Sunday, April 21, 2013

Manila Symphony Orchestra Experience

After my bridesmaid gown fitting at Jun Escario's studio in Greenbelt, I passed by Ayala Museum and a poster caught my attention. It was for Manila Symphony Orchestra's "A Different Kind of Rush Hour" concert. It was perfect because my cousins were in town and I've thought of showing them around in Makati area. Plus, I always wanted to watch an orchestra play, its on my bucket list! The fascination started when I became a big fan of this awesome Japanese series and movie called Nodame Cantabile which features the struggles and triumphs and love story of an up and coming conductor (Chiaki) and pianist (Nodame).

Fast forward to Thursday, at 6PM my cousins and I were in front of Ayala Museum. The tickets cost 300pesos each and can be bought on the same day at the lobby. We're one of the early birds in the small  audience composed mainly of foreigners and older Filipino crowd. My cousins and I had a chance to go around and explore the gallery before the concert started.

Ayala Museum
The show entitled "Music for Woodwinds" promptly started at 6:30 PM. It was the 3rd concert for the Rush Hour series. I was actually expecting a full orchestra but I noticed that a quintet will play based on the program guide that we received along with the ticket. Although they the Woodwinds section always take a backseat for strings section, it was a fun experience to hear their version of Joseph Haydn and Mozart's classics.  It was refreshing to watch a double quintet do local songs such as "Magtanim ay Di Biro" and "Katakataka" then ended with Paul Koepke's Rustic Holiday. There were moments where I closed my eyes to take in the entire experience arte!
The concert run for almost two hours and also featured annotations from MSO's Jeffrey Solares who gave interesting tidbits about the composers, musicians and the Woodwinds section instruments. Its interesting to know that aside from learning and playing the instruments, the musicians who use piccolo oboe, clarinet and contrabass also make their own reeds. 

I just have to share my pet peeves 1) people who don't turn off their cellphones and 2) those who bring their kids, who eventually throw a tantrum and unintentionally disrupt the concert! Anyway, if you want to "experience music in color" the next concert is on May 2 and will feature the Brass and Percussion section while the full orchestra for MSO 2013 season launch is scheduled on May 22.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My Anything Kokeshi Collection

For years, I have been unconsciously collecting books. I love reading so I tend to buy a lot, much to my sister's delight I have accumulated piles of books. I started with Sweet Valley and even had an Archie Comics phase.
My little cousin says my room feels like a library =))
So, how do you start a collection or how do you even choose what to collect? Its funny that my interest in collecting Kokeshi dolls and other related merchandise started with these cute pens!
excuse the dust =))
First things first, Kokeshi dolls are traditional Japanese wooden dolls with emphasized head, usually with floral dress or kimono but doesn't have exposed arms and legs. Yeah, it sounds creepy but they actually turned out extremely kawaii cute! These blue small, medium and large blue dolls were the first set that I bought. I saw it on a stall at Trinoma and I immediately had a light bulb moment that it could be my new collection!
Kokeshi dolls and mouse pad!

I have a rather small collection because these dolls are expensive BUT the great thing about collecting is that when people know about it, they support you! I received Kokeshi themed journals, pen, lip gloss and authentic Kokeshi miniature and doll from Japan <3

Ultimate Kokeshi merchandise
 To say that my friends are supportive is an understatement. I bought a key chain, then I received a passport holder AND a custom eco bag!
Kokeshi gifts!
I'm very excited for my Japan trip next year, aside from the sights and culinary experience, it is certainly the holy grail and Kokeshi doll heaven!

DIY Ref Magnets

For some weird reason, unlike most travelers who collected ref magnets, I bought shot glasses! Its cool and unique but since I'm moving to my house soon, I realized that I also want the cliche decorated ref!
Alcoholic souvenir set? can opener to shot glasses
Certainly, going back to those places I wish is not an option! I suddenly had an art attack moment! Through the years, my friends has given me keychain souvenirs from their travels and I've had a brilliant idea of turning most of it into ref magnets!
random key chains from friends!
Before going home, I went to the bookstore to buy magnets and adhesive! I removed the chains of each souvenir and attached the magnets at the back. After and hour, the glue dried out well. Bye key chains, hello DIY ref magnets!

DIY ref magnets overload