Livin’ La Vida Imelda

livin-la-vida-imelda-poster

I first joined a Carlos Celdran walking tour in 2006. I had just started working in downtown Manila and was determined to get to know the city a bit more. It really wasn’t an actual walking tour as it was a cultural tour. Going to a cultural tour in your own country about your own country sounds funny but I do credit Carlos for my renewed and passionate interest in talking about our country to foreigners, balikbayans and 2nd generation Fil-Ams — to help them find the good that is in our beautiful islands.

First ever Intramuros tour with my college buddies, Knox and Ivanna.
First ever Intramuros tour with my college buddies, Knox and Ivanna.

The best thing about Carlos is the conversations he sparks after his tours. Conversations about politics, about our country’s progress, about the Americans, about Filipinos. I’ve since joined the same If These Walls Could Talk tour thrice to accompany three different groups of people and the Livin’ La Vida Imelda walking tour. And the effect is always the same.

I’ve been wanting to drag Drew to one of his tours but haven’t had the time so when I found out they were restaging the theatrical version of Livin La Vida Imelda in CCP, I knew we had to catch it. I heard they’re doing a 4th run of the show in Silverlens Gallery this coming February 2013. Do catch it if you can. For Carlos’ tours – check his website here

But if you have some relatives coming home for Christmas, make sure you let them also see Damian Domingo’s works at the Ayala Museum and the section about Philippine 19th Century Traditional Attire.

Damian Domingo Prints
Damian Domingo Prints

When I first laid my eyes on these paintings when I was in college, I was both mad and excited. I was mad, as in really quite mad, because I didn’t understand why I never saw these images during my history classes when I was younger. I felt absolutely ripped off with my education about my own culture. And I was excited — because I finally understood just how rich our cultural heritage really is.

Our forefathers wore these everyday. They were literally wearing a “melting pot of cultures”: british top hat or the local farmers hat (salakot), muslim pants, chinese slippers, spanish lace. What a rich rich culture!

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