(Posted Monday, March 23, 2009 at 8:30pm)
March 19 Thursday
Cebu Pacific Flight to CDO is 4:30am. I did not sleep the night before for fear I won't wake up on time. So I left the house at 2am and went straight to the airport where I was joined by Acel and her band (Mel, Nathan and Sandy). At that time, I was in Zombie Mode.
I slept throughout out the two hour flight to CDO. From CDO, its a two hour ride to Bukidnon. She was slated to perform at the 11th Charter Day celebrations of Malaybalay City. We got our invitation from Alexis Valdivia (Chief of Staff of Senator Zubiri and also great friend). We were excited but at the same time groggy because of lack of sleep.
Alexis brought us to Bukidnon Wildlife and Rescue Center. Its a sanctuary owned by Sen. Miguel Zubiri to protect and shelter endangered species. It also serves as a rest house for the senator. The place is not yet open to the public but hopefully it will be later this year. If you're a nature-lover, then this place is a must see. The greens, the animals, the landscape were breathtaking.
We were received at the main lobby. The lobby had glass walls where you can have a glimpse of the paradise that surrounds it. It was adorned by furniture made of indigenous materials. In fact the sofas -made of rattan- using minimalistic design are typical of those done in Cebu (similar designs of which are known internationally- even used in Hollywood sets). Upon arrival we were immediately treated with the power combo meal of Banana-Q and Coke (sarap).
As for the animals, they were exotic. From bear cats to mouse dears to parrots of different sizes and colors. I just can't help but praise God for creating such beauty in motion. Here are some of the pics.
Single-wattled Cassowary. It took me almost 8 shots just to get a decent picture of this bird. The bird's constant lightning speed head movements made it difficult for my camera to capture a good shot. Nevertheless, it was all worth it. I did not even imagined such a bird ever existed.
Umbrella Cuckatoo also known as Cacatua Alba. With a Life Span of 80 years. It lives in primary and secondary forests; mangrove forest, plantation and agricultural lands. Now if your going to ask me where I got the infos... I took a picture of the label below the cage and copied the infos there so I would look intelligent. haha :)
African Ostrich. These guys are taller than me and can strut the runway with a peculiar walk that can give Tyra Banks a run for her money.
Golden Pheasant. He treads the wood as if he just came from a bank robbery.
Long Tailed Macaque. And please.. the Long-Tailed Macaque is not the one with the brown t-shirt ok? haha
As for the greens and the landscape... the place reminds me of Jurassic Park minus the electric cars and the dinosaurs...
Later in the Evening.
The 11th Charter Day was held in the covered court
near the City Hall of Malaybalay City. The event started
at around 8pm and Acel's set was preceded by three very good
comedians- Tia Belita, Iane and Ate Gay. The comedians ended
at around 11pm which posed a problem for us who followed. Acel opened with "Sulat"
(a song she popularized with previous band, Moonstar 88).
And as she started to sing almost half of the crowd started to go home, majority of them
parents and the elderly who are not used to late night performances.
As groves of people started to leave the venue, Acel had to make
quick judgment calls regarding the line up. She sang classic songs
that some in barrios can relate with (like "bato sa buhanging" and "first love").
She also interacted with the crowd more, at times leaving her guitar onstage, mixing with
the people listening below, handing them the mic occasionally for them to sing some parts (particularly during "Time After Time" part). The young people stayed with her until the end of the set. I got positive feedback from the organizers
most specially from Vice Mayor Ignacio Zubiri who was more than glad to hear the songs he grew up in.
Acel singing her hits
We went home, exhausted and thrilled. Thinking a great challenge has now passed before us...
How wrong we were...
Acel's greatest performance has yet to be...
Not with a microphone nor guitar... not onstage nor backstage...
But some place else...
And off we go to ROADMAN'S ADVENTURES: ACEL IN BUKIDNON AND CDO (PART 2)