A true friend will always be there no matter what. This was the kind of feeling that a blogger felt when he bonded anew with Vince Tanada (one of his closest friends in the field of entertainment) at the wake of writer/director Nards Belen (R.I.P.) recently at the Loyola Chapels in Comonwealth Avenue. Vince never failed to keep his promise to a blogger-friend, … that he’ll be there- together with other Philippine Stagers Foundation’s actors and staff, namely Jomar Tanada Bautista, John Rey Rivas, Art E. Gabrentina, John Paul San Antonio and Mr. Patrick Libao.
Vince together with the Stagers offered their deepest symphaties and condolences to the Belen family, especially to Tito Nards’ wife- Ms. Crispina Belen of the Manila Bulletin newspaper. The night became so sincere at the wake- as two lost friends bonded anew (this blogger and Vince) and life was never the same again, just like forever.
In-between talks, this blogger managed to ask Vince a few questions (with a prayer-permission from the bereaved) about his latest musical opus Popepular which has gotten a lot of good reviews from media bloggers.
“It’s really so overwhelming, Robert”, Vince said to this blogger. “My heart almost melted with all the good reviews on my latest theatrical production. The likes of Fred Hawson, Robert Encila and you, wow. I felt so vindicated. It’s because the reviews came from people who really mattered to me. And the reviews they wrote were really so specific, no one could question them. It’s so truthful.”
Popepular is really one great musical theater production to reckon with. It’s so perfect, avant-garde in taste and very loving plus delightful. And Vince has this to say:
“I guess, I am confident enough to say it’s because the directorial inputs on the play are good”, he said. “It’s a mixture of realism and imagination. I applied in there a new style in stage direction. And we really used authentic props and stage design for good visual effects.
“The directorial style comprehended much with the weaving of the story”, he continued. “And the way it was presented was never executed before or tried in any legitimate theatrical production.”
But Vince has a deeper reason for creating this gigantic musical play.
“I see the Pope as a beacon of hope”, Vince told a blogger. “Young and old alike, they were all inspired in His presence when he visited our country this year. At first, I thought of doing a play on Juan Luna. But this all changed when I went to Luneta to catch a glimpse on the Pope together with my son Spidey. It turned out to be a great experience that I will never forget for the rest of my life. And that’s it, I got inspired to do a play based on his life.
“I asked for signs from the Lord above”, he continued saying. “I went to a church and talked to the Lord. I told God, if my son Spidey won’t get sick from the rains we endured when we went to Luneta, well then, I will continue with the dream. And luckily, my son didn’t get sick! That’s the time I was really convinced that I will pursue to do this play on the Pope.”
Then one night, Vince had a strange dream and he suddenly got awaken-up at 3 a.m. in the morning.
“And we all know that, 3 a.m. is a very unholy hour”, Vince revealed. “I felt that the devil is tempting me not to do the play. But the devil didn’t win. I believe, that through this play about the Pope, I could create a massive conversion among the youths of today to believe more and strengthen their faiths to God. It was a pact between me and God. So, the days that followed, I abled to finish the play and statrted with the rehearsals. Now, I got good reviews. Isn’t it great? You see, God has his own rewards to people who keeps true to their promises.”
In his Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, a lot of young people were giving him now private messages- all saying to him that the play changed their very lives.
“It was a life-changing event for them when they watched the play”, Vince further revealed. “Mga kabataang lumalapit na ngayon sa Panginoon. Somehow, the play opened-up their eyes. It was a good influence to them. And I am so happy for this.
“You see, Robert, I am not a very holy person”, he added. “I am not that religious also. I communicate personally lang to God. But I believe, as his follower, I must do something to make this world a better place to live-in.”
Popepular (Paano Kung Naging Pinoy Si Kiko) will tour all-over the Philippines, Vince promised to this blogger.
“I want places that are really out-of-reach and challenging for performing artists like us”, Vince said. “I want to further reach-out to them. Give them something nice and good. Mga places na talagang malalayo at remote. Because I know, the youths in those places needs to see a play like this. I want them to experience watching our play.
“I am also targetting Mindanao and the Moslems”, he continued. “Because when the Pope got here, the Moslems of our country also loved him. That’s why I want them also to see this play.”
YES. Two friends will always be FRIENDS. Because they both believe in some common causes. They both have one denominating factor. They both believe in the power of ARTS, too. And that will unite them FOREVER.
Vince Tanada will be a friend forever to the young…
and to me.
(words by robert manuguid silverio)