Full Theater Mode: On

Sep 7, 2011 by

I realized I haven’t blogged about my fondest theatrical memories and how much it has changed me from being a shy little star into a huge Barbra wannabe, so here I’m giving it a try. Like you have a choice. Ha-ha. I got inspired after watching Barbra Streisand’s 1994 concert in Anaheim, California. She popped a spectacular number in the opening act with the song DON’T RAIN ON MY PARADE. It was breathtaking in a way that makes me want to jump and scream, hey look at me world…HERE I AM!

Being a theater performer, I have had my share of horrible encounters with people who dreamed of seeing me fall flat on my face in so many ways:

1. A really bad performance — and I mean really bad to the point of being booed by the audience.

2. A show that flopped — and I mean really flopped to the point of being closed even before the run ends.

3. An involvement in a scandal — and I mean a really bad scandal that patrons (particularly nuns) would NEVER want to work or hire me as an artist again.

4. A hiatus so long — and I mean really long that when you return to the stage, you cannot sing anything that sounds right on the piano keys.

5. A bad accident — as in a really bad accident you end up becoming like Alexis in the movie Ice Castles.

There are so many of them, detractors, whom I can name just to spite them. But if I do that, I’ll make them share my spotlight. So I won’t. Fortunately and with God’s blessings, none of those ill-wishes ever happened to me. And I don’t know what happened to them but to quote Barbra, “Guess what, I’m still here.”

Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus has been my home for many years. Although it was really my sister who went there to study during her high school years, I spent my years of theater life in this dear community with wonderful people who took care of me. It was in Sagrado where I had yearly performances, handled a performing arts group, had the chance to tour the country performing and getting noticed by critics. My affair with Sagrado is something I will never exchange with anything and I think anytime soon, I will be back on that stage that I loved so much. Will keep you posted. I’m hearing the daughters of Triton calling me.

As Rafiki for The Lion King of Pride Rock (produced by Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus)

As Wang-Ta in Flower Drum Song with Debbie Rufino as Linda Lowe (produced by Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus)

As the Genie with Archie Arenga who played Aladdin in ALADDIN (produced by Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus)

As Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast (produced by Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus)

Playing multiple roles for the zarzuela entitled Juanita Cruz (produced by CSCJ in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts)

My artistic roots were fully explored when I became part of Hamungaya at Central Philippine University under the tutelage of my dear teacher Faith Jordan Javellana. It was there where I became aware of what I wanted to be as an artist. Ma’am Faith gave us the best scolding to mold us as disciplined artists — and she also gave us the best loving no artist probably ever had. My four years with Hamungaya was my birth as a dancer and I owe them most of what I know now.

As Rumtumtugger in CATS (produced by Faith Dance and Arts Centre)

Right now, my joy as an artist revolves around working with the younger generation and getting the fulfillment of seeing them grow as future artists too. My kids in UPV Hublag Dance Company are very precious to me. So are the kids I have grown to love and admire in Sikat Academy. My family of artists keep growing and I don’t ever run out of space in my heart for people who regard the arts in such a way that it becomes a calling, an advocacy, a movement. The arts shape our history and being part of it means a big deal. I admire artists who do not stop no matter what hardships come their way. And now I am in great company of artists who come from all respects: my family in Gleeorious.

Show opens on September 16th. We cannot accommodate beyond 1,000 people for the gala, so maybe you should get bothered if you haven’t got a ticket yet. *wink*

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  1. mambeth

    Great to review through photos all the wonderful things you’ve done onstage. Keep it up, Wil!

    • bobby

      Thanks! =) Good thing I have quite several left. Missed the other big ones, though. No photos. =(

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