• A Warm Christmas Hug

  • Choosing to Live in Joy

  • When We Come Home Again

  • The Sound of Paraiso

  • Adarna: An Online Theatrical Experience

  • REP’s Workshop for the Performing Arts Continues

  • A Herald About Our Angel

  • Confessions of a Repper: Lisa Infante Continues Confessing

  • Theater or Dare

A Warm Christmas Hug

– Mindy Pérez-Rubio

What a year! Indeed. I need not go into detail as the whole world is equally suffering from this pandemic. I am optimistic that 2021 will be a good year. It was propitious that REP successfully pulled off 3 productions in the first quarter, prior to Covid: The Quest for the Adarna, RCBC Showstoppers, Stage Kiss. The rest of our season was shut down, with Anna in the Tropics never to perform, despite having a most enchanting pre-opening on March 13. However, Carousel and our RTYA production of Snow White is to be grandly presented in 2021 at our very own Onstage Theater in GreenBelt 1. Stay tuned for the second half of 2021, when REP goes back LIVE.

REP’s bravura is magnificent. It is strong. It is secure. We are here to stay. We strictly adhere to our mission and vision –to keep performing arts alive in the country.

Despite all our difficulties, we are fortunate to be blessed with a staff and membership that is passionate –teeming with exciting ideas to keep REP pulsating with (right now) on-line enjoyment.

We close the door to 2020, wishing you the finest, worthiest, greatest CHEER for this Season and for 2021.

A Warm Christmas Hug,

Mindy Pérez-Rubio, President & CEO, Repertory Philippines

Choosing to Live in Joy

– Luna Grino-Inocian

Joy Virata, a name synonymous to Bibot Amador and Baby Barredo, is just TJ to me, short for Tita Joy.

TJ began as an actress but went on to diverse roles for REP off stage. As those got more complex, so did the challenges.

TJ always found joy in the most difficult circumstances. She’d press on despite challenges, opposition, pitfalls, discouragements. She would delight in every little triumph and made each triumph a bigger one. TJ banked on these strengths at REP. As she faced seemingly insurmountable challenges, she had to draw upon them, especially in 2020.

A pandemic, a lockdown, a live performance shutdown. In the face of life-threatening illness – her husband’s, her daughter’s and hers – she pressed on. She battled a heart problem and bacterial pneumonia. Her husband,Tito Cesar, had a minor stroke. Both were hospitalized at different times then at the same time. Both went from possibly having Covid to definitely being infected.

How does one face an uncertain outcome, the fear of losing a loved one, not being there for her husband, coping with her illness alone, unattended by those she cared for and cared for her.

Continued Below

When We Come Home Again

This Christmas, REP presents a music video, our gift to the country to keep performing arts alive and burning in the hearts of Filipinos.

This year’s final REPisode, When We Come Home Again, is written and directed by REP Artistic Director Liesl Batucan. It features Carla Guevara-Laforteza, David Ezra, PJ Rebullida, and Joni Galeste, with original music by Ejay Yatco.

This was our first foray into a live shoot. Safety protocols were observed during the filming.

Let’s look forward to the future with hope and soon we will come home.

The Sound of Paraiso

In 1980, 8 adorable child and teen actors played the von Trapp children in REP’s The Sound of Music. 40 years later, these actors reunited to perform a moving rendition of Ryan Cayabyab’s ‘Paraiso’.

They wanted to remind us that on November 15, 2020, it was #WorldDayofthePoor2020. Thank you to Reppers Risa Hontiveros, Lea Salonga, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Monique Wilson, Gianina Revilla-Dayrit, Angela Adams, Raymond Lauchengco and Javier Arriaga.

Adarna: An Online Theatrical Experience

The tale of the Adarna is a timeless, captivating Filipino legend. It was the inspiration of The Quest for the Adarna, the musical we presented in 2019 through 2020.

After a 5-month smash hit run, the musical has been selected as the Most Outstanding Children’s Production!

And now, the drama of the royal family of Berbania, the warrior Princess of the Crystal Kingdom, a 7-headed serpent and the Magical Adarna is an Online Theatrical Experience! A recording of A LIVE PERFORMANCE will be streamed for your viewing pleasure all day on Saturday, February 27, 2021.

Tickets: P250 each

REP’s Workshop for the Performing Art’s Continues online through June 2021

Learn to sing or Carry a tune; be the phenomenon who acts, sings and dances; Or just learn to speak better, move with style and have more confidence! There are different age groups so anyone will fit right in.

Next session: January 18 to February 13, 2021 Voice and Musical Theater

12 sessions • P6,000

A Herald About Our Angel

Several years ago, my husband, Carlos, bumped into Eric Filamor, his LaSalle classmate, at the Manila Polo Club. They discussed fledgling companies, and Carlos asked Eric, who was a noted turn-around artist in companies, if he could help REP. He willingly and eagerly jumped in. He quickly managed to secure a partnership between REP and CIGNAL TV, a partnership that supported Repertory Philippines greatly. After a year, he joined the REP Board as a Trustee, and his support was unceasing and helpful.

Eric Filamor, sadly passed away in November 2020, from numerous health complications. REP is indeed sad and grief-stricken and has lost a Guardian Angel, a God-Father. Although his expertise was as a financial advisor to companies in dire-crises situations, he was a silent advocate of Performing Arts.

As a token of our indebtedness and gratitude, we are dedicating our most special Christmas Offering Video, to be aired on You-Tube in December, to the memory of our dearly loved Eric.

To Susan his wife, and to all his children, we are grateful for the opportunity to have had Eric touch our lives. He will always remain in our prayers.

– Mindy Pérez-Rubio

Confessions of a Repper: Liza Infante Continues Confessing

Liza: “Acting is a passion, a vocation and you’re giving yourself fully to that audience…”

Do you know the answer to our theater trivia question? Tap below, have fun, win a prize!

Choosing to Live in Joy

– Luna Grino-Inocian


Then the illness passed. TJ and Tito Cesar could go home. But the uncertainty, fear, and isolation remained. “That was the hardest,” TJ said, ”feeling absolutely well but unable to get out of my little room. I hated not being able to go out!” It was a feeling made worse as her husband was just a wall away.

Back home, virtually alone and unable to leave, she chose the positives, never the negatives.

Not that TJ was always cheery. Sometimes she’d ask God, “What more, Lord, what more? But I stop myself. Why should I question? Why should I complain? He has been good to me.” TJ continued, “First of all, my 89 year old husband survived COVID-19. I have the wherewithal to pay for medical expenses, food, and care. I have friends who pray for me, are concerned about me, send food to tempt my capricious appetite and pray for Cesar constantly.”

“I have my church that keeps me strong and reminds me of God’s faithfulness and His love for me.”

Their grandchildren Dani and Diggy moved in to care for them. Their faithful driver, Naldo, stayed with them, away from his own family through the ordeal, doing housework and running errands. And TJ found a furry feline friend, Peco, whom she refers to as her comfort cat, “She gave me love and comfort while I was quarantined,” then emphatically adds, “Everyone should have a Peco, a cat who wants love and gives love.”

TJ was able to finish a novel version of her musical, “Miong.” Written for young readers by her daughter, Gigi Virata, and illustrated by a friend from church, Johann Quisumbing, the book will be launched in February 2021.

Then the quarantine eased. They went to their home in Silang where they were burgled in the dead of night. Her phone, iPad and entire bag were taken. But bank and credit cards and important documents were found untouched.

Then TJ and family got to go to the beach. Not just any beach, but Balesin! That was the biggest joy of all, being with her family again, at long last!

TJ can now look to the future, hers and REP’s. REP must do its best to recover in 2021. The artistic and creative teams must also focus on 2022.

Currently, REP is planning an online theatrical experience – the streaming of The Quest for the Adarna. Streaming of small musicals is also in the works. She also hopes to improve and expand her adaptation of “Hansel and Gretel.”

As in the spirit of the Fred Astaire song “Pick Yourself Up,” TJ says she’s “picking myself up, dusting myself off and starting all over again.”

Exactly what she is advising the REP community. “Hang in there, guys! But, if we are to go on, we can’t just do what we’ve done before. We must learn to adjust.

We already have people with the necessary skills to press forward. And those who don’t will just have to catch up and learn new skills.”

TJ will probably fall into that second category. Knowing her, she will catch up and learn if need be. She may say it’s adjusting… I’d like to call it choosing to live in joy.

REPartee Team
Editor: VV Vergara
Graphics & Video Editor: Ma. Regina C. Valerio
Webmaster: Georgelyn Francisco

Repertory Philippines, Inc.
Phone: 0966-905-4013

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