The Blog and Tour Schedule of Carlos Celdran. A man who is trying to change the way you look at Manila - one step at a time. Telephone: (02)4844945 Text/Cell:(0920)9092021 or Email: celdrantours@hotmail.com

Thursday, September 29, 2005

CARLOS RECOMMENDS!


GUILTY PLEASURE
Although I really shouldn't be promoting junk food or any of it's ilk, kindly allow me to introduce you to my latest vice: The Korean-owned 9 Pizza 7 Chicken. Available only in Ortigas Center for now, the missus and I love it so much, it's actually on speed dial for those days when we just don't feel like dealing with the kitchen. Made with 3 kinds of beans instead of white flour for it's dough, real Danish Cheese instead of those lab-tested chemical emulsions, and kneaded with mineral water instead of tap, it's definitely a healthier alternative to most of the frankenpizzas available out there. They have seafood (complete with grilled shrimp and crabstick), pepperoni, and vegetarian pizzas (our usual order) for those into missionary position style pizza, but they also offer sweet pumpkin and bulgogi selections for those who are into the more "exotic". It's a pizza, slash scallion pancake, slash hopia, slash God Knows what. All I know is that I like it. Their Spicy Chicken is also commendable for it's generous pieces and no-holds-barred seasoning. And although its main branch on Meralco Ave. (right beside the overpass) is too surreal for my tastes (what with it's country inn/ghetto/korean grocery style decor and Karaoke rooms), their food is well worth the experience if only for take out orders. Good thing they deliver.
88 Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
637-8000
636-1461

Thursday, September 22, 2005

AHEM...


There. I'll say it again and I'll say it loud and clear. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ain't so bad.

Actually, I'm having great fun being a staunch supporter of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
It has been making me so unpopular with my peers that for once I actually know what it truly feels like to be cutting edge. My decision to ignore the anti-Gloria movement and let the tiny tempest that is Gloriagate stew in my mental teapot of irrelevance are moves that have been called "elitist" and "immoral" by more than a few. Descriptions that I really don't mind. Morality has never been a strong point of mine and middle class sentiments (or lower) are things I have always detested in principle. And if I remember correctly, the surrealists were also called the same in their time. And at the end of the day, I'd rather keep company with them than with Cory Aquino.

Really. I wonder what it says about a society when supporting the status quo has become an avant garde activity?

Picture above: The pathetically sparse anti-GMA rally that blocked Makati traffic for hours last September 21,2005.

And although somewhere inside I'm secretly saying "Go ahead and throw their asses in jail, Tita Glo!" I know as a fact, martial law can never happen again.

Communication systems are far more superior in the civil sector than in the government one, the military is far too fragmented to implement it properly, and at the formerly fearsome military facility Fort Bonifacio, the only iron-fisted despot to be found is Aslie Aslanian, the doorbitch/dress code enforcer of Embassy Super Club. Ironically, shutting up in this country is by choice now. Such is the state of a country that often mistakes sedition for democracy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

CARLOS RECOMMENDS!

THE FILIPINO BOOKSTORE by Bookmark
264-A Pablo Ocampo Sr. Ave., Makati City
(between Metropolitan Ave. and Zobel Roxas)

tel. 895-8061 to 65
I don't usually give trade secrets away. But I'm in a good mood today, so I think I'll share this pearl of information with all of you mortals out there. Tucked away on Pablo Ocampo Sr. Ave. (also known as Vito Cruz Extension) is the best Filipiniana bookstore in the Megalopolis. From photo albums of Old Manila and Corregidor, to biographies of historical icons like Imelda Marcos and Jose Rizal, to children's books, postcards, cookbooks, and limited edition publications, The Filipino Bookstore is definitely the place to go for all publications Filipino. And the best part of it all is that they are ALWAYS ON SALE! Either that, or it's so cheap that it feels like it is. I once found a rare monograph, THE ART AND ARCHITECTURE OF LEANDRO V. LOCSIN for only Php3000.00. Insane. This is where I go for my Christmas shopping or for giveaways for my tours. Don't tell anyone.

Monday, September 19, 2005

ART! ART! ART!

A really interesting exhibit for those into Indie animation. Blacksoup is only open for four hours a day from Tuesday to Saturday so make sure to confirm by calling 4398838 before showing up. They also have a wine selection and workshops for video and film on weekends.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

WHEE! WHEE! WHEE!


MANILA PAPER
The city was so nice, they did it twice.
After their last feature by Edward Peacock back in 1999, uber stylish wallpaper* magazine is once again featuring the City of Manila for it's October 2005 issue, this time through the words of Chris Moss and the images of Jonathan de Villiers. Published in their sister publication Navigator (which comes at the back of wallpaper* magazine every six months), the article is a wonderful analysis of the Manila's architectural cache with some brilliant insights by the writer. A special concentration is given to our fair city's modernist heritage with a mention of it's historical connection to the Marcos regime. It's rather steep Php500.00 cover price is well justified not only for it's words, but also for it's fantastic photographs of the Iglesia Ni Kristo, the Meralco Building, a particularly stunning one of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and some quotes by yours truly peppered within. So nice to see Manila being finally featured as a proper Holiday destination; especially for such a discriminating audience like wallpaper*'s readers. Now if only they didn't spell Manila wrong on the front cover...
wallpaper* magazine is available at National Bookstore, Mag:net, and most other magazine kiosks in Metro Manila.

ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE!


SEMI-CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS

Do you recognize this bearded man? Well, If you've seen the indie mockumentary hit, "A Day Without a Mexican" by Mexican cartoonist/writer/filmmaker Sergio Arau, the man above plays Dr. Abdul Hassan. His real name is Raul A. Hinojosa Ojeda and he is also a professor at UCLA and a specialist on the North American Free Trade Agreement. He recently flew into town to give a talk at the Asian Development Bank about providing microfinancing to third world societies through "pasa load" style money transfers. He just popped up at my Sept. 11 tour and we went out for drinks together afterwards.

Photo: Myself and the Missus flanking Abdul Hassan while Malate's favorite councilor, Cita Astals looks on.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

GRRR! GRRR! GRRR!

A perfect example of why some of these anti-gloria folks tick me off.
A conversational thread between me and Mr. Tony Abaya re: his article Military Intervention?

MY REPLY to his article:
Well. Nice to see that the idea of Gloria not resigning is now being considered - although reluctantly by many. Point of everything here is that many of us don’t CARE if she CHEATED. To feign moral indignation for what she did in a country where practically everyone cheats - in one way or another - is just hypocrisy. And I think were all waking up to that now. NOW CAN WE PLEASE CHANGE TOPIC? Hey I hear the SEA Games are being held here in November. Can we talk about that instead?

HIS REPLY:
By your logic, Ferdinand Marcos should not have been kicked out either since what he did - cheating in the snap elections of February 1986, stealing the country blind, killing political opponents – is done by many others, anyway. And by the same logic, Joseph Estrada should not have been deposed either, since getting kickbacks from jueteng is done by so many others also.

AND MY FINAL REBUTTAL:
Please dont ever try to put words in my mouth, Mr. Abaya. You are oversimplifying my comment. But re: your answer, my reactions are mixed.

FRANKLY, I truly believe that people DID NOT kick Marcos out for cheating per se. But I DO AGREE THAT People kicked him out because he was stealing money and killing people though. The cheating was merely the camel that broke our back. NOT THE MAIN REASON. Because if it was due to the cheating, Marcos would have been kicked out way before 1986. And why didnt you mention Fidel Ramos? Didnt he cheat too?

Erap is proof enough that a proper mandate does not assure good leadership. And Cory Aquino is also proof enough that moral leadership also can make shitty presidents.

Im not saying cheating is ok. I'm just saying that we should look into Gloriagate beyond it's moral issues (which is really the only stand being presented). I want a more tangible perspective. THERE IS NO COHESIVE ALTERNATIVE PLAN BEING PRESENTED BY ANYONE AT ALL! The opposing camps have not presented shit. They all say kick her out but never tell us what they will do once she is gone. We all need more proof than what is presented in those DOCTORED Tapes and a contingency plan post-resignation. But I guess all is moot now because the impeachment was thrown out anyway. Ha!

THANK GOD.

Monday, September 12, 2005

ART! ART! ART!

The sunset view from the 33rd floor was stunning. And as the wine flowed, and folks took to their seats, Silver Lens Gallery began the first of it's series of art open fora called "Conversations" last Saturday, Sept. 10. Hosted by yours truly with Third Space Alternative Gallery founder, Goldsmith College alumni, and conceptual artist extraordinaire, Yason Banal as guest, the focus of the evening was his current exhibition, 18 Stations to Death and Dementia and our interaction titled, "It's a Crazy Planets! Starlets, Dementia, and Pop Deathstetics". The pros and cons of photoshop and blogging were analyzed, anagrams were used to compare icons and non-icons like Imelda Marcos, Sharon Cuneta and Kris Aquino, and words like "zeitgeist," arbitrariness", and "macabre" peppered the two hour conversation, along with art-snob catchphrases like "the cult of celebrity" and "Pop culturati". All in all, it was delightful evening of fabulously pretentious post-modern discourse served liberally and unabashed. We hope to see you all again at the next one. Yason's show runs till September 17.

Silver Lens Gallery
33C Pacific Plaza Towers, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. Ph. 8160044

WHEE! WHEE! WHEE! I THINK....

While succumbing once again to a vanity google this morning, I found an article on my tours written on a German TV Station website (NDRTV). Trouble is I don't understand a word it says. I wonder if it's a good review. If not, maybe it's best I not know. Ignorance can be bliss sometimes. But if anyone out there speaks German, could you please be a dove and translate a little synopsis for me?

Philippinen - Der Stadtführer von Manila
Die philippinische Hauptstadt Manila ist ein Moloch. Es gibt 12 Millionen Menschen, viele Slums, viele Sorgen und ständig Staus. Aber hinter der Fassade ist Manila eine liebenswerte Stadt, mit freundlichen Menschen und einer bewegten Geschichte. Die kann keiner so schön erzählen, wie der Stadtführer Carlos Celdran. Armut, Gangster, Korruption. Für Stadtführer gibt es dankbarere Orte als Manila. Carlos Celdran hat Kunst studiert, er ist auch Schauspieler, seine Hauptbühne heißt Intramuros, die Altstadt. Sie war mal wunderschön, bis Bomben sie zerstörten. Viel ist nicht mehr zu sehen, und an die Antike erinnert hier schon gar nichts mehr. Read more here....

Sunday, September 11, 2005

TODAY IN HISTORY!

Happy Birthday Ferdie!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

WORK! WORK! WORK!

TO ALL ACTORS/ACTOR WANABEES OUT THERE:

My Intramuros tour, "If These Walls Will Talk" will be turned into a multi-media theater show. This will be performed on site in Intramuros and in a cabaret style on December 2 as a one-time only private performance for a conference of international delegates. So in line with this, I am seeking three (3) actors/performers/artists or a combination of all three to join me in this endeavor.

My only requirements would be that: you be a committed individual; you speak English properly; you be PUNCTUAL (I have fired people for being late); and you be willing to have fun while working. Somber serious folks need not apply. This truly could be a fun and educational experience while you make money.

Yes. You read right. Make money. You will will be paid too. I am a firm believer in compensating people who have rendered a service to me.
To audition and learn more details, all you have to do is come to any of my Intramuros regular tours on any of the dates listed below (your tour fee will be waived):
Sept.11 - Sunday - 9:30am - Meet at Fort Santiago
Sept.11 - Sunday - 3:00pm - Meet at Fort Santiago
Sept.18 - Sunday - 9:30am - Meet at Fort Santiago
Sept.10 - Saturday - 9:00am - Meet at San Agustin Church.
Sept.16 - Friday - 3:00pm - Meet at San Agustin Church.
Sept. 21 - Wednesday - 10:00am - Meet at San Agustin Church.
Sept.24 - Saturday - 9:30am - Meet at San Agustin Church.

Fill out an application form and meet me after the tour for an interview. Rehearsals begin in mid-October. Please text 0926 2597506 to confirm attendance. Spaces for auditionees are limited per tour.

Who knows, if we turn the tour into a great stage show, maybe we can have it do a regular run, go on tour, have it produced on Broadway and maybe win a Tony.But it all begins with one step.
Looking forward to seeing you at the auditions/tour.
Actually, the photo above is not of my performance but of the musical "Cabaret" itself.

WHEE! WHEE! WHEE!

AFTER THAT BRIEF INTERMISSION, BACK TO WORK...

It seems my plot to ignore the Gloriagate impeachment crisis to death FINALLY worked. After 24 hours of deliberation in Congress (probably the hardest those fatsos ever worked in their life), all three impeachment raps against the Midget have finally been thrown out. WHEEE!

And if I am being insensitive to any pseudo-righteous citizens out there, my sincerest apologies. Please allow me to offer a heartfelt "I'm sorry" to all the transparent hacks on the TV news networks wearing black and white, as well as to you armchair radicals expressing your indignation on the web/newspapers, and to you poor fools marching up and down Commonwealth Avenue with those two attention seeking widows.

I'm really sorry that you wasted your time.

But now that things have come to a head and a constitutional decision has been made, please stop wasting ours. It's time for all of us to stop politicking and get back to work. Congress also has better things to do. Ever since this mess started, they accumulated a whopping backlog of 400 bills which still need to be addressed and passed. Enough damage has been done. We need to stop gazing at our navels and truly address the problems which surround us. Locally and internationally. I can't believe we spent most of these weeks looking at those ugly mugs in congress while New Orleans slipped into oblivion. It's time to get our priorities right.

And to do so, we must all accept these cold hard facts:

A)The impeachment complaints were without basis (it was such a flawed document to begin with; trying to pin too many things on GMA was a poor move. It totally smacked of hidden agendas).
B)Accusations DO NOT equate guilt. (See Solita Monsod article on this here).
C)Cory Aquino is completely irrelevant and is not, has not, and will never be the moral barometer of the Philippines.
D)There is NO alternative to GMA. FPJ and Roco are both dead in case you didn't notice. And she also had nothing to do with that either, ok?
and finally:
D) WE JUST DON'T CARE if she cheated in the elections. Who didn't?

Now excuse me, while I try to improve our economy by going to the mall to shop for new shoes. Ta!

Sidebar: Check out micketymoc's take on the "truth" here...

Gloria Arroyo, Cory Aquino, and "friends" during better times. Thanks to Honolulu Advertiser

Saturday, September 03, 2005

WORK! WORK! TRAVEL!

Position for Graphic Designer and Illustrator
in scenic charming Afghanistan.

I'm just spreading the word to all you artists out there with an itch to travel and interested in a little adventure off the beaten track. The company, Sayara, is young and dynamic with a very fun working atmosphere. They produce mostly meaningful work, concentrating on the social awareness field. Most of their clients include USAID, the UN and other humanitarian agencies. For information on salary and other details like airfare, insurance, transportation, food and accommodations, please email:
mireille@thewritingsalon.net


Afgan airline Ariana stewardess photo courtesy of Afghanistan Online



Friday, September 02, 2005

ART! ART! ART!

Silver Lens Gallery

33C South Tower, Pacific Towers Plaza, Fort Bonifacio Global City
Concurrent with the exhibition 18 Stations to Death and Dementia, Silver Lens Gallery is hosting an artist's talk by Yason Banal followed by a spirited conversation with Carlos Celdran, entitled It’s a Crazy Planets: Starlets, Dementia and Pop Deathsthetics. The Artist’s Talk & Conversation is on September 10, Saturday from 5 to 8pm at Silver Lens Gallery. The exhibit will run up to September 17 and is accompanied by a catalog. The gallery is open from 10am to 5pm. Please call 8160044 for more information. Admission is free.

“Ceasing to be themselves, people who have become icons eventually become part of a theoretical system with a whole production set of concepts, laws and affects fueled by a life of its own, particularly visual culture.”

Taking off from the real life stabbing of former first lady Imelda Marcos to former first daughter Kris Aquino's horrifyingly acted slasher films, Yason Banal fills up the Silver Lens Gallery this month with an exhibition that weaves illusion and reality as well as fantasy and gore, providing a stage for high art, show business, soft porn and religion to collide in all their glorious mysteries. Entitled “18 Stations to Death & Dementia," the eclectic, often quirky show features film, landscape and performance stills, as well as text, installation and video, fused together into an extravaganza of ideas and colors, stars and starlets, and a suicide note.

Yason Banal worked on a three year art project called Third Space from 1998-2000 and right thereafter headed off to England to do an MA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London as well as a Certificate in Experimental Fashion at Central Saint Martin’s, The London Institute. He has also worked at the Royal Academy of Art, Proud Gallery, Britart.com and PM Gallery, and served as Artist-in-Residence and part-time tutor at the London Metropolitan University. He has shown his work internationally, including Horniman Museum in the UK, Rijksakademie in Netherlands, Kunstlerhaus Buchsenhausen in Austria, Akademie Schloss Broellin in Germany and Oslo Kunsthall in Norway . He is currently Artist in Residence at Big Sky Mind Artist Projects’ Foundation, Friday columnist for the Philippine Star and lecturer at De La Salle University.

Carlos Celdran is a Manila based multi-media artist. An alumni of the Rhode Island School of Design, Carlos worked with Blue Man Group, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Ma-Yi Theatre Co. and Socrates Sculpture Park in New York City before moving back to Manila in 1998. He is also the co-founder and artistic director of the performance art company, Walang Pamagat Productions, from the years 1992 to 1999. But for the last three years, Carlos has been performing highly theatrical walking tours of Manila's heritage districts almost every weekend. His most popular performance piece, "If These Walls Could Talk", has even been featured in Time Magazine Asia-Pacific Edition, Australian Financial Review, and The Peninsula Magazine. Log onto celdrantours.blogspot.com for more information.