Last July 7, we watched Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai.   Cirque du Soleil (meaning, circus of the sun) has been travelling around the world and for a few weeks this June and July, it brings to Manila, Varekai, its 14th show, which means wherever in Romany language.


The show was superbly awesome!  I think my heart skipped a beat a number of times as I watched the performers do breathtaking stunts with grace and perfect timing!  One has to see for himself a show of Cirque to understand what I’m trying to say. (Taking photos and videos during the show is prohibited.)

When the show finally ended, we all walked out of the tent with awe and amazement.  It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I’m THANKFUL that God was able to provide us the means to let our kids watch a performance.  

What did we learn from the circus?  Well, Cirque du Soleil taught me these P’s:

1.  Practice! Practice! Practice!
2.  Possible!!!
3.  Persistence!
4.  Perseverance!
5.  Precision!
6.  Perfection!


Cirque du Soleil showed that all these are possible.  As a final note and perhaps, the most important and worth remembering is I also learned how to appreciate the beautiful bodies that God has given us, with all its bones and muscles!  The show was a reminder that we should take care of our bodies and if we do just that, we are capable of doing, creating, and sharing something new and wonderful, beyond our imagination!!!

The Sound of Music Manila had its first callback yesterday, July 2.  Arielle wasn’t one of them.  Her friend, who was told that she was being considered for the role of Louisa Von Trapp, wasn’t either, but her two brothers were.  I heard from a mommy friend, whose daughter also auditioned, that there wouldn’t be anymore callbacks since most of the people who auditioned are not fair-skinned, but morenos and morenas.  The first batch of callbacks for the Von Trapp children roles were mostly mestizos and mestizas.  A part of me is crushed and another part of me is still hoping AND praying that there will still be callbacks, as what they had announced in their Facebook page:  callbacks in batches.  

As I look back, I am still thankful for this EXPERIENCE of WAITING.  It taught our whole family valuable lessons on:

1.  patience
2.  prayer; support and encouragement from family members and friends
3.  trust, faith, and surrender in God
4.  being a family; supporting one another and being there for each other
5.  having a positive outlook and sense of humor (This is where Kayla comes in!)

I saw how each of us were all rooting for Arielle; how each of us would have his and her own nervous and anxious expressions and moments; how each would try to avoid or change the topic just to make things lighter; and how Arielle REMAINS HOPEFUL.

Oh well, life goes on … no matter what happens.


Last June 25, 2011, a rainy Saturday morning, we accompanied Arielle to her audition for The Sound of Music at Resorts World Manila.



The day before, Tropical Storm “Falcon” flooded a lot of streets in Metro Manila and had classes from kindergarten to high school suspended in NCR (National Capital Region) and some provinces. Auditions were scheduled for two days, June 24 and 25, and we really had decided to go on the second day, in the morning.  We arrived at Resorts World around 10:00 am and Arielle went through the registration process:  registering, lining up, submitting 2 copies of the audition forms together with photos (1 close up, 1 full body shot;  She was also asked to give an extra picture that day and I’m glad I brought extra copies in the car!).  Then, she was given the tag B-22 to pin on her shirt and was told to wait at the waiting area, a few restaurants away from the registration area.  After a short while of waiting in the assigned room, her batch was called and she walked away to the audition hall.  Meanwhile, Mike, Kayla and I were outside at Starbucks, anxiously waiting for Arielle to come out from her audition to find out how everything went!  I was glad to see and hang out with Robbie Guevara (director of Repertory Philippines’ A Christmas Carol 2008 production, Arielle’s first professional theatre play) and girlfriend Peachy Atilano, both theatre performers, who also came to audition.  Chatting with them and hearing from Robbie that he was also nervous (Robbie Guevara, the director and professional stage performer???) took away temporarily my jitters and anxiety.  By 11:00 am, Arielle was done.  Whew!!!

I happen to learn about the auditions from a friend who “liked” a page in Facebook.  Clicking on the page, I read about the weekend audition.  I told Arielle about it and as I had feared and expected, she wanted to go for it.  When she says “I want to do it!”, take her seriously.  

It’s been a while since she was up on stage portraying a role and she actually told us recently that she wants to go back and do summer theatre workshop in 2012.  That simply meant that she misses theatre.  It was a Tuesday and we only had 3 days to choose a song and rehearse!  I immediately texted Arielle’s voice teacher, Teacher Amy Camua, and asked for help.  I was so thankful she did not refuse an urgent request to coach Arielle that Friday (despite the bad weather!) during her regular voice lessons and put on a CD two tracks each of her possible audition pieces.  Arielle sang the song Nothing from the Broadway musical A Chorus Line.  It was one of the most recent Broadway songs she had learned from her voice teacher and had sung in a recital.  Defying Gravity was actually the last recital song she sang just less than 2 weeks ago but Teacher Amy, Arielle and I unanimously voted for Nothing.  She did an animated and wonderful rendition of it in her recital last December 2011!


Arielle singing “Nothing” from “A Chorus Line” from December 2010 recital


Audition piece can either be Broadway or a Disney song. Her Disney choice was Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid but when I asked her which song she’s more comfortable and confident with, she said it’s Nothing.  So,   when asked by the lady at the registration table what her audition piece was, as she was looking at the track titles of the CD Arielle handed to her, Arielle answered “Nothing”!  Teasingly, she asked again Arielle why she came that day when she was going to sing nothing!

The second and last day of the auditions had a big turnout.  I heard that there were 78 people who came on the first day which was stormy.  Seeing the line and the waiting room full of people past the 3:00 pm cutoff time, I would think that there were about 300 to 400 who came to audition last Saturday and that it might have ended before 10 pm.   Seeing familiar faces from professional theatre and hearing  young  girls and ladies vocalizing and hitting high notes made me nervous and wonder if Arielle would make it.  We stayed on at Resorts World until about 3 pm because Arielle wanted to wait for her friend who was also part of the cast of A Christmas Carol and was also going to audition.  It was a nice reunion of the two girls and her friend’s brothers as well.

Arielle’s co-actors from “A Christmas Carol” and Kayla

How did the audition go?  Arielle said that at first she felt nervous but after a while (and a trip to the ladies’ room), she felt confident about the whole thing and knew deep inside that she can do it!  There were five evaluators or people in the panel, and two of them were foreigners.  One of the three Filipinas happen to be the sister of one of the homeschooling moms we know. Arielle said she was given a microphone when she sang on stage (and so did the rest who auditioned) and saw the evaluators nodding their heads and smiling while she was singing.   I take that as a positive sign!  

And what was I doing three days before the audition and after?  Well, aside from typing out the info on the forms (It’s always good to make a good first impression.  The lady who accepted her forms was actually surprised to see her clean and computer printouts of the audition forms! I guess, most or everybody else submitted handwritten ones.) and having her photos taken, the most I could do was try to rehearse Arielle with her songs and give her some tips. I was frantically sending text messages to Teacher Amy one after the other, because I was worried that the CD Arielle’s going to bring to the audition might not be compatible with the player that is going to be used and might not play.  At home, we tried to burn a copy of Part of Your World on a dvd and we didn’t hear a single note from it!  So that made me even more worried and was counting on Teacher Amy as our ONLY hope!  But most of the time, I was sending text messages to and asking for prayers from friends and family members … before the audition, on the day itself, and even up to this day, which I consider even worse than the audition day proper!  It’s now the waiting game and we haven’t heard from the organizers or the producers.  I’ve been saying short prayers for Arielle throughout the day since yesterday and I’m just so thankful for the support and encouragement I’ve been receiving from my close friends and homeschooling family as I now momentarily take on another role of being a stage mom!   They’ve been my survival kit!

Going through the whole audition process is already a blessing.  It’s another great learning opportunity for Arielle as a homeschooler, learning and experiencing how it is to present herself to others with self-confidence and God-confidence. The audition is like  applying for a job! It IS applying for a job!  Also,  it’s a real-life learning opportunity not only for her but for our whole family.  We’ve come together praying to God as one, and it’s also heart-warming to know that Kayla, her younger sister, wants and prays for her Ate Arielle to make it to Sound of Music.  That, she whispered to me last Saturday afternoon 🙂

It’s past 6 pm, June 27, Monday, and still no word.  The butterflies in my stomach have been fluttering and have been giving me that queasy feeling.  It’s pretty unpleasant and I think it will only finally go away when I hear news, good or bad, from the organizers.  A part of me believes that Arielle has a chance and another part of me is saying “What if she doesn’t get chosen?”  I continue to pray for Arielle and lift everything to God as this is already beyond my control (and my talent!).  I know that Arielle is gifted by God in music but He alone can and will decide what’s going to happen next.  I can only trust in Him that everything will turn out for the best!

Romans 8:28 –  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.