Monday, July 26, 2010


BY: ZENAIDA AMADOR (The Philippine Star)

He was the friend to the Quezons to whom we were related. My brothers both worked for him in law office at one time or another. So I knew Raul Manglapus long before he asked me to direct his musical "Manifest Destiny" or "Yankee Panky".

He first sent me a tape with him and his beautiful wife Pacing singing the songs, somewhat like a home-made demo tape. Then he sent me the script saying we couldn’t edit it or whatever we wished, to make it more viable for stage,. So Baby, Joy, and I stayed up several nights to work on the script for suggestions and recommendations to the author-composer. Like, for example, could he end Act 1 here instead of there, could he add more songs here, could this sequence be placed in Act II instead of Act 1, etc. He understood right away. He saw the total picture.

In short, I never have worked with a more generous, understanding, alert, and intelligent playwright. He was not one of those writers who feel that when you change a comma you are killing them. Raul understood the requirements of theatricality. All throughout the project he was ever helpful and met his deadlines for the new songs very easily. He was always gracious and ever a gentleman. It was real pleasure working with him.

Last time I saw him was at the funeral of my ninong, Manuel Quezon, Jr. The passing of Raul Manglapus marks somehow the end of a period, an era when gentlemen were gentlemen. He was always true to his word and his moral integrity was beyond reproach.

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