Written and photographed
By Jude Bautista
OJ Mariano (Orly): Naghahanap ako ng storyang magbibigay sa akin ng katanyagan. Ayoko ng simpleng storya gusto ko yung mag-iiwan ng katanungan sa mga manonood maantig ang damdamin nila. Kaya ako napadpad dito sa Barrio Cupang. Dahil napabalitang nagpakita daw ang mahal na birhen sa isang dalagang nag ngangalang Elsa. Isang Himala o hocus-pocus lang?
May Bayot (Elsa): Padre makining sa aking sasabihin, ako’y may na kita. Ako’y tinawag ng mahal na birhen. Ako’y kanyang kinausap aking na ramdaman ang kanyang dusa at paghihirap…
Singer and acclaimed theater actress May Bayot currently plays Elsa in HIMALA by TOUCHWORKX productions. Catch the musical version of the Nora Aunor film classic’s 10th Anniversary run at PETA from March 15-March 24, 2013.
According to Direk Soxie Topacio, Nora Aunor herself after seeing the original run in 2003, said the songs written were ‘not for her’. Ate Guy’s voice is more honed for pop. The musical vocals, for lack of a better term, are operatic. Composer and Musical Director Vincent De Jesus intentionally did not want the music to be boxed into the usual pattern of a musical. De Jesus co wrote HIMALA also with legendary screenwriter Ricky Lee.
The role for Elsa in the musical necessitated the vocal prowess of May Bayot. Other roles are equally renowned vocally: Dulce (Aling Saling), Isay Alvarez (Nimia) and Cynthia Culig-Guico (Chayong). Isay Alvarez also stars in the upcoming KATY with Dulce, Epy Quizon and Gian Magdangal at the MERALCO Theater this month of May. May Bayot will also star in Tanghalang Pilipino’s production of STAGESHOW, the last masterpiece of playwright/actor/director Mario O’Hara this August.
May Bayot comes from an illustrious musical family. Her parents: Benjamin Bayot (operatic tenor), Esperanza Dimalanta (coloratura soprano) taught all their children to sing. Sister Lani Misalucha is now one of the more popular singers in Las Vegas, Karlyn is a TV actress while brothers Novi and Osi play the guitar and piano respectively.
In an interview May was able to talk about how she started out professionally, also with HIMALA musical director Vincent de Jesus, “I started 1990 I stopped 1994. Si Vincent continued with the group 1994 parang 8 years ata siya in Classico Supremo. Ang pangit di kami nagbigay ng pangalan (laughs). Para siyang Manhattan Transfer apat na boses keyboard double bass at flute.”
She came back from abroad to perform in a motown inspired female trio. That was before Acoustic Jive, which she was most identified with. “I was with them (Acoustic Jive) for 16 years. Now I have a new band TRAVELING LIGHT. Kasama ko pa rin si Romy Jorolan, Chong Santos on drums, Ernie Magtoto host of Session on 25th Street ng Net 25 on keyboards, Bobby Fidel dati ko rin ka banda yon. Ka bubuo lang a year ago.”
May revealed one of the biggest challenges in her life, “Ako marami akong pinagdaanan. Na stroke ako four years ago as in kalahati ng katawan ko left side affected. I’m still dealing with it may na tira siya e. Hindi na talaga magiging 100% ever. Sa akin it’s very relevant it’s very close to my heart because totoo yung message na ang himala nasa puso ng tao.”
For her she is living proof that miracles do happen, “If you want to find miracles you can see it everyday. May ginagawa ang Diyos na miracle every day. Yung buhay ko lang everyday is already a miracle. Ako, prognosis sakin I will not be able to walk properly. Di nako makaka function. After 3 months naka sampa uli ako sa banda ko. Naka gawa ako ng play so its paniniwala and you have to couple it with hard work. God makes miracles everyday. At the same time you are a partner with him making your own miracle.”
HIMALA the musical for May is one of many Filipino produced works that we as audiences should make sure to watch and support, “Gusto kong makita ng mga tao na magagaling tayong Pinoy na gumawa ng mga ganito. Di tayo kelangan pumunta sa Hong Kong para manood ng ‘Lion King’ o kung ano. Of course totally dfferent kind of entertainment but bago yon tayo muna. Kung di tayo tayo magtutulungan pano naman tayo ma appreciate ng ibang tao?”
Sponsors include: PLDT, UCPB, THEATER ACTOR’S GUILD Philippines, ARMY NAVY Burger + Burrito, LUBE.ph, Business World, High Life, HerWord.com