Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Magical Journey With Lea Salonga

It was the kind of magical, memorable, musical evening that you remember for the rest of your life.

"Lea, My Life On Stage" was a one-of-a-kind musical experience wherein you are left with a high that reverberates into your very soul for several days long after you had left the theater. God knows how much I needed to see that show and how it was a badly needed break after several harried days. Music is truly a balm to one's soul -- soothing and healing.

What an awesome talent! I pray that you use it even more over the next three decades -- bringing joy to your legions of fans, and that includes me. Congratulations to your momma for raising you and Gerard so well. I can only imagine how Ligaya's heart must have been brimming with joy on those nights. In fact, I overheard her say to our seatmate, "I couldn't ask for anything more..."

Yes, it's been such a blessing to journey through life with the music of Lea Salonga.

More pictures from Lea's show here in my Multiply site.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Robert Redford To Tie The Knot With Long-time Girlfriend

All good things come to those who wait..

And love is possible at any age. After dating for a decade, Robert Redford is finally engaged to long-time girlfriend, visual German-born artist, Sonia Szaggars. The two artists share a love for the environment. Shared passions, always help cement relationships. In recent history, think, Brangelina.

Szaggars is a highly-talented artist whose works center on nature and the environment. Her website says -- "Eventually her travels would bring her to the USA in the late 80's. Her continued interest in old cultures and traditions would lead her to the mysteries of Native American culture. She found especial power and magnificence in the arid mesas of Arizona and the Hopi traditions. In residence on the mesas for some time, she learned about the Native Americans' spiritual connections to life, the land and the world, and was deeply touched by it. The result of this experience was a large series of paintings which were marked with a spiritual resonance.

Szaggars moved to Utah full time in the early 90's where she set up her painting studio in the mountain village of Sundance." Redford and Szaggars began dating in 1995. It's probably a case of one artist being drawn to another one's art.

Redford, now 71, continues to cut a respectable and dashing figure. I remember being nine years old and watching him and Paul Newman in "The Sting" and I was eternally hooked. When I think of that now, I realize he's just about as old as my father! Which only proves to me once more that I've had this long-standing attraction for older men. Hahaha.

Redford divorced his wife Lola van Wagenen in the mid-1980s and was previously linked to actress Sonia Braga.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Two Music Greats In Manila This Month

I'll be broke by the end of the month...

So excited to watch this...

Lea is luminous in this photoby Ronnie Salvacion which I borrowed from family friend, Girlie Rodis. Lea will be at the PICC on May 23 and 24 for "Lea, My Life On Stage" - a celebration of her thirty years in the entertainment industry.

And this...

My all-time favorite, Steve Tyrell (he of "The Way You Look Tonight" in "Father of the Bride") is coming to Manila for a one-night show, also at the PICC. Tyrell has been my writing, thinking, musing "companion" for many years now. Wonderful voice and even more wonderful rendition of standards. Haaaaay.

I know, I just said that there is so much sadness in the world but I need to de-stress and music has always done that for me. Listen to Steve here singing songs from my childhood days...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

"Caregiver" Looks Like A Promising Blockbuster

At heto ang isa pang panalo...

Another Filipino movie to watch out for in thenext few weeks is Chito Rono's "Caregiver" starring my mega friend, Sharon Cuneta. I'm sure a lot of people will be able to relate to this film in the sense that we all know of a Filipino family who has a relative working overseas, right? In my own family circle, we have two. And yes, one of them is in the U.K. -- just like Sharon's character, except that my sister in law is a nurse in Oxford.

View the trailer below. Can't wait to see this movie!I hope it's as good as "Milan". Hopefully, even better. Mabuhay ang Pelikulang Pilipino!

"Ploning" Is Your Must-See Movie of the Month

Haunting. Lyrical. Poetic. And yes, it lived up to ALL my expectations.

"Ploning" is a beautiful, beautiful and sad movie that leaves you breathless with its amazing cinematography. I think that this has to be the most beautifully photographed Filipino movie I have ever seen.

However, it also leaves the viewer with soooo many questions long after you have left the cinema. For example, sino talaga ang nanay ni Digo? The film can be viewed through somany layers and can be interpreted in a hundred and one ways. I am sure the next time I watch it, I will see something that I did not see the first time. Feel something that I did not feel the last time.

If only to see the beautiful Cuyo, Palawan, this movie is worth watching over and over again. Judy Ann Santos was soooo good as Ploning. You were watching Ploning with nary a trace of Judy Ann. And the little boy who played Digo? I wanted to take him home with me.

This is the type of movie that should be entered in the Oscars foreign film race and I am pretty sure will have a great chance of winning. Simple yet haunting and so well-crafted. Okay, some glitches in the dialogue. Like, bakit biglang nag Tatagalog sila in one scene. The shift from past to present was initially confusing but after a while you start to get it.

Congratulations to the Panoramanila production team. Director Dante Nico Garcia and cinematographer Charlie Peralta are Philippine cinemas newest wonder boys. Thank you for giving us the gift of this beautiful film.

Watch the trailer here.

P.S. If you've seen the film, please tell me how you think it ended. Who Digo's real mother is? And is there any relevance or symbolism at all to the cans of lychees? And where do you think Tomas went? See, I told you it would leave you with so many questions. Or am I just over-analyzing it as my daughter likes to say :)