Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Year of the Filipino

It's been awhile since I've written a "substantial" blog sometimes I wonder if I'm even capable of doing it anymore! Or maybe life has been so rich lately I don't want to stop to record it for fear of this wild ride disappearing... Well, que sera sera...

So many things:
* Got to meet four of the five Filipino actors of The Romance of Magno Rubio: Bernardo Bernardo, Ramon de Ocampo, Jojo Gonzalez and Paolo Montalban (yes, THAT Paolo) and Arthur Acuna was terrifc too. More later.

* This weekend our mini-musical Cain and Abel: The Naked Truth had a three-day run at Actoberfest with John David Wallis and Rachel Payne reprising their roles as Abel and Trudy; Stephen Van Dorn as Cain, Kelly Lester as Eve and Adam LeBow as God. Michele Spears came back to direct and Myrna Emata was the music director. This is a whole post in itself -- the performances were top-notch, the team was great! That's all I'll say for now and will have photos to share soon.

But what inspires the title of this post?

I'm in the middle of breaking out an outline for my next musical, Sailors and Nurses. First of all, I'm so grateful to have two fabulous lyricists to collaborate with -- ANMT-trained and YES, FILIPINAS! Thank you for signing on Allison Johnson and Maureen Borillo... it's gonna be a TRIP... if the bookwriter can get her proverbial sh*t together. Oh wait, that's me!

My classmate, Terri, asked me how it was going -- and I all I could say was "I'm crying a lot. I can't stop crying."

But don't fell sorry for me... I've finally figured out this is my process! It's what happened when I wrote Carabao Bookends and Light Filipino Brown -- and it's when I know I'm telling the truth and writing of my heart. [As I've told many people: I'm like Dorothy Parker:

"I hate writing, I like having written"

-- because a story has to be told. So I wallow in the process, as messy and inconsistent as it is...]


And today, Stephen, the new fellow who played (our third!) Cain so wonderfully this weekend, found out how crazy I am about these songs that are OPM = Original Pilipino Music, like Ikaw. We're backstage this weekend waiting for their curtain call and he starts singing this song, Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang, in pure, beautiful Tagalog... a song his co-star, Carol Banawa (a famous TV star/singer in the Philippines) taught him while they were in a biblical extravaganza of a musical in Singapore called Judah Ben-Hur.

Oh dear. Talk about completely melting. More watery eyeballs. And to hear this fabulous voiced white boy sing it... good grief, I'm on another planet.


We find out last night we didn't make the finals... it's a long, long night. But I woke up: and there's a beautiful serenade of Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang on my voicemail from my new friend Stephen, singing the duet with his friend, Mel.

Now I'm just a bowl of jelly. I've never received a song that way before, EVER. And of course, it's just opening up more and more STUFF for me to write about...

Thank you, Stephen. You don't know how magical that was. Sailors and Nurses will be all the more truthful because of that gesture, you have no idea.

Here's a YouTube duet version of it and an English translation -- yeah, you better believe I'm gonna learn this one!


Why only now...
Why only is it now that my heart needs?
It now has found out...

I wish that I'd found out
That you would come into my life
Then I would have waited


You were supposed to have been the one for me to hug
Your hand always for me to hold instead of hers


Why only now....
Is it that you arrive in my life
I'm forcing to open my closed heart
You are the only one for me
Even though I want to forget you
I want to know...why is is now that you arrive in my life?