Leadership Excellence : Setting the Stage for Success

Remarks delivered on April 1, 2017 at the 1st ISEssions: The Gerry Roxas Leaders Forum, Balay Expo Centro, Araneta Center, Quezon City.
Former Secretary Dinky Soliman, Gerry Roxas Foundation Executive Director Monette Parado, Gerry Roxas Leadership Awardees Inc. Executive Director Glenda Carlota, fellow members of the GRLA Inc. Board of Trustees, my fellow GRLAs: Thank you for the privilege to speak before you as we launch the ISE Sessions with this afternoon’s Gerry Roxas Leaders Forum.  I feel much honored to be given this opportunity, especially as I am sharing the stage with one of our country’s most distinguished public servants.               Perhaps because of my experience in the theater, my time with you has been appropriately named “Setting the Stage for Success.” Given this, I will share with you some of the learnings I have picked up after working with successful people, particularly in my field of arts and entertainment. But first, let us define success.  For me, success does…

Peta and Rep turn 50: Why it’s also a golden moment for PH theater

Representing the two major streams of contemporary Filipino drama, they broke ground and changed the scene for good—and for the better
(Published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1 April 2017. Also in
Sometime in the first few months of 1967, Carmen “Baby” Barredo received a telephone call from her former classmate Cecile Guidote: Would Baby be willing to join in a new theater company that was being formed, envisioned to be the National Theater and which would be called the Philippine Educational Theater Association (Peta)?
Baby politely declined, as she had previously committed to help Zeneida “Bibot” Amador establish what was intended to be the first professional theater company presenting a regular season of plays in the country. That company would be known as Repertory Philippines (Rep).
As they say, the rest is history. Both Peta and Rep presented their inaugural productions the same year. The late…


From Sir Anthony Hopkins: "(Theater) gave me the sheer discipline and the foundation to learn text and the technique of speech, as well as to take on masses of literature: Chekhov, Ibsen, Shakespeare. And it’s stayed with me over these years.” His first words of advice for young actors follow a similar path. “Get a training in the theater. When young actors get choosy, they should just work. Whatever work comes in, just do it. Accept anything just for the sheer experience of it."

DULAANG U.P.: The First Forty Years

Note: DULAANG UNIBERSIDAD NG PILIPINAS (or Dulaang U.P.) is now presenting its 40th Season.  Founding Artistic Director Tony Mabesa, who directed its first play in 1976, is now directing King Lear/Haring Lear, opening on Wednesday, 7 October 2015.  He has announced that the production will be his last for Dulaang U.P. as a director.
Upon his return to the Philippines in 1975 after studying and teaching in the United States, Antonio O. Mabesa initiated the formation of a campus-based theater season at the University of the Philippines.  With the help of Dr. Leticia H. Tison, then Chair of the Department of Speech and Drama, the first season of Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, or Dulaang U.P. as it has come to be known, was launched in 1976 with the production of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”, translated into Filipino by Lilia Antonio as “Pagkahaba-haba man ng Prusisyon”, at the Abelardo Theater.   The next production in the opening season was Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio’s modern s…


"We were told that it showed that we were having fun. I was pretty darn glad to hear that. Some people couldn't believe we managed to pull off a full-length 3-act play. But we made it happen."

While I have to confess I enjoyed reading the entire blog post of Christine Hogi Cadlum, about her experience in the Rehearsal and Performance Techniques workshop that was part of the 2015 Tanghalang Pilipino Summer Theater Adventure at the CCP, I have to assert that it was more because I share with her the joy and pride she experienced with her classmates, who I all consider as fellow learners. 

For her complete post, here is the link:


“OROSMAN at Zafira,” the 2008 reimagined dance theater production directed by Dexter Santos for Dulaang UP, based on the original text by Francisco Baltazar. Deviating from the standard komedya where the conflict is between theMoros and the Cristianos, this verse play is about warring kingdoms in the Middle East. A recent list by Entertainment Weekly of the best plays of the last 100 years prompted a timely question from the Script Analysis class I am conducting for the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company: Why is there no such list for Philippine theater?
As a response, I hereby proffer a list of what I believe to be a representative sampling of 25 plays that can be considered as landmarks of Philippine theater. The list is arranged chronologically, and includes plays which were and are considered to have broken ground in local theater history, and/or plays which best represent particular theater movements or dramatic styles.
I do not offer this as a definitive list, but I hope it will p…