I was working fresh out of college for an IT Firm in Ortigas. After one day and an hour, I quit because I did not like being at a desk for a whole day. I went to a mall to clear my thoughts and saw a poster for Trumpets Playshop. A week later, I was enrolled in my first musical theater workshop. My teacher, James Laforteza, saw my potential and brought me to Steps Dance Studio. I was there to make my musical theater skills better but my scholarship for dance opened my eyes to Ballet. In three years, I was transformed into a dancer that eventually joined Ballet Philippines and Ballet Lüneburg, Germany. I started as a sponge. I was a late bloomer and did not have the same opportunities as younger dancers. I had to learn fast. So I absorbed everything I could. In the beginning, I would mimic. As the years went by, I learned to be more discerning of what is useful to me and what is not. By doing so, I am finding my own unique voice as a practitioner, leader, and educator.
I met the gracious people of BAFI through 9 Works Theatrical. We would constantly use the [BGC Arts Center’s] Zobel de Ayala Recital Hall for rehearsals and the Globe Auditorium for shows. They saw how 'Training Ground' for Newsies evolved and from there we developed common goals to share dance to the community. I will be forever grateful for the use of the Hall for the first premiere work of Galaw.Co in July 2019.
I choose to be grateful and use my imagination to take me places I physically cannot go to. I ask a lot of 'what if's?' Often, I am stumped. But every now and then, moments of brilliance and true inspiration strikes. The trick is to be persistent and committed. The constant search will always yield results. I equate art now to being a plant-tito. Our Art lives much like plants, they need sun, water, soil in the right amounts and at the right time. Sometimes, they need a lot of attention. Often, we have to let them grow and flourish. I understand my priorities and values as an artist more. I am seeing that my work needs a strength and precision that comes from being physically fit with a connection to the mind for focus and the heart for truth. I am learning how to move big in a small space and I am more articulate about what I want for my work.
Connect with a support group. People who believe in you. More than that, believe in yourself. It's hard sometimes but every day I connect to my purpose in life. I exist to share my art and my life with the world - a palpable existence full of dance and song.
Photo Credit: Louie Arcilla, Tuchi Imperial, Ernest Mandap, & Jonathan Tabisaura
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