“The story of the Filipino is not written on paper, but in music and dance.” – Ed Lapiz, Founder Kaloob Dance.
The vision of the dance troupe Kaloob is to keep the story of the Filipino people alive through the “studious research, documentation, preservation, appreciation, promotion and creative reuse of fast-vanishing Philippine indigenous music, dance and rituals.”
Watching a Kaloob dance production is quite spectacular. The costumes are exquisite, the dancing is beautifully choreographed and the lighting and live musical accompaniment compliment the dances perfectly. We were lucky enough to see them perform Friday evening at the Philippines International Convention Center in an auditorium originally built for the 1994 Miss Universe Pageant. Needless to say, this was a great start to our weekend cultural activities.
Saturday we spent the day exploring Lake Taal and the Taal volcano at Tagaytay, a couple hour’s drive from our hotel in Quezon City. We enjoyed the boat ride over to the volcanic island. Once there, you can hike or take a horseback ride to the top of the crater to view your surroundings. It’s true the view at the top is pretty amazing. And you can see steam rising from the earth in a few places while catching a whiff of sulfur in the air coming from the active volcano.
The horse ride sitting in hard wooden saddle on an animal that is more the size of a pony was harrowing; I recommend you save the 500 pesos and just walk the 4.5 kilometers to the top. Incidentally riders and walkers share the same path. Be prepared upon arrival locals will attempt to sell you everything from dust masks to cold drinks and souvenir photographs. Politely refuse if you’d rather not, even if you have to repeat yourself a hundred times.
Chalk this one up to “adventure.”
After reaching the mainland again we enjoyed a wonderful lunch freshly prepared and awaiting our return. Local tilapia just plucked from the lake, chicken adobo, sautéed vegetables and rice hit the spot. On our drive back to the hotel we stopped to buy some exotic fruits to try. Read all about it in the previous post.
Everyone appreciate the late start on Sunday exploring the historic Intramuros, or “Walled City” which is the oldest district in Manila and the original seat of government when the Philippines was under Spanish rule. Today it’s a well maintained tourist attraction as well as home to schools and universities, museums and churches. It’s a nice place to spend a few hours or even a day. There’s also a regulated handicrafts market with quality handmade goods at reasonable prices.