Yay for Livin La Vida Imelda Tour with Carlos Celdran

Thursday, November 15, 2012

This is another trip with the OFW. As much as I love photo walks and being Pinoy, I am embarrassed to admit that I’ve never attended a Carlos Celdran walk until last July. It was another serendipitous gimik as the OFW was still in town and a deal for the Livin La Vida Imelda Tour. Finally, I get my first taste of “Walking This Way”.

From Carlos’ site:
It's a tour all about the Philippines in the 1970’s and the tumultous era of the Cold War, Martial Law, bell-bottom jeans, & Miss Universe. It’s a little bit disco, a little bit New Society, and completely Imeldific. So come take a trippy trip through National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin's finest buildings as we analyze one of the most controversial periods in Philippine history as seen through the life and ambitions of the lady who defined it for the Philippines, Imelda Romualdez Marcos.    
I still remember the tidbits I learned from school and it was interesting to piece them together with a different viewpoint. 

Full disclosure, Carlos mentions that at the beginning of the tour that the tour contains a lot of chismis (hearsay). I would call it conspiracies rather than chismis. Haha Carlos gives both sides of the coin with the facts and chismis that he discloses.

Here are some lessons from the tour I truly loved.
Carlos is not biased.   

He shares both the glorious and appalling aspects of what the Marcoses built.

Madam Imelda is elaborate with reason.

She maybe over the top with everything but Carlos also explains his point of view as to why Madam is like that. She is consistently about beauty and culture – that’s her personality. Some people may think she’s shallow because of it. We were colonized by the Spaniards then the Americans so our tiny nation had to show the world our identity. Carlos points out that it was during the Marcos regime when our country made waves internationally showcasing our culture. The world was noticing us.

In Madam’s quest for beauty, she showcased the best of what our 7,107 islands had to offer giving opportunities to numerous Pinoy artists.

The CCP and PICC are gorgeous.

The tour will take you around the CCP and the PICC. Unfortunately you can’t bring your camera inside the CCP so I don’t have a lot of photos from there which is a shame because it is truly majestic.

Being inside the breathtaking buildings that Madam commissioned made me like her a tad. The ornate details of both buildings mesmerized me. I was able to step foot in some areas for the first time in those buildings and I was shocked to see them. It made me wish people used the CCP and PICC more.  I wanted to capture every nook of the CCP and wished I had my camera with me. They SHOULD allow cameras inside so people can share these photos and entice others to visit.

While waiting for Carlos we checked out the exhibition about films. How apt for the production girl! I loved this filmmaker made of rattan. I want something like this for my future home! (taken with my phone)
The backdrop is made of….film! (taken with my phone)
Another exhibition during our visit.
Bad blurred photo of the orchestra practicing for Phantom of the Opera!
One word, bonggels! I want to have a party in this room!  

Carlos captures the crowd.
In most tours I’ve been to, sometimes the tourists are so busy taking photos some get left behind. Even when we were in the PICC and had our cameras, people were rarely taking photos. People listened intently to his stories not wanting to be left behind. I felt that the group respected him and his time that no one strayed or became a problem.

The biggest lesson from the tour, Perspective. Livin La Vida Imelda gave me an analytical view of our history. I thought the walk would mean stories about her shoes which initially drew me to the tour in the first place, but in spite of its absence I loved the 3 hour entertaining walking tour.

For a first timer in Manila or someone who love to rediscover our capitol, don’t walk but run and book a tour with Carlos Celdran.

Planning a trip to the Philippines? Visit Agoda for accommodation options.  

Carlos Celdran Walking Tours
Livin La Vida Imelda Tour: P1000 (adults) and P500 (students).

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