Saturday, July 21, 2012

Drummers from Japan and lions roaring in South Africa

The TRAVELIFE Drum Tao press conference
What a nice weekend it is, when you've just brought a fantastic world-class cultural group to Manila for a series of ten performances, and it's basically a smashing success; and to top it off, this weekend of the last four performances are completely sold out save for a couple of seats in the Saturday matinee.

If you read this blog, you know I'm talking about TRAVELIFE Drum Tao Nights, the amazing performance that the whole Manila has been talking about ever since we opened with a glittering Gala Night last July 12, brought to you by Travelife Magazine and Establish Events.

TRAVELIFE Drum Tao Gala Night
with the Ambassador of Japan
photo from Valenzuela Images

I've literally been shouting myself hoarse to make sure that Travelife readers and friends who are interested in culture don't miss this new, constantly evolving and yet marvelously stimulating show.


The Tao drummers have caught everyone's imagination. This past week, I have not been able to go anywhere without bumping into a friend or an acquaintance who has not mentioned TRAVELIFE Drum Tao Nights. Just this morning, I went very quickly into the supermarket, and even there, two people came up to me and raved about the show.

And up to a minute ago, I was getting texts from friends wanting to get last-minute tickets for the very last TRAVELIFE Drum Tao show tomorrow at 4 PM. Unfortunately I have none anymore to give or sell, so initially I was sending everyone to Ticketworld. But earlier this afternoon, some friends informed me that they'd rang up Ticketworld and apparently they had no tickets left either, save for something like one ticket in the upper balcony.

I can't tell you what a nice feeling that was to learn that we were basically completely sold out.


The TRAVELIFE team was of course very busy this week. In fact, there's never a week when we're not busy, because we're either doing double time at work or traveling the world. Last week was double time work for me because next week is travel week again, now that TRAVELIFE Drum Tao Nights is over.

Yes, I flew back from Prague just in time to get into the thick of preparations for TRAVELIFE Drum Tao Nights, and now I'm flying to Hokkaido for a short but much-needed hot springs break the day after the drum show closes. Most people visit Hokkaido in the winter for the snow festival, but I really like it in the summer -- the Japanese summer of July and August, I mean -- when the fields are abloom and the weather is pleasant.

And then I'm flying into Tokyo for just enough time to have a meal at my favorite Chateau Restaurant Joel Robuchon, one of Tokyo's Michelin three-star French restaurants.


So life's always pretty intense, as you can imagine. And if I listed down for you my travel itinerary for the rest of the year, I'm sure you'll have palpitations just reading it. I'm literally applying for visas, making itineraries, and doing all the paperwork for about eight not-so-simple trips all at once.

And, just when I thought my life can't get any more complicated than this, India got thrown into the ring just this afternoon. I was almost tempted to pass this trip up, as it falls on my "rest week" in Manila; but I love India with a passion so I just can't say no to it if it's calling my name. I'll happily visit Jaipur for any reason and in any season.

But, at the same time, just when I thought life couldn't get any better, some of my plans for a trip to South Africa in November -- a bit of time in Johannesburg, lots of time in Cape Town, Franschoek and the wine country, and a safari in between to see the Big 5 -- started falling into place.

One of the hotels I've booked for this South African trip-of-a-lifetime is a grand dame of a hotel where the sounds of the animals nearby reportedly wake you up in the morning, and the views at breakfast from the terrace make you think of heaven on earth.

That's still a few months away and so many trips down the road, but already I can hear the lions roaring. And guess what they're saying? You guessed it.

They're saying: "Travelife, you're everywhere you want to be..."


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