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Published in Flipside


An actor simply can’t stay away for too long. 


Although the last time she did a teleserye (TV5’s “Glamorosa” in 2011), she ended up battling pneumonia, singer-actress Celeste Legaspi has enthusiastically taken on the challenge of another primetime series, GMA 7’s “Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real.”


For Celeste, there’s no better way to practice the techniques she’s currently learning as an acting student than on the set of a soap or movie, or onstage in a straight play or musical.


Celeste, who debuted in the movies in 1970 (Lino Brocka’s “Santiago”), still considers herself a student of the craft.

She took classes in Actors’ Studio East in Cubao, Quezon City, which is run by her son-in-law Blake Allan, an acting teacher from Los Angeles.


“I am seriously studying acting … specifically, [these techniques/methods] Meisner, Stanislavski and Chekov,” she said. She’s enrolling in advance courses soon.


Though she went on semi-retirement over two decades ago, Celeste kept herself busy. She traveled the world as part of her work with the Museum Volunteers of the Philippines.


“I visited Greece, Turkey, Laos,” she related. “We went to Uzbekistan. We followed the Silk Road.”


The open road served as a classroom as well. But her incessant quest for knowledge somehow led back to acting.


Prior to accepting the GMA-TV show, she returned to theater, in Nick Joaquin’s “Mga Ama, Mga Anak,” at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.


“I wanted to apply what I had learned from Blake,” she said.


Now that she is equipped with the necessary tools, acting has become a different experience for her. “Being onstage again was wonderful. Everything was vibrant. It really helps to know what you’re doing. I used to get very nervous. Now, everything is a breeze … for as long as you rehearse properly and your director is supportive … things will turn out fine.”


That life is a constant learning process is not a cliché, as far as she’s concerned.


Even though she has been acting for over 40 years, Celeste remains open to new lessons and realizations—a quality that neophytes in the biz should emulate.


But did her teacher give her good reviews after watching her onstage?

Front Page 06.11.14

Published in Front Page

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