Alexandra May Cardoso also known as AMD Cardoso is a playwright, a dramaturg, and an educator.Balikbayan” is part of her Exit Project as a candidate for the MFA Theatre Arts – Dramatic Writing degree from the University of Idaho. 
She wrote the script under the guidance of Robert Caisley and her playwriting cohort, whom she would like to thank. She crafted this work because of their support, critical generosity, and friendship. She would like to let them know that the mangoes are ripe.

It was her interest to adapt a dialogue-driven short story entitled “Balikbayan” written by her friend and fellow writer Rayji de Guia. She had two major figuring-out moments in the process of writing the script. First, she recognized that the nonlinearity of the short story’s time was an important aspect of the narrative, but she knew that it can be difficult to successfully pull it off for the stage. Second, the story had a character appear very briefly but moved the narrative in a necessary direction. It is exciting and challenged to see this in the logistics of a stage play especially springing from Stella, the protagonist.

Balikbayan tells the story of Stella, a trans woman, who goes back to her hometown unfolding the story of her Katrina, her sister’s death who has been missing for almost eleven years after supposedly going to the US to work as a teacher. Through captivating performances and thought-provoking storytelling, the play aims to raise awareness, ignite discussion, and inspire action around these crucial issues. It is a staged reading play directed by Banaue Miclat. 
A talkback session with invited guest speakers and audience from UP Diliman Gender Office, UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, RESBAK, and other invited related organizations.

Yves Pangilinan plays the lead role of Stella alongside Jeremy Bravo who plays Katrina. Other talented theatre actors casted in this stage reading are Janina Mendoza, EV Gulapa and Dominic Janssen.

Balikbayan Staged Reading is a one-day event on April 13, 2024 -7pm at the Ignacio B. Gimenez Gallery, University of the Philippines Diliman Quezon City. It is free admission for everyone. However, you may reserve your seats through scanning QR indicated in our poster in the attachment. For inquiries, please email



Yves Pangilinan is an aspiring theatre actor who will play the role of Stella. Some of her works and projects were Indigo Child, Alembong, ad campaigns for UP Fair, online theatre, and YouTube series.


Jeremy Bravo is a freelance theatre artist exploring performance, design, events, and performance studies. She will play the role of Stella’s sister, Katrina in her flashbacks and memories. Last year, she graduated cum laude from UP Diliman Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts  majoring in Technical Theatre, and Design. She aspires to be a scenographer, performer, and culture and arts educator.


Janina Mendoza will play the character of Vangie in this stage reading. One of her projects is TERCERA — an autobiographical performance with movement that focuses on her life and experiences as a woman. This was his thesis last year for the BA Theater Arts (Performance) course. She played four characters in the recently completed Ako Si Mary — also a thesis production under the UP Dulaang Laboratoryo.


EV Gulapa is a theatre student actor at UP Diliman. He plays the role of Katrina’s salonist friend, Juday, and funeral home worker, Mang Resti. He started performing at Dulaang Laboratoryo in 2023. During his years in college he has had the experience of working as a director, actor, and writer in various productions. 


Dominic Janssen will play the character of Aaron,  American boyfriend of the lead character, Stella. He was last seen in PETA’s “Care Divas”. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *