Beautiful people…

I guess everyone knows by now that Miss Philippines was crowned Miss World 2013 at the recent competition held in Indonesia – the first time ever for a representative from that country (even though two others had won the Miss Universe pageant before) and the first ASEAN beauty queen to bring home the coveted title.

I love the Philippines, the beautiful and friendly people…and I love how talented these musically-inclined people are and that was why I was following every round in the Voice Philippines 2013 that had just ended. Here in this video clip, you can see the winner, Mitoy Yunting,  singing with his mentor, Lea Salonga and Vice Ganda at the grand finale last Saturday night…

He was the favourite all the way, though not necessarily mine, so it came as no surprise when he emerged the winner. Some of you would know Lea from her Broadway hit, “Miss Saigon” and Vice is a popular transvestite entertainer from the Philippines.

What we call the Philippine pork leg…

PPL

…or the crispy pata is a very popular dish here but I can’t say I remember much of what I ate there. It has always been the music that appeals to me most of all and it has always been a joy to watch the singers at the music entertainment joints in cities all over the country like this guy who has been around performing in our country for a very very long time…

I saw him once in Kuching and again, in KL at the Holiday Villa Subang…and he was really funny and a joy to watch.

I was there a long time ago when my missus and I went to the Philippines on our honeymoon…

PJ
*The jeepneys of the Philippines*

…and I really enjoyed the bands at the hotel where we were staying in Manila like this one that was really very good with their renditions of songs like Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration”, ABBA’s “On and on and on” and the very beautiful duet by Billy Preston & Syreeta, “Love” that I heard for the very first time there and fell in love with instantly…

Manila band

…and of course, there was music too when we went to Baguio…

Baguio band

We stayed at the Hyatt Terraces Plaza there but it was completely destroyed in a devastating earthquake in 1990 so I’m not sure whether there is a hotel there now or not.

I can’t say I can remember much of the places we visited at the time when the country was under the infamous Marcos rule but I do recall how virtually everything was accredited to his wife, Imelda…

Imelda Park

…and we did go on a boat ride through the rapids to some waterfalls while in Baguio…

Baguio rapids & waterfalls

I have always wanted to go back and visit that country again but after the People’s Power Revolution in 1986, there followed a time of political turmoil and instability and I was not sure whether it was all that safe at the time. I guess now it is perfectly all right to visit the country again and I am sure it is very different from what it was like so many years ago but I don’t know if I ever will…