Monthly Archives: February 2015

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in Manila!

Beauty and the Beast BroadwayEarly last year, it was announced that the Broadway musical of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will be coming to the Philippines as part of its international tour. Despite the shows being scheduled just this year, tickets were sold beginning mid-August of last year. This was another once in a lifetime opportunity I cannot miss, so I immediately bought tickets for me and my family. And since then, I patiently marked off the dates of my calendar until the most-awaited day came.

On January 17, it was the day I got to witness the love story of Beauty and Beast unfold before my eyes. The musical was based on Disney’s movie adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. On one hand, it intrigued me how they were going to relive the movie through Broadway. On the other hand, I also looked forward to the show being vibrant and entertaining. I wasn’t able to watch the local production of Beauty and the Beast before, but now that the show comprised of international cast, it set my expectations higher.

I remembered I couldn’t contain my excitement that apart from reaching CCP earlier than expected, time seemed to be ticking by slowly as we waited for the show to start. A couple of hours passed, once we were allowed to enter the theater, we were greeted by a mesmerizing backdrop on the stage with branches and thorns surrounding the border and a blooming big red rose projected on the upper right side of the backdrop. I must say, it greatly contributed to our anticipation for an enchanting journey of the show. When the show began, I inevitably found myself being lured in to it as my eyes were glued on the stage, concentrating on what’s about to be revealed.

Despite my knowledge on the show’s plot, I was still eager to watch the show and see how it fared to the movie. The opening song alone convinced me enough that it will not be a disappointment. Hilary Maiberger, the one who played as Belle, was definitely a beauty. When she appeared on stage, I knew she would make a good characterization of Belle. It didn’t stop there. I was utterly impressed by the other cast – from the Beast, Mrs. Potts, Lumière, Cogsworth, to the villains such as Gaston and Le Fou. All the cast were able to perfectly capture and portray the characters from the movie. They truly owned it! I won’t deny that they made some changes from the movie, but that didn’t stop me from loving the Broadway musical. Their unique musical adaptation of the story surely brought laughter and heartfelt feelings to the audience.

Overall, having watched this show was worth the money and wait. Aside from the cast, the props as well as the costumes used in the production added to the magical element of the show. The production team evidently utilized a wide array of colors to capture the mood of the scenes. Even the choreography was spectacular! It left me speechless and at awe. But of course, everything wouldn’t be complete without the live orchestra. In a way, they created a portal that allowed us to transport ourselves into the world of fairy tale which demonstrated the true meaning of love and beauty in its simplest form. Kudos to all the people who made the production a success. I was undoubtedly entertained all throughout. May the tale of Beauty and the Beast live on for as long as time could tell.


One Hundred Christmas Proposals by Holly Martin

I bought the Kindle edition of this book together with One Hundred Proposals last year as it was on sale on Amazon for only $0.99. I immediately read this after One Hundred Proposals .

Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

One Hundred Christmas Proposals coverThe eagerly anticipated follow-up to One Hundred Proposals.

If you thought Harry & Suzie’s life couldn’t get anymore sweepingly romantic than Harry asking her to marry him at the end of One Hundred Proposals – think again

It’s Christmas in a snow-kissed London, and have vowed to carry out one hundred proposals in December. No easy task at the best of times – made even more complicated by Harry & Suzie trying to plan their first Christmas and a visit from the dreaded in-laws. But one hundred deliciously Christmassy proposals later they find themselves asking if everything is still perfect in their own relationship….

Welcome back to the divinely warm world of One Hundred Proposals – with a sprinkling of pure, joyful, festive magic.

Have yourself a very merry Christmas indeed with Holly Martin’s Christmas novella.

I extremely enjoyed reading One Hundred Proposals that I expected this book would also have the same effect on me. But since Harry had already proposed to Suzie, what’s in store for them now? This sequel had brought a mixture of sadness and excitement to me. Sad because it’s shorter since it’s a novella, but also excited because Harry and Suzie’s love story continues on! Moreover, it’s Christmas-themed! I just wished I had read this sooner as it might have just livened up my Christmas spirit more.

It was seen here that the PR stunt Harry pulled off was a huge success. As such, they pursued another batch of one hundred proposals set during the Christmas season. The only thing different here was instead of focusing the proposals on Harry and Suzie, it was now the clients’ turn to get the limelight. This different approach done by Holly Martin made the book even more interesting to read. I love how Harry recounted their clients’ proposals through his blog. This allowed readers to get a glimpse of the couples’ love story and how each proposal incorporated one memory or significant object that was meaningful to their relationship. I must say, the proposals were diverse, unique, and memorable. It was also fun to read the reactions of the ladies.

But of course, Holly Martin still centered her story on Harry and Suzie’s relationship. After the proposal in the previous book, Suzie prepared herself for a transition to the next chapter of her life, that is, marriage. I admired how Harry and Suzie’s chemistry remained strong and intact. Likewise, Harry would go extra miles to prove how much he extremely loved Suzie. It was so sweet and definitely swoon-worthy to the point of me hoping someone like Harry would exist in reality and be my guy!

Overall, One Hundred Christmas Proposals did not disappoint. It was a bit predictable, but this did not stop me from enjoying the book. Despite just being a novella, One Hundred Christmas Proposals was a great and satisfying follow-up to One Hundred Proposals. Holly Martin wrote another wonderful, romantic story that will make readers fall in love with love again. Aside from it being a love story, this book also became a significant life-changing moment to Suzie. She definitely grew and matured as a person, as she was able to improve and strengthen her relationship not just with Harry, but with her family and friends. And best of all, I believed the 100th Christmas proposal deserved its position as the priceless closing scene of the book. Holly Martin surely knows how to make an emotional ending that will leave readers craving for more. Nuff said.

One Hundred Proposals by Holly Martin

The title caught my attention on Twitter sometime last year when it was mentioned by a fellow book blogger. As much as I’m a sucker for love stories and romance, I’m also a sucker when it comes to proposals and wedding-related things, probably because I wish to see myself in that phase of life someday. Anyway, my curiosity about the book’s plot got the better of me, so I added it to my reading list and decided to buy the Kindle edition of the book on Amazon.

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

One Hundred Proposals cover‘Is there really such a thing as a perfect proposal?

Over the next hundred days I intend to find out. I will find one hundred ways to propose to our Chief Proposer Suzie McKenzie and post the results here for your enjoyment. One thing’s for sure, not one of my proposals will be on top of the Eiffel Tower with a dozen red roses.’

Best friends Suzie and Harry are partners in romance. That is, they run, coming to the aid of would-be grooms to create the ultimate marriage proposal.

But when Harry decides to catapult the business into the big leagues with a PR stunt all Suzie can see is a hundred days of heartbreak stretching ahead of her. But however exotic the location, or breath-takingly romantic the setting, Suzie has to keep remembering that ‘Marry Me?’ is the one question she can’t say yes to.

This business proposal should come with one hundred broken heart warnings…

One hundred proposals, one hundred chances to say yes.

Reading the synopsis alone brings out a lot of questions from me: How would one person find one hundred ways to propose? How would Harry do one proposal per day every day? What would the proposals be? Where, I wonder? And why would the proposals entail heartbreak to Suzie? The idea may seem far-fetched, but at the same time, it still intrigues me on how Holly Martin will strategize her plotline as well as on how she will make her character pull it off with all those proposals up his sleeves. Either way, this PR stunt sounds interesting and gives me the impression that I’ll enjoy this book fully.

One Hundred Proposals introduces us to two main characters, Harry and Suzie, who run a website about proposals. These two best friends help their clients and potential clients produce a perfect proposal. However, out of the blue, Harry decides to go against the cliché and instead, comes up with other perfect ways to propose. But will he succeed?

I love the suspense and mystery this book provides. Even the readers couldn’t guess what Harry’s plans are and once it’s been revealed to us, BOOM! The overwhelming wave of emotions during his proposals will knock us out. It is also through these proposals that we get to understand Suzie’s heartbreaking moments, unbeknownst to Harry. At a glance, Harry and Suzie are mere strangers and distant to me, but as pages are turned and story develops, Harry and Suzie somehow become my friends and their feelings are gradually exposed. While the book is told in Suzie’s point of view, I’m glad readers are also able to witness Harry’s point of view through his blog entries.

Holly Martin surely impresses me with her writing style. As the story progresses, there’s also character development happening between the two dynamic, unique characters. Through the process of my reading, I slowly become invested in the characters, empathizing with them and fervently hoping for their happy ending. Moreover, the proposals are, indeed, spectacular and extraordinary! I’m not a fan of proposals done in public, but Harry manages to take his proposals to a whole new level and make those a unique experience for Suzie – whether it’s a success or a failure. His determination could easily be seen through his actions and proposals. Plus, the places and countries they’ve been to somehow allow me to visit those without ever having to leave my home.

Overall, I’m highly entertained with One Hundred Proposals. Holly Martin delivers the story well and succeeds in making me glued to the seat as I read her masterpiece. Devouring this book in just three days is worth it. It had me laughing and giggling at one point, to worrying and biting my nails off the next. As crazy and intense as it may seem, One Hundred Proposals is definitely an effective marketing strategy to promote one’s company specializing in that aspect. Readers will learn a lot from this. People may have their own ways to propose, be it a grand gesture or a simple one, but I guess this book also intends to show us that what matters most is the person proposing is also the one who wants you to spend the rest of his life with. To my future husband, may your proposal whisk me away for our journey towards happily ever after. Hihi!