Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm on Page One!

My own paper sees fit to put me and my blog on the front page of today's issue. Hope it doesn't ruin your Sunday morning. Thanks, John, for the generous write-up.

PDI ‘drama king’: Blogger’s passion hits gold
By John Nery
Philippine Daily Inquirer, 09.28.2008

Inquirer drama critic Gibbs Cadiz has a deep passion for Philippine theater.

How deep? In 1991, in his very first job, he used his first-ever paycheck to buy season tickets to Repertory Philippines.

“The first ticket I bought was for the musical ‘Stop the World, I Want to Get Off,’ at Rep’s Insular Life Theater in Makati,” he remembers.

That abiding passion was recognized last Sunday, in properly dramatic fashion, when Cadiz, a desk editor of Inquirer Lifestyle, became the first arts and culture honoree of the Philippine Blog Awards (PBA). Because the PBA ceremony at One Esplanade had no provision for that most theatrical of traditions, the acceptance speech, Cadiz wrote one and posted it on his blog.

Thrilling to be a fan
In it, he gave thanks to a growing community of readers, but made special mention of “the Filipino Theater Artist, because he/she is what I write about mostly in post after post after post. It is a thrill to be a fan of some of our country’s best talents; it is a privilege to be able to honor their hard work and heroism with this blog.”

In barely two years, his eponymous blog,, has generated over 140,000 page views; it has also earned the patronage of theater artists themselves. Lea Salonga, for instance, is a regular reader; through the blog, Joanna Ampil in London found out about the auditions in Manila for “West Side Story.”

Industry professionals have also learned to use the blog to spread the word about upcoming plays. After Cadiz encouraged other theater-goers to blog about the plays and even the movies they’ve seen, by giving away tickets or handing out prizes out of his own pocket, theater organizers added the routine to their marketing playbook. Now, through Cadiz’s blog, they give away free tickets, in exchange only for the ticket holders’ commitment to blog about their play-watching experience. (Call it blog ’n play.)

Theater reviews
The core of Cadiz’s blog is the regular theater reviews he has written for the Inquirer since 2005, which he usually posts only after they see print.

But it is an increasingly narrow core, because Cadiz has added more types of posts (a video interview with acclaimed Asian-American playwright David Henry Hwang, for instance) and more features.

“Gibbs Cadiz” is the one place to go on the Internet if one wants to view or hear excerpts from memorable Filipino musical productions, including “Katy,” “Rama at Sita,” “St. Louis Loves Dem Filipinos, the Musical” and “Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah.”

The result, as can be gleaned from the comment threads, traffic statistics and links to other blogs, is a growing community of theater lovers, drawn together by a newspaper editor’s long-running obsession.

Where’s the magic?
That obsession allows Cadiz to wax critical. Last month, for instance, he reviewed three very different plays: “‘Cinderella’ at the CCP Main Theater, ‘Noli at Fili: Dekada 2000 (Dos Mil)’ at the Peta Theater Center, and the recently ended ‘Hinabing Pakpak ng Ating mga Anak’ at the Guerrero Theater in UP Diliman do not qualify as incompetent productions. On the contrary, they evince much thought, planning, care and skillful stagecraft. But that they fall distressingly short of any artistic transcendence is telling. The commitment is there; the magic isn’t.”

But he allows his enthusiasm free rein too. In a review of Tanghalang Ateneo’s “Otelo, ang Moro ng Venecia,” he wrote: “Shakespeare supplies reasons for Iago’s mischief—his thwarted promotion, Othello possibly messing with his wife Emilia—but the way [Rody] Vera mouths them, even he sounds unconvinced by such pretexts.

“Instead, the watchword of his performance is malice—a pure, angst-free peevishness that takes impish delight at his evolving ability to upend lives and bend the truth to his will.

“None of that homoerotic, slithery stuff. This Iago, for all his outward ease and jauntiness, is at heart a misanthrope, and Vera dispenses poison with charismatic exultation.”

Other winners
The other finalists for the Arts and Culture award were “Dalityapi Unpoemed,” “pamatay homesick,” “Perlas Design Studio” and “Pinoy Power.”

Other winners named during the 2nd Philippine Blog Awards included “Pinoy Web Startup” for Business, “Creature Lover” for Commentary, “The Professional Heckler” for Entertainment, “” for News and Media, and “Atheista” in the Personal category.

The complete list of winners, including the recipients of Special Awards, can be found on the PBA blog, at


Oliver Oliveros said...

Wow congrats, 'drama king!'

=) Oliver

Senor Enrique said...

Congratulations for this PDI exposure and most especially for the well-deserved PBA trophy!



P0ytee said...

Gibbs, congratulations again! You're on page one, FOR THE WIN! Although I know you'd very much like to be in North Korea for your birthday, I think this one is a good birthday gift na. :D said...

Front page? Wow hanep! Seriously congratulations Gibbs. Wonderful write-up there. I-frame dapat yan!

julie said...

Congratulations :)

TheBachelorGirl said...

I'm glad he mentioned your passion because, like I told you, that's what's remarkable about you -- your passion for theater.

Mugen said...

nabasa ko nga. hanglufeet!!

Marcus: Bading Down Under said...

congratulations! Winner ka talaga!!

R-yo said...

you've gone a long way idol! sana mailibre mo pa rin ako ng ticket kahit big time ka na. remember? my very first blogs were about the plays you brought me to. sana me ganun uli sa december, he he

wysgal said...

Wow page 1, and for something you did! Kudos on the mention.

palma tayona said...

you deserve it. ;-)

lateralus said...

At nakaepal pa ako ha! hehe

gibbs cadiz said...

hey, thanks, OLIVER! :)

SENOR ENRIQUE! welcome back and congrats to you, too, you won a bunch at the blog awards! :)

POYTEE, yeah, pweydi na rin! :)

JANETTE, maraming salamat! :)

JULIE, thanks! :)

LORNA, pareho lang tayo--after all, we bump into each other all the time, haha! :)

MUGEN, tsalamat! MARCUS, sayo din! :)

R-YO, aynaku, bumalik ka muna at magparamdam dito. the ticket/s will come. :)

WYSGAL, thanks! :)

PALMA, tsalamat! hey, the fabcasters have a new podcast coming up. sizzling, haha--so watch out for it. :)

BENJ, haha, yip! :)

Mickey said...

congratulations, gibbs!


Gloria Karlos said...

CONGRATULATIONS from the TechScribe!

beektur said...

Galing. And that is only to be expected. No one can doubt the contributions you have given (and at times started) to the conversations about contemporary Philippine theater. More than the academic mumblings of *beep beep and the often-times, narrow-vision of *toot-toot and the much-too-insider-informed ramblings of *ding-ding-ding; your reviews and introspections are always placed in the context of the productions cultural and chronological milieu while remaining highly entertaining. what i am trying to say is: bring it up to another level. WRITE A BOOK! not a boring scholarly treatise. maybe a coffee-table format (remember GCF's soul and burgis books?) you have access to insider informations, contacts with the pioneers (please, while they are still around) and connections with the current exponents. write a book! email me (di mo pa rin sinasabi kung sino)

Micaela said...

yoohoo! congrats, gibbs! :) (syempre medyo late na, suri! busy-busyhan eh)

Anonymous said...


Cynthia here. I am a "quiet" follower of your blog, but I had to say something this time: Congratulations!

I still have the Harold Bloom book and I promise to bring it back when I finally muster the courage to "come home."

Keep up the brave work.

A fan,


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