HERO Staffs and Scholars with the cast of Beauty & the Beast
Have you seen those donation boxes in the malls filled with name tags of soldiers? Those were the actual nametags once worn by our dear Philippine soldiers slain in battle. These were collected by HERO Foundation to remind us of their service for the country, and, the money that you donate is used to fund the education of the children whom our fallen heroes have left behind.
Proud to share that my friend, Mauwi Villar, works for HERO Foundation, and based on our recent conversation, she is fulfilled in helping out an NGO like this. Along with six other colleagues, they carry out the Foundation’s mission in providing for the educational needs of the children of our beloved soldiers.
Part of HERO’s advocacy is to join families together and raise an awareness of its mission. There’s no better way to do this than invite people from all walks of life to watch the play, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (A musical for children). In partnership with Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative and Repertory Philippines, this event for HERO was made possible.
Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative’s partnership with Repertory came in the perfect timing because the latter was on its 25th year. On its silver anniversary, Repertory Philippines retells the story of Beauty and the Beast that magically delighted all those who have come to watch it. Director Joy Virata once again captivated the audience with the set-up, outstanding performance of the actors (Alana Vicente who played Beauty and Jos Jalbuena who played Beast), and lively songs of Repertory’s version of the timeless tale. My toddler was engaged entirely in the show, as this was her first time. I was equally fascinated because new twists came by a surprise – Beauty had sisters named Fifi and Mimi, and Beast had a garden of roses, which he protected dearly! Definitely, a show worth watching.
Families, educators, and theatre enthusiasts graced the event. I am sure my daughter was overwhelmed, but the play made a positive impact on her. Albeit the new sounds and sights that flooded her memory of that day, she recalled the name of Beast with fondness as she mentioned his name, and also tried to imitate roses’ graceful arm movements. I am glad she enjoyed the show, contrary to my expectation. I was hoping for an easy access to the exit door so we could step out of the theater easily in case she throws a fit. But to my surprise, she watched the play without any meltdowns. Perhaps, my orientation prior to attending the event was effective. For the benefit of co-moms reading this, here are my tips in preparing your toddler to watch live theatre plays:
- Read the story to your child related to the play, if available. I pulled out our book of Beauty and the Beast and introduced the main characters. This sets her expectation of whom to see in the play. You may print out pictures if no book is available.
- Have your child remember the characters from the book and relate them in the characters performing onstage. We aren’t allowed to talk loudly inside the theatre house, so I whispered things like, “that’s Beauty, and there’s Beast.” “See the beautiful roses!” Interact with your child while watching, too.
- Let your child know that other kids are watching too. This way, your child doesn’t feel intimidated or scared because he or she knows that there are other kids present.
- Make your child feel relaxed. As much as possible, be at the event before the play starts so that your child gets acquainted with the new place, new sounds, and, new people. Allowing a smooth transition is less intrusive and allows your child to feel relaxed.
- Show your child that you enjoy watching the show. When the actors ask the audience to participate, join in! Sing-along with the rest of the cast to make your child know that you are enjoying the show.
Indeed, our Saturday was well spent at OnStage Theater in Greenbelt last October 21. That particular Saturday was yet another day of learning and blessing, and, I couldn’t thank Mauwi enough for the passes! Thrilled to see her in action with her colleagues from HERO. I pray that the foundation be steadfast in its mission to raise an awareness of the plight of our soldiers’ children, and ultimately, provide for their growing needs. The event also calls us to “Be a hero to our heroes’ children.”
Words by: Ma. Adavieve N. Mella
For more reviews, you can also read the following blogs: