TORONTO, CANADA – Filipino Canadian singer and actress Maan Dionisio dealt with cold weather and culture shock when her family moved to Winnipeg from Manila in 1989.
The memories may be far from pleasant, but Dionisio is grateful nonetheless.
Dionisio has toured the world as “Eponine” in Les Miserables, “Maria” in West Side Story, and most notably as “Kim” in Miss Saigon.
“I've been blessed in terms of the work that I’ve been given and all the opportunities that I have been given,” she said.
Dionisio said nurturing a Broadway career has taught her to turn challenges into opportunities.
“As a younger person, I didn’t quite know how to put all of that together. But then as you grow older, as you understand more, become more aware then you'll learn to use that. Again, as an opportunity to be the platform and to do stuff for your community,” Dionisio said.
She always loved singing. However, she was studying to become a dentist when the role of Kim came along.
“So imagine if it was actually your goal to do this. It takes that much more to actually make it, so to speak, when you have the passion for what it is that you do,” said Dionisio.
But despite all her achievements, Dionisio believes raising her 3 children remains the performance of a lifetime.
“It excites me and also scares me a lot. But I guess that's all part of life. I'm just really, really grateful to have the life that I'm living right now,” she said.