Up-Close and Personal

In a world where art is still vague and cannot be given a definite meaning, it became a concept that has been used to either just show talents and abilities (e.g. drawing, painting, acting, singing, tattooing, etc.), to raise awareness for a specific issue, or just an excuse to surpass boredom. But, there are people who really are dedicated to creating arts that they actually pursued to become professional artists.

One of them is Ms. Maria Alelia Bagio, who is popularly known as "Mosang" of the Philippine television. She is well-known in the comedic side of show business in television but not in theatre. She is an actress for so many theatrical acts (i.e. Why Women Wash Dishes, Noli Me Tangere, and her latest play Peratedes) and she, unlike what most televiewers think, is actually into drama when she is in theatre. She admits that even she cannot believe that she had taken the opposite side of acting genre when she entered television acting.

Another popular Filipino artist would be Ms. Lani Mercado. She is the wife of Sen. Bong Revilla and she is an actress before. Now, she had pursued the industry of politics as the current Congresswoman for the 2nd District of Cavite. She is an example of an artist who did not stop to explore over things that can be considered as something about expressing yourself (as what most common definition for art would be). Like all other famous persona in the Philippine TV, she had undergone a lot of hardships before she landed on the position she has today. Thanks to her patience, her hardships turned to success.

Last but not the list, is a tattoo artist by the name of Alfred Guevara. He is a well-known artist in the field of tattooing and he even created an event entitled Dutdutan Festival wherein every professional, amateur, and even people fond of having tattooes are invited and encouraged to join and exhibit their skills and works in an intimate show to the public.

These artists had come from different genre of industry. We have a theatrical actress who became a TV personality, we have a TV actress who became a politician, and we have a tattoo artist. If we will look onto how these people have defined success, they have huge difference in them.

Mosang, being the one we had interviewed, she had settled to have a not-so-popular and character roles in TV and wanted to focus more on teaching and sharing her talents and abilities for the theatre people because she is a firm believer of a real, not scripted acting for those who aspires to have big names in the industry of showbiz. In short, she believes that anyone could be an artist, he/she may be fair or white skinned, as long as he/she can act excellently.

Ms. Lani Mercado, on the other hand, believes and reminds those who wanted to enter showbiz to take good care of their youthful skin and to preserve them as much as possible because as what she had said, you need to invest to yourself in order to achieve a career in show business.

Alfred Guevara, was a person who is too simple and believes that everything is temporary and that we should take full responsibility for our actions, especially those who would make an impact not only for the society as a whole, but for the individual impact of those who belong to that society.

But, do these persons with different characters and from different industries have similarities with each other? Yes they have.

First and foremost, they are all artists. They are all promoters of arts and they give art the same meaning. And that is to express emotions and feelings by exhibiting them in a creative and unique way. Second, they all have undergone difficulties just to advocate and share their skills and talents for the public to recognize and notice. You may think that this does not apply to Ms. Lani Mercado because she came in a family of actors and actresses. But no she did not became popular with all the luxury of having a name established in the industry. She says that if you need to be ugly or to do a "stinky" role, you have to, without any opposition. Because these artists believed that professionalism is the key to success.

Are they only existing to serve as an artists? Well, fortunately they don’t. Each of them was eventually driven to do something for the community.

Mosang said that she really wanted to teach and make the theatre people realize that theater is not just about acting because you are told to do so. You are acting because you can relate to the feeling it brings to you, it may be something you have already encountered or not, because according to her, theatre is not just a one-day, temporary learning of the script. It is a continuous process of learning and applying them in real life.

Ms. Lani Mercado advocated what she wanted to happen in the society by serving it herself. She was never contained only in the mind set of showing her skills as an actress, but she had shared her abilities to govern and handle people with full responsibility.

Alfred Guevara had been a great author who used people that loves to express art by body painting and tattooing in his creative idea of exhibiting and letting the world know that their kind of art is not a just about having your body stained by ink, but an expression only those who belong to such kind of art will understand. Thanks to him, those who shy away because they feel that having tattoo is a "criminal" offense are now proud to declare to the world that they have this very different way of expressing art.

All of us would want to pursue something. It may be about business, entrepreneurship, arts, so on and so forth. But, whatever I would pursue in the future, I would want to imitate Mosang’s character. She has a practical mind set that aims to be successful in her career thru her own little ways, without sacrificing her personal priorities. I would want to become that person who clearly knows what she wants to establish for the soceity, just like Mosang when she said that she wanted to create a theatre or an organization where all theatre people, rich and poor, could be trained very well and be given an opportunity to carelessly show their hidden talents. I want how she perceives her work as something that must not be faked because what we do in our daily lives entails acting. I would want to admit to myself that I can do things differently by believing that I can do it no matter how hard the world may be. "The world is a big arena of theatre." This was a very powerful quote from Mosang. A reminder that you are the protagonist in your journey and in your way to the end, you would encounter a lot of uncertainty, unfairness, hurtful things, and challenges. It is up to you to make your ending a tragic, a meaningful, or a happy one.

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