It started with a grocery bag filled to the brim.
0874 (Eight hundred seventy-four) is named for the number of letters my grandparents wrote each other over the three years after my Lolo, Jun, moved to the US and my Lola, Paz, was still at home in Manila. My Lola gave me the letters (in a plastic bag from Giant) as a source of encouragement when my boyfriend, now fiancé, moved 3,000 miles away and we began a five year long distance relationship. At the beginning of letter one, Paz wanted to be a nun. By the eight hundred and seventy-fourth letter, she moved across the world to start a new life with Jun.
The story oscillates between the world of the letters and the present day, and explores questions of whether truth is bound to time and place, and what one’s truth has to do with distance and intimacy within the context of family. The script is taken from the couple’s letters, and the music draws from my collaborators’ and my artistic influences spanning contemporary singer-songwriter, indigenous Filipino music, Western classical music, musical theatre, and American jazz.
On Jan. 28th, I had the honor of sitting down to talk with Sheilah Kast, host of On The Record by WNPR to talk about 0874.
Additionally, I am a 2022 artist in residence at the The Kennedy Center as part of their Page to Stage Program, and I am thrilled to announce the KC's support for this project. 0874 will be presented in collaboration with The Hustling Creative (my company), Asian Pacifika Arts Collective, and The Kennedy Center. The musical's journey will be the subject of a Kennedy Center mini-documentary.
0874 has a history of performances at Olney Theatre Center’s Just Arts celebrations in 2020 and 2021, a featured interview with On The Record by WYPR, StoryCorps by NPR, a 2020 NuWorks finalist at NYC off-Broadway theatre Pan Asian Rep, and a selection in the Syracuse, NY-based BLACC Pop-Up Series.
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Filipino-American Fashion Partnerships
0874 is a love story, but it’s also a Filipino immigrant story. And it felt wrong to tell it wearing an $8 piece of clothing global fast-fashion brand with tag that says “Made in the Philippines.”
That’s why I’m proud to collaborate with Filipino-American designers with Fil/Am soft-serve-swirl in their threads, environmental sustainability on their minds, and creative dignity for their workers at their core.