That one electric Bill

Excellent, electrifying, and extraordinary. I got to see Billy Elliot the Musical start off its tenth anniversary tour right here in Australia at the Sydney Lyric Theatre. What a brilliant production!

As we all know, this award-winning musical was based on the 2000 film written by Lee Hall, which tells the story of young boy who discovers a love for ballet during the UK coal miners’ strike in the mid 80s, and how he strives towards his dream amidst the adversities. The iconic Elton John wrote the music to Lee Hall’s lyrics.

It was such an incredible experience. I’ve not seen so many kids dance and perform together to a freakishly high standard as what I’ve seen in this production. So many breathtaking and mind blowing moments throughout the show.

And the Billy on the first Saturday night, River Mardesic was just remarkable! I could not believe I was watching a 10 year old just smash it on stage. What was I doing when I was 10? Surely not tap dancing madly or flying on a harness in all the glorious fog!

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Quick snapshot post-show

By Rie Manaloto

#hillsongconf19

A time of refreshing has truly come. So blessed to be here to reflect, be refreshed and encouraged, and experience rest in God’s presence in this crowd of thousands, after a favoured yet overtaxing season.

The Lord is so faithful and so gracious, and truly, His mercies are new every single day. Praying that this gathering be filled with hope and hunger for Jesus, His Spirit and truth.

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My conference companion of many years, my sister.

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If it ain’t about Jesus

I dread the misuse of Scripture everywhere these days. Seriously, it’s just as bad as disregarding or dishonouring it, if not, worse.

At the end of it all, simply ask yourself: does it glorify God or you? Is it to satisfy/fulfil what He wants or what you want?

If the answer is the latter, then man, we are in a lot of trouble.

If it ain’t about Jesus, then y’all miss the whole point.

Humanity have done this time and again, everything they can to bend biblical truths towards their own principles and desires (the enemy’s modus operandi way back from the Garden, “Oh honey, you shall not certainly die…”).

But I believe that the Truth will stand His ground—He always will, and always has prevailed.

Colour Run

Here’s a not so traditional Colour Run photo of mine, taken by my singing student. I know. What the heck, right?

This is when you had no plans whatsoever to join the school Colour Run, yet found yourself right in the middle of it, then come back to school to do more after class tuition.

No. Plans. You could tell by my outfit. I still got my kids’ respect after all, so I’m cool.

Also, I would rock the green hair. Don’t you think?

Wear black and sing!

When you got to perform and unsure of what to wear, just do black! You will never go wrong with black.

During the weekend, our music team at Filozart have participated in the first Philippine Cultural Night at Blacktown.

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We brought in our share of Filipino culture and music through some contemporary songs that tell of our stories and uniqueness.

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It’s always incredible to sing OPM (Original Pinoy Music). It’s always incredible to sing in your native tongue, and represent your roots, especially its artistry.

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Photography by Jade and Michael Cadeliña

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Visiting an old friend

The Opera House. This place is still breathtaking to me. Seriously, how do you get over it?

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Anyway, I was here today to see Yiruma in concert. Finally! So thankful I managed to grab a ticket this time after I missed his first sold out concert a couple of years ago. I remember the tickets were selling like pancakes at the time. Perhaps, I wasn’t quick enough to buy myself a seat.

Even after arriving late because of the freaking track work, it was still an fantastic experience.

His music is colourful and sublime. Hearing and feeling it live, I was moved. I was mesmerised.

For the most part, it’s simple but it draws you in. It speaks to your soul with gentleness and sensitivity. Hence, I was hooked.

Yiruma also never used a single chart for his concert. Apparently, he doesn’t want and ever need any. He wants to deliver his music in the most outright and genuine way possible. How awesome is that?

Taking photos and videos were not allowed (of course), so as far as visual memoirs are concerned, I don’t have a lot to share. But what he made me feel and experience, it will surely linger for a long while.

Photo taken during the intermission.

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We remember

Another reflective Semana Santa. Aside from reflecting on the Gospel and the sacrifice of Christ, this season also helps me reconnect with the memories and music of my childhood.

So here’s a homage to my Himig Heswita roots. Their music helped mold my love for music.

Also, because Romans 8:10, “Christ lives within us.”

(Watch in HD)

Lighting is everything

Lighting can make or break you. Apparently.

This was an impromptu “photoshoot” with my brother, Andreo.

Man, I don’t know. But this was interesting.

Also, this was apparently done with low light, and high ISO. Whatever that means.

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Original photos by Marcus Rivera and Bob Reyes

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First wedding of the year

First wedding gig for the year. I am very thankful and favoured.

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Can I just say how enchanting weddings are? Witnessing two people profess their love for one another, and exchange lifetime vows in the presence of God and people who matter—man, it gives me feelings I can never familiarise or summon up on my own. I am easily filled with awe.

Getting to share in such wondrous occasion will always be a special encounter.

Rie Manaloto

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Sing to me, Ben!

February 1st is a definitely a good day. Tony, Grammy, and Daytime Emmy Award winner, my Broadway icon, Ben Platt drops two singles today from his much awaited debut album Sing to Me Instead, which will be released in full on March 29.

Needless to say, the two songs entitled “Bad Habit” and “Ease My Mind” are absolutely sensational. This sneak peek gave us a taste of what to anticipate from Ben’s launching album. A great blend of soul, pop and musical theatre with a strong flare of gospel. His voice has matured so much, and is ruthlessly expressive (which is his trademark I guess).

His melismas are brave and are in the right places. His vibratos are harsh! I am almost at a loss for words, and his music brings me to a whole new dimension. I simply cannot wait to listen to the complete work!

Ben Platt, you have my heart, my respect and utmost admiration. Indeed, this is a start of something incredible for him and his avid fans and supporters all over world.

Listen here: Bad Habit & Ease My Mind