Sunday, November 12, 2006

What this blog is for

I'm not big on anniversaries, month-saries and the like, but since this blog hits its 2nd month today and what you're reading right now happens to be my 50th post, let me seize on these vague landmarks as a chance to talk about why I put up this blog.

In the beginning, I just wanted an archive for my published stories. In May last year I got a Blogspot site and began methodically dumping there my pieces. But as I had over three years' worth of articles to post online, I lost interest quickly. Abaniko, a long-time blogger and friend, took me out of his blogroll the moment he saw I wasn't updating my site. Couldn't blame him.

See, I wasn't interested in an online-journal type of blog. My life is one big bore, and to inflict it on the Web struck me as kind of gauche. Nothing against online diarists; some, like my colleague Pam, do it so impressively.

What I wanted, however, was a site that would serve as an extension of my work as a journalist. In the course of my daily work as a newspaper editor and as a writer covering the arts and culture beat, specifically theater and film (I've been asked to do fashion from time to time, but only with much trepidation on my part), I often end up with so much extra material that don't make it to the paper mostly for lack of space. Interview snippets. Stories behind the stories. Insights that require more than the usual 5,000-character published spread.

I wanted, most of all, a site where I could share with people my passion for Filipino and world theater (and Broadway musicals!). Where I could tell anyone willing to listen that art, literature, drama, music, dance have a place in our lives, as tools of expression with which to keep our memory alive and mold our character as a people, stop me before I get carried away...

There. So this is what this blog is all about, really. Let me tell you my plans. In addition to continuing my series of Q&As with the country's leading artists (beginning with the likes of Lea Salonga and Monique Wilson)--whose words and experiences, I hope, would be an inspiration and example to anyone with more than a passing affection for Filipino talent and creativity--I also intend to use this blog to write about and celebrate our extraordinary musical theater heritage.

"Katy," "Larawan," "Magsimula Ka!," "Rama at Sita," "Noli" and "Fili," etc.--I don't know where to begin searching for the soundtracks, the literature and the stories behind many of these gems, given the terrible way we preserve and safeguard theater works in this country. But I will try, and with it the hope that more of us will come around to appreciating this gift, this talent, that comes so naturally to us as a people.

Have you had enough of my pomposity? Me, too! So, just this: many thanks for dropping by every time. Barely two months old, this blog has broken into the Pinoy Top Blogs 100 list--for whatever that is worth, and even as it threatens to slide off the 95-100 margins every day. Thanks a lot for the support.

That's it! This can be exhausting, whew. On with blogging!


Nick said...

Well said, Gibbs.
I love those Filipino musicals, specially Magsimula Ka and Katy!.
I saw Magsimula Ka's original run at the CCP's Bulwagang Gantimpala (now Tanghalang Batute) which was then under Tony Espejo. The title song was Gines Tan's Metropop-winning song which was interpreted by pre-Miss Saigon Engineer, Leo Valdez. Leo even had a cameo appearance in the musical’s finale. It was superbly directed by Nestor Torre. I saw it several times and each night was different and unpredictable, depending on the celebrities in the audience. One evening, they had director Mario O’hara in the audience and they had this really gross joke about him.
For the musical’s finale, they also had different singer-guests every night. It was in this musical that comedienne Beverly Salviejo and comedian Jograd de la Torre were discovered. It was also in this musical that I was first impressed by the singing voice of pre-Miss Saigon bar girl and, at that time, Calesa Bar torch singer cum pre-school teacher, Isay Alvarez (who originally sang The Movie in my Mind for the West End original cast recording of Miss Saigon). Her future husband, pre-Miss Saigon Engineer, Robert Sena did not join the musical until its big-venue run at the Rizal Theatre (which used to stand in the present site of 6750 Ayala). But the Rizal Theatre production was not as exciting and intimate as the CCP production.
I love this musical so much that I even have a music casette tape of it and a video recording of it which I recorded when they staged it in Rizal Park in Manila on New Year’s Eve (as the New Year presentation of Concert at the Park sometime in the early 80s). It was in Betamax format though because it was the only available video recorder format during that time.
It was also at the Rizal Theatre that I saw the original production of Ryan Cayabyab’s Katy! (If my memory serves me right, I think that’s how they spelled it. And yes, with an exclamation point). The title character was played by Mitch Valdes while the young Katy was played by the late Ten Ten Munoz (the sister of Bebong Munoz, Jolina Magdangal’s reported boyfriend). Robert Sena also appeared in this musical as the young Dolphy. It was for this musical that Ryan Cayabyab composed the beautiful song, Minsan ang Minahal ay Ako which was sung by Celeste Legaspi in the musical (who, I think, also produced the show). This song remains as one of my favorite songs. I also have a music cassette recording of the original production of Katy!.
I still keep the programs/playbill of these two plays, along with hundreds of playbills and posters of Repertory Philippines’ plays, as part of my collection.
While you are celebrating your second month as a blogger, I just had my first entry in my blog. Please read it and tell me what you think. I know it’s rather long but I’m sure that you’ll find it interesting because it’s related to what we’re talking about here.
Oops, sorry, I thought I was writing on my blog. Sorry for taking too much space here. I got carried away. I’m afraid that this is even longer than your post. And pardon my grammatical lapses and disorganized thoughts. I’m too tired to edit this. Thanks.
BTW, I also like Tanghalang Pilipino's production of the musicals, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, directed by Nonon Padilla.Well, maybe next time.Thanks again.

Sidney said...

Congrats on the 2nd month & 50th post! Keep on the good work!

Paeng said...

Gibbs, you can download the sountrack of my favorite musical, yung LEAN: A FILIPINO MUSICAL ni Gary Granada sa kanyang website.

Abaniko said...

Congratulations! I'm glad that you now blog regularly. Here's hoping you can sustain it till you're 70. Happy blogging, Gibbs!

wendell said...

happy anniversary gibbs!!

i have the complete soundtrack of KATY when it was staged at rizal and later, the CCP during the late 1980s--i can only hope that it remains in good state back home. i will have to store it in cd form after my studies here.

nick captured that era very well. these days, kids are missing out on a lot of things in spite of the high technology and all.

cheers and say hola to lito z and his on-again, off-again partner o.a.d.(this is a private joke).

snglguy said...

Happy 50th posting gibbs, here's to the next 50. Top 100 in two months? Wow, that is impressive.

gibbs cadiz said...

hi NICK, thank you for that exhaustive post! indeed, we've so many stories to tell when it comes to the landmark theater productions we've seen and can't forget. let's keep in touch, and do share with us your baul of playbills and posters. those are valuable! keep on blogging! :)

hey SIDNEY, thanks a lot!

hey PAENG, thanks for the tip. that's one of the musicals i don't have a copy of. :)

muchas gracias, ABANIKO! we both agree--'Larawan' is the best Filipino musical we've seen (short of 'Katy!,' which we didn't see). :)

hi WENDELL, i have the complete soundtrack of 'Katy!' too on CD, and the last track even has Mommy Kate singing live during the gala performance of the show, plus photocopies of the libretto and the cover art. i'll share some tracks here very soon. :)

ey SNGLGUY, that's thanks to regular visitors like you! :)

Marie said...

I'll definitely be visiting regularly and I'll tell all my friends about your blog too :) Congrats on your 2nd month blogsarry! ;-)

Pamela Angela said...

keep blogging, gibbs :)

you make blogosphere a better place :D

Toto said...

Congratulations, Gibbs.
Thanks for your last message in my blog. I appreciate the encouragement.
Don't worry. I'll try to post something this week. Watch out for it.

Corsarius said...

Congratulations, Gibbs! Two months can seem like a blur when you're blogging, no? Hehe. On to one year -- heck, one decade? -- more of blogging!

Like you, at first I wasn't keen on blogging. Yet as the months went by, I found myself falling in love with the art, the hobby, the trade, or what else you might call it. Hope it'll be the same case with you. The Philippine blogosphere needs people like you who are knowledgeable and passionate about the arts.

Good luck, Gibbs!

Toto said...

Hey Gibbs.
I changed my URL. Please update your link to my blog.

gibbs cadiz said...

done, TOTO! :)

Toto said...

Thanks, Gibbs.

Carver said...

Hello Gibbs! Parang Pringles ang blogging. Once you blog, you can't stop!!

Keep 'em coming. :-) Take care.

MANDAYA MOORE: Ang bayot sa bukid said...

two months and 50 posts? tapos ang gaganda pa. galing naman.

AnneMac said...

Here's to blogging (for whatever reason)!!!

gibbs cadiz said...

hello, CARVER! salamat! lapit na zsazsa the movie a. tense na? i can't wait for vince's new songs. :)

MANDAYA, tsalamat! :)

ey ANNEMAC, i remember you were one of the very first to visit my old, unlamented blog, and you're still here. am very, very grateful. :)

Anonymous said...

i always look forward to your articles in the inquirer. and i'm glad mas madalas pa kitang mababasa ngayon :o)

Anonymous said...

gibbs dami mong fans!


Anonymous said...


am a newbie reader of your blog. just want to leave a word of praise, and thanks for telling it like it is,

-Mon Yadao

p.s. used to be acquainted with you along with mike lietz (among others). but that was ages ago, you prob'ly don't recall already. anyway, more power!

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