This letter is for the people I got to work in the theater with” to the people who helped build Tisoy Brown, The Dressing Room, and Comedy of Errors – from the artistic team, to the tech team, to the performers themselves; to the people who helped build my own small play, “Animo, Pilipinas Naming Mahal”; to the people who helped build and bring back UP SIKAT from the ashes. This letter goes out to the people who had their hearts crushed by other theater practitioners, and managed to rise back up stronger than ever.
But most of all, this letter is for those who have influenced my decision to shift out of the program, and for those who have continued to encouraged me to explore something different. The ones who witnessed me at my lowest, when I was confused as to what path to choose. The ones who have led me to the goal I have now. This is most especially for you.
2016 is one of my bleakest moments of my life.
This was the year our indigenous people were rammed by a police truck, that people were killed mercilessly under the excuse that this was a ‘war against drugs’, and so much more. This is the year I’ve become inspired to be more nationalistic, more critical, and more determined to achieve my goals of combining Psychology, Teaching, and Theater Arts.
This was also the year I realized what truly mattered – that my time spent with my family is not something I’m willing to sacrifice for rehearsals, and that I still valued my education more than anything.
This was the year I entered a theater company. And this was also the year I left.
Nonetheless, I just want to say thank you for making me fall in love with the theater. I’ve been lost for the most of this year, but thank you for leading me to see my own path. I’ve probably said this to you before, but just as how you never got tired of telling me “It’s fine” whenever I asked you if it was okay for me to rant, I will never get tired of thanking you. I’ve said this to many people, and maybe the fact that I’ve said such a thing to so many people will make you doubt if it’s true. But it is.
Even if I am not to spend the new year with you, know that I still love you. Deeply. Know that I still whisper a list of names before I go to sleep, and know that I am thankful even just for your existence, as your name gives me even just one more second to delay another inner battle.
Thank you for 2016. Cheers – to a longer list of names, and hopefully, to having no need of a list at all.