My Acting Teacher Spanky Manikan

After watching this film, my acting lessons came flooding back on me, the character of the Taiwanese gentlemen here is Spanky Manikan who was the one who taught me the methodology of acting.

I just finished my high school at that time, it was just a summer camp organized by the CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines) and among all the courses that were offered I opted for acting, it was an intensive course under Dindo Angeles and Tony Mabesa and Spanky Manikan was our instructor.

We were honed, trained and introduced to the method acting of Stanislavsky, I remember in one exercise where we were asked to act as crazy lunatics and almost all of us went berserk, cajoling, laughing, crying our heart out, and once were done Spanky said that we were all obviously crazy, which was not bad, but he said that we did not let the audience think.

He stood up in the middle of the room and said “watch me”, silently he slowly walk in the corner of the room where we can all see him, all went quite and as if with the beat of the air he smiled, looked up and picked up something in the pillar of the room, smiled, picked up something and on the fourth time, whatever he picked up he then put it in his mouth and pretended to chew, and we all clapped in harmony, it was indeed an underplay of being crazy.

After the course we were divided into group and we delivered excerpts from different theater play and he was really happy with all of us, afterward, he came to me, congratulated me, and I remembered what he said: “Albert, you will go places in your acting career” that was 1978.

In our group, the one that made it really good aside from myself is Soliman Cruz, who still does a lot of films and theater until this time and I’m really happy for him.

As for me, I must say that Spanky Manikan, Tony Mabesa, and Dindo Angeles will remain some of the early instructors that I should thank for my acting abilities…

spanky manikanSpanky Manikan

tony mabesa

Tony Mabesa


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