Stepping Out: Tiffany Chiang-Janolo’s Melbourne must-sees
Always on the go, dancers often find themselves hopping from one city to another either to perform or to take a much-needed break. This series highlights the various places that Ballet Manila dancers have visited, along with some tips that travelers of all trades would appreciate.
The Philippines has become their adopted homeland. It’s where they’re enjoying thriving careers in dance and where they’ve also found their life partners. But for Ballet Manila soloists Tiffany “Tiff” Chiang-Janolo and Abigail “Abi” Oliveiro, home will always be Australia where the former was born and raised and where the latter moved with her family when she was twelve.
Coincidentally, both come from Melbourne – the city that, in August 2017, was declared by The Economist as the world’s most liveable city for a record seventh year in a row. That’s not really a big surprise for the two women who have basked in the marvels that their city has to offer for most of their lives.
“Melbourne is a wonderful place to live. It is full of culture, amazing food, beautiful parks and beaches,” affirms Tiff.
The dancer was able to spend her Christmas vacation back home together with her husband, Ballet Manila ballet master Jonathan “Jay” Janolo. Like on their previous trips, it was a great opportunity for them to take in the sights, sample the local food and of course, enjoy the company of Tiff’s family and inner circle.
For Tiff, January 26 is special not just because it’s Australia Day. It also happens to be her mother Noela and her aunt Dianne’s birthday. Noela and Dianne are twins, so Tiff says it’s like having two mothers who constantly shower her with love and affection.
Tiff considers herself lucky that the distance between Manila and Melbourne is constantly bridged – if not physically, then even just virtually. “The reason I do not get too much homesickness is because I am blessed with such a wonderful mum who comes to visit me so often! My family and friends also come over to visit. Mum also always sends me Viber photos of the family dinners so I feel like I am part of it,” the ballerina chuckles.
Tiff loves many things about her hometown, but here, she lists her five favorites:
Just a short drive out of Melbourne, you can visit many different wineries. Most recently, Jay and I visited wineries on the Mornington Peninsula – Port Phillip Estate, Polperro and Jackalope. Visiting wineries makes a lovely day trip with family or friends, tasting different wines to see what you like or do not like and having lunch with a picturesque view of vineyards.
2. AFL - Australian Football League (Footy)
Every Aussie has a football team. My team is Essendon (Bombers), with the colors red and black. The football season starts in March and the Grand Final is in September. When you are at the Footy, you should try a meat pie and a beer!
3. Arts and culture
The city of Melbourne is full of arts and culture. I would suggest to start at Southbank. Have a nice dinner overlooking the Yarra River and then go and see one of the many theater/ musical/ ballet productions that are always showing. You can walk to many of the theaters or simply catch a tram.
4. St. Kilda Beach
Jay and I like to go to St. Kilda Beach. We like to sit at a restaurant overlooking Port Phillip Bay and have a coffee or beer or brunch. Whilst sitting here, you see people walking with their dogs, running, roller-blading, swimming, tanning and just sitting on the beach. It is very relaxing to hear the waves and see so many different things happening.
5. Royal Melbourne Zoo
Melbourne has one of the best zoos in the world. Definitely a must if you want to see some of our native animals like the koala and kangaroo.
Photos courtesy of Tiffany Chiang-Janolo
Curious to see more of Melbourne? Click here and discover soloist Abigail Oliveiro's must-sees!