Tag Archives: Miss Saigon


imageNEW YORK, New York (The Adobo Chronicles® ) – In response to backlash on using white actors to portray Japanese characters, the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players had just announced that their stage production of THE MIKADO, scheduled for the NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts this December has been cancelled.

The musical, penned by librettist W.S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan (Pirates of Penzance, H.M.D. Pinafore) premiered at The Savoy Theatre in 1885. The play is set in the fictional Japanese town of Titipu.

Many modern-day critics and Asian American groups have called for the re-writing of the play and demanded that Asian actors play the characters in new productions. The cancellation of the New York production is regarded as a victory for political correctness in the increasing diversity of societies worldwide.

But as BroadwayWorld’s Michael Dale wrote in his column  titled, “Is It Time to Rewrite THE MIKADO?” :  “It’s unlikely that Gilbert had meant THE MIKADO to be taken as a serious attack on insensitive white people appropriating another culture for their own entertainment. He was more concerned with lightheartedly satirizing his countrymen’s foibles.”

THE MIKADO controversy is giving theater production groups some chills and they are being proactive in making sure that their stage productions will not be dealt with similar protests and controversy.

For starters, future productions of ‘Miss Saigon’ (where Filipino musicians have dominated the casting) will now only feature Vietnamese actors playing Vietnamese characters.

Likewise, “Les Miserables” productions will now ban non-French actors.

Political correctness gone too correct.


Salonga as Kim in 'Miss Saigon,' 25 years ago
Salonga as Kim in ‘Miss Saigon,’ 25 years ago

Manila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – Yesterday, The Adobo Chronicles reported that Tony Award-winning Filipina actress Lea Salonga used her Facebook account to complain about people calling her ‘tita,’ a Tagalog word meaning ‘aunt’ or ‘auntie.’ She was apparently irate being called the term by peole who are not her “nephews, nieces, godchild or colleague.”

Salonga’s post was considered rude, elitist and diva-esque by many of her own fans who reacted with disgust on the comments section of her Facebook post. Many of the comments pointed out that calling someone ‘tita’ is a revered Filipino custom of showing respect, much like people in Hawaii showing respect by calling women ‘auntie.’

Today, on the eve of the 25th anniversary of ‘Miss Saigon,’ the musical that brought her worldwide prominence, Salonga apologized to her fans.

“If I hurt anyone with my words, please forgive me. But I’d still prefer not to be called ‘tita.’ It makes me feel old,” she said.

So, how then should she be addressed by fans?

“You can call me ‘Aling Lea.’ It sounds better with my name than ‘Tita Lea,’ ” she pointed out.

‘Aling’ is a a contraction of the Tagalog words ‘ale ng’ (miss or mrs. of) and shows respect for a woman who is not necessarily a relative or colleague. It is the male version of ‘Mang’ as in ‘Mang Tomas.’ As in ‘Mang Tomas Lechon.’

To Aling Lea, apology accepted. It does sound better. Aling Lea. Miss Lea. Miss Saigon.



Honolulu, Hawaii (The Adobo Chronicles) – Tony Award-winning Filipina actress Lea Salonga who shot to prominence by originating the role of Kim in the musical ‘Miss Saigon,’ took to her Facebook page to complain about being called ‘tita.’

‘Tita’ is a tagalog word that means ‘aunt’ or ‘auntie.’ It is widely used not only by nephews and nieces but as a sign of respect for an older relative, friend or co-worker. It is also a term of endearment among and towards gay men. But the diva thinks otherwise. Here’s what she posted on Facebook.

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As Salonga’s post went viral and reached Filipinos living in Hawaii, her 10,000-strong fan club immediately disbanded in protest of her rude comment.

In Hawaii, it is very common to call someone ‘auntie’ whether or not the person is a relative.  It is, like ‘tita,’ a sign of respect and aloha.  Women in Hawaii, in fact, feel honored being called ‘auntie.’

Lea Salonga fan club president Jonathan Kealoha Pryce said, “We’re done with her. If she doesn’t want us calling her ‘tita’ or ‘auntie’ then we don’t want to have anything to do with her.  We wish her good luck in her aging career.”

Salonga has yet to respond to the news about the fan club disbanding in Hawaii.

Next time, divas, think twice before you post something on social media.