Purr-fectly Memorable

November 30, 2019 at 11:24 PM | Posted in Theater | Leave a comment

It was nine years ago when an international tour of Cats had its run in Manila. Being a big fan of musical theater, I was set to watch it but wasn’t able to at the last minute due to unavoidable circumstances. Thankfully, an international tour happened again this year which included a Manila leg. This time I made sure not to miss it.

I was able to catch a limited run of Cats last week at the Theater at Solaire and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Prior to this, I’ve never watched the play before but loved the music when I first heard it as a teenager. Since then it’s always been my dream to watch it someday. Now I’m so glad that I finally did.

I’ve heard some theater snobs say that they didn’t like Cats because it has no plot. While I could partly agree with that, let me just say that the play is based on a collection of poems by T.S. Eliot about cats. So of course there’s not much of a plot in it! This isn’t Shakespeare! I’ve read some of the poems and I must say I liked them. The play might not have that much plot, but it makes up for it with incredible dance routines.

Full disclosure, I’m a cat person and I grew up with cats in the house. So it’s natural for me to love a play about my favorite animal.

Anyway, it was truly a sight to behold seeing the play for the first time. The actors were all just fantastic and I was amazed by how good they were with the intricate choreography. They were sinewy, graceful and superbly talented as Jellicle cats. Of course I was also proud that our local talent, Joanna Ampil, was cast as Grizabella. I knew she played the role previously in a European tour so I was looking forward to watching her perform. And she pretty much nailed it as Grizabella. I was in tears when she was belting out “Memory.” It was really moving. Aside from “Memory” and “The Jellicle Ball,” another song I loved from the play was “Mr. Mistoffelees,” which was perfectly performed by the cast. And I found myself singing along with them.

This was taken during an intermission in the play.

The costumes were also wonderful and I loved the fact that the actors moved around the theater and engaged with the audience in full character.

I must say watching the play was truly a memorable experience for me.

Taken during an intermission in the play.

A Purr-fect Afternoon

June 15, 2016 at 12:51 AM | Posted in Animals, Food and Dining, Lifestyle | 1 Comment
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Ever since I found out last year that there was finally a cat café in Manila, I was excited to go and visit the place with my friends. I love cats and was always curious about the famous cat cafes in Japan. It’s a good thing though that cat cafes have sprung up in Manila in recent years. Pioneering the cat café in Manila is the Miao Cat Café.

Miao Cat Cafe interior

Miao Cat Café – the name of which is a pun of the word “meow” rather than an actual Chinese name – is located along Congressional Avenue in Quezon City. It took me a long time to visit the place mainly because it’s too far from where I live. And due to conflict of schedules, my friends and I kept postponing our visit to the cafe. But last Monday, my friend Jess and I finally had the time to check it out. She brought along her 8-year-old son with us.

My first impression of Maio Cat Café was that it was simple, practical and cozy. The café’s interiors are decked with pathways, ledges and scratch posts for the cats. Customers have the option to sit at tables with chairs or lounge comfortably on the carpet with throw pillows. There were a couple of loft tables too. Of course, I wasn’t really there for the decors. I was there for the cats.

Miao Cat Cafe entrance                Miao Cat Cafe interior 2

There were about eight or so mixed breed cats inside the café. I spotted a couple of Persian cats and a Maine Coon but I forgot what the others were. Most of the foreign breeds were napping at the time we were there. The only cats that were wide awake and active that time were two local rescued cats and a black Persian. The café has a few policies about the cats. We weren’t supposed to pet and disturb the cats while they’re sleeping.

cat on a piano at Miao Cat Cafe

It was afternoon on a Monday when we visited the place so there was no crowd. In fact, we were the only customers there at that time so we had the place all to ourselves. The food at the café was delicious enough. I especially loved the pink cappuccino frappe I ordered along with the fish and fries.

Weena with orange cat

I was able to pet some of the cats there. From what I could tell, the cats were properly behaved and kept a fair distance from our food. The rescued cats though kept staring at our food and came close enough to sniff at the table. One of them was really friendly that I was surprised when he suddenly plopped on my lap and made himself comfortable.

  Weena, Miko & Jess at Miao Cat Cafe    Weena with cat on lap

Spending the afternoon at the café was worth it. I loved the cats and would have stayed longer to pet them. I don’t have a cat at home because the admin of the condo complex where I live does not permit tenants to have pets. Thanks to Miao Cat Café, I finally had my feline fix even for just a few hours.

Weena with Jess and Miko

pink cappuccino frappe, fish & fries at Miao Cat Cafe   tables at Miao Cat Cafe

Justice Meted Out

May 15, 2011 at 2:51 PM | Posted in Animals, Current Events | 2 Comments
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Finally after almost two years, the UP student who brutally killed a kitten in the school grounds is convicted by a Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court for violating the Animal Welfare Act. He is ordered to pay the P2,000 fine and do mandatory community service at the animal shelter for six months. I for one think that the punishment is not enough. But in a country where the Animal Welfare Act is not common knowledge and animal cruelty is still rampant, this is already good news. I am just thankful that there are organizations like PAWS (Philippine Animal Welfare Society) and CARA (Compassion & Responsibility for Animals) that actively campaign against animal cruelty.

It is just sad that cats in the Philippines do not get the same treatment as dogs when it comes to having them as pets. Filipinos are generally dog people. Cats here suffer the stigma of being viewed as “lazy, cold, and filthy” animals that only scavenge for food. I have encountered so many Pinoys who hate cats and hurt them or just throw them away. To them the only pet worth keeping are dogs.

It is time that Filipinos become aware that there is a law against animal cruelty and that all animals should be treated with compassion. This highly profiled case about a cat killer is a first for the country. I hope that other pending cases will receive the same justice.

Wake Up Call: End Animal Cruelty

May 7, 2009 at 5:04 PM | Posted in Animals, Current Events | Leave a comment
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For the past weeks, I have been following the developments of the case filed against the serial cat killer in UP Diliman. I first caught this piece of disturbing news from the Multiply account of PAWS (Philippine Animal Welfare Society), for which I am subscribed. What I read in one of PAWS’ blog posts was so shocking and horrible that it left me quite disturbed. I don’t want to recount the disgusting tale here as it upsets me greatly. I can only say that NO person should treat animals that way, especially those we treat as pets.

I adore cats. I had quite a few pet cats before when I was still in school and I’m taking care of two at the moment. Though pets are not allowed in my apartment, I have managed to give shelter to and care for the two cats.

I fully support PAWS’ legal action against that cat killer and already signed the online petition. I truly hope justice will be given to the poor murdered kitten. And I’m glad that so many people are taking action and supporting the cause. Kudos to GMA 7 for reporting the incident on TV. It’s high time that Filipinos become aware that we do have laws against animal cruelty.

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