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.

1 comment:

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