TBR Dream Marathoner Remi Velasco, 2011 Palanca Awardee Stages a Play for Ondoy Victims

Wednesday, 22 February 2012  |  Interviews + Features

One of the biggest gifts of TBR Dream Marathon to me is the opportunity to meet runners of all shapes and sizes. Boy was I surprised to discover that one of our TBR Dream Alumni and 2012 participant is a 2011 Palance First Prize Winner. She is Remi Velasco, author/playwright of “Ondoy: Ang Buhay Sa Bubong,” the 2011 Palanca First Prize Winner for Dulang May Isang Yugto.

2010 bullrun
– Remi Velasco finisher of TBR Dream Marathon 2010 –

Palanca award
– Remi receiving her Palanca Award in 2011 –

Remi sent me an email a few days ago about her current project to help Ondoy victims and I’m sharing it with you in an attempt to help a fellow runner help others:

Title: Ondoy: Ang Buhay Sa Bubong A Charity Event
Where: Tanghalang Huseng Batute, CCP
When: March 17-18, 2012 3pm and 8pm
Tickets available at CCP or ticketworld
Ticket Price: 350 or more for cash donations

“Ondoy” was staged at Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in 2010 and 2011 and at the 2011 Palanca Awards Night.

– “Ondoy: Ang Buhay Sa Bubong” Poster at the Virgin LabFest 6 2010 –

This March 10-11, 2012, the play will once again be shown at CCP. This time around, it will be a staging for a cause. All proceeds will go to the victims of Typhoon Sendong (we are also trying to include the recent earthquake victims.)

The cast of the play Ms Cai Cortez (Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank), Mr. Jelson Bay (Tanghalang Pilipino), Direk Uro de la Cruz (Bubble Gang Director) and Remi, the author, have agreed to waive their talent/professional fee for the said project. CCP also allowed them to stage the play for free.

However, THEY NEED HELP TO HELP. The manpower cost of CCP is not for free. They need sponsors for the manpower, logistics, marketing and advertising. Please click HERE to download Remi’s formal letter of request for sponsorship if you wish to help.

I was quite curious how a playwright / runner lives her life and so I thought I’d feature Remi on this blog too. Here’s a short interview.

1) How did you become a playwright?

I never dreamed of becoming a playwright, really not a second. When I was a kid I would rather sing, dance or honestly run than write.

Ondoy: Ang Buhay Sa Bubong is the first play that I wrote. If I may say, it was also the first entry I had for Palanca and my first Palanca Award. Pretty special for me. I am a Copy Writer and News Writer prior to writing this play.

I drew my inspiration in writing the play from the victims of Ondoy. I (and my younger brother) donated some relief goods and spent time packing and helping out in distributing them. But when I saw people who were helpless, starving with nothing to eat and seeking for their missing loved ones, I felt all the more depressed. I couldn’t sleep. I promised to myself, I wouldn’t stop on merely giving goods. I would like to share something that will leave impact to people. I thought of writing a film first, but I was pressed for time. So, there goes the birth of “Ondoy: Ang Buhay Sa Bubong.”

2) How long have you been running?

I wrote a whole article about this actually, but I’ll give the gist…

Long before I found my passion in writing, running has been in my blood. I started running since elementary days or since I can recall. I remember I was very little, I would wake up at 5am to jog or run.

I didn’t care if there were days that I would sleep scarcely. I got to wake up earlier than usual and run with my sister, a friend and her dad’s group. We would run 3k. In our province, we were part of the group who welcomed the sunrise, listened to the “tilaok ng manok” and smelled brewed coffee of the neighbourhood. We bonded as kids and had great time! At school, I would run with or without shoes. My mom would complain. In a year, she couldn’t count how many pairs of shoes that I would get damaged. She once quipped, “I’d ask for a metal pair of shoes just for you!”

It was an impossibility that I wouldn’t run. RUNNING makes me happy and free.

3) Why did you decide to join TBR Dream Marathon 2010?

42K is a challenge. Running in itself is a challenge. It has taught me a lot. I have learned and appreciated the art of winning and not quitting. I learned that the more that I felt exhausted, the more that I pushed myself forward. The more that the number of my opponents increased, the more that I jolted my energy.

TBR 2010 is one of the moments that I love to look back to. It is self-fulfilling and rewarding. When I encounter some pressure, I would recall my last 15K which were the hardest to finish. If I had conquered this challenge why not on other aspects of life.

People are always amazed when they learn that I am a 42K finisher. Some of my acquaintances were inspired and started running as well.

4) Does running and particularly training for a marathon help you become better at your craft? How?

YES, definitely! As a writer, I need to clear my thoughts and make myself free. Running is one of my happiness. As I said, it makes me happy and free. It is my connection to nature and a form of communication to myself and to the heavens. I greet sunrise and sunset when I run. I love feeling the rain drops. I appreciate seeing everything green around me. I love when the wind blows and touches my face. That is why I love running outdoor.

Many times, I have come up with ideas while running.

When I run, I can test my physical strength. My mind just wouldn’t give up even if I am already exhausted. Sometimes, I think my feet have their own minds.

I pray while I run, too. I become more grateful in everything I have. The feeling of freedom makes me feel part of nature which is pretty special.

In short Ms. Jaymie, running plays an extraordinary part in my life.

2012 bullrun training
– Remi at a training run –