Five things to do this Jan. 3 to 8

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Event and activity recommendations by the CNN Philippines Life staff. In photo: The poster for Balcony Entertainment's start-of-year gig. Photo from BALCONY ENTERTAINMENT/FACEBOOK

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines Life, Jan. 3, 2023) — Start the new year by visiting an art gallery, shopping for vintage finds, attending two music gigs, and reading a Big Book.

Visit an art gallery

Gravity Art Space is back with a group exhibit for their first show of the year. The artist-run space ended their 2022 season with a bang by mounting The No Name Show last November 2022 — a program in which 148 masters and contemporaries displayed their art without their names attached to them. Curated by Pristine de Leon, “The Eye Cuts Where the Hand Lands” features the work of artists Allan Balisi, Lesley-Anne Cao, Fatima Erasmo, Babylyn Geroche Fajilagutan, Jel Suarez, and Dennese Victoria. The exhibit runs at Gravity Art Space, 1810 Mother Ignacia Ave., Quezon City from Jan. 6 to Feb. 4. — CNN PHILIPPINES LIFE STAFF

Shop for vintage finds in Maginhawa

Lately, there’s been an abundance of vintage thrift stores building physical outposts in cities across the Philippines. Promising authentic vintage finds (some sourced from reputable brands abroad), these stores are a step up from the friendly neighborhood ukay-ukays that we’re used to and serve as physical alternatives to Carousell accounts and Instagram stores and their competitive “Mine/Steal/Grab” culture. Thrift and consignment store Season Pass has been holding Community Flea Markets at their location in Maginhawa since October of last year, with the hope to cultivate a community around shopping for pre-loved clothing. The latest iteration of the flea market happens this week, from Jan. 7 to 8. Enjoy the thrill of the hunt, meet new friends, and upgrade your 2023 wardrobe with pre-loved streetwear gems from their new inventory. — GABY GLORIA


Attend the first music gigs of the year

If your new year’s resolution is to 1) listen to more live music and/or 2) discover new bands, then the local scene has you covered, with two gigs happening in the first full weekend of January. On Jan. 6, Balcony Entertainment presents “Back2School,” a gig featuring performances by Chicosci, Zild, Raven, Frank Ely, and Aunt Robert live at 123 Block in Mandaluyong. And on Jan. 7, Alt/Tab Productions presents “Tabo-Tabuan 6: Afraid of 7?” Held at Mow’s Bar in Quezon City, the lineup includes Perkywasted, Lolo's Polo, Nanay Mo, Formerly Maryknoll, Hazylazy, and Sofia de Aros. For more information visit their respective event pages. — CNN PHILIPPINES LIFE STAFF

Copies of J.R.R. Tolkien's “The Silmarillion.” Photo by DON JAUCIAN

Take on a Big Book

Inadvertently, over the last three years, I’ve been starting the new year by reading a doorstop: thick, hardbacks (or trade paperbacks), over 500 pages. I’ve started previous new years with books such as Susana Clarke’s “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell,” (amazing) Brandon Sanderson’s first book of The Stormlight Archive “The Way of Kings” (a contemporary classic of the fantasy genre). Last year was Hanya Yanagihara’s acclaimed 702-page bestseller “To Paradise” (it did not impress). But it could also be mid-sized books that are notoriously hard to read. This year, I’m reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s (Happy birthday!) Bible-ish repository of lore “The Silmarillion,” which I’ve been attempting to read ever since I was in college (I’m 35 now, you do the math). Reading a Big Book is a task that’s fit for a New Year’s resolution. It involves coordination, discipline, and patience. It requires doing, so you can show the world, or just your friends, that you climbed this summit of a doorstop. After finishing the whole thing, it gives a feeling of freedom, like you can read any book in the world, and maybe, you can finish that damn Goodreads Reading challenge for a change. In my case, I found that it helps to read the book over several formats — book, eBook, and audiobook. Read the book for the immersion, eBook for convenience (like if you’re reading before bedtime — a doorstop falling on your face is quite a pain), and audiobook if you want to multitask.

I wish you all the best in this journey! Perhaps I’ll see you in Mount Russia, with the Tolstoys and Dostoevsky doorstops? — DON JAUCIAN