Thursday, June 7, 2012

Meet Manila: Tertulia Night

If it wasn't for Carlos Celdran, I wouldn't have been able to know about Meet Manila and its event.  Good thing I follow Carlos's page on Facebook since I'm a fan!  (Ooh, try out his tours.  Believe me, it's worth it.)  Curious me clicked my way through the event invite and had myself signed up. I invited some of my friends/colleagues who loves to travel, but as usual, they ignored it.  Sometimes it sucks inviting people around you to support something that you believe in or part of because at the end of it they're just not interested, but when they have their own thing going on and needed support, they can always rely on me.  Oh well.  I'm used to it.  But, of course, I considered the date, time and location of the said event, so maybe they really can't make it.

Anyway, I'm very, very enthusiastic about Meet Manila's event.  One of my goals this year is to meet new people--positive people--aside from traveling and having my own business, and the said tertulia event was an opportunity to achieve that goal.

Meet Manila is a non-profit informational website, or an online community, that gathers travelers and bloggers encouraging them to share their traveling experiences and information around the Philippines at the same time help promote thoughtful and responsible tourism through social media.  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram plays a huge role in this.

Last May 23rd, Meet Manila held its website launch at Adarna Food & Culture entitled Meet Manila Launch Party: A Tertulia Night for Thoughtful Tourism.  As the event invite said that the party starts at 6PM, I arrived a bit earlier considering that the attendees will not arrive late.  But I was wrong.  They're the typical Filipinos, all right.  Hehe.. I'm trying to stay away from our negative traits..but I also do fail :p

The ladies on the receiving area are very accommodating and even briefed me on the program and the place.  I was given options whether to mingle with other early bird bloggers, watch the press conference or tour on Adarna's Silid ng mga Bituin (Room of the Stars) and Silid ng mga Reyna (Room of the Queens).  Since I don't see bloggers in the area because I assume that most of the people around were press people or Meet Manila staff, I paid attention to the press conference that was about to start at that time.

The said press conference was short.  Maybe the press people really didn't get what this event was all about.  Just kidding.  :p  Filipinos are known to keep mum when the floor is open for questions.  Ever experienced it at school or at work?  I did.  Most Filipinos shy away from the spotlight and doesn't want to be tagged "epal" or "pasikat".  I don't know, it's just my observation.  I would love to ask a question but I couldn't think of anything that time.

Going back, as soon as the press conference ended, I asked some staff of Adarna about their sari-sari store and their memorabilia of Philippine entertainment and some sorts.

I went to this big room where there are more dining tables meticulously arranged while photographs and other items are placed on every corner of the room.  I was then told that this was supposed to be two separate rooms, but because there's an event, they opened the divider so that people could mingle later on.

Silid ng mga Bituin on the other half of the room.  And where I'm standing is Silid ng mga Reyna

Silid ng mga Bituin
Notice how Barbara Perez resembles Audrey Hepburn?  Beautiful!

Good looking men.  Eddie Garcia looks like Gary Sinise.

first two photos on top are taken from Silid ng mga Reyna.  The latter is from Silid ng mga Bituin.
On the lower left is the voting ballot during the Spanish era, and next to it is a copy of Dr. Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere.
Ira, lower right, is Adarna's intern who gave me a lot of insights about the place.

Black out occurred before the event started.  Blame the electrical post on the other side of the street.  But on the bright side, we were able to experience how it was like 100 years ago when there was no electricity on evening gatherings.  It was surreal.  We all had candle-lit dinner.  The program pushed through even without mics and speakers on.  The hosts began with a game of riddles.  It's more of an egoistic kind of game.  Recognition is its prize, which I think is fun.  The downside to having no electricity on the place is that you don't get to hear what most speakers were saying, not if you come close to them and pay close attention to what they were saying.  So what we (bloggers and established personalities) at the table did was discuss about traveling and their advocacies.  It was pretty interesting learning so much on a little time we spent that night.

Bogart the Explorer!  I'm a fan!  Too bad I wasn't able to take a picture with him.

let there be light!
We called it a night.  Met Aix of Meet Manila (bottom right-she's in the middle), what a lovely lady.

Macy, Eric and I called it a night when suddenly the lights went on.  Half of the guests were no longer there. Oh, well, I had fun anyway.  It was great meeting Meet Manila's staff and fellow travel enthusiasts.


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