I’ve been writing professional for theatre since early 2000’s in the Philippines. My earliest memories of writing plays (or attempts of writing plays) can be traced back as early as when I was 12 years old, in my first year in high school, and two years later in my junior year.
My first play was a sketch of characters inspired from a comic book of Western Philosophers that I can’t even remember now how did I acquire it. It was a short sketch where Aristotle, Plato, Herodotus and other characters talking among themselves, having a conversation about their philosophies. I submitted it as a class requirement to my Filipino language teacher. She mocked it in front of our class. We called her ‘Miss Goldfish’ when she was not around because of her thick pair of red lips and a protruding set of eyeballs.
In my junior year, I wrote a play about old folks inside a hospital after World War II, post-Japanese Occupation of the Philippines. I submitted it to our school theatre organisation. It was rejected and they opted instead to perform parts of Miss Saigon which was pretty much a popular play in the Philippines in the 90’s.
I abandoned writing plays since then. At the university, I started to write fiction. Writing stories became my first love – and poetry my second. In my late teens or in my early 20’s I told myself that I should learn how to write dialogues – and there’s no other way to educate myself than start learning writing plays.
In 2003, I joined a playwrights’ group in Manila from a suggestion of poet-friend who was part of this group (she later left and concentrated on writing poetry). I attended a fortnightly Sunday meetings just to observe how playwrights’ write and revise their works and for the free pizza. They ended becoming my friends (or I thought they were friends until 2014 when I really ended, this time it was for real, talking to them).
My first real play was staged for the public in 2016, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. I liked it but the critics dismissed it from the script to the stage direction. It was my first taste of critics lambasting my work on a national newspaper or in a public space. The good things from that experience were one, writing plays never stopped since then and I stopped threatening critics of punching them in the face sometime in 2009. Sex work is work; I started to respect prostitutes and their trade in Manila’s theatre lobbies.
In 2018, I founded a theatre company ATISA for the same reason I built my own publishing house: they don’t want to produce my plays then I will create my theatre company. ATISA is currently dormant since my life was disrupted by what’s going on in the Philippines since 2016. When my life settles down, I will revive its operations again. I don’t usually share spaces as an artist because of my experiences as a writer and a theatre maker in the Philippines: I create my own.
This section of my site my will contain all my works, production notes, references, posters, interviews related to my works as a playwright since 2003 to the present. Please give me time to reconstruct this as it will take me days to collect all the available and accessible materials I can gather online.