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A Review on ‘Tribes’

The following texts are excerpts from the review I wrote for BroadwayWorld.com Philippines.

It is about the play presented by Red Turnip Theater titled ‘Tribes’ by Nina Raine.

BWW Review: Red Turnip Theater Stages Nina Raine’s TRIBES


The cast and the director of Red Turnip Theater’s ‘Tribes’. Photograph courtesy of Erickson Dela Cruz.

Manila, Philippines–In its fourth year, theater company Red Turnip Theater, via Nina Raine’s comedy-drama “Tribes,” has proven time and again its top-notch quality.

Billy (Kalil Almonte), who was born deaf, is raised by parents Christopher (Teroy Guzman), an intellectual, demanding father, and Beth (Dolly De Leon), a smart yet understanding mother.

In a tough, dysfunctional family, Billy grew up with siblings Daniel (Cris Pasturan), a marijuana-dependent, and Ruth (Thea Yrastorza), an opera singer in pubs and churches.

“Tribes,” which is directed by Topper Fabregas (“Rabbit Hole,” “This is Our Youth”) theater-in-the-round style, succeeds in piercing the hearts of the audience by presenting the vulnerabilities and idiosyncrasies of its characters.

Fabregas perfectly casts Almonte to tackle the most challenging role in the play: a deaf young man who has been lipreading and was never allowed by his parents to do sign language. His parents believe that he’ll be able to do better this way in the hearing world.

To read the full story, click here!

ToFarm Film Festival is in its Second Year

iMANDALUYONG CITY, Philippines – At the Mactan Room of a luxury five-star hotel—Shangri-La EDSA, United Harvesters Incorporated recently held its Thanksgiving Luncheon at the same time launched its second year of ToFarm Film Festival on Thursday, August 25.


Present in the Press Launch are (L-R): Delos Reyes, festival director; Dr. How executive vice-president of Universal Harvesters Incorporated; and Cunanan, project director for the festival.

Present in the said event were the mother and main advocate of ToFarm—Dr. Milagros Ong-How, the festival director—multi-awarded international film and TV master director Maryo J. Delos Reyes, and the project director Rommel Cunanan.

The people behind the three winning films—‘Paglipay’, ‘Pitong Kabang Palay’ and ‘Free Range’ as well as the Jury Special Award for Outstanding Film—‘Pauwi Na’ and the two other film finalists—‘Pilapil’ and ‘Kakampi’ were also in attendance.

Delos Reyes, the festival director officially announced the opening of the second year of the festival. Though the mechanics haven’t changed; this year’s theme is ‘Planting the Seeds of Change’ and the new category for awardees for Best Child Performer are the new things to look forward to.

The first festival ran last July 13 to 19 and was extended the following week from July 20 to 27. It also had its Central Luzon run from August 24-30.

Six film finalists will still be chosen for the second year. Deadline for submission of entries is set on Friday, November 18 and must be sent to ToFarm Secretariat Office located on the 10th floor of Harvester Corporate Center situated at 158 P. Tuazon corner 7th and 8th Avenue, Quezon City.

For more information about the festival, contact (632) 7095001 to 02 or log on to ToFarm.org.

Related Link: ‘Paglipay’ wins big at ToFarm awards night

Romano Vasquez’s ‘Chicken Adobo’

The following texts are lifted from the Press Release created for Romano Vasquez’s upcoming Press and Album Launch.


Romano Vasquez’s ‘Chicken Adobo’


Over the years, Romano Vasquez, the former mainstay of ‘That’s Entertainment’, a teen-oriented afternoon variety show which was fathered by the late German ‘Kuya Germs’ Moreno—has bounced back from all the darkest hours in his life and is ready to conquer the entertainment scene again.

Today, he describes his life as: “… Much better and is still getting better each day.

“I realized that everything really happens for a reason. Most of the time, we are blinded from seeing the ‘greater good’. We all need to face the challenges in our lives with a positive attitude, and it is the very foundation in achieving success or in order to succeed.

He also added that what happened to him made him a better, stronger and most of all—a smarter person now.

“I learned a lot from those challenges and I took them all as part of my learning process in life.”

Short-Lived Stardom?

When he was launched alongside the Cruzes—Sunshine Cruz and Donna Cruz in ‘That’s Entertainment’, he did all sorts of stuff—he showcased his singing and his good looks to create such buzz and it didn’t fail him.

However, his singing voice got noticed even if he was part of the boy group called—Quamo, known for their Tagalog version of the hit song—‘I Swear’.

At this point of his career, he took bolder steps to make him afloat and starred in the film—“Reputasyon’ opposite a newcomer Miya Nolasco. The boldest thing he did in the said movie was a quick butt exposure.

“Frankly, I was never really a sexy star. It only made me sexy, because of the publicities.”

After which he even went to Japan to work as a male host with the hope of earning to help him purchase his own dream house.

Despite the hard work that he put in a foreign land, he came back trying his luck again in the industry that gave him the break for stardom; the entertainment world was not kind enough to welcome him again. After being away for six months, a lot had changed. He felt sad and hit rock bottom after spending all what he earned by trying to make a name again in show business.

He succumbed to depression.

Second Chances.

Vasquez experienced being ‘homeless’; wandering aimlessly in Metro Manila as he ran away from his dark past. He escaped his bondage from drugs and was adopted by a Good Samaritan where he was able to stand again on his feet. But habits are difficult to get rid off as he ended up being kicked by the one who took care of him.

He begged to be accepted by his own father and like the prodigal son he was welcomed back to the household.

In the course of his trying to recover from life’s bouts—he met his future wife Alma. From that point on—it changed his life, his perspectives.

In October 2013, almost three years from now, someone by the name Princess Merriam Kiram of Kiram family of Sulu invited him to attend the orientation of JC Premiere Business International, a multi-level marketing company. Today, he is an Independent Distributor and at the same time, he is the official international and local speaker-trainer of the said company.

Due to the success he is enjoying via the networking business, he has a car to boast of as proof of his hard work. He now owns a 2016 Ford Mustang Muscle Sports Car.

Cookin’ Up ‘Chicken Adobo’.

chicken adobo

From the ashes, like a phoenix, he rose. Even if he failed many times over—he remained positive about life. And through JC Premiere, he is able to regain the lost glory, but this time on a different field. For him it is quite fulfilling to be able to inspire people to make a difference with their lives—of becoming entrepreneurs.

With Direk Maryo J. Delos Reyes’s Productions56 Incorporated—he is able to revisit his first love—singing as he launches his latest album titled—‘Chicken Adobo’ with Bellhaus Entertainment as publisher.

In his album, he could identify with it as, “I relate it with my life now. That life is really like a dish. All the mistakes and failures are not the opposite of success, but rather the ingredient of success.

“I never wish ill on people who did me wrong. I never complained. I faced them all because I am so much aware of the LAW—the law of sowing and reaping as well as the law of KARMA. Now, I am convinced that I am harvesting all the good I have sowed. GOD is indeed synonymous to GOOD.”

He hopes that with the songs he creates and sings—it will provide good music as food for the soul.