Manila Life


Hamilton Musical Review (Disney+ Movie vs. Theatre Version)

Awesome to watch the Hamilton Musical on Disney Plus performed by the original cast led by Lin-Manuel Miranda as the author and lead actor to celebrate the American Independence Day weekend.

Hamilton is a theatre hip hop musical about the story of the United States Founding Fathers particularly Alexander Hamilton. We watched Hamilton at the West End in London last 2018.

Here’s what we think about what we like about the theatre movie version vs. the live theatre production.

First Things First

This is one of our memorable dates with Rache watching the sold-out West End production of Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theatre, London last March 2018.  We almost missed this but luck was on our side, someone returned 2 tickets and we immediately grabbed that opportunity even if it was out of our budget.  I did not want to let this pass while we were in London.

Awesome to watch the Filipino cast: Rachelle Ann Go as Eliza Hamilton and Christine Allado as Peggy Schuyler/ Maria Reynolds (mistress)!

After the show, we waited for the fan moment with Rachelle Ann Go to congratulate her for the awesome Eliza performance (better than the original version).

Hamilton Disney+ Theatre Movie

Love the close-up shots of the theatre movie version that provides a more intimate connection with the characters.

This is my favorite scene — My Shot and love the cinematic shots of the movie version but it failed to capture the live energy of the thumping and clapping, the fast rap with clear diction, and the inspiring message that touched our pumped up hearts.

The King George performance of Michael Jibson in West End was a lot better and I remembered that we were laughing the whole time because the actor’s acting was on point with the British’s mocking humor of their crazy King George.

Every musical need a signature love song and ‘Helpless’ was done quite well. I understood this scene better because of the rewind sequence of Angelica Schuyler on how she secretly loves Alexander.

Love The Ten Duel Commandments movie version because of the close-up, wide, and eagle’s eye view shots that increased the drama of the scene.

I appreciate more the Rap Battle between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton because the captions were very helpful to provide context. You can pause the scene and google what happened during this time to better understand it.

I can still vividly remember  the piano/beatbox scene of Rachelle Ann Go which is way better than the original cast version.

The drama of the scenes was accentuated with the slow motions and lighting contrast during the movie version.

The message is more relevant today specially during this pandemic. You get to reflect on how and who you will tell your Covid war stories and make this moment count.

Will you be the Aaron Burr or the Alexander Hamilton in the post-Covid world?


Final Thoughts

Thank you to Lin-Manuel and the Hamilton team for releasing the Stage Theatre Movie version of Hamilton where we can experience the characters and the story in a more intimate and touching moment.

To be honest, I was inspired to make my story count more than ever during this pandemic despite the crisis, to help as many people as possible during this historic moment.

The Disney Plus movie version has better cinematic shots, more intimate relationship with the characters because of the close-ups, clear captions, and better context with slower R&B pacing. Of course, nothing beats Lin-Manuel’s Alexander Hamilton performance and we watched it over and over again this weekend.

Best of all, you can sing your hearts out in a karaoke rap session as you watch it.

The London West End Hamilton version is more awesome for us because you can feel the intense emotions and appreciate the precise synchronization of the fast rap, hip hop dance, and message delivery. We are also just proud of Rachelle Ann Go’s performance and appreciated it more after watching the movie.

I didn’t realize how special that Hamilton moment in London with Rache.  Proud to be a Filipino that night and happily reminiscing it once again.


Live an Awesome Life,
Founder, Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: We paid for our Hamilton theater tickets and Disney+ subscription.  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.

P.S. You can watch Hamilton Musical in Disney+ and you would need a VPN to watch and a US credit card to subscribe to Disney+. 

My name is Anton Diaz

And there’s a million things I haven’t done
But just you wait, just you wait…

And I’m not throwing away my shot
It’s time to take a shot

New Year's Eve Party in Manila

New Year’s Eve Party Ideas: Manila Countdown to 2020!

The city of Manila is gearing up to ring in New Year’s Eve 2020! If you love to eat good food, spend staycations with the family or are more into the club scene here’s a list of New Year Eve’s parties and packages happening around the Metro…

Our party-planning guide won’t be complete without a dazzling display of fireworks, fantastic feasts, and music to usher partygoers into the New Year.

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Haunted Manila Halloween: Official Festival Guide!

Buy your Festival Tickets Now! (with promo code: OAPxHMF)

Here’s the official guide for the first-ever Haunted Festival Manila! See you there!

About Haunted Manila

Haunted Manila Festival offers 6 nights of festivities simply because one night is not enough. #HMF2019 celebrates Filipino culture with music, film, and adventure with a jam-packed schedule of events that promise escalating shrieks of terror and tawa-iyak moments epic stories are made of.

From October 26 to 31, at the Filinvest City Events Ground, you can run for your life at the country’s biggest zombie run, Outbreak Manila. Experience terror and test your problem-solving skills with haunted escape rooms and a giant scavenger hunt by Breakout Philippines. Watch Classic Pinoy Horror Movies in our open-air cinema, Pelikulagim.

Hang out with your family, barkada, and officemates in our Gayuma Food Bazaar and Trick or Treat Game Stations. And top off the entire experience and enjoy a SANTELMO Halloween Music Party with your favorite  OPM bands.


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HIMALA Isang Musikal: Must-Watch Iconic Filipino Musical!

One of my regrets in 2018 was missing the maiden run of “Himala: Isang Musikal” which eventually won 8 awards in the 11th Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards (the equivalent of the Tony’s in Manila).

I finally watched it last weekend. It is the kind of show that will resonate with you in understanding the Filipino psyche and challenge the way you deal with people and your relationship with God. It’s also an inspiration for creative professionals to deliver excellence in their work and make a positive impact on the lives of people.

Thank you to 9 works theatrical and Sandbox Collective for the 2019 rerun of this awesome musical that every Filipino should watch.  It’s highly recommended. Best to watch without reading this review or any post about Himala. Buy your tickets before it is too late.


Ricky Lee and Vincent A. deJesus’
Co-presented by: The Sandbox Collective and 9 Works Theatrical
Limited Engagement: September 20 until October 20, 2019
Venue: Powermac Center Spotlight in Circuit Makati.
Tickets are now available through Ticketworld Online or +632 891-9999,

Mobile: +63 956 200-4909, +63 917 554-5560
Telephone: +632 586-7105.
Facebook: The Sandbox Collective / 9 Works Theatrical
Twitter: @thesandboxco / @9wtonline
Instagram: @thesandboxco / @9wtonline
Official Hashtag: #Himala2019


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Ultimate Taste Test

And the Winners of The Ultimate Taste Test 10th Anniversary Edition are…

This was literally the best Ultimate Taste Test ever!

Thank you to our Lord for making the event memorable and successful. Thank you to all the purveyors, foodies, blogger friends, industry partners and sponsors for making the UTT 10th Anniversary Edition a historic success.

And the Winners of The Ultimate Taste Test 10th Anniversary Edition are…

Live an Awesome Life,
Founder, Our Awesome Planet

A DECADE OF FLAVORS: Ultimate Taste Test XVII 10th Year Anniversary
Text by Roxi, Photos by Carmi

Sweet, sour, salty or simply oozing with umami—the Ultimate Taste Test has been serving it for ten years. And in a 10-hour feast held last August 31, Our Awesome Planet did it again!

Dubbed as the longest-running tasting event in the country, OAP’s Ultimate Taste Test XVII may have just bagged the biggest taste event title as well as it filled up the SM Aura SMX Convention Center with 40 food entrepreneurs and ~1,000 food enthusiasts.

With so much more hunger to raise the bar, this year’s banquet included 20+ beverage purveyors from Agos Pilipinas. Agos is a community of beverage enthusiasts providing avenues for the showcase of spirit cocktail, craft beer, artisanal coffee and specialty juices.

For a first-timer attending a tasting event, this notable addition has undeniably elevated my experience! I found myself wandering the hall without a care about time as I indulged in an enthusing cycle of sampling mouth-watering food and trying out delectable drinks.

Probably one of the things I appreciated most about this gathering was that it gave equal power to food lovers—seasoned and newbies alike, to quantify their food encounters. Through an online voting system, we were equipped with voices to express our verdict. We spoke and we were heard.

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Dani Girl Manila answers “Why Cancer?” and “What is Hope?”

Dani Girl is an enlightening tale of 9-year old Dani Lyons’ battle against cancer. At some point in our lives, we get a first-hand experience of cancer and how it affects our families.

The musical is about the child-like hope needed to battle against the dreaded Big C. I’ve always admired the work of non-profit organizations like Kythe here in Manila and how they are able to help kids with cancer.

Thanks to 9 Works Theatrical and Sandbox Collective for presenting Dani Girl, a relevant musical to raise awareness and empathy about Life with Cancer, again.

DANI GIRL by Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond
a musical about hope
Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium
4th Floor, RCBC Plaza, Ayala Ave., cor. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City
Saturdays and Sundays of August until September 1
Official Hashtag: #danigirlmanila
Instagram: Tag @thesandboxco

Buy your tickets now!

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Ultimate Taste Test

Foodie Guide to Ultimate Taste Test 10th Year x The Choice Awards!

9/11/2019 Announcement: And the Winners of The Ultimate Taste Test 10th Anniversary Edition are…

Greetings from Our Awesome Planet!

We are so excited for the UTT XVII, 10th Year Anniversary Edition x The Choice V Awarding Ceremonies., one of the pioneers of food and travel blogging in the Philippines, once again stages the biggest food tasting event in the country, Ultimate Taste Test 2019 on its 10th year!

This much-anticipated annual food trip enables food lovers to be food-critics-for-a-day by sampling mouth-watering unique flavors in Metro Manila from over 40+ home-based food businesses. For the 10th Year Edition, we are integrating The Choice Awards 2019 co-located at the event.

🎟️ Buy Your Tickets Now!

📅 August 31, 2019, Saturday
🕙 10.00 a.m. to 8.00 pm
📍SMX Convention Center Aura, SM Aura, Taguig

Ultimate Taste Test Fee₱800/head inclusive of…
✔️ Food Taste Portions from a minimum of 40+ Home-Based Food Vendors
✔️ Attendance to The Choice 2019 Awarding Ceremonies at the UTT2019 Event.
✔️ Food Critic Ballot for voting your favorite food discoveries.
✔️ A Taste of Agos festival of 20+ Filipino Spirits, Craft Beers and Coffee
✔️ Raffle Entry for exciting food and travel prizes!

✔️Family/ Barkada Promo:
Buy 5 Tickets get 1 Free (₱670/head)
Buy 10 Tickets get 2 free plus a reserved table

✔️Kids (50% off):
Kids (Age 4-12): ₱400/head
Kids (Age 0-4): FREE

✔️Senior/PWD Rate (20% off)₱640/head

🎟️ Buy Your Tickets Now  @

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Ultimate Taste Test

Announcing… Ultimate Taste Test 10th Year Anniversary Edition (August 31, 2019)!

9/11/2019 Announcement: And the Winners of The Ultimate Taste Test 10th Anniversary Edition are…

🎟Buy your #UTT2019 Tickets now!
📝Apply here –> #UTT2019 Vendor application form.

Dear Our Awesome Planet friends,

I would like to invite you to the UTT XVII, 10th Year Anniversary Edition of the longest running taste event in the country!

The 10th year anniversary edition is special because:

1). We are integrating the celebration of the Ultimate Taste Test 10th year with The Choice 2019 Awards 5th year anniversary for the first time

2). Due to public clamor, we are selling tickets to be part of the exclusive 1,000 food critics to determine the deserving winners of #UTT2019

🎟Buy your #UTT2019 Tickets now!

3). We are honoring all the Ultimate Taste Test winners for the past 10 years with a commemorative feature including the winners of UTTXVII 10th-year anniversary edition.

📝Apply here –> #UTT2019 Vendor application form.

(10th Year Anniversary Edition)
📆: August 31, 2019, Saturday
: 10.00 am to 8.00 pm
🏢: SMX Convention Center Aura, Taguig
🎟Buy your #UTT2019 Tickets now!
📝Apply here –> #UTT2019 Vendor application form

Official Hashtag: #UTT2019

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Performance Arts

Beautiful! The Carole King Musical Manila (Review)

YES! I still can’t believe that Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is now playing in Manila!

It’s on top of my Broadway musical bucket list ever since I missed watching it in Broadway and West End. Watching it in Manila was extra special because it was more relatable with the Manila cast, and we witnessed Kyla Rivera, whom we watched In the Heights (2011), bloom into Carole King’s lead role (2019).

Best to watch it raw, without reading any reviews and in the company of your musical-lovin’ friends. Grab the last remaining shows of the first Meralco Theatre run that’s only until July 7, 2019.

Having said that, here’s why it is sooo beautiful to watch…

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Manila Life

House 1925: Barbershop and Speakeasy for the Boys

The best gift a father can get is a family barbershop session and a day with the boys.

We are happy House 1925 opened in the south to provide the best barbershop experience with a speakeasy lounge where you can hang while you wait.

Here are some tips to organize your own grooming and booze experience with the boys…


Located in the new lifestyle wing of Molito, its name and interiors are inspired by the 1920s.

HOUSE 1925
Molito, Madrigal Ave, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Telephone: +63 917 182 1925
Operating Hours: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: House 1925

Barbershop Packages Menu

I like that they focus on providing a quality barbershop experience, with packages starting with the Old Sport (450) to the ultra-pampering The West Egg (2,255).

Shave, Hand and Foot Care, Massage, Hair Care and Color

They have all the proper grooming equipment and add-on services you would look for in a quality barbershop.

Some of the grooming products are made from organic ingredients or the best grooming products for men in the market.

Best of all, they are kid-friendly and welcoming to the entire family.

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Or a guide for your next destination?

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Or a guide for your next destination?

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