Saying Thanks at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

I am a Catholic.  Finding and visiting a Catholic church during the duration of my travel has always been like something automatic.  It’s like an involuntary response of saying Thank You every time I am heftily rewarded.

And now that I am in New York, I made sure that the Catholic church that I would visit to say my sincerest gratitude to the Holy Heavens would not just be any other ordinary church. I made sure to enter and visit the largest neo-gothic cathedral in the United States, St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

saint patrick’s cathedral

awe-inspiring!

had to light up a couple of candles to complete my saying thanks…

calmness and serenity seem easy to achieve

St. Patrick’c Cathedral is as magnificent as it is massive.  What is so unique with St. Patrick’s Cathedral is that it is a European-style of a church that is centrally located at America’s ode to consumerism and one of the most expensive shopping district, the 5th Avenue, no less.

It comes not as a big surprise then that St. Patrick is the patron saint of a local Catholic New Yorker.  And despite its being located in the busy street of 5th Avenue, as you walk in and gaze heavenward, achieving the sense of peace and solemnity seem easy to achieve.  Thus, saying a deep prayer and thanks was something uncomplicated and effortless to do inside.       

And just like any other Catholic church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral definitely completed my NY adventure.

San Patrisyo, salamat…

The Electrifying Time Square NYC

Stepping on Time Square every time a person tours and visits New York is always one of the main highlights.  I know that locals, unless they work there, would as much as possible avoid this pandemonium of a place.  But since I am a tourist, I have all the right to visit and feel the energy and vibe of Time Square.

New Yorkers should be proud and be pleased by the sense and feel that Time Square offers to its visitors.  Time Square for me seem to be the modern-day center of the planet.  There is no official language on this spot of earth.  Everybody seem to speak of their own.  And Time Square is one big animal that seem to celebrate a non-stop party, 24/7!

I don’t know but every time I step on Time Square, there seem to be some weird electricity that seem flow in me.  Maybe, this is the physical manifestation of a place being so electrifying!

Here’s a couple of photos I shot during my recent stepping on Time Square…

Basta! Ay lab dis pleys…

 

Dear Evan Hansen: My New Musical Favorite

I don’t remember how I got to know Dear Evan Hansen, the musical.  Maybe it is because I so love songs from various musicals and I adore Broadway musicals that is why my algorithm just simply popped Dear Evan Hansen on my internet searches in the past.

And since I live half-way around the world away from New York City, I just have to satisfy myself from listening to the beautiful soundtrack of this musical and watch snippets on YouTube of Ben Platt singing the musical’s songs on American TV shows.

where majority of the letters were written…

stole a shot at the end of the show

the cast…

One of my workmates can attest that I am a fan of this musical because when he (Chef Juan Carlos Lima) travelled New York for a short holiday 2 years ago, I actually asked him to buy me a souvenir shirt of Dear Evan Hansen. Chef Juan Carlos when I was showing him the photo of the Dear Evan Hansen shirt looked so puzzled and so funny because he does not have any idea on what I was talking about.

But now that I am in New York, I promised myself that no matter what, I will have to watch this award-winning musical.  And I did not fail myself because last Wednesday I got to actually see it at the Music Box Theatre!

Its an Experience!  Only the stone-hearted will not be moved by this musical.

where it’s running…

Dear Evan Hansen though profoundly contemporary will definitely struck everyone’s inner chord.  Everyone can actually relate to the story and there seem to be like an Evan Hansen in all of us!  And I agree to the popular reviews in past that it will instantly pierce the viewers’ heart and will burrow it through to their consciousness.  I for one was crying.  As in like C.R.Y.I.N.G!  I was like having waterfalls on my freaking face! And I was not the only one who was crying because I can actually see and hear people in the audience sniveling, sobbing and clearing their snot!

May you be a young or an old person, a parent, a person with or without a parent, a student, a worker, a friend, a person with insecurities (which everybody got), a person who feels being like an outsider (who hasn’t?), Dear Evan Hansen definitely is one of the most relatable musicals I have ever seen! Even on the first song, you will already be so hooked because it is way too relatable!  It is as if the musical knows us so much and was written about each and every one of us.

I thought I already saw my favorite musical when I was here in New York four years ago.  Well, I guess that has changed.  And I think it would take a very beautiful masterpiece of a musical to topple Dear Evan Hansen as my favorite.  Dear Evan Hansen is clearly an EXPERIENCE!

my playbill… love it!

#youwillbefound

I only have one wish now that I have seen Dear Evan Hansen.  And that is someday, this great musical arrive the shores of Manila because like what the musical says…‘no one deserves to be forgotten’.  And when it arrives in Manila, I will be one of the first persons to watch it again.

Ang galing! Peyborit!

The Vessel at Hudson Yards

It has taken me six days to initiate writing about my new New York travel.  Reason behind it is because I was just so zoned out by the magnificence of the very extraordinary centerpiece of the new Hudson Yards known as The Vessel.

The Vessel is the hottest thing to see now in New York City.  And it is said that The Vessel is one awesome piece of sculpture that is meant to be climbed.  I for one did not miss the opportunity to do such. And as what Hudson Yards website indicates, it is a new focal point where people can enjoy new perspectives of the city and one another from different heights, angles and vantage points.

Climbing the highest point of the structure which is almost a mile of a vertical climb was actually something easy for me. It is 16 storeys high!  Not because I am still fit but because I am so used to climbing stairs higher than this one which usually happens when elevator service in my condo is not available (I stayed at the 24th floor).

The Vessel with its network of stairs and landings offers some remarkable views of the city, the river and the Hudson Yards itself.  I was so lucky to make it to the first batch of people who were allowed to go up on the day of my visit.  Yeah, I was early and was too excited!

 

I particularly don’t know what this structure would do for the city aside from attracting visitors like me.  There has been actually quite a number of mixed reviews about this structure but for me honestly, I like the look of this structure from the inside than that of looking from the outside.  And when I looked down at the center of the structure from the highest point and landing, all I can utter was a big Wow!

For me I highly recommend seeing The Vessel when you are in New York City.  One more awesome thing about The Vessel experience is it’s for free.  Hudson Yards is not fully finished yet, I will definitely be back in the future to check on the full work of this new NY landmark.

Ang kool!

Will Facebook Miss Me

New York City is considered the modern mecca of a modern urban traveler.  It is known that if you are a connoisseur in the scene of world travel, you have actually not traveled at all in case you have not been to the city that never sleeps. 

one popular photo i posted in my FB during my 1st NY visit

I will be in New York City next week and this is going to be my second time in that juggle city.  During my first stay, I, like any other millennial and pretend-millennial (like me) bombarded my Facebook account with multitudes of photos of various spots, points and sites of New York.  And like any other travels I had in other parts of the world, these Facebook-posted photos earned me swarms of likes, wows and hearts which of course brought to my foolish pleasant feelings of happiness.

I however will post some tough challenge upon myself.  This time around, I will not post anything about my NY travel on Facebook page.  I would nevertheless continue on writing on my WordPress blog about it and as an alternative to such deprivation the only social media that I am gonna use will be my unpopular and often ignored Instagram account. 

Unlike Facebook, in which I got more than a thousand friends and followers I only got less than 300 followers in IG.  Most of them are IG users whose intention is to increase their number of followers, i.e.,  they would follow you just for the sake that they be followed back and later in the week will unfollow you after they noticed that you have followed them already.  And my other IG followers are either inactive or my close relatives.

One deviation though to this challenge is that I will allow friends I caught-up with or new friends I will meet during this travel to tag me in their own FB page.  And second, I will not totally stop viewing and liking FB posts of my dear FB friends.  To be clear, I will just not post anything about this NY travel on FB.

With this challenge in mind, will my FB friends try to seek my blog posts and increase my WordPress viewership?  Will there be an increase in my Instagram followers who are sincere and authentic? Will my Facebook followers who hates my posts gets happier?  Would it end up to the signs of the Second Coming of Jesus?  Will it kick me out of ketosis? Would it make me anything less of the person I am now after this challenge?  Can I survive it? Will Facebook Miss Me?

Kayanin ko kaya?

For Forever by Ben Platt

The songs and music of Dear Evan Hansen (the musical) is giving me reasons to want to fly and spend another beautiful adventure in the city of New York.  And while I try to find a window on y very busy schedules on the possibility of flying to NYC, I let myself be satisfied on playing and replaying the musical’s soundtracks in my Spotify account.

And when I saw this performance in The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, it further my wanting to fly to NYC.  This I guess is the best performance that this song can possibly be sang!  From the faultless singing to infectious involuntary facial twitches and from the impeccable lyrics to the seamless exhibited raw emotion, his rendition in this video can simply be spelled as P-E-R-F-E-C-T!

I will really be upset in case Ben Platt, nominated for Best Actor in a Musical, will not be awarded the Tony this year!

Kaiyak… Perpek!

Wicked (the musical) In Manila: A Wickedly High-End Run

This will most probably be one of the last write-ups of Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz musical as it ends its latest run here in Manila.  Me, my sisters and Nengkoy (of course) had the awesome opportunity to catch and watch the last performance night here in Manila.

We were of course bedazzled and captivated by the sheer magnificence if the costumes, the colors and the music of Wicked.  But I will not write anything about the musical for there has been millions of it in the web.  Instead, let me deliberate on the venue and the people on the night we watched the show here in Manila.

Unlike my sisters and Nengkoy, it was my first time seeing a musical show in Solaire Theatre.  I have seen a couple of shows in Broadway, New York but never was I been so stunned and dumbfounded by the high-endedness (is that a word?) of Solaire.  The theater was so modish and dashing there were moments when I doubted being in poverty-stricken Manila.  While waiting for the ushers to allow us inside the actual theater, the well-lighted foyer area was played with chic jazz music.  I never noticed or heard stylish jazz or muzak being played at the measly lobby and waiting areas of New York theaters. In some New York shows, we the audience actually have to queue at the cold and dusty side street.

nengkoy & my wicked sister with her high-end bag! bag lang nya ang high-end sa amin nung gabing yon. hahaha!

pictures muna

me & my sister… defying gravity…

And what further dumbfounded me were the rest of the audience.  Everyone was well-dressed for the night.  Well-dressed, I mean well-dressed.  Gentlemen were in their crisp long sleeve shirts with matching coat and necktie while the ladies were dressed to the nines.  Some ladies were even donning in elegant gown and seem to have been to some pricey beauty saloon prior to the show just to watch Wicked, The Musical.

I was actually so shocked, wearing just a polo shirt and my old dungarees, I could not control my utterances about the theater and the people.  I told my sisters that I have seen a couple of Broadway shows in New York but the atmosphere was never this chic, high-end and elegant.

Buti na lang di ako nag-tsinelas.  Taray… Walang ganyan sa Nyu York!