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Mica Javier, Roxanne Barcelo: Destined For Musical Theater

Mica Javier, Roxanne Barcelo: Destined For Musical TheaterRoxanne Barcelo, Mica Javier

Manila, Philippines--In the current restaging of the original Filipino musical "Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!," which closes this Sunday, April 7, 2019, at Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC, soap opera stars, also theater neophytes, Mica Javier and Roxanne Barcelo play the female lead alternates.

Javier was a contract artist of Timbaland Productions, a premier recording label in the United States. Her first record under the Timbaland camp was "3,000 Light Years," produced by Dashawn "Happie" White and Davix Foreman, which was the first song picked up in a 75-song deal between Timbaland and Extreme Music, the production music arm of Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Javier's music track was licensed to Fox's hit TV show "Glee" and Lifetime's hit TV series "Dance Moms."

When Javier was a young kid, she was a member of the ESPN Kids. She was also a professional model appearing in TV commercials for Smithsonian Museum, GAP, and JC Penney.

She now appears on ABS-CBN's noontime show "It's Showtime" and acts in the action-drama series "Los Bastardos." She plays the role of Lupita, a con artist.

Barcelo, a finalist of ABC's "Hollywood Dream" (2005), is also a Filipino-American actress-model-singer. On local TV, she played the role of Natalie in the hit ABS-CBN soap "Wildflower." She is also part of "Los Bastardos."

Mica Javier, Roxanne Barcelo: Destined For Musical TheaterDestined for Musical Theater

During the first auditions for "Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!" Barcelo auditioned but couldn't commit yet because of her prior commitments. While Javier knew about the opportunity but was too late for her to try out.

Javier recalls musical theater was not her thing. "It's more of my sister's. But when I heard about the APO musical last year, I really wanted to audition for it. But they already had a cast."

"[The] APO [trio] is a big part of Original Pilipino Music (OPM). All APO songs are epic to me, It's basically the soundtrack of my childhood," she says. "To be part of something like this--is kind of a legacy.

Barcelo, together with Javier, makes her professional theater debut in "Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!"

She says, "There's joy in performing, there's joy in working with these people--from the production to the actors. We're a family, there's a feeling of being 'home'."

"It's like when I did well, these people were generous enough to affirm me. When I get affected by my fellow actors' performance, I also tell them right away how I felt. It's a good feeling."

In the musical, both see themselves in the characters they're playing.

Mica looks at her character, Anna, and relates to her as a person. She has the same feelings as Anna and uses these parallelisms to bring out the subtle nuances to her role.

"She's a very strong girl. She's level-headed. She's passionate. She loves love. She likes to do well in school. She's also very independent. Our values are very similar," she says. "I feel that a lot of women can relate to her character, especially these days where women empowerment is kind of a big thing. Ann is definitely an empowered woman."

Mica Javier, Roxanne Barcelo: Destined For Musical TheaterBarcelo, on the other hand, sees Jane, her character, as "a daddy's girl who trusts her family and draws strength from them. She loves exploring new things. She loves to excel in school, she loves to read, she's driven, and she knows what she wants."

"In relationships, she values commitment very much, which is very important to me, too."

Being part of this production, Barcelo feels she has gained self-confidence and self-awareness. Doing theater has been a therapeutic experience; it made her appreciate the value of discipline in all its aspects.

Doing theater helps Javier to remember why she's doing such. "When acting on stage, my emotions should not be contained on my face alone--they should extend through my whole body," she says.

"I'm used to singing with a microphone, monitors, and backup vocals. In theater, I've been pushed to be more disciplined and dedicated to my craft. Malaki ang movement. Malakas ang boses. Kailangan kong mag-dive-in, 'di pwedeng half dito, half doon. Kailangan pag sumalang ka, buong-buo na. Kailangan kong i-remind ang sarili ko na gawin ko 'to kahit sa TV din, sa kahit anong gagawin ko, kahit sa tutoong buhay."

Catch Javier and Barcelo in "Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!" on its closing weekend, April 5-7, 2019! Get tickets from

Photos: Erickson Dela Cruz, Lionel Guico

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