Author: Marian Bartolome

We Arrived: A Weekender in La Union

I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since I last posted about my travels here. So much has changed since that trip to Turkey, and I have tons of writing to catch up on. But exactly because a lot has changed, I think this is the best travel post to start with—a trip I went on exactly a year ago, which was also my first time to travel with a partner. That’s right. I’ve gone from backpacking it solo to traveling with a significant other. Late last year, I made a compilation of personal travel tales that I haven’t yet decided to publish. The story below was included there. It’s cheesy and old, but there’s nothing wrong with some cheese once in a while. And since I decided to put this out here, I figured why not go all out and share the video I created as well?   18 August 2017 The sky was dark when we hit the road, but the moon smiled down on our journey. Armed with a tank of gas …

Musical Review: ETO NA! Musikal nAPO! by Globe Live x 9 Works Theatrical

When I found out 9 Works Theatrical and Globe Live would be mounting an original musical featuring APO Hiking Society songs, I was mildly surprised. I liked some of their songs, but those I knew were the modern versions, not the originals. And while I knew of APO, I didn’t really understand how big a role they played in the rise of Original Pilipino Music or OPM. On the other hand, when I told Vince about Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!, he got that wide-eyed look on his face. Of course I had to bring him along. To complement my take as a relative APO newbie, I asked him to write his own review as a fan—another He Said/She Said like what we did for The Lion King. But first, some facts: 5 Things You Should Know Before Watching Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! APO Hiking Society, better known as APO, was one of the pioneers of OPM. Composed of Danny Javier, Jim Paredes, and Boboy Garrovillo, APO helped push fellow musicians to create Filipino songs instead …

BlocNation Launch + Zedd in Manila

Last month, my friend Lyra invited me and Vince to Zedd’s concert in The Cove Manila. Little did we know that the passes were actually to the launch party of BlocNation (BNTN), which was held in a private cabana at the concert. Vince and I had to do some waiting and explaining because our tickets weren’t being recognized by the scanners, but then we found out that we should’ve gone through a different entrance. Still, get in we did. We soon found ourselves in one of The Cove’s special cabanas being welcomed by a rep of PouchNation. While BNTN was completely new to us, I was already familiar with PouchNation. It was the system I used to buy tickets to this year’s Philippine Art Fair and assign them to my companions. What I particularly enjoyed about it was how it allowed us to check in online and skip the registration lines at the venue itself. That’s convenience right there! [Learn more about PouchNation here.] Opening Act: BNTN And that brings us to PouchNation’s brainchild, BNTN. …

Q&A with Calvyn Grandling and Noxolo Dlamini + Musical Review: THE LION KING in Manila

The Lion King is part of my childhood soundtrack, and its stage adaptation has long been on my list of must-see Broadway musicals. So when I heard that Manila would be their first stop in this year’s international tour, there was no way I could miss it. Luckily, I didn’t just get to see the show, I was also invited to an exclusive lunch with Calvyn Grandling and Noxolo Dlamini, otherwise known as Simba and Nala.

Journeying in Winter

I often travel in spring. At first I did it out of necessity, because the break between March and June was the longest we had as students. Then, as I fell deeper in wanderlust, I learned that those months were the best time to travel around Europe. The air still carried with it a certain chill, yet the sun burned bright into the night, allowing me to walk around even after closing hours. By then, nature would have shaken off the last of the winter frost and would bloom with color and life. I got the longer days without the mega crowds and price hikes of summer. Perfect. The closest to winter I’ve experienced was when I was sent to Germany for training in November. I remember borrowing coats, thermals, and gloves—anything that could keep me warm in temperatures that we didn’t get in Manila with air conditioning. My colleague and I walked around all bundled up, ducking into cafes when it got too cold. I got sick after that first day. I woke up …