As promised, I will now write a dramatic farewell letter to everyone who became part of Dulaang UP’s Isang Panaginip Na Fili.

Dramatic music please… (Maalaala mo kaya….)

July 16, 2008. The day that changed my life. The day that I will never forget. The day that I never imagined to happen even in my wildest dreams. It was a rainy Wednesday morning in the CAL library when I got the text message from someone who introduced herself as Angela, who happened to be the stage manager, congratulating me for being a part of the cast of Fili as chorus. I can still remember where I am seated when I read that message. The world seemed to stop but I can still hear the rain pouring. My heart pounded like it never pounded before. I almost cried during that moment. I wanted to shout and tell the whole world (especially those who don’t believe that I can do it) that I passed the audition. I will be part of a legitimate theatre production for the very first time and take note, it’s DUP! From that day on, the rain has been so memorable to me.

Ooopsss… Masyadong madrama ang intro. Palitan natin ang mood. So here it goes…

Praise God talaga ‘coz He gave me this chance to be a part of a DUP play. Sabi ko nga kay God, pagkatapos nito Lord pwede mo na akong kunin. Joke! I’ve been asking Him for so long to give me this chance at ngayon ibinigay niya nga. I love You Lord! I got to brush elbows with the big names in the industry.

I didn’t expect that we’re gonna have the rehearsals on a daily basis even on weekends. Yikes! Add the fact that I’m still a student at the College of Engineering in UP. I realized that I need to sacrifice a lot of things to give way to my first professional theatre production. True enough, I learned to sacrifice the things that I love doing like hanging out with friends, playing DOTA with them, and having dinner with them. Kahit papaano, nakayanan ko naman na hindi makita ang mga kaibigan ko ng mahabang panahon para sa produksyong ito. But I got to meet new people in Fili, everyday strangers who suddenly became people I can’t imagine living without. I’m so blessed to have them as friends. Sila ang madalas kong makasamang maghintay ng jeep pauwi, mag-dinner sa Philcoa, kumain ng ice cream sa mini-stop, kaasaran at kakwentuhan, at higit sa lahat, mga tunay na kaibigan. (Shucks drama nanaman!!!)

During the whole rehearsal period, I learned a lot of things. I learned to accept criticisms and use those to improve in my craft. May pressure sa bawat isa to be the best that he/she can be pero it’s a good kind of pressure. Everyone gave their best talaga for this show, the tech staff, the prod staff, the backstage crew, the cast, everyone! Nakaka-overwhelm talaga na mag-rehearse ng 4 hours each day. Pero kahit ganun, nag-eenjoy naman ako. So sulit ang pagod at puyat.

There came a time na naging mechanical na ako sa pag-attend ng rehearsals na kahit walang rehearsal, I still look forward to that 5:30pm calltime. Actually, during the first few days of rehearsals, medyo ilang pa ako sa ilang mga tao pero as time goes by, I learned to love each and everyone. Masaya palang makasama ang mga taong ‘to. I’m so thankful to God that I got to spend some time with these people na naging part na ng life ko for the past 3 months. Kaya it’s so hard for me to let go of them and move on with my life. Kanina lang naiyak ako sa FC. Senti mode kasi ako kanina.

Rehearsals at Guerrero have been more exciting. Dito ko nakausap yung mga people whom I’m afraid to have a conversation with. Sa dressing room, nakilala ko lalo ang mga co-actors ko. Asaran kami at tawanan. Happy times! I’m glad to have shared that little room with them kahit minsan sobrang init at siksikan, masaya pa rin kami. At last, nakapasok na rin ako sa backstage ng Guerrero. Before kasi hanggang audience area lang ako. Haha! I’ve been so curious kung ano ang nasa backstage ng Guerrero.

These are the things na naging part ng life ko sa DUP at sobrang mami-miss ko:

-ang Where are you!? text ni Angela ‘pag lampas na sa calltime at wala pa kami.

-Sky Flakes. Sino ang hindi makaka-miss nito?

-THY

‘Standby actors. Quiet backstage. No more crossing on stage. Open House!’ -Angela

-the revolving door.

-the deadly staircase.

-ang mga warm-up exercises ni Mara na nakamamatay.

-the black spectacles.

-the fake Fili books na minsan nakikita ng audience kung ano ang nasa loob.

-warm-up songs na old school.

-Ang announcement ni Mara na “Sa pagdiriwang ng sentenaryo ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, inihahandog ng Dulaang UP sa pakikiisa ng, Office of the UP President, Office of the Chancellor, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Office of Intitiatives in Culture and the Arts, Quezon City Mayor’s Office Sonny “Serbisyong Bayan” Belmonte, Ballet Manila, Net 25, TV 5, at ng Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation. Sa ika-tatlumpu’t tatlong taon nito ang, ISANG PANAGINIP NA FILI sa panulat at direksyon ni Floy Quintos. Musika ni CJ Javier at artistikong pamamatnubay ni Tony Mabesa. Pinaaalalahanan ang lahat na ang pagkain, pag-inom, paninigarilyo, pagkuha ng litrato o video o ang paggamit ng anumang electronic devices ay mahigpit na ipinagbabawal sa loob ng tanghalan. Maraming Salamat Po!” Na-memorize ko na siya!!!

“Actors on stage for warm-up.” -Martin Goli-Cruz

-The tampipis.

-The second floor stage right dressing room.

-Ang salakot na pinapahiram sa akin ni Louie.

-Ang blush on ni Jihad.

-Ang blush brush ni Gelo.

-Ang pencil sharpener ni Ren.

-Ang Managinip Ka Pa Stella Canete Remix.

-Rice-o-box.

-School bus ni Ma’am Ces.

-Bahay nila Gaerl.

-Freshie Walk.

-Yung Vitamin C na binigay ni Sir Floy.

-mini-stop philcoa.

-Chowking. McDo, and Jollibee Philcoa

-Charley’s oregano tea na nagpagaling sa akin during the 2nd weekend run. I love you dear charley!

-Ang pangungulit ni Sir Greg sa Imuthis number.

-Ang pagko-chorus ni Jay sa last 2 shows.

-Ang paglabas ni JC as Macaraig.

-Yung oreo na dinadala ni Kuya Franco nung nagre-rehearse pa sa THY. I love oreo!

-Yung hat ko na may Philippines na nakasulat.

-Yung PET bottles ni Stellar na pinagdidikitan ng leukoplast.

-Gelo’s prop box.

-Stage right CR na laging box office.

-Yung mga kandilang hindi nasindihan ni isang beses.

-Yung binigay ni Kuya Meynard na mini-cake nung opening night.

-Ang paniningil ni Sir Jacques ng bayad sa ticket while we’re watching the Juli and Basilio scene in act 1.

-Gunshots sa ‘Traydor’ scene.

-“Kasi, nobela ko ito Tunying!!!” -Kuya Franco

-Eric’s smiling face kahit binubugbog na.

-Ren’s birthday treat at Shakey’s Katipunan.

-Yung bleachers sa Guerrero theatre kung saan natulog ako during the last 2 weekend runs.

-Ang line ni Juli na “At pati ikaw napautang. Basilio ang laki ng halaga..”

“Matanglawiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin!!!!!” -Ejay

-“Babersh!!” -Sir Floy

-“Chest!” -Gelo

-Yung center window sa balcony.

-Yung wig ni Paola na pang-shampoo commecial.

-Mga punchlines ni Ma’am Ces na laging bumebenta.

-Yung hiniram kong coat kay Allen during the 4th week run.

-Yung make-up remover na ako yata ang nakaubos.

October 4, 2008. Last day of our extended run. Yes! Nag-extend kami for one week. Our last show was a blast. Nag-uumapaw ang energy sa start pa lang. Sa Finale, hindi ko napigilang umiyak. Grabe! Hikbi-hikbi school of acting! At humagulgol na nga ako nung curtain call! Mixed emotions. I’m happy ‘coz I got to perform with these people. I’m sad ‘coz it has to end. Time flies so fast when you’re having so much fun.

To the prod staff, I appreciate your hardwork. It’s a pleasure working with you, a bunch of crazy but energetic and happy people. I love you all!

To Angela, you’re the best! Congratulations! We won’t be this successful without you. Astig ka!

To my Trumpets colleagues, Mica Pineda, RJ Solis, and Aljuri Pangilinan, We rock! Yeah! It’s good to have people like you in my first professional theatre production. See you at Trumpets! A place to be a star! Yeah!

To the senior actors, thanks for being so nice and for igniting my passion for theatre.

To the chorus, ang galing natin!!! Congrats sa ating lahat! Sana makapag-work ulit tayo together.

Gelo, ikaw ang una kong nakausap na TaongBayan. Magkikita pa tayo.

Monique, 2nd week ng run ko lang nalaman na pinsan pala talaga kita. Haha! It’s good to know na may kapamilya ako sa cast. All the best! Regards to Tito Bobby!

JM, salamat sa pagkwento ng mga bloopers.

Charley, thanks sa oregano tea. It really helped a lot. Love you dearie!

Jihad, mag-ingat ka palagi. Malay mo sa re-run maging Juli ka na rin. Managinip ka pa!!! Haha!

Candy, (si Purificacion) hindi na matutuloy ang kasal natin at hindi na magiging ninang si Joy, Charley, at Sheena dahil sa pagsalakay ng mga tulisan. Unless magkaroon ng re-run. Haha!!

Sheena, my English 11 classmate back when we’re still freshies. At nandito pa rin tayo sa UP hanggang ngayon. Haha!! Makaka-graduate din tayo! Yeah!

Ren, tahimik ka pa dati. Ngayon ikaw na ang nagsisimula ng ingay! Haha! Thanks sa birthday treat!

Cannu, benta sa mga friends ko ang Boy Abunda style mo sa Magandang Balita! Haha!

Arkel, the best ang pagiging Imuthis mo kahit nakakalimot ka ng lyrics. Haha!! Lalo na yung may “Sige pa!!! Isa pa!!!” Salamat sa mga asaran natin sa dresing room. Mami-miss ko yun!

Jerson, Congrats sa pagiging Padre Irene!

Tita Emlyn, you’ve been a mother to most of us. I love you Tita!
Allen, thanks sa pagapapahiram mo ng coat during our last week run.

Jay, I’m glad that we’re chums. Haha! Magkikita pa tayo!

Gaerl, thanks for helping me with my make-up during the pictorial at sa lighter na pinahiram mo nung inaayos ko yung eyeglasses ko.

Paola, thanks sa energy boosting session natin every opening number.

Tita Astarte and Tita Stella, our Maria Claras, my seatmates sa dressing room. Salamat po sa mga stories niyo about theatre life.

Tita Ces, thanks po sa pagpapasakay sa school bus niyo and for sending inspirational messages.

Joy and Eric, first blocking pa lang ng opening number may award na tayong tatlo. Haha!

Kuya Cholo, thanks for the things that you’ve taught us especially with our singing techniques. Thanks for believing that I can do it!

CJ, thanks for the nice music. I love it!

Kuya Onyl, my friends love you! You’re a great actor!

Kuya Eric, you’re an epitome of a hardworking theatre artist. Keep it up and continue to inspire more young striving artists!

Kuya Franco, nakakahawa ang energy mo on stage. Hope to work with you again soon.

Direk Floy, thanks for being so sweet to us.

Pepe Rizal, thanks for writing Fili and for believing in the Filipino youth.

To everyone, I hope this is not the last. All the best! I’m gonna miss you all!

God bless!!