambana ng Kagitingan, also called the Mount Samat National Shrine. In the US, Illinois also commemorates the American troops who participated in the Battle of Bataan, although they commemorate it by holding ceremonies and parades every September.
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This chandelier piece within the war museum was the only photo I took while I was inside (since the place was offlimits to shutterbugs like me). It houses various paintings of our heroes and armaments the soldiers used during the battle.
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The view of the towering Bataan Memorial Cross taken from the foot path. The cross measures 92 meters from its base. An elevator leads you up to the arms of the cross. Each arm, measuring 15 meters, offers beautiful panoramic view of Bataan.
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The details of the Memorial Shrine was a design of Lorenzo del Castillo and landscaped by Dolly Quimbo-Perez. National Artist Napoleon Abueva and Cenon Rivera also contributed to its architecture.
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The windows from up above. This window is placed at the edge of one arm within the Memorial Cross (although I forget which side). The arms of the cross are about 72 feet above its base. Thousands of selfies and groufies have been snapped beside this window.

The entire experience atop Mount Samat offered me some moments to meditate and learn more about its historical importance to me as a Filipino, and it seemed that the winds up there were gently persuading me to do so. Reflect. This shrine complex was built as a reminder of a very critical moment in our history – at a time our fellowmen had nothing left but resilience, courage, and willingness to sacrifice their lives for the country. It was their destiny, and they embraced it in all hopelessness. While my friends and I constantly whined about the flights of stairs we had to climb, I also realized that our petty complaints were nothing compared to the 130-kilometer march our soldiers endured. So many lives were lost. Souls were crushed. The footprints and blood trails may be gone, but their collective selflessness will forever be marked in every Filipino calendar.

Speaking of Filipino calendars, it was only in 1961 when April 9 was officially made a holiday. The Congress at the time used to refer to it as Bataan Day. In 1987, it was renamed Araw ng Kagitingan to commemorate the fall of Bataan and Corregidor. Two years later, Proclamation 466 was declared to honor the World War 2 and Philippine veterans. The nation is called to observe Veterans Week from April 5 to 11 every year.

During his time, Former President Ferdinand Marcos commissioned the establishment of the Dambana ng Kagitingan on Mount Samat to honor the gallantry of our Philippine and American soldiers who fought during the war. Although it took some time to finish, the monument was completed just in time for the 25th Araw ng Kagitingan anniversary.

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Our mission is to remember. Remember.

Let friend and foe recognize the martial spirit that defeat could not break. To the memory of these brave warriors whose blood soaked every rock of this land so that this nation might endure, this humble shrine is consecrated.

-Mount Samat Memorial Shrine Colonnade Wall


So while you take a break this weekend, instead of going to a mall, why not consider spending some time to visit the Dambana for an opportunity to learn about and remember our history?

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I hope this experience will educate and inspire you the way it has renewed and uplifted the Filipino in me.

Care to share your journey to Mount Samat with us? Leave a comment below.

Reverb Manila

Your April Guide to Great Gigs Around the Metro

Happy Easter, everyone!

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April has just begun, and your favorite bars and artists are back to regular programming.

Don’t miss out! Check posters below for more deets!

12 Monkeys Music Hall and Pub

5th Floor, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave., Makati

12 Monkeys

Route196 Bar

196-A Katipunan Avenue Extension, Blue Ridge AQuezon City, Philippines

Route 196 Bar

The 70’s Bistro

#46 Anonas Street, Project 2, Quezon City, Philippines

70s Bistro

Aracama

Unit C-1 The Fort Entertainment Center, BGC, Taguig, Philippines

Aracama

19East Bar

Km. 19, East Service Road, Sucat, Muntinlupa City

19East

Saguijo Bar and Cafe

7612 Guijo Street, San Antonio Village, Makati

Saguijo

Good night!

#ReverbManila

Crafternoons with Reverb Manila: Do-It-Yourself Easter Egg Painting Made Fun

I’ve always wanted to document my artsy impulses just because I feel that, for how many years now, my creativity doesn’t often come around whenever I want it to. Now I have the means and this website to record my progress, expect to see a lot of posts like this one I’m sharing with you today.

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I eased through my Easter Sunday afternoon bonding with mom and brother bear, and this is our version of Easter Egg painting!

Before we proceed, here’s a little trivia on Easter Eggs:

Eggs connote fertility and rebirth. For Christians, right around the Easter season, Easter eggs (also called Paschal eggs) symbolize Jesus’s empty tomb. The egg is akin to the stone of a tomb, which from within emerges Jesus, who has risen from the dead. The egg  hatches to bring about life. So that is why the Easter egg is a reminder that Jesus is alive! And that every year, children and their families celebrate Easter Sunday with Easter Egg hunting.

So what did we use? Everything we can find in the house.

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Scratch paper, pencil, watercolor, paint brushes, palette, cotton, water, scissors, eggs, and old newspaper

Easter-Sunday-Reverb-Manila-Eggs1. Boil the eggs to be used; layer them in a pot with cold water, and bring it to a boil.

2. It should cook for 1-2 minutes.

3. Remove the pot from the oven and let the water cool down. It should be done after 15 minutes.

4. The eggs are now ready. Get a cloth to wipe them dry.

5. Lay all your art materials on your working desk.

6. If you’re as OC as my brother, a piece of paper and pencil will come in handy if you want to sketch your design first. But trust me, you end up painting random strokes anyway since the brushes we have are not small enough to create thinner, more precise strokes. Sometimes, it’s better not to overthink it.

7. Choose your water colors and start squeezing small amounts onto your palette.

8. Make sure to have a cup of water so you can easily clean  your brushes and/or mix the colors you have chosen.

Easter-Sunday-Reverb-Manila-Used-Paint-Brushes9. Some use cotton to dab the color onto the egg. The technique is to just be creative and paint away!

10. Let the paint dry.

11. Cut strips of old newspaper to make it look like twigs. Voila, you now have a nest! (as seen in topmost image)

12. Arrange the Easter eggs the way you want them.

13. And don’t forget to take photos!

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We’re giving these out to the little kids who’ll pass by the store.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Who is this New Pinoy Character in Tekken 7?

I’ve never quite understood why there’s so much hype going on about this new character in Tekken 7, but after watching this trailer, now I know why.

Namco Bandai Producer Katsuhiro Harada introduced her during Tekken’s 20th Anniversary via Nico Video last week as Josie Rizal.

What do we know about Josie Rizal?

1. She is the first character in the Tekken franchise to be from the Philippines.

2. She considers the Philippines’ National Hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal as her idol.

3. Armed with a sad back story, Josie specializes in Eskrima and Kick Boxing.

4. The character was designed by Mari Shimazaki, who is also the lead character designer for the Bayonetta series.

5. Her outfit resembles the colors of the Philippine flag.

6. She joins the returning characters Jin Kazama and Devil Jin.

Tekken 7 Josie Rizal Reverb Manila While a lot of us who practically grew up playing Tekken find this story amusing, I also can’t help but wonder what image Josie Rizal may be projecting to today’s generation. I don’t want to come across like someone who’s overreading the fictional character, but really: What impression could Josie Rizal make about our country or Dr. Jose Rizal? Naturally, a springboard of comments surfaced. According to posts from Attack of the Fan Boy and Rappler, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) commented that Josie Rizal’s name is much too close to Dr. Jose Rizal. The suggestion is to retain the character, but change the name. Despite mixed reactions, a lot of Filipino fans generally love the idea of a Filipino character in the franchise, so Harada is not too keen on the few negative feedback Josie Rizal is getting. However, updates on Harada’s social media account reveal that in case the issue doesn’t die down, Josie might just get booted out entirely, rather than they change the name. Well, I hope not. Let’s see what happens in the coming days. I just find it hard to associate Josie with Jose P. Rizal, or the Philippines. Except for the allusion of the name, the colors of her outfit and perhaps her skin color, Josie doesn’t scream Pinoy to me. Maybe that’s just me. Well, she is fictional, after all. On a much lighter note, I think the fighting game creators have made a wonderful gesture of representing the Philippines in the gaming community through a popular video game such as Tekken. Arigatou Gozaimasu, Bandai Namco!