Hello from Manila!
How is everyone doing and training back in Penang? It's taken me a while to finally write something up here, but here goes! Apologies for hijacking this blog ! heh.
I am enjoying myself and am trying my best to dig deep into the lifestyle here, that sometimes I surprise myself. There are so many new and different experiences but it is also fun to see how similar the culture in Malaysia and the Philippines can be! There is much to elaborate on this in terms of language, weather (although it's much hotter here, and the typhoon rain is unpredictable sometimes!) and food.
But what really makes this one month in Manila so far fulfilling and all the more sweeter is the fact that capoeira can be one of the ways with which people from different backgrounds come together. We all know this already in our own grupo, where we are all very diverse, e.g. lead different lifestyles (sleeping and eating habits included, *hint at Menn* lol). Likewise in Manila, capoeira has helped me meet a mixed group of people and it feels easy to connect with each other through a game of capoeira, through singing and even just tambay-ing after class (tambay = lepak).
We may have different ideas even about what some things may mean in capoeira, but the important thing is we have respect for each other to realize such differences in backgrounds, experiences and philosophies, while still holding on to our roots and guidance from our own teachers. There is so much that we can share and learn from each other in what we know and don't know. Plus, it's always illuminating and fun to exchange new ideas and approaches to particular things in capoeira (or even outside!) so that you never take things for granted or look at it the same way !
I've so far trained with two grupos here, and hope to train with one more soon! Up to this point, these trainings have already exposed me to the various ways in which capoeira can be practiced and expressed by different people, and that is such a beautiful thing to see and be involved in.
I have also been doing more angola with the grupo here, Ecamar Philippines, supervised by Mestre Roxinho. They have been extremely hospitable and are some of the nicest and coolest people I've met here! So far I've learnt a lot in terms of grounded movements, music and traditions, which I feel are some of the important aspects that are often neglected in place of floreios in capoeira regional. That's why I am glad that there was a recent angola training back in Penang. I hope you guys got to see the beauty in capoeira angola and will have more classes such as these. When Kitty and I met up and talked, we agreed on how capoeira angola has a more primal, instinctive and human feel to it (well, we couldn't really describe how we felt about it, but we know we love it!).
Mestre Pastinha, known as the father of Capoeira Angola, founded the first Angola grupo
In the meantime, simply immerse in capoeira and enjoy your steps (or gingas) into this magical roda/mundo de capoeira and remember to always always be hungry for capoeira knowledge and understanding. It's the only way to satisfy as well as build your passion. If ever you have any questions about capoeira, ask Professor Parabolica, or Cavalo (Cj) and me, we'll do our best to help!
As Instrutor Soldado (Camara Capoeira Malaysia) and Professor Parabolica once said, don't forget your roots, but don't be afraid to go out, explore, absorb and share (not impose) your knowledge, love and passion with the rest of the capoeira world. Expand your roda. I know I am enjoying how big and rounder my roda is becoming here. :)
Train well, guys, and have a brilliant time doing it!
At the Pasig River in Manila, a major economic center in the past