A word is worth a thousand pictures-Jude B

Sea Princess Becomes Diwata

Diwatas from right: Tessa Prieto Valdes, Hazel Maranan and Raquel Pareño. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo Illustration by Jude Bautista

Diwatas from right: Tessa Prieto Valdes, Hazel Maranan and Raquel Pareño. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo Illustration by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Bautista

The world knows  her PDI column and alter ego: Sea Princess. If there’s anything that Tessa Prieto Valdes is known for it’s a flair for the dramatic. This time she gets to use her persona as a diwata (shoe fairy) for Tanghalang Pilipino’s production of SANDOSENANG SAPATOS. It runs from December 7-15, 2013 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The musical is based on a children’s book by Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, adapted for the stage by playwright Layeta Bucoy and director Tuxqs Rutaquio. Renowned musician Noel Cabangon and leading musical director Jed Balsamo both composed the music.

from left: Dr Luis Gatmaitan, Diwatas Tessa Prieto Valdes, Hazel Maranan and TP Artistic Dir. Nanding Josef. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Dr Luis Gatmaitan, Diwatas Tessa Prieto Valdes, Hazel Maranan and TP Artistic Dir. Nanding Josef. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Susie (Trixie Esteban), Diwatas: Hazel Maranan, Tessa Prieto Valdes and Raquel Pareño. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Susie (Trixie Esteban), Diwatas: Hazel Maranan, Tessa Prieto Valdes and Raquel Pareño. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

SANDOSENANG SAPATOS is the story of how Susie (Trixie Esteban) who can’t walk in real life is able to walk and dance in her dreams. Her shoes come to life as people who dance and play with her in a fantasy world.

Sea Princess becomes Diwata (Tessa Prieto Valdes). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Sea Princess becomes Diwata (Tessa Prieto Valdes). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Playwright Layeta Bucoy and director Tuxqs Rutaquio dedicate SANDOSENANG SAPATOS to any child who feels different or left out. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Playwright Layeta Bucoy and director Tuxqs Rutaquio dedicate SANDOSENANG SAPATOS to any child who feels different or left out. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Producers saw the wisdom in casting Tessa as the leap from Sea Princess to Diwata is not that big a stretch. Tessa after all, won GMA 7’s CELEBRITY DUETS back in 2007. She has that enthusiasm and love for music that shines in each performance that got her more fans. Her winning duet was TRUE COLORS with Joey Generoso of SIDE A, beating out Hayden Kho with Jay Durias and Jessica Buenvacz with JAYA.

Sea Princess becomes Diwata (Tessa Prieto Valdes). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Sea Princess becomes Diwata (Tessa Prieto Valdes). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Diwata Tessa Prieto Valdes, Hazel Maranan and TP Artistic Dir. Nanding Josef. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Diwata Tessa Prieto Valdes, Hazel Maranan and TP Artistic Dir. Nanding Josef. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Tessa is also one of the leading endorsers, especially in the A& B market so it will also help ticket sales, as her casting will bring in audiences. TP Artistic Director Nanding Josef was able to appeal to Tessa who is also a member of the Tanghalang Pilipino board.

Diwatas from left: Tessa Prieto Valdes and Raquel Pareño. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Diwatas from left: Tessa Prieto Valdes and Raquel Pareño. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Imelda Marcos is a true fashion icon. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Imelda Marcos is a true fashion icon. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Passion carries her through even if she may not be the next Lea Salonga. Looking at Tessa on stage the similarities are closer to Imelda Marcos. Their love of music and performance can only be exceeded by their love for shoes. Both are considered to be fashion icons in their own right and are definitely trendsetters. Imelda with the identifiable Filipina terno and Tessa was the most visible cosplayer even before the term was coined by today’s youth. Both of them have that show stopper mentality that people have come to identify with their flamboyant personalities.

the 3 Diwatas: from left: Raquel Pareño, Hazel Maranan and Tessa Prieto Valdes. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

the 3 Diwatas: from left: Raquel Pareño, Hazel Maranan and Tessa Prieto Valdes. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Tatay (Jonathan Tadioan), Nanay (May Bayot) and direk Tuxqs Rutaquio. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Tatay (Jonathan Tadioan), Nanay (May Bayot) and direk Tuxqs Rutaquio. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Tessa reiterated the cause the musical supports, “I’m so happy to support this production. I love shoes and it’s a really great cause. They’re so talented. If it’s just a small part with no singing, I got conned into singing.” The CCP during the performances accepts shoe donations for the benefit of Gawad Kalinga and St. Francis Learning School for the Aetas.

clockwise from top left: Bluey (Ralph Mateo), Sequins (Lhorvie Nuevo), Yellowy (Bunny Cadag) ,  Pinky (Antonette Go) and  Sandals (JV Ibesate). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

clockwise from top left: Bluey (Ralph Mateo), Sequins (Lhorvie Nuevo), Yellowy (Bunny Cadag) , Pinky (Antonette Go) and Sandals (JV Ibesate). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Susie (Trixie Esteban) and Diwata Tessa Prieto Valdes. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Susie (Trixie Esteban) and Diwata Tessa Prieto Valdes. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Of course Sea Princess had her own costume prepared for the musical. Hollywood based Filipino designer Rocky Gathercole created an elaborate apple green ensemble. “I got so engrossed with the concept of the shoes. My shoes, my hat, Rocky did my costume if you look at my headgear it has shoes all the way from Cebu.”

from left:  Diwata Tessa Prieto Valdes, Hazel Maranan and TP Artistic Dir. Nanding Josef. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Diwata Tessa Prieto Valdes, Hazel Maranan and TP Artistic Dir. Nanding Josef. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground from left: Vocal Coach Ed Simondoc, Susie (Trixie Esteban), Diwata Hazel Maranan and Tessa Prieto Valdes. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground from left: Vocal Coach Ed Simondoc, Susie (Trixie Esteban), Diwata Hazel Maranan and Tessa Prieto Valdes. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Having agreed to take on the challenge of singing again, she threw herself wholeheartedly and even hired a personal voice coach. Vocal training and rehearsals amounted to practice of over a month. Hazel Maranan, the ‘lead’ shoe fairy said, “I’m so proud of her. When we started this she was so afraid. She’s not comfortable with Tagalog and she doesn’t sing professionally. But we helped her. We helped each other to get the right tone and timing. Her confidence grew with each performance. There were so many times when she was able to do it all herself and proved to everyone she could do it well.” There are a total of 3 Shoe Fairies: Hazel Maranan, Raquel Pareño and Tessa.

Diwata Raquel Pareño. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Diwata Raquel Pareño. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground from left: Whitey (Doray Dayao), Diwata (Raquel Pareño), behind them from left: Sequins (Lhorvie Nuevo), Pinky (Antonette Go), Sandals (JV Ibesate) and Bluey (Aldo Vencilao). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground from left: Whitey (Doray Dayao), Diwata (Raquel Pareño), behind them from left: Sequins (Lhorvie Nuevo), Pinky (Antonette Go), Sandals (JV Ibesate) and Bluey (Aldo Vencilao). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Susie (Trixie Esteban) and Yellowy (Bunny Cadag). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Susie (Trixie Esteban) and Yellowy (Bunny Cadag). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Instead of talking about herself Tessa was more comfortable giving praise to the lead star Trixie Esteban, “She is so talented. I have an understudy for my role, which is just a part. She doesn’t have one. She’s done all the 16 shows and her voice is so powerful. She is just God’s gift for Tanghalang Pilipino. We’re happy to have her. She’s only 14 with an angelic voice. I’ve played six of the shows and I’m still crying while I’m on stage! I’m trying not to cry and get involved so much. I can’t deliver my lines because I’m crying.”

Nanay (May Bayot) kisses Susie (Trixie Esteban). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Nanay (May Bayot) kisses Susie (Trixie Esteban). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground from left: Diwata (Raquel Pareño), Susie (Trixie Esteban), Costume Designer James Reyes, 2nd row couple: Tatay (Jonathan Tadioan) and Nanay (May Bayot), 3rd row from left: Ate (Regina De Vera), Sequins (Lhorvie Nuevo), Pinky (Antonette Go), Yellowy (Bunny Cadag), Bluey (Ralph Mateo), Red (Marco Viaña), TOP row: Whitey (Doray Dayao), Sandals (JV Ibesate) and Bluey (Aldo Vencilao). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground from left: Diwata (Raquel Pareño), Susie (Trixie Esteban), Costume Designer James Reyes, 2nd row couple: Tatay (Jonathan Tadioan) and Nanay (May Bayot), 3rd row from left: Ate (Regina De Vera), Sequins (Lhorvie Nuevo), Pinky (Antonette Go), Yellowy (Bunny Cadag), Bluey (Ralph Mateo), Red (Marco Viaña), TOP row: Whitey (Doray Dayao), Sandals (JV Ibesate) and Bluey (Aldo Vencilao). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Tessa’s connections with the fashion world also helped her tap designer James Reyes as costume designer, “What’s so incredible about it was in spite of the tight budget he was able to get all the costumes minus mine. It was so wonderful that he got the concept of having all the elements of the different shoes whether its velvet, maong whatever. He incorporated the design. If you look at the details he was able to make giant shoelaces and everything. Wonderful!”

Mga Lalakeng Sapatos from left: Bluey (Aldo Vencilao), Yellowy (Bunny Cadag), Sandals (JV Ibesate), Bluey (Ralph Mateo), Maong (Remus Villanueva) and Red (Marco Viaña). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mga Lalakeng Sapatos from left: Bluey (Aldo Vencilao), Yellowy (Bunny Cadag), Sandals (JV Ibesate), Bluey (Ralph Mateo), Maong (Remus Villanueva) and Red (Marco Viaña). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

(standing) Diwatas from left: Hazel Maranan, Tessa Prieto Valdes seated Susie (Trixie Esteban). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

(standing) Diwatas from left: Hazel Maranan, Tessa Prieto Valdes seated Susie (Trixie Esteban). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground from left: Diwata (Raquel Pareño), Vocal Coach Ed Simondoc, Susie (Trixie Esteban), Diwata Hazel Maranan and Tessa Prieto Valdes, 2nd row couple: Tatay (Jonathan Tadioan) and Nanay (May Bayot), 3rd row from left: Ate (Regina De Vera), Sequins (Lhorvie Nuevo), Pinky (Antonette Go), Yellowy (Bunny Cadag), Bluey (Ralph Mateo), TOP row: Whitey (Doray Dayao), Sandals (JV Ibesate), Bluey (Aldo Vencilao), Maong (Remus Villanueva) and Red (Marco Viaña). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground from left: Diwata (Raquel Pareño), Vocal Coach Ed Simondoc, Susie (Trixie Esteban), Diwata Hazel Maranan and Tessa Prieto Valdes, 2nd row couple: Tatay (Jonathan Tadioan) and Nanay (May Bayot), 3rd row from left: Ate (Regina De Vera), Sequins (Lhorvie Nuevo), Pinky (Antonette Go), Yellowy (Bunny Cadag), Bluey (Ralph Mateo), TOP row: Whitey (Doray Dayao), Sandals (JV Ibesate), Bluey (Aldo Vencilao), Maong (Remus Villanueva) and Red (Marco Viaña). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Whether she’s Sea Princess or Diwata ng Sapatos, she has her own style of winning people over, “I have a problem with not engaging the audience. You’re supposed to be just focusing on the actors. I gotta say I love the fans.”

the 3 Diwatas: from left: Hazel Maranan, Tessa Prieto Valdes and Raquel Pareño. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

the 3 Diwatas: from left: Hazel Maranan, Tessa Prieto Valdes and Raquel Pareño. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mga Babaeng Sapatos from left: Whitey (Doray Dayao), Sequins (Lhorvie Nuevo), Pinky (Antonette Go) at si Sandals (JV Ibesate). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mga Babaeng Sapatos from left: Whitey (Doray Dayao), Sequins (Lhorvie Nuevo), Pinky (Antonette Go) at si Sandals (JV Ibesate). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Red (Marco Viaña) takes his bow. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Red (Marco Viaña) takes his bow. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Nanay (May Bayot) and Ate ( Regina De Vera). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Nanay (May Bayot) and Ate ( Regina De Vera). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: TP Marketing Mgr Cherry Bong Edralin and Tessa Prieto Valdes. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: TP Marketing Mgr Cherry Bong Edralin and Tessa Prieto Valdes. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Pinky (Antonette Go). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Pinky (Antonette Go). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: proud mom Gina Pareño, Raquel Parño and Red (Marco Viaña). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: proud mom Gina Pareño, Raquel Parño and Red (Marco Viaña). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

the 3 Diwatas: from left: Hazel Maranan, Tessa Prieto Valdes and Raquel Pareño. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

the 3 Diwatas: from left: Hazel Maranan, Tessa Prieto Valdes and Raquel Pareño. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Sandosenang couple: Tatay (Jonathan Tadioan) and Nanay (May Bayot). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Sandosenang couple: Tatay (Jonathan Tadioan) and Nanay (May Bayot). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Sandosenang couple: Tatay (Jonathan Tadioan) and Nanay (May Bayot). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Sandosenang couple: Tatay (Jonathan Tadioan) and Nanay (May Bayot). Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Diwata ng Sapatos from left: Tessa Prieto Valdes and Raquel Pareño. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

Diwata ng Sapatos from left: Tessa Prieto Valdes and Raquel Pareño. Catch the family friendly musical SANDOSENANG SAPATOS at the CCP from December 7-15, 2013. Photo by Jude Bautista

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