Showing posts from 2002

Awful banks

Awful banks
By Walter Ang
October 7, 2002
Philippine Daily Inquirer

When I got pick-pocketed earlier this year, I had to call two banks to have my ATM cards blocked. I was hoping I wouldn't have too much trouble doing so, but I guess I didn't hope hard enough. I called up Equitable-PCIBank first. The lady (I failed to get her name) who helped me was receptive and very quick. In less than five minutes, my card was blocked. I even asked her if she had the hotline number for another bank and she graciously looked for it, even if she didn't have to. I was very impressed and started feeling better already.

But when I applied for a replacement card at the Soler branch in Binondo, five days had already gone by and it still wasn't ready. I raised my voice and told them I wouldn't leave until they found out what was going on. As the guy in charge was making phone calls to the head office, one of the tellers started scowling (even though she wasn't handling my situation) …

Touring with Ballet Philippines' "Shoes++" around the country

These shoes are made for dancing 
By Walter Ang
Aug. 18, 2002
Philippine Star Week Magazine

July 29 Thursday
I wake up at the ungodly hour of 4am so I can be at the Cultural Center of the Philippines by 6am. I'm lucky enough to be part of the cast (as the lone actor) in Ballet Philippines' National Tour of their highly acclaimed show, "Shoes++," and we leave Manila today.

By the time we get to the airport, it is raining hard and Artistic Director Denisa Reyes is worried. The menacing Manila weather has already given one dancer dengue fever. Having our flight delayed is the last thing anyone wants. We are relieved when they announce boarding for our flight. There are some first time airplane riders among the delegation that includes the dancers and they get a lot of good-natured teasing.

BP's last national tour was in 1997, so this time around, everyone is excited and raring to go. I grew up in the city so the travel to 6 different venues is appealing. And, of cours…

Flying high with some help from Down Under

Flying high with some help from Down Under 
By Walter Ang
June 1, 2002
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Dancers in tutus turning pirouettes may have ballet audiences somewhat jaded. But things are about to change. The dancers will do more than just leap and bound. Apart from lining up an eclectic mix of material for its 33rd season, Ballet Philippines has also begun taking flying lessons. Flying with harnesses, that is.

The flying lessons are in preparation for an upcoming production about a stone-swallowing, flying-dynamo of a local heroine slated for next year. This new production is in line with BP artistic director Denisa Reyes' efforts to create new works that speak to the sensibilities of today's younger audiences. After all, enticing and capturing the young audiences today is key to establishing a long- term relationship with its audience.

The Australian Embassy had heard about Denisa's plan and recommended Gavin Robins for a possible artistic collaboration. Known as one of…

How I posed nude for painters and survived the ordeal

How I posed nude for painters and survived the ordeal
By Walter Ang
April 17, 2002
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The challenge: 2bU! needed someone willing to pose nude for a group of artists and then write about the experience. My response: Yes.

I don't know why the request sounded so appealing. Perhaps it spoke to my adventurous side. Perhaps it spoke to my ego ? the idea was tinged with glamour, "I will be immortalized as a piece of art!" I even suggested the final artworks could be titled, "Handsome Naked Young Man," but Lito Zulueta, the Arts Section editor, looked absolutely mortified.

Of course, I had some concerns. The whole world was going to see my, er, shortcomings. After all, you can't go nude without showing your, uhm, equipment. What if my equipment would start to "act up"? Sometimes those things have a mind of their own! I was also worried if the place would be cold since every guy knows what low temperatures can do to their equipment. A…

Filipino student has exchange year in USA

The year of living away 
By Walter Ang
March 13, 2002
Philippine Daily Inquirer

AFTER my high school graduation, I spent a few agonizing weeks deciding if I should take a year off as an exchange student to the U.S.A. My father and I asked inputs from our relatives and got opinions ranging from skepticism ("You'll lose interest in going to school when you return because all your former batchmates will be ahead of you.") to enthusiastic encouragement ("It's a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity!").

I was fortunate enough to have already experienced a 4-week study tour stint in Seattle. That trip was already beyond my wildest expectations, so I hadn't expected repeating the experience on a longer timeframe. A one-year program was recommended to my dad and he confided that he was a frustrated exchange student and it was his dream to let his children experience it.

I was giddy, excited, scared and occasionally nauseous at the chance of spending a year alone abroa…

Tanghalang Pilipino's Filipino version of Goldoni's 'The Liar'

Tanghalang Pilipino's Filipino version of Goldoni's "The Liar"
By Walter Ang
Feb. 2, 2002

Most people have a traumatic first time with the performing arts as they are required to sit through some heavy drama piece for school.

And if being a "captive" (literally) audience wasn't enough, they'd have to write a reaction paper (500 words, at least!) on who the playwright was (Brecht who?) and use highfalutin words to extol the virtues of what they just saw.

But watching plays and musicals does not have to be baduy and can be quite entertaining, enjoyable and even, gasp, fun. Especially if you give it a try without having your terror of a teacher twist your arm to go. Those who are feeling adventurous, or even just mildly curious, can give Tanghalang Pilipino's production of "Ang Sinungaling" a go.

Director Nonon Padilla "steals" conventions from Chinese Peking opera to stage this Filipino translation of an Italian play. How's…

Set and costume designer Gino Gonzales: Shaper of Things to Come

Shaper of Things to Come 
By Walter Ang
January 27, 2002
Sunday Inquirer Magazine

When Gino Gonzales was a child, he looked forward to processions. He just couldn't get enough of the pomp, the music, the assorted folk and costumes that lift such events from the doldrums of summer.

It would be this seminal "fascination for visual spectacle" that would ultimately shape his future as a production designer. Gino took up Communications at the Ateneo, worked in public relations for exactly two weeks and knew irrevocably that he "wanted to do theater."

In college, he had assisted renowned production designer Salvador "Badong" Bernal in several plays for the student theater group Tanghalang Ateneo and went on to his first professional stint: designing for the musical "Alikabok."

The curtain had since risen on Gino's career as he went on creating shapes, spaces, textures, silhouettes, colors and forms for actors and audiences alike. Constantly enc…