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Peggy and Randy Ford Authors- FOUND OUR WAY 17th Installment

49. With our termination date approaching, we told our families that we weren’t coming home soon. Peggy wrote my mom that even after we left the Peace Corps she would still have the American government to help her locate us in case of an emergency. Peggy reassured her that we would always let her know what country we were in and the American Embassy in that country would be responsible for us. All she’d have to do was to cable or write the American Embassy of that country, explain the emergency, and they’d locate us. “It might not be as fast as going through the Peace Corps, but you could always get a message through to us if you had to.” Also, our passports said to notify our parents in case of an emergency, and the U.S. government would take care of it. At the same time I was concerned about not finding affordable international insurance, which we never found but never needed because in every country where we needed treatment we were treated free because of socialize medicine. The first country we used socialize medicine was in Singapore because we thought Peggy might’ve been pregnant.

Our approaching termination date made us also think about saving dollars that was sent to us for our birthdays. We also had to think about packing everything that was going to the States and paring down to what we could carry with us. (Before we left we moved into the Mabuhay Hotel for debriefing and medical exams.) We had already done considerable housecleaning and throwing away; sent some packages to Texas and others to New Mexico; and it was beginning to frighten us to think that we had to be completely finished by a specific date. All of this before we decided where we were heading next!

Yes, before we decided to fly to Singapore. We really wanted to go to Singapore by boat because it would give us time to relax. … to get over the rush of leaving and to prepare to enter a new culture. But there were no boats (at least around our termination date) that went straight from Manila to Singapore. They all went via Hong Kong and Bangkok, which meant the fare was much higher. So, we could fly cheaper than we could go by boat. (We saved $50 … a large sum of money then in Asia.) Imagine! leaving the Philippines and arriving in Singapore (2,000 miles away) 2 hours and 40 minutes later! At least we were going from one big city to another, and would be able to speak English in Singapore.

Our idea then was to spend a week or less in Singapore … we expected lodging and food to be quite expensive there. (Only one hitch: Peggy was possibly pregnant.) From Singapore … well, Malaysia was next door, and I still wanted to explore Borneo. (On one vacation we spent a wonderful week on a boat sailing the Sulus and came very close to Borneo … just how close? We thought we could see it off in the distance.) From Singapore we finally decided to head north through Malaysia to Bangkok. My friend Ray Hubener, who stayed with us in Manila, was in Bangkok by then, and he said the drama opportunities there were good. He was also teaching English, so we thought we shouldn’t have much trouble getting jobs there if we decided to stay for a while. My latest dream then was to buy bicycles in Singapore and make this trip by that mode of transportation. (Only one hitch: Peggy was possibly pregnant.) But at the same time I was also still talking about Indonesia, especially Bali (which we thought would probably be just a tourist spot before very long).

As far as a mailing address, we told our families that as soon as we began heading somewhere, we would let them know and they could write us care of the American Embassy in the capital of the country where we were going.

50. The two months leading up to this were quite busy for both of us. Peggy had lots of little things to finish up at school. “The Chairs,” which I directed in the dungeons of Fort Santiago, had a successful run, playing the last week in March and every weekend in April. Peggy was involved as the ticket seller. (We had two extra performances for the cast of another play that was brought to Manila from a city in the south.) Then Peggy and I were able to take off for four days at Easter to go to Marinduque, a small island southeast of Manila. On Easter Sunday we saw a beautiful pageant, built around a legend of a Roman soldier who became a follower of Christ when blood spurted in his eyes as he pierced Jesus’ side. We bought one of the masks used in the pageant, and it became a keepsake.

51. Like I said Lino Brocka named the puppy Peta after the Philippine Educational Theater Association. She must’ve been about three months old and was really a housedog … the only time she wanted to be outside in our tiny backyard was when someone was out there playing with her. At night she even slept in the hallway upstairs because we were mean and wouldn’t let her sleep in our room and that was as close to Peggy and me as she could get.

Peta was a native dog … just a mutt … but she was supposed to like rice and fish and to be rather slow to learn. Well, Peta liked fish, but she didn’t seem to care for rice. (Dog food was quite expensive in Manila, so dogs generally ate the same thing people did.) As far as training her, she learned her name and “No!” very quickly, and it took only a few meals to teach her to stay in her box while we were eating. (Sometimes she got out, but she knew the commands.) But we couldn’t housebreak her. We were almost sure it was because of abstinence and not stupidity, but after weeks of cleaning up puddles, we were rather fed up. Even after she was whipped though, she came sidling up, wagging her tail, and it was impossible not be friends with her. We left the puppy behind with Linda.

52. The finial six weeks were even busier than ever … as we were getting ready to leave the Philippines, our summer projects were in full swing. I was following a really hectic schedule:
M-W-F
10-12 Mime class (I was a student)
1-3 or 4 Directing (I was the teacher)
6-8 Mime class
8:30-11:00 “ Maynila,” an improvisational show I was directing. I took the improvisational group to a huge tenement building in Tondo (a slum area) for three performances.

T-Th-Sat.
10-12 Playwriting (I was the teacher)
1-3 or 4 Stagecraft (I was the teacher)
6-8 Mime class
8:30- 11:00 “Maynila”

During a performance of “Maynila” in the dungeons of Fort Santiago, there was an ugly incident involving a nun “getting touched in dark,” and I resolved the incident (proudly) by being “more Filipino than Filipinos around me.” I held the hand of the man who was upset while I calmed him down.

To further complicate matters, my classes were held at three different places, so that I had to spend a good deal of time just coming and going. Needless to say it was a busy six weeks.

Meanwhile Peggy was teaching two classes of kindergarten children. The classes were under the sponsorship of the Social Welfare Department and were only for very, very poor children. In the morning she had about 15 three- and four-year-olds. Her afternoon group was about 30 children, ranging in ages from 3 to 7. The children were fun and she enjoyed working with them. But it was a challenge. What a challenge! She had watched her mother work with this age group, and of course she had done a lot of babysitting. But being in charge of that many children for two hours a day required a lot of imagination. So she quickly exhausted most of her ideas. She was handicapped because there were no Filipino picture books, and her Tagalog was not good enough to do much storytelling. She luckily found someone who could teach the children action songs in Tagalog.

Peggy and Randy Ford

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Peggy and Randy Ford Authors- FOUND OUR WAY 14th Installment

38. I was quite busy with drama. I produced two one-act plays at a private girl’s college, and the result was quite rewarding. Peggy thought it was the best production she’d seen in Manila, but I had a rough time with the cast and Mother Superior during rehearsals. They asked me to direct a major production there the following spring, but I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to do it or not.

I was instead more excited about another group (Philippine Education Theater Association PETA), which was just forming. They were all people I had worked with before and who could work together well. I was going to direct three of them in another one-act play (THE CHAIRS in the dungeons of Fort Santiago), but I also wanted to become part of the group. Though I would see less of Peggy, I was very happy about getting involved. One of the first things I helped with was to put up lights for a new show at Fort Santiago. Since this was the first time an outside crew wasn’t hired, there was a lot of extra work… beginning with putting up pipe to hang lights from. It took three solid nights (plus many daylight hours) of working, but I enjoyed working hard to get the job done properly.

39. For a year we had another volunteer, Lew Burkley, living with us. Then in the middle of October a friend of Lew’s, Bill Brightman, joined us and then two weeks later Ray Hubener appeared. Ray had been my best friend and writing-buddy at Baylor University. I hadn’t communicated with him in over five years when out-of-the-blue he knocked on our door in Manila. He came from Hong Kong, where he worked as a journalist. I’m not sure how he found us in Manila, but it was a start of something amazing. For the next several years Ray’s and our paths crisscrossed in several places around the world. Somehow we found our way and kept running into each other.

This time Ray stayed with us from May until December before he left for Indonesia. I remember he told us at the airport that he guessed we wouldn’t see each other ever again. When Bill left, he returned to the States, and soon afterward Lew moved to live with a new volunteer, a blind man, who had nobody else to live with him. So our family shrank from 6 to 3 and it happened within a few days. We were sorry to see them leave, but we enjoyed increased privacy. But Linda (our maid) thought it was about the end of the world. She was very fond of Lew. According to her, our house was going to be as lonely as it was when we were all on vacation.

40. For a Christmas present Peggy sent one of her sisters a doll wearing a Maria Clarissa skirt, which was worn to many local dances. Maria Clarissa was a girlfriend of Jose Rizal, a national hero.

41. A chance of a lifetime. Peggy got a chance of a lifetime to be the Virgin Mary on national television. It was for a weekly show in Tagalog, but she had no speaking lines. She was a statue that came alive to show that it was pleased with a priest who did a juggling act because he had no other offering … or something like that. Peggy was not too enthusiastic, but Lino Brocka and I wanted her to do it. Besides she was sure that she wouldn’t get another chance to be the Virgin Mary on television. I thought she made a beautiful Mary, and members of the cast did too.

42. For a summer project Peggy requested to work in one of the neighborhood centers that was being established by the Social Welfare Administration. She really didn’t have an idea what she would be doing, but she wanted to work with nursery-school-age children. Since these children would probably speak no English, she took formal Tagalog lesson in an effort to learn enough to be able to communicate in Tagalog.

I was asked by the Philippine Education Theater Association, or PETA (the drama group I was working with right along), to stay through August. (Our termination date was scheduled for late June.) We decided to stay if Peace Corps would give us an extension. Peggy hoped that she would get involved enough in her summer project to want to spend two more months doing similar work.

I was then running lights for the latest PETA production. PETA had a way of making big plans that didn’t always pan out; but it looked as if I would get to direct three shows before we left Manila. The first production was to be two plays by the French playwright Ionesto, the next THE VISIT, a very powerful play by the contemporary German playwright Durrenmatt. And the last was supposed to be the Greek play TROJAN WOMEN, with an American actress … Mildred Dunock (sp?) … playing the lead. This coming after my successful production of THE CHAIRS in the dungeons of Fort Santiago, but it all depended on a Peace Corps extension.

Peggy and Randy Ford

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Peggy and Randy Ford Authors- FOUND OUR WAY 9th Installment

25. We were still there, and we were both quite busy. We knew that Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated in Memphis and that Richard M. Nixon was elected president, but we missed the riots and police brutality that marked the Democratic Convention in Chicago. I wasn’t surprised that LBJ didn’t run again, and we waved at Hubert Humphrey as his motorcade passed in front of the school where we lived in Hawaii. But once Peggy and I got involved in the Philippines, we missed almost everything at home.

We didn’t know that Debra Dene Barnes (Kansas) won Miss America, that Placido Domingo debuted at the Met, or that Dr. Benjamin Spock was indicted for anti-war activities. It would be six years after Big Mac hit McDonald’s menu (in 1968) before I’d eat one in New Mexico. We also missed Mickey Mouse’s 40th birthday celebration. At the same time I was involved with three shows and Peggy, as she said, was sometimes challenged and sometimes discouraged with her fourth-grade class … the lowest section in school. And at the opposite extreme, she worked closely with the teacher who had the highest third-grade section. Those children were really a joy for Peggy to teach and watch, and the teacher had improved tremendously since she began working with her.

Peggy tried to observe the third-grade teachers as often as possible, in order to help them get on their feet in new math. A couple of them were fairly good, but most had a long way to go. At least, most of the third-grade teachers wanted to learn. The fourth-grade teachers … all of whom were completely traditional in their math … were less enthusiastic. Peggy began with them by working with a teacher who had the two highest morning sections. And this teacher began to show a little interest, but Peggy found it hard to believe that her students were supposed to be the best fourth graders. She was afraid that if she couldn’t get this teacher to change her techniques … “or else the joyful third-graders of that year would become the sad fourth-graders of the following year.”

Meanwhile I became involved with children’s drama, and one of my children’s dramatic classes had a program involving over 300 children. Fortunately we pulled it off. Every Saturday there for a while I had rehearsals for children’s shows of which I was the director … and which were presented on Sunday afternoons. And there for a while my Sunday mornings were devoted to taping the children’s shows for television.

And back home the price of bread (lb.) was $.22, the price of coffee (lb.) $.76, the price of eggs (lb.) $.53, margarine (lb.)$.28, milk (1/2 gal.) $.61, and round steak (lb.) $1.14). The hit films that year were Charly, Faces, Funny Girl, The Producers, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. (Occasionally we took in an American movie (with Tagalog subtitles) with our friend Lino Brocka. We usually bought bags of Lansones and sat in the balcony.) The hit songs then were “Chain Of Fools,” “Hello, I love You,” “Hey Jude,” “Mrs.Robinson,” and “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay.” Wherever we went in the Philippines we heard kids singing “Hey Jude.” Meanwhile, Peggy’s Tagalog came and went, and our maid Linda’s English improved.

26. There were two weeks at school when Peggy had nothing to do because of testing. One of those weeks they had four days of tests … two of those days there were practice tests for big city-wide tests and they lasted from Tuesday through Friday, which meant everybody was madly reviewing on Monday. That week Peggy taught only one class, and that was all she had to do all week. This led her to say that “it’s easy to understand why Filipino college students seem to know so much less than American college students because they only have ten years of school before college, and half of it is taken up with testing and holidays.”

While Peggy had nothing to do, I couldn’t have been busier. One of the private schools in Manila produced an operetta, which they wanted to present at Fort Santiago, so I spent all day Friday and all day Saturday working with children trying to adapt the piece to the stage at the fort. I didn’t get see the production, but from what I gathered it wasn’t too bad … especially considering the little time I had to work with the children. I didn’t get to see the production at the fort because my directing class at the University of the Philippines was presenting their final exam that evening: three one act plays directed by the students. Although each play had several major flaws, they were pretty good considering how little experience the directors had. I, of course, was quite critical, but I gave each of them a good grade.

That same week the Philippine Educational Theater Association staged an Afro-Asian Week. I was house manager (or something of the sort), so I was at the theater every evening. It was interesting because something different was scheduled every night.

Peggy’s birthday fell on the same week, and Linda didn’t bake her a cake … we had no oven. We cooked on a two-burner electric hot plate. Peggy had a good birthday anyway, and that was in spite of what happened at school. She tried to keep her birthday secret, but the president of the teacher’s club looked it up on a card Peggy filled out when she first started working there. Then since one of the office clerks greeted her with “Is it your birthday today?” she knew the word had been spread around. What she didn’t know though was that she was expected to give a “blowout” (a big party) on her birthday, and there was nothing she could do but disappoint people by not following the custom.

Peggy and Randy Ford

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Lino Brocka The Philippines’ Greatest Director

      Note: During the two years I lived in Manila with my wife, Lino Brocka was a close friend of ours.   He gave us a dog he named PETA, named after the Philippine Educational Theater Association, and also gave us two chicks, which he named Chitty-Chitty and Bang-Bang, names inspired fittingly enough by a movie.   He also cast my wife Peggy as the Virgin Mary in a television drama.  Randy Ford

The following article was taken from http://www.ldsfilm.com/directors/Brocka.html

  Lino Brocka
The Philippines’ Greatest Director

Lino Brocka’s story is so unusual that if it was pitched to a movie studio it would be rejected — for being too unbelievable.   Yet ask most any Filipino Latter-day Saint, and they know the story: the man who is widely considered the greatest filmmaker in his country, was also a Latter-day Saint.   Beyond that, he could be called the “first convert” to the church, earning him forever a place in Latter-day Saint history and film history.   Before Richard Dutcher was old enough to hold a camera, Lino Brocka was making a film that drew on his missionary experiences — in a leper colony.

      Brocka was not an active churchgoer later in life, but never held animosity toward the Church. It appears that Filipino church members eventually rejected Brocka’s films because of “R-rated” content and GLBT themes. Yet when one considers Brocka’s themes, it is clear that his critically acclaimed films were deeply influenced by many Latter-day Saint values, even while portraying–at times accepting–some non-LDS values.

From “Filipino Film and Video Artists”:

      Filmmaker, actor, social activist, Mr. Brocka is widely considered as the most prominent Filipino filmmaker who broke grounds for Philippine cinema internationally when his films Insiang (1976), Jaguar (1979) and Bona (1980) were shown at Cannes Film Festival, both in Director’s fortnight and the Main Competition.   He had a colorful career until his untimely death in a car accident in Quezon City in 1991.   Known for the social and political causes he espoused like anti-censorship and human rights, he carried on these causes to his films notably, Miguelito, Ang Batang Rebelde / The young rebel (1986), Orapronobis / Fight for us (1989) and Gumapang ka sa Lusak / Dirty affair (1990).

From

“Philippine and Church History” and Church History in the Philippines:

      The first missionaries [to the Philippines], Elders Ray Goodson, Harry Murray, Kent Lowe and Nestor Ledesma, arrived in Manila on June 5, 1961.   The first two to be baptized by the missionaries were Jose Gutierez Sr. and Lino Brocka.

From University of the Philippines Diliman film festival notes:

      The best known and most highly regarded contemporary Philippine filmmaker.   The son of a fisherman and a schoolteacher, he converted to the Mormon religion after graduating from college and served briefly as a missionary in a leper colony on the Hawaiian island of Molokai.   Returning to Manila, he began acting, directing and writing for the stage and TV.   He directed his first film in 1970, but it was in 1978 that he first attracted international attention at the Cannes Festival, with Insiang (1976). Brocka’s films often carry a social message and are typically sympathetic to the poor and the working class.   They are frequently politically controversial.   His French co-production L’Insoumis (1989) mercilessly depicts the lawlessness and terror in the post-Marcos Philippines.

From

“Mission Impossible 1: Filipino Filmmaking 1896-1986”:

      Lino Brocka (1940-1991), like Gerardo de Leon, was the spokesman and master filmmaker of his generation.   Raised poor and rural, Brocka studied to be a Mormon missionary, worked with homeless in San Francisco, and taught in Hawaii before returning to the Philippines in his late-Twenties.   An aspiring actor, he also wrote and directed for the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) both on stage and for its television show.   In 1970, Brocka made his first film Wanted: Perfect Mother.   It combined the current hit The Sound of Music with a Filipine comic serial (a governess struggles with her brood of orphans), and achieved box office success.   Brocka’s career was built on the fact that, in three weeks, he could write and direct a film which could make as much money as an American import.   Over the next four years he made nine films.

      Brocka was a controversial figure, the subject of both praise and criticism.   But he was certainly a prolific filmmaker.   Among the best of the more than 70 films he made are Maynila: In the Claws of Neon (1975) and Jaguar (1979) which depict the Philippines in a gritty, realistic style.   He has was criticised for Bona (1980), which uses well-known movie stars to make a film that, he claimed, attacked the star system; Kontrobersyal (1980), a film condemning pornography, but which was itself deemed pornographic… and Ang Bayan Ko (My Country; Clinging to a Knife Edge, 1984), a Filipine entry in the 1984 Cannes Film Festival which was disowned by the Filipine government.   Brocka was a trenchant critic of the Marcos government, and despite being censored (during the latter period of martial law, his films were smuggled out of the country for screenings) and imprisonment, he continued to fight censorship and agitate against the Marcos regime in both his life and his films.

      This vigilance continued with the films he made after the fall of Marcos.   Brocka, along with other filmmakers, was disappointed with the policies of the new president, Corazon Aquino. Consequently, he continued to make films critical of the Filipine government.   Brocka, without a doubt, brought international attention to both the quality and value of the Filipine cinema as well as the transgressions and repression of the Marcos regime.

  

More.

Lino Brocka Biography

Published by the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

      This work attempts to present a comprehensive view of the artist’s life, with interviews and reviews of his most important films.   The volume includes a complete filmography of his works.   It also features essays written by highly qualified authors on the subject’s contribution to contemporary Philippine culture and history.

Available for online purchase from

 

Filoonline.com.


Documentary: “Signed: Lino Brocka”

Online source:

Philippines 1987 Length 90 min.

Director: Christian Blackwood Screenwriter/ Producer/ Cinematographer: Christian Blackwood Editor: Monika Abspacher
Cast: Lino Brocka

1988 Peace Film Award Berlin International Film Festival

      Signed: Lino Brocka, is a documentary that portrays the late great Filipino filmmaker as patriot and socialist.   Brocka explains the importance of reflecting poverty and the culture of the masses on film not just to fulfill realism for realism’s sake, but in order for the audience to fully grasp the significance of their roots and move them to remedy the ills of their society.

      Christian Blackwood was born in Berlin, Germany in 1942.   His selected works are Black Harvest, All by Myself, Private Conversations, Observations Under the Volcano, Nik and Murray and Stephanie and the Madame. He died on July 1992 at New York, USA

http://www.ldsfilm.com/directors/Brocka.html

 

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Randy Ford Author-on changing attitudes in Manila

      My teaching a class at Assumption College, the most exclusive girls’ school in Manila and possibly in all of the Philippines, had be justified in my mind…in other words I had to say to myself that these girls would soon become leaders of their country.   The reasons we entered the Peace Corps and went to the Philippines had more to do with helping the less fortunate than the upper-class, but I ended up working in the theater with movie stars and in school with students who were relatively well off.   No amount of explaining, however philosophical, could change the fact that my Peace Corps experience was not typical.   My experience, taken even the context of my being a part of the creation of a national theater, the first in the Philippines in the vernacular, will always have to be explained: drama is not what the Peace Corps is about.

      I was good at adapting, and my idea of taking upper-class kids into the tenements of a slum was an example of that.   In fact, I said, it was a chance for these students to experience how the lower-class lived, while they improvised skits, drawn from what they learned from the tenants on each floor.   What the tenants saw in a personal way…from the dramatizations…were themselves, or in those dingy halls that were always public and cold…a connection between the two worlds came alive.

      Before I did this, my upper-class students had had virtually no contact with slum dwellers.   And you could tell from their reactions that they at first were very uneasy about going into the tenements.   I have wondered what my impact was.   The reason was that I saw some immediate change.   I saw reluctance turn to willingness.   I did, and from that, confidence.   I also saw the smiles and excitement on the faces of the tenants.   I trust it had a lasting impact.   But I have no idea if it did, whether any of my former students later used those experiences.   At the time I thought the idea had merit; I thought it had substance and could shape lives, and that, in my estimation, made the Peace Corps and my project a fit.

Randy Ford

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Randy-a tribute to the creators of Philippine theater

      A noted columnist, Teadoro Doroy Valencia, who was know as the Drew Pearson of the Phillippines, allowed us to create a theater in Fort Santiago in less than a month.   It was not a small miracle (and Fort Santiago is a national shrine, where incarcerated Jose Rizal waited for his execution). Valencia, full of energy, took care of all of the details of the restoration of Manila during the Marcos era: clearing squatters out of the huge public square known as Luneta, sanitizing Paco Cemetery, creating a flower clock that told time, and maintaining clean public restrooms that flushed.

     Anything was possible in Teadoro Valencia’s world, or it seemed: a man who had a direct line to Emelda, then able to use his influenced he gained as a writer; now though no longer living his contributions to the Philippines and Philippine theater still are alive.

      Theadoro Valencia, as a writer, had great influence.   He used that influence to help PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association).   We can assume he knew the importance of PETA.   He saw the organization create and perform the first plays in Filipino.   From that beginning, they went on to produce over 400 plays that shaped the country’s theater history.   And I was there at the beginning.   I was amazed then and amazed now.   And they have recorded their triumph in “a collective biography” that provides a comprehensive yet intimate account” of the company’s history, from 1967-2007.

       Randy Ford

 PETA Releases ‘A Continuing Narrative on Philippine Theater’

posted on Tuesday June 3, 2008

       “After more than 10 laborious years of research, compiling, writing and editing, PETA is proud to bring to the public its 740 plus page book, chronicling its 40-year journey as a Filipino Theater company PETA Releases A Continuing Narrative on Philippine TheaterThe Story of PETA may be considered a collective biography that provides a comprehensive yet intimate account of its lifework, from 1967 to 2007.   It highlights the company’s unique approach and contribution to Philippine theater aesthetics, performance and pedagogy, and to popular education.

      “PETA began by asserting the then radical view of creating and performing plays in Filipino.   A solid record of some 400 plays written, translated, adapted, published and performed, shaped the company’s and indeed the country’s theater history, enriching it through theater forms and techniques that express local, national and universal themes.
     “PETA’s pedagogy and aesthetics for people’s theater, a unique and powerful curriculum for training in theater and the arts has inspired artist-teachers to share their skills, talents and experiences with others, directed toward individual human development and societal transformation.

     “This book presents a chronicle of the collective journey of men and women who have inscribed a powerful presence in Philippine theater history.   Woven together, their stories provide strings of hope and inspiration, a remarkable tapestry of dreams dedicated to Philippine theater, society, and nation.

    “As PETA enters its fifth decade of existence, it continues to nurture young artists who will metamorphose into artists-teachers-leaders and carry on the torch of art to inspire many to become cultural creatives.

     Launched during the 40th Anniversary Concert held at the PETA Theater Center on May 30, 2008, The Story of PETA is now available at a retail price of PhP1,499.00. For reservations and other inquiries, call PETA at 725.6244, 410.0821 or email petampro@yahoo.com.”

Yes, this is part of Randy’s Story. I’m proud to have been around. Thank you Cecile
Guidote-Alvarez for taking me in.
Here is tribute to her found on the Internet: I hope you are getting well. With great love

and respect, Randy Ford

       “OVERWHELMING was the out pouring of love, admiration and gratitude to the magnificent Filipino Artist for Others, the Ramon Mag-saysay Awardee for Public Service, the brave founder of the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) and the Development Rehabilitation and Education through Arts, Ads By Google Philippines Photo Gallery   Free photos, screensavers & more! Browse our free galleries.  www.Away.com Meet Filipino Beauties   Join Free And Browse Through 1000s Of Profiles For Friendship & More!www.FilipinaHeart.com Acting Schools   Locate Top Acting Schools.   Get Reliable Advice In Your Area.DoTellAll.com  Media and Science (DREAMS).   Ensemble of the Earthsavers Movement and now stricken with cancer Cecile Guidote-Alvarez all in her bid to found a National Theater.       ”

The youngest RM Awardee (for Public Service) all her life Cecile has committed herself to assist in nation building, and in enhancing our national identity through the making and the workings of a national theater.

      “The accolades, fittingly enough began in the Holy Mass officiated by Rev. Fr. James (Mr. Theaterman) Reuter, S.J. who said in his homily: Cecile has three (outstanding) qualities talent, courage and sensitivity of soul.

     “Well represented in the program were the numerous people whose lives she had touched and influenced in one way or another.   And their names are legion, as Soxy Topacio was to call them, Ceciles children, childrens, children, and childrens childrens childrens and more.

      “The program entitled KAPATID: A Tribute to Cecile Guidote Alvarez was held at the Rev. Fr. James Reuter, S.J. Auditorium in St. Pauls College, Quezon City to which the guests had trooped, after relishing a light dinner.

       “Directed by Anton Juan, it reeled off with a brief theatrical offering by Frankie Riveras Sining Kambayoka Troupe come all the way from Marawi City in Mindanao.

      “Recounted were often-humorous anecdotes about the speakers brushes or encounters with tonights honoree a customarily adamant, relentlessly demanding woman of the theater Cecile Guidote-Alvarez.

      “National Artist for Literature Dr. Alejandro Reyes Roces recounted how he had always looked upon her as his adopted daughter ever since he had learnt that Cecile had never seen her biological father, like Anding, himself a guerrillero in World War II, Ceciles Dad (Mauricio Guidote, a USAFFE guerrilla captain) had died while she was still in her mothers womb.   And her mother Caridad Reyes had bravely submitted herself to a ceasarian operation without benefit of anesthesia in order that Cecile might be born (Talk about courage).

      “Actually, Cecile has three surrogate fathers Fr. James Reuter, S.J. who initiated Cecile into the broadcast theater that saw its full flowering in Balintataw; Dr. Alejandro Roces, who linked the efforts she pioneered in PETA to UNESCO for international cooperation; and Teodoro Doroy Valencia, who was hospitable to the concept of a Peoples Theater by allowing them to identify creative spaces for the public particularly Fort Santiago and Paco Park.

      “Bibot Amador of Repertory Philippines founded at about the same time as PETA (of which Cecile was the founder and director) sent a message which was heartily read by Joy Virata and ended truthfully with Cecile may not be a National Artist but she (definitely! LOG) is a National Treasure (as Bibot herself, is.   Too, there is still tomorrow and she may yet be come a National Artist, CCP President Nestor O. Jardin having been in the audience).

     ” Critic/playwright Dr. Isagani Cruz gave examples of how persistent Cecile can be as when Cecile called up Gani in their house and his child answered the phone and Gani told the child to say that he was out, and afterwards the child asked who is Cecile and he answered she is my best friend the child asked again   But, why didnt you talk to her if she is your best friend.   But still Cecile will call again and again until she will be able to talk to me.   And now that I have a cellphone I cant do that anymore.

      “PETAs artistic director Soxy Topacio related, that one time they had a show in Mara

     “PETAs artistic director Soxy Topacio related, that one time they had a show in Marawi City, they arrived at the airport but the plane had just left, so they call Cecile to inform her about the citation and Cecile told them to still go to Marawi in any way adding: If Mao-Tse-Tung could cross the Yang-Tse River, why cant you?   It was good they didnt leave the airport because the plane had to come back because of engine trouble, so they were able to go to Marawi City.

      “Excerpts from the works of PETA that we viewed, included those from: Bayaning Huwad; Dona Clara; Larawan.   Songs by Ateneo Glee Club Alumni with Rev. Fr. James Reuter, S.J. conducting and Rev. Sr. Sarah at the piano, a song by Joy Soler and a song and dance number by the DREAMSEarthsaver Movement composed of street children, resident of Smokey Mountain and disabled persons.

      “Among Ceciles may other children are Lino Brocka, Mario OHara, Rita Gomez, Lolita Rodriguez, Lutgardo Labad, Lorli Villanueva, Malou Jacob, Angie Ferro (although older than Cecile), Lily OBoyle, Bonjin Bolinao, Cecilia Bulaong Garrucho, Joy Soler, Pilar Garcia, Frankie Rivera, Soxy Topacio, Tommy Abuel, Nanding Josef, Nick Lizaso, Noel Trinidad, Jonee Gamboa, Leopoldo Salcedo, and many more.

      “The evenings scene stealer, however turned out to be that great actress, person, and theater woman, Cecile Guidote Alvarez, herself, when she delivered her tearful Pasasalamat.   She admitted to being afflicted with cancer and to having lost her hair.   When she found out that she had been cancer-stricken she asked: Why, Lord?   Is it not enough that I look after your blind, deaf, lame, street children, underprivileged, drug addicts and would-be artists?

      “So buoyed up was the honoree with all the warmth and love demonstrated her this evening, that she found the answer to her question: For this Tribute, this overpowering acclamation from all of you here tonight, might never have been.   And my hair is growing a little a sign that I am getting better… Then, this unflappable, untouchable, incomparable Grande Dame of Philippine Theater took off her shoes and danced (although my toes are black) and then she sang like Joy Soler, in a highly appealing manner.

      “The people kept on shouting We love you, we love you, we love you!   A glorious finale to a glorious albeit tear-jerking evening.

     ” We salute Cecile Alvarez (nee Guidote) a girl with a mission who gave it her all a magnificent artist, and above all, a great Filipina heroine.

    “Blessed are the merciful, for they will obtain mercy.”

    

 
 

 

 

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