Weekend Warrior: Jan. 3 – 5

True blue Manileños, recent transplants, and visitors to our city all know — there is never a lack of things to do in Manila. This is Coconuts Manila’s guide to all things good and great happening over the coming weekend. Peruse it, take note of everything that interests you, and hit us up on our Facebook page or on Twitter @CoconutsManila to sound off on what you think.

Catch the last weekend screening of the 45th Metro Manila Film Fest

Director Brillante Mendoza directing Judy Ann Santos in Mindanao Photo: Mindanao / FB

Date: Jan. 3, Friday, to Jan. 5 – Sunday
Venue: Cinemas nationwide 

Didn’t have time to queue at the cinema box office over the bustle of the Christmas holidays? Well, this weekend may be the more quieter run, and your last chance to see the 45th edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), which closes on Sunday. In case you missed all the buzz about the festival, this year’s eight-film roster includes a couple of unexpected entries (which you can still catch!), including a film about a leper colony set during the American occupation (Culion) and a war-torn family drama woven with fantastical elements (Mindanao). 

Of course, there’s also the expected slapstick comedies, action, horror, would be tear-jerkers, and (let’s face it) some formulaic groaners. But it wouldn’t be MMFF without it, right? Click on our  handy MMFF 45 hit list for more details. Ticket prices vary according to cinemas and are available at box offices nationwide. 

Or drop by Cinema Centenario for an extended screening of MMFF and non-MMFF films

Scene from Sila-Sila. Photo: Sila-Sila/ FB

Date: Jan. 4, Saturday to Jan. 10, Friday
Venue: Cinema Centenario, 95 Maginhawa St., Diliman, Quezon City

After MMFF closes, you can still catch Cannes-winning director Brillante Mendoza’s film Mindanao at Quezon City’s Cinema Centenario this weekend until next. Other indie darlings screening in the roster include writer-director Jun Lana’s Kalel, 15 — a film about a 15-year-old Catholic-school student diagnosed with HIV. Plus, there will be director Gian Carlo Abraham’s self-professed “LGBT ghost story” and modern-day gay romcom, Sila-Sila (Them), among others.

Tickets are available at PHP150 (US$3) for students and PHP200 (US$4) regular. For more details, visit Cinema Centenario’s Facebook page. 

Swing by this San Juan City pop art gallery for a two-for-one opening-night show

Photo: Secret Fresh / FB

Date: Jan. 5, Sunday – Jan. 16, Thursday
Venue: Secret Fresh, Ronac Art Center, Ortigas Avenue, San Juan City

Group art show “Troubled Turf III” showcases pieces by 10 returning Secret Fresh artists and important names in local pop art, including Christian Tamondong, Egg Fiasco, and Manok Ventura at SixInch Gallery. Meanwhile, artist Anne Ferrer Barles stages her solo exhibit “Release the Hype” at Secret Fresh’s Gallery C, which, according to Barles, will showcase “iconic subjects in their hype outfits,” a commentary on consumer culture. 

Both shows start at 6pm and run until 9pm on the opening night, and will be on view until Jan. 16. Admission is free. For details, visit Secret Fresh’s Facebook page. 

Join the fifth leg of the country’s biggest color fun run

Photo: Color Run Manila / FB

Date: Jan. 5, Sunday
Venue: Mall of Asia Grounds, Pasay City

Now in its eighth year, Color Manila Run, the country’s biggest fun run returns to make running non-intimidating by showering its participants with colored powder for every leg of the 3-kilometer to 20-kilometer race. The concept run has raked in thousands of runners annually, and this year promises roughly the same turnout — if you’re voluntarily suffering via physical exercise, suffering in large numbers makes it kind of empowering. Right?

Registration starts at 4am. Tickets start at PHP950 (US$19), inclusive of event shirt, a foldable water bottle, and race bib, among others; and can climb up to PHP4,000 (US$79) for VIP Platinum, inclusive of race kit, breakfast buffet, exclusive access to the photo booth, and other VIP swag. All tickets can be purchased at SM Tickets. For more details, visit Color Manila’s Facebook page.

Catch the last weekend of a photographic art show inspired by hermitic life

Photo: Kulay Diwa Gallery / FB

Date: Jan. 2, Thursday to Jan. 4, Saturday
Venue: Kulay Diwa Gallery, 25 Lopez Avenue, Parañaque City

“The Hermit’s Way of Looking at Life” is an exhibition of arty manipulated photographs by Michael Vincent Manalo, whose work is inspired by his recent experience of living off the grid for over half a month. Manalo withdrew from human contact (not an easy feat when living in closely-knit Philippines) and shut himself in a house in the province, going through the daily physical motions of swimming in a natural body of water, cooking his own meals from scratch, and making art and music. 

Manalo’s work mirrors his view of how technology and modern living has kept us from enjoying the simple things. The exhibit opened in December and runs until this Saturday. For more details, visit Kulay Diwa Gallery’s Facebook page. 

Read more about places to do and see in the metro here.

This article, Weekend Warrior: Jan. 3 – 5, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!