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PhotobucketAs a long-time Inner Magic Club member, The Chinaman George Mamonluk is one of the most ardent supporters of Club activities.

He is also a fountainhead of ideas, which he freely shares with the group.  If IMC is running and humming like a well-oiled machine, count on it that some of the policies and strategies driving the Club comes from the Chinaman himself.

George and I share the same passion for good magic. Not run-of-the-mill, everybody-is-doing-it magic, but magic suited for the connoisseurs.

For example, we both love the trick Card-to-Wallet.  I have been using the BKM wallet to perform this trick. It has served me well over many years.

George, however, uses a more elegant and pricey wallet.  It’s such an expensive wallet that many magicians in the Philippines can’t afford it.  Even I, who have been salivating for this wallet for eons now, have not gotten around to plunking down serious dollars to buy one.

PhotobucketGeorge also shares with me my fascination for the “Sands of Egypt”, a classic of magic so rarely performed in the Philippines, it seems new to audiences and some Filipino magicians.

George performed the “Sands of Egypt” last month at the birthday of his daughter Giannah.  I wanted to watch him do it, but I had engagements to catch, so I didn’t make it to Giannah’s party.  Anyway, George promised to give me a video of the performance.

The”Sands of Egypt”  is a beautiful piece of magic but difficult to pull off if you are a busy magician flitting from one party to another in one day. The setup is complicated.  The material is a headache to get. And the performer has to cart around breakable props plus water and a few chemicals.

PhotobucketIf a magician in the Philippines is to perform the”Sands of Egypt” on a regular basis, he must be ready to spend money for a supply of the special sands.  It is not only difficult but also expensive to find even online.  Add the shipping cost, and one will be spending (or investing) money equivalent to buying a new illusion in just a few months of performing the trick.

In learning the trick,  the cost of the supply daunted me at first.  But I found a way, so I thought, around the cost.

I made my own sands.  I searched high and low for the formula on online forums and from old magic books.  I even read obscure books on chemical concoctions just to learn how to produce my own sands.

I also managed to find local suppliers of the three chemicals that will turn clear water to black, and then black water back to clear. Finding local suppliers saved me a bundle on the chemicals.  I figure I have enough stock to last me a whole year of performance.

Still, after all my labor and pains, I found that my home-made sands were not good enough for a professional performance of the trick.  The commercially available sands do a better job and look beautiful in performance. In the end, I had to obtain my supply from US manufacturers. There’s no getting around it.

Last Wednesday, though, after the IMC meeting, George gave me three bags of “Sands of Egypt”.  You can imagine how happy I was when I received them.  If used prudently, the supply will last for many performances.

So, I have to thank the Chinaman for my new supply of the magic sands.

For those who have not seen the trick yet, here’s a beautiful performance of it by Luis de Matos.

Stay magical,