A new space for theater arts is brewing in Manila and I have discovered this two Saturdays ago when one of its owners invited me to take a look of their new haven, the iChill Theater Café.
Managed by Kuya Manzano and his girlfriend Marian Yu, iChill Café is set to give aspiring actors to hone their talents by showcasing them to iChill‘s audience which is open 24/7 along Dos Castillas Street in Sampaloc, Manila.
Going to the venue won’t be hard especially if you’re familiar with the oldest university in the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas. From Lacson, España, you just have to make a quick right turn at the corner of Dapitan Street where Mc Donald‘s branch ic located. another right turn and your feet will lead you directly to iChill. It’s just a walking distance from UST and this is a great opportunity for the students of the said university because now they’ll have a nice venue to bring their talents to a test.
“We are open for theater arts people and aficionados, especially to the students who are willing to learn acting skills. Right now we’re having a Summer Musical Theater Workshop this whole month of April and May,” said Kuya, who is a proud nephew of local showbiz versatile actor Edu Manzano.
Acting must have run on his blood, born in Madrid, son of a Philippine mother and Spanish father, started with small roles as an actor and a singer in events, tours, etc. And gets into musical theater through zarzuela and opera starting with chorus parts and growing up until important roles. Chosen among 700 performers to be in Spain’s production of Man of La Mancha & Peter Pan. Kuya is a descendant of the national hero of the Philippines Jose Rizal, nephew of the great theater dame Ms. Baby Barredo. He is now known as a producer and director with a feature film “Changing direction” that’s being distributed internationally now.
“We have an open mic for those who just want to grab the microphone and sing their hearts out. And yes, we are also open for stand-up comedy shows,” added Kuya as he excitedly shared what iChill Theater Café is all about. And far different from lounges and mini-bars, iChill only serves healthy drinks and baked their own pastries. No beers. Aside from having to control rude customers when intoxication came upon them, Kuya just want their business to be known as the ‘chill place‘. Thus, the name iChill.
Everyone is welcome and I was almost been pushed to do an open mic that night. The free drinks and donuts almost got me to take the mic! Yes, they offer freebies if customers do an open mic thing. I was saved by Tony Altamimi who did his stand-up comedy gig that night – iChill’s baptism of fire of opening these acts. Tony had the opportunity to be the first man to be on stage on that first week of the soft opening of the newly opened theater bar. Tony had his gig at iChill’s 2nd floor which is also a good venue for film showing and other musical or acting programs with 24-30 seating capacity.
And just recently, they’ve just incorporated massage service the night. Free 5 minutes for every drink ordered. Or anyone can have the massage for 30 mins for Php 100 only.
If you wanna know more about this place, visit iChill Theater Café at 1125 Dos Castillas Street in Sampaloc and you might bump in with Kuya Manzano. And one more, they do have free Wi-Fi!
Have you visited iChill Theater Café? Did you do the open mic thing? Share with us your experience and tell us what you have discovered at iChill. 🙂