Ballet, Hansel and Gretel

I met with Raisa and Claude in Gateway Mall because we were to review and discuss topics for their upcoming examinations. Raisa also gave Mon and I two tickets for the collaboration performance between Ballet Manila and South Korea’s Yewon Dance Company because she won’t be able to watch it. It was slated at 5PM and I had adequate time to catch up with these girls and even if we should be reviewing, I had a great time laughing with our crazy stories. I also met up with a seller of secondhand college entrance exam booklets from, and I bought the lot of five books for Php 600. I had no idea how much they cost brand new in National Bookstore, but as they were as good as brand new and already with plastic cover, I think the price was justified.

Ballet and movie tickets

At around 3:30 PM, I had to leave and take the train until MRT Taft because Mon’s Korean class usually ends at around 3PM. I expectedly arrived past 4PM and we still had to eat some snack. It was also not easy hailing a cab and we were still waiting for one even if it was already 5PM. The show has already started. We did not know how the seating arrangement was, but when I mentioned “Korean Embassy” to the marshal, we were led to this row:

The seats in this row were not all occupied

Ballet Manila and Yewon Dance Company

Ballet Manila was already performing “The Prince of the Birds” and we were catching our breath from running. It took me a few minutes to take everything and realized how amazing Ballet Manila was. The last time I’ve been inside Aliw Theater was when Kim Chiu was crowned the Big Winner in the first ever PBB Teen Edition. LOL We were sneaked in by a teammate because he was part of the production team. We just finished watching another ballet performance of dancers from France (it was organized by the French Embassy and my visiting professor that time gave me some tickets, maybe because I gave him one before for our annual dance concert). So, more than half a decade after, I found myself sitting in Aliw Theater for free again.

Low quality picture of us during the intermission


Pas de quatre of Yewon Dance Company

After a 10-minute intermission, the Yewon Dance Company began performing and it was really nice to see the audience being appreciative of our foreign guests’ performance. It was a series, mixing both classical ballet and Korean traditional dance. I especially adored their wonderful tutus. =D Too bad that I did not have my camera with me because I left it in the office! Luckily, an officemate was working on a Saturday and I asked her to keep my camera until Monday. How on Earth did I manage to forget it? Anyway, even if I had my camera with me, it was actually forbidden to take pictures/videos of the performers and there were a lot of marshals with their flashlights, reprimanding people for not complying with the house rules. It was really distracting.

The show ended before 7PM and we headed straight back to the MRT because we had a 9PM movie to catch in Gateway Mall — Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. I love how poker-faced Gemma Arterton was, but I clearly had enough of Jeremy Renner. It was unexpectedly funny and gory and I no longer cared if it was extremely panned by critics in Rotten Tomatoes. Imagine, naming the troll Edward. LOL The movie was clearly not taking itself seriously and I loved it for that!

We indeed get what we give

I finally cried last Friday night because of this song. The earlier Tuesday, I was really running low and exhausted because of the stress I’ve been feeling and I almost cried. But last Friday, however, was for real. I did not exactly know why, but a large part can be attributed to frustration. I’ve been wanting to cry for weeks but I was bottling it up. It was a relief, though. I am now feeling much better.

So why this song? I loved this so much because it reminded me of the good ol’ days when I was still in high school. I was almost fourteen years old when this song came out in November 1998 and it was like an anthem for me. These lines had a nostalgic effect to me:

           But when the night is falling
           You cannot find the light, light
           If you feel your dreams are dying
           Hold tight

And then of course the wonderful chorus. Just like any teenager, I went through a rough phase of being rebellious and spiteful towards the world. I think that until today, I had carried on some of those anger. That defense mechanism you have against most of the people around you that you don’t trust, and true friends are/were the true people you can let your guard down with.

While typing this, I think I have an idea from where that frustration is coming from. I feel like I’m swimming in mediocrity. Not that I think that I’m mediocre because I can frankly say that I’m very grateful to be always in the company/group of the best people. Since I was young, from grade school until high school, I was always in the first section but not clearly the best in the class — even always teetering on getting the lowest grade in Math.

I’ve been in the best university in the Philippines but I was not the best French-speaker in the class. I was part of the best cheerleading/cheerdance group in the country (admit it, UP Pep is the best) but I was never the best dancer in the group and used to think that I did not deserve to be around that wonderful squad. I always have a nagging feeling that I must have cheated my way in each of these group and I did not deserve to be in their company one way or another. However, the persistent part of me always think that I deserved it.

It sucks to be mediocre. And now that I’m not admittedly giving my best, I already know what I might be getting. But that moment of random weakness I exhibited last Friday was a good outlet. I can now go back at being mad and abrasive. Just kidding. Seriously, I can’t always compare myself to my peers because I know that I also got the music in me. This must be just exam nerves.