Francis Ong opts to stay in the theater scene



Francis Ong (right) played the title role of the musicalplay O' Moises, which was produced by the Dulaang Bedista AlumniProduction Foundation, Inc. (DBAPF). To his left is Adelle Ibarrientos, whoplayed his wife Ziporah.


While his other batch mates in Star in a Million Season2 are launching albums, Francis Ong chooses to make a name for himself in thetheater arts.

Dubbed as the Boy Next Door during his stint in ABS-CBN'stalent competition, Francis was also a weekly challenger in Pinoy PopSuperstar as well as a first runner up in Magic 89.9's Voices 2 for hisacapella band, Out of the Box.

After all these achievements, he could have gone mainstreambut the 22-year old singer chose a different path. During the March 11performance of the musical play O' Moises, Francis tells PEP (PhilippineEntertainment Portal) his reason for choosing theater over mainstream showbusiness. "Habang lahat sila releasing albums, sabi ko dun sa manager ko,‘Ayoko muna pumasok into singing,' kasi ayaw ko silang kalabanin so I went intotheater. Lahat sila naglalabasan...Si Jimmy Marquez, kakalabas lang ng album. SiKris Lawrence, may album." Jimmy was the second runner up of the saidcompetition while Kris emerged as the grand winner of that season.

"After Star in a Million, when you get into the finaltwelve, you have regular mall shows. After we finished the term [doing] mallshows, I [did] theater," recalls Francis. "Parang doon [music industry] nalang sila. Ako, ito na lang ang nook ko."

When asked if he has plans to go back to the mainstreammusic industry, he candidly answers, "Sa ngayon, come what may. I'm enjoyingtheater kasi masaya siya talaga, e. Parang mini-show business. In a way, parangpina-experience naman sa akin yung showbiz. It's kinda big-scale, ito yungparang smaller scale. Pero masaya din siya."

He also points out the advantages of working live onstage:"For forty shows, siguro may naka panoood sa amin ng at least 40,000 people,siguro. Ang dami mo ring na-re-reach out."

Dulaang Bedista Alumni Production Foundation, Inc. (DBAPF)produced the musical play O' Moises as a way of sharing the monumentalachievements of the great Biblical character for the youth of today. It waswritten and directed by Vincent M. Tañada, with music provided by Awit Awardeeand ABS-CBN's Pipo Cifra.

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This is not the first time that Francis has appeared in astage play. In fact, he played the role of Isagani in Gantimpala TheaterFoundation's El Filibusterismo, which was directed by Soxy Topacio.

Francis is currently a Legal Management major in his fourthyear at the Ateneo de Manila University.


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