So anyway, what happened during our Bacolod leg of Children's Letters to God? Here's my update.
Met up with Dingdong, Ikey, Nicco, John, Acey and Bart at the airport on Thursday morning. Jill, Bianca and Hendri were already in Bacolod, and Nar was taking a bus from Dumaguete. The plane ride was kind of uneventful, as most of us slept right through it. Bianca and Jill had picked us up from the airport, and we headed directly to 21 Restaurant for lunch and the press conference. Finally met Mito, who was the one who took care of this leg of our show's tour. Nar was still on his way to the venue (he had told us later that the bus broke down and there was no air conditioning) and was super late, so when the cast had to sing "I Know" for the press, we had Ikey sing Nar's parts of the song.
It was fairly a simple and short press con, but Nar finally managed to make it for the last remaining minutes, so the cast got to sing another song number ("Questions, Questions").
After the press con, the prod team had to divide up tasks. Dingdong, John and Acey went to the venue of the show, while Bart and I stayed at 21 with the cast so we can do a run-through in one of the small function rooms. After the run and some notes, we headed to L'Fisher check out the venue, as well to check in.
Dingdong, John and Acey were almost done setting up when we got there. We took care of the room assignments there, as we had to switch things around, like having the tech together in one room (except for me--I was with Jill in another room). Finally checked in and stashed our stuff in our respective rooms. I got to chill for a while (though a tad guilty for not helping the boys set up), plus setting up the uber-slow (but bearable) wifi before Acey texted me, asking if he could borrow my laptop for the music. Headed downstairs to the ballroom to help out the boys, and when I saw the projector that I would be using, I realized that the cord that hooks up the projector to my laptop was too short to make it to the tech booth, and most likely I might have to sit in the center aisle if I have to use that cord. Mito said that we'd have a long cord by tomorrow, so it's all cool. Anyway, the cast did a quick stage adjustment before we left the venue for dinner. John, though, still had to stay to focus the lights.
Off to Chicken House for dinner. Oh yeah, now that is some good chicken inasal. I remember hardly talking while I was eating, just listening to conversation all around me. Yes, either I was really starving, or the food was really good. And I love their tables, which were composed of pretty colorful tiles.
Back to L'Fisher to rest up for the long day the next day. I spent the evening online, blogging and listening to ballroom tunes while Jill went out.
The following morning, I woke up to Hendri waking me. The cast was guesting for an early morning show, and he needed to have a copy of the minus ones for the guesting, so I had to get up and copy the songs to his iPod touch. After copying a bunch of other music, he and the cast headed out with Mito and I went back to bed and didn't wake up until Jill had returned, ringing the doorbell. That's when I finally got my bum moving. Had breakfast with Dingdong, Acey and John on the roofdeck, then after a while, we headed back to our rooms to prep up. Dropped by the guys' room and got a CLTG shirt (as us tech people would be wearing it throughout the day), then we all headed downstairs to the ballroom.
It took me a while to be fully set up near the tech booth, as I had to wait for Mito to give me a longer cord for the projector. Then we had to re-adjust the settings that we made the day before because it wasn't saved on the projector. Then I didn't fix the settings on my laptop when Bart wanted to start the run, so I was playing the slides blindly without the presenter view showing on my laptop. Good thing I managed to set it up and add a couple of blank slides (for blackouts) before the start of the first show at 2pm.
My goodness, we filled up that huge ballroom for the entire 2 afternoon shows! So many students from so many different schools. I could even see kids wearing that oh so familiar plaid green jumper uniforms, so I knew there were kids from La Salle Bacolod. There were some slight bloopers during the show, but it was all fine. All the kids loved it! The most receptive audience we had were during the 4pm show. The 7pm gala show had a smaller audience, so we closed off two-thirds of the huge ballroom by then.
I also love the yummy food provided for us backstage in between shows. There was lunch of chorizong hubad ("the kind that you can still taste when you burp," John had said), then chicken teriyaki for early dinner. Never mind that we still had dinner after the show, I was always starving during shows.
All 3 shows were a hit! We immediately did a strike, which was already fairly easy for us, as we just had to put away the big tarp, the clouds (Dingdong accidentally let one fall and smash some of its part on the floor), the props and the costumes. Then when we headed back to the hotel, I immediately went up to my room and found Jill and Bianca already freshened up and dressed for dinner. I took a super quick (I was in and out and dressed in about 5 minutes) shower and was ready quicker than the boys, who were still getting ready when we knocked on their door when I was finally ready.
Had dinner at Bascon with the Bacolod team involved in the production. More yummy food! And I couldn't pass up the chocolate cake for dessert (never mind that I'm not allowed to eat chocolate, ahehe). Super thanks to Mito and everyone in Bacolod for accommodating us and for making things happen for this leg of the tour!
We went back to L'Fisher to have a few drinks at the roofdeck, so after dinner was over, we thanked everyone and Bianca's family and headed out. Jill, Bianca and I rode separately from the boys, so we got the the roofdeck first. Once we got there, I was surprised to see a familiar face out there. It was Bryan, whom I haven't seen since Nikki and I saw him and RR in Greenbelt a couple of years ago. Apparently he was also there for work, and realized that I was involved in the production in the ballroom when he took a peek at it earlier that day.
Anyway, Bart also arrived and found us there, then Nar and Ikey followed. They then started teasing me to dance, as the music that played was perfect for a chachacha. I did a few steps in front of them, then started getting conscious and stopped. Oh well, hahaha.
Grabbed a table near the band stand, then Nicco, Mito and Hendri trickled in and joined us. Drinks galore, crazy quips, and Nar even jammed with the musicians a couple of times. There were a couple of quips that night that made me say that I've been taking note of some of the quotable quotes during this trip...
"Parang the colors are brighter here in Bacolod."
- John while we were in the van from the airport after we had arrived.
"You're cute... but only to my pwet."
- Bart to Hendri at 21 Restaurant.
"I want to do this musical right."
- Bart about staging a certain musical that was already produced in Manila once.
And of course, I can't forget Bart's toasts on the roofdeck.
"To relationships formed... and reformed."
"To being beautiful... in art."
After finally calling it a night, we all headed back to our rooms. When Hendri started coming round the rooms, I went with him to the boys' room, as he said that he wants to "steal" some music from Ikey's laptop. I remembered that I wanted to get some tunes from his laptop as well, so I joined them. Hendri took quite a long time looking through everything, so I had to wait for him to finish. Then I managed to grab the ones I wanted, plus a bunch of other videos as well when he was done.
Early flight the next morning back to Manila, also kind of uneventful, as we already had to board upon arrival at the airport. We arrived in Manila about 15 minutes early, and I headed straight for home.
Every show of Children's Letters to God always gives me a happy heart. This musical had given me so much good vibes and memories, and it always tells me that it doesn't hurt to go back to being an innocent kid every once in a while, with curious eyes wide open. I'm so grateful to have been given the opportunity to work behind this production, and also grateful for the cast and production team that I got to work with, and I always look forward to every show tour. Hope this Bacolod leg won't be the last.