Sometimes I do wonder when I'd begin to lose this spark; it has happened before, it could happen again. I've a pile of hundreds of art stamps to remind me that once upon a time I considered philately the height of a cultivated life. But blogging--not just yet, I hope. At the risk of sounding cocky, I feel as if I've just been warming up. Let's see if the heat spreads around some more.
To mark this blog's first birthday, I intend to spend the next few days giving away treats and freebies, responding to readers' requests, answering questions that have piled up, posting new exclusives--all right, I'm nearly done with the breast-beating.
Eto na lang, a surprise: Someone who likes what he sees in this blog gave me a copy of a rarity--an entire performance of “Miss Saigon” in Manila recorded in December 2000 and preserved on DVD. This has never been seen before on YouTube or in any commercially available format, though video clips of “Miss Saigon” in German, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, even Finnish are all over the Internet.
Stranger still, the Stuttgart (Germany) production has its own cast album but the stellar Manila run doesn't, considering that “Miss Saigon” would not have happened without the gold mine of Filipino talent that Cameron Mackintosh and company struck in the Philippines. Arguably, by virtue of its seasoned cast that had animated most of the musical's other productions worldwide, “Miss Saigon”-Manila was the most significant and most deserving of preservation in CD or video after the Broadway-West End runs.
So I'd like to share with you this valuable record of homegrown world-class artistry writ large on the CCP Main Theater stage, beginning with a clip of the first big song of the musical, “The Movie In My Mind,” sung by Isay Alvarez and Lea Salonga--a full decade after they first electrified London with it.
(Sorry, the excerpt isn't embeddable anywhere else, for copyright purposes. Enjoy it here while we all can.)
[video copyright © Saigon Company Philippines/Ang Bayang Makulay Foundation/Cameron Mackintosh]