Viola, Ophelia, and Portia. A few years ago, we were together in a play called “Cafe Shakespeare”and those were our characters’names. Quezzy played the Irish coffee-drunk in love Viola; Loi was as the espresso-guzzling teary-eyed Ophelia; and me, Latte girl Portia.
A few more years down the road, and Quezzy is now an English teacher/quality analyst, Loi is making a name for herself with Homebakes, and I a gradschool student and university instructor, who had just arrived home from two years of Cambodian adventures. We decided to catch up over coffee, song playlists, and love life (or the lack thereof).
One marvelous Saturday, however, I came over Little Theater’s office to find both actors’and writers’workshops in progress. Turns out, Loi has been formulating a recipe for a play about different kinds of love and lovers based on cupcake flavors: blueberries and cream, red velvet, and caramel bliss.
Under Sir Eric’s (USALT) guidance, and over the course of many discussions, the play’s thesis revolves around “home” – the one place or person you always return to. Lifted from Loi’s fresh home-baked products with flavors and smells you’re bound to look for (confession: I adore the Cinanamon Caramel Roll. My goodness! I rarely eat bread, but that’s one bread I have difficulty resisting). Also, it is a homage to Iloilo City, our home and the setting of the play.
Now introducing, the cupcakes. *cue in Applause
Blueberries and Cream Cupcake – Mildly sweet, fruit-based so shelf-life is short thus has to be consumed right away. The type of love or lover: one that’s good for you, the kind that you’ve been waiting for, like the old pair of slippers that you come home to after a long tiring day strutting in high heels. But it has to be now, or never..
Or you wait for a long time for something like it to come along. 😦
Quezzy was tasked to write for Blueberries and Cream, something that she was more than willing (or inspired) to do. The exciting back story is entirely another tale for another post. Only, it’s not my tale to tell, or to post, unfortunately. But if you’re curious, poke around QZ’s blog and you might find a clue.
Eventually the female character was christened Hope Tan, so named because presumably she embodies everyone’s hope for real love. I refused any other surname, and requested (hoped) for Hope to be chinay (pronounced tSi-naI). Since I’m going to play the character, I want it to be a homage to my Chinese roots.
Red Velvet Cupcakes – A red chocolate cake. Looks good, too sweet. A “red”chocolate cake? Hmm. More on that in a while. We have a word in the Philippines, umay, meaning “tired of something after having been exposed for too long”. But with the red velvet cake, you don’t have to be exposed too long. Its off-the-charts sweetness will overwhelm your tastebuds until you can’t take anymore.The kind of love? Something that isn’t what it seems. The kind of lover? Overwhelmingly good. Or bad. Someone who’s just a bit too much.
I was tasked to write the script for Red Velvet Girl. Honestly, I don’t date so I don’t have that much experience to draw from. Luckily, I have friends who do. HAHAHA!
While conceptualizing the Red Velvet Girl, only one person was on my mind. Clue 1: She looks super good. Nice dress, red lips, rosy cheeks. As for the red velvet cake, yup, coz man, look at that cake. You ain’t hooman if you ain’t tempted to sink your teeth into that deliciously red goodness.
Clue 2: Is she really what she seems? Country girl, geek, hopeless romantic – or – a manipulative, backstabbing, man-eater? “A ‘red’chocolate cake?”, you ask. “But.. that’s not natural for a chocolate.” My point exactly.
Clue 3: Supermodel Squad goals? Intrigues? Charitable works? Dates? Hits? Demands for companies to change their rules because she didn’t like it? OVERWHELMING. Just like the men that our Red Velvet Girl dates.
Eventually Red Velvet Girl was christened Arvee. Because. Why not?
Caramel Bliss Cupcake – caramel based-cake, topped with white frosting glazed over with caramel sauce and crowned with salted caramel chewies. You might think this is a sugar-filled treat, but the base itself isn’t too sweet, and the frosting is only enhanced by the sauce. And the salt? Compliments the caramel in a way that puto and dinuguan compliment each other. Or, coffee and tv (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?? BLUR FANS? ANYONE?). Or Oreo’s and milk. Or you and me (char).
This cupcake shows us what love really is: a choice, and hardwork. This cupcake is relatively more difficult to make compared to the other two. Yet here it is.
And all the effort put into making this kind of cupcake shows us how much effort we need to put in for love to succeed: a lot.
Perhaps that is why, we made Loi into a character to represent this cupcake, she’s the best living example of love and effort. She chose to go into the cake business, and we know how much effort she puts into it, and she is succeeding. It is also for her (our collective) love of theater that this particular project is underway. I know it will be wonderful. So far, it already is.
I’m glad she took me in this journey.
(photocreds to Homebakes!!!!!)