2003 Palanca Awardee for One-act Play Christian Vallez, a.k.a. Juan Ekis, came to Adamson University last December 17, 2008 to give a talk on scriptwriting before a select group of Tinik ng Teatro (TNT) members at the SV Mezzanine.
“X,” his popular nickname, shared his storytelling techniques with the audience. He mused about his beginnings as a young poet in Southridge Night School eventually getting a scholarship in University of Asia and the Pacific for his college education. He started as a poet, and after years of trying out and religiously submitting entries to Palanca Awards poetry category, he thought of trying out for the one act-play category for the first time with his Twenty Questions script, which was originally commissioned as a material to tackle the sanctity of sex for high school students. X professed it was his biggest surprise in life when Palanca Awards finally confirmed that his Twenty Questions script won 2nd place in the One-act Play category, Filipino Division.
“I want to affirm myself and other people; I want to heal myself and other people; I want to be immortal and immortalize humanity. And I will do this by telling beautiful stories,” Vallez replied when asked why he tells stories. He also noted the collaboration among fellow artists from different fields as another way of improving and maturing in your craft. “As a playwright you’re just providing guidance to all the members of the production. When you convince a group to bring your script to life, it’s already an affirmation that everybody is in agreement with the message you want to deliver to the audience.” Vallez stressed.
X was also featured in Randy David and Jaime Zobel’s book “Silence” which was published by the Ayala Foundation. His works were anthologized in three local collections of poetry and was also included in “Megalopolis,” a production of Theater-der-Klaenge in Dusseldorf, Germany. He teaches scriptwriting and production at the Marilou Diaz-Abaya Film Institute and Multimedia Arts at UA&P.
Vallez’s talk was the first of a series of TNT Alumni-sponsored talks in Adamson University in cooperation with the Cultural Affairs Office entitled Artist in Focus Series. The series aims to promote active collaboration between school-based theater organizations and the professional artists.