Monday, June 15, 2009

Watching the Wanders

On Independence Day, the Wanders had a show in Legazpi. Wanders is the famous world-class show that boasts as the “Best Musical Acrobat Show in Asia.” The Wanders show was presented by the City of Government of Legazpi for Legazpi’s 50th anniversary as a city.

The venue for the show was the Albay Astrodome, which was the venue for the city’s major conventions, meetings, sports events, concerts, and the like. I am not the kind of person who watches the concerts done in the Astrodome. But I did so with this Wanders show. The reason is I know Wanders is a world-class show, and, maybe, it may be the last time I’ll have the chance of watching something of that caliber. But the main reason was the tickets were free.

So, there, I found myself with the mass of people going inside to watch the free, world-class show. The entrance into the Astrodome was filled with people. There was no organized line, so it was close to chaos. There was too much heat because of the thick atmosphere of all that people, so I was easily sweating. And it was hard to breathe, so I had to breathe through both my nose and mouth.

Not only where there too much heat, but such unorganized impatient crowd cramped together like sardines has the potential to erupt to a stampede. I was not a fool. So, I did well in doing precautionary things-to-do prior a potential stampede. I kept my cool, ignored the claustrophobic tendency, and stuck near the walls. I pitied those kids in the crowd since they were shorter and smaller – and at that level, I think it was even much harder to breathe and hotter and they can easily be crushed if there’s going to be a stampede.

But, at last, I do not know what they did, but the flow of people coming in hasten. Shortly, I was inside the air-conditioned Astrodome (another pre-stampede tip I did was sit on places near the exit).

The show was supposed to start on 6:00 pm (and another show on 8:00 pm) and I was inside about ten minutes to six. But the program actually started at 7:45 pm. Imagine the time wasted at waiting. People continued to pour in and the coolness from the air-conditioner faded.

Then, a music video of the city mayor on the job was played at the projector. It was repeated over and over for four times. At the first run, it was okay. At the second run, it was starting to be annoying. At the third, it had the potential for mental torture to make anybody insane. At the fourth, it was starting to get fun again as the place started to rain with curses from the crowd.

So, at 7:45 pm, the emcee announced the start. Our city mayor gave a speech. Though the people were restless, Legazpenos love their mayor and gave him a warm applause. There was a problem with the sound system; it was so weak to hear the mayor’s voice. But, at last, it was fixed just in time to hear the mayor’s “Mabuhay” last word. It was so funny that the sound system was fixed in time only to hear the end that I can’t help laughing.

Then, the PAGCOR Chairman, the guest, made his speech. He talked about a anti-drug campaign, complete with superhero dancers. Then, he talked of the PAGCOR major international commercial area project. Then, another music video where there was a part that goes “ikaw ang pag-asa… (you are the hope)” and the picture of the chairman freezes in the screen, then it goes again, “ikaw ang pag-asa…” and PGMA’s picture freezes. That was annoying.

One of my seatmates barked to his wife, “I thought you dragged me here so you can watch a circus act.” Someone below him commented, “Yeah. But first, there is this circus of these (bleep) politicians.”

After these stupid “front-acts”, the real show rolled. And indeed, it was a world-class caliber show. Dancers, singers, acrobats, contortionists, and acrobats filled the show, doing entertaining numbers, acts, and stunts. There was about five or six parts, and they rocked the house. A lot of breath-taking, adrenaline-pumping scenes, and occasional bursts of awe, clapping, and startled screams from the crowd. It was as entertaining as Broadway.

The show – minus the blasted political crap – was only about or less than an hour. I think the city can only afford up to that extent.

The show was the best I had watched this year. The performers of Wanders can inspire. There is something inspiring when performers work hard and have fun when they do their craft – it reflects in the stage.

Yeah. Yeah. I had written more about the events prior the show than the show itself. But Wanders is that great enough for me not to give out any more details about it so that you can watch for yourselves what Wanders is all about… if you get the chance.

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