Weekly Ketchup 05 - MORE Wicked, Chinese New Year, Idolatry, and Showbiz

I did mention last week that I was going to see Wicked and I did. It was as spectacular as I expected! I've been listening to the soundtrack since I discovered the show in 2007 and I've seen some of the clips from YouTube but man, but man! The live show was something else!

From Mabelle's Facebook
However, the experience of my Sunday night show was mired by the Santo NiƱo procession. Thankfully I knew about the damn thing beforehand and was able to give myself more travel time. Still, I ended up walking a stretch of the way, which was apparently still shorter than what my friends endured.

Now I couldn't help but raise my elitist eyebrow at the absurdity of such a pedestrian exercise. Aside from the obvious traffic situation, isn't the whole thing a practice of idolatry, which Moses specifically warned against? I'm sure I didn't imagine Charlton Heston bearing the tablet down on that golden calf.

If you ask me, the Catholic leadership of this country should really do what they're mandated to do and curtail such deliberate disregard for the teachings of their church. If they relegate their energies towards making their principles consistent instead of waging their war against sex education and reproductive health, then maybe they'd get my respect.

Incidentally, the 7th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights concluded around the same weekend that I got to see Wicked. A bunch of my friends were a part of that event and I was invited to be a member of the social media team but I had to decline because I had a job to attend to.

It's a good thing I did because I actually had a writing gig last week and I wanted to finish it before I left for Wicked. I wrote an article about how Philippine cinema would come to be defined by great independent movies and not by the idiotic fares that sell at the box office. My conclusion was that the few are likely to remember a great movie like On The Job while the many are likely to forget a movie like My Little Bossings.

I could only approach the subject from an academic perspective since I'm not a showbiz-oriented person. Obviously, I'm also not a populist. So imagine how annoying this week had been for me when the real and virtual world both kept blabbing about this incident. No joke: There were days when I just wanted to hide from the world.

After Wicked, I got to satisfy my week-old craving for mantao with cuapao, which is apparently the same thing. I had some last Friday as well. I met up with some friends to join in the lunar new year celebration at Binondo. Like with CCP, traffic was so bad that I had to walk part of the way through, which was expected.

As soon as I got to Chinatown, my first thought was "Where are all the Chinese people?" Seriously, I was just one in a throng of tourists who came to experience an authentic Chinese celebration. Jon said that their family go through all the activities they need to do in observance of the new year the day before, so all the action on the streets of Binondo was mainly for the benefit of the tourists - and wow! What a party it was! It was like One Short Day at the Emerald City, except it was me and my friends in Chinatown!

Photo from Alec's FB
Yet, while we're all in a revelry mood, I couldn't help but notice the extreme poverty on some corners of Ongpin. I suppose I will never understand the masses' predilection for idols - the religious and showbiz variety, until I have nothing else.

Anyway, I did finish a few things this week: Neil Gaiman's "American Gods"; and the "good" campaign of Warlords Battlecry. And just so I don't go on a somber note, here's a funny song that I just discovered this week!

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