Monday, November 26, 2007

Class of 1992

Earlier this afternoon I had the pleasure of attending the ADMU 92 reunion held at the high school covered courts of the Ateneo de Manila.  In spite of the threatening weather, the turn out was respectable, and I was able to see my old friends... a few from English, Biology, Math and Filipino, plus others I hung out with during my lunch breaks.

Our batch is a varied and interesting one... one is the spokesman for the United Opposition, while another is the daughter of President Gloria M. Arroyo... there are doctors (a bone surgeon, two nephrologists and a thoracic-cardiovascular surgeon)... lawyers... a photographer... others have decided to be stay-at-home moms or work from home... artists, economists, and entrepreneurs.  We all got together amidst pizza booths... ice cream... beer and soda... activities for the kids... strollers... monobloc chairs... high winds from the typhoon that never came... and many memories of dorm visits and uniformed teachers.  We tried to figure out what had happened to those that couldn't attend... who was overseas or who was still home...

All in all, it was an afternoon well spent, and one I shall remember for a long time.  Thanks to Heaven Torres for getting us all together!

No, I didn't graduate with the rest of my class (actually, I didn't graduate at all), but it didn't matter... as far as I'm concerned, I am from the Ateneo de Manila University... Class of 1992.

Friday, November 23, 2007

November 23, 2007

Today, I took Nicole to see her first musical, Seussical.  Tita Bernice is to our left, and Tita Chari took this picture.  She was a fantastic audience member, remaining focused through the show and not having any sort of meltdown as the performance was going. 

Let the indoctrination begin!  Hahahahahaha!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Up late...

It's almost 2 AM in Manila (yes, folks, I'm home!).  Just came from the baby's room... she's teething... her molars are coming through so she's the most irritable little person right now.  I've just done a bit of research regarding her current circumstance, so everyone at home has to exercise patience and much understanding.  Once these molars are out of the way, the canines should come in uneventfully.  Or so say the websites I've been perusing.

So far jet lag hasn't really hit any of us too hard, thank goodness.  But it does have a way of creeping up on me.  I haven't set any early appointments for myself, and don't plan to for a while.

I've been busy mostly with work-related meetings and spending time at home.  Our home is looking really beautiful, thanks to our working with an incredible interior designer who's reachable by email and text, and a patient husband who did an excellent job on his own before mommy and baby came home.  Our aesthetic taste is similar, so there wasn't too much guesswork to be done... there were a few disagreements here and there, but nothing to kill each other over.

That's about all from here... I just thought to write to let you all know that I'm home safe and sound... alive and kicking.  I'm also loving that I have my highlights back and can sport red toenails again.  Yeah!

Friday, November 9, 2007

A message from Tarrytown

I got an email from Björn Olsson, Executive Director of The Tarrytown Music Hall this evening... I thought to share pertinent excerpts of it with you.


In hindsight, I wish we had filled you in right away. I know how difficult it can be to figure out what is happening in the house as a performer. At The Music Hall we are more accustomed to loud rock concerts or theater performances where it is more difficult to communicate with performers during a show, so it didn't really occur to me until it was too late that I could have simply walked up to you and "briefed" you.

Once we had moved Eileen to the back of the house, I also thought I managed to assure her assistant that you would never make derogatory statements against anyone from the stage, least of all about a disabled patron. It is the sort of thing that is so obvious to me that I had a hard time believing that anyone would actually perceive  the situation differently.

The contacts I have had with Eileen's family and her center seem to all have ended on a more positive note.  The person at her center agreed that it was the correct choice to remove Eileen from the house when she got really loud. I have also learned that her mother is a very active spokesperson for disabled people, so I have invited her to come advise us on the many issues we have in terms of accessibility. There's some lemonade to be made here, for sure.

Let's put this one to rest, move on and make some beautiful music happen.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tarrytown *** UPDATED ***

This has been edited to include the Music Hall's side. 


Dear Everyone,

Let me be brutally frank... I think things have gotten a little out of hand.  Allow me first describe what happened from my perspective.

It was the second half of the show... I was in the middle of singing "I'd Give My Life For You" when the strange and unfamiliar noise first emerged.  I was startled and a bit frightened.  After the number was completed and when the applause died down, I asked the audience where the sound was coming from, and those seated on the house left side all pointed to the outside.  So, in the spirit of levity and humor, I said, "I thought Halloween was over, that's scary" and "I'm a Filipino-Catholic, I get spooked easily."  I was scared and, quite frankly, a bit spooked.  My remarks were aimed at a noise, not at any individual.  Anyone that was there would say the same.

No one at any point and time during the show or even immediately afterwards made me aware that there was a young lady named Eileen in attendance who was a special person, touched by my singing, thus reacting to it in the way she's accustomed.  And additionally as I've just learned, no one from the Tarrytown Music Hall asked Eileen and her companions to leave the theater... it was the choice of her residence hall staff members to go.  The Music Hall made every effort at ensuring her and her companions' comfort... and this was not their first visit to the Hall.  To everyone at the Hall, I apologize for not finding out from you guys first what happened that evening.

I apologize for unwittingly making fun of Eileen and her co-resident.  I didn't know that anyone like her was in the audience.  If I and the rest of the audience were made aware that we had guests with special needs in attendance, I believe that much understanding and compassion would have been exercised.  I apologize for the seeming lack of it, due to our own ignorance of the realities of the evening.

To Eileen and her staffers, family and friends, I do hope you find it in your hearts to forgive me, and that one day you will be able to once again attend my concerts and shows.  As for me, I'll know to be more aware and sensitive at my future performances.

Yours truly,
Lea Salonga

Monday, November 5, 2007

Biting the dust and walking away

First of all... to everyone that saw my Tarrytown concert last Friday, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!  I had an incredible time in that beautiful theater.

Now, back to my late night ramblings...

Prior to the Tarrytown performance I received news of yet another theater couple becoming uncoupled... needless to say I was angered and incensed.  The reason for their separation is a third party with whom the husband's doing a show.  My agent had to say, "they went by the way of the showmance."

Ah, the showmance... it can be heady and intoxicating.  You don't always think straight and the temptation is so great, that you feel almost compelled to give in to your baser instincts, without any consideration for your outstanding and pre-existing commitments.  It's the theater equivalent of the office romance... when two people meet at work and get it on.  Sometimes it's magical... sometimes it's raw and animalistic... the chemistry's undeniable and the relationship so intense... the two people involved have stars in their eyes and feel like they can conquer the world together.

That is, until the show ends its run, or when someone leaves the show for another.

And where does that leave the aggrieved party?  Last I heard, she's doing just fine.  I don't know if she and her husband will eventually reconcile... I can't blame her if she decides to go the way of divorce, nor would I wonder why if she and her husband decide to put the transgressions aside and work things out.

In an ideal world, a marriage is greater than the sum of its parts.  It's never about one or the other anymore, but of the two as a unit and a team.  It's about reaching a state of grace... it's about unconditional love... it's about forgiveness and patience.  It's the recognition that this is a union that a Higher Power has forged, that no one should disprespect and try to break.

Realistically however, it's about two imperfect beings attempting to reach a state of divine perfection together.  And in this real world, not everyone is successful.  However, I believe that it's enough to try, and try very hard.

We're all human... we'll all have our failings and foibles... we'll all have that moment of "I f****d up big time".  But God in His perfect grace will always be ready to forgive us... hopefully, we and our partners will be willing to do the same.

If and when the fight is worth fighting, it's worth swinging and swinging hard, the figurative broken jaw and split lip notwithstanding.  However, sometimes, one must also know when to hang up the gloves and walk away.

I wish this couple the best of luck, whatever they decide.

Nic's Word of the Day


I am being totally and completely serious.

Cool Theatre-related Survey

Got this from Johann's website... who knows where it started, but I like it!  (Italics are my own comments.)

1. You’ve said countless times, “I can’t. I have rehearsal.” [x]

2. Anyone who says Macbeth has a death wish. [x]

3. You realize theater is your social life and you don’t have any friends outside of theater. [x]  Kinda sorta... more so now than at any other time.  I do have friends outside of theater, but my theater friends far outnumber everyone else.

4. If you're an actor, tech people become your heroes. [x]

5. You think the Reduced Shakespeare Company is hilarious and understand the jokes while other people watching it are confused. [ ]

6. You want to shoot people who think putting on a production is easy. [x]

7. Stress is a way of life. [x]

8. Cast parties rank right up there with birthday parties. [x]  Sometimes higher.

9. You never realized how much fun you had at rehearsals until you don’t have any more. [x]

10. You’ve been quoted on the Quote Wall. [ ]

11. You can’t seem to memorize your lines, but you know everyone else’s lines verbatim. [ ]  I know EVERYONE'S lines verbatim.

12. You have the urge to be in character in public. [ ]

13. Once the production is over you don't know what to do with your time. [x]

14. You complain about how ugly your costume is. [x]

15. You absolutely love your costume and want to steal it from the costume room after the play is over. [x]

16. You think your director is the coolest guy ever. [x]

17. You think your director is an idiot. [x]

18. You love going to see other productions just to compare them to yours. [x]

19. You argue with your director about which play to do next. [ ]

20. You go see other productions and cringe when you see people that can’t act. [x]

21. Homework? Never heard of it. [ ]

22. You could easily set up a cot and live in the theater. You’re there all the time anyway. [ ]

23. You dread the thought of having rehearsal, but the second you get there you don’t want to leave. [x]

24. You meet someone from another theater and instantly become best friends. [ ]

25. You beg all of your friends to come see you in the play when you are only onstage for two minutes. [x]

26. You have lost count on how many times you've died. [x]  Well, almost.

27. You don't think twice about seeing guys in make-up or tights. [x]

28. You're in public and look like you're talking to yourself because you are reciting your monologue. [ ]

29. You are a techie and want to strangle the actors because you have their lines memorized better than they do. [ ]

30. You think Shakespeare was a genius but dread putting on one of his plays. [ ]

31. You know what Hell Week is. [x]

32. If you put on a musical, you randomly sing all the songs at any time of day even if it is a musical you hate. [x]

33. Sleep? What is sleep? [x]

34. Techies and actors don't understand each other, but they pretend that they do. [x]

35. You swear like a sailor. [x]  F*** yes!

36. You've been dubbed a "Stage Nazi" or a "Tech God." [ ]

37. There's more drama backstage than there is onstage. [x]  Applies only to comedies. 

38. Actors and techies argue about who has more work. [ ]

39. You're on your deathbed and miss school, but you somehow manage to go to rehearsal. [ ]

40. You quote lines from previous plays you've done when you have casual conversations with friends. [ ]

41. You suddenly realize that your entire wardrobe is black. [ ]

42. Theater sex. Enough said. [ ]

43. You know what spiking is, and it's not what you do to hair. [ ]

44. You've been working with the same people so long that you have blackmail to last a lifetime. [ ]

45. You've been injured so many times it's a miracle you're still alive. [x]  Sprained ankles, a smashed hand, a coccyx injury, bruises and bumps.

46. Applause after a show is the best sound ever. [x]

47. You have a sigh of relief when you are doing a comedy and you hear the audience laughing. [x]

48. You can't remember what a home cooked meal tastes like, but you can remember every single way Taco Bell makes a taco or burrito. [ ]  Or tasted every Starbucks coffee flavor.  That was my poison.

49. You know you're a theater guy when you can put on makeup better than half the girls in your production. [ ]

50. Modesty is long forgotten. [x]  Naked in theatre isn't the same as naked in the outside world.  I'll make sure I cover up in public, but for backstage quick-changes?  Fuhgetaboutit.

51. You pride yourself in how fast you can strip your clothes off and change costumes. (Or help people strip!) [x]

52. People who aren't in theater just aren't cool. [ ]  They just have to love it as much as I do.