Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Get-together weekend.

Saturday was a day of a bunch of reunions, right on up to Sunday morning.

I first went with Ate Shang, Kuya Butch, Tita Beng, Tita Lyn and Tita Tess to Tito Ed's place, as he nor Tita Shirley didn't get to make it to my brother's wedding. To my disappointment, their house was such a sorry sight, even with some of their family still living with them plus a maid. By past 10 in the morning, Tito Ed was still in bed, almost skin and bones, and speaking incoherently. We really couldn't understand why, considering that he never had a stroke or anything that severe. Sure, he has diabetes, but soon we had found out that there wasn't much to eat there at their home, so Ate Shang offered to buy him some food aside from the whole bunch of food we had brought over from Tita Lyn's. Another problem of the household, it seemed, was that Tito Ed and Tita Shirley weren't very well taken care of. And hello, Kuya Emmon and his family live right upstairs.

It broke our hearts to find that these two were sort of abandoned and ignored. The house smelled funny, and Tito Ed hadn't even bathed. But the smile on his face when he saw all of us was precious. Too bad we couldn't stay for lunch, as we had to go to Tito Ely and Tita Zenia's, as well as to Tito Edel, Tita Beth, Tito Erning and Tita Angie. Lunch time at "Angielocks," as we called Tita Angie. Hahaha, she's known in the family for whipping up a lot of food whenever we're at their place.

After a hearty lunch, Kuya Richie brought out the drinks to the table and chairs on the lawn, and Ate Shang, Kuya Butch and I followed suit. Soon all four of us were swimming in vodka, and even when Kuya Bobot, Ate Vonic and Ate Ching (though both ladies had to leave right away) joined us, the drinks kept coming.

Kuya Butch and Ate Shang were already pretty wasted by the time we had to leave, which was when Tita Lyn was already kind of annoyed with them for delaying our time of departure.

Flew to ATC, where I was supposed to meet up with the Hogi Hall for our Tagaytay get-together, which is actually a triple-celebration for Rosa, Josh and Seph's birthdays. I was over an hour late because of the delayed departure from my uncles' place, rawr. Everyone had already gone ahead, and the only ones left waiting for me were Tad, Seph and Josh. Off to Tagaytay, with a stopover at McDo along the SLEX, because I was already starving, ahehehe.

Finally, we're in Tagaytay. The venue we got was the place next to the bed and breakfast we had stayed at before, and we had gotten two rooms and a huge terrace because our crowd was pretty big this time. There were so many drinks, chips, and a grill where we could cook the liempo and hotdogs, yay. Chika and drinks galore, and of course, there was the Bacardi 151 for a complete celebration, as Josh kept passing it out to everyone. Ahehehe, I guess he and Seph were so glad to finally get to drink with Tad, who's also a big fan of hard drinks. Photos galore as well, as I kept seeing flashes from different cameras the entire time. And yes, body shots! Woohoo! Plus Seph and Tad as dancers for Joy's bachelorette party, hahahaha!

Well, you wouldn't be surprised to find out who was the first man down and the last man standing. I had settled in one of the rooms with Rosa, Iam, Tad, PJ and Aris at around past 4 in the morning. A few minutes after we were all on the beds, next me, our party girl Rosa had quite the headache and just tried to sleep sitting up. Of course, Iam and I had to convince her to go to the bathroom to relieve herself. On my other side, Tad was also wasn't feeling that good. Yikes. Iam, who gets queasy when she just hears someone throw up, flew to her side of the room while I had to stay with these two, hahaha. She then dubbed me "the caregiver," AHAHAHAHA! Labo. I get queasy myself, but as long as I don't smell anything and don't breathe through my nose, I'd be fine.

My goodness, when I woke up a couple of hours later, I found out that Seph, Josh, Joy and Hofi were still up. Survivors, hahaha. We had to wake Rosa by around 8am, because she still had to go to work in the afternoon, so by the time she woke up, I left with her, Aris, Iam and Tad.

All in all, Tagaytay was a blast. Can't wait for the next one, where Ge and Aris will have a showdown, hahahaha!

Friday, December 26, 2008

My brother tied the knot!

Everyone in my family had been waiting for the big day on the 23rd, that we all considered it one of the best Christmas gifts that we got. It was also a perfect opportunity to see some of our relatives that haven't seen in a while.

On the afternoon before the wedding, Mom, Kuya Toto and I checked in at the Bellevue Hotel, along with Ate Maui and her family, as we will be prepping up there early the next day. Dad, on the other hand, stayed at home to supervise other prep concerns with Tita Beng, specially because a bunch of our other relatives will be staying over there as well. But he did join us for dinner with the Ocampos at Poquito Mas at Westgate. Man, the sisig there was yummy. We immediately left after eating as our bride was getting pretty sleepy already.

Retired at our respective rooms after dinner. Kuya was supposed to be resting early as well, but he was still working on the AVP that they were planning to show at the reception. I think he fell asleep at around 2 in the morning. Unfortunately, all of us had to be up by 4am. But at least he finished the AVP, because Trixie came knocking at our door because one of the coordinators was already asking for it.

Walked to Ate Maui's suite, where a ton of people had already gathered. Jack and Ade (the coordinators) were there of course, as well as Gela's hair and makeup crew. Tintin and Trixie already got a head start, so they added me to the assembly line (hahaha). When I was asked how I wanted my hair to look like, I explained that I had a long neck with an undefined chin, so it's difficult to find the right updo for me. Plus the problem that my hair can barely hold a curl. It took at least 3 attempts to get the right hairstyle for me, but I have to say, this was the first time I actually liked how I looked with my hair up.

Returned to our room to change into my gown and found Kuya goofing around with Kuya Butch and Kuya Richie right before the Threelogy crew (the videographers) arrived. When I had returned to Ate Maui's suite to have her fix my obi belt, I came face to face with Trixie and realized that in some way, we did look alike, hahaha! So that's what their grandfather kept saying the night before.

After a little more prepping, Jack said that Mom and I can go ahead, as Kuya had already left for Fernbrook with his crazy best men. Immediately found Rosa and Aris by the time I had stepped out of the car, then we all walked to the chapel together. A few minutes later, I got a text from Tad, saying that because he couldn't get a cab to Fernbrook, Iam and Ge will be picking him up. Thanks, Iam and Ge!

I was sitting next to Tintin during the entire ceremony, and during all the marriage rites, Trixie and I held up our cameras and snapped away. Hahaha, even though my mom was in tears, I couldn't help giggling when she raised her handkerchief to wipe off her tears, because Dad raised his own handkerchief at the same time to wipe sweat off his forehead almost every time. Hehe, when it was time for the couple's first kiss as husband and wife, I was so glad that my photo didn't come out all blurry even though I was so giddy over them.

On to the reception. Boy, I was really starving that time, because I only got to eat half of an Egg McMuffin before I left the hotel. I was so glad that Jack decided to begin with tables nearer to the buffet (we were seated next to it, yay) for the pictorials with the bride and groom. Iam and Ge made quite the tag team, because after they had fallen in line, Ge went back to get more food, hahaha. I've been dieting for weeks for this event, so it's time for my appetite to catch up. Ugh, because of that, Tad took the most unflattering photo of me, hahaha! You can check it out in one of my Multiply albums.

My favorite part in the reception was the dance. Kuya and Ate Maui had hired Carlon to help them, and taught a simple waltz between Ate Maui and her dad, Tito Pete. People had expected the same waltz all throughout the dance between her and Kuya, but a few minutes into Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World," we suddenly hear the sound of a scratching record, then the music changes to "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," giving everyone quite the surprise as they danced the upbeat number, hahahaha! Even though they did rehearse it the night before, they still forgot some steps so they tried to improvise. I, on the other hand, rushed towards the carpet (not minding if I trip, ahehe) to cheer and take photos, ahehehe.

All in all, it was a great wedding. It's so funny how two different people such as Cads and Maui got together. It was hate at first sight when they saw each other at the guidance counselor's office for their respective exit interviews, right on until they started working together at Accenture. The simple invite to hang out at the Chicago Art Institute changed everything.

Super thanks to Jack Sy-Alba and Ade Sy Singson of About Events for keeping everything in order, Erwin and Bea of Angel Bar for the pre-nup photos, Dino Lara for the on-site wedding photos, Threelogy for the videography (with the super fast editing of the beautiful on-site AVP), Juan Carlo the Caterer for the yummy food, 15:58 for the flowers (my bouquet is hanging in my room for a week-long drying process), and Anne Chavez for Ate Maui's pretty dress for the reception. Naks, parang sponsors sa pag-plug ng mababait na suppliers, hehe.

So I do believe that the beautiful wedding my brother at sister-in-law had was Christmas enough for me. Post-Christmas na yung Noche Buena that we had at Tita Lyn's house, complete with second and third helpings, capping it with Tequila Rose and Bailey's with cherries and gossip and laughs galore, hehehe.

How did your Christmas go? =)

Friday, December 19, 2008

27. Yes, really.

I've been meaning to blog right after my birthday (a huge THANK YOU to all those who greeted me, by the way), but things got busier as my brother's wedding is getting closer.

I only expected one thing on my birthday. That it would be complete opposite of the busy one I once had. I never had time for myself then, beginning from its first hour until the last. But hey, at least some really good stuff happened that year, hehehe. And yep, the day was exactly what I had expected. It was the most "normal" birthday I had, except during the evening when my parents and my aunt ordered a lot of food for the entire household.

During a YM chat with Chieboy during the evening, he mentioned how things were pretty rocky in some aspect of his life.

Chieboy: wala hogi ganun talaga
Chieboy: hindi mo sila pwedeng i-please lahat
Chieboy: hindi kaya
Chieboy: ang only thing that you can do is be strong
Hogi: hay naku, korek ka diyan
Chieboy: strong bones will eventually break the dog's teeth
Chieboy: pag wala na shang ngipin, magte-tame din yun
Hogi: tama
Hogi: ikaw pa, chie, kaya mo yan
Chieboy: kinakaya
Chieboy: minsan gusto ko nang sumuko pero hindi...
Chieboy: hindi ako susuko
Chieboy: walang choice eh
Hogi: true
Chieboy: i think that to succeed, one must learn how to shut all means of escape para ang choice mo lang is to go forward
Hogi: i like that

I've been trying to learn how to do that. Heck, if I wasn't for certain aspects in life, I'd probably still be spineless even until now. So yeah, sometimes I still try to find some ways around things, but I'm working on them.


I always look back on old blog posts as a year-end tradition, marking highlights of the entire year. Now, a few days after celebrating my birthday, what were 27 things (in random order) that happened before I turned 27?

1) Going back to school.

Ew, don't bother asking what class this was.

2) Was 2nd AD for a thesis film with Sir Noel T.

This was for Mimay's film thesis, IKALAWANG TAGPO.

3) Shook hands with Peque Gallaga.

After playing an extra in the film HUBAD, Sir Peque, who played Andre the director, shook our hands before we left. Wala lang, starstruck moment.

4) Found closure at the oddest day of the year.

Hahaha, some found it funny, some found it crazy.

5) Danced ballroom with the BFFs for a TV show.

We danced the samba for Chef To Go.

6) Put together a play with only 19 rehearsals.

For TP's Rehearsal and Performance Techniques workshop under Dennis Marasigan and Mayen, we did ANG MGA PROPESYONAL.

7) Started crocheting again.

Hahaha, and this crochet project isn't even for me.

8) Reunited with the AFLS.

Ahehehe, I can still remember Lea laughing after seeing me in the crowd.

9) Reunited with the GG7 gang.

Yes, I belong to a block that was composed of mostly guys.

10) Staged Nemesis after a year in the making.

Hence it left a big impact in our lives.

11) Finally got to work with Tuxqs for Virgin Labfest.

Of course, it was also the opportunity to work with May and Bart as well.

12) Participated in 2 missions of Eksena Manila.

Two back-to-back missions in one day!

13) Dabbled in a classical play (Tartuffe).

Despite all the crazies, it was a great cast and crew. And I love love love my costume.

14) Found a breast friend in Lara.

Yes, the self-proclaimed diva that I had met in TARTUFFE, ahehehe. I just love this girl.

15) Established the "Dashing Divas."

With Dingdong, all three of us dash from rehearsal.

16) Met the Kapeng Malamig gang.

Like Chieboy had said, mas malaki pa sa pera ang nakuha ko dito sa prod na ito.

17) Had a "high school day" with Drei and Carla.

We did all the gimmick stuff we used to do way back in high school, and it was also a night of kilig stories.

18) Found happiness in the simplest ways.

'Nuff said.

19) Reunited with some of the Funky Bunch.

It was Mano's despedida, a good excuse to get together. I miss you, Mano!

20) Chased swindlers.

Effort pa kaming pumunta ng NBI.

21) Passed the one-year mark.

Need I say more? =)

22) Had the Mister Teo experience again with Rosa and Iam years after high school.

Kuchay pie and dumplings... they're still as good as ever, even if we did cook it ourselves.

23) Learned the art of bookmaking.

It was initially for a scrapbook, but I got addicted.

24) Played a teacher in a short film.

Another thesis film... and I have an injury on my left knee to show for it.

25) Forgot how to be sober in Tagaytay.

Yes, an incriminating photo of me and Rosa during that night. Blackmail me and I will have to shoot you, hahahaha!

26) Became a PA for a wedding couple.

My brother's getting married in less than a week!

27) Realized that no matter what everyone tells you, it all boils down to you and your persistence and passion.

Kaya kahit papaano, mauuna pa rin ako kay Juan, hehehe. Ika nga ni Roeder, you really have to want it.

To those who I've experienced this year with, no matter who you are, you still made a mark in my life for this year. Thanks to all of you.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

To Rosa.

To our happy trio's half-Swiss party girl, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Love you, Rosa!  =)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Broadway 2 in AC.

Went to watch METTA's production of Broadway 2 yesterday with Betty, Opa and Lucien. I knew I had to go to Assumption early to save seats for all of us. I learned the hard way about those seats because when there's a show in METTA, supporters (families and friends and others) come early and reserve rows and rows for their company, hahaha. My golly, they opened house an hour before the show, so I quickly found a seat somewhere in the middle, just right in front of the VIP section (which was populated mostly by nuns). Betty, Opa and Lucien all managed to make it inside right before the entire show started.

Broadway 2 is a sort of musical revue, fusing songs from Flower Drum Song, South Pacific and The King and I, and worked a little plot into it. Oh, it was the usual putting-a-show-together kind of story, with Tad and Gie as janitors who would do anything just to be part of the show. Hahaha. They made quite the crazy tandem. Of course, Riki got the "gwapo role" (as Red had called it) as Emile in the South Pacific segment, while Chrome (being CHROME) got to bare his bod per usual as King Mongkut in The King and I. As a result of his character losing his voice, Gie as Edu manages to nab his role as his sidekick Lucky, played by Tad, cheers him on.

One issue I had with the whole thing was that there were too many people (kids) in the cast. Well, given that this is a school production, that was to be expected. And well, it did give a pretty nice effect to one of the South Pacific songs. But then, during the King and I part where Anna had to meet the children of the King, my gahd, it was quite a drag because all the kids had to come in one by one or by twos, and it took forever.

Curtain call was equally crazy. Because Ms. Ana had said, "Feel free to give flowers to the cast," before the show began, all the parents, friends and etcetera had filled the aisles with bouquets of flowers in their arms, waiting for their friend/daughter/sister to take their bows. As a result of that, you can hardly see anything when you're just sitting down. That whole thing ruined the whole curtain call, honestly.

But despite all that, it was still a good show. Congratulations to all! Congrats, lovey! =)

Dinner with Tad after the show. Hahaha, he gave me my birthday and Christmas presents already, hahaha! Thanks, love! I give you ginormous points for being very observant, hahaha. Mwah!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

PA duties at the pre-nup pictorial.

Haha, I really wanted to watch the pictorials, so Kuya and Ate Maui let me tag along to Tagaytay. They decided they needed a personal assistant anyway, hahaha. I'm pretty cheap as they come when it comes to family; all they need to provide is the food and I'm happy, hahaha.

It was also the same day for the trial hair and makeup with Gela Laurel, so we first had to go to the House of Laurel in the morning. First met Lee (was that his name?), the hairdresser, who was immediately briefed on how Ate Maui wants her hair to look like. Gela arrived a few minutes after we did, and all 3 of them talked about hair coloring for the wedding to make the hairstyle's details stand out. By the time Ate Maui had sat in the makeup chair in front of Gela, my brother got bored and was typing away on the laptop (thank goodness they have free wi-fi access). I, on the other hand, was amazed at how quick and Gela made it look. I wish I had talent like hers. Heck, I don't even know how to put makeup on myself. Thank goodness she and Lee will be there for us next Tuesday. She even produced a small retouch kit for Ate Maui for the pictorials.

Off to Tagaytay. To our dismay, it started drizzling, so we were praying that it would blow over by the time we arrived in Tagaytay. It was a pretty long drive, and we were starving by the time we had arrived, so we had a quick lunch at Pancake House before we had to meet with Angelbar, the photographers, at Nurture Spa, where the pictorial will be. We arrived at Nurture Spa a few minutes past one, and had a bit of time to settle in the room right after we had checked in. Too bad Ate Maui's curls had become flat, so she had to fix it in a more casual way before Angelbar's crew (Erwin and Bea) and knocked on our door.

It was still raining! Well, not really that hard, but it still is raining, hahaha. So the grass was so wet that even I slipped a couple of times (without falling, thank goodness) off the paths' stepping stones during the entire photo shoot, which took about 4 hours, and 3 changes of clothes for the couple. We were so glad that the rain had finally stopped, but unfortunately the sun was already beginning to set by then.

Kuya and Ate Maui had a massage scheduled at 7pm, but because everyone was tired and hungry, including me (heck, I was a gofer and also took photos the whole time), so they rescheduled it for the next morning. Anyway, so the 3 of us had dinner at the in-house restaurant. Hehehe, the spa reservation, which also included 3 meals (dinner, breakfast and lunch), was only meant for the couple, so they put in extra orders for me. Ate Maui and I had both ordered chicken dishes, but to our disappointment, it hardly had any taste in it. We should've gotten one of the pasta dishes, which Kuya had.

Retired back to the room right after dinner, and after baths (thanks to the muddy grass and rain), we were all conked out on the beds. Love love love the super soft sheets and mattress. Even though I'd die of boredom because of no internet access and super quietness of the place, I love the comfy bed.

I woke up the next morning to my brother pummeling me with pillows, telling me to get a move on so we can have breakfast before their massage. Yum, blueberry pancakes with matching blueberry syrup. I should've asked if I could purchase a bottle of that yummy syrup, hahaha. It sure was in good competition with the maple syrup that Ate Maui had brought from Nova Scotia. Killed more time in the room, reading (for Ate Maui and me) and listening to podcasts (for Kuya) before the therapist picked up the couple for their massages.

While Kuya and Ate Maui had their 2-hour long massages, I spent the time straightening up the room, showering and catching a few winks on that wonderful bed, hahaha. When they arrived, we finally packed all their clothes, accessories, and loaded them into the car before we had lunch. Learning from our menu mistakes, all three of us ordered pasta, hahaha. And of course, humirit pa ako ng strawberry shake, which in turn, made Kuya say, "Aba, nilulubos mo talaga ito, ha." But of course, brother dear, hahaha. After making me walk back and forth several times the day before, dapat lang! Hehehe.

I conked out again in the car during the first half of the ride back home. Ahehe, I think I even caught myself snoring because my head was in an awkward position and gave me a difficult time to breathe. Yes, I snore when I can't breathe, but that hardly happens anymore. Right.

By the way, this was an interesting phrase I saw in the bathroom next to Nurture Spa's reception area.

"Silence is speech."

I like that. Reminded me of what Sir Dennis had said last summer, which was to not be afraid of the silence in a scene.

Anyway, photos to follow another time. They're mostly just outtakes of the pictorial anyway.

Off to watch METTA's Broadway 2 show tomorrow afternoon. Break a leg, Tad! =)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

PA-slash-Bridesmaid on call, 24/7.

This morning, Kuya Toto, Ate Maui and I headed to PETA to meet with Carlon, as he was to be the choreographer for their first dance as husband and wife. Ate Maui wanted a little twist to it, and Tad had recommended Carlon, so we had set to meet this morning. We arrived pretty early, so we got to watch the opening number of Karaoke Dreams being filmed in the theater for video viewing purposes. As Carlon wasn't included in the next scene, the four of us started talking outside the theater. Discussed the details of how Ate Maui wants the dance to be, plus the songs she wants to use, and other concerns. She was supposed to mull about something, but my eyebrows suddenly shot straight up when Kuya instantly said a quick reply. Hmmm... I wonder how this will turn out. Anyway. Hahaha, Carlon had quipped that I was the couple's PA, as I was trying to help out a little in everything they do.

Hahaha, being the couple's only bridesmaid in the country, I'm always with Kuya Toto and Ate Maui almost half the time when they're doing certain errands as preparation for their wedding. Parang personal assistant na rin and younger sister to Ate Maui, as her sisters Tintin and Trixie won't be arriving from Canada until next week.

Anyway, after PETA, we headed to Greenhills for lunch and hopefully shop for the baskets they were looking for. Unfortunately, we couldn't find a place to park, so we decided to head on over to Festival Mall to have lunch because that was our next stop anyway. Lunch at Superbowl, then off to Santi's Deli to assemble the perfect Christmas giveaway basket for their wedding sponsors. Wheee, lots of wine to choose from. But of course, we still had to stick to the motif, as Ate Maui still wanted everything in blue. She finally assembled a basket that had wine with a blue label, brie cheese, a couple of chocolate bars, crackers and pate... all with blue packaging. Hahaha.

After a coffee break, we went to Purple Closet in Westgate next to meet with Ann. Ate Maui still needed to have her veil made, plus the secondary veil for the ceremony, the traditional garter (in midnight blue to stick with the theme), and another white dress for the dance. I like Ann better than Michelle of Trends, where our dresses are still a work-in-progress due to her sloppy decision-making (and excuse-making). This one knows what she's talking about, and easily sketched the kind of dress Ate Maui wanted.

Speaking of Trends, we were supposed to have another gown fitting yesterday. But Michelle had to reschedule it to Tuesday, waaah. I sure hope it will be in the morning.

Anyway, so because of all that (and that was just today), I sure hope I can tag along to their pre-nup photo shoot in Tagaytay later this week. That would be really fun to watch. Paninindigan ko ang pagiging PA ko, hehehe. And of course, I always can't resist the call of Tagaytay's cold climate, hahaha.

Friday, December 5, 2008

30 Answers.

Hahaha, got this from Pauline.

There are 30 questions. Next to each number, write only the name of the person in your friends list who fits. Answer one question with as many names as you want! Don't tell the questions to anyone who isn't doing the meme.

1. Pam Agaloos, Carlo Joaquin
2. Rosa Gabuna, Iam Pugeda
3. Hilary Isaac
4. Anna Deroca
5. Mimay Maog
6. Nicco Manalo, Nar Cabico
7. Hilary Isaac, Kris Isaac
8. Gino Ramirez
9. Rosa Gabuna, Iam Pugeda, Tad Tadioan
10. Tad Tadioan
11. Betty Uy-Regala
12. Karen Dio, Julia Embuscado, Maika Cruz
13. Kyla Rivera, Paulo Navarra (haha!)
14. Peachy Atilano
15. Gino Ramirez, D Weber
16. Ria Ortega
17. Tin Yang
18. Peachy Atilano
19. Opaline Santos, Teena Von Einsiedel
20. Opaline Santos, Pam Agaloos
21. Betty Uy-Regala
22. Hmmm...
23. Ed Lacson
24. Geli Garcia
25. Lara Tarranco, Ari Lopez
26. Jerald Napoles
27. Tad Tadioan, Betty Uy-Regala
28. Zshali Panganiban
29. Chrome Cosio
30. Hahaha, this is fun. You gotta try it. Love y'all. Really, hahaha.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Those were the good years.

Mimay had posted a note on Facebook, part of which had her reminiscing December of 2005. As our comments piled up, we started looking back at 2005 and even as far as 2004, back when we had met.

My goodness, another walk down memory lane. And it all began with a simple quip, ahaha. Mimay had said na ang sama ko pa raw back in 2004. Not that I was rude to them. I was always acting ever so formal as the play's stage manager and co-producer. I guess it was part of what I had called "professional detachment." They even called me "conyo" and probably even "burgis" because I almost always spoke to them in English. But it cannot be helped. Hahaha, I even had a trademark "Heya!" at the beginning of every text message I sent to them.

Eventually I had forgotten all that crap about detachment as the play had progressed. When the play closed, I realized that I had fallen in love with each of the cast. I had looked forward to every evening rehearsal and got so used to it that I had those withdrawal symptoms that I had expected. I got daily missed calls and "San kayo?" messages from Nicco. I started feeling at home in Drei and Miko's condo. Mimay still made an effort to visit us all the way from QC after disappearing for a while (typical Mims, hahaha). Nikki, Mish and I became inseparable (even now with Nix, and before Misch left for the US). Rain and I became more than just mere acquaintances, classmates and thesis mates. A re-staging was even produced and everyone was more than willing to help.

Restaging JATD at St. Cecilia's Hall, St. Scholastica.
Man, check out some of those costumes... fail!
Hahaha, but it's all part of the experience.

Hanging out in Drei and Miko's condo one evening.
Yes, Drei is wearing Mimay's headband.

Hogi: shet, nakakamiss yung mga araw na yun ah
Mimay: yeah
Mimay: ccp made everything happen for me
Mimay: i mean, had i not met arvin nong workshop, hindi ako makakajoseph
Mimay: hindi rin ako magnonoli
Mimay: hindi rin ako magwoworkshop ng tatlong taon
Hogi: hahaha
Hogi: buti na lang ccp ang pinuntahan mo
Mimay: parang si TIN
Hogi: dahil diyan, dun din ako nakapunta
Mimay: yeah, kasi gusto kong maexperience ung ccp e
Mimay: sinearch ko lang online, tas nakita ko tanghalang pilipino
Mimay: kakatuwa
Hogi: naks
Mimay: kakatuwa
Mimay: noh?
Hogi: oo, sobra
Mimay: kasi kung di ako pumunta ccp, di ko kayo makikilala
Hogi: korek
Mimay: di rin namin kayo makukwentuhan kung gano kasaya sa ccp
Mimay: hahahaha
Hogi: di nabuo ang thesis ko ng mga kengkoy na tao
Mimay: yeah

Had I not met some of the people in this crowd, I wouldn't have found out about Tanghalang Pilipino's workshops. That triggered another memory. In 2005, Mimay took another workshop in TP, and eventually got casted in Noli Me Tangere. (*insert stabbing guilt here because I never got to watch it*)

The following year, Nicco and I ended up taking TP's acting workshop with Mimay, Betty, Tin, and the rest. Nicco got accepted as a scholar for TP Actors Company. Betty and I had our crazy share of "Batman and Robin" stories. Sadly, it was the same year Tin lost her mom. Yet, more adventures began. My love affair for acting resumed.

Tanghalang Pilipino's Beginning Acting Class 2006.
Final scene of Act 2, Our Town by Thornton Wilder.

To quote Mimay, "the best years of my life." Couldn't have said it better myself. Grabe, Mimay, malayo ang post mo sa entry na ito, but napa-reminisce ako, hahaha. Senti mode.

I wonder how everyone else is. Ikaw, kamusta ka na?

Walking to the studio can be hazardous, haha.

I decided to walk all the way to the music studio from my house late this afternoon. Haha, my mom had actually noticed that I was gaining weight, so it must be really bad that I really need more exercise. So anyway. Of course, this means having to walk along 2 of our village's main streets that have the worst traffic because of all the schools along those streets. Wearing my new glasses, I realized that it was pretty dangerous walking along the side of the street where the vehicles go in the same direction. My glasses had pretty thick sides that blinded half my peripheral vision. So for 15 minutes, I had to dodge kids running the opposite direction, plus several motorcycles trying to overtake all the bigger vehicles. Wah. Note to self, wear contacts or old pair of glasses the next time I walk to the studio.

Like I had talked about with Betty yesterday, it's always learning and unlearning. Dami pa rin talaga akong sakit. But one thing I didn't expect was that I'd actually eat a piece of candy (chocolate, no less) while we did solfege. Hahaha. In fairness, it actually worked.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Quotes. On acting.

Got this from the book that Betty's reading. Some quotable quotes from the book "Audition" by Michael Shurtleff.

- To go into acting is like asking for admission to an insane asylum. Anyone may apply, but only the certifiably insane are admitted.

- It’s filled with ironies, the profession of acting. Most people go into acting to get out of themselves, to get away from their everyday humdrum selves and become someone else who is glamorous, romantic, unusual, different. And what does acting turn out to be? Using your own self. Working from what’s inside you. Not being someone else, but being you in different situations and contexts. Not escaping you, but using yourself naked and exposed up there on the stage or the silver screen.

- There’s only one person like you in the entire world. Trust yourself to use that with truth and imagination.

- As soon as an actor puts such a limitation on his work, he’s being less than himself, imprisoned in a straitjacket of don’ts. With so little freedom to feel, how can an actor give a good audition? Put aside the limitations that instant characterizations inevitably instill; allow anything to be possible; make choices that give you the maximum possible involvement.

- There are two important physical aspects of readings that actors tend to forget: being seen and being heard.

- What do the auditors expect from a reading? An opening night performance. That’s all. Directors and producers will deny this, of course.

- Creating relationship is the heart of acting. It is basic. It is essential.

- Until you expand your concept of what love is to include the various peculiar and perverse forms it can take in human relationships, you’re going to have a hard time as an actor finding an emotional commitment to the scenes you’re trying to act.

- The desire for love, to give it or receive it, and preferably both and simultaneously, is the chief propellant in human beings. An actor had best learn that love comes in all forms, and in many more forms than only those he himself admires.

- An actor must make the most active choice possible for every scene.

- An actor is looking for conflict. Conflict is what creates drama. Plays are not written about our everyday lives or the moments of peace and placidity but about the extraordinary, the unusual, the climaxes.

- Maximum conflict is what you should be looking for.

- That’s why there’s so little romance in our world now: everyone thinks romance is weak. Yet romance is everyone’s secret dream – it’s why we’re alive. Never distrust romance; nothing could be stronger.

- We never knew for sure what you might do next. I think that makes acting most interesting.

- Humor is a relaxation to me. It means you stop for a minute to see how ridiculous you are or she is, how absurd this situation we’ve got ourselves into.

- But refusing to use your imagination isn’t dealing with the problem. It’s being defeatist; it’s limiting you in ways you don’t need to be limited.

- Attractions to someone don’t get “used up” – not if they are love, not if they are needful, not if they are emotional rather than just sexual. Attractions that are emotional grow.

- There are opposites in every scene. The actor may have to dig for them, for the playwright may well have implied them under the surface of the character and not have written them into the dialogue at all; but they are always there for the digging. They are well worth digging for; they result in the most interesting kind of acting: the complex.

- Actors need to work from real-life situations, not literary or character concepts. Most often the discoveries aren’t written on the surface of the script; the actor has to dig in the subtext to find them. They come out of the actor’s own life questions.

- Acting is supremely a task of communication. It is not enough for the actor to feel, if that feeling is not being communicated.

- The most successful actors are those who are able to project what they are feeling to someone else. This sending of feeling to another person becomes so strong that it is projected to an audience.

- Plays are not concerned with this everyday behavior of ours, but with the unusual moments in a person’s life when his need to communicate is at its greatest. These are the needs the actor must furnish.

- Receiving the feelings of another is even harder than sending out feelings of your own. It requires sensitivity, a heightened awareness of another person. It requires the investment of real caring; otherwise why will you undertake thee formidable task of opening yourself up to true communication?

- Receiving requires that we be open, willing. How can we receive it we are closed up? Being open is an act of both generosity and selfishness: generous in opening yourself up to receive another’s needs; selfish in the greed of wanting to know another person, for there is power in knowing another.

- There are occasions when we need to know another person, where it is difficult for us to live unless we do know them.

- Unselfish motivations lead to passive, saintly, and very dull acting.

- Communication is the desire to change the person to whom you are communicating.

- No one wants to admit he is competitive in human relationships of love and friendship. But without competition between the characters, drama is dull indeed, since it feeds on conflict and dies with agreement.

- I hammer away at it: an actor must compete, or die.

- Plays are written about the most important moments in people’s lives, not about their everyday humdrumness. If they featured the humdrum, who would leave home to go see a play?

- People live for their dreams, not for the oppressiveness of truths.

- The truth is not enough for a play unless it is invested with sufficient emotion to make it important.

- Peacefulness and the avoidance of trouble won’t help him in his acting. It is just the opposite he must seek.

- The truth we seek in acting must be a highly selective truth, not an everyday, ordinary household variety.

- What an actor must look for in a play is something unusual. Something important.

- Important does not necessarily mean significant to others. It means emotionally important to you at this moment. We make trivial things important to us at the moment, even if a day later we will have forgotten them. Important things are made even more important to us.

- Make the stakes in each scene as high as you can. Look for the maximum importance. Add importance. If you don’t, no one will be listening to you.

- Every play is about love. Sometimes it’s about hate, which is the reverse. Hate happens when a person is deprived of love. That’s why you hate your mother; you never had love from anyone. The more you are deprived of love, the more you are in need of it.

- A play must move, it must progress, it cannot stand still. Events make a play progress; character or behavior alone will not do that. Something has to happen to move the narrative forward.

- Clearly, actions are always more interesting than mere talk.

- The immediate reality of a bare stage is a real down; an actor would do well to lift himself up, with a place of his own.

- Since an actor is free to choose any place he wishes in which to do his reading – for it is he who provides the place in his imagination – it would be wisest for him to choose a place he knows well.

- Install a lover, and when he leaves, you’ll hate the place you liked before. All the same place, but how you feel about it changes depending on the emotional events that take place there.

- Once you have chosen the place, once you see it clearly in physical terms, then you must look for how you feel about it. The feeling is most important. That is what will elevate your use of place into emotional value.

- You played your judgment of a nun. That isn’t going to help me give some dimension to the role. A nun doesn’t feel she’s a disagreeable taskmaster. You’ve got to show opposites, not just one side.

- Play to win. Play to get what you’re fighting for. No one in all this world plays to lose. Not even the self-destructs.

- Usually there’s an exception to any well-kept secret, which is one of the fascinating things about secrets: sooner or later you tell someone. Human beings can’t seem to bear keeping a secret totally to themselves, not forever.

- Consistency is the death of good acting.

- And remember, once more, that it is more important at an audition to show the auditors the extent of your emotional equipment as an actor than to illustrate your understanding of the script.

- The terms of loving. This is a highly important concept for an actor. Most scenes in plays (as in life) are negotiations of terms between two people, whether they are lovers or enemies. Attempts to come to some agreement whereby one can hold onto one’s own and so can the other person. This is conflict. Conflict is drama.

- A lot of actors roar their protest when I say friendship is competitive. They conceive of competition as not nice, as aggressive and unattractive. One would not compete with one’s friends; that would be a dreadful state of affairs.

- But we do compete with our friends. It’s one of the major reasons we have friends: stimulation. You can’t stimulate each other unless you compete.

- Competition is healthy, yet actors (as do most people) regard the word competition with horror, thinking it only connotes cutthroat business or aggressive countries at war with each other. Of course, competition can be aggressive and warlike, but it can also be a healthy stimulus, such as wanting to play tennis with a partner who is as good or as better than we are.

- Friendship is perhaps the only relationship of equality we have in our lives.

- We don’t like to do things we don’t do well; we don’t like failure; we like success. It wouldn’t matter to us if we succeeded or failed if we didn’t compete.

- There is an acceptance in friendship that enables us to relax and enjoy competing. Friendships – good ones, true ones, basic ones – tend to last longer than most other relationships. It’s because there is trust, freedom to compete, freedom to criticize and to receive criticism – freedom because we are accepted and therefore honesty is possible. No other relationship in our lives is likely to be as honest as our close friendships. No other relationship is able to relax into competitiveness that is acceptable on both sides.

- Actors are very worried – rightfully so – about being truthful in their acting. The tendency is to prize truth even when it’s tiny, mundane, everyday truth. But that’s not enough. What good is truth if it’s dull and boring? Exciting truths can be truthful, too. Learn to prefer those.

- You should embrace melodrama, not run away from it.

- “I didn’t want to be melodramatic.” Why not? Who gave melodrama a bad name? People are melodramatic in life every day.

- It’s investing melodrama with belief that makes it work. It you decide it’s melodramatic in order to withdraw from it, you can never fulfill it. Withdrawal is just another inhibited actor being uninteresting; the woods is full of ‘em. Plunge in. Give us actors who are willing to take the risk.

- The purpose of a reading is to show who you are.

- You’re not at an audition to do the scene right, but to show the auditors who you are. Give yourself a chance. Worry less about the material and more about what you would do and feel if you were in that situation. The play gives you a situation; your job is to put yourself in it.

- Always take into account what’s different. Use your imagination, your instincts. Rigidity is death in an actor’s life.

- Acting is seeing. We see our entire lives in images.

- We see everything that way: not an isolated close-up of a face, but a person in a specific environment.

- Acting is about what we do, not what we should do.

- Acting is predicated on the ways in which human beings behave, not the way they should behave.

- Acting is doing what people do. It is not a moral act.

- Actors rarely pick revenge as the goal they are fighting for, yet revenge is one of the most important motivations in human nature. When we are deeply hurt, we want to hurt back.

- If you’re going to be an actor, you’ll have to start exploring the intricate, hidden, and frequently unfair behavior that is caused by our need for revenge.

- Many a self-made important executive is the result of being overlooked as a child.

- Many creative people are “getting back” at being considered untalented or uninteresting.

- Some Hollywood beauties are proving to the world they can be wanted, after a childhood of neglect and rejection (the classic, and typical, example is Marilyn Monroe). These are all acts of revenge. Keep in mind that revenge is not harmful or destructive; frequently it is highly creative, an enormous life force driving people to prove their worth.

- Isn’t all our creative work the achievement of revenge against all the doubting Thomases who said we couldn’t? There are always the dubious standing in the sidelines to say we can’t achieve our ambitions. If we show them we can, we get our revenge.

- After all, we do know about any human being can act like shit, but what we’re looking for in most actors is likability, warmth, and feeling.

- For even the seducers are seeking love. They guise it from themselves (and more contemporary people do it than ever before) and insist they just want to get laid, but they do want to be wanted, and that is wanting love, even if you have no intention of giving it. The actor is always better off making the choice, then, of seeking love rather than seduction.

- A maxim for actors. Use what you know. Don’t worry about what you don’t know.

- The action of being shy is wanting not to be shy but to be confident, bold, aggressive. The shy person dreams of being the opposite of what he is. His entire effort is to overcome his shyness.

- Listening is not merely hearing, it is receiving the message that is being sent to you. Listening is reacting. Listening is being affected by what you hear. Listening is letting it land before you react. Listening is letting your reaction make a difference.

- Listening is talking while you are being talked to, not out loud but creating silent dialogue that answers what is said to you. This is active. Active listening is answering.

- The more specific your silent dialogue answers, the better your listening.

- When an actor hates the character, there is usually a profoundly personal reason. Sometimes because it’s revealing a trait the actor doesn’t like in himself; or it re-creates a real-life relationship that is so uncomfortable the actor wants to run away rather than deal with it (hating is a way of running away). We rarely have such a strong reaction as hatred unless it involves us deeply.

- A curious fact, I find, is that actors get in trouble when they love the character, also. Their favorite role in their favorite play is sometimes the one for which they give the most unsuccessful readings.

- All human beings love to suffer. The reason people love to suffer is that it makes them right.

- What’s the good of suffering if no one else knows?

- Fear is what we don’t know. The solution is to know what it is you are afraid of; then you can deal with it.

- But most of the time our fears are groundless: we don’t know why we are afraid.

- Through the years, I have found most actors are terrified of the audition. They don’t know why. It is a nameless, unspecified terror.

- Learn to function, instead of being prey to your undefined fears.

- Actors should react on the line, not in between.

- Physicalizing is a strong way to express feeling. Physical expression is not a substitute for feeling but an extension of it.

- Learn to use all levels of awareness. Actors feel they are really in a scene when they are totally unaware of the audience or of anything except what’s going on between them and their stage partners.

- Acting or writing or directing in theatre or television or screen is only for the irrevocably diseased, those who are so smitten with the need that there is no choice.

- If actors would use life as their source rather than stage convention, they’d find the answers to everything that happens in a play.

- One great missing ingredient in current acting is romance. Everyone secretly wants romance, but in these harsh, “realistic” days, no one will openly admit it.

- People are motivated by dreams, by visions of what might be, not by realities and harsh views of what is.

- The actor’s process is the distillation of complexities. The simplest choices are the most telling. When you put it all together, find simplicity.

- Most actors fail not because of lack of talent but because 1. They don’t work hard enough. 2. They aren’t disciplined. 3. They are literal rather than truly imaginative. 4. They are victimized by their limitations and prejudices. 5. They are ruled by their negative side. 6. They are not persistent.

- It should be a cardinal rule of an actor’s life: Always audition.

- Half an actor’s life is auditioning, half is performing. Why stint on the auditioning half?

- The actor must always know more than the character does.

- Literary choices are not dramatic. Make your choices from emotional need rather than intellectual understanding.

- Silence is a form of communication that is an alternative to verbal communication. It is a way of saying something to someone else. Silence is silent dialogue.

- Every moment, every move, every silence must speak.

- Conflict, not contemplation, is dramatic truth. Save contemplation for philosophic essays or for sitting on the toilet all by yourself.

- Pursue the answers until they lead to more questions that require turmoil and the deepest parts of your awareness to answer. Acting hurts.

- Your everyday life is not the criteria of what you are. Your fantasy life is who you are. Everybody’s fantasy life is richer than reality.

- An act of imagination is what makes being alive possible.

- Love is not always ideal. It takes peculiar forms sometimes. Don’t be so idealistic in your concepts. You overlook a lot of the strange places where love occurs, a lot of the strange, bizarre images that can be above love, too.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Learning and unlearning.

The title were the words that popped in my head when I was in the music studio yesterday.

So David had assigned himself as my new teacher. But when I arrived early at the studio, Patrick was the one there, so he was the one who vocalized me before Dave arrived. Ano ito, tag team ang mga teachers ko, hahaha.

So anyway, because I haven't gone back in ages, I was so out of shape. Dave was a different teacher than Patrick, and his loud tenor voice filled the room and most likely even the next unit. Parang mas soprano pa sila sakin right now, ahehe. So there we were, and during the entire hour (I think we even extended), I realized that I still had so many bad habits. I had shed them off for a while when I was taking lessons last year, but now they had returned. Arg.

I guess it's still like acting. Like Miss Tess had said on the very first day of our workshop, you have to learn then unlearn before you become a good actor. Learn new techniques and unlearn all those bad habits that you had picked up along the way. For some reason, I can open my mouth really wide when I'm acting, but when I'm singing, everything closes up. May hiya pa rin daw ako sa paglabas ng boses. But interestingly enough, even though Dave hated that I immediately went to falsetto, he actually liked the sound of it. Or did he? Hahaha. Dave, I know you're stalking my blog.

Wahaha, after the evening's lesson, Dave showed me all those packages that were for the world competition next year. In July. Oh my. Should I? (Hey, that rhymes, hahaha.)

Visiting Atlantis.

Went to Atlantis last Wednesday at lunch to celebrate Ate Sally's birthday with the office staff. The whole gang was there, even Ate Janine. Plus Karen, who had already dropped by earlier that day. Yay, there was the usual pancit and barbecue from Ineng's, and Lawyn and Claire got Ate Sal this yummy chocolate cake.

Hahaha, considering it was Claire's birthday the day before, and Kuya Boni's on Sunday, we made each of them blow the candle that was on the cake. After that, it was finally time to eat, yay.

Bobby had arrived at around 1pm, and it was so funny when people had said that it was Claire's birthday the day before, as everyone was already teasing her to her current object of infatuation. When the phone rang, who else could it be? Speaking of the devil, it was her crush, calling to greet her a happy birthday. We all burst out laughing, loud enough for the chiquita to hear. Wheee! Happy birthday to y'all!

I love celebrating birthdays in Atlantis. I have at least 2 memories of best birthdays with that company. First was Richelle's during our first year working. When her birthday was drawing near, she had said that she had never celebrated her birthday ever. So Ate Sal and I gave her a little surprise party during lunch on the day of her birthday, which made her cry. Aw.

Of course, the other best birthday was mine last year. The moment I found out that we also have an evening show of Avenue Q scheduled on the day of my birthday, I was pretty upset that I wasn't going to have any time for myself on my birthday. Anyway, I bought lunch for Lawyn and Kuya Boni, and by the time we arrived in RCBC, I got a surprise phone call from Ate Sally in Dubai. And of course, the best thing that night was Tad's surprise visit in the theater, complete with flowers, cake and birthday gift, hahahaha!

Just sitting in the office the other day made me miss working there. I have yet to write an entry about that. I'll do so another day when I find the time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

On singing again.

Hahaha, another entry today? I'm on a roll.

My cousin David just called. Mostly about rescheduling his meeting with Kuya and Ate Maui to discuss the choir's repertoire. Then as usual, there was the invite to join the GAP choir, which is always inserted in our every conversation, haha. And as always, I decline, even though I really want to because it would help me learn.

Then David mentioned that he'd give me voice lessons. He'd be my teacher for free. Hahaha. So of course I said yes. Then again, with the offer of joining the group, hahahaha! They're joining a world competition in China, and enticed me with the all-expenses-paid trip. Oooh. Tempting.

I hope I can start the lessons this week. Time to bring out my Solfege book again, yay.

On Tad's Philstage citation.

Hahaha, I just had to re-post this. Lifted from Sir Tim Dacanay's blog...

Pagpugay sa aktor sa aking dula

Nanalo si Jonathan "Tad" Tadioan sa pagganap niya bilang Congressman Chok Villanueva sa dula kong "Pamantasang Hirang." 

Natuwa ako sa ginawa niya sa dula, reading pa lang ay sinabihan ko na ang direktor naming si Hazel Gutierrez na napako na ni Tad ang role.  Tanda ito ng kasipagan at pagiging masinop ng aktor. Sa rihersal ay binibiro ko siyang, "Breakthrough play mo ito! Kaya sulatan mo rin ako ng magandang dulang malalabasan ko bilang aktor."  Minsang binisita ng mandudulang si Anna Gonzalez ang rihersal ay lumabas siya sa kuwarto sa lakas ng dating ng pagganap ni Tad.

Pati si Layeta Bucoy ay ni-request makamayan ang aktor pagkatapos ng isang palabas sa Virgin Labfest dahil nagka-interes siya sa dula noong unang pinabasa ko ito sa Writers Bloc. Kaya inintroduce ko sila: "Layeta Bucoy, meet Congressman Chok Villanueva!"

May pinanggalingan kaming masamang karanasan ni Tad bago ang pagganap niya sa "Pamantasang Hirang." Sa Virgin Labfest 3 ay kasama siya ng mga Tanghalang Pilipino actors na gumanap sa staged reading ng aking "Teatro Porvenir." Lumundag siya sa lower stage level na tumumba naman. Nabagok siya sa gilid ng stage at tumulo ang manipis na dugo sa ulo. Ngunit dahil propesyonal siya ay di niya ito pinahalata at tuloy tuloy ang kanilang pagpapalabas. Nalaman ko na lang pagkatapos. Nag-sori siya sa akin dahil nasira ang eksena. "Play lang iyan," sabi ko. "Kalusugan mo ang mas importante."

Bawi siya sa Virgin Labfest 4.

Proud ako pag napapansin ng mga kritiko ang mga artista sa mga dula ko dahil doon din ako nanggaling. Sinisiguro kong sa paggawa ng tauhan ay sulit at challenging ang gagampanan ng mga aktor.

Congrats, Tad! You deserve all the accolades that come your way!

Mula sa

Philstage Gawad Buhay! Awards third-quarter citations, 2008

Following is the complete list of Gawad Buhay! citations for the third quarter of 2008:

Arthur Acuna, The Golden Child
Joey Paras, Ang Bayot, ang Meranao, at ang Habal-Habal sa Isang Nakababagot na Paghihintay sa Kanto ng Lanao del Norte
Arnold Reyes, Ang Bayot, ang Meranao, at ang Habal-Habal sa Isang Nakababagot na Paghihintay sa Kanto ng Lanao del Norte
Jonathan Tadioan, Pamantasang Hirang (TP/VLF4)

Photo by Yong Tapang

Teeheehee... just darn proud of him, that's all. =)

Bridesmaid duties.

Hahaha, feeling lang ako, as I'm the only bridemaid around the bride right now. Anyway.

"I have a whole list of stuff I want to write about," I had said.

After looking at a couple of articles that I had submitted to a couple of 'zines, I realized that I had missed writing like that. I remembered how easy it was to write, as if I was merely blogging about what had happened during a particular day. In my notepad just now, I had listed down all those I want to write about, but haven't had much time to do so.

Hopefully I'll find the time to write soon.

So what have I been up to lately? Mostly I've been tagging along with Kuya and Ate Maui as they go about their wedding preparations. I've been helping Ate Maui add a few touches on their wedding invitations, and even after last night, we haven't finished yet, hahaha. Then last Friday, our family went out to lunch at this Korean place we used to eat at before (now it's under new management and has a new name). Hahaha, the manager watched in awe as my brother ate all those chili peppers as if it were candy. Then we went to Fernbrook to check out the venue of the wedding. Well, there wasn't really much to see, as there were a lot of workers in every place that we went to, doing repairs, watering the plants, all that stuff. Oh well, I hope everything will turn out pretty good on the big day itself.

Yesterday, Ate Maui, my mom and I went to the dressmaker for our first gown fitting. When Michelle had whipped out both my mom's dress and mine, the three of us knew that something was way off. All the colors were wrong! My mom's dress was supposed to be silver, and what was in front of us was cream-colored gown which made her look older. The dress Michelle had made for me was in blue-green, when she was specifically told that the color was supposed to be navy or midnight blue. And she had claimed that I gained weight. Kamusta naman. If I had gained weight, then I wouldn't have even zipped it up. The zipper managed to go up past my ribs, and stopped at the chest area. So ano yun, pumunta lahat ng taba sa chest area ko? And there was this ugly bulge in the front, as if it was made in a hurry.

I was already making side comments that only my mom could hear, just in case Ate Maui was fine with the color. But as it turned out, she didn't like everything at all because Michelle didn't follow what she had said. By the time we had left Michelle's and arrived at Kuya Roger's (for the barongs), Ate Maui had made phone calls both to Kuya and Jack (their wedding coordinator) about what had happened, then decided to buy the fabric in the color she had preferred. Kasi naman, one of the things Michelle had insisted was that she couldn't find taffetta in the shade of blue Ate Maui had wanted. Uhm, it was BLUE. Just look for DARK BLUE, diba? It's an easier color to find that BLUE-GREEN.

Last night, Kuya, Ate Maui and I put our heads together as we tried to figure out how they would do their AVP. We each had bits of suggestions that would work, but I hope we can put them together. Then they mentioned a magic word, "ballroom dancing." Hahaha, well, not really. They just wanted someone to teach them how to dance ballroom for their first dance. Ate Maui had also suggested adding a bit of crazy to their dance, and I really really really want to be part of it. I hope they'll let me, just so I can dance ballroom, hahaha.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Missing the singing voice (kung meron nga, hahaha).

Typing in this in my brother's work laptop. Thank goodness we had set up his router on the first morning after their arrival. Hahaha, so he can work here at home, and Ate Maui can surf to her heart's content using her own laptop as I waste all my time on the Internet with my own PC. Still hoping I'll inherit Kuya's laptop before he leaves, hehehe.

Anyway, Kuya, Ate Maui and I went to David's music school this evening. David had called the day before to invite us to one of their choir rehearsals so we can check out the current repertoire they're working on for the wedding. So after our family had gone out to dinner, we just waited for the time then the three of us headed to the venue. It was fairly smaller than the old place, and the choir was crowded around the small main area.

I loved listening to the choir. Though I can't help but agree with Kuya and Ate Maui that there's something missing in their sound that night. Well, maybe it's because they weren't complete, as David had said before their rehearsal began.

David had once mentioned that he and Patrick (my voice teacher last year) were thinking of inviting me to join the choir. Dave asked me again this evening, but I declined. As much as I wanted to join, I still don't think I can yet, as I had stopped my training.

I miss singing. I miss taking lessons. I actually liked the challenge of learning how to sight read for the first time because Patrick had said he wanted all his students to be sight readers. I want to go back to taking voice lessons, but I don't have sufficient funds to do so. Kuya, sponsor mo muna ang voice lessons ko, hehe.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The drama behind the drama, by Betty.

Betty wrote an article about our Nemesis experience and posted it on Facebook. Thought I'd re-post it here in my blog.

The drama behind the drama
Dedicated to Mimay Maog, Hogi Cadlum and Opaline Rae Santos
By Betty Uy-Regala

She had gone missing for two days when, after losing Alan, she lost Margaret. She sent disturbing text messages to me prompting calls she wouldn’t answer which led me to send text messages to Ayn and Carme. Carme, a replacement for Margaret, replied: She’s okay. Carme was our classmate in a 2006 acting workshop in CCP. Ayn followed suit: She’s here. Ayn is her long-time friend and her house Villa Dimaya, as she called it, was our rehearsal venue. Knowing she was safe and to give her that proverbial space to sort things out on her own, I stopped the texts and the calls.

Mimay, my young friend who went AWOL on us, chose to stage Nemesis, Peter Wilson’s one-act play, to complete the requirements for her directing class under Jose Estrella. The time was summer of 2007, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekdays and whole days on weekends. The place was Villa Dimaya. The music was Korn (MTV Unplugged) or at least that’s what I was listening to en route to the rehearsal venue.

Alan and Margaret are characters in Nemesis. Margaret was played by Hogi whose mom tore up to pieces the Nemesis script in a fit of fury, which I only discovered recently. Hogi abstractly explained that her mom is anti-theater. I guess Mrs. Cadlum only wants a stable career for her daughter by acquiring that much delayed college diploma once and for all and land a 9 to 5 job. Barbara is another character which I played.

During that time, I was waiting if I made it to the Actor’s Company having been short listed after the audition with a panel composed of Sir Dennis Marasigan, Paolo O’ Hara and Mayen Estanero. I participated in the required three-week intermediate acting workshop. I think it was Dandy who remarked in class that although we didn’t want to compete, it felt like a competition. There were only six or eight slots available and there were 20 or so of us who wanted to get in.

Since it was a workshop intended for AC apprenticeship, the participants were all good. Some of my former classmates here in Facebook include Uleb Nieto, Dandy Duane Ramos, Ron Jansen Solis, Sheenly Gener, Kathlyn Castillo, Joan C. Palisoc, Hazel Orencio, Riki Benedicto, and, ehem, Chrome Cosio.

I also had my own share of drama at work. I was preparing for events in the former office for its 10th anniversary and dragged another friend to help me build a second exhibition space. While Deo and the other workmates were meeting downstairs, I was up in my office sitting very comfortably and laughing my ass off while talking to a friend over the phone. When my officemate told me what happened during their meeting, I apologized to Deo on behalf of the people who did him wrong.

I don’t recall the specifics but I do remember that Deo and Kleng walked in on me crying. Not knowing what to do with a female in tears, Deo left after muttering, “Ano wag na natin tuloy?”. It was Kleng who stayed and gave me a hug. I was hesitant to tell Mimay this particular drama saying she would not understand a complicated thing called office politics or maybe she would since its synonym is high school anyway. Understand she did and even related a similar circumstance regarding some relations.

This was after Nemesis 2007 fell through. I wasn’t chosen for AC. I chose to stay at the former office. We did not talk about Nemesis though I mentioned it once to Mimay. She said she wasn’t ready to delve into it until the play became a taboo topic.

Many outings later, – our videoke date where Mimay confided her fears of failing while waiting for Mervyn and his friend; my dropping by the hotel room of Mimay and her family a few hours before they left for the US and; others which I don’t recall now – 2008 came upon us.

When Mimay returned sometime in March, Hogi and I just enrolled for the rehearsal techniques workshop under Sir Dennis. In May, after the workshop, Mimay told us that she had decided to do Nemesis for her directing class notwithstanding what she had been through for the play the previous year. I was surprised and glad at the same time.

Tad, Hogi’s boyfriend, was to play Alan’s part. Since he had rehearsals for another show, I only caught him once during our rehearsals. Tad, the third actor for Alan, eventually bailed on Nemesis. After three or four days of desperately searching for an Alan, Mimay finally found Alan in Alvin Castro. Alvin, a high school teacher in La Salle Greenhills, was Mimay's classmate in CCP's 2005 musical theater workshop.

After early dinner, we would discuss the play in Ayn’s dining room with me occupying the same chair throughout the rehearsal period. Dinner was an assortment of KFC and Jollibee takeouts, Mimay’s carbonara, Lucky Me Pancit Canton, chips, bread, Nutella, and coffee for me after. Mimay with the help of Ate Tess graciously tended to us.

Discussions of the script had been serious. “Why would they (Alan and Margaret) fuck in my house?,” I asked, “that’s the height of kakupalan.” “Alan has a low level middle management position, he is a marketing manager. He has a sense of humor which attracts the ladies,” we decided. “Margaret had a two-year secretarial course bent on becoming rich by hooking up with a well-off guy,” Hogi offered.

Bantering punctuated our script analysis sessions. Because Opa was initially quiet, she naturally became the target of our teasing from her coming in late to pairing her romantically with Leo, another friend of Mimay’s from film school. Leo was also the art director of our pictorial. It did not take long for Opa to open up to us telling on other people’s dreams complete with facial reactions which drew rounds of guffaw.

Hogi met Opa in 2007 when they were both stage managers at the Virgin Labfest, a showcase of new plays performed at Huseng Batute. Opa was the SM for Nemesis. She was our savior for forgotten lines and blocking, and I frequently needed redemption.

I did the homework, I made a research on the playwright, read two of his essays on religion, and read No Exit aside from the usual character sketch for Barbara’s profile. Yes Mimay, I applied what I learned from the workshops.

We breezed through the rehearsals and the pictorial for the poster and program although we crammed in producing these printed materials. I did the copy for the program until 4 a.m. and had to prepare for work two hours later, a day or two days before the actual show. Every rehearsal day, Hogi and I would engage in a screaming match to the consternation of carpenters working late in Ayn's garage.

I felt Mimay deserved a little something for pouring her heart on the play so I bought flowers primarily for her, and the rest of us. On show day, Hogi and I goofed around while the lighting and design people were at work. I was calm enough during the DTR and actual show, and had that performance high after. I read Mimay’s blog the following month relating belatedly how much Nemesis meant to her.

Nemesis meant a lot to us too Mimay. I was with friends and we had fun – the dramas in our respective lives temporarily muted while rehearsing at Villa Dimaya. It made the three of us closer, and I gained a new friend in Opa who now attends art exhibit openings with me, whether she likes it or not.

I am grateful to acting for a lot of things. Acting sharpens the instincts, it deepens empathy, and cultivates fearlessness. Acting helps me navigate through life. More importantly, I am grateful to acting because I developed/am developing friendships with people involved in it who are mostly more open and less judgmental of other people and situations.

In a conversation with Boss Hermie, Literary Arts Division chief at the CCP where I helped produce the CCP Gawad Para sa Sining folio, I told him I am more of a writer than I am an actor. In retrospect, maybe I am neither, maybe I am just an office person who appreciates the arts. Whatever the label, I am just happy to be part of a community of creators.

When Mimay uploaded the recording of Nemesis on YouTube, I was ready for some serious notes-taking. Watching with a critical pair of eyes, I still found myself enjoying it. Although there were notes, Hogi, Opa and I agreed that it was actually a good show worthy of a commercial run. I sent an email to Mimay about our collective view two weeks ago. She has not replied yet.

While waiting for her reply, I am enjoying the increasing number of views Nemesis is getting on YouTube since it was uploaded three weeks ago, and Peter Wilson’s providing a link to the videos on his web recently.

Thank you again Mimay for Nemesis.

Yes, Mimay, thank you indeed.

I'm itching to write a separate blog on my complete Nemesis experience, but I haven't found the time yet. And I want it well written as well for Mimay, Betty and Opa.


The bruise on my left knee has turned purple and blue, and it's as big as my hand. Yes, you read that right. HAND. As in hindi lang palm of my hand or fist. An entire hand. Waaah.

My brother and his fiancee arrived from Canada last night, yay. Lots of things to do before their wedding next month, my oh my. Haha, first thing my brother and I did this morning was set up the router so he can go online anywhere with his laptop.

Congrats to Tad for his Gawad Buhay Citation! Darn proud of you for that. I love you! Mwah! =)