“Three kinds of friends are beneficial, and three are harmful.
When friends are honest, sincere, or knowledgeable, they are beneficial.
When friends are pretentious, fawning, or opportunistic, they are harmful.”
“Three kinds of friends are beneficial, and three are harmful.
When friends are honest, sincere, or knowledgeable, they are beneficial.
When friends are pretentious, fawning, or opportunistic, they are harmful.”
The Iron Lady and the Hopeless-Romantic Me =)
Euro-cultural immersion – done! I was homebound, aboard a CX for a good 13-hr flight. I said good for I had plenty of time to catch up on some interesting films, including The Iron Lady, a Margaret Thatcher biopic.
There’s one scene from The Iron Lady, that I wished to experience in this lifetime (I tried to be specific with the timeline). I never want to become a Prime Minister; the scene I’m referring to is Denis’ and Margaret’s date in a theatre – they were enjoying a lively scene from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I. That idea of a date is both classic and classy. I’ve always loved the theatre…I used to act / write / and direct plays back in school, and I (then secretly) wished – that I’d end up with someone who would also appreciate the theater…oh, and a date in a theatre production of any Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classics.
I was aboard CX, 30th April 2012…and five months later, 30th September 2012…I was at the Newport Performing Arts Theater enjoying that same lively scene – the King of Siam and Mrs. Anna – singing, dancing, and what would appear – falling in-love…Shall We Dance? BFD reached for my hand…exactly what Mr. Denis Thatcher did, as depicted in the biopic, The Iron Lady. =)
The King and I at the Newport Performing Arts Theatre, Resorts World Manila
The King and I is a stage musical based on the 1944 novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon, derived from the memoirs of Anna Leonowens. Anna became the governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the 1860s. Anna was hired to support the King’s drive to modernize Siam. The story depicts cultural conflict with some political undertone, and a love that neither the King nor Anna was able to express. (source: Wikipedia).
What made Newport Theater production extra-special is that it’s all-Filipino! The production showcases world-class Filipino talent, top-billed by Leo Tavarro Valdez (King) and Monique Wilson (Anna), directed by Mr. Freddie Santos, with performances by the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philippine Ballet Theater. Oh, and I just have to mention the lovely gowns designed by Rajo Laurel for Monique Wilson! =)
We’ve got Resorts World Manila to thank for producing the show. It is indeed a very ambitious project, but the all the effort that went into is every bit perfect for bringing out a truly stellar stage production. The Newport Performing Arts Theater is as modern as its name implies – acoustic and lighting are superb.
As of press time, the play runs every Friday at 8PM, Saturday at 2PM and 7PM, and Sunday at 2PM. Ticket price starts at P1000.00. For more details, you may visit Newport Theater’s official website: http://www.rwmanila.com/entertainment-at-resorts-world-manila/newport-performing-arts-theater.
My budding interest for Japanese Art has coincided with the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month – July. From the stellar performances at the Drum Tao show, 15th of July; I just had to deal with another ‘art attack’ last Sunday, 22nd of July. With BFD in tow, I head out to the Ayala Museum in Makati for the Sharaku Exhibit.
About Sharaku (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharaku): Toshusai Sharaku (active 1794 – 1795) is widely considered to be one of the great masters of woodblock printing in Japan. Little is know of him, besides his ukiyo-e prints (ukiyo-e: a genre of woodblock prints and painting produced between the 17th and 20th centuries; the genre features landscapes, tales from history, the theater, and entertainment quarters). His active career as a woodblock artist seems to have just spanned for 10 months, Edo period (Tokugawa), from mid-1794 to early 1795.
The re-evaluation of Sharaku’s work was prompted by a book, published by German scholar, Julius Kurth in 1910. About 150 works were attributed to Sharaku, and his influence in Japanese contemporary art has become pronounced. (Info from the exhibit’s primer)
About the Exhibition: In 1996, after ‘two hundred years of Sharaku’, an exhibit was conceptualized to feature reinterpretations of Sharaku’s works by contemporary graphic designers and artists. It has become a ‘traveling’ exhibition since then, the current leg being hosted by the Ayala Museum until 16 Sept 2012.
The exhibit is divided into three segments: 1) Reproduction of Sharaku’s Works; 2) Sharaku in Graphic Art; 3) Homage to Sharaku.
The exhibition also features a reinterpretation by Takashi Murakami, a celebrated avant-garde Japanese artist, also known for the commercial success of his collaboration with luxury label Louis Vuitton in 2002.
Art for visitors: The exhibition also features two huge boxes with cards and envelopes. It acknowledges the fact that ‘everyone likes someone as you like someone’. The fun thing here is that you get to keep an envelope with a postcard and drawing of someone else’s favorite person. Then you are to draw your favorite person on the back portion of an unused postcard. Colorful markers are provided. Put the postcard back into the envelope and leave it in the other box. Someone will discover and get to keep your work in the next leg of the exhibit. This sort-of-chain continues as the exhibition travels from one place to the next. From Manila, the exhibit’s next stop is Indonesia. =D
Their headquarter is in the mountains of Southern Japan. Their day starts at 4:30AM, with a 12-KM run. I suppose, it’s mostly uphill runs since they are in a mountainous terrain. The run is to be followed by an hour of nonstop drumming. They prefer to train outdoors. Now, try to sharpen the picture in your imagination…then, the ‘zen-like’ feeling that goes with it, transcending from the harmony of nature, music, and martial arts…
…and watching this group perform live is a totally different cultural immersion! It really is the DRUM TAO – The Art of Drum Tour.
This is the first time that I’m posting two ‘full-length’ articles in a day (in my blog). I can’t help it. I feel inclined to promote Drum Tao. I watched their show at the Newport Performing Arts Theatre in Resorts World Manila (RWM) last Sunday, July 15. They are to run 10 shows at RWM, with their closing show slated, July 22.
I only have good words to describe my Drum Tao experience – I was transported back to epic Japan. Their extraordinary performance showcased about 50 different drums. Adding more harmony to several acts, they also played the flute and the shamisen (a native Japanese guitar, expertly played using a bachi or plectrum – beautiful combination of strings and a little percussion). One can ‘see’ the rigorous training of the performers, not only in the way they perform and blend, but also in their strong physique. Admirable talent and discipline.
I never had a dull moment as the show ran for 2 hours. It was highly engaging. As audience, we did participate in some of the skits, filling the theater with lively claps and stomps – fun atmosphere in the light of a highly cultural performance.
‘Meowth’ rating: ALL PAWS UP! =)
Catch Drum Tao at RWM. Buy your tickets now! =)
Video ad, as posted at youtube.com:
The Musee Du Louvre (myze dy luv) – in English, Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world’s largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world, and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, France, it is located in the right bank of the Seine at the first arrondissement (district). Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century are exhibited over an area 60,600 square meters. – http://en.wikipedia.org
It was during the French Revolution that a committee to ‘preserve the national memory’ was appointed – this paved the way to the opening of Louvre as a museum, 10 August 1793.
The current facade of the Grand Louvre and the Pyramid were completed in 1989, as part of a major renovation. That renovation was earmarked as a high-ticket project under President Francois Mitterrand’s administration.
In 2011, the Louvre, being host to 8.8 million guests, was ranked as the world’s most visited museum.
In April 2012, I got the chance to visit the Louvre! I was able to take some interesting photos, too! =)
Visitors are allowed to take photos and videos in the permanent collection halls. However, flash or similar lighting device/equipment is prohibited.
Musee du Louvre is divided into 8 curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, Roman; Islamic Art; Sculptures; Decorative Arts; Paintings; and Prints and Drawings. – http://en.wikipedia.org.
Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is considered as the most celebrated art work at the Louvre. It was thought to have been bought by Francis I sometime in 1546. Now speaking of Da Vinci in the context of pop subculture, the Louvre has reported earnings of about 2.5M USD for allowing the movie, The Da Vinci Code (2006) to film at its galleries.
Mona Lisa is displayed at the Denon Wing. Opposite her portrait is one of Louvre’s finest religious paintings – The Marriage at Cana by Paolo Veronese (1528 – 1588). He painted a crowd of over 130 figures, set in high-fashion 16th century Venice.
Two of my favorites are: Venus de Milo – a marble sculpture from the Hellenistic Age (2nd century B.C.), which served as the epitome of Greek feminine beauty; and Nike of Samothrace (190 B. C.). Both sculptures are displayed at the Denon Wing of the Louvre.
It’s now becoming obvious that I did spend a considerable amount of time at the Denon Wing. The greater collections of Italian Renaissance paintings, including that of Raphael’s and Michael Angelo’s are housed in this section of the Louvre.
The Richelieu Wing is home to Napoleon III Appartements exhibit. The place has been restored to its equally splendour setting as it was during the time of Napoleon III and his wife Empress Eugenie (Second Empire).
Other interesting photos, as captured by our lenses…
When in Paris…
Musee du Louvre is conveniently accessible to the public via METRO – Palais Royal Musee du Louve Lines M1, M7; Louvre – Rivoli M1
Versailles (Ver-sai), located on the outskirts of Paris, was once the seat of political power in France. It used to be a township where the estates of Louis XIV were established (1682), and the celebrated court of Louis XVI and his famous wife – the last queen of France – Marie Antoinette thrived until the beginning of the French Revolution (1789).
Today, Versailles is the picturesque grandeur of what it used to stand for. By structure, it is a collective tribute to the greatness of Baroque architecture and all the finer things upheld by the absolute monarchy of the Ancient Regime. It presents history in a setting that is unparalleled – mix of charm, human struggle, and nostalgia. A day trip to Versailles is akin to going back in time.
I read about Versailles and Marie Antoinette in the history books. So when I got the chance to visit, I did not pass up. Last spring, with my good friend Cashmer, I went to Versailles – the experience was about history magnified a hundredfold. I was in awe.
The Grand Chateau
The Grand Appartement du Roi (King’s private apartments), Grand Appartement de la Reine (Queen’s bedchamber), Hall of Mirrors, and the Orangerie are part of the Grand Chateau.
Giving birth was not a private occasion for the Queen and the royal family. The public was allowed to witness the birth of the royal children. This was somehow in line with how the throne was passed on in terms of birth rank and gender. The Queen’s bed area was lined with balusters as demarcation – the members of the royal family and doctors were the only ones allowed to stay beside the Queen.
The Queen’s bedchamber also has a (once) secret door adjacent to the jewel cabinet. It was used by Marie Antoinette to escape the siege of Versailles (1789).
Gardens of Versailles
Versailles is also host to well-manicured gardens.
“I know how much you love flowers, but I’m not going to give you a bouquet. I’m giving you a garden, instead.” Louis XVI offering the garden to his wife, Marie Antoinette. (Since this is my blog – I can make side comments: Siya na ang mahaba ang hair!)
The Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon
Built in the time of Louis XIV, the Grand Trianon was used as a rest house. Guests were invited and received, minus the strict etiquette of the Court at the Grand Chateau. The smaller palace next to it is the Petit Trianon, which was built for Louis XV’s long-term mistress. During the reign of Louis XVI, the Petit Trianon was given to Marie Antoinette for her exclusive use.
Marie Antoinette’s Estate
Marie Antoinette, so wanted to escape the regimented ways of the Court of Versailles, ordered the construction of her own hamlet (1783). It was to copy the true ambience of a village – rustic charm + country living. It eventually became a farm – supplying products to the kitchen of the Chateau (Palace).
Cashmer and I spent a day in Versailles – time well-spent! As for the ‘take away’, I now have a better appreciation of history – I must say, the visit is tantamount to N units of history subjects being taught in schools. Versailles is no ordinary museum. It is a testament, representing power as a cross between triumph and tragedy. Evocative.
Next: Musee D’Louvre
Getting there: Versailles is about 30 minutes away from Paris city center via train. Station: Gare St. Lazare (St. Lazare Station). There are several trips from Paris – Versailles in a day, interval of about 30 – 45min.
Prelude: Day 1, Museum #1 : Musee D’ Orsay https://meowthmoments.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/paris-museum-series-musee-dorsay/
I left Musee D’Orsay with a heavy heart, because I knew that I would miss the place. It was already 3PM when I headed out to Centre George Pompidou. Time economy warranted, I had a valid excuse to avail of a cab ride(guilt-free!) from D’Orsay to C. Pompidou.
Day 1, Museum #2 : Centre Georges Pompidou
Inaugurated in January 1977, Centre Georges Pompidou is home to Bibliotheque (a public library), IRCAM (a research center for music and acoustic), and the Musee National D’Art Moderne. To date, it is the largest museum of modern art in Europe.
The Centre appeals to the postmodern and the high-tech, with facade adorned by structured steel and architectural glasses for a minimalist look. It celebrates its deviation from the traditional fusion of Baroque/Romanesque/Gothic architectures. (I took up 3 units of Humanities back in university days, and it was only recently that I was able to validate that some things did register between my ears.)
Getting there: METRO Rambuteau, Chatelet, Hotel de Ville; RER Chatelet Les Halles; Bus #s 21, 29, 38, 47, 58, 69, 70, 72, 74, 75, 76, 81, 85, 96, it’s complicated (oops!).
Exhibitions consist of: paintings, photographs, sculptures, and the performing arts – art films, video clips, shows and mini-concerts. The video clips appealed to me the most. Contents are sociopolitical expressions, aired to engender awareness with varying tones – subtle, subliminal, and some are truly radical. The sets for viewing have been arranged with the comfort of the viewers in mind. The video exhibition hall is comparable to a room-full of mini-family den. I was not able to take a picture of the video hall as majority of the exhibit halls do not allow camera / camcorders.
I also came across with a group of kids who were studying art. Talk about exposing kids to the arts at a very young age, this could be one of the better ways to build a strong inclination.
The exhibition hall at level 5 showcases a number of art works by Pablo Picasso. (There is a dedicated museum for Picasso in Paris, but it is under renovation as of press time.) It also has a visitors’ terrace where stone sculptures are on display, cast on Paris’ skyline. I thought the terrace was off-limits to visitors, but I dared step out to get some fresh air, and a flock of tourists soon followed…thus, I met another tourist who was accommodating to take my souvenir photo. =)
Paris is host to over a hundred museums and monuments. It may be viewed as impractical to cover even just a quarter of it in one week, unless you are willing to subject yourself to sensory overload. =)
Paris offers a museum pass, which is available for sale in major METRO stations and museum entrances. I bought a two-day pass for 39E. A pass entitles the holder to a less-to-hassle-free entrance; shorter or no queue at all at dedicated entrances. It also comes with a couple of freebies, and it sometimes goes on sale, too – thus, bigger discounts. To know more about Paris pass and museum pass, please follow this link: http://parispass.com/how-it-works/paris-museum-pass.html
I made a plan to cover only 4 museums: Day 1 – Musee D’Orsay for Impressionism, and Centre Georges Pompidou for Modern Art; Day 2 – Chateau De Versailles for history; and that weekend, which I tagged as Day 3, ticket at 10E – Musee D’Louvre for the Italian-Catholic paintings, plus Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.
My main objective, as stated in my Schengen cover letter, was to learn more about the development of Impressionism, and the best classical and neo-classical impressionists. This prompted me to spend over half-a-day at Musee D’Orsay, and I could not be more satisfied with the learning.
Day 1 – Museum #1 : Musee D’Orsay
It is a former rail station in the left bank of the Seine River, also utilized as a post office during World War II. It was inaugurated to a museum in December 1986. It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces by celebrated artists – the likes of Claude Monet, Edoardo Manet, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Vincent Van Gogh (my favorite).
Getting there: METRO 12 Solferino / RER C Musee D’Orsay / Bus #24, 63, 68, 69, 73, 83, 84, 94 / Hop On Hop Off Bus / Hop On Hop Off BATOBUS (Seine River).
The museum galleries have ample space to accomodate hundreds of people. Cameras and camcorders are not allowed in exhibition halls; though it is not unusual to see some people just sitting on the floor, trying to come up with their rendition of masterpieces. If you are not able to bring a sketchpad and pen, you can easily buy these materials from the museum shop. The museum also has a bookstore near the entrance/exit hall. I bought my second book about Van Gogh for 10E, in anticipation for my visit to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
Next stop: Centre Georges Pompidou
Traveling – my life won’t be complete without it. The intrigue of foreign travel lures me. It is a chronic case of wanderlust. What I love about traveling is soaking up the culture; fun and learning taking place at the same time, and in a place that used to be unfamiliar to the senses.
As for our EU trip, Cashmer and I only got few weeks to prepare for it. She would have to attend business meetings , so we had to be ‘more efficient’ in order for us to experience the best of the Parisian culture.
There was no excuse for jet lag. On our very first day in Paris, we were fueled by a high-level of excitement. Here are the ‘evidences’. =)
Day 1 – Sunday, 7:30AM: Cashmer and I met at Charles De Gaulle (CDG) International Airport in Paris. She came from Singapore, where she is currently based. I flew from Manila, then to HK – Paris in a CX flight. (Manila to HK = 1.6hrs, HK to Paris = 13.2hrs). From CDG, it took us about 30 minutes to get to the hotel via metered cab, 25KM, fare = 50Euros. Radisson Blu would be our home for a few days. It is strategically located along Boulevard Haussmann, a prime business center in Paris.
10AM – Off to Champs Elysees via METRO (Richelieu Drouot Station to Franklin D. Roosevelt). A day-ticket, which is good for unlimited rides within 24hours, costs 9.75Euros.
Pomme de Pain – our first cafe along Champs Elysees. The serving size is good for brunch. A set meal costs about 7Euros. I was never a fan of bread, but after enjoying a baguette at Pomme de Pain, that changed the way I look at bread. I survived 10 days without rice for carbs, only bread. Now, I love to eat croissants, pain au lait, and the deliciously chewy baguette with lotsa’ cheese (plus Sauvignon Blanc, if I get to eat baguette – late dinner at home).
Retail Therapy for BAGAHOLICS: Cashmer and I visited Louis Vuitton, Champs Elysees. We paid homage to the Maison, and paid for some precious arm candies, as well. It was not about ‘weak constitution’ for me, but I did survive months of bag ban and that it was lifted a week before my birthday (LV bags were virtually singing ‘Happy Birthday, Ann’ in unison). We also bought bring-home gifts for family and friends from L’Occitane. The sales associates gave us a lot of freebies (a lot!), and they did ask about our very own Boracay. Genuinely friendly AND English-speaking people in Paris are comparable to hard-to-find gems.
In other areas of the city, retail shops are closed on Sundays. The best district for shopping on a Sunday is Champs Elysees.
Toilettes (twa-let) may not be viewed as necessity at the Champs district. Only few shopping establishments have public toilettes. One has to pay 20cents to 80cents just to be able to use the toilet. In restaurants / braserries, it is not unusual to see signage that reads – “toilettes are for customers only.”
Retail therapy was completed at around 3PM. We headed back to the hotel to deposit our shopping finds. It was a 15min-drive via cab, for 9Euros. The cab driver was commenting about politics: Hollande vs. Sarkozy. That Sunday was the first round of the presidential election – an interesting time to be in France! Our first political discussion, very engaging one, was with a cab driver.
It was in the next few days that it became pronounced that majority of cab drivers in Paris speak good English; and they are generally friendly.
From Boulevard Haussmann, it was an easy METRO ride going to Trocadero <– station of choice when visiting the Eiffel Tower. From Trocadero, one has to walk about 10 minutes to reach the Eiffel Tower. It was quite an effortless walk because we got to see the extent of the tower’s imposing and majestic view.
Our plan was to go on a Seine River cruise after sunset via Bateaux Parisien…but sunset in springtime is at 9:30PM! From Eiffel, we went to Musee D’Louvre via METRO. The time was enough for us to get a quick view of the museum. We would go back to Louvre for a half-day tour in the weekend. We had our first dinner in a braserrie outside the Louvre. (In all Parisian restaurants I tried, veggies are fresh and naturally sweet. Average cost of a complete meal in braserries, 18Euros.)
We were back at the Eiffel Tower a bit before sunset. The boat stations for the Seine River cruise have ticket booths there. A BATOBUS hop on hop off ticket costs 15Euros per person. It is a 24-hour pass to 8 river stations: Tour Eiffel, Musee D’Orsay, Saint Germain des Pres, Notre Dame, Jardin des Plantes, Hotel de Ville, Louvre, and Champs Elysees. A night cruise is a way on how one can acquire a better understanding why Paris is called La Ville Lumiere or The City of Lights. The highlight of that night cruise was the Illuminations of the Eiffel Tower – majestic, monumental, romantic! =)
We were able to cover these places within a day. We capped off Day 1 with a picture-taking session along Trocadero. Temperature was about 3*C, which was literally shocking to the ribs. We were back at the hotel a bit past midnight <- disclaimer: we are not related to Cinderella. I had a little energy left to take photos of our room before I entered dreamland.
It was my first time to attend a multi cultural class outside my home continent (Asia). It was not part of my itinerary, but since it was raining during my second day in Paris, I just wanted to stay indoors, but not in a museum. So I decided to sign up for a wine class.
Cashmer left early for her first of many business meetings, I mean, many. I had to muster all the courage to walk the ‘cold and unfamiliar’ streets of Paris by myself; just relying on – my memory of the map, limited French language, and a trained internal compass (the one that screams in the head – I’m lost!).
Paris is not as crime-free as Singapore. There are pick-pockets and muggers in Paris. Majority of those elements have medium-to-heavy built; it would be difficult to use against them the skills I got from the Karate Kid, Kung Fu Panda, and Elorde – even if I combined the techniques from those three legends. If I had to carry a map around the city and made it obvious, it was comparable to carrying an imaginary signboard, screaming: PREY. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Before things got too excited, I had to remember to wear four layers of clothing – thermal undershirt, thermal stockings, thick denim dress, wool cardigans, trench coat, scarf around my neck, and semi high-cut boots. Imagine – Kuting (Kitten) in Paris. I am a self-proclaimed Sun Kuting (comparable to the Sun King of France), therefore, I don’t really thrive in cold climate. I needed more calories to keep my temperature warm. No human blanket available, so I just enjoyed a hearty brunch at the Radisson Blu. The French won’t surely like it when I’m hungry. (Thanks, Hulk.)
It was a gloomy day in Paris when I stepped out of the hotel at 12NN. The weather forecast was pretty accurate, with temperature at 8*C, drizzle, occasional winds that sent shiver to the bones. I walked to the nearest Metro station, my hands in akimbo, and I was trying to act normal, I mean, unfriendly…pretending to be a ‘local’. Here is the route I followed:
The Metro station is called Richelieu Drouot (Chartreuse colored line – light/soft lime green), my ‘home station’ for several days. (Good thing, I bought a 3-day Metro ticket the other day at Champs Elysee. Minor train stations do not always have days-worth of tickets to sell.) 4 stations from Richelieu Drouot is the Franklin D. Roosevelt station. From Roosevelt, I transferred to the yellow line going to Louvre de Rivoli. When I reached Rivoli, a brasserie caught my attention – so I had to walk in to try some authentic French cuisine, plus a bottle of Badoit (I got addicted to this sparkling water – it’s like Sprite minus the sugar).
From Louvre, I had to take walk to O Chateau, which is located along Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau. It was quite a walk, because the French people are so not inclined in giving directions, or they don’t speak English at all.
Me: Excuse me, Madame. Bonjour! (Bon – shouwr : Good day) Do you know which way to…
Lady: (cutting my sentence) Non Anglais…(meaning: no English)
Me: Bonjour! Do you know which way to O Chateau, Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau?
Guy: C’est dix minutes a pyay…
Me: Pardon (Par-don). Je ne comprends pas (Zher ner kom pron pa). Parlez vous Anglais? (Par-lay voo ong-glay). (Translation: Sorry. I don’t understand. Do you speak English?)
Me: Bonjour! Excusez-moi (eks-kyu-zay-mwa = excuse me). Do you know which way to O Chateau, Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau?
Guy: It’s near. You just walk to the left (signaling to the right)…
Me: Oh, so you, mean, left (using my hand to signal to the left)…
Guy: Sorry…Yeah, it’s to the left..then…ah first, no, second street, turn left…you won’t miss it.
Me: Merci! (Thanks)
Guess what? I followed his instructions and I got lost…I was trying to find my way to O Chateau in the next 15minutes. The street signage were not so helpful, but I knew O Chateau is somewhere within that area…I sent a distress signal to Heaven: Lord, please send me angels…sigh, sigh…The street was empty, and I was getting nervous, but I continued walking that led me to the next scenario…
Guy: Miss, Filipina ka?
Me: Oo, Filipina nga ako. Nawawala ata ako. (Yes, I’m Filipina. I think I’m lost.)
Lady 1: San ka ba pupunta? (Where are you going?)
I showed them the address.
Lady 2: Sa kabila lang ito. (Next street from here).
Guy: Tawid tayo. Tapos, unang kanto kaliwa, kita na O Chateau. (Let’s cross the street. Then, first street turn left, you’ll see O Chateau).
Me: Thank you. It was an answered prayer. I was starting to get scared already, then you people saw me. Hay…
I was at O Chateau 15 minutes before the class started. I was the only Filipina enrolled in the class for that day. Most of my classmates came in late because they also got lost. It was an informative and enjoyable class that warrants another blog entry. =)