and the Cirque came to town....

Varekai, the traveling show of Cirque du Soleil, is in town. The striped Grand Chapiteau rose at the Luneta Grandstand where the show premiered on June 22 and will run until July 24, 2011. Produced by Hoopla Inc. and Manila Hotel is one of the presentors.

I said I was going to catch this show, but Manila is always a transient stop (by choice) for a couple of hours. Well, not this time.....

Everything does happen for a reason, the are no coincidences. I booked a roundtrip ticket to Manila from Davao via PAL early this year. Why? I have no idea. The promotion was just too good to pass. It had a seven-day window.

Soon after, I found out I had to fly to Bangkok for 3 days, so I scheduled it within the period. Great!
So, what am I going to do in Manila for the next 2 nights? Voila! Varekai came into the picture. Perfect! I cannot miss this show. It's would be another Cirque du Soleil story to write in my SunStar Davao column and my blog.

Varekai is by Manila Hotel. Then I remembered Chef Joie's (Josephine Yu Tanganco-Candelaria), Executive Chef of Mabuhay Palace in Manila Hotel, invitation to visit her in the restaurant when I'm in Manila. I met her when she was the guest chef at the Lotus Court of the Marco Polo in Davao promoting the Mabuhay Palace cuisine. What made the whole meeting unforgettable was when she presented her famous Salted Egg Ice Cream. It was to die for.

I was hoping to "hit two birds with a stone" (forgive the cliche), so I sent her a message. Dinner date, set. I am excited to have another serving(s) of her famous desserts- the ice cream and the dark chocolate stuffed buchi.

The generosity of the Universe didn't stop here.

Since all my dates are one area, I asked Chef Joie for a recommendation on whom to send a proposal to for possible accommodations. What do you know, she hooked me up with Ginny Banaag, Senior Vice-President of the Manila Hotel (and an angel), who immediately agreed to have me as guest of the hotel.

Now I have a date with three leading ladies-  Manila Hotel's Chef Josephine Yu Tanganco-Candelaria, Ginny Banaag, and  a lady whom I am excited to see for the first time Babyruth.

Perfection. The Universe is indeed generous.

Now for Varekai, Hoopla Inc. has this promotion to win free tickets to the show. I am asking the Universe once more that my name be picked. (See the promotion mechanics below)

Hear ye! Hear ye! The cirque is in town!

The story of cirque...........

This was the very first Cirque du Soleil show I caught way back in 2005 in Hong Kong. Amazing!


Quidam: a nameless passer-by, a solitary figure lingering on a street corner, a person rushing past. It could be anyone, anybody. Someone coming, going, living in our anonymous society. A member of the crowd, one of the silent majority. The one who cries out, sings and dreams within us all. This is the "quidam" that Cirque du Soleil is celebrating. 
A young girl fumes; she has already seen everything there is to see, and her world has lost all meaning. Her anger shatters her little world, and she finds herself in the universe of Quidam. She is joined by a joyful companion as well as another character, more mysterious, who will attempt to seduce her with the marvelous, the unsettling, and the terrifying.

It's the story of Zoe, the child.

Boum Boum

Caught Quidam, my first Cirque du Soleil show in Hong Kong in 2005

And then I caught this one at the Bellagio in Las Vegas last year (2010). What a breathtaking show! This is a must-see when you find yourself in Las Vegas. The experience is way more than what the ticket costs.

The resident show of Cirque du Soleil at Bellagio, Las Vegas

Cirque du Soleil weaves an aquatic tapestry of artistry, surrealism and theatrical romance in the timeless production, "O". Inspired by the concept of infinity and the elegance of water's pure form, "O" pays tribute to the beauty of the theatre - from the simplest street performance to the most lavish of operas - where anything is possible and where the drama of life plays itself out before our very eyes. World-class acrobats, synchronized swimmers, divers and characters perform in, on, and above water to create a breathtaking experience. Only at Bellagio, Las Vegas.

Guifà is a young Sicilian boy

Le Vieux.  Eugen is both the guide and the guardian of the theatre.

Aurora, she stands for fantasy, desire

The clowns front acts the show

The opening number

The Zebras

Catching the show with Paolo

Cirque du Soleil also presented the art of Richard MacDonald. He is like a modern day Michaelangelo.
Over 50 bronze sculptures of Richard MacDonald along with original drawings, serigraphs and lithographs featuring circus and performance artists are permanently exhibited and sold in the newly renovated “O” Theatre lobby at Bellagio.
The gallery is born out of a relationship between Guy Laliberté, Founder of Cirque du Soleil, and Richard MacDonald, a master of figurative sculpture. MacDonald feels that he and Laliberté are “similar in life long creative goals.” His work focuses on the spectrum of performing life, capturing a fleeting moment in time and immortalizing the grace, strength, joy and discipline of dancers and acrobats. His work shares the creativity and imagination that fuels Cirque du Soleil and conveys MacDonald’s sense of energy and passion.

And this traveling show in Manila presented by Manila Hotel, I want to catch.


Deep within a forest, at the summit of a volcano, exists an extraordinary world—a world where something else is possible. A world called Varekai.
From the sky falls a solitary young man, and the story of Varekaibegins. Parachuted into the shadows of a magical forest, a kaleidoscopic world populated by fantastical creatures, this young man sets off on an adventure both absurd and extraordinary. On this day at the edge of time, in this place of all possibilities, begins an inspired incantation to life rediscovered.
The word Varekai means "wherever" in the Romany language of the gypsies the universal wanderers. This production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to the infinite passion of those whose quest takes them along the path that leads to Varekai.

Icarus, the lead character

The Betrothed & Icarus

I am in the Grand Chapiteau watching Varekai.
I am in the Grand Chapiteau watching Varekai.
I am in the Grand Chapiteau watching Varekai.
I am in the Grand Chapiteau watching Varekai.
I am in the Grand Chapiteau watching Varekai.

Visualizing that I am in the show. The Universe is very generous.

And I am watching Varekai via this promotion. I will win, I believe nothing is impossible!

The "Tout est possible" contest. 

Are you the kind of person who believes that everything is possible (tout est possible)?

Join the "Tout est possible" contest and get a chance to watch Varekai by Cirque du Soleil for free!

All you need to do:

-Like the Hoopla Inc Fan Page
-Copy one of the “Tout est possible” images from this album
-Use your chosen "Tout est possible" image as your profile picture until 11:30 PM on Tuesday, 12 July 2011. The earlier you post, the more chances you have of winning tickets (or Cirque du Soleil merchandise).

All fans of the Hoopla Inc fan page who are displaying a “Tout est possible” image as her profile pic will get a chance to win Varekai tickets!

-Winners will be chosen randomly from the participants.
-Two people will be chosen as winners and will get two tickets each.
-Winners will be notified via private message on Facebook, so all participants must make sure that their Facebook settings will allow us to send them a private message.
-Winners will claim their prizes at the Hoopla Inc office.

(some photos are from the Cirque du Soleil website & other web sources)