Pride and Culture

{ NOTE: This is a final requirement in Art, Man, and Society subject. }

Our country is full of world-class artists who give pride to our country by excelling in their crafts around the world. One of our country’s pride is Lea Salonga. At a young age, Lea already gave pride to the country when she originated the lead role of the musical, Miss Saigon, which gave her the Olivier and Theatre World awards and also, she was the first Asian woman to win a Tony Award. Sold-out concerts here and abroad, international album labels, the first Asian actress to play the role of Eponine and Fantine in Les Miserables, provided the singing voice of two Disney Princesses, and was named as a Disney Legend are just some of her achievements. She made the country and the Filipino talent known in the foreign industry. With all her achievements, Lea never forgets being a Filipino.

The Philippine Culture is very rich, that in every small thing we do, our fellow Filipinos can easily adapt and share it to others. For Lea, the Philippine culture is the way we, as a society and as well as the people from the different regions of our nation, deemed unique from other nations. She also sees our culture in our manner of speech, the way we cook our food, how we carry ourselves and how we express ourselves artistically. Moreover, how we treat others, as well as how we represent ourselves to the greater world are still parts of our culture, according to Lea. In some of her interviews, she always says that she makes time to cook Filipino dishes, specially when she’s feeling homesick, and if there are Filipinos wherever she is, she’ll talk to them in our language. Also, in every interview where she was asked about the country, she would always tell how much she loves the country and how proud she is that she is a Filipino.

“Just by being who I am, and by trying to always represent my country positively. How I carry myself, how I treat others, how I perform or behave, or whatever I do reflects upon my country, so I take this very seriously.” (Salonga; 2018) According to Lea, this is her way of promoting the Philippine culture in other countries. She carries the country’s name, the culture, and the language in everything that she does. I remember in one interview of Lea, that one time during the run of Miss Saigon when she has experienced having no voice and it was one of the lowest points of her life. She’s doing eight shows a week, she’s the lead and her voice is what she really needed to survive the show, but there’s nothing coming out every time she speaks. She was so down because she doesn’t want to fail the country, the whole Filipino community. Therefore after receiving her Tony Award in 1991, Lea dedicated the award and her speech to all the Filipinos.

Promoting the country’s culture and being a Filipino is not as easy as what we think. We cannot always please other countries to love the Philippines or our culture. There are still countries where racism or discrimination are still issues, Lea even experienced it. Lea said that she had been told that she couldn’t audition for a part because of her race. However, I think it was a blessing in disguise, and as cliché as it may seem, everything happens for a reason. Because according to her, after that rejection, she got the news that she was casted to play the role of Eponine in Les Miserables.Even when she had a bad experience because of her race, she never denied that she’s an Asian and that she’s a Filipino.

As a Filipino promoting the culture in the different parts of the world, Lea agrees that our culture is worth the advocacy. I’ve asked Lea what makes our culture worth the advocacy and she answered, “Anyone that serves as a representative of our culture needs to be astutely aware that the world is always watching, and that whatever ground work we lay sets up the next generation. If our foundation is strong, then the structures they will continue to build will be great. I never ever want to hear any derogatory said about any of our people coupled with the words, “Pilipino kasi, eh.” It hurts me to the very core of my being.”

With all of her achievements, Lea already became a part of the Philippine culture. Some Filipinos consider her as a National Treasure, however, with all honesty, Lea feels a hint of embarrassment. Yes, she’s flattered, but she doesn’t feel that she’s deserving to have that title and she opts to be called an actor and a singer instead, because it’s more accurate for what she does and what she represents.

Truly, Lea proved to every Filipino that our culture is worth the advocacy. And for me, I will always be proud of the culture that we have. I will be one of the Filipinos who’ll help in promoting our culture, just like what Lea does, being who I am.


She Never Knew


You became a part of our lives. And you never knew. 

This is not just about simple fangirling over you but this is about how you changed our lives. You changed us for the better. That’s how great your impact is in our lives. You have no idea how this “simple” fangirling over you saved us. 

Yes, Lea. You saved us.

You saved us from the simplest things to the most complex things that life gave us. 

First, you saved us when we needed help for our Math homework via AskCoachLea sessions. It may be nothing for you, but, for us, it’s a big deal. Who would’ve thought that the Lea Salonga will help us in our homework? With that, thank you. 

Second, you saved us from the unwanted thoughts. The ones which are unnecessary. The ones which could have made us do things that no one would ever want for us to do… even you. But, hey, you saved us from that. And again, thank you. 

Third, You saved us from countless nights of sadness & tears, from breaking down completely. This may sound cliché but, watching your videos on YouTube, hearing you sing, could very well save our days, our nights, our lives. 

Fourth, you keep on saving us through everything that you do. In a simple shared post on Facebook, simple inspiring tweet, and simple life quotations that you post in Instagram, you saved us, Lea. We don’t know how you did it. We just know that you’re always there whenever we need you. We may not talk to you personally about how difficult life is, but through your tweets and posts, we know we have a reason to continue to live. You’re one of the reasons why we’re still here. Maybe this sounds weird, but really, you’re one of those, Lea.

You’re our happiness.

Other fandoms keep comparing the Lea Fandom to them; that we aren’t like this, and like that. You aren’t like this and that. Honestly, we don’t care. Why should we care if you’re our happiness? Yes, maybe their idols give them the attention that fans would want to have. Meet and greets, get togethers and other sweet stuff from their idols. Us? Your smile is more than enough for us. We don’t care if they’re telling us that you don’t care about your fans, that you’re just ignoring your fans and not giving us your attention; because, first of all, we entered the fandom willingly, you never forced us to be here. You never forced us to support you. So, why would we ask something in return? We love you, Lea. And we don’t care if other people are saying something about us, and about you.

And just like what Aga said, “You are the real thing.” We couldn’t agree more.

We may not know you very well. We may not know you as much as your close friends and family know you. But we know enough about you that we can say you’re one of the nicest person we know. Maybe the public know you as this bitch and what else. However, the Lea we know is one of the nicest. You’re the only person we know that would allow (almost) everyone that’s asking a photo with her. You’re the only one that would still smile even though you’re in a hurry, sick, tired and not in the mood and would still say sorry if you can’t have a photo with your fans because you’re in a hurry. You’re the only one we know that would say Hi and Hello to the fans. We are not being biased here. We’re just saying everything that we saw and observed. And once again, thank you for those moments, Lea. 

Fifth, the last but definitely not the least; you saved us from reality. Each of every unfortunate days, days like, “Haaay, ito na naman.” — You have been and you will always be the silver lining. Days which makes us feel as if the world is against us and that we are isolated from e v e r y t h i n g. You let us escape from the reality, you let us breathe as if you really are our air. But, you also saved us from being delusional that the world is all this shining, shimmering, splendid, all unicorns and glitters and all that. You woke us up and made us look deeper to what’s beyond our eyes can see. You saved us from believing that everything’s perfect. Instead, you made us believe that even though it is not, we can get through it and eventually, we will be found.

We’re not like this most of the time but we hope that we always made you feel that you have a big part in our lives; always have and always will.

We’re always here for you no matter what happens. The fandom may face too many ups and downs but don’t worry, everything’s gonna be fine because we’ll do our best to deserve you; because, honestly, we feel that we don’t deserve you. You’re too much for one heart, Lea. Too much.

Love, your fans 

Come to the Fun Home

Like chaos never happens if it’s never seen.” 🎶

Watched Fun Home Manila with my friends last November 13, 2016 during the Matinee Show in RCBC Plaza, Makati City. I was really excited and thrilled to see the show because of the awesome line-up of cast.

First of all, Fun Home focuses on Alison Bechdel, her discovery of her sexuality, her relationship with her father and her father’s sexuality and on the mysteries of her life and her family. It’s a musical adaptation of Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron from Alison Bechdel’s memoir in 2006.

Andee Achacoso who’s the Small Alison Bechdel during the show. The first time I saw her on stage, I’m amazed of her beauty. She’s really beautiful on stage. I loved her rendition of “Ring of Keys”. Her performance gave me goosebumps. Hands down to this little girl!!!

Teddy Velasco and Albert Silos, who portrayed the roles of Christian and John Bechdel. These two guys are so cute!!! I loved how they were enjoying every performance of theirs during the show. I smiled from ear to ear when they were singing and dancing in “Come to the Fun Home”. Can I pinch their cheeks, please? I just can’t handle their cuteness on and off stage. I hope to see more of these handsome kids and also, more of Andee, too, in the future. I wish I’ll see more of them on future broadway shows, they really seem to have the calling for performing. 

Yanah Laurel was Joan in the show. A really really gorgeous girl… I mean, lesbian in the show. She really nailed her role. I swear. The first time she went out the stage, the only thing that came out of my mouth was WOW. I love how she (her character) supports Alison in everything. I also think she’s naturally funny and not just because of the lines she’s saying to Alison or to other characters, but also because of her ability to deliver those lines with ease. One thing that made me remember Yanah is her kiss with Mikkie, who portrays Medium Alison Bechdel. Hands down to the both of them in that part. I mean… really, hands down!!! 

Laurence Mossman who portrayed all of the guy in Mr. Bechdel’s life. Okay, first, he’s really handsome!!! And let me use the gay term, “borta” to him. Yes, he’s really “borta”. I was really entertained by him during their performance of “Raincoat of Love”. He only had a few scenes in the show but he really left an awesome impression to the audience.

Mikkie Bradshaw-Volante portrayed Medium Alison Bechdel. I know her because I see her on the television, most of the time for some show guestings. But I didn’t know that she’s that awesome on stage. Her version of “Changing My Major” is still stuck on my head, and it already has been a week since I watched the show! That was really her moment in the show. Her performance of “Changing My Major” made the audience laugh and cry. After the show, I had the chance to met her and asked her to sign my Fun Home brochure. She was so nice to sign most of the fans’ merchandise and took some selfies with them. She was really sweet and approachable, on some pictures, she volunteered to be the one holding the phone and with that, I can say that she’s really a beautiful lady, inside and out.

 The handsome Eric Kunze who portrayed the role of Bruce Bechdel, the father of Alison. He’s one of the reason why I watched the show. Hee hee! Fangirl. He proved to everyone in the audience that he is really Eric Kunze. Most of his scenes in the show really made me cry, honestly. Some of his scenes with Medium Alison and with Mrs. Bechdel really touched my heart and brought me to tears. One thing that really made me give him a thumbs up is his performance of “Edges of the World”. Wow. Just wow, Eric!!! My jaw really met the floor. Ugh-mazing.

Second but not the least is Cris Villonco. Cris played the role of Alison Bechdel. Okay, i’m really speechless for Cris’ performance. Let me just say this to you, Cris. YOU NAILED IT!!! You were very consistent from start until the end. You brought all of us to tears especially during your performance of “Telephone Wire”. Until now, I still listen to the version of the song on Spotify, talk about major LSS! The song keeps on playing in my mind and I can only hear your version of that. During your performance of “Telephone Wire”, I was really sobbing because I can really feel your emotions, I can feel Alison’s sadness. Sigh, Cris, you brought us in tears. Bravo!!! Bravo!!! Hope to watch you again on your upcoming shows. 

Lastly, THE Lea Salonga, who played the role of Helen Bechdel. Lea Salonga was really the reason why I watched the show. I’m a proud fan of hers and there’s no use hiding it to everyone because I’m very vocal about it. I’ve seen her perform on tv, had a marathon of her Youtube videos and many other stuff that a normal fangirl does. But seeing Lea perform on a theater stage is a different story. She only had a few scenes in the show but those scenes will really touch the hearts of the audience. Those scenes are also the ones who hit me the most. I could really relate to it. I can imagine my mom telling me those words, those lines. And that really made me cry. No, I was really sobbing. I was such a mess during the show, I admit. My favorite Lea performance was when she sang “Days and days”. She was sitting AND crying, but still managed to belt that song! And I was like, ” HOW DO YOU MAKE THAT SEEM EFFORTLESS?” Oh, yeah right, she is THE Lea Salonga. My other favorite Lea performance during the show was when she sang ” Raincoat of Love”. During the “Raincoat of Love”, the occasional dancer Lea was seen in that performance. I always smile from ear to ear every time I see Lea dance. Hee hee!!! Another thing that made my heart swell was Lea Salonga playing the piano. It was the first time I saw her play the piano and I swear, she just took my breath away. Hands down to you, Lea!!! Once again, you proved to everyone the prowess of the ‘Broadway Diva”. You wowed everyone who watched the show, and all of your fans are really, really proud of you. I am a Lea Salonga fan, and I am so proud to call you my idol. 

And to all the cast and crew of Fun Home Manila, a big warm of applause to everyone. And to the amazing man, Direk Bobby Garcia, congratulations for a very, very wonderful show!!! Shoutout to every one in ATEG! Bravo, everyone!! I hope I can watch more of your upcoming shows.

To everyone, please, don’t forget to catch the last 5 shows of Fun Home MNL until November 27, 2016 at the RCBC Plaza, Makati City. For ticket inquiries, visit

PS. Can’t wait to watch it again on the 26th. See y’all again, amazing cast!!!

For Good

“I’ve heard it said, That people come into our lives for a reason…” (For Good; Wicked)

YES. People come into our lives for a reason. And there’s a reason why the group Team Asterisks is existing.

Team Asterisks. Where did it all start? What’s the reason behind the name? I’ve heard and read lots of WH questions from people, close friend or not, non-Lea fan or not, everyone. My ears are already tired hearing those questions. My mind and lips are also tired explaining it to them. But the only thing I will never get tired of is loving those 9 girls (excluding myself) of Team Asterisks. 

It had been a year. Yes, only a year. But I felt we already know each other for more than 5 years. A year full of ups and downs. A year filled with happiness and sadness. A year full of hugots and kalokohan. A year full of ganaps and hopia. An amazing one year of friendship. 

We’re one of those typical Lea fans, who’ll forever idolize Lea. A typical group of girls. Nothing so much special. We’re normal, but, most of the time, abnormal. We also have our ups and downs. People may see us as perfect group, squad goals and etcetera. But what they don’t see is that we also have our low moments. We face problems. We have misunderstandings. We cry. We get angry or mad with one another. We get so stressed. We get tired of understanding each other. We’re so close to giving up. We’re so close to leaving the group. So close of breaking the group. We also have that. It’s a cliché, but really, in front of those smiles is a crying heart. But what makes us still one is that every problem, every challenge, every misunderstanding, we’re facing it as a group. We always talk about it. And especially, we love each other.

As I have said a while ago, there are times that we’re so close to leaving the group. Honestly, I’m one of those. But not leaving the group itself, but the fandom. I tried leaving them, not talking to them, not checking or answering their messages, not updating myself about Lea. I’ve tried but I really CAN’T. I can’t leave them easily because of the memories we’ve shared. The laughs and tears. The kalokohans we’ve done. The annoying hugots we tell to each other. The kabullyhan that we do everyday. EVERYTHING. And lastly, I can’t because I love them. 

I know that I’m not the perfect kind of friend. Not the most understanding friend you’ll have. Also not the sweetest and kindest friend, but I always make it up to them. 
To my 9 ladies, it’s only a year. I wish that we’ll make this friendship last forever. I know that this friendship is not just because of Lea. We always tell each other that we’re sisters, so, let’s stay as that. I will never get tired of understanding you. I will always be here to all of you in good and bad times. 

“Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true

But I know I’m who I am today

Because I knew you…. 

…I have been changed for good.” (For Good; Wicked)

Happy one year, Team Asterisks!!! 


“It’s been a long day without you, my friend, and I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again…” (See You Again; Wiz Khalifa)

We’ve known each other for almost two years. Isn’t that enough to tell that our friendship is one of the strongest. We don’t have a perfect kind of friendship. Yes, It’s only two years but we already passed some of the rough roads on our way.

Rodess, for the past two years, you’re my closest Lea-fan friend and even without the ‘Lea’, I’ll still be your friend. The past few months, weeks and days were a very difficult one to the both of us. I know that something’s wrong, something’s changed, something’s different. But still, at the back of my mind, I’m hoping that everything will be fine.

Honestly, I MISS YOU. I missed talking to you. Laughing with you. Chatting with you. Having a 2-hour phone call with you. Whole day conversation with you. Telling you everything that I’m irritated with. Secrets that we keep. The times we bully each other. EVERYTHING. And most especially, I really miss you.

I’m not the kindest friend. Not the most understanding one. I’m very short-tempered. There are still a lot on the list that I am not. But still you allow me to be one of your friends and because of that, thank you! There are so many things that I need to be thankful for. Thank you for your understanding my moods. I know I’m very short-tempered, I’m bipolar. Thank you for the conversations, secrets, laughters, dramas, and so many memories that we have. 

You always complain that you aren’t special to anybody. You. Are. Wrong. You’re very special to me. Really really special. Maybe, you can’t feel it because, honestly, I can feel that we already have a gap with each other. We aren’t as close as before. But don’t worry, I’ll always be here for you. Maybe, if you ever you’ll decide to stay away from, you’re free to it. I’ll let you go. I’ll let you stay away from. If you’re already tired of me, I’ll understand. BUT, don’t forget that if ever you’ll leave and decides to come back, I’ll always be here waiting. I’ll always be here for you. No. Matter. What.

Happiest Birthday, My Fave! I’m sorry for what happened. I promise I’ll make it up to you. I love you forever, Rodess! You’ll always be my favorite one.

Feels like I’m a Part


I became a fan of Tanya Manalang for almost 2 years. And I’m so happy and proud that I’m a fan of her. This pint-sized lady never fails to amaze me because of her beauty and kindness. And I think, it’s more than a year that I met, not personally, her parents on Facebook (If my memory’s right). Her parents, Mr. Mark And Mrs. Christine Manalang, are one of those kindest people you’ll meet. That’s why this post/update is dedicated for the Manalangs.
First, Tito Mark/Tito Daddy, you’re the person who always tell me “Wag kang mahihiya.” With those words, you always make me feel that I’m must not be awkward or shy to you and Tita Christine and Ate Tanya. Thank you for that, Tito Daddy! I can’t promise that I won’t be shy when meet again. He he! Maybe, part of me is really shy but the larger part is that I’m STARSTRUCK to the three of you. Lastly, I will never forget the moment when you called me “anak“. Yie!!! I’m so ‘kilig’ that moment. (Sorry for being conyo.) Again, thank you very much, Tito Daddy! 
Next, Tita Christine/ Tita Mommy, you’re the person who is always ready to help me in everything. Everything means everything, not just about Ate Tanya but also when I ask help for my academic requirements and other stuff. I’m very thankful for everything, Tita! You also makes me feel that I’m loved. And that I’m part of your family. I love you, Tita Mommy, i know you know that.
Lastly, “Areh” Tanya, these started all because of you. Tee hee!!! You’re so down to earth. Wala akong nakitang arte. You’re very simple and crazy (yes, krung krung). I’m really shy and really starstruck, last saturday. My heart wants to burst because of ‘kilig’ but I need to contain my happiness and literally, my self. I love you so much, “Areh” Tangs. I can’t promise that I won’t be shy the next time we’ll meet. He he! Thanks for being an inspiration to us, Tanyaians. And we’ll never get tired supporting and loving you. I love you! 💕

 To the Manalang Family, thank you so much for making me feel that I’m part of you’re family. Thank you for everything. I wish to have many more TanyAdventures with you. I’ll always be her for you, no matter what. Thank you for the love. I love you, three!!!! 

Lea and Life

“Mula nang makilala ka, aking mahal ‘di ako mapalagay sa kakaisip ko sa’yo” (Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal) – I really don’t know when and where I started fangirling over Lea. I think it’s like true love, you’ll just feel it without questioning yourself of how and why. There are days in the past that I had a ‘Lea Marathon’ for almost everyday. Browsing Lea singing videos, Lea interviews and more Lea-connected videos. I also looked for Lea photos that I’ve never seen. Checking her Twitter, Facebook and Instagram account, if she posted an update already. Days, weeks, and months had past, my fangirl life improved. I started going to ‘ganaps’ and also, I become an active fangirl of her. My twitter account was flooded of so many Lea-related tweets. And I’ll never forget that. YES, that’s my life as a fangirl of Lea. Watch her videos. Look some photos. Update myself about Lea. Go to ‘ganaps’. And keep on asking my mind, “Lea, bakit nga ba labis kitang mahal?”

“Cause darling, I would catch a grenade for you… You know I’ll do anything for you!” (Grenade) – A life of a fangirl is not as easy as what others think. There will always be people who would not agree with your thoughts about your idol. There are always bashers. This maybe cliché but really, we cannot please everyone. But as long as my fangirl life is concern, I won’t let anyone tell Lea things that are below the belt. I know Lea is the toughest. She can handle them in her different ways. But as a fan, I’m hurt. I won’t let my idol to be hurt. That’s why, Lea, I’d catch a grenade for you.

“A dazzling place I never knew” (A Whole New World) -I never thought that I’d be a fangirl of Lea. This is really a new world for me. New perspective about life. New people to meet and to communicate with. Everything’s new. But I didn’t thought that I’m going to enjoy this life. Enjoying moments that I had with my co fangirls. Everything is FANTASTIC. Yes, there are negative issues, bashers and etc. The fandom don’t mind them because we don’t want to stress our lives with non-sense things. I know that this is a whole new world but I’m enjoying this magic carpet ride with Lea.

“Kung kaya kong, iwanan ka, ‘di na sana aasa pa” (Sana Maulit Muli) – I’m always having second thoughts about leaving the fandom. I really don’t know why. I want to leave because of priorities. And I want to leave because of some personal things. But I really really can’t. First point is because of LEA. The very reason why I enter this fandom and why I’m still staying. Much love for Lea that’s why I can’t leave her. There are lots of factors that push me to leave the fandom; but Lea is the main reason why i’m still holding on. And, now, I promise. I. Will. Never. Leave. Lea. Second, people that became part of my life that I don’t want to leave. Team Asterisks, the first one on my list. Team Asterisks, namely, Abhie Manlapaz, Barbie Fernandez, Christel Leron, Dess Rea, Erika Mabansag, Jheanne Las, Sha Natividad, Viel David, Zane Rivera and yours truly. They became part of my life. They became my sisters. Lea brought to us together to become sisters and to become a family. And I don’t want to regret leaving them and I don’t want to hear myself saying, “Sana maulit muli, ang mga oras nating nakaraan”

“When will my reflection show who I am inside?” (Reflection) – This is already the real me. This is my true reflection. TO. BE. A. LEA. FAN. To my dear Queen, I may not be your daughter, your sister, your friend, your bestfriend, or your mom but I will always be a fan of yours. I will be forever proud of your achievements, and who you truly are as proud as your daughter, as happy as your sister, as blessed as your friend or bestfriend and I will also have the tears of joy like your mom. And I’m meant to play this (fangirl) part.

“So, I don’t have to say you were the one that got away” (The One That Got Away) – You maybe Aga’s The One That Got Away. But you’ll always be the “The One That Changed Our Lives”. You changed us, Lea. You changed us to be better, to be who we really are. And we are very very much thankful for you for that. 

To top it all, to our dearest Lea, Happiest 45th birthday! We will always catch a grenade for you. We will join you in every magic carpet ride. Hindi ka namin kayang iwanan dahil hindi namin kayang sabihin ang mga katagang ‘sana maulit muli’. Dahil ngayon, alam na namin kung bakit labis ka naming mahal, Lea. And we’ll support you until the end because this is really who we are inside. And lastly, you will never be our the one that got away because you are the one who changed our lives. Thank you, Lea! Thank you for your 45 years existence here! And thank you for being the greatest part of our lives. Happy happy birthday! Cheers! 🍻