I joined the #WalkForFreedom!

And the day finally arrived. The third annual Walk for Freedom had taken place in Sydney last Saturday, 15th of October, and almost simultaneously in 270 other locations all over the globe to raise a massive shout for freedom.
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Registrations. I just love this scene! And I just love the colour black!

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It was my very first walk, that is why I find it significant.
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Hundreds have come to take part in the stand against slavery to let more people be aware of the viciousness of human trafficking and how we can be a part of the solution.
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Folks warming up for the event! We even did massages. Again, an unbelievably awkward and uncomfortable situation for me.

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This is one of the many steps we take to fight against modern day slavery, to stand up and speak up for the millions who have been silenced by it.
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The weather was on our side that day. It was bright and sunny, and pretty windy, too (which is a bonus). And the vibe was fantastic! The crowd of supporter was very wildly diverse! People of all colours and races joined in!
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The huge pack was divided into at least 5 queues. I was in the queue that first walked off and led the walk.

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The walk took about an hour and a half just around the metropolis. Crossing streets was one of our struggles. I mean how would you take 500 people to the other side of the road without rapidly breaking apart? So as expected, there were a few times we had to stop and wait until everybody got through.
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It was a silent walk, to resemble the people who are silenced by slavery. And this “rally” breaks traditions somehow. We didn’t need to hurl up a barrage and be disruptive to make a statement. We just got to walk in silence. I was even expecting that we were gonna walk with our mouths covered with a strip of black tape like in the other walks. But I guess I missed it this time.
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I witnessed some members of the walk team being approached by random passers-by asking what this long terrain of people in black was about. And I could just imagine the possibility of being able to share with them about our the cause that we support, and grab the opportunity to be involved, educated and equipped as an individual regarding the issue.
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I honestly think I took better photos. These are the best ones I could share! #Backfest

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I’d like to emphasise that I am not directly affiliated with A21 or any group at all, but I believe that God has put in my heart the desire to support this initiative, to echo this dialogue, and help to eradicate slavery.
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Honestly, I believe that you don’t need any label to be able to help. You don’t need to have a big name to contribute. You just gotta offer some time to get to know about human trafficking, make people aware of this horrific crime, donate to the funds, and try our best to eliminate the problem in our own spheres.
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This was after the rally, time to rehydrate and take more photos!

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Nobody deserves to be enslaved. Nobody deserves to be trafficked. Nobody deserves to be sold. Humans are not commodities, but people who have life and goals and aspirations. We all have a right to be free.
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Because I had to have one.

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I feel very thankful to A21 for giving me a chance to help even in such small, comfortable ways. And I feel privileged and humbled to be with hundreds of people, thousands around the globe who choose to be a voice for the victims, to raise not just funds but most importantly awareness about this horrendous problem.
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I’d like to express my gratitude to every single person who supported my fundraiser, and believed that this cause makes sense and is for something notable. My fundraiser, High Five to Freedom is still active and alive even after I have met my target of $500. I knew I could make it before October!
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Visit www.a21.org to get to know more about human trafficking and how the A21 campaign is working towards setting people free and helping them rebuild their lives and identities. Find information on donating, fundraising, getting involved and other relevant things as well.
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R.
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Your love songs #UNPLUGGED

Ladies and gents, the kids will be at work again to bring you #UNPLUGGED. Our aim is to bring you your favourite love songs that reflect your life stories and soundtracks with a new and delightful sound–all acoustic, all #unplugged.

This is going to be a special night of live acoustic music, jam, nostalgia and some d&m, or heart-to-heart if you like.

Book your tickets now because they’re pretty limited! Again, this is Filozart’s first ever gig, so it must be extrafun and extraspecial. See poster for important details. Hope to see you guys there!

Rie Manaloto unplugged

Rie Manaloto

R.

This November: #UNPLUGGED

And our youth is at it again! Come and see Filozart’s very first gig we have called ‪#‎UNPLUGGED‬. Join us, jam with us and enjoy a night of acoustic music and heart-to-heart.

Watch out for updates on Filozart’s Facebook page. See poster for details. Book your tickets now!

Rie Manaloto

R.

Éponine

Chilling on Pinterest and I was surprised to find my sketch from not more than 2 years ago. It’s a fan art I submitted to the Les Miserables page, which gained some public attention. Find it here.

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A very simple, minimalist, designer’s sheet-inspired digital watercolour art. (That line has used at least 5 adjectives)

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Screen-capped from the Les Mis page. All in all the post gained more than 1K ‘likes.’ Not that ‘likes’ still matter.

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Here’s the second artwork that didn’t make it to the page.

Éponine by Rie Manaloto

R.

The Grounds of Alexandria: not quite a review

Just by looking at this signage, I already knew that I was going to enter something special and out of the ordinary.

The title’s said it. This is not a resto review, or an Urban Spoon entry. I almost did not share this on the Artiste, but because of this place’s “unspeakable wonder”, I thought I’d put something up about it anyway.

Came here on a pretty extraordinary Friday, not to mention it was the first (and maybe the only?) Friday the 13th of the year. I had a very fun and reflective time with a very good friend and Ate, Ate Aileen. We thought we’d call it a “pre-valentines Fri-date”!

You might notice that I did not (or was not able to) take enough photos of the place, simply because I was literally awestruck I was almost gawking the entire time. It’s like everywhere I looked, there’s something flabbergasting to appreciate. Also, I don’t think I can write enough about it so I decided to simply share with you a few photos I took when I was there.

I am so not over this place. I’m definitely coming back.

Rie Manaloto

Thank Yous

This post was originally published on the FilOz-Art Facebook page the day after the concert. I thought I’d share it here as well.

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Words are just inadequate to express our joy and gratitude for every single individual who has made this very special event possible and nothing but successful.

The incomparable love and support of our parents and families. The warm support of our friends and loved ones. The invaluable help of our critics. They are massively appreciated. We love and treasure you all!

To our amazing directors, Geraldine and Ferdie, who believed in our abilities and strengths since Day 1, inspired us and helped us accept our faults and weaknesses, and taught us how to rise up and improve ourselves. We know that Thank You is hardly enough. But thanks for making a difference in our lives. We will always remember and treasure the important lessons we got from you.

We’ve only just begun. Wait for it. Wait for more.

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Rie Manaloto

R.

Twelve faces. Twelve stories.

Happy New Year! This got to be my first post this 2015. I have been incredibly busy since the year has started to roll.

As you might know, I’m doing a concert with FilOz-Art Youth called “WAIT FOR IT” this Saturday (which is tomorrow, gosh). The team has been preparing laboriously and working so hard for this show. So many hours, days, weeks have been spent on this building and cultivating this unique and remarkable project. It has been just an amazing ride, and a fantastic roller coaster of an experience! I wouldn’t even attempt to explain it cohesively right now.
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I thought I’d make a post about the twelve personas who are the main highlights of this show. It’s all about our stories, our issues, viewpoints, experiences, opinions, dilemmas, passions and aspirations. These factors have been interwoven with the art of performing, mainly imbued with and/or shaped by music and theatre.
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ANDREO: Unstoppable passion and a remarkable talent.

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BRYAN: Heartfelt ballads, warm and soothing voice.

BRYAN: Heartfelt ballads, warm and soothing voice.

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NIKKI: Riveting dance moves, limitless strength and passion.

NIKKI: Riveting dance moves, limitless strength and passion.

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ARON: Musical creativity and flexibility, tasteful piano tunes.

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SEREENA: A dynamic character embodying strong and flaming determination.

SEREENA: A dynamic character embodying strong and flaming determination.

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YZZY: Perkiness and charm like no other, a voice that needs to be heard, understood and valued.

YZZY: Perkiness and charm like no other, a voice that needs to be heard, understood and valued.

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Remarkable determination, strength of character and the will power to make a difference.

CJ: Remarkable determination, strength of character and the will power to make a difference.

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MILAN: A wire on fire blazing with fluttering fun and unstoppable enthusiasm. The life of the party, the essential icing on the cake.

MILAN: A wire on fire blazing with fluttering fun and unstoppable enthusiasm. The life of the party, the essential icing on the cake.

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ISABELLE: Incredible charisma, mellifluous voice, singing prowess, delightful personality--all rolled in one.

ISABELLE: Incredible charisma, mellifluous voice, singing prowess, delightful personality–all rolled in one.

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ANGEL: A beautiful spark of charm, sweetness and innocence.

ANGEL: A beautiful spark of charm, sweetness and innocence.

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A potent mix of undeniable talent, strong performing prowess, charm and unique persona.

TIARA: A potent mix of undeniable talent, strong performing prowess, charm and unique persona.

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And finally, me:

RIE: Artistic versatility, experimentalism, creative improvisation, and an earnestly open mind that hungers for new knowledge, creative exploration, recreation and cultivation of self.

RIE: Artistic versatility, experimentalism, creative improvisation, and an earnestly open mind that hungers for new knowledge, creative exploration, recreation and cultivation of self.

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Twelve young people all wanting and needing to be heard, understood, valued and appreciated. Yes, we are young, but we are still growing, we are still learning and developing. We are not finished shaping what we want to be, what we are meant to be. There are still many things that we are yet to discover and explore and love. We are simply not done yet. And that’s what we all gotta wait for–us.

Anyway, that was just a glimpse of what the title and the show actually mean. So if you’re interested and intrigued, come and watch “WAIT FOR IT” this Saturday, 10th of January, at the Waratah Room, Rooty Hill RSL. Tickets are sold at $35. Hope to see you there!

The poster. I told you there's twelve.

The poster. I told you there’s twelve.

Rie Manaloto WAIT FOR IT.

How rehearsals look like

This is basically how rehearsals look like. Some of them.

#WAITFORIT. Coming Soon.

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Wait For it by FilOz-Art Youth|Coming Soon|January 2015|#WAITFORIT

Rie Manaloto for Wait For It, Sydney Australia, January 2015. Post by Rie Manaloto

 

8th of October

I’m pretty sure all of us have that one friend (or maybe a bunch of them) who’s long gone but is never forgotten. And this friend, who’s been probably gone for some ten long years now, still owns a very special place in my heart. Her smile and her sweet voice remain strongly in my memory. And every time the calendar tells me that it is her birthday, I can never take it for granted. I will always have to make sure I think about her, and let all our friends know, and tell them to do the same. It’s always been like that in the last ten years. And we miss her just the same.

Happy birthday to that long-gone-never-forgotten-and-forever-missed friend who has gained early citizenship in heaven, Pam! You may be dimensions away from us but we know that you are at home with our Lord. (Pamela Jean C. Luarca, 1992-2004)

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R.

Photo from Pinterest.

Rie Manaloto

Trends, trends.

OK. One interesting thing about the social media today is the existence of what I can call the “nomination trend” (I don’t know the perfect way to call it, and I don’t care). It is when one online user gets to do something cool or funny or ostentatious, and then share the fun (or the sorrow) with their peers by “nominating” them. The lucky nominees (or the hapless victims) do the same thing, and thus, a whole phenomenon arises.

A few examples of the “nomination trend” includes the famous ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which originally was initiated in order to create awareness about ALS disease (but eventually used as a perfect excuse for fame-wh*res to flaunt their bodies and some MMK-ish play-acting). Then there’s Jam Nomination (getting nominated to sing any song you like); the Thankful List (getting nominated to write ten things you’re thankful for); your Favourite Bible Verse (getting nominated to write your favourite Bible verses); and then there’s the Facts challenge (getting nominated to write 20 facts about yourself).

Pretty thankful that I haven’t been nominated to do any of these until last weekend when I got nominated to the Facts one, then the Scripture one. Since I was kinda bored and got nothing too important to do, I actually gave it a try. It wasn’t too bad, and I did it in more or less than five minutes. And so, here’s what I wrote:

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20 FACTS

1. A Minimalism freak. Because less is more.

2. I have ailurophilia. Google that for yourself.

3. I sing random songs so randomly any time I feel like it. Throw me a word or a phrase, then I’ll sing it back to you.

4. Like singing Soul, Jazz and R&B.

5. Ultimately love Alex Gonzaga like mad. Like head over heels for her.

6. An education student. Teaching is one of my passions in life.

7. Actually think that I have a talent for graphic design, painting, photography, and anything Visual Arts.

8. Believe that watermelon is disgusting.

9. Sort of aspiring to become (as I know I would make) a good film scorer/sound designer/composer for screen.

10. Could be very snobbish, bur really friendly on the inside.

11. I only learn things that interest me and stuff that I find relevant.

12. Dreaming to actually work behind the camera one day.

13. I listen to Kyla and Ariana Grande everyday. They’re just some of the most important items on any of my playlists.

14. I love musical improvisation. I think it’s the real art in music.

15. Love BLACK. Black looks good on anything.

16. I drink about 2-3 litres of water everyday.

17. The Tomorrow People is seriously the first American TV series I got so massively infatuated with!

18. I make sure that I always engage in a super casual, real and honest conversation with God everyday.

19. I am a fan of Black music.

20. My most favourite people in the world are teachers, mothers and singers.

BIBLE VERSES

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

Visit my Instagram account to actually find out who nominated me and who I nominated to do these things. I was pretty hesitant to conform but I thought it’s just this one time anyway.

R.

Rie Manaloto

Gary V in Sydney!

Seriously, seriously one of the best Filipino artists to have graced the Australian concert stage ever. Talk about blowing the roof off a concert hall by an enormous amount of energy and brilliance, and relentless cheers and shouts from the crowd.

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Dubbed as “Mr Pure Energy” Gary Valenciano has come back to Oz for a series of shows in celebration of his 30th year in show business. The tour has kicked off in Sydney, the first of his five destinations all around Straya. The concert was a sell-out!

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After those three fruitful decades of superstardom, THE Gary V has proven that he still is the unbeatable and insurmountable “Mr Pure Energy”—a powerful, whirling force of nature; energy personified.

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The concert royalty also revealed that he will be turning 50 this year, which I find really astonishing as he does not even look or sound like it. His moves remain fiery and electrifying. His voice still reflects his dynamic and beautiful soul. His energy is just as infectious and dumbfounding as always. All those put together, Gary V has won over the crowd, singing some of his most popular hits ever like “Di Bale Na Lang” that has set the concert hall on fire; “Di Na Natuto” (which, clearly, fired up the women in the audience, I must say); “Babalik Ka Rin” that got everybody nostalgic about the good ol’ days back home; and many more.

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Gary performing “Babalik Ka Rin”

One of the most special parts of the concert is when Gary seamlessly and soulfully sang a medley of soap opera theme songs that he popularised (and probably made successful) or “Gary-fied” as he’s absolutely had his own way of personalising these old OPM tunes, breathing new life to these compositions, and making them sound new, majestic and glorious. The songs have got the crowds singing along to them (which was good, but really annoying); some were left in tears (and that includes my mother because she loved all those teleserye’s that Gary sang the theme songs of).

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He is gifted on the piano, too! He has amazing improv skills. No wonder he’s a great composer.

Gary proudly introduced his eldest son, Paolo Valenciano who has been making a name in the music industry by being the band vocalist of “Salamin”, and by co-directing Gary’s “Arise Gary V 3.0” anniversary concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in the Philippines a few months ago. Accordingly, Paolo will also be directing Toni Gonzaga’s anniversary concert at the Mall of Asia Arena this coming October. What I am most excited about is that he is set to release his first solo album quite soon (which I already had a preview of, and dude, we all gotta watch out for this man!). All these must have really made the music icon an extremely proud dad.

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I am a fan of this artist!

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The father-and-son tandem sang a medley of popular Beatles’ hits, high-powered, melding pop, rock and a bit of funk with so much intensity and authority. They also did an inspirational ballad mashup featuring Gary’s all-time popular hit, “I Will Be Here”, and Martin Nievera’s “I’ll Be There.”

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The father-and-son duet!

The arrangements for all the songs he performed in the concert were astounding and compelling. Thanks to the genius of Mr Pure Energy himself who has redesigned and revivified these classic tunes. The audience were thrilled and mesmerised to hear his very own classics rearranged, infused with mainstream beats and dance-flavoured sounds, like his “Hataw Na”, “Look In Her Eyes” and “Eto Na Naman” (arranged by his other son, Gab Valenciano) that had the audience on their feet, jumping and dancing along while trying to capture each moment on their tech gadgets. Incredible multitasking, I must say.

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Filipino musical director and arranger, Mon Faustino.

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When everybody realised that the show was nearing its end, the crowd clamoured for “More! More!” after every song that finished. And just like any other show, some unexpected glitch (like a major one, i.e., power failure of some sort) tried to ruin the show and stopped Gary from performing with a backing track. But the concert icon managed the predicament very professionally and proactively, and came back for more upbeat singing and grooving.

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That’s like one of his signature poses.

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Special filming for “SayTay”. Interesting.

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He has a thing for percussion, too! Incredible.

Saving the best for last, Mr Pure Energy sang his popular Christian hit, my personal favourite, “Take Me Out of the Dark” with a message about trusting and committing our lives to God while sharing his life’s experiences, miracles and important lessons.

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Overall, it has been an unforgettable experience. It was very unfortunate that there wasn’t an album signing sesh, and it really frustrated me because I was really looking forward to meeting him and Paolo face to face. Nevertheless, I know and I am quite sure that that wouldn’t the last time I’d see them.

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Taking his last bow.

It has been a massive privilege to have watched a great Filipino icon perform live and showcase his immense gift of singing and performing, alongside his great gift of inspiring people and communicating God to them. Genuine excellence. Natural cool-ness. Incredible talent. He makes me more proud to be Pinoy.

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So surprised to see Maki Ricafort in his band. I am a huge fan of this guy! He’s awesome!

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With Maki!!!!!!!! Didn’t get to take a photo with Gary and Paolo, but at least I have one with Maki!

(Photo redisplayed) Here’s Paolo Valenciano’s pre-release, sample copy (or like a preview copy) of his first solo album. Man, I’m loving it! The songs are sounding quite terrific. Can’t wait for the full version! Watch out for this guy!

R.

Rie Manaloto

Do You Want To Build… A New Lair?

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I know that the world suffers all kinds of problems every single day. And today, for me, it can’t be more sad to try to come to terms with the fact that my only favourite TV series, The Tomorrow People has been cancelled primarily because of the apparently ‘insufficient’ TV ratings, which I just don’t understand because this series is massively, massively incredible.

The fans have fought hard to try to convince whoever needs to be convinced to keep the show and glissade down to a second season—voted in polls, tweeted media bigwigs, campaigned on various social networks and blogs, and consistently watched the few remaining episodes every single night it’s on. I guess it wasn’t enough reason to save our Monday lair. I am just completely devastated.

Just last night, I was contemplating on how the story will flow on the next season. I mean, d’oh, the story is not even finished yet. It was on a roll. What the hell would’ve happened to John and his badass uncle, Jedikiah? How about the whole new Ultra? How did Stephen’s family react on apparently the second death of their dad, Roger? What’s gonna happen to #JASTRID? And #STARA? (Yes, with their respective hashtags. You should visit Twitter a lot more often, folks.)

Dude, they could’ve taken it to places. It could’ve summoned more ingenious breakout stories, double-crossing incidents, chasing scenes and what not.

Anyway, emotional vent hole-ing aside, TTP has been quite a fantastic show. It’s not like it was defeated because the content was pitifully bad, or the audience didn’t appreciate the quality of the craft, nor the great prowess each actor in this show possessed. Not to mention the astounding special effects. Gosh.

I really think that in one way or another, it has triumphed in maybe one of its many objectives, and that is to create a remarkably captivating sci-fi series that will not only capture people’s minds and imaginations (and, all right, hearts, too), but will also leave an ineradicable mark in them. That despite the show’s cancellation and the management’s refusal to renew it, people will still talk about The Tomorrow People, people will continue to relive and reimagine each formidable scene, remember each punch-line and kickass-line, and admire the resilience in the characters of Stephen, Cara, John, Astrid, Russell, the bad guys as headed by Uncle Jed, the Founder and all other artists that are worthy of note and have all made an imperishable mark in our imaginative minds.

I don’t usually fall for fictitious stuff, especially ones that involve science or whatever kind of physics or supernatural. But this one has really made a significant difference. And an unforgettable one, too. I give respect and reverence to all the brilliant writers, producers, the creative minds behind such an extraordinary work. You all did a terrific job!

Having said all that, and I understand the potential reaction to the cheeseballs, I just want to pretty much express my deep admiration, gratefulness and appreciation of the whole TTP venture (and of course, a bit of sadness for yet another end of an amazing ride). Nevertheless, I wish every artist and production member all the best for future endeavours, and many more successes in the industry. You’re all tops! Real tops!

R.

This isn’t over.

This isn’t over.

Just saw the season finale of The Tomorrow People. And I only got a couple of things to say. This isn’t over. It’s far from over.       R.