This weekend is only my second weekend in Manila since returning from a two-week trip to Spain.
And already I'm packing my bags again for two weeks in Tanzania, literally coming up around the corner.
So between preparing for Tanzania, a bunch of socials, and two cultural events this weekend, I have not even a minute to myself.
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OPENING NIGHT OF ANG BAGONG HARANA
And tonight, I attended the opening night of Ang Bagong Harana, a wonderful Filipino musical staged by the Philippine Opera Company together with the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group.
The performance was at 8 PM at the RCBC Building in Makati, and at 7:25 PM I was still somewhere else, in jeans and a t-shirt.
DONE IN FIVE MINUTES
|Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco opened Ang Bagong Harana tonight|
I literally dressed up for opening night in five minutes by putting on this no-fail black dress and some lipstick.
No time for anything else, and I left the house still wearing the same ponytail I'd had since lunch.
I'd bought this black dress at the Kemeralti Market in Izmir, in Turkey.
Kemeralti Market isn't exactly high fashion central, of course.
But for some reason, this dress does the trick each time, so I use it whenever I have no time to think about wardrobe.
One time, a lady even thought I was wearing something from Chanel.
VIP GUESTS TONIGHT
Ordinarily, too, I wouldn't be so stressed about being several minutes late for a performance.
But tonight, I'd purchased an entire block of the best seats in the house, and I'd invited some ambassadors and their wives to join me for the show.
I figured that, out of everyone I could have invited as my guests for tonight, foreign dignitaries would love a rare chance to see some of the best of contemporary Philippine culture.
BRAVO, PHILIPPINE OPERA COMPANY
What a wonderful performance it was tonight.
Kudos to Karla Gutierrez, the director of the Philippine Opera Company, for once again staging an excellent show that every Filipino can be proud of.
Ang Bagong Harana features Philippine history via songs and dances.
The range goes from tribal dances to modern times, and everything about the performance is simply fascinating.
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The talents of the Philippine Opera Company and the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group are just amazing.
Meanwhile, the staging, set design and costume designs were all world-class.
THE DIPLOMATS LOVED IT
After the show, my ambassador friends came up to me and said: "Why isn't this being promoted more? More people should know about this show."
One ambassador also said to me: "It's everything you said it would be."
I'd bumped into him and his wife at a party a few days ago, you see, and until that point they still had not committed to joining me for Ang Bagong Harana.
So, that night, I basically twisted his arm to say yes, on behalf of himself and his wife.
I'd said then: "You won't be sorry you said yes for this."
A SHOW EVERYONE WILL ENJOY.
AND THAT FILIPINOS CAN BE PROUD OF.
The idea to invite ambassadors actually came to me because I keep getting asked by the diplomatic community about places to go and things to do in Manila.
So many diplomats want to learn more about Philippine culture.
Unfortunately, there are very few shows of the caliber shown at Ang Bagong Harana tonight.
It's not only foreigners who should see the show either.
DON'T MISS THIS SHOW.
ONE MORE WEEKEND TO GO.
If you're a Filipino, you'll find this truly enjoyable and educational.
You'll also come away very proud of the depth and variety of Filipino culture, and the magnificence of our local talent.
As Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco said in his opening remarks today: "Mabuhay ang Philippine Opera Company."
DON'T MISS THIS SHOW
ANG BAGONG HARANA
October 18 & 19 AT 8 PM
October 20 at 330 PM
Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium
RCBC Plaza, Makati
Tickets via Ticketworld
or call Philippine Opera Company:
Tel 822-9609 or 0917-527-2880