1) Best place to watch it is by the bay (VIP area with dinner Php 1,500.00)
2) 2nd best place to watch it is in one of the many restaurants in the 2nd level of Mall of Asia. ( If you want to get good spots, reserve one week ahead of time.) If you reserve a week ahead of time, you can get the upfront seats so no one will block your view if you plan to record videos or take photographs. Different restaurants have different promos ranging from 600-1500 or more. Some are ala carte and some provide buffet dinner. We decided to eat at Via Mare (Paid 1,200 per pax with buffet) because they still have 1 table left that has a good view (one table behind the upfront seats). There's almost no distractions in front of Via Mare.
3) Unlike before, as long as you have a reservation, the table you reserved is already yours. Before, it was a first come first choice basis. You can walk around until 6:45pm to 7:00pm and walk leisurely to your table.
4) I don't recommend the first level restaurants in Mall of Asia if you plan to video record or take photos because of distractions (e.g. trees, light posts, etc) BUT if you just plan to watch and the 2nd level is already full, the first level is good enough (3 years ago, we stayed at Seattle's best for only 450 pesos!)
5) For those who doesn't want to spend a lot and doesn't mind standing or being in a crowded area, the 200 and 500 peso tickets are good for you. Check the ticket prices below and the schedule.
2nd Philippine International Pyro Musical Competition 2011 Schedule:
February 26, 2011 - China & France (Buy tickets here)
March 5, 2011 - Japan & Canada (Buy tickets here)
March 12, 2011 - Australia & Philippines (Buy tickets here)
You must be warned though of the crowds:
The crowd in the 200 and 100 area last February 19, 2011 - UK vs Portugal
The right most front area as seen in the photo is the 100-peso section. On the left of the foot bridge is the 200-peso section. The foot bridge as seen in the photo is also closed to the public. That night, Gumbo and Via Mare customers have exclusive access to that foot bridge. Both provided buffet. It's also a good spot to watch but not as good as compared to staying right in the middle, with a front facing view of the fireworks.
6) Park your car wisely. Yearly, we experience this (except the year where it was held in The Fort).
Tip: Park near the exit and on the lowest possible level if you want to get out asap after the show. Other cars will let you pass so you can line up for the exit. This way, you will only have to wait for a few cars in front of you versus waiting for 40 other cars to pay before exiting the parking facility.
We didn't immediately leave and we were parked right in front of the exit and we still experienced this on the way out. Imagine that.
7) Eat, pee and do whatever prior so you won't miss a thing. Remember, the pyro musical won't start at 7pm sharp. It will first play the Philippine National Anthem then the national anthem of the participating country. After that, a short performance from the participating country (singing or what-have-we-nots).
8) For photography enthusiasts, setup early to find a nice angle and spot. They will fire test shots before they perform the actual show. This way, you can already check if your settings are ok so when the real show starts, you would have the right camera settings that you like.
(Settings I used for almost all the shots in this blog: ISO 100, F8, 10")
9) Don't leave immediately after if you're not in a hurry. Mall hours is extended up to 11pm! Walk around first, relax, have a cup of coffee rather be stuck in the traffic. The later you leave, the better.
10) Don't forget to enjoy! If you really want to go and watch the pyro musical, please condition your mind that you'll be experiencing traffic and a heavily crowded area. That way, you won't be too stressed and you'll be ready for it. Also, taking photographs and videos are OK but do also enjoy the live show! Believe me, the actual feeling is different. In fact, the finale of UK last Feb 19, 2011 was hair-raising. (Will upload a video here soon)
Also, here's an interactive map of SM Mall of Asia (see sample image below) to help you decide which place to view the Pyro Musical from one of the restaurants there.
SM Mall of Asia map (restaurants where you can watch the pyromusical)
*thumbs down to Patio Guernica's waiter for being very snobbish & unaccommodating (2nd level SM Mall of Asia)
If you plan to watch in one of the many restaurants by the bay, check out this map and list of restaurants in San Miguel by the Bay.
Link: San Miguel by the Bay list of restaurants and map
Enjoy some of the photos below from the Feb 19 UK vs Portugal pyro musical competition!
Do you have a tip to share? please drop a comment so we can help others enjoy their pyro musical experience in the weeks and years to come. :)