August 13, 2004 by
Been lying around the house since I got in from Toronto early yesterday morning. The ride home was long, but thanks to the wonderful Filipino hospitality of PAL, it was pleasant. It’s always hard adjusting to jetlag. I forced myself to stay awake all day yesterday so I could get into Manila time quickly.
Toronto was a bit of a letdown as far as the APO show attendance was concerned. Or maybe the venue was simply too big. Promotions were rather limp and short. But we made up for it by giving the audience two and a half hours of new material. We promised a different show and we delivered, much to the audience’s delight if we may proudly say so! It was a lot of fun for us as well singing songs we had not sang for a while, some since we recorded them–Princesa, Hangang May Pag-ibig, Lumang Tugtugin. It’s always an honor to be instrumental in bringing the Philippine experience to our kababayans. I love meeting people after the show and talking to them.
Picture by Ricky Tanpoco. Thanks! See more of his shots at http://apohikingsociety.org
Canada is a great country. It’s policy of promoting cultural diversity is an enlightened one. While we were there, Filipinos, Chinese and Greeks were all having their festivals which included parades, exhibits, fairs and stuff. Two weeks before, it was the Cariba festival for people from the Carribean. And all these with funding from the Toronto Arts Council! Everywhere you go, you can hear accents and languages from everywhere. And the whole scene seems one of not just tolerance but respect and even amity towards all people!
A sharp contrast to its southern neighbor indeed! The US, ever on paranoid alert for terrorists, was screening every visitor like he was Osama Bin Laden! To cross the border by car to the US last weekend took two hours or more. On the other hand, it took minutes to drive to Canada. When leaving Canada, one does not even have to go through immigration. Apparently, they don’t seem worried if visitors overstay!
Canada, like Australia is definitely more laid back than the US. It’s a country with all the goodies of the US but without the cruelty of its hard-core capitalism. Maybe it’s the small population and so there’s less stress on the social safety nets. Its pro-people policies, from medical, employment to educational benefits are truly enviable. I noticed that people on the street are still friendly enough to help strangers with directions. I hope that it remains like this. (Okay, I’m sure my left-wing bias is showing!).
On a lighter note, I forgot to pay attention to a rule I live by when traveling and that is, NEVER to trust weather forecasts. With August supposedly being a hot summer month, I did not even bother to bring a light jacket, much to my discomfort. Sure enough, temperatures dropped to unexpected Baguio-like lows and I had to buy a sleeveless sweatshirt to keep warm. I can only imagine what Europe this wintry November will be like! Brrr!!
When the US and Canada decided on their borders, Canada got the better side of Niagara Falls. It’s truly one of nature’s breathtaking wonders. I can stay there all day and just stare at the water!
Lastly, every blue-blooded Atenean cannot miss having a deja vu experience when listening to the Canadian national anthem! We first discovered this in 1975 when we had to learn the Canadian anthem for a series of concerts there. The Ateneo grad song, the same anthem sang in every basketball game is unmistakably a rip-off from the Canadian original. After the first two lines,
“We stand on the hill
Between the earth and sky”,
it’s the Canadian anthem melody all the way— to a tee! Akala siguro nung gumawa ng Ateneo song na hindi siya mabibisto! ha ha!
Time is passing by! It’s time to seize the day and finally get your life going! Don’t waste another moment! If you’ve taken this workshop and it has done you good and would like to recommend this to friends, feel free to pass this on.
I am pleased to announce the 26th Run of TAPPING THE CREATIVE UNIVERSE, a
cutting edge creativity workshop that will uncover, unblock and release the joy and creativity that yearns to express itself in all aspects of life! Through interactive activities and excercises, the workshop will not only enable participants to meet their blocks but also introduce ways and
practices that will help them overcome and remain unblocked for life.
People who find themselves in a rut or unable to move forward—from artists of all kinds, housewives, CEOs, businessmen, lawyers, executives, nuns, priests, students, teachers, engineers, etc. have taken this course with amazing results.
WHEN: Sept. 6, 8, 9, 13, 15, 17
WHAT TIME: 7 to 9 PM
WHERE: ROCKWELL CLUB, Amorsolo drive, Rockwell MAKATI
FEE: P5,000 for all six sessions inclusive of snacks.
The workshop runs for 6 sessions and only one absence is allowed. Please
call 426-5375, 929-0230 for reservations and questions. Ask for Ollie!