Actress Celia Diaz Laurel, spouse of the late Vice President Doy Laurel, mom of musical star Cocoy Laurel and lengthy a mainstay of Repertory Philippines (Rep), is popping 93 on May 29. And she is celebrating the milestone in fashion, by launching a new book, “My Lives Behind the Proscenium.”
The foreword is by Rep colleague Joy Virata, who wrote that “she never seemed to be flustered no matter that she was doing 10 things at the same time for Rep … and could keep calm in the often stormy atmosphere of a theater company with a stormy leader.”
In her biography “My Life in Theater,” the late actress-director Naty Crame Rogers recalled that in their pupil days on the University of the Philippines (UP) “Celia Diaz [was] being squired around by Doy Laurel.”
They had been married in 1950, and in 1952 they left for his or her Master’s diploma in Yale University. But we’re getting forward of our story.
Celia Diaz (later Laurel) was born in Talisay, Negros Occidental, in 1928, youngest of six kids born to Anselmo Sison Diaz (of A.S Diaz Electric Co.) and Concepcion Gonzalez Franco. When Celia was 5, the household moved to Manila, and the kid was enrolled at Assumption Convent, then in Ermita, Manila.
A low wall separated the elite lady’s faculty from the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila. Decades later, throughout one among our reunions, my classmates would recall that, once they had been taking part in basketball, the ball would generally sail over the wall and land within the flower mattress of the neighboring faculty, to the nice annoyance of the nuns.
World of theater
It was at Assumption that the world of theater first beckoned to little Celia. She loved the veladas, the frilly musical packages given by the “old girls” or the college alumnae, though she didn’t perceive these because the language was English, and she or he spoke solely Hiligaynon and Spanish.
The subsequent necessary chapter in her life got here at UP, when playwright-director Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero (later a National Artist) requested the 19-year-old Celia (who was truly enrolled in Fine Arts) to play Tia Consuelo in his play “Forever.” The actress who was to play the position had backed out, and it was going to be staged the next day!