the first day of rehearsal for “KANSER”, with exclusive photos by MR. JHAY-R LAGRIMAS…

a lonely writer reads on the everlasting messages and words of Dr. Jose Rizal...
a lonely writer reads on the everlasting messages and words of Dr. Jose Rizal…

It was a rainy morning but the sky was clear. And somehow, the rains gave one lonely writer a feeling of comfort, though, he never knew why. He felt competitive, wanting to challenge the rain and erase all those feelings of losses and pains. Or maybe, he simply wanted to start anew.

The heavy traffic that morning didn’t become a hindrance, either. The comfort he felt with the rain made him feel relaxed and tranquil- not the ‘panicky-type-of-feeling’ he had always felt in the past. He was on his way that day to meet a celebrity friend that would accompany him to the rehearsals of Gantimpala Theater Foundation’s upcoming new mild musical version of the longest-running play-KANSER.

The celebrity friend was no less than award-winning theater director Frannie Zamora, who was also so generous enough to treat him at a luxurious Korean-Japanese restaurant near the Broadway Centrum, complex area. The lunch was fabulous with laksa noodles,  fresh vegetable lumpias, and more. Afterwards, they both proceeded to the venue of the rehearsals at the AFP theater.

Braving the very heavy traffic in that 12-noon time of day, the lonely writer felt redeemed upon reaching the rehearsal venue, and this time, newcomer Jansen Aguilar joined them as they met upon him at the gates of the AFP camp. At once, the tranquil feeling was transformed into something more professional this time, and no longer personal. Seeing those theater actors and actresses inside the rehearsal venue, all ready to get their works done, and the production staff/team so well-organized with their job system, nothing else would have mattered.

We saw all the names of the complete cast of the play written on a computerized paper and we copied all the names in our notes. Everything was written in paper, even the by-rules of the house theater group, the play’s scripts, and other detailed materials including the songs. With that, lesser tensions and pressures was eased by now.

All the performers were now holding their scripts, ready for the script-reading sessions and lines to be spoken by each. What a great feeling. Seeing all these creative artists in front of you, reading their lines and all, and further more reuniting with their hidden passions on the performing arts, it was, indeed, a good day to linger in.

As the words were spoken, the real “soul” emerged. It was, maybe, the soul of Dr. Jose Rizal himself- the creator of the book Noli Me Tangere as to which the play Kanser was adapted upon- so efficiently and truthfully. In those words spoken by the lines in the play by each of the cast, Dr. Rizal’s teachings and messages was again felt by the lonely writer. Words that spoke of freedom, of unity, of bravery.

And those words, yes, those words- were the very words that made one country rose up from the ashes and emerged as one independent nation that the Filipino youths of today were enjoying. Once again, we believed- that- “THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD”.

Through those words on the play’s script, we could imagine how beautiful this new mild musical version of KANSER is going to be. That the students and that the youths must know and watch anew. Relieve their own Filipino values and PRIDE.

For many years now, Gantimpala Theater Foundation had fought. They fought to preserve this “jewel” of a literary creation that a hero had written, that a genius had died for, that a co-Filipino had sacrificed for. Through the power of the performing arts, the ‘soul’ and the passion must be relieved over and over again- for the young to know and continue on with the LEGACY.

“Without any major sponsors backing us up, we continued fighting for our theater group to survive”, director Frannie Zamora said to the lonely writer before that writer left the venue of the rehearsals. “Sometimes, we felt like quitting. But once you see the students watching our plays and through their faces we saw anew the hope and true identity of us Filipinos, our energies continue to zest up. This year’s version of KANSER, I promise, is going to be a very beautiful one.”


The lonely writer moved on, as he left. He went down by the marble stairs of the theater’s facade and walked past the AFP camp. The rains had stopped somehow, but the skies were clearer.

On a clear day, you could see EVERYTHING.

And among the people who goes on living not just because of money or any material gains were the people who works for theater. It’s a mission that God never fails to see-

just like…


(as the words were written by robert manuguid silverio, on a moment when separate dimensions somehow fixed-in and stood still-amidst the ever-changing tides of ETERNITY).*

jhay-r lagrimas (photo credit: Piper Spice
jhay-r lagrimas (photo credit: Piper Spice)


(Photos  below by Mr. Lagrimas, taken during the first day of rehearsal of the play “KANSER”, that would be seen on the month of September).

THE PERFORMERS ON THE PHOTOS: Carlo Manalac, KL Dizon, Francis Matheu, Dea Formacil Chua, Roeder Camanag, Jansen Aguilar, Ma. Victoria Mina, Abigail Asuncion, Joey de Guzaman, Jovito Bonita, Albert Solis, Angela Ilustre, Angelo Miravilla, Norman Penaflorinda, Vangie Inocencio, Greg Porcula, Francis Cruz, Edwin Domino, Khryz David, VJ Estajero, jennifer Tolentino, Sherwin Dajay, Carlo Erpelo …. and, Mr. Frannie G. Zamora with Charyl Chan de Guzman.

rehearse rehearse11 rehearse12 rehearse13 rehearse14 rehearse15 rehearse16 rehearse17 rehearse18 rehearse19 rehearse2 rehearse20 rehearse22 rehearse23 rehearse3 rehearse4 rehearse5 rehearse6 rehearse7 rehearse8 rehearse9