Manila – Week 2

In a fight between the sun and the rain clouds I have to say the sun came out on top this  week. But unfortunately for the POTO cast we spend most of our days inside the theatre where the air-conditioning blasts arctic gusts of wind at us all day. For this very reason I have decided I hate air-conditioning. Johannesburg especially never gets that moist, balmy air so when I finally find myself in a country that does get it I would rather get a bit sweaty then be freeze-dried every time I step indoors.

Apart from the A/C debacle I have to say Manila is definitely growing on me, the people too, they are just so friendly and complimentary, especially to us western-faced women. I personally think Asian women are the most beautiful in the world but a girl never tires of hearing “You are so beautiful ma’am”.

The highlight of my week was definitely seeing Cirque du Soleil. I have never seen a Cirque du Soleil production before and it did not disappoint. Circus-style shows are all kind of similar with the comedy act that goes on a bit too long, the juggler, the contortionists and the acrobats but this show, Salimanco, had an act I have never seen before – bungee trapeze! We were not allowed to take pictures (you don’t want to be the idiot responsible for causing the trapeze artist to fall of her perch when your flash catches her in the eye), but basically the artists have bungee cords strapped to either side of their body on a harness so they can bounce up and down and can land back on the trapeze on the way up, it looks like great fun, I would love to try it!!

I also tried my damndest to organise a group of us to go see Nelly Furtado and the Gym Class Heroes who were in Manila for one night only but nobody was game so that didn’t happen : ( I am quite impressed with all the world-class shows and artists that come to Manila, not what I was expecting, even Maroon 5 are on their way here.

Another highlight was the buffet at our hotel. Each night there is a different theme so I went on seafood and bottomless white wine night – for obvious reasons. There are many crustaceans I have not tried so I really didn’t hold back as you can see from the mountain of seafood sitting on my two plates. I was literally in pain by the end of the night after three helpings of the mains and three of the deserts. Good thing bed is just an elevator trip away.

Our cast also got treated to an exclusive cocktail party thrown for us to officially introduce the staff of the Diamond Hotel. As always the food was outstanding and we finally got to show our appreciation – the head of catering got the loudest applause.

Although I still haven’t ventured far from the hotel due to a busy schedule, we plan on changing that next week. The Philippines are made up of about 7000 islands so we are planning some overnight trips to 2 of them and some day trips to the famous Taal volcano, Mount Pinatubo and the Pagsanjan Falls but more on that when it actually happens.

Coming up this week is tech week where we work into the night on stage getting all the technical aspects of the production up and running and then we have our first preview on Saturday!!!!! Every show has a point where it goes a bit flat where rehearsals need to turn into performances. There is just a different energy on stage when there is an audience on the other side of the curtain, I think the whole cast is itching for that moment on Saturday, I know I am!

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