Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Travelife Tao Drummers arrive in Manila

Tonight, I finally met the world-famous drummers who will be performing for TRAVELIFE Drum Tao Nights beginning this Thursday, July 12, for ten nights at Resorts World Manila. The gala night is on July 12, and I'm happy to report that it's pretty full.

Today, too, we had a full house of media and bloggers for a press conference for TRAVELIFE Drum Tao Nights over dinner at the Marriott Hotel. The drummers had just arrived this afternoon to much fanfare at the airport, with so many media around to cover their first steps in the Philippines.

Indeed, there has never been a show like this before -- and I can almost guarantee you that there won't be another one for a long time -- so it has generated a lot of interest, especially among people who are interested in travel, culture and knowing more about this wonderful world.


Len Dela Torre, director of our partner Establish Events, and I sat at the head table with six of the lead performers to field any questions from the media. Of course, everyone was intensely interested in the drummers themselves, and I was thoroughly entertained both by everyone's questions and the answers of the drummers.

As one of the drummers himself described the show, Travelife Drum Tao Nights is a truly amazing multi-sensory show that draws the audience in. He said: "You'll be so enraptured that you'll forget all about time. The show is two hours long, but at the end of it, you'll find yourself saying -- was that two hours already? It's that engrossing on every level."


There are no playbooks, notes or rehearsals. It's all spontaneous but in perfect sync, so you leave the show completely amazed by what you have just experienced. This also means that no two shows are exactly like -- so you can watch every night of the show in Manila and Cebu if you wish. I certainly am planning to watch a couple of other shows apart from the gala night.

For your information, the drummers all live together in one small village in the mountains of Southern Japan. Of course, that got everyone's interest, having a very large group of drummers living, working and traveling all together. But they all seem to enjoy each other's company but also to work very hard at their art.

Someone wanted to know what kind of preparations they did for their performances. One of the guys answered: "We get up really early, at about 430 AM or 5 AM, and then we go for a 12-kilometer run. Afterwards, it's one hour of pure continuous drumming, just to keep us up to par. By the end of that one hour of nonstop drumming, we're so exhausted that we can't even hold a chopstick properly."

But after that, it's still more practice and work for their drum act.


How does one apply to be a drummer, someone else asked.

Apparently they get a big volume of applications each year. But the perfomer beside me said to me that it's quite easy to see who's got potential or not, among the big number of applicants, and even just from the documents submitted alone. All applicants need to send in their bio-data and photos, just like applying for any other regular job.

And those who make the cut are invited to try and audition in the village. Most of the drummers are in their 30s, although the youngest drummer is 18 years old and the oldest drummer is 41 years old.


Finally, someone asked Len and myself why we brought the Tao drummers to the Philippines. For me, it's simple. As the Philippines' leading travel and lifestyle publication, Travelife Magazine is committed to not just writing about travel, but to bringing the best of travel and the world to our dear readers. We're the only magazine to do this in a genuine way, especially as we try to offer as many free events as possible to our readers, and those that require some fee are done almost at cost.

Our readers know this. And if you've ever been to one of our events, you'll feel the time and effort we put into it in a very personal way. We're never ordinary. We're all heart and soul. And this is just one of the many reasons why Travelife Magazine is #1.


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