Saturday, July 14, 2012

Backstage at TRAVELIFE Drum Tao Nights

Gala Night photo by Joey de Leon

Last Thursday was the gala night of TRAVELIFE Drum Tao Nights, an amazing multi-sensory extravaganza that's gone viral with so many people who have seen it on its first two nights and today's two shows putting their comments on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

There are six shows more to go, as of this writing. Please don't miss this because I can tell you that they won't come again for a very long time. This has been a massive undertaking that I won't recommend to the faint-hearted -- but so far, it's all been worth it for the organizers because everyone, literally everyone, who has seen it has left the theater awe-struck, repeating like a mantra the word I've used about a thousand times by now to describe the show: AMAZING.

Yes, TRAVELIFE Drum Tao Nights is simply amazing. You can take our word for it.

Travelife Magazine, Establish Events and ABS-CBN Foundation
together with the Drum Tao representatives
at the Travelife Drum Tao press conference on Tuesday night


Yes, again. TRAVELIFE Drum Tao Nights is simply amazing. Go see it. I'm going again myself, this weekend. You have 6 more shows to go as of Saturday night.

You've probably seen all the rave reviews going around the Internet regarding TRAVELIFE Drum Tao Nights. Today, let me tell you about what backstage was like.

Travelife Publisher Christine Cunanan 
and Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe
formally open TRAVELIFE Drum Tao Nights

photo by Valenzuela Images

On the gala night last Thursday, I made a speech to formally open TRAVELIFE Drum Tao Nights, and this was followed by welcome remarks by H.E. Toshinao Urabe, Ambassador of Japan. The good ambassador had an impossible schedule last Thursday night, with about five events on his calendar, but he made TRAVELIFE Drum Tao Nights a big priority -- arriving on time for his speech and staying for the rest of the evening to watch the show.

Thank you very much, Ambassador Urabe.


Gala night photo by Joey de Leon

Ambassador Urabe was joined by his diplomatic colleagues representing over 35 countries. Again, all these ambassadors and honorary consuls were in great demand that night with so many events happening in town, but practically everyone who was in Manila joined us for TRAVELIFE Drum Tao Nights.

One lady even came in a wheelchair, and another lady had left her ambassador husband to entertain something like 100 people at home while she joined us at the show.

Anyway, during the gala night on Thursday, I went backstage towards the end of the show to coordinate the opening and closing of the lights with the end of the show. From my seat in Center/ Row  D, I went to the side, past the guard and the heavy black curtains, climbed on top of a box in my gown and high heels, to make my way to the backstage.


Gala night photo by Joey de Leon
With a show of this magnitude in terms of production and on-stage energy and sound, you'd expect backstage to be a flurry of non-stop activity and energy as well. Instead, backstage was as quiet as an empty church (or perhaps in this case the analogy should be a Japanese temple) and the performers were coming in and out of the stage area, with drums and equipment or without, without any sound or excessive actions or energy whatsoever.

Pure peace, pure quiet. It was almost like I'd entered a meditation room -- or more accurately, I was transported to a Zen temple in Kyoto or Kamakura. Everyone was going about their business like clockwork and with exact precision, but no one was talking or interacting. Everyone was calm and at peace.

Gala night photo by Joey de Leon
That really surprised me, especially considering the flurry they were creating among the audience. Ambassadors and VIPs were clapping their hands and stomping their feet, and people were tweeting and facebooking about how their hearts were racing a mile a minute. Backstage, it was all zen, meditation and peace.

If you've seen the show, you'll probably understand now how the Travelife Tao drummers are able to provide such tremendous energy; because when they're offstage but still in performance mode, they're focused and calm.

And if you haven't seen the show yet, well, there are six more to go, and then they're gone. Don't miss TRAVELIFE Tao Drum Nights -- one of the most amazing shows on earth.


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