Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WORKSHOP: The Actor's Voice

Theater Actors Guild (TAG) in partnership with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) presents: Banaue Miclat-Janssen’s THE ACTOR'S VOICE—a workshop designed to heighten the actor's awareness of the connection between voice, the body, emotions, and the spoken word. It aims to develop the voice to reveal, rather than describe, the actor's emotions and thoughts.

The 6 sessions, conducted over 6 weeks, will be devoted to understanding the anatomy and physiology of the vocal instrument; learning a warm-up that includes breath support, tension release and vocal range expansion; and performance with physical awareness, ease and presence to eliminate blocks and tensions in the body and emotions.

Banaue Miclat-Janssen
Banaue Miclat-Janssen holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. Aside from her myriad acting credits in this country, she has performed in productions of the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York. She currently teaches at the Ateneo de Manila University.

Workshop Schedule is on Mondays, March 4, 11, 18, 25, April 8, & 15, 2013 from 4:00 -7:00 PM at the Spotlight Artists Centre, 122 Jupiter St., Makati. A recital will be held on April 20, 2013 (Saturday) from 7:00 -10:00 PM at the Opera Haus, 3657 Bautista St., Makati.

The workshop is open to all actors with professional acting experience of at least of 2 years. Workshop Fee is only P3,000 for TAG Members and P6,000 for non-TAG enrollees.

To register, or for more details, contact Therese Carlos at 09179118880.

Monday, February 11, 2013

10 Theater Hotties and their Dream Dates

Manila's theater heartthrobs and theater darlings -- a new generation of stage performers who are now captivating audiences with either their heart-stopping looks, to-die-for bodies, oozing appeal or their sheer versatility and talent. In line with this Valentine season, we conducted short virtual interviews with them and asked two very simple questions:
  1. If you won a Valentine date with any theater actor of your choice, who would it be and why? 
  2. What would make it the perfect date? 
In no particular order, here are the answers of those who didn't find the questions "too personal" (ok, maybe they did, but were too kind not to brush it off).

Caisa Borromeo
Most Memorable / Most Recent: Jo Marche in "Little Women"
Current / Upcoming: "Rivalry",  "Sa Wakas" (April 2013)

"Hmmm perfect date? I dunno. I like spontaneous dates... but if I had to be specific, a picnic on the beach with great music playing would be perfect. My dream date with an international Broadway theatre actor would be with Aaron Lazar. He's incredibly talented and I fell in love with him when he played Fabrizzio in "The Light In The Piazza". I also love Jeremy Jordan cause he is just gorgeous and so amazing -- and what a voice! My dream date with a local theatre actor would be with Red Concepcion cause he is just so awesome."

Fred Lo
Most Memorable / Most Recent: Mark in "RENT"
Current / Upcoming: "Rivalry", "Sa Wakas" (April 2013)

"Laurabelle Bundy, cuz she's such a comedian and my funny bone has always been a weakness of mine. And she's hot. I'm the simple date kinda guy, so a dinner and drinks after will be good for me, (I) love deep and meaningful conversations so somewhere quiet where we can talk and get to know each other better would be great!"

Topper Fabregas
Most Memorable / Most Recent: Knife #1, "Disney's Beauty and the Beast"
Current / Upcoming: Robert Castin, "Boeing Boeing"

"My dream date would be Shamaine Buencamino... but I'd probably be too star-struck to say or do anything! I'd be a very awkward date. Very."

Acey Aguilar
Most Memorable / Most Recent: Max from the play "Bent", Zelim from "Orosman", Julius from "Batalia Royale"

"If Rolando Tinio is still alive, I would love to have a date with him. Coffee/yosi lang na date. Ang dami kong tanong sa kanya eh."

Yanah Laurel
Most Memorable / Most Recent: "Spring Awakening",  "Rizal X",  "NINE"
Current / Upcoming: "Carrie" with Atlantis Productions (September 2013)

"It would be with one of my ultimate idols Lea Salonga! I have always looked up to her and admired the person she is and the career she has. The ideal "date" would simply be listening to all her stories about her journey and experiences. I would love to pick her brain and soak it all up like a sponge! She has lived an incredible life and as I listen to her stories I shall try my very best to not fall over my seat or burst into 'A Whole New World'. "

Red Concepcion
Most Memorable / Most Recent: Alan Strang in "Equus"
Current / Upcoming: "Rivalry", "Collection" with Dulaang UP (opens Feb. 13)

"Sutton (Foster). Definitely Sutton. That woman is amazing! Seems like a lot of fun to be around with too. Although, truth be told, I’d just ask her to sing the (Thoroughly Modern) Millie score to me, and I’d grill her for tips on making it as a musical theatre star. HAHAHA doesn't sound like a date, but that's what we'll do. Local theater: Caisa Borromeo. Just 'coz."

Markki Stroem
Most Memorable / Most Recent: Henry in "Next to Normal",  Shane Gray in "Camp Rock"
Current / Upcoming: Tommy in "Carrie" (September 2013)

"Jennifer Damiano (because she has a) beautiful voice, and has a sense of mystery about her that endears me. (The perfect date would be a) horror movie marathon."

Reb Atadero
Most Memorable / Most Recent: Juan in "Altar Boyz", Peter in "Bare"
Current / Upcoming: "They're Playing Our Song" with 9 Works Theatrical, "The Graduate" with Repertory Philippines (April 2013)

I think I would go out with Arianna Grande. Granted she doesn't really do much theater now, she's beautiful and has a voice that can knock you unconscious. I would probably go out with her on a karaoke/rockeoke/sing along night since I'd love to have a duet with her. We'd sing all the sets till the crowd either chooses to boo or cheer us.

Cris Villonco
Most Memorable / Most Recent: Julia in "Walang Sugat"
Current / Upcoming: "D' Wonder Twins of Boac"

"My foreign and local valentine dream dates would be Andrew Rannells and Topper Fabregas. Why? I know we'd have a great time eating, drinking, and most of all.. laughing... kailangan one on one."

David Bianco 
Most Memorable / Most Recent: Luke in "Next Fall"
Current / Upcoming: Bernard in "Boeing Boeing"

"A perfect Valentines date would include Frank's Italian Restaurant in Manhattan and then see the musical "Once". My dream stage actress to go out with is my talented and beautiful wife Jennifer Blair-Bianco. She has been my Valentine now for 7 years and the one I want to spend the rest of my Valentines with!"

And with that, we wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day!

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Audie Gemora and Alys Serdenia

All Photos belong to their owners.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Honorata Headshots (Part 2)

As promised, here is another Headshot Collection of stunning Pinoy theater actors.

Click photo to enlarge

1st Row:
Joel Trinidad, Maita Ponce, Niccolo Manahan, Cathy Azanza-Dy, JK Anicoche, Pinky Marquez

2nd Row:
Jean Judith Javier, Felix Rivera, Joy Virata, Bart Guingona, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Raul Montesa

3rd Row:
Lorenz Martinez, Joanna Ampil, Carla Guevarra-Laforteza, Acey Aguilar, Angela Padilla

4th Row:
Kakki Teodoro, Fred Lo, Amparo Sietereales, Roeder Camanag, Cara Barredo, OJ Mariano

5th Row:
Chrome Cosio, Mayenne Bustamante-Cadd, Reuben Uy, Sheila Francisco, Nazer Salcedo, Bea Garcia

Whose headshots do you want to see next?

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Trumpets announces auditions for its brand new musical, The Bluebird:

WHEN: 24 February 2013 (Sunday) from 2 to 7pm
WHERE: Talent School of Academics and Arts, 1157 Don Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City

We are looking for the following:
1. Little Girl - 7 to 15 years old
2. Little Boy - 7 to 13 years old
3. Males and Females - 20 years old and above

Must be able to SING, ACT and DANCE.
Please bring a M-1 or sheet music of an ENGLISH song, preferably from a musical. Also bring a headshot of yourself (at least 3R in size).

The Bluebird is Trumpets' return to the Philippine stage. It is a brand new original musical based on the play "The Bluebird" by Belgian playwright Maurice Maeterlin. Popularized by the Shirley Temple film of the same title, Trumpets' The Bluebird is filled with spectacle, song, dance, colorful sets, costumes and a solid moral message. It tells the story of two poor children named Mytyl and Tyltyl and their search for the "Bluebird of Happiness". With book and lyrics by Jaime del Mundo and music by Rony Fortich, the musical is bound to make another stage classic when it opens in September of 2013.
For more information you may call the TRUMPETS office at 9014364 or visit the musical's Facebook page for more information and updates.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Honorata Manila, Honored

We are overwhelmed and quite honored for the warm support from the theater community. Since our curtains went up and our pages went online just a little over a week ago, we have been getting quite a number of notifications and alerts that a theater lover notices and talks about our site. Everyday, we see performers, enthusiasts, creative people and even other theater blogs here and abroad liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, and stats on our Blogspot continue to rise. We are off to a good start and we are thinking if it is time to beef up the Honorata Manila team. Ok, maybe not just yet...

The Manila theater scene is awesome and is bustling with energy, color and life. We will do our best to represent that and more. Thank you so much for showing us your love.

If you haven't yet, please join us and support the theater blog dedicated to honoring the colorful world of the Stage.

Main Blog:

Official Facebook Page:

Official Twitter Account:

Bravo and cheers to theater life!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


NVC's show poster
"What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play."

A day-old article celebrating the 40th year of the Academy Award-winning film version of the Broadway musical prompted us to listen to the Broadway Cast Recording of "Cabaret" by Kander & Ebb. Four long decades have passed since the iconic Liza Minneli starrer premiered on the silver screen and won 8 Oscars including Best Actress (Minneli),  Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey) and Best Director (Bob Fosse) in 1973. The film was based on the original Broadway production in 1966, later on revived and reinterpreted by Sam Mendes in 1998.

Manila was very lucky to have witnessed the same dark and very risque version of Cabaret by Mendes as presented by New Voice Company. The strictly-for-adults-only show that culminated the theater group's 10th anniversary in 2004 featured some of Philippine theater's luminaries including Monique Wilson, Michael Williams, Jamie Wilson,  Joy Virata and Leo Rialp. Time flies so fast, you say, and probably wonder how the cast, co-directed by Rito Asilo, is doing after almost a decade since "working" at the Kit Kat Klub.

MONIQUE WILSON (Sally Bowles) - despite having diagnosed two years ago with chronic yet manageable blood cancer, she still teaches at East15 Drama School in London. She recently concluded a musical stint playing the strong-willed Anna Leonowens in "The King & I" for Resorts World Manila. Monique is still very active with her advocacy that supports the fight against violence towards women. She will be in Manila for "One Billion Rising" an event on February 14 to demand an end to violence. Her recent coming out and admission to the public that she is a gay woman was lauded by colleagues, friends and family because it will help those who are struggling with their sexuality.

MICHAEL WILLIAMS (Clifford Bradshaw) - He founded Theater Down South in 2007,  a very savvy theater company that caters to audiences in the Alabang and nearby areas. He recently played to raving audiences as the lead of Frank Wildhorn & Leslie Bricusse's musical tragedy, "Jekyll and Hyde" for Repertory Philippines. When he is not directing or acting on stage, he sings with a new super group called F.I.M. (Friends in Music) together with Jett Pangan, Rem Zamora, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Liza Robinson and Teenee Chan.

JAMIE WILSON (Emcee) - he continues to do theater both on stage as an actor or backstage as part of the creative/production team. He will reprise his role as Dennis Dupree in a repeat run of Atlantis Productions' "Rock of Ages" in July this year.

JOY VIRATA (Fraulein Schneider) - Tita Joy still steers the Repertory Children's Theater ship and will be staging Jim Eiler and Jeanne Bargy's "Alice in Wonderland" in August. She is currently playing the housekeeper in Rep's Boeing Boeing (alternating with Baby Barredo) - a more comedic year-opener compared to her memorable portrayals in 2012's "Care Divas" and "Mind's Eye".

LEO RIALP (Herr Shultz) - Leo is still active in theater as an actor and director. He will be in Floy Quintos' dark comedy, "Collection" with Dulaang UP which opens on February 13.

BONGGOY MANAHAN (Herr Shultz) - after Cabaret, he did several children's shows with Repertory Philippines including Mulan, Emperor's New Clothes and Aladdin. Tito Bonggoy is surely missed on stage.


LYNN SHERMAN (Fraulein Kost / Frenchie) - The last time we saw her was at the Miss Saigon auditions after being prompted by a theater friend to try out for the role of Ellen. She keeps herself busy doing lounge acts and might be leaving the country again for various singing stints. Her fans can catch her on Feb. 14 at Society Lounge in Makati City for a show called "Romantique Valentines".

JOHN MULHALL (Herr Ludwig) - this stage cutie who made audiences gush on stage or in the campus of International School Manila is now based in Hongkong where he is teaching at another international school while raising his young boy together with his Filipina wife.

ROSELYN PEREZ (Lulu, A Kit Kat girl) - Roselyn is working on "4Faith Series" for the adult-themed wing of Trumpets which she started with Jaime del Mundo about 2 years ago. It tries to tackle the issues that come with Faith,  such as morality, ethics and other controversial issues.

AMPARO SIETEREALES (Rosie, a Kit Kat girl) - she was last seen on the CCP stage playing Soorpanakha in a remake of the 70's hit ballet musical, "Rama Hari". She will be with Monique this Valentine's Day for "One Billion Rising".

PHEONA BARANDA (Helga, a Kit Kat girl) - after her stint in Hongkong Disneyland, and a couple of stage productions in Manila, Pheona now tours the world working in a luxury cruise ship.

JENNY JAMORA (Texas, a Kit Kat girl) - is a favorite acting coach of thespians. She has co-directed various productions and has appeared in several shows for Atlantis Productions. Last year, she played one of the leads in the play "Mind's Eye" with Joy Virata. She also appeared in the film "Ang Nawawala" which was an official selection for 2013 Slamdance Film Festival in Utah. She is currently in the planning stages of putting up a big project in partnership with theater friends.

LILY CHU (Frenchi, a Kit Kat girl) - this former model and DJ is now happily married to her Czech husband. She is pursuing an acting career in Prague and has already appeared in a couple of stage productions and television commercials.

TAMI MONSOD (Kit Kat Mama San) - During the run of Cabaret, Tami found out she was pregnant. Now she is a proud mom to her 7-year old boy, Enzo.

JOEL TRINIDAD (Bobby, a Kit Kat boy / Herr Ludwig) - the advertising-guy turned actor, playwright and director is also a sought-after lyricist after having written a couple of original Filipino musicals. His most recent collaboration with Ed Gatchalian and Jaime del Mundo for "Rivalry" the musical is getting a lot of attention and good reviews. "" also announced that his original play, "Witchslap" is one of the seven to be featured in a play festival by Love Creek Productions from February 8 to 10 in New York.

JAKE MACAPAGAL (Victor, a Kit Kat boy) - he is still a familiar handsome face in TV commercials and independent films. He recently played as the lead role in "Metro Manila", a film by Sean Ellis  which won the Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic at the Sundance Festival. He also wears a teaching hat as one of the faculty members of Mint College and instructor at ABS-CBN.

AMIEL MENDOZA (Hermann, a Kit Kat boy) - Aims is still a juggler, trying to balance the corporate life and stage work. After almost a year of performing as a gondolier at the Venetian Hotel in Macau, he is back to doing public relations work for various clients and handles event publicity for some lifestyle brands. Fueled by his passion and experience in theater, he occasionally teaches church kids who are not able to attend performance workshops.

ELNARD ARELLANO (Hans, A Kit Kat boy) - the cast's favorite "blender" is now a full time Information and Communications Officer with an NGO but he will be part of the celebrations in "One Billion Rising" together with other NVC talents.

APRIL CELMAR, RONA LOU SAN PEDRO, NIKKI VENTOSA (Ensemble) - These NVC babies are all grown up and are now career women. April is an Entry Clearance assistant of the British Embassy, Ronalou is in the travel industry and Nikki is now married and a working momma to two beautiful kids.

Yes... that last one made us feel really old. A lot have changed yet some are still quite the same. Well, that's life and who are we to question Sally Bowles' famous last words, "...from cradle to tomb isn't that a long a stay. Life is a Cabaret, old chum!"

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The bright and beautiful Pinoys of theater

There are so many bright and beautiful Filipino men and women in theater. The collage above is barely the tip of the iceberg. Know more about all of them and what they do, here in Honorata Manila.

(Left to Right)
1st Row: Jenny Jamora, Audie Gemora, Monique Wilson, Leo Tavarro Valdez, Cris Villonco, Michael Williams

2nd Row: Robert Seña, Kalila Aguilos, Bobby Garcia, Jake Macapagal, Irma Adlawan

3rd Row: Caisa Borromeo, Vincent de Jesus, Lea Salonga, Jett Pangan, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Topper Fabregas,

4th Row: Red Concepcion, Ana Abad Santos, Noel Rayos, Shamaine Buencamino, Jamie Wilson, Isay Avarez-Seña

5th Row: Liesl Batucan, Robbie Guevarra, Chari Arespacochaga, Jeremy Domingo, Pinky Amador, Joaqui Valdes

It's Coming to Get You
What's in store for Honorata Manila readers? Our future posts will include exciting show announcements, audition details, exclusive interviews, backstage tours, interesting articles, contests and many more. It will make theater bugs thrive and bite people's bu-hinds. ;) See ya.

Tell your friends about us. We're on Facebook and Twitter too.

Friday, February 1, 2013

LEA SALONGA soars in sold out American Songbook performance

Lea Salonga's sold out, one-night-only performance delivered an amazing kick off for the 15th Season of Lincoln Center's American Songbook which will run until April 20, 2013. Judging by the video clip of Jay Kuo's Higher from "Allegiance", sung as Lea's finale number, the crowd in The Allen Room last January 30 was definitely and deafeningly pleased.

It was just two days ago when we saw a clip of her FOX TV appearance to promote the show. She may have wowed throngs  with her chilling rendition of "Empty Chairs and Empty Tables" from "Les Miserables" but this song from the musical about Japanese Americans even took our high a couple of notches up.

After watching the video clip below, shared on Facebook by the composer himself, we just had to transcribe the lyrics (couldn't find it online so let us know if you have corrections) the following morning  to learn the really amazing song which is kind of reminiscent of "Meadowlark" from "The Baker's Wife".

Here it is. Wanna jam one of these days?

(Words & Music by Jay Kuo)

Higher is from Allegiance, the musical.
There once was a little girl playing on the swing set
That her grandpa built by the sycamore tree near the rusty farmyard gate
And while her mama pinned the laundry
The little girl would cry out loud
Push me higher, push me higher
Push me, I can't wait
Her mama would push a couple times but there was laundry still to do
So she learned to use her own strength, pulled her own weight, push on through

To swing higher, higher than before
Higher, but afraid to reach for something more
Higher, higher towards the sky
Until the day she bent to kiss her mama a last goodbye

There once was a little boy who rode that swing set
He had a licorice twist from the store in town and  to now his skinned up knees
And while his sister pinned the laundry the little boy would cry out loud
Push me higher, push me higher, push me pretty please
The girl would push a couple times but there was laundry still to do
Then she watched amazed as that little boy simply pulled his own weight through

To swing higher, higher than she dared
Higher, how he swings so high and not be scared
Higher, he could touch the sky
Right there she knew that he would also one day tell her goodbye

That little boy he seems so sure
Was it something never taught to her?
How the years passed quickly by that girl's a woman still afraid to try
Is it too late to start again, get back that feeling I had then
But now my life is upside down there's no more farm there's no more town
And no use asking why but I won't let it pass me by
Life wont pass me by
I'll fly!

Get back on that swing
Higher soaring higher up than anything
Higher, I want something more
I dreamed I'd reach for greater things
My eyes upon those golden rings
I'll take what chance the future brings
And soar!

 Lea sings "Higher" from Allegiance (video by V Lirio)

Honorata Manila's Photo Collage taken from screenshots of V Lirio's video clip.


Due to the recent court decision convicting Carlos Celdran for violating Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code, the Theater Actors Guild expressed concern and posted the article below signed by both the group's president and VP. Read on.


He was sentenced to a year and two months in jail. Carlos was found guilty of violating Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code which penalizes offending religious feelings. The law has been in the books since 1930.

Theater is not just an edifice. Theater is any available space where people are gathered and can turn into an audience.

Theater is not just act, sing and dance . Good theater questions social norms and values. Good theater presents to us a reflection of our existence and makes us look into ourselves.

Carlos Celdran, tour guide cum performance artist, did just that. Donning a turn-of-the-century outfit, complete with bowler hat a la Rizal, holding up a cardboard where the word DAMASO was written, Celdran performed before the bishops and the clergy --- his target audience.

What is wrong with that?

Everything, it seems for the bishops and the court. For his performance, Celdran may serve time in jail for “hurting the feelings” of his audience, the CBCP.

The Philippine Theater Actors Guild is concerned over this development. As an organization of theater artists and practitioners, we feel the chilling effect of the court’s decision to jail Mr Celdran. It reminds us of the Juan Matapang Cruz and Aurelio Tolentino’s time when theater practitioners were incarcerated for even just displaying the Philippine flag onstage. Or when theatrical performances tackling the plight of the peasant and the workers were deemed subversive and stopped by the military .

It reminds us of the time when powers that be dictate the kind of performances that can be shown; when going against the grain imposed by the status quo subverts the delusion of the true, good and beautiful; when freedom and democracy were ideals artists before us fought , even died for.We no longer live in those times. Or do we?

Freedom of expression is guaranteed in the 1987 Constitution, militantly fought for by National Artist Lino Brocka. This is the basis for our collective indignation.

Not all of us in TAG agree with Mr Celdran’s views and advocacy. In the same manner that not all members of TAG are Catholic. But we share his right to express himself in ways he deem effective and creative. To punish him for a performance is to warn all artists that all we can do are those that sit well with the Catholic Church lest we hurt their religious feelings.

If we heed the warnings and succumb to the threats, we cease to do our role in society. We will be robbed of our existence. We will just be court jesters trying to please the king and the bishops. We cease to be artists.



JOEL SARACHO, Vice President