I always look for fun stuff in the Metro Manila area that Papa and I can do so we don’t spend all our time and money island hopping. Last night my dad, my Tito Boy, and I checked out the main local holiday attraction that I’ve wanted to see for a couple of years now.
Ayala Triangle Gardens Lights & Sound Show: http://www.ayalatriangle.com/gardens/lights-sounds-show
Thanks to Metro Manila traffic, it took us a good 90 minutes to get to Makati, which is the business heart of the Philippines and feels like most Western downtown business areas — all concrete-and-glass skyscrapers. The show is in an outdoor park that provides a nice bit of greenery in the midst of the concrete jungle. The Ayala Corporation decorates a circle of about a dozen trees with LED lights and puts on free 10-minute synchronized music and light shows every half hour from 6:00 to 9:00 pm during the holidays, ending on December 30. I found out about this last year, but didn’t arrive in PI until the day after the light show ended, so this year was my big chance. And I had the feeling that Papa and Tito Boy would both enjoy it a lot, so it was a perfect reason for a night out.
After a couple of evenings of rain, we were a bit worried that the weather wouldn’t cooperate on Friday, but it ended up being the perfect night to go. The heat and humidity let up and there was a nice breeze, so it was nice to be outside — you weren’t wishing for air conditioning the whole time. There was a good crowd of families, but not so many that it was uncomfortable or too packed to enjoy the show. We watched the first two light shows of the evening while enjoying the sweet, sweet nectar known as coffee (from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf . . . what can I say? I like my US coffee shops and love it when I can find them when I’m overseas). Six in the evening in the Philippines is 2:00 am for me till the jetlag wears off, so I needed some caffeine to make sure I could fully enjoy the show. And, seeing as several of my friends describe me as being like a cat when it comes to shiny, pretty things, the show was right up my alley.
All three of us enjoyed the shows and wanted to see more than one. I was especially pleased that the music and light choreography for each show was different, which made lingering at the park for the whole evening totally worth it. After a couple of shows, we were getting peckish so I treated Papa and Tito Boy to dinner at one of the casual eating restaurants that were in the park. We liked the menu at a place called Poco Cafe, but the wait for a table was so long that we were going to settle for another restaurant. To my delight, when I walked back to the cafe to take our party off the wait list, the host gave us a table outside immediately rather than lose our business. We’d wanted to sit outside so we could keep watching the lights so SCORE!
Even better, we were all pleasantly surprised at how good the food was — and between the three of us, our dinners were Moroccan (lamb curry), German (sausage and cheese plate, and Italian (scampi pizza). We would have been fine with average food, but everything was super tasty. Gotta love good surprises on the culinary front.
Papa liked our evening out so much that he said that if he’d known there were restaurants in the area in addition to the park, we would have gone there at noon and made a whole day of it. And he was already talking about how he’ll be taking my brother or sister to see the show whenever one of them is next out to see him during the holidays. Not bad for a free show!
Here’s the playlist with all five of the video clips I took. Note to self: when you take the batteries out of your camera and it resets, make sure you fix your video focus settings!
Currently listening to: “Burn” by Ellie Goulding
Just finished reading: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything by Col. Chris Hadfield