Ballet Plus More at the Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila

For those with artistic inclinations, enrolling in ballet classes makes perfect sense. Institutions like The Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila offer a perfect environment for nurturing the love for the craft. There’s a supportive community for learning, a safe venue for training, and the guidance of the best in the region; CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Co-Artistic Director Osias Barroso, and other world-class trainers.

But there’s more to ballet than just strength and grace. Beyond the Vaganova technique, students also learn about passion, hard work, determination—the list just grows longer at every stage in life.

Contributing to Childhood

Studies have shown that cultivating a child’s creativity improves their mental ability later on in life. Most children develop an interest in music and dance from an early age, so parents nurture it by enrolling them in special ballet classes that are lighter, more playful, and fit for their attention span. Interaction with other children at this stage also means that their social skills receive a big boost.

Ballet is best learned while a child’s mind and body are at their most limber. Age-appropriate classes for older kids maximize these by teaching not only all the basic movements and concepts, but also discipline and focus early on. An increase in concentration reaps benefits outside the studio—don’t be surprised if their grades in school get better.

Aiding Adolescence

Teenage life can be tricky, but with ballet, they’ll be able to train discipline and determination along with the arts. More advanced combinations are taught in ballet lessons for this age segment, where they build strength not only in their pointe work, but also in their mind. They get a chance to perform in front of an audience, which develops confidence and self-esteem during this very crucial part of life.

Most students already have the hang of ballet at this point, with some even considering a career in the arts. At the very least, they’ve already developed an appreciation for a healthier lifestyle, as is the case with exposure to any physical recreation.

Forever a Fit

If you think ballet is only for those who started as children, think again because it’s never too late to pursue the arts. Places like Ballet Manila offer classes for all ages and skill levels, whether it’s for fun, for fitness, or a mix of both. Even complete beginners can feel right at home, as Ballet Manila fosters a friendly and supportive environment that accommodates every learning pace.

Whatever your creative or fitness goals may be, it’s a good idea to pursue them at The Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila—the only ballet school in the Philippines with direct links to the Russian Ballet Academy of St. Petersburg, Russia.

For more information regarding rates, program details, and schedules in both Pasay and Quezon City branches, just visit www.balletmanila.com.ph.

 

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PPP 2018 Announced by FDCP

 

After its success last year, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) will once again be hosting the second year of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) on August 15-21, 2018. 

 In partnership with all the theaters in the country, PPP will be selecting eight (8) films to have their Philippine premiere during the event. “PPP was so well-received by our audience last year and we believe that this industry event is worth doing again this year. We are very proud that Filipinos came together to support our own and enjoy our amazing slate of quality genre films,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Dino during a meeting with the producers last April 4, 2018 at Salu Restaurant in Quezon City.


“Everybody is looking forward to PPP 2018 and we are working hard to make it even more successful,” she added. PPP will also be an opportunity for producers to enhance their experience and learn more about the ins and outs of the industry, from marketing, to booking, and distributing their films.”


PPP 2018 is open to all Filipino producers with finished films who may submit more than one (1) entry with the following criteria:

 A.         The film should have themes reflective of the Filipino sensibilities culture      with wide audience appeal.

B.         The film should have been produced from 2017-2018.

C.         The film must have its Philippine premiere during the Pista ng Pelikulang     Pilipino and must not have been previously shown in any format in the             country. Films which premiered internationally are eligible.

D.         The film should have a minimum of 75 minutes and a maximum of 180         minutes in length.

E.         The film must be submitted with English subtitles.

F.         The producer must have a distributor.

G.         The producer must have a marketing plan ready in the event of selection.

 

Applications open on April 20 with the deadline on June 15, 2018.
For more information, visit www.fdcp.ph and Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipinio facebook page and other PPP social media accounts.

 

 

FDCP Cine Lokal presents: Sinag Maynila 2018

Sinag Maynila is baaaaack!!! Considered as one of my favorite independent film festivals, new partnerships have formed this year.

In line with its program to support and empower local film festivals, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) is partnering with Solar Entertainment Corporation to host Sinag Maynila 2018 films in its SM Cine Lokal theaters starting March 9, 2018 and hold the FDCP Film Talks @ Sinag Maynila.

Sinag Maynila boosts a powerful line up of feature films in competition which include Abonimation directed by Yam Laranas, Bomba directed by Ralston Jover, El Peste directed by Richard Somes, Melodrama/Random/Melbourne! directed by Matthew Victor Pastor and Tale of the Lost Boys directed by Joselito Altarejos. “Cine Lokal aims to be a venue for quality films to be made available to Filipino audience and by supporting Sinag Maynila, these creative and meaningful films will have a home and will be watched by not just film enthusiasts, but the general public”, said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Dino. 

Furthermore, Sinag Maynila will be featuring the FDCP Film Talks @ Sinag Maynila on  March 10, 2018 at SM North Edsa Cinema 3 at 1:00PM. This is a special panel discussion on the international journey of films from film festivals to distribution and will be free of charge. Participants can pre-register by sending an email with their name and contact number to filmdevelopmentcouncil@gmail.com. Venue will open at 12:30pm.

The panel features Jeremy Segay, Korea and South East Asia Representative of Unifrance, Takeo Hisamatsu, Festival Director of Tokyo International Film Festival and our very own, globally recognized director, and co-founder of Sinag Maynila, Brillante Mendoza.

FDCP’s strengthened partnerships with film festivals and organizations starting with Sinag Maynila is also in line with the celebration of the one hundred years of Philippine cinema. “This year and next year will be focused on celebrating this milestone. We believe that this is the time to come together to commemorate this legacy, learn from our film history, and also look forward to the next hundred years,” added Chairperson Dino. 

Make sure to catch all Sinag Maynila films in all Cine Lokal theaters in Manila from March 8-15, 2018.


For more information, visit the Cine Lokal Facebook page and other FDCP social media accounts.

#ASEANKoreaFluteFestival — In the Presence of Asian Ethnic Greats

December 1 — RCBC Plaza Makati
December 2 — Luneta Open Auditorium




















More

TP’s Season Opener Impressively Seditious

Define “seditious”?
According to the reliable Merriam-Webster dictionary…it means inciting or causing people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch.

That is the clear cut premise of Tanghalang Pilipino’s 31st Season opener, Professor Nicanor Tiongson’s “Auelio Sedisyoso” a Rock Sarswela, playing at the Little Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines until September 17.

I can still recall a few months ago when this production was in the raw of preparations that included an intimate script- reading session open to the public. The same Artistic Team went on board headed by director Sir Chris Millado, coming off fresh from the highly-acclaimed super polished and refined repeat of “Mabining Mandirigma” featuring Ms. Liesl Batucan in the lead. And how she incredibly nailed it until the end!

The script by Prof Tiongson underwent meticulous revisions trying to include all the juiciest information possible on the colorful yet controversial life of Aurelio Tolentino who’s name and reputation was not music to the ears of the Americans in that particular period in Philippine history. His expertise in historical biographies is truly unwavering.


I was also excited how Musical Director Joed Balsamo would come up with his patriotic yet vocally challenging compositions. I learned from Maetro Joed himself that Sedisyoso was supposed to have a lot of songs than that of Mabining Mandirigma and this time what stands out are ensemble songs.

Promotions for Aurelio Sedisyoso got even more hyped with the surprising inclusion of an award-winning actor in the person of Baron Geisler, tasked to play the role of Tikbalang, an allegorical character, a shape-shifter that takes on the different faces and phases of American colonization.

Sedisyoso also marks Baron’s very first venture into theater after his many years in film and television. Everybody was wondering is he really ready to plunge into theater’s demanding LIVE performances? This is where I put on my give-the-benefit-of-the-doubt hat and let’s give him a genuine chance of proving something to himself and the prestigious theater community as a whole.


I was delighted when the lead role went to a good theater friend in David Ezra, who’s memorable role of Emilio Aguinaldo in Mandirigma is still on top of the list for me. Although opera is his forte, David has this impressive flair of dishing out rock solid and vocally challenging and straining numbers. This makes his famous and iconic mom, Ms. Dulce, truly proud!

Meeting former Rivermaya band co-vocalist Norby David for the first time was an extra sweet treat him having crossed over to theater as well. Aurelio marks his third stage production. I also liked his accoustic guitar duet with David.

And the rap duel scenes were entertaining and gives us a touch of modernism on a historically-based plot.

Majority of the cast in this production are very familiar to me and my awesome theater friends too! Watching such works become extra interesting when you are familiar with its actors thus cheering them on truly results to a more meaningful experience for them as performers.

When I saw Jonathan Tadioan’s version of Tikbalang during opening night, I had no tinge of doubt he would falter or commit an obvious mistake because based on his impressive roles done in the past, I was super confident, this character was a breeze for Tad. I am an eternal fan!


If you haven’t seen this rock sarswela yet, please, please I encourage you to do so. You will be amazed and be entertained on how cast member Sasa Cabalquinto makes all her stage appearances truly felt! She’s a gifted ace dancer to begin with and has a cute sense of humour in one partcular scene involving her, David, Baron, Kakki Teodoro (as Tolentino’s 2nd wife Natividad) with Aurelio’s children Didoy,Corazon and Onsing (remarkably performed by Phi Palmos).

Technical concerns on the lapel microphones were obvious on the first show during opening weekend which was duplicated on its 2nd week. That is something understandable in theater acts but expected it could be restrained towards the remaining shows until closing.

I guess I could award production designer Toym Imao and his genius on how he was able to invert the usual Little Theater stage to be half audience and half performing area which drew us spectators much closer to the theater artists. Impressive on the transformation of the default audience padded seats section bedecked with scaffoldings and an inclined plank (that reminded me of another rock sensation prod of Jesus Christ Superstar) and miniature lanterns.

Costume wise, I miss James Reyes’ genuinely classy steam punk wardrobes and accesories donned during the Mabini run and re-runs.
But I do appreciate how he still presented the cult-like and earthly brown hues and retained the red white and blue and star spangled stateside colonialism impression of the Uncle Sam period.

Kudos to the mastered lighting of Sir Katsch Catoy and his team which complimented GA Fallarme’s resplendent high quality projection design. And Ms Denia Reyes’ superb choreography never fails to impress.
I believe theater neophyte Baron got quite nervous on some of his scenes opposite more seasoned actors but despite that, he still managed to pull through with all his might and heart especially on his song numbers. One could not help but compare his make up and hair to that of Heath Ledger’s version of The Joker. For me he stands out on the beauty pageant portion and his punchlines were just right on time. It was so cool for the rest of the cast and ensemble to really rally behind Baron and make him feel that performing on the Tanghalang Pilipino stage is a remarkable stepping stone to a promising theater career should he decide to accept dramatic roles. Congrats BG!

Bravo and clap clap to the cast and ensemble:
David Ezra, Baron Geisler, Jonathan Tadioan, JV Ibesate, Aldo Vencilao, Blanche Buhia, Joshua Tayco, Eunice Pacia and Monique Nellas, as well as Remus Villanueva, Hazel Maranan, Kakki Teodoro, Norby David (former co-vocalist of Rivermaya), Jing Reyna-Jorge (former vocalist and violinist of Sugar Hiccup), Paw Castillo, Phi Palmos, Alfritz Blanche, Tope Kliatchko, Ali Santos, Sigrid Balbas, Aika Zabala, Sasa Cabalquinto, Raflesia Bravo, Jasper Cabra, and Lian Silverio,

Directed by CCP Vice President and Artistic Director Chris Millado with Book and Lyrics by Dr. Nicanor Tiongson and Music by Joed Balsamo. Completing the rest of the artistic team are Denisa Reyes for Choreography, Toym Imao for Set Design, Katsch Catoy for Lighting Design, James Reyes on Costume Design, GA Fallarme for Projection Design, and TJ Ramos for Sound Design, with Barbie Tan-Tiongco for Technical Direction. Francis de Veyra of Radioactive Sago completes the team as its Musical Arranger.

Remaining shows:
September 16 – 3pm & 8pm
September 17 – 3pm (SOLD OUT)

Tickets thru Ticketworld or call Tanghalang Pilipino at 02 8321125 local 1620 or 1621.

Photo Credit: Tanghalang Pilipino Facebook Page except for the Curtain Call photo.

Hear Ye! Open Auditions From Tanghalang Pilipino

Calling all local Filipino actors out there…Please read on! Break a leg and see you at the Theater!

#AurelioSedisyoso#TanghalangPilipino#UtakPusoBayan

Majestic Mayon Volcano, Food and Sights Tripping When You’re in Albay

My family originally hails from Bicol, specifically in Camarines Norte. My father is from Daet, while mom was born in Jose Panganiban. Every trip back home is dearly cherished because for me, home is where the heart will always be.

I also advise my travelling friends to come and visit Albay province because of our majestic Mayon Volcano. I ran out of words on how to describe its unique beauty and sheer dominance of the province the very first time I saw it many years back. It’s also true that every angle wherever you go Mt Mayon looks back at you with wonder!

Albay is one province with many hidden and known beauties, it bears beauty that is pure, basic and grand.  Albay has a certain charm that will sweep you off your feet and bring you to the time that was or give you a majestic feeling that is simply indescribable.  With fifteen  15 municipalities and three 3 cities, Albay bears so many things to see and experience.

Governor Al Francis Bichara was a gracious host as he welcomed us to his place. Hospitality reflected on the people, from the people  and this was reflected by the people of the various local government units (Dept of Tourism and Dept of Agriculture) and that of Human Explore Travel and Tours.  The tour given to us was both informative and time worthy.  Tiring as it may be BUT truly worth every moment. Our gratitude to Ms. Dorothy Colle and her people from the Department of Tourism Provincial Division Region V – Albay, Ms. Che Rebeta of the Provincial Agriculture Department and Ms. Farah Sobremisana – owner partner of Pepperland Hotel.  They truly made our visit such a wonder thru their efforts and time generosity.

Albay is filled with old churches, old craft making, worthy places to go to, old houses, natural beauties and beautiful festivities.  With magnificent places around the majestic Mayon Volcano, if you do a whole 360 tour like the one we did ours, one would get to see this natural wonder in all its beauty.  Try to learn also the story behind this famous volcano and and unconver the Daragang Magayon mystery.

From the ruins of Cagsawa (with a average guest of 150pax per day) to the churches in Camalig, Ligao, Sto. Domingo and Daraga, to the calm Sumlang Lake and the historic Japanese caves in Quituinan Hills, to the traditional way of metal smiting in Tabaco, farms and various beautiful parks and landmarks all over Albay, you will never have a dull moment when you decide to do a full exploration of the province.  It is also filled of noteworthy food places that you could and should try out (story and review in another write-up).  Albay also has spring resorts with water source coming from near the volcano or underneath the ground making it cool or even cold depending on the time of the year – such resort is D’ Hacienda Spring and Nature Resort in Guinobatan, Albay.

For active people, I would highly recommend for you to try out the Japanese tunnels/caves in Quituinan Hills.  The trek is not that stressful but the crawling (should you be adventurous enough) is like having an archeological dig.  For historical buffs, try seeing the various churches of the different municipalities and compare notes in terms of its style and story behind it.  Should you wish to see various craftsmanship of the place, go to Sumlang Lake to see the woven beauties of Albay, the metal smiting of Tabaco, pottery shops in Tiwi and pili delicacy making in Legazpi.  Don’t forget to visit the various farms in the province that show the resiliency of the people as reflected in their farms – some of them are IG worthy too.

Experience Albay and, you get to see this natural beauty in all its grandeur.  With clouds or without, Mayon will surely captivate you may it be morning, noon, mid afternoon or sunset.  With its romantic yet tragic story behind this beauty, you will definitely want to be welcomed by it every time you are in the said province.

So when you are in Bicol here in the Philippines, don’t miss out on Albay in your must see list.
It’s one of those memorable trips that you will cherish and come to over and over.

Make lots of travel memories! ☺☺

 

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