A word is worth a thousand pictures-Jude B

Menchu L. Yulo: “I was Hurt”

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Anna. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Anna. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Bautista

Late last year when news broke out that Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo was no longer Associate Artistic Director for Repertory Phil. the theater community received it with shock and dismay. Having started her career with Rep since her adolescent years she has evolved from a fruitful acting career to become an acting coach and has even directed several successful productions with JEKYLL&HYDE as the most recent. Close friends, actors especially those from CAMP ROCK showed their support for Menchu by changing their facebook profile photos to red.

CAMP ROCK cast loves Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, the musical ran last November 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

CAMP ROCK cast loves Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, the musical ran last November 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna) hugs Audrey Sy (King’s daughter). KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna) hugs Ginger Karganilla (Princess Ying Yao Lak). KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

She was also a constant presence in the launches and press cons for the many productions of Rep. Apart from being articulate and a source of quotes for media, she was always very warm and accommodating to everyone. Yulo currently stars as Anna Leonowens in Resort’s World’s KING AND I with Nonie Buencamino extended until May 2013.

Nonie Buencamino as King Mongkut. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Nonie Buencamino as King Mongkut. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

The biggest LED screen in Southeast Asia. takes audiences to the docks in Bangkok. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

The biggest LED screen in Southeast Asia takes audiences to the docks in Bangkok. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Menchu is one of many names that are identified with the prestigious theater company that has produced the likes of Lea Salonga and Monique Wilson. KING AND I was actually one of the first productions for Lea Salonga at age 7 and Menchu’s brother Raymond Lauchengco was Louie. Lea and Menchu were reunited on stage most recently for GOD OF CARNAGE with Adrian Pang and Art Acuña last year for Atlantis productions, during her tenure as Associate Artistic Director of REP.

GOD OF CARNAGE couples switch from left: Lea Salonga, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Adrian Pang and Art Acuña. The play under ATLANTIS Productions ran July 2012 during Menchu’s tenure as Associate Artistic Director for Rep. Photo by Jude Bautista.

GOD OF CARNAGE couples switch from left: Lea Salonga, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Adrian Pang and Art Acuña. The play under ATLANTIS Productions ran July 2012 during Menchu’s tenure as Associate Artistic Director for Rep. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Juno Henares is Officer In charge for the current Repertory production BOEING BOEING. In one on one interview Henares did not pin point any one thing as the cause of the termination for Yulo. “It may have been a bunch of different things.  But it wasn’t between me and her. It was basically a board decision. The board discussed it. I am on the same level as hers.”

from left: Liesl Batucan, Markki Stroem, Menchu Lauchengco Yulo, Juno Henares and Audie Gemora. Repertory Phil.’s CAMP ROCK The musical ran last November 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Liesl Batucan, Markki Stroem, Menchu Lauchengco Yulo, Juno Henares and Audie Gemora. Repertory Phil.’s CAMP ROCK The musical ran last November 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

Henares noted that Menchu was asked to continue her directorial post in two projects NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY and THE PRODUCERS. It was Menchu, however, who decided not to direct any more, “Everybody’s welcome to work here. We never stopped anyone from coming to work. I’ve been working here in and out since I won’t say how old! (laughs) We all have our different times. We come in and out. I for example I was gone, I was in the U.S for years. And here I am now on the business side. This is our home, everybody’s welcome.”

from left BOEING BOEING team: O.I.C Juno Henares, Director Miguel Faustmann and David Bianco (Bernard Whitford). ). Repertory Phil’s BOEING BOEING will run up to Feb 17, 2013 at t ONSTAGE Greenbelt. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left BOEING BOEING team: O.I.C Juno Henares, Director Miguel Faustmann and David Bianco (Bernard Whitford). ). Repertory Phil’s BOEING BOEING will run up to Feb 17, 2013 at t ONSTAGE Greenbelt. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Direk Jose Javier Reyes, Cherie Gil and Direk Peque Gallaga during the screening of the restored ORO PLATA MATA which opened the Cinema One film fest, Nov 28, 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Direk Jose Javier Reyes, Cherie Gil and Direk Peque Gallaga during the screening of the restored ORO PLATA MATA which opened the Cinema One film fest, Nov 28, 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

THE GRADUATE with Cherie Gil in the lead role is one of the most anticipated shows of the 2013 season for Repertory. Since Menchu was the one who was able to cast her, it was rumored that Gil may also bow out of the project. Henares said it was a simple case of scheduling, the same with the original casting for BOEING BOEING, “Cherie bowed out because she also had problems with her schedule. First Michael (De Mesa) had called me and said his teleserye is with Bong Revilla, INDIO with GMA network. They’re doing a lot of taping all around and they have to stick to the availability of Bong.”

from left: Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Michael De mesa, Anna Maria Perez De Tagle, Michael Williams and Carla Dunareanu (Gretchen). Anna Maria is the original Ella in Camp Rock TV Movie by Disney. Michael De Mesa had to bow out from BOEING BOEING because of INDIO. Michael Williams is part of Friends in Music with Menchu. Photo was taken at the REP 2013 season launch by Jude Bautista.

from left: Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Michael De mesa, Anna Maria Perez De Tagle, Michael Williams and Carla Dunareanu (Gretchen). Anna Maria is the original Ella in Camp Rock TV Movie by Disney. Michael De Mesa had to bow out from BOEING BOEING because of INDIO. Michael Williams is part of Friends in Music with Menchu. Photo was taken at the REP 2013 season launch by Jude Bautista.

According to her De Mesa had explained that the shoot of INDIO was in Pagsanjan in one day and another part of Laguna the next. She agreed with him having to bow out, “If that’s gonna be the case, it’s live theater. So everybody has to constantly grow with each other through this discovery process while you’re on stage. So we said think about it because it’s going to be unfair to everybody else as Miguel (Faustmann) was saying. When he made that decision we just had to respect it.”

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna) tries not to be higher than Nonie Buencamino (King Mongkut). KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna) tries not to be higher than Nonie Buencamino (King Mongkut). KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Miguel Faustmann the director of BOEING BOEING in an interview was more forthright about losing Menchu, “She had a contract with Resort’s World for 6 months and the board felt that she may not be giving enough time for the office. So for her to concentrate on all the other projects she’s doing outside of Rep, to go ahead and do it. She’s welcome to return. She was I think offended and backed out of even her directorial. We didn’t want her to back out. We just wanted to remove her position in the office so she can concentrate on whatever she’s doing. She’s always welcome to come back. We need somebody there full time.”

King’s Children hugs Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna). KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

King’s Children hugs Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna). KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: REP founder Baby Barredo (Bertha) and Carla Dunareanu (Gretchen).  Repertory Phil’s BOEING BOEING will run up to Feb 17, 2013 at t ONSTAGE Greenbelt. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: REP founder Baby Barredo (Bertha) and Carla Dunareanu (Gretchen). Repertory Phil’s BOEING BOEING will run up to Feb 17, 2013 at t ONSTAGE Greenbelt. Photo by Jude Bautista

Faustmann believes there are no ill feelings between REP and Yulo. The younger cast of CAMP ROCK may have been affected the most with the loss, “The kids make drama, the kids were all making facebook, facebook I don’t know what. They’re making such a big deal being so childish, so stupid! Baby (Barredo) loves Menchu. We all love Menchu. Menchu felt offended because she felt she was fired. She was not fired. She was just asked to step down from that position. I don’t know why she felt offended and backed out of even her directorial.” Baby Barredo is the co founder of REP and is the current Artistic Director of Repertory Phil.

From left: Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino member Mario Hernando with Cara Barredo (Caitlyn), former Rep Assoc. Artistic Dir. Menchu Lauchengco Yulo and B Delgado (Peggy) during the CAMP ROCK press launch. The musical ran last November 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

From left: Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino member Mario Hernando with Cara Barredo (Caitlyn), former Rep Assoc. Artistic Dir. Menchu Lauchengco Yulo and B Delgado (Peggy) during the CAMP ROCK press launch. The musical ran last November 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

seated: REP founder Baby Barredo (Bertha), standing from left: David Bianco, Topper Fabregas (Robert) and Giannina Ocampo (Gabriella). Repertory Phil’s BOEING BOEING will run up to Feb 17, 2013 at ONSTAGE Greenbelt. Photo by Jude Bautista

seated: REP founder Baby Barredo (Bertha), standing from left: David Bianco, Topper Fabregas (Robert) and Giannina Ocampo (Gabriella). Repertory Phil’s BOEING BOEING will run up to Feb 17, 2013 at ONSTAGE Greenbelt. Photo by Jude Bautista

Faustmann stated that after Menchu’s 6-month contract with Resort’s World is done she can come back to REP, “There are no hard feelings on our part. I don’t know about them. It’s a big misunderstanding. Baby was very hurt also. What do you think? She’s like our mom. She mothers us all. We’re like all her kids.”

BOEING BOEING cast from left: David Bianco (Bernard Whitford), Topper Fabregas (Robert), Baby Barredo (Bertha), Carla, Jennifer Blair-Bianco (Gloria), Giannina Ocampo (Gabriella), Joy Virata (Bertha) and director Miguel Faustmann. Repertory Phil’s BOEING BOEING will run up to Feb 17, 2013 at ONSTAGE Greenbelt. Photo by Jude Bautista

BOEING BOEING cast from left: David Bianco (Bernard Whitford), Topper Fabregas (Robert), Baby Barredo (Bertha), Carla, Jennifer Blair-Bianco (Gloria), Giannina Ocampo (Gabriella), Joy Virata (Bertha) and director Miguel Faustmann. Repertory Phil’s BOEING BOEING will run up to Feb 17, 2013 at ONSTAGE Greenbelt. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Michael Williams, BOEING BOEING director Miguel Faustmann and Michael De Mesa. Michael De Mesa had to bow out from BOEING BOEING because of INDIO. Michael Williams is part of Friends in Music (F.I.M) with Menchu.  Photo was taken at the REP 2013 season launch by Jude Bautista.

from left: Michael Williams, BOEING BOEING director Miguel Faustmann and Michael De Mesa. Michael De Mesa had to bow out from BOEING BOEING because of INDIO. Michael Williams is part of Friends in Music (F.I.M) with Menchu. Photo was taken at the REP 2013 season launch by Jude Bautista.

Faustmann also related how Menchu was very much concerned with the BOEING BOEING with both Michael De Mesa and Michael Williams backing out, “In fact Menchu called me about BOEING BOEING, she found out the 2 Michaels backed out.  She was worried about the opening of the season. ‘Menchu but why aren’t you directing NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY?  No Audie will take over. That’s your play. No, no, Miguel I’m hurt Miguel, I’m hurt.’ I was trying to explain to her it’s nothing personal. But apparently she was very disturbed about the whole thing. She just didn’t want to do it. So that’s what happened.”

from right: Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna), Gina Respall (Lady Thiang), Anton Posadas (Prince Chulalongkorn) and James Ketcher (Louis). KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna), Gina Respall (Lady Thiang), Anton Posadas (Prince Chulalongkorn) and James Ketcher (Louis). KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Phil. Ballet Theatre (PBT) perform ‘The Small House of Uncle Thomas.’ KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Phil. Ballet Theatre (PBT) perform ‘The Small House of Uncle Thomas.’ KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

At the same time he spoke about the reason for asking Menchu to step down he admits that he himself has worked in outside projects while working with REP, “I’ve freelance also. I’ve worked with other companies like Atlantis and so many other companies. It’s a matter of scheduling. It’s not a problem I have TV and I couldn’t do theater because I had TV. I was earning more. Why stop me from earning a better income? When there’s no TV or nothing, I’m back in the theater again. She’s part of REP. She hasn’t left, I don’t know the drama that people were saying or making chismis, making a mountain out of a molehill, so stupid and childish.”

from left: Gina Respall (Lady Thiang) and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna), day turns to night via the largest LED screen in Southeast Asia. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Gina Respall (Lady Thiang) and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna), day turns to night via the largest LED screen in Southeast Asia. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna) is also a wonderful teacher in real life. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna) is also a wonderful teacher in real life. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Backstage in KING AND I, Menchu was able to talk about how it happened, “I was asked to step down so my term ended in December for various reasons. I’m not even quite sure, but I think one reason being was my KING AND I. Which was really never a factor because I had done shows during my tenure as associate and I’ve always prioritized Rep. So that came as a shock to me when I tried to explain that basically I’m only here weekends.”

from left: Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna) will miss Audrey Sy (King’s daughter) with Gina Respall (Lady Thiang). KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna) will miss Ginger Karganilla (Princess Ying Yao Lak) with Gina Respall (Lady Thiang). KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

According to her there was no scheduling conflict, “I helped launch the season and the season was set to go. There was really no work for me to do except to make sure that rehearsals were going on. I could do that during the week. I’m only here on the weekends. So that was it and it was very painful for me. But I had to accept and that was basically it.” Bo Cerrudo and Sheila Valderrama are also in the lead roles for KING AND I.

Triplets among the King’s children. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Triplets among the King’s children. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

There may have also been a disagreement with the functions of her job, “If there were other reasons, one was that I was not around for CAMP ROCK production week. But then again that is really not in my obligations any more because I’m just Associate Artistic director. I wasn’t the director for that. It was directed by Audie Gemora.”

right: Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo is perfect for her role as Anna in RW’s KING AND I. She has cast and trained young actors in real life. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

right: Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo is perfect for her role as Anna in RW’s KING AND I. She has cast and trained young actors in real life. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Whatever reasons or problem wasn’t clearly brought up with her beforehand, “If there were more reasons than that I really don’t know. It was pretty much based on that. If they wanted exclusivity maybe they could’ve asked me and not terminate me because it was never a rule that I not perform outside. It was agreed on that as long as I do my duties then I could perform outside, which I did. As they very well know the last two years.  So if it had been an issue then it should have been brought to my attention and have been given the option to say ‘yes’ I will be exclusive or ‘no’ I don’t want to be exclusive. But I wasn’t given that choice. So it’s all right.”

Cast members of “Love, Loss and What I Wore” from left: Cathy Azanza-Dy  (Nancy/Heather), Liza Infante-Robinson (Eve, Merrill, Liz), Jay Valencia-Glorioso (Gingy), Producer Ria Pangilinan, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Annie, Stephanie, Geralyn) and Bituin Escalante (Holly/Mary/ Nora). The play ran during Menchu’s tenure as Associate Artistic Director for Rep last January 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Cast members of “Love, Loss and What I Wore” from left: Cathy Azanza-Dy (Nancy/Heather), Liza Infante-Robinson (Eve, Merrill, Liz), Jay Valencia-Glorioso (Gingy), Producer Ria Pangilinan, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Annie, Stephanie, Geralyn) and Bituin Escalante (Holly/Mary/ Nora). The play ran during Menchu’s tenure as Associate Artistic Director for Rep last January 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Anna. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Anna. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

The remaining question was why she felt she had to let go of the directorial apart from the Associate Artistic Director position, “I just felt that it was very painful to be terminated. And not be allowed to see my season through which is the season I put up. I thought about it well and I just felt if you’re going to terminate me let’s call it quits, clean cut. It would be very hard for me to still be involved half way. It’s either yes or no, not maybe. Don’t do this but you can do this. If that’s how you feel and because I was very hurt by it, I decided I need time to recover. Let’s just do it cleanly and see what the future brings. It’s going to be very difficult to come in half way.

King’s Children hugs Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna). KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

King’s Children hugs Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna). KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Menchu however remains concerned with REP and its productions and responds to the questions if she harbors ill feelings, “Not at all, REP is my home. I just felt that it’s really just a matter of principle. I set the season and I’m not allowed to see the season through then I can’t work half way.  Like you said, pahinga muna. So there’s no sama ng loob. It would be very hard for me to work on that premise. Given that I did set the season, I cast the season and I won’t have a say on it anymore. So it’s like you’re not quite here or there. The only way for it to really work for both ends is for me to just be out of it. There will be more hurt feelings if I had continued. Then I’d raise an issue and it might create friction even more. By my stepping back it lets them go full blast on their own without anything from me.”

The triumphant  Nonie Buencamino (King Mongkut) and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna) take their bow. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

The triumphant Nonie Buencamino (King Mongkut) and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna) take their bow. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

ORO PLATA MATA reunion from right: Cherie Gil, Joel Torre, Fides Cuyugan-Asencio and Jimmy Fabregas. The film opened the Cinema One film fest, Nov 28, 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

ORO PLATA MATA reunion from right: Cherie Gil, Joel Torre, Fides Cuyugan-Asencio and Jimmy Fabregas. The film opened the Cinema One film fest, Nov 28, 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

Although she hasn’t recently talked to Cherie Gil about backing out of THE GRADUATE she’s sure it wasn’t because of the termination, “I really don’t know what her reasons were. It would be very unfair for me to say so. I don’t think it’s because I’m out; she’s very professional. It’s a role she wanted to do. I’d be afraid to assume but she was perfect for that.”

from left: Jett Pangan, Michael Williams and Junix Inocian in Repertory Phil.’s Jekyll & Hyde. It was directed by Menchu Lauchengco Yulo last March 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Jett Pangan, Michael Williams and Junix Inocian in Repertory Phil.’s Jekyll & Hyde. It was directed by Menchu Lauchengco Yulo last March 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

Foreground from left: FIM members Teenee Chan and Liza Infante-Robinson in Repertory Phil.’s Jekyll & Hyde. It was directed by Menchu Lauchengco Yulo last March 2012. Teenee, Liza and Menchu are now part of the group Friends in Music (F.I.M) Photo by Jude Bautista

Foreground from left: FIM members Teenee Chan and Liza Infante-Robinson in Repertory Phil.’s Jekyll & Hyde. It was directed by Menchu Lauchengco Yulo last March 2012. Teenee, Liza and Menchu are now part of the group Friends in Music (F.I.M) Photo by Jude Bautista

Apart from KING AND I, Menchu is involved with a new group called FRIENDS IN MUSIC or F.I.M. for short. The group is composed of herself, Liza Infante-Robinson, Teenee Chan, Jett Pangan, Michael Stuart Willams and Rem Zamora. The group came about after a good friend approached Menchu for a fund raising event. Nene Chan Chairperson of the One Meal Foundation brought the group to Ilo-ilo for a very successful one-night show.

from right: F.I.M. members Rem Zamora, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and friend. Photo was taken during REPERTORY Phil.’s Jekyll & Hyde preview that Yulo directed last March 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: F.I.M. members Rem Zamora, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and friend. Photo was taken during REPERTORY Phil.’s Jekyll & Hyde preview that Yulo directed last March 2012. Photo by Jude Bautista

Since that night the group has gotten a lot of good feedback and has even booked an important show abroad, “We sing in private functions, events and we do a lot of Broadway songs. We have a great musical arrangement in Inday Echevarria. She’s done wonderful arrangements for us. We’ve been slowly getting a lot of attention. So we’re very fortunate that we do what we love to do which is to sing. We’re singing in Paris for the Philippine Embassy for Independence Day that’s on June. We’re having so much fun.” Watch out for an upcoming F.I.M. concert this April.

from left: Arnel Carreon (Edward Ramsay), Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna)  and Nonie Buencamino (King Mongkut). KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Arnel Carreon (Edward Ramsay), Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna) and Nonie Buencamino (King Mongkut). KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Fireworks shoot up the sky behind Nonie Buencamino (King Mongkut), Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna) and the children via the LED screen. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Fireworks shoot up the sky behind Nonie Buencamino (King Mongkut), Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anna) and the children via the LED screen. KING AND I is extended at the New Port Performing Arts Theater in Resort’s World Manila until May 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

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2 responses

  1. Vicky

    All I know is that my sister lives and breathes theater. If she could act and sing all day on stage she would. There is no one more dedicated to the craft than Menchu. She would never jepardize work and put herself before it. If she said she was going balance doing one play and making sure she did the work she was expected to do for another, she would. This was not just a job for her…. she loved it; it was her passion.

    Even during family get-togethers, all Menchu talks about is theater. The woman is obsessed.

    I once endured a trip from Manila to Baguio with her talking about a new play she was about to start rehearsing for, “Into the Woods.” She gave me the entire story, the plots, every twist there was… Then played the freakin cd, and discussed each and every song, the meaning of each…. then discussed ALL the characters. She got the part of the witch, who was played by her idol, Bernadette Peters. She didn’t even need a water break, she spoke for ALL 6 HOURS!! I liked the play but my gosh, all the way up to Baguio!?

    At some point I was ready to open the door and jump out… My ears were about to bleed to death, I was about to snap, grab her cd and her Disc Man (wala pang IPOD nun) & toss it out the window… But seeing her face literally light up with every song; the excitement in her voice as she talks this scene and that, or the time she watched the play with (whoohoo!!) Bernadette Peters herself in New York, is priceless. She was too cute to torture.

    My point being both Menchu and Raymond grew up in Rep… they’d be doing one play and rehearsing for another. Rep was their second family and Tita Baby and Tita Bibot were not only mentors to them, but like their parents. Menchu’s loyalty is with Rep, it always has been. My sister would NEVER EVER make up being fired, pretend to be hurt. She’s very hurt and people should respect that. Why will she make up being fired? She’s not delusional.

    It is not fair for people to judge her because everyone in the theater knows Menchu and what kind of a person she is. Comments like “She wasn’t fired, I don’t know the drama that people were saying or making chismis, making a mountain out of a molehill, so stupid and childish” or ” I don’t know why she felt offended and backed out of even her directorial,” or quote her saying ” No, no, I’m hurt, I’m hurt… apparently she was very disturbed about the whole thing,” or “She just didn’t want to do it….. so that’s what happened” DOES NOT HELP… They make her sound so shallow and irresponsible, like she was some self- centered actress, whining about nothing. She would never make this up or lie; that is SO NOT Menchu and both Juno and Miguel should know that.

    I believe that time heals all wounds; I am sure both Tita Baby and Menchu love and adore each other. They’re both hurt which is normal, but just like misunderstandings with our parents or siblings, this will pass and life goes on. This is ALL BETWEEN Menchu and Tita Baby… just them, no one was in the room when they spoke. People should just mind their own business and keep their comments to themselves; remember, once you throw words out there for the entire universe to hear/ see/ read, you cannot take it back.

    February 10, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    • Thank you, Vicky!
      Your insights and anecdotes are very much like the Menchu, everyone has come to know and love. NONIE BUENCAMINO incidentally was also part of the cast with her on INTO THE WOODS. What year was that by the way? My own intention for writing the story is to find out what really happened. I’m sure that everyone who does know Menchu and is familiar with her work would want to know, how and why she is no longer with her home base which is REP. Getting quotes from people concerned, I feel was important from both sides so to speak. I for one do not see Menchu as shallow and irresponsible. I don’t think anyone who reads the whole article would think that. Thank you again, and I’d love to hear more stories about Menchu, Raymond and you.

      February 11, 2013 at 8:51 AM

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