Weekend Warrior (March 5-8): A hot-air balloon show, a shutterbug fair, and peak high school nostalgia

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True blue Manileños, recent transplants, and visitors to our city all know — there is never a lack of things to do in Manila. This is Coconuts Manila’s guide to all things good and great happening over the coming weekend. Peruse it, take note of everything that interests you, and hit us up on our Facebook page or on Twitter @CoconutsManila to sound off on what you think.

See a musical about the beloved Roald Dahl character everyone’s on a first name basis with

Photo: The Theatre at Solaire / FB

Date: March 5, Thursday to March 15, Sunday
Venue: The Theatre at Solaire, Solaire Resort and Casino, Aseana Ave., Parañaque City 

No, not Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The other beloved character, the one with telekinesis: yep, Matilda. 

The 1988 Roald Dahl book about a girl ignored by her parents who has a bone to pick with the school principal — then finds out she has special talents — has been adapted into a TV series, an audiobook, and a movie featuring Danny Devito. 

Now the award-winning musical is coming to Manila for an 11-night run at the Theater at Solaire. Bring your kids and buckle in for some “3D” magic and whimsy while Matilda flexes her telekinetic powers onstage. Tickets run from PHP2,000 (US$40) to PHP6,000 (US$117) available via Ticketworld.


Be a spectator at the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Travel World PH / FB

Date: March 6, Friday to March 8, Sunday
Venue: Carmona, Cavite

A gathering of hot air balloon aviators from the Philippines and over a dozen other countries (FYI, it’s one of the longest-running sports aviation events in Asia, founded way back in 1994), this three-day event happens this weekend in Carmona, Cavite. More than just a hot air balloon get-together, the “exchange of cultures” fiesta also features performances from global artists, from local performers from the mountain province of Banaue, to Turkish folk dancers.

Tour coordinator Travel World PH even offers transportation from certain spots in Manila all the way to Cavite. You won’t actually get to ride in the hot air balloons, but these massive floats painting the southern Manila sky should be a sight to see.

Tickets are at PHP1,099 (US$21), available when you book at (+63)917 844 8974 or message TravelWorldPH’s Facebook page. 


Come to this local gathering of shutterbugs and aspiring film enthusiasts 

Photo: Warehouse Eight / FB

Date: March 7, Saturday
Venue: Warehouse Eight, 8-A, La Fuerza Plaza, 2241 Don Chino Roces, Makati

“Overexposed: An Analog Film Photography Fair” gathers film and photography enthusiasts for a day of shutterbug geekery. See every kind of non-digital, memory-keeping merch, including vintage cameras, film rolls, analog camera accessories, photo prints, and related artworks. 

Film developing workshops and film developing drop-off booths, plus live music, craft coffee, beer, and food (with vegan options) also figure into this one-day-only analog fair. 

Door charge is PHP150 (US$3) for adults and PHP100 (US$2) for students. Event starts at 11am and ends at 9pm. For details, visit Warehouse Eight’s Facebook page.


The future free show is female at the National Museum Planetarium 

The National Museum / FB

Date: March 8, Sunday
Venue: The National Planetarium, Rizal Park, Padre Burgos Ave., Ermita, Manila

In celebration of International Women’s Day, the National Museum of the Philippines is giving women (including trans women, they point out) free passes to shows at the Planetarium. That means no need to cough up an extra PHP50 (only about US$1 — but hey, a free pass is a free pass!) to catch the otherworldly shows that run at 10am, 2pm, and 3:30pm on Sunday.

And while you’re there, why not take a peek at the female-centric shows for Women’s Month happening at the museum, which include, among other things, a solo exhibit by Filipino-Canadian artist Lani Maestro at the National Museum of Anthropology, and a lecture and demonstration of traditional Ifugao weaving at the Cordillera Regional Museum. The National Museum is open from 8:30am to 5pm.

Don’t get lost: the National Planetarium is between the Open Air Auditorium and the Japanese Garden at Luneta Park, and the entrance is at the back of the Chess Plaza. For details, visit National Museum’s Facebook page.


Hit peak high school nostalgia at Tabing Ilog the Musical 

Photo: Tabing Ilog The Musical / FB

Date: March 8, Sunday to April 26, Sunday
Venue: Dolphy Theatre, Sgt. Esguerra Ave, Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila

Running for four weeks in Quezon City’s Dolphy Theatre starting this weekend is Tabing Ilong The Musical, the classic teen drama that ran around the same time as — and probably reminded you of — its hit U.S. counterpart Dawson’s Creek. 

Nearly two decades after the ABS-CBN melodrama aired its last episode in 2003, the musical reboot will be following the same cast of characters navigating adolescence, but will be played by fresh faces in theater. The show is directed by theater vet Topper Fabregas, written by Jade Castro, and features music and lyrics by Vincent A. De Jesus. The show’s synopsis reads: “Eds and Rovic are in love, Badong drives a pedicab for extra income, Corrine likes James, James probably likes someone else, George is back in the Philippines, and Fonzy is drinking lambanog (coconut wine).”

Dare we ask, are you ready to join the gang by the river? Tickets are at PHP1,000 (US$20) to PHP2,500 (US$50) available at Ticketworld.

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