Quantcast
Latest Stories

The playing’s the thing–Fred Lo and his dream toy collection

By

THE ACTOR-FANBOY. “I think it’s the child in me that really makes me appreciate them.”

With his good looks and talent, young theater actor Fred Lo could easily go the predictable road: charm his way to the top of the corporate ladder, say, while collecting girlfriends, gadgets and cars.

Instead, the male lead of the new Pinoy rock musical “Sa Wakas”—ongoing until April 28 at Peta Theater Center—has Batman, Superman, Power Rangers figures, name it, filling up his room.

“I’ve always wanted to collect toys as a kid,” he says. “But it was always too expensive a hobby to start, especially with tuition and everything. So, when I graduated and earned some money from all the shows and gigs I did while in college and after, I realized I had some cash to spare and started investing in the collections I wanted.”

“I’M THE TYPE of collector that really likes to play with toys and not just keep them on display.”

He started collecting in 2011—a few months after he graduated from De La Salle University with a Communications degree—with some Power Rangers figures, being a huge fan of the cartoon series. He then moved on to Pokemon, Final Fantasy and characters from Marvel and DC comics.

He says he can’t even count them now; he estimates some 1,000 toys or more.

“Right now they’re in their boxes in my closet because there’s no space to display them. But I plan to make room for them sometime soon. I’ve already bought display cases for them,” he says.

Why the fascination with “kids’ stuff?”

“I think it’s the child in me that really makes me appreciate them,” he says. “I’m the type of collector who really likes to play with toys and not just keep them on display. That’s why, apart from wanting good quality toys that are really detailed and realistic, I also want them to be fully articulated and durable so I can play with them.”

IN HIS ELEMENT. Performing in a musical show for his church theater group

Such child-like fascination and penchant for play are surely an asset when it comes to his day job as a full-time theater actor-performer.

Rock-star wannabe

But there’s another side of him that made him perfect for the role in “Sa Wakas,” which weaves together the hits of the defunct rock band Sugarfree.

Like any other teenager who grew up listening to the band’s music, Lo confessed he once dreamt of fronting a rock group.

AS ROLF in Resorts World Manila’s “The Sound of Music,” opposite Mikkie Bradshaw’s Liesl

“Sugarfree is one of the bands that I really liked listening to when I first discovered the band scene. I love their lyrics and what they sing about,” he recalls.

Among other local rock acts in the last decade which wrote and performed their own songs, Sugarfree is best remembered for the lullaby “Tulog Na”; the ballads “Mariposa” and “‘Wag Ka Nang Umiyak”; and the anthem “Hari ng Sablay,” among others.

“I wanted to be a rock star when I was a kid,” he says. “As I grew older, my priorities changed and I found other dreams to pursue. But I wouldn’t mind if fate dictated that I should become one.”

REHEARSING the Sugarfree musical “Sa Wakas,” where he co-stars with Kyla Rivera and Caisa Borromeo, among others, alternating with Victor Robinson III in themale lead part. Andrei Pamintuan directs.

Formed in 1999 and four albums later, the three-member Sugarfree called it quits in the middle of 2011 when vocalist-composer-band leader Ebe Dancel decided to embark on a solo career.

“I was so star-struck the first time I was in a room with Ebe,” Lo recounts. “I was the last person he met from the cast, so all my cast mates were telling me all about him and how he was looking forward to finally meeting everyone. When I finally met him, I was too nervous to even speak, but he was so down-to-earth and so nice that it was hard not to get along with him.”

Sugarfree’s first album, “Sa Wakas,” was launched in 2003. Ten years later, it has become the title of the tribute musical Lo is starring in.

 

Bittersweet love story

Co-written by Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan and Mariane Abuan with musical arrangement by Ejay Yatco, “Sa Wakas” is described in part as “a bittersweet love story that chronicles the end of one relationship and the beginning of another…”

There are three characters; The male lead Topper, and two females, Gabbi and Lexi.

Playing Topper didn’t land on Lo’s lap. He was asked to audition by a friend who is part of the production team. It was “a grueling audition process,” he says, before the role was offered to him.

“It’s a lot of pressure playing the lead in this show. The story is pretty intense and the songs are really high since they’re from Sugarfree, so it’s really exhausting and every rehearsal takes a lot out of me,” Lo says.

But the show has also pushed him further “to a point where even I am surprised at myself with the things that I never thought I’d be able to do. I feel that I’ve leveled up both as an actor and a singer.”

As Topper, Lo alternates with Victor Robinson III (Peta’s “Si Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at ang Limang Milyong Boto,” “Lola Basyang,” “Batang Rizal”).

Other cast members are Caisa Borromeo and Laura Cabochan alternating as Lexi; and Kyla Rivera and Justine Peña as Gabbi.

 

Eureka moment

Lo has been singing since he was in prep school.

“But I realized I liked acting when I was in high school. I got into some school and church plays and I had so much fun I stuck with it,” he says.

As a theater actor, his first attempt was in a church play about the Bible story of Jonah.

“I also joined our church theater group and did a few shows of a play called ‘Friends 4ever’ and even did a provincial tour of it,” he recalls.

But the play that really made him think of entering the professional theater world was Stages’ production of “Footloose,” which he saw in 2005.

It was a eureka moment for him. “I think I have what it takes to be part of something like that, I said to myself then.”

After high school, he concentrated on his college studies for a while but finally made time to try a summer workshop at Trumpets Playshop.

He auditioned for his first professional theater show, Trumpets’ 2009 hit “N.O.A.H. (No Ordinary Aquatic Habitat).” He was originally cast as a chorus member but was later given the role of “God/narrator,” alternating with Sam Concepcion. The following year, he got the breakthrough role of Mark Cohen in 9 Works Theatrical’s staging of “Rent.”

He’s also played one of the leads in Spotlight Artists Centre’s “Magsimula Ka!”; Rolf in Resorts World Manila’s “The Sound of Music”; and, most recently, the conflicted student Quito in the rerun of 4th Wall Theater Company’s “Rivalry: Ateneo-La Salle, The Musical.”

“Right now I’m just enjoying my time performing for a living,” says Lo. “But the plan is to look for something (more) stable someday. Hopefully still something related to performing or related to… toys.”

“Sa Wakas” runs until April 28 at the Peta Theater Center, number 5 Eymard Drive, Barangay Kristong Hari, New Manila, Quezon City. For ticket inquiries, call 9115555 or visit www.sawakas.com.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Batman , DC Comics , Fred Lo , PETA Theater Center , Pinoy Rock Musical , Power Rangers , Super , Superman , Theater , Toy Collection , “Sa Waka”



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. World bids Gabriel Garcia Marquez ‘Adios’
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  5. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  8. Garcia Marquez left unpublished manuscript
  9. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  10. Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  4. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  5. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  6. This is not just a farm
  7. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  8. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  9. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  10. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer

News

  • Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  • N. Korea finally offers condolences over ferry tragedy
  • 16 CADPI sugar refinery workers now out of danger after toxic shower in Batangas
  • PNP denies Purisima’s involvement in questionable deal with courier firm
  • Pro-Russian insurgents hold journalist hostage
  • Sports

  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • UST posts twin kill in Filoil pre-season cup opening day
  • Wizards beat Bulls in OT to take 2-0 series lead
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • China won’t budge, wants PH gov’t to apologize to HK
  • Cha cha train to follow Obama visit?
    Marketplace