PEOPLE

Lea Salonga in Sydney

Michelle Baltazar

Lea Salonga was in Sydney last month to rehearse for the Manila production of “Cats (Now and Forever)”. She will play the glamour cat, ‘Grizabella’ alongside an international cast at the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) from July 24.

Despite her gruelling schedule, the country’s international pride accepted the invitation of Ms Kate Andres, community leader and among the lead cast of ‘Her Son, Jose Rizal’, to meet and dine with fellow cast members, family and friends.

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Lea Salonga with (L-R) Ms Andres, (as “Dona Teodora”), Elija Merjudio (as “Pepe”), Isa Noble as (as “Soledad”), Claudio Trinidad (costume designer), Emy Milan (as guest in Town Fiesta), Tom Merjudio (as Paciano), Lennie Merjudio (as another guest in Town Fiesta) and RJ Rosales (as Jose Rizal)


Lea Salonga with (L-R) Ms Andres, (as “Dona Teodora”), Elija Merjudio (as “Pepe”), Isa Noble as (as “Soledad”), Claudio Trinidad (costume designer), Emy Milan (as guest in Town Fiesta), Tom Merjudio (as Paciano), Lennie Merjudio (as another guest in Town Fiesta) and RJ Rosales (as Jose Rizal)


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Among those who welcomed Ms Salonga at Star City (the venue of the Cats musical production in Sydney) were Ms Andres, (as ‘Dona Teodora’), Elija Merjudio (as ‘Pepe’), Isa Noble as (as ‘Soledad’), Claudio Trinidad (costume designer), Emy Milan (as guest in Town Fiesta), Tom Merjudio (as ‘Paciano’), Lennie Merjudio (as another guest in Town Fiesta) and RJ Rosales (as ‘Jose Rizal’).

Also in attendance were Evelyn Zaragoza, publisher of Philippine Community Herald and part of the Production Team as Promotions and Publicity Manager; Emma de Vera, publisher and daughter Jane Crame, owner of Travelaccess; Tyrone Andres, Angie and Jennifer Agcaoili, Jamie Parker, Alex Chan (Boon Chocolates) and Michelle Baltazar (Australian Filipina magazine).

Ms Salonga graciously signed autographs, posed for the cameras and dined with the ‘Her Son, Jose Rizal’ cast and friends at the private dining room of Sean’s Restaurant, also at Star City.

Lea Salonga with Filipino-Australians welcoming her to Sydney.
Lea Salonga with Filipino-Australians welcoming her to Sydney.


She talked about how impressed she was with the Cats production in Sydney, how she juggles a hectic career and motherhood, and ‘Glee’, the American TV show that’s caught the world by storm.

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Among the night’s prized treasures was a special note she wrote for everyone involved in the play. “I am delighted that Lea obliged and the cast members of ‘Her Son’ were ecstatic,” said Ms. Andres.

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