Among the things I enjoy about moving to a new house is packing: documents and photos specially. I came across an article by Vince Cabreza for Sun Star magazine back in 1996 when we first mvoed to Baguio: it was a feature on Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll. Browsing various souvenir programs of our productions in the last 12 years made my day - from the xeroxed pages of SDRR to printed sepia cover of Pangarap to the full color poster of Jesus Christ Superstar.
I was reminded of James, who played Pepe in one of our stagings of Tonyo at Pepe. James lived with us for a year or so when we were with Ado and Meg in Leonila Hill up to the time we moved to Wing's glass house in San Luis. we spent countless nights discussing acting, directing, various playwright's. James was not in school when we met him, since joining our productions under OSP, James has moved on: finishing his studies and eventually publishing two or three books (one he authored and two book of poems he edited). Last december he visited us and brought copies of those books for us, signed by the author (him)self.
Russell was a lanky freshman taking up masscom in SLU when we first met him... he didn't immediately get to join our productions but he would always be there at the gate manning the ticket booth, or ushering people in, or assisting backstage. He would come straight to our house in Malvar from school, and just hang out. He finally went onstage in that play on children's rights that I wrote: Taguan, Habulan, Patintero, and then the musicals Pangarap and Once on this Island after that. Since then he has worked for a call center, a media network giant, and currently asevents manager for a mall. He recently got in touch with us: he wants to feature excerpts of our productions at the mall he's working for, and the possibility of performing full runs of thos productions there.
Amar was the reluctant leading man in A Prelude To A Kiss - from a supporting actor, he was promoted to lead star when an actor backed out and we had to re-cast the play. He performed as Pepe also, two runs ahead of James. When we're not director-actor, we we're kuya-ading. He would come, enter our house as if he also owned it, which is quite true: I did the same whenever I'm at their house. Auntie Susan, Amar's mom, was like a mother to us and was a great lola to Leon when he was a baby: taught him to eat rice with coffee (Yice and feefee!), buy potchi at the sari-sari store, how to duck-walk, and gave him the nickname: Yankee, binaligtad na Kiangan, where RL's maternal relatives come from. Aabha, Amar's sister, toilet trained Leon. Amar and another ex-OSP artist, Ronald, once felt it was ok to break into our house in Q.M. to wait for us right there in the comfort of our living room. We arrived late at night and found both of them asleep: they needed help writing a letter. Amar also marketed some of our productions, and is now based in Manila and is into sales and marketing and will be a father himself soon. He called recently just to ask how things are with us.
Mad was a junior when I was an artist-in-residence in Brent. She was introduced to us by her English Teacher and big OSP fan, Bryan Powles (who left Brent in 2001 but has still maintained contact up to now) right after graduating high school and took a year off from school to work with us. She joined the prduction staff of a Tonyo/Pepe production, helped with make-up and production design of Manifest Destiny and Pangarap and Once On This Island... She is now in New York studying filmmaking, and despite the distance, has managed to remain close to OSP. She's coming home next month with my brother.
Some of them stay, some of them go, some of them remain close, some of them don't even look back. Some of them once believed, and and stopped believing, some even mock the ideals of OSP after they leave.
May mga ibang may napala, may ibang wala, may ibang naniniwalang walang mapapala sa mundo ng teatro, lalo na siguro sa Baguio. The latter isn't exactly untrue.
In our journey to provide the community with an alternative form of entertainment that would consistently present relevant social issues, we remain...
Letters from OSP usually end with the above lines... I'm just glad that at least there are some, who may have moved on to something else, but have remained believers and have not lost faith in the vision of Open Space Projects. - and whatever it offered, provided and stood for and against.