music, set design, sketch

tuloy ang biyahe

designed the stage for noel cabangon’s recent concert “tuloy ang biyahe” for his music museum and peta performances. it would only be my 2nd time to work for director melvin lee as designer (did one of his virgin labfest plays) and my first to dress up the peta theater. did this sketch as quick as i could before the song ended as the concert was winding down to an end. click on image to enlarge


i was headed for mindanao on the day of cabangon’s music museum run so i only got to supervise the ingress of the set and i missed watching the show. im glad i was able to catch the performance on its 2nd night (dec 14, 2012) at the peta as it was a fun ride. i know only a handful of noel’s songs but all were beautifully written and sung with so much passion. enjoyed his guests especially the APO (minus one), which i dont remember having watched perform live. gloc 9’s sirena was powerful as ever and ogie alcasid’s song writing skills are still topnotch as he sang two new songs. yet, it was always noel’s night and his brilliance in writing was clear and his voice unparalleled.

im glad i took this journey also in designing for theater and stage. it’s a different beast from designing for film as there are still factors ive yet to learn and take to heart. i wouldnt say my design for the concert was groundbreaking. maybe next time ill play more on concepts. needless to say, im excited in taking this new direction 🙂

here’s a video of kanlungan i took during the concert. i remember mike serrano in our little tambayan office at the back of the gg hall in CRL listening to a cassette tape (what year was this?) of buklod’s album and he introduced me to this song. the arrangement during cabangon’s concert “tuloy ang biyahe” was, in a word, magical. the string and wind section was awesome. love the slower tempo during the concert. just wasnt able to catch the first few minutes of the song. i do have a copy of the recording with the FILharmoniKA 😉

here are my set sketches. took inspiration from train stations and our own mrt platforms. as the set had to be minimal i only built arches and a fence.

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batang rizal & romulus d’grayt


recently i contacted former up fine arts college sec leo abaya re his invitation to watch PETA’s staging of ROMULUS D’GRAYT, where he is involved as production designer. he sent me an mms of the stage design and it looked great, so we were excited to watch it. i feared carlo and i wouldnt be able to catch the show on the later dates so we setup time to see it that weekend.


the featured play of peta before this one was BATANG RIZAL, which was a delight to watch. the story was simple enough but the performances were brilliant and on spot. the actors playing batang rizal and his present day alter ego was engaging and charming, the other kids in the play likewise wonderful to watch. the lessons it imparted werent preachy but still remained relevant. we thought this play was just wonderful we were eager to watch the next PETA play in the season!

come oct 7 we made it to the PETA theater for ROMULUS D’GRAYT and got great seats and a fantastic view of the stage. the play was translated and modernized in everyday-filipino-speak to great effect. some of the players were standouts (especially those actors from ateneo) but the show belonged to dido who played romulus. the design of the production was impeccable, and chickens in the play were also great.  notably the costumes were fantastic and was really imaginative in its use of material.


carlo and i had a blast watching venus, the only female in the cast, and a non-speaking role at that ! a statue who on instinct jumps off her pedestal when frightened or gossips at courtly drama. super funny we had to have our picture taken with her.

met actor nor domingo also at the lobby at the end of the play and made chitchat re the next play for PETA which he’ll be directing. looking forward! SKIN DEEP (libretto and book by vincent de jesus of zsa zsa zaturnnah ze musical & ze movie, batang rizal) up next. cheers! salamat sir leo for inviting us to romulus! we had a wonderful time yey