Dulce (second from right) with the Ang Larawan cast (among them, Celeste Legaspi, Nanette Inventor, Rachel Alejandro, Paulo Avelino, Sandino Martin, Cara Manglapus and Jaime Fabregas) and composer Ryan Cayabyab

The year that was for Dulce
Pablo A. Tariman (The Philippine Star) - January 9, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Dulce was unbelievably wicked as the scheming Mrs. Cruz in Maynila Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag The Musical.

Like it or not, Dulce is a classic example of singers who can act.

In Ang Larawan, where she sang the role of Donya Loleng, Dulce said that she loved the old world look of the Loy Arcenas film and she was reminded of stories her father told him before World War II. “What my father went through during the last war was in my mind while I was doing Larawan. Indeed, the film evoked a lot of war-time memories of my father.”

Even as she was at home singing and acting, fleshing out the music of Ryan Cayabyab was another challenge. “Maestro Ryan Cayabyab’s music, for me, is not the kind that will conjure images of tears and pain. His music carries you out of your present situation, shows you the bigger picture, gives you a choice and brings you back to where you started and there you decide whether to laugh or cry, to live or die. In short, it was a big challenge.”

With husband Bernard Cruzata and their daughters

Earlier, Dulce figured in an earlier filmed musical Emir, directed by Chito Roño. If she has a waterloo in doing musicals, it is executing the intricate choreographies. “In one scene called Yayas of the World Sosyal Kong Yaya, I thought I did a most unusual thing direk Chito nearly fainted laughing. I could not make head or tail of the choreography of Douglas Nierras and I did my own that I thought would be edited out. But he used it just the same. I told myself I would not act and sing and dance all at the same time. But there I was in Maynila singing and dancing like hell and it seemed I couldn’t escape the choreography of Douglas.”

But in Ang Larawan, she was lucky to be handled by direk Loy. “He is the calm type, he speaks very low and he gives space for the actor to think, to deliver the emotion needed for a scene.”

It was a case of like-mother-like children in the family. “All my five children Deejay, Dave, Dana, Jem and Abby can sing, and I am very proud of all of them. But my second child, David Ezra, is the one who pursued singing and musical theater. He played Emilio Aguinaldo in Mabining Mandirigma and Aurelio Tolentino in Aurelio Sedisyoso, where he got a nomination for Best Actor. Recently, he was in the line-up for the grand opening of ASEAN Summit held in Manila, directed by Monino Duque with Lani Misalucha, Jed Madela, Jona Viray, among others. Yes, I am a proud mother in this regard.”

Her advice to them: “Work hard. No way you can achieve success if you are lazy. Be a team player, never ignore the ones who paved the way for you to get there. You may be standing on that stage alone as you enjoy the spotlight, but remember, there will always be people who moved, who worked and who sacrificed to bring you to where you are now.  To quote a line from John C. Maxwell, ‘Your attitude determines your altitude.’”

Her constant New Year wish always involves the country. “My hope and constant wish is for the Philippines to rise and soar to the heights like an eagle where she is destined to be in the very near future.”

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