Monday, April 30, 2007

taken for granted...

It was the time one of the aunties came from the states and all of the nephews and neices went to her house to pay their respects and expect some pasalubong. You get to follow the queue leading to the visiting aunt. When it was your turn to kiss, no single pasalubong was given to you.

It is your Citzen's Army Training Officers distribution of designations and positions. You are one of those who got the higher ten percentile in the training exam. You scanned the list. Found your name in the bottom part-- Color Officer. All of your friends became company commanders.

During college, you wanted to be part of an organization. You went through the usual process of application. Did everything the members required. Came induction, from the eight applicants left, you are one of the two who did not become full fledged members but was given another year of training as apprentice.

Professionally, you are doing okay in your job. Your colleagues respect your work. Came a memo from the Human Resource Department, they don't even know your exact gender.

You are seeing this person for quite sometime knowing fully well that you might just deserve somebody better whom you can call yours. And then both of you went out of town-- on separate flights and destinations. Upon returning to Manila, you got to miss the person terribly. While the vacation the other took became a week longer than yours, it got extended another week in another destination. And finally, the day came when both of you are here in Manila yet you can't meet each other because of some schedule glitch yet on your part, you have kept the entire night's schedule open... somehow.

Now, tell me, have you had similar incidents? Have you ever been taken for granted?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thank you ...

I was reading Dennis Marasigan's article in Inquirer on my dear friend Ogie Juliano and I can't help but break down to tears.

It has been exactly a week when his urn was put to rest at the Columbarium along Visayas Avenue beside Ma'am J's. And it has been a week that I have been trying hard to live as normal as I can- trying to catch up from the days I lost two weeks ago. As Carlo puts it, "I look a lot better now as compared to last week."

To a lot of people, Ogie is my 'Inay' in theatre. Well, he was my mentor and more than that, he was a dear friend.

It was when Ogie was staging Kangkong 1896 when we got really close. We started out as coffee friends in Sanfo along West Avenue. Then being the student that I was, he would almost always shoulder the bill after. Then he would treat me for buffet breakfast. Then he would give me different projects as his assistant in costume design. It was hard working for Ogie. He was the most demanding boss I ever had. I remembered being slapped more than once. He threw a mug at me more than once. Shouted at me countless times. And I cried to him shamelessly several times brought about by different reasons. At times, we would have arguments and I would end up walking out. And a few hours after that, he would page me to accompany him for dinner. And I can not refuse.

For how many instances that Ogie would whine about the loves of his life. Sing Bette Middler like there is no tomorrow. One memorable evening was during the eve of the opening of Elias at Salome, Ogie and I were drenched under the rain infront of the Faculty Center drunk in lambanog singing As Long as He Needs Me. For a time, when Ogie is around, Gwyn is there. It went on for a good three years.

Not only in costuming, he also taught me how to do stage make-up. He gave me my first major project in make-up design- the opening ceremonies of the UAAP. I designed one hundred and thirty faces and about thirty bodies. It was almost impossible but he told me I can do it. He also assigned me to style, design and execute sets for different productions. And for more than once, I told him I can't do it simply because I am not yet equipped with the knowledge and he just brushed it aside and looked at me and said "You can't say no to your mother!"

And yes, at the point of giving up, he will guide me on what to do. He was always there. He taught me to believe in myself and do the impossible (impossible meaning lack of budget.) And at the end of the day, he would congratulate me saying that he was so proud of me.

It was during his last days that we were not able to see each other as often as before. One of the last times I saw him, he scolded me for visiting him- I had a show to catch. It was then I told myself that he doesn't want to be seen sick. I knew him too be invincible and it was painful seeing him helpless. Much painful for him for us seeing him.

It has been a week since I last saw his urn making his last bow inside Guerrero Theatre. I wanted to kiss him that moment yet I can't. I rushed to the backstage and cry alone when they were bringing him out. I can't see him leave the place where he trained me.

It has been a week. I was not able to tell him how thankful I am as an apprentice and as a friend. How thankful for his teachings, for the company and for the unselfish love he gave.

Thank you Inay. Thank you.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

movie quotes....

I'm sorry Carl, after reading your blog I can't help but to try it.

And yes, the first one that appeared was this... how can I possibly resist?!?!

I have always depended on the kindness of Gwyn.

Which movie was this quote from?

Get your own quotes:

and yes... this one too...

Nobody puts Gwyn in a corner.

Which movie was this quote from?

Get your own quotes:

and finally..

All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my Gwyn.

Which movie was this quote from?

Get your own quotes:

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Vaudeville. Bodabil.

That was the last show of Ogie.

It was Saturday evening when Harlene tried to call me. I was not able to take the call. Two minutes later I got three missed calls-from Ricci, Stella and an unknown number. I tried to call Harlene.

"Gwyn, wala na si inay..."

This was cut by sobs. For a few minutes, I missed the entire thing. Or maybe I was just in denial. Or both. I can't really tell. A few minutes later, Stella texted me that the body will be brought to Loyola crematorium. Harlene called me if I am going and I said, I will just go the following day. She again broke into sobs, "Ayaw mo na bang makita si inay?"

For the life of me, I really don't know how to answer it. Yes I want to see Ogie before the cremation. But I guess, I saw him already how he wanted me to see him. And definitely not on that table.

The whole time, the idea has not settled yet in my mind.

By ten, Stella texted me that the cremation was done already. Ricci called that he is picking me up to go to Loyola. We got there shorty after ten. Almost all of my 'siblings' were there. Jovy had me sit beside him and read the message of Alex Cortez. I was assigned to design the stage of Guerrero Theatre for the necrological service and tribute to be done Wednesday, four days after.

Come Monday, I went to Dulaang UP. It was Tony Mabesa who told me after the meeting, "Well, your mother is already dead, but your grandmother is still alive!" And it was decided, I'll take care of the stage after being the only design offspring of Ogie.

I went to Dangwa to talk to my florists that afternoon. With Wilan volunteering to be my driver for two days, we went to Divisoria the following day to buy fabric to be used as props. I arrived inside Guerrero at about three in the afternoon.

It was then when I found out that only the students were there. The lights and sounds people were crippled from working because of some protocol of the Dulaang UP system (or the lack of it, rather). It was a good thing that my Technical Director was very efficient that all of the curtains were hung before the first (and last) rehearsals at six in the evening. The blinking marquee to be flown onstage was raised right after the rehearsals at about eleven. That time, I told myself, I will only have the flowers to worry tomorrow.

Lloyd picked me from UP that night. We went to Loyola and saw a number of friends again.

It was this morning, Wednesday, that emotions got the better of me. While I was rushing things to be completely done, I was trying to organize my costume for the said show. This was done with intervals of tear bursts. It was then I realized that the whole thing is just surreal.

We are doing a full show with two days preparation. And the said show is for my 'mother'. His last show.

The mass started promptly one in the afternoon then the tribute after. It went on smoothly as possible. Technically, it was almost perfect. The backstage crew operated with precision and descipline. Yet, amongst the performers, no amount of concealer can cover grief.

It started with a very upbeat dance and song numbers just like how Mabesa wanted it-to be like a Vaudeville. Readings of letters of faculty members who are abroad. A zarzuela duet, speeches from theatre icons, a video of stills, a solo dance and a solo vocal, capped with a drag show. It was during the the finale that almost everybody broke into tears while watching us who are teary eyed trying so hard to be funny.

The curtain call shifted to the audience area where Ogie was put. Confetti of petals and a standing ovation.

It was then I fully realized that my mentor is gone already. The person who is responsible in putting me where I am now. In whom I thank my entire career for.

It was then I got to grasp that Ogie is dead. Though I am not sure if I have fully accepted it until now. I think I should. As if I still have other options...

I am listening to one of his CDs right now-At Last by Cindy Lauper... it is playing "On the Sunny Side of the Street."

Sunday, April 08, 2007

For Ogie... 1961-2007

I am reposting this entry...

Ogie passed away yesterday, April 7.

Let us start with my mentor in college.

Not a lot of people like this person really. He landed in the pages of a national daily because of some atrocious accusation of a student. Personally, the accusations are not far from happening but not to this accuser. I can tell, I was the one who replaced him when he walked out. Then again, nothing came out of it primarily because it was all hype. Apart from the trauma of being publicly tried, status quo remained, and my mentor continued on teaching in the university.

His name is Ogie Juliano. We first met when I enrolled in his class in acting 1. During that time, I was already part of the cast of the play being directed by his mentor- Tony Mabesa. So the pressure in his class was greater than a regular student would feel. He was directing another play also during that time that our class was required to audition to. You're only exempted when you are already part of other plays, exempli gratia, me. More pressure. I was his favorite example in class, being 'the Mabesa actor' and 'the one who refused to act under him'.

In the middle of the semester, we became really good friends. Though I'm not part of his play, after our rehearsals, I will go to his shows. Dinner everynight. Apparently, my status during that time was 'student' or make it- 'struggling student' err... 'struggling, starving student'. I was your all time free loader almost everynight. And when I get honorarium from the plays I acted in, I treat him for dinner. That usually is after every two months. Almost like the blue moon.

I eventually acted in his plays. But the more important thing that he thought me was not about acting. He took me as an apprentice on design. Specifically costuming. He was the one who taught me how a medieval cloak's cut would differ from that of the victorian's. How the cut of the skirts changed through centuries. He taught me that a panuelo is there to cover the breasts and not wearing a tapis is unbecoming of a lady during the turn of the century Manila.

"Wala naman ksi silang panty nun kaya eto na yung pantakip para di liparin ang palda." He further stressed, "Kaya yung mga bisaya na patadyong lang, bastos yun!"

His designs remained well studied and carefully crafted. A teacher with masters in theatre, he continues to study the details and admits that he has still a lot to learn. And each time he drafts a scheme, he explains why it is so. From colors, to cuts, to fringes, to accessories. Not a single detail left unexplained. There will always be a reason why each single thread is there in a single piece of costume. Most importantly, he taught me that I can only do that if (and only if) I put my heart on it. Treating it as a job will be a sin.

"My work is personal. That is how I operate. In no way one can make a good design if he doesn't put his heart into it."

I understand him now. Now that I'm on my own. I still falter a lot of times. Yet thankful, at least I know how to make it right.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

do visit...

before you scroll down, do visit my other blog---



the count dracula in me...

It has been a year since I started writing blogs. I remember the first entry was about the Holy Week. It has been a year that I have been pouring my cares fearlessly in the net.

It has been two years since I moved here in my unit. It was Holy Week when I signed the contract two years ago. And I have decided to stay here another year. Signed the new contract last week.

It has been a two weeks that I have not been to the gym. It has been two weeks that I have been nursing this cough and the fear of an impending fever. And I finally said enough, I have to take amox 500 to kill whatever virus that has been starting to infest my system. Though the other side of me says that the virus has another name-- overworking. Damn, what's the drug for that?

It has been twenty years since I graduated from elementary. I was forced to fly to Antique for the weekend to deliver a speech during the commencement exercises of my Alma Mater being their distiguished alumnus. Oh yes, I, myself was totally floored when my dad told me about it. The program started at eight in the morning and ended before lunch. It was nostalgic for me. I literally spent my formative years inside that school-- it was called Baybay Elementary School and later changed to Gov. Santos Capadocia Memorial School. I like the sound of it's former name-- Baybay meaning beach. Yes, the school is near the beach. It's the oldest elementary school in town and it's turning 100 next year.

It has been quite a while. And I'm smiling.