The morning began with an impromptu ballroom dance, led by two men who lead classes in an open air basketball court. We stopped to watch, and were hailed in; we started off with a salsa, which became tango, then rockabilly and ended in a flashier modern take, where I was encouraged to add increasingly more flair. Sarah’s partner was an elderly man who remarked on her resemblance to Angelina Jolie, and then reasoned that this made him resemble Brad Pitt. Sarah and I learned to dance when we met in Mexico, so many years ago, and miss being in a place where nightly dancing beats nightly tv watching. To my ladies at home, I’m bringing some new moves for our next outing!

Then it was on to the Lino Brocka Film Festival, hosted by the multi-talented film group Tudla. Narrative and doc short films touched on pertinent historical, economic and social issues, with some clever PSAs that quickly, visually, and humorously made their point. We’ve got some exciting trips coming up; there’s so much energy in Manila, but it will also be good to shoot outwards from the city and gain more perspective…and natural beauty. China is interested in the estimated $840 billion worth of mineral wealth in the mountains, materials to be made into cell phones and other technologies. I wish there was more talk of what the value of the mountains continuing to exist is estimated at; I have a feeling the number would be infinitely higher (and last infinitely longer than a cell phone would).