Written by John Teo


The 7 of us from Singapore Ring 115 who went were President John Teo and his wife Betsy, Abdullah Baharudin and his wife Arlene, Tommy Chiang, Andrew Kong and Fernando Ng. In this trip, the President of Singapore Association Of Magicians (the Singapore branch of the Society Of American Magicians), Roger Lim and his wife Veron, decided to join us. 

We were met at the airport on 20th March by Ferdinand Flores, the TVP for Philippines, who then took us to a sumptuous dinner along the seaside opposite the Mall of Asia. 

We rented a van on 21st March 2019, and our first stop was Fort Santiago. After lunch, we went to Pureze Street to visit the Divi Magic Shop, owned by Mon Yap. 

The main reason for our visit to Philippines was to meet up with the Filipino magicians. This took place in the evening, where we were invited to the magic meeting of The Inner Magic Club (Ring 328). The members of Ring 328 meet every Wednesday evening, but they changed their gathering to Thursday to accommodate our visit. The venue was the Pepeton’s Bar And Grill. A welcome dinner comprising local dishes was specially prepared for this occasion. 

After dinner, the actual meeting began with the “Entrance Of The Colours”, in which 3 of their members marched in, one carrying a staff with the insignia of the club, another one the Philippines flag and the third one the flag of the club. This was followed by the playing of the national anthems of both countries of Philippines as well as Singapore. The meeting proper then commenced with an opening prayer. 

After a welcome speech by the President of Ring 328, Richie Javier, members of Ring 328 kicked off the performance session. Ferdinand Flores did a comedy prediction with a spectator. This was followed by Gerald Espiritu, with an act featuring ball manipulations and bow-ties. Lemon Bautista’s repertoire comprised canes, parasols and doves. Kevin Bautista came on with an act using cards and envelopes. The final performer was a lady magician, Rosela Rondez, with rose productions and card manipulations. 

It was then the Singaporean magicians’ turn to perform. The first performer was Roger Lim, with knot off rope, dissolving bow knot, tying a knot without letting go of the ends of the rope, silk and ring routine, colour linking ropes, and vanishing ketchup in paper bag gag with the production of a glass of water. Tommy Chiang did an interesting double sandwich routine using 2 Jokers. This was followed by an impossible signed card to wallet. Andrew Kong performed a cups and balls routine with the production of 4 large balls as a climax. Abdullah Baharudin bent a metal spoon with 2 fingers, and caused a long piece of rope to become knotted at several places before it dissolved into several separate loops of rope. John Teo’s repertoire consisted of Magic Manor, a paper folding effect, The W(H)ole Thing, an effect with “whole” and “hole” cards, a pom-pom stick using the 4 components of a fishing rod, Acrobatic Fish Plus, aka monkey-bar with special climax of the sudden appearance of 3 fishes, and a day, date and month prediction routine. John then gave a teach-in on his prediction routine. 

The next day 22nd March 2019 was spent shopping and eating in Lucky Chinatown and the neighbouring malls before we headed to Makati to watch a charity magic show called “Give A Smile”. It was an entertaining 2-hour show put up by the following Filipino magicians: Alfonso Catacutan, Mac Florendo, Exequiel Mallari, Jofar Abata, Angelo Atutubo, Joseph Hapita and Richard Grutierrez. It was a wonderful magic variety show that featured close-up, stage, comedy, mentalism and juggling. 

On 23rd March 2019, we woke up very early to take a rather long van ride to the Pagsanjan Waterfalls in Laguna. Each of us had to wear a helmet and a life vest before we could sit in canoe-like boats paddled by 2 experienced boatmen along the scenic Magdapio River. At times, the boats went through turbulent waters with menacing looking boulders on both sides. When we reached the Pagsanjan Falls, we were all transferred onto a wooden raft to go under the waterfall into the Devil’s Cave. Needless to say, everyone was drenched wet. It was an adventurous part of our stay in Manila. 

The next day, 24th March 2019, was a free day for all as some flew back to Singapore. 

For those of us who stayed behind, Ferdinand Flores and his lovely wife Nora, met us in the late afternoon of 25th March 2019, and took us to a sumptuous dinner in an interesting restaurant serving local cuisine. 

We flew back to Singapore on 26th March 2019. Our visit to Philippines may have ended, but our wonderful memories of the hospitality of the Filipino magicians through Ferdinand Flores and his wife, lingered on. Our thanks to Abdullah Baharudin who organised this fantastic trip to Manila.