IT Leveled Up!
Vannee San Juan
My daughter, Chiara, had a very minor role in
the recently concluded "Poveda, Level It
Up" musical. But on the day she got chosen
for it, she happily and proudly announced over
dinner that she was an "extra".
didn't quite get it until she actually stepped
on stage towards the end of the two-act show.
As soon as I saw those big expressive eyes, that
sweet wide grin, and that tiny body singing and
dancing with so much gusto, I was flooded with
so much pride and joy, and even thought that she
was the brightest star!
Such were the different kinds and overwhelming
flurry of emotions, among both performers and
spectators, during the show. And it was because
we all witnessed how one's dreams and aspirations,
combined with genuine talent, discipline and hard
work, make for heartfelt and smashing performances.
The musical, a complete departure from and welcome
alternative to the annual Poveda Family Day Bingo,
began with dozens upon dozens of girls auditioning
for principal roles and the chance to work with
and be mentored by Philippine theater stalwarts,
Menchu Lauchenco-Yulo and Michael Williams.
A touching behind-the-scenes video chronicling
these auditions shows what a big deal it was to
the girls and how supportive their respective
family members were in helping them achieve their
Alas, in the end, only thirty girls made the
final cut. What a talented bunch they were! According
to their mentors, they seemed to have magically
burst out of their shells after grueling song
and dance rehearsals. Soon, these shy, fragile
and unassuming girls were strutting on the stage
like professionals and even owning it!
Assigned to take on beautiful songs from different
musicals about "youth, coming of age and
finding one's self", these little superstars
brought on an amazing and unforgettable show,
tugging on heart strings in the process. The singing
and acting were all on point and from the heart,
both calculated and genuine--a testimony to all
the hard work they put into the production.
And, probably in an effort to make more dreams
come true, a group of "extras" were
brought in, including the girls who got cut from
the auditions. This made the show even better.
For indeed, there are no major or minor roles
and we all play an important part in this world.
And boy, were these extras excellent in their
Stepping back and looking at the big picture,
the "Poveda Level It Up" project just
proved that the school is, in fact, a gold mine
of talents. When encouraged and honed, our beloved
students become the superstars they were born
to be. What an inspired and inspiring project
initiated by the Poveda Parents' Association!
Our big gratitude goes to the PPA's co-presenters:
GSE Law Firm, Lux, Burts Bees, People's General
Insurance Corporation, The Study Enderun Tutorial
and Language Center, and The Red Chef and Events
Specialist. The success of Level It Up would have
not been possible without their trust and support.
I guess no one's gonna want to play Bingo on
Vannee with Chiara
Credit to the photographers:
Vannee San Juan