Monday, March 25, 2013

Manila Vanilla Pokes Fun at Pinoy Quirks at Mabuhay Restop

Foreigners will get a chance to understand Pinoy culture better when they watch the funny performance of Manila Vanilla at Mabuhay Restop located in Roxas Boulevard corner T,M, Kalaw Ave. 

It is a widely known fact that Filipinos are very hospitable people, so much so that they greet guests not by asking, “Kumusta (How are you)?” but by asking, “Kumain ka na ba (Have you eaten)?”  Such quirks and other peculiar Filipino traits are celebrated in Mabuhay Restop’s Manilla Vanilla--a unique musical comedy directed by Nestor U. Torre, with music composed by Ryan Cayabyab.
The show tells the story of a Filipino family as they prepare to open their home as a bed & breakfast. Served with deliciously self-deprecating humor and lighthearted song and dance numbers, the show will tickle your funny bones and serve as an enjoyable introduction to those new to Filipino culture.

Mabuhay Restop’s Manila Vanilla! stars Celine Fabie of the Ryan Cayabyab Singers and Spotlight Artist Centre's "Katy: The Musical," Astarte Abrahan of Resorts World Manila's "The Sound of Music" and Repertory Philippines' "A Portrait of the Artist as a Filipino"; singer and comedian Andy Bais; and entertainer and Gawad Kalinga volunteer Edward Fernandez.

Aside from a night of pop-cultural entertainment, audiences will also get to enjoy a delicious Filipino buffet of home-style dishes and different regional specialties.
Celine Fabie, Andy Bais, Astarte Abrahan

“At Mabuhay Restop, we want our guests to get to know and experience the Philippines like never before,” says owner and president Rose Cabrera, a UCLA-educated California lawyer and GK advocate. “We don’t just offer great food and entertainment; we also offer voluntourism tours and other avenues to provide visitors with an opportunity to create better lives for communities who need it most.”

What makes this show and venue even more worthwhile to patronize  is the purpose behind the effort . . .  A Catalyst of Nation-Building.

As a museum, travel café, and social enterprise in one, Mabuhay Restop is devoted to promoting Philippine culture and heritage in creative ways while making a difference. The social enterprise has committed to give 30% of Mabuhay Restop’s net income to Gawad Kalinga, a Filipino nation-building movement dedicated to eradicating poverty and restoring human dignity through building empowered and sustainable communities.

Rose Cabrera, President
Ultimately, Mabuhay Restop aims to make a difference in the lives of Filipinos through social tourism and entrepreneurship. “We want to be able to set an example to other entrepreneurs by showing it is profitable to invest in the poor and partner with them through social enterprises.” 

Other Attractions
To add to its repertoire of shows, Mabuhay Restop also offers something for the kids and kids-at-heart with Mga Kwento ni Tita Beauty, also written and directed by Nestor U. Torre. A spin-off from Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang, the show features creative and theatrical storytelling featuring 6 original Filipino and English tales imbibed with valuable moral lessons.

For a different Philippine travel experience, Mabuhay Restop offers the Voluntourism or Kalinga Tours. They provides visitors a totally different Philippine travel experience by taking them not just to beautiful tourist spots in Bicol, Bacolod, Palawan, and Davao, but also to several Gawad Kalinga villages, where they can experience the warmth and hospitality of the Filipinos, practice compassion in action, and understand the soul of bayanihan.

Additionally, Mabuhay Restop also offers the Bayan Tour, a 3-hour guided and interactive tour in Rizal Park for visitors who wish to learn more about the Philippines and the Filipino. This tour features the one-of-a kinds "I am Filipino" art exhibit with 12 Filipino artists like Ugu Bigyan, Nemi Miranda, Ramon Orlina, Ryan Cayabyab, JC Buendia and Ernie Francisco, and Albert Badz Magsumbol.

For more information, visit their website at or call 0917-810-8194 or 359-7927.

Yason Banal Exhibit at the CCP ongoing until April 12

Photos by  Francisco Cabuena
Press Update:
A Reading of Brightness, Dark Clouds Surrounding, an exhibition by Yason Banal, forms the final part of End Frame Video Art Project 3, the 2011-2013 video art festival featuring solo exhibitions of Philippine artists presenting new video work. Presented by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Visual Pond, the exhibition opened at CCP’s Bulwagang Fernando Amorsolo (Small Gallery) and Pasilyo Victorio Edades (4F Hallway Gallery) on 15 February 2013.

 Inspired in part from the former Senate Hall at the National Museum, the Claudio Bravo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, and the Thirteen Artists Awards at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the exhibit reflexively ties this in with the recent boom in Philippine contemporary art.

The work of Yason Banal moves between installation, photography, video, performance, text, curating and pedagogy, taking myriad forms and conceptual strategies in order to explore, perhaps even trigger, suppressed associations and links. He has been exhibited locally and internationally, including the Tate, Frieze Art Fair, IFA Berlin, The Courtauld, Sotheby’s, Guangzhou Triennale, Singapore Biennale and most recently at The Queens Museum of Art, Shanghai Biennale.

 The exhibition runs until 12 April 2013 with gallery viewing hours from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm. For more information, visit or call the CCP Visual Arts and Museum Division at (632) 832-1125 loc 1504/1505 or 832-3702. 

MET at the CCP with Verdi's Rigoletto on April 16

Press Update:
In response to audience demand, screenings of Met Opera productions in HD at the Cultural Center of the Philippines have been moved to earlier time slots of 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The MET Opera series in HD continues on April 16 with Verdi's Rigoletto.

Rigoletto is the 2nd of five encore performances of the latest season of The Met presented by the CCP and the Metropolitan Opera (The Met) in cooperation with the Opera Guild Foundation of the Philippines.

The Met Opera in HD screenings are delivered, using the high definition (HD) format and in Dolby digital surround sound. The first was last March 19 at the CCP's Little Theater.

Special features are screened during the Intermission such as behind-the-scenes and interviews with the cast.

Ticket price is P500 with discounts for senior citizens, military personnel, persons with disabilities and students, as well as a subscription package of P2,000. Call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704 or visit the CCP website at

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Metropolitan Opera live in HD at the CCP on March 19

Press Announcement:
For the first time, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, in cooperation with the Opera Guild Foundation of the Philippines, features screenings of the latest operatic productions by the Metropolitan Opera through digital technology, starting with Giuseppe Verdi’s AÏDA in high definition video and full dolby sound at the CCP Tangahalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater) on March 19, 2013 at 3pm and 8pm.

AÏDA stars Liudmyla Monastyrska as the enslaved Ethiopian princess caught in a love triangle with heroic Radames, played by Roberto Alagna, and the proud Egyptian princess Amneris, sung by Olga Borodina. Fabio Luisi conducts.

 Other scheduled screenings of Met Opera productions for this year include Rigoletto (April 16), L’Elisir D’Amore (May 28), Maria Stuarda (July 9), and The Tempest (August 20). All screenings are 3pm and 8pm.

For information on subscription and ticket inquiries, please call the CCP Box office at 832-3704 or 832-1125 loc. 1409. Visit the CCP website at for more details.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Walk in the Beach in Panglao

Experience Panglao . . . the view, the feel and the sounds in this video taken at Alona beach on a sunny afternoon. See the white sand, the colorful surroundings . . . listen to the waves and the wind blowing . . . feel the soft, fine white sand.


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