University Diaries: Geek Chic

(TOP: muscle crop top, UP Bazaar; P60/ SKIRT: pencil skirt, F21/ SHOES: sneaker wedges, Image/ PURSE: Kenneth Cole Reaction/ ACCESSORIES: Turban and Earrings, F21)

Okay….so I wouldn’t exactly wear this to UP on a normal school day but I figured that going to school early in the morning on a weekend for a performance should still count as part of my “University Diaries” so here’s what I looked like after a 10AM show for DUP’s The Country Wife.

Believe me when I say that sometimes I go for function “other” (and not rather) than fashion— this muscle crop top is what I usually wear when working out at home and since the staff and actors usually do warm ups for weekend morning shows to help us loosen up right before the performance, it’d be the easiest to move in this besides I needed to wear something that I could easily take off without messing up my curls. The pencil skirt serves as a “half slip” under my petticoat and the bag is just a perfect size for my script and other knick knacks like my make up, make up brushes, sachets of Kopiko 3-in-1 coffee and makeup wipes to name a few.

The turban I use not only as a hairpiece but also as a cosmetic headband to keep my hair away from my face while putting on my make up. Sad to say I am not wearing these specs for fashion sake, they’re real and I need them badly especially when I’m applying my make up backstage or reviewing my script right before “open house”.

The sneaker wedges—-for the additional inches, what’s new? Haha.

So there it is…a theater actor’s “very functional” take on Geek Chic. Enjoy!

~Rhea

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University Diaries: Casual Sophistication

(TOP: lace croptop/ SHORTS: high rise from Tomato; P250/ SHOES: peeptoe flats from 168; P200/ PURSE: from Pauline and Ann Marie; TJ Maxx/ EARRINGS: from Roxi; Anne Klein/ NECKLACE: from Mommy Babe)

The “Crop Top/ High waist Shorts Mania” is still continuously making waves in UP-Diliman. This 80’s trend that started out with  iconic Madonna has made a big come back about a year or so ago. I was never big on showing my tummy (or my bellybutton for that matter) to the public but as soon as I came back to the Philippines, I found myself stocking my closet with a bunch of these supposedly for jogging/ workout use. These crop tops eventually made its way to my “school clothes stash” and I started wearing them to class, rehearsals or even while running errands in UP. Most of the kids in the university typically go for that 90’s graphic crop top/ high waisted washed out denim look but I wanted a girly, more sophisticated take on this tandem that would somehow reflect my age so I picked a lace crop top (LACE! a forever favorite of mine) and high waist textured polyester shorts.

This outfit’s color palette: White, Orange, Gold and Mustard

Side silhouette featuring my sisters’ gift, a Mustard/ Burnt Sienna chain bag, from a few Christmases ago

Statement necklaces are apt to fill that bare space when you’re wearing low cut tops such as this one.

Cute locally made Mustard Peeptoes, a very comfy statement piece. They were supposedly produced in Marikina—- the shoe capital of the Philippines.

~Rhea

“Lucy…Lucy!!!”

It’s been 7 years since the time I was supposed to graduate from the University of the Philippines-Diliman (not too long considering the fact that UP theater students are notorious for that), and it’s safe to say that it also has been 7 years since the last time I’ve set foot on the Wilfredo Ma. Guerrero Theater stage. Two words—-nostalgic and nerve-racking.

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Backstage at today’s 10am show with the girls and our beloved director Tony Mabesa. #Sundayfunday

After I got married last June to my boyfriend of 9 years and fiancé of 2 years, Marco and I decided that it would be best for us to stay awhile and finally work on my thesis instead of flying back to Houston. I was hesitant partly because I wanted to start working on a routine for us as a newly married couple in Houston, my current comfort zone (get jobs, pay bills, save up for a house and maybe start our own family) and partly because I was anxious and scared as hell to be on stage again. So when the call for auditions came out, I was fretting like crazy but I went through it anyway. I decided to go on the first day of auditions to get it over with and it was strange seeing familiar faces, more or less the same people I’d bump into when I used to audition for plays a few years back. It was nice to see some good ‘ol friends also going through the audition process with me, we were handed a section of the script and we were asked to read some lines. I did my best to act like I wasn’t nervous… I might have failed miserably but I gave it my best shot. If I remember correctly, the number of auditionees reached 40 that day, but they might have cut down that number since Sir Tony had to leave early.

Auditions-Country Wife
Dulaang UP’s Audition Poster for The Country Wife

A week after auditions the results came out…I GOT IN!!!! Thank God!

Performance thesis, here I come.

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Dulaang UP’s Audition results for The Country Wife

You can only imagine how anxious I felt when I was handed a 162-page script for both the English and Filipino version. Sir Tony announced that he wanted us to learn both languages so we would be equipped to do both…now, that’s twice the challenge but when you’re in a Dulaang UP play under Sir Tony Mabesa, you never say never. The first day I walked in Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan (THY) for rehearsals, the first thing he asked me was…

“Sino Ka?” (Who are you?)

“Rhea, sir. I’m playing Lucy, sir.” I replied.

“O, hahawakan ka sa boobs ha…ok lang?” (Your boobs are going to get groped , is that okay?)

Yep, with Sir Tony you never say never. Thank God he changed his mind!

After that I decided to ask him if I could officially make this my performance thesis for my bachelors degree and he agreed with no hesitation. Before migrating to the US in 2007, I was set to do my performance thesis on a Shakespeare play also directed by Sir Tony but wasn’t able to push through with it because I had to leave right away. I left with a heavy heart thinking that I missed my chance to be mentored by the one and only Tony Mabesa, it’s funny how 7 years after I am back where I left off and I am extremely grateful for that. From what I hear this might be the first and last Restoration Comedy Sir Tony is doing, come to think of it, I made it just in time.

 We rehearsed consistently on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and when one of us would miss rehearsals he/she would bring the cast and the staff something to eat. Boy, did we have a feast all the time. Haha. But rehearsals were not just about pigging out and making new friends, every single one of the cast and the staff gave this production their all. We all worked hard adjusting to the language (or languages for that matter), adjusting our schedules, adjusting to each other, adjusting to changes, adjusting to new lines, new blocking, new set, new rehearsal venue—It’s really amazing how the theater is capable of bringing wonderfully talented people with totally different backgrounds, different eccentricities and different quirks but one passion and that is what we have brought to the stage of the Guerrero Theater.

Here are the sensational actors and actresses that I get to work with in no particular order (unlike the promotional posters and the playbills, haha), the cast of Dulaang UP’s The Country Wife/ Ang Misis Kong Promdi, Directed by the one and only Tony Mabesa and Translation by the multi-awarded playwright Nicholas Pichay.

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Sir Tony Mabesa

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 Sue Prado, Sari Estrada and Martha Comia as Margery Pinchwife

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George de Jesus and Tarek El Tayech as Mr. Pinchwife

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Neil Ryan Sese and Jay Gonzaga as Mr. Horner

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RS Francisco, Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino and Arvin Trinidad as Sparkish

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 Issa Litton and Karen Gaerlan as Alithea

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Ian Ignacio and Carlo Tarobal as Harcourt

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Jacques Borlaza and Leo Rialp as Sir Jasper Fidget

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Adriana Agcaoili and Dolly de Leon as Lady Fidget

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Rizzy Alejandro and Bea Paloma as Dainty Fidget

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Chona Fernando, Ron Biñas and Joanna Lerio as Mrs. Squeamish

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Francis Mata and Ces Aldaba as Doctor Quack

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Brian Arda and Sigmund Pecho as Dorilant

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Ms. Aurora Yumul as Old Lady Squeamish

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Giancarlo Patelo and Joseph Nabong as the Servant

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..and last but not the least Regina Ramas – Mendezona (me!) and Yvonne Ricaro as Lucy.

Dulaang UP’s The Country Wife Rehearsal Clip

—-And now for my shameless plug!!!

Don’t forget to catch me as “Lucy” on these remaining dates:

The Country Wife:
November 22 SAT, 3 pm
November 27 THU, 7 pm
November 29 SAT, 10 am
December 6 SAT, 3 pm

Ang Misis Kong Promdi:

November 20 THU, 7 pm
November 23 SUN, 10 am
November 28 FRI, 7 pm GALA
November 30 SUN, 10 am 
December 4 THU, 7 pm
December 6 SAT, 7 pm
December 7 SUN, 10 am

Country Wife Press Interview

P.S. You might have heard reviews about our play to be a bit raunchy, vulgar or sexually explicit but as Sir Tony Mabesa would say … “The theater should disturb and excite” and that is precisely what we’re doing.

Now, pick a date, buy your tickets and catch us on stage! See you there!

~Rhea

University Diaries: Casual Cool

(SWEATSHIRT: F21; FOR SALE / SHORTS: highwaist, thrifted/ SHOES: Sneaker Wedges, Image/ PURSE: Hobo Bag, Kenneth Cole Reaction/ SUNGLASSES: 168/ TURBAN: F21/ NECKLACE: Wet Seal/ CUFF: Cebu/ EARRINGS: F21)

Graphic tees, printed tees—any shirt (or in this case, sweater) that gives a statement are still big on campus. I guess it kinda says a lot about yourself— what your interests are, what orgs you’re involved in, what you think about the world, what your outlook in life is, if you’re a geek or someone who has a sense of humor, if you’re snooty and stuck up…ANYTHING!

Mine says, “, I’m a 28 y.o trying hard to fit in—show me some love” hahahaha. 😀 I’m kidding, this sweater belonged to a good friend of mine and since we didn’t finish our garage sale in Houston, I’m selling some of these pre-loved items here in Manila.

Hobo bags are just wonderful, you can practically put your entire dresser inside and no one would notice. It’s really spacious inside and easy to carry although I would suggest for you girls to invest on bag organizers just so it’s not a jungle inside.

Sneaker Wedges— flat from above, elevated from below. I’m always in need of those extra inches.

I’m telling you…high waist shorts, oversized graphic tee or sweater, sneakers, hobo bag and messy bun is the simplest uniform for school (maybe for U.P anyway), I’m pretty sure you can find all of these in your closet with no trouble. Its just a matter of accessorizing and picking the right color combination other than that it should be a no-brainer.

I’m starting to keep a “school outfit journal” to show my sisters when I get back to Houston.  Pauline (19), Ann Marie (17), Angelie (14) and Nicole (12) are going to have a good laugh when I tell them that I was dressing their age and not mine. If you girls were here, I would’ve probably borrowed from your closet.

I’m missing you heaps, Ate will see you in 2 months! . I love you losers!

~Rhea