Thank You, Sydney!


Photo: Roanne Monte/L’

This is a rather late posting, since I have been back on the East Coast since mid-February. I blame it on jetlag and a severe case of the flu, but here we go…

On my recent trip to Sydney, I had the wonderful opportunity to perform with one of my good friends, Dexter Villa, who performed the lead role of ‘Jesus’ in the Sydney production of Jesus Christ Superstar. It was an amazing show and we had an absolute blast!

I cannot help but mention that as a performer, one gets to have fun on stage, connect with awesome people, and get treated very well. With all of that, it can feel like what one does is rather self-serving. It is for this reason that I have worked on projects that are tied to causes that interest me. I am of the belief that we were not put here on this earth just to make money and acquire things—wash, rinse, and repeat. (Yes, we were given the gift of senses to enjoy fashion, art, and beauty, but not to idolize them. If I am sounding rather existentialist, please pardon me!)

I stand on the shoulders of giants when I say that I am inspired by the tireless work of ambassadors, diplomats, community leaders, and volunteers who graced the show by their presence. I may have co-headlined it, but, in my view, they are the true stars. At the risk of my sounding lofty, they are the ones who make sacrifices to serve the community and, as a result, make a difference in people’s lives.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all for being there! Thank you to friends, diplomats, members of the media, and sponsors: (if I am forgetting someone, please forgive me!)

Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis, Philippine Consulate General, Sydney
Consul Ford Angeles and all staff at the Philippine Consulate General, Sydney
Jimmy Lopez, President, NARRA
Michelle Balthazar, President, Plaza Filipino, Inc./ Director of Media and Publishing, Financial Standard
Violi Calvert, Freelance Journalist, Radio Tagumpay,
Ang Kalatas
Ronald Manila, SBS
Riezel and John Kinsella, Kinsella Realty Group
Valerie Tolosa, Fashion Designer (Thank you for my beautiful outfits, which everybody loved!)
Cristina Bakhos, Nutrimetics Skin Care and Cosmetics
Josie and Alex Aguilan
Tina Bangel, One Voice Academy
Phinemm Nelson, Vocalise Academy (my cousin, y’all!)
Beth Fernandez, Costco
Elizabeth Escandor

Last but not the least, the production team and set designers—Albie and Charles, love you! Finally, my family: Mum, Triza, and Rosemae—compared to you guys, I am just a copy!

Lots of love,
Ro x

Roanne Monte
Founder and Editor-in-Chief at
I have lived (and still do) and spent time in major cities such as London, Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, most Australian capital cities and, of course, New York. When I am not traveling, working, performing, or getting involved in causes I am passionate about, I can be found in the kitchen dreaming up cupcake combinations.
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