What career accomplishment makes you most proud?
Being able to perform onstage even over 50! Just finished performing the role of Nurse in Ballet Philippines Romeo and Juliet which opens February 15-24, under the direction of Triple A Awardee and National Artist Alice Reyes. Recently did the Evil Queen for Snowhite, Mother in Nutcracker and Queen for SwanLake -- all with high accolades from the National Artist herself.
Of course, I have personal gratification whenever I see my current students bloom from their shy disposition to confident, independent and happy performers even at a tender age of 4. More so, my alums have gone on to establishing themselves in the field of Dance Education as well. Hence, the spirit of Dance gifted to me by our Creator has been passed on as a legacy for future generations to share.
In what ways did you find your Maryknoll education helpful in your life and work journey?
The Maryknoll education I received allowed me to be creative in the manner I present things and not always conform to what is ordinary or the norm.
The culture in the school was also all embracing which also allowed me to accept all sorts of children and adults when I teach dance; and not just cater to one mold of a bunhead ballerina.
What or who has inspired you to pursue and work on your passion?
I was inspired by my selfless mentor Inday Gaston Manosa who just gave all her time and energy in the name of Dance and for the young generations. Also, I looked up to three creative sisters who were Maryknollers and were involved with Ballet Philippines, the Reyes Sisters: Alice Reyes, Denisa Reyes and Edna Vida. I even coined my fundraising productions in the past as ADE Project in their honor.
What advice would you give someone interested in joining the performing arts field?
Follow your own dreams, be disciplined and never give up despite the hard climb, never think of the monetary compensation and connect yourself with the right people/group.
Can you share a memorable experience during your Maryknoll years?
Just because our favorite HS Filipino teacher just passed away, I fondly recall how surprised Ms Alita Fernando was, when after I delivered my Matanglawin speech in Tagalog, the class selected me as the representative for the interclass competition. I was not the best in Pilipino but I went beyond my limitations and still performed to the best of my ability and integral to what I am.
What phrase would you associate with Maryknoll education?
I distinctly remember among others “selflessness, unswerving loyalty…an orderly mind…and the saving grace of a sense of humor”.
LIZA DE LA FUENTE (MCGS 79 MCHS 83)
For over 25 years, Liza continues to distinguish herself in the field of Dance. She has long been in the forefront of dance as performer, director, choreographer, and teacher. With critically acclaimed performances under her belt, Liza continues to take on highly commendable matriarchal character roles in various Ballet Philippine productions that include Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Snow White, and Romeo and Juliet.