I had been absent from the blogosphere for sometime now. I chose to break free albeit temporarily from my self-imposed exile in order to say I was able to watch and enjoy the delightful musical, CATS at the CCP last weekend.

Though I am undergoing circumstances wherein it is not really possible to gift myself such a luxurious treat (I did miss out on Ms. Saigon and Les Miserables when they were shown years before in Manila, and I thought I’d miss out on this one, too. But….), I was nevertheless able to fulfill my wish to see this show with the help of some kind friends.   Gracias, mi amigas!!!

CATS CCP MANILA 2010

I haz teh tickets: Yay! CATS at last… here we go!

CATS was fantabulous… I really enjoyed myself watching a world-class musical, with all the costumes and sets.  I did hear negative comments about the show, saying that it was boring and can make you sleep (I’m guessing because it’s ‘too English’ for them).  I also think that majority of Pinoys are not really used to hearing such musicals wherein there are no regular dialogues and that the characters were mostly reciting poetry (kasi naman it WAS based on TS Eliot’s collection of whimsical poems about cats *rollseyes*).  And yes, the musical had been around since the early 80’s and I did feel that parts of it have become outdated and has lost its ‘wow’ factor (with today’s generation of audiences, shows have to find new ways to keep up with their tastes by coming up with creative gimmicks, ingenious effects and hi-tech sets).

Cats, CCP, Manila 2010

Souvenir programs cost Php500

With the musical’s run ending this Sunday, I’d like to offer tips for those who are still going to see the remaining shows:

  • Read about the musical first.  And if it’s possible, get a hold of a copy of TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and read some of the poems so you come prepared.
  • CCP security does not allow cameras inside the premises.  But they do allow cellphone cameras inside the theatre – just don’t use flash if your phone has one. It could distract the performers.
  • Some of the characters in their feline costumes pass along the aisles in the audience and even up the balconies during the show and during the intermission.  Get ready with your cell cam (set it to ‘night-mode’) when they do so you can have great souvenir shots.
  • If you’re seated far from the stage (in the balconies and boxes), better bring a pair of binoculars or you can buy one (for Php50 only) from the CCP staff.
  • If you want to live, please do not sing-along with Lea when she sings “Memory.” Someone might clunk you on the head if you do.
  • We all know Lea Salonga plays “Grizabella” which was a short role, does not dance much and gets to sing only 2 songs. But what many people do NOT know is – she is also a part of the opening scene wherein all the performers come out to dance and sing “Jellicle Songs For Jellicle Cats.” One can’t easily recognize her because of her make-up and costume.  You got to have a good set of eyes (and ears) to spot her and her voice among the equally talented cast of Australian and UK-based performers.
  • Lastly, ARRIVE EARLY. 30 minutes early if possible. It’s common theatre etiquette that should be strictly followed regardless who you are. They won’t let you in once the show starts and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.

CATS CCP 2010 Manila

Anak ng Pusa… ang galeng: Thanks to the organizers for bringing CATS here (and for the super-discounted prices which we happily availed)…  it was absolutely puurrrfect! ‘Til the next musical…

(This is a continuation from the previous post. For more Ondoy pics, click here and here):

Sept. 27, 2009: Here are more images taken by my niece Pchie after the tragic ordeal brought about by the floods during Typhoon Ondoy.  These were from the streets of Provident Village, Marikina – one of the worst-hit areas in Metro Manila:

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Rubber boats were already deployed in the village since the wee hours of Sunday morning. But it was nearly noon when they were finally able to see one pass by their street.

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Dramatic rescue… Pchie: “Parang sa movie ko lng to napapanuod e…” Definitely NOT Richard Gutierrez doing the rescuing.  But maybe if that person was a starlet…

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Our furry friends also need rescuing. Check the water level. This one was lucky. There were plenty of dogs lying on the street dead…

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Some family’s refrigerator ended up hanging precariously on these power lines.  When Sis came out of the house for the first time since the flood, she thought the experience so surreal: “Parang yung pelikula ni Wil Smith? I am Legend ba yun? Ganun… parang wala nang tao sa mundo…

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A common sight now… Pchie: “Mayaman ang casa/talyer ngayon!” There were flooded cars being sold at the village entrance… um, possibly all over Metro Manila…

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Refugee Levic (my 10 year old nephew in yellow-green shirt above) along with his sisters, trudged along ankle-deep mud, on the move for a safer and dryer place. They are now staying over at their Lola’s house.  While getting out of the village, Pchie and Paw shielded and distracted their little brother from the sight of dead bodies on the street…ondoy_aftermath7

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while Sis and Doc stayed behind to clean and to save what can be saved…

To all those who lost their loved ones in the flood, we are offering our sympathies and prayers. Our hearts are with you… Let’s heal from this tragedy, and rebuild anew. But we mustn’t forget as well. Let us as a nation learn from this and may this serve as a shout-out to the world that climate change is real and is happening, and that we should start making dire changes now before it is too late…

In unity, there is strength. Let us all help out any way we can through Phil. National Red Cross, and GMA Kapuso Foundation.