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Domi living a double life

ABS-CBN employee Domileo ‘Domi’ Espejo is no Clark Kent, but as a professional theater actor, he has been known to don a colorful costume now and again

ABS-CBN employee Domileo Espejo — “Domi” to most of his colleagues — has been living a double life practically since his first day at the Kapamilya network. Domi hasn’t been hiding his secret identity as a superhero under the guise of a mild-mannered office worker. He’s no Clark Kent, but as a professional theater actor, he has been known to don a colorful costume now and again.

​Domi has been doing theater since he was a college student at the Ateneo de Manila University, where Ricky Abad and Ronan Capinding were his mentors. Domi was an active member of Tanghalang Ateneo all throughout college. Upon graduation, he looked for a regular job like everyone else and found one in the digital media division of the Kapamilya network.

​He loved his job, but he knew he wanted to keep doing theater. Domi’s desire to keep treading the boards didn’t leave him when he left Ateneo. So he tried hard to balance his burgeoning corporate career with his artistic pursuits.

“Even when I was already working at ABS-CBN, I would try to join one or two plays a year,” he says. “But when I first became a Kapamilya, it was difficult to do theater at the same time. Hindi dahil bawal siya, but because mahirap maghanap ng oras. Because I am a regular employee, I keep hours at the network.”

​However difficult things became for Domi, he found ways to keep the fire burning, so to speak. Despite his workload, he still managed to rack up an impressive list of credits as a theater actor. Domi has been in productions like Tanghalang Ateneo’s 2013 staging of The King of the Birds and Dalanghita Productions’ Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady, which was met with a lot of success.

​Domi’s latest project as a theater actor was the jukebox musical Ako Si Josephine — A Musical Featuring the Songs of Yeng Constantino, produced by ABS-CBN Events and Cornerstone Entertainment and line produced by the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). It is set in a music empire where love songs are banned. Ako Si Josephine follows the journey of the titular character, a spunky young songwriter who fights for the right to make the music she wants.

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​Domi played Schizoprano, one of the main antagonist Monotomiya’s three underlings. It was his first in a PETA production. “I was excited to finally work with everyone here. I’ve missed out on many opportunities to do so because of scheduling problems. It’s refreshing when you get to work with new people because our theater community is small. I felt happy I get to work with the team behind Rak of Aegis — Liza Magtoto, the writer of the show; Maribel Legarda, our director; and Myk Salomon, our musical director.”

Domi didn’t have much trouble balancing things, primarily because the PETA Theater is in Sunnyside Drive, New Manila.

It’s only a hop, skip and a jump away from the ABS-CBN compound, so he was able to throw himself into this exciting new opportunity without worrying about anything else.

“So very thankful PETA theater is near my office. Even if we rehearsed at 6 p.m. every day, naitatawid ko naman,” he laughs.

“At ABS, I get to declare my hours. I say what time I will be at the office. That’s how I fit rehearsals into my work schedule.”

​Domi’s officemates were extremely supportive of his “double life.”
Even his direct superior messaged him to wish him luck on Ako Si Josephine, a gesture which he appreciated very much.

“It is my wish that this branch of performing arts will expand. And the Kapamilya network is ready and willing to explore different aspects of the industry. I think it is very promising.” — With reports from Almed Garcia and Julian Mauricio

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