Last February 4, 2012, a Saturday, I woke up from slumber and immediately opened my Facebook. I was not expecting much since my friends would most probably be out somewhere. Seeing my contact’s recent statuses, I suddenly noticed an announcement from Carlos Celdran that he will having a Blogger’s Barter for Livin’ La Vida Imelda (The Performance). More than caffeine, this jolted me awake and I immediately opened my blog email – firstname.lastname@example.org to send in my intentions to watch the show. I was not expecting to make it to the first twenty (20) bloggers to make it but I felt that it might be a lucky day.
Just as I thought that I did not make it to the cut off since there was no immediate reply, I resigned to seeing this performance on another day as a paying guest. However, last February 5, 2012 (Sunday), I woke to good news! I was one of those who made it to the cut-off. I was thrilled that I even posted it on my blog’s like page which drew comments from other bloggers who also made it for the Blogger’s Barter. Just as my fellow bloggers already had something for the barter, I was still basically arguing with myself with which to give. I realized that since Carlos is a “Bacólod-addict” of sorts, I gave him a box of Merci Pasalubong.
From my little niche in Ortigas, I commuted to the venue at Yupangco Building in Chino Roces Avenue or what we popularly know as Pasong Tamo. From the MRT’s Shaw Boulevard Station, I took the train to the Magallanes Station which always give me funny smiles. I decided to cool down a bit at Alphaland Southgate Tower to update my blog with an article about PUREZA’s film director Jay Abello. After eating my early dinner, I decided to go to Silverlens Gallery by taking a tricycle. I did not have a hard time finding the building. At the entrance I met a fellow blogger, Cristina Raposa of Style Espresso who also availed of the barter.
I was just in time for the opening of the venue at 7:30pm and did not have to wait. Entering the venue, I immediately noticed some minimalist renderings of Imelda-commissioned structures in the CCP Complex using electrical tape! What made me happier is the fact that the artist is also of proud Negrénse heritage. I took the last seat of the third row for me to have a good vantage point of the performance. Minutes before the performance, I noticed steady streams of foreign guests who also came to see the show. Somehow I think that a Carlos Celdran in any show would always draw good crowd. I am privileged to be one of them as well.
The show started with a video that summarizes parts of Philippine history. Indeed, the Philippines is one curious case from nearby Southeast Asian neighbors. Series of colonizers like the Spaniards, Americans and Japanese have since passed by and ruled island after island yet we seem to have an unbelievable obsession for our colonizers, particularly the Americans, among neighbors that so hate their former colonizers still. Much of Imelda Marcos’ time revolves around American influence from the liberation to the times of recovery to the Presidency of his husband. Everything has to do with these Americans and their ultimate interest.
The show definitely had the boom that I always see with Carlos Celdran’s performance. This boom is a unique class of its own and I call “Carlosian”. How do you know? Imelda Marcos’ very own identity and birth is already a center of controversy. This beauty of Leyte definitely carries even now a mysterious charm and some rumors that we may never confirm. Imelda herself was initially not accepted in the mainstream alta-sociedad even with her Romualdez roots. Her marriage to an Ilocano politico, their rise to powers is as mysterious as the rumors that surrounds them but one thing’s sure, they changed the country so much forever.
By how the show was run, it was well thought and prepared with the concept packaged well. You can never go bad with Carlos for he himself is a performer. The show was pretty much derived from the Livin’ La Vida Imelda tours he gives at the CCP Complex but this time fuller flavor of sing, song, more acting and dance. I was surprised that I was even pulled into the performance. I was very shocked at first but this is what made the show special, the audience very much has a part on it. I sat back on my seat pretty much blushed but happier. The performers and Carlos himself pretty much captured the crowd not just well but full well.
Learning history, both factual and speculative, has never been this fun. Who would not have fun with comedic relief that is spiced with hard history? Truth, the underlying rumors, mysteries, destructive gossips and conspiracies forever hounds this archipelagic country of ours but we do not need to bump our heads with them. Perhaps people should learn from history and take in to consider what Ferdinand and Imelda’s though misguided aspirations were for, a nation of equality, free from the rule of the oligarchs once and still does rule nation. What change did our country have after the almost three decades since Marcos’ rule end?
More than the laughs, it makes us think deeper into the story of this power couple who will forever captivate the imagination of our people. It disturbs us but at the same time entertains us and with that I give a loud Kudos! to Carlos Celdran. The show was worthy indeed of my time and so as yours too. Livin’ La Vida Imelda will have another show tomorrow at 8pm and on February 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 to March 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10. The tickets to the show is worth P800 which is actually cheap for a good show but students get it half at P400. What are you waiting for? Catch this awesome performance in a date most convenient for you.