MANILA -- Some of the scholars of the Original Pilipino Performing Arts (OPPA) Foundation got to fulfill their dreams of being on stage via the "Ang Huling El Bimbo" musical.
OPPA Foundation was formed by Newport World Resorts -- where the musical is being staged -- as part of its efforts to champion Filipino talent.
Among the scholars who are part of "Ang Huling El Bimbo" are brothers Eduardson and Emmerson Evangelio, who have always wanted to dance professionally.
The ballet dancers finished their degree in Bachelor of Performing Arts in Dance at De La Salle-College of St. Benilde. Emmerson represented his university in the Asia Pacific Dance Festival and Conference in 2019, while Eduardson was a grand finalist at the Asian Grand Prix International Ballet Competition in Hong Kong.
They have also danced for Philippine Ballet Theatre, Ballet Manila, and Ballet Philippines.
"When I got accepted as an OPPA Foundation scholar, many doors and multiple opportunities opened for me. I performed in different theaters, schools, cities, and provinces which helped me learn and grow as an artist. Along the way, I gained friendships, valuable connections, and memorable experiences that I will always hold on to," Emmerson said in a statement released by Newport World Resorts.
The two brothers said they have always been huge fans of "Ang Huling El Bimbo," and they worked extra hard on improving their vocals to secure their spot in the auditions.
"I still haven't grasped the reality that I am part of this amazing production. These memories and experiences will always be part of my book and in my core memory. I will be eternally grateful that I am a part of 'Ang Huling El Bimbo' the musical," said Emmerson.
Aside from the Evangelio brothers, another OPPA Foundation scholar in "Ang Huling El Bimbo" is Michael Jacinto, who gave life to the show's musical score.
By June this year, Jacinto will graduate with a Master's Degree in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School. Prior to joining "Ang Huling El Bimbo," he has been teaching and conducting professionally for full orchestras.
"OPPA Foundation has continuously valued their scholars' gifts of artistry and talent. They have made it a point that these gifts are constantly shared and nurtured by featuring their scholars on occasional performances at Newport World Resorts. Exposures such as these are what we direly need as performers and musicians," Jacinto said.
For her part, OPPA Foundation president Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo encouraged the youth to pursue the world of performing arts.
"To have a career in the performing arts is to understand that one never stops learning. The craft is constantly evolving. It makes our work very dynamic and interesting. You must always be open to learning new things and constantly growing," she said.
The "Ang Huling El Bimbo" musical will run at the Newport Performing Arts Theater until June 30.