Kumu live streamer Marynor “Mnor” Therese Madamesila is unstoppable that even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been battering the entertainment industry since its onset, she has never stopped honing her craft as a performing artist and putting into practice her personal ethos: “Lavan! Lavan! Never bawi!”  

In August, Mnor was part of the online streaming of “Rak of Aegis,” the Philippine Educational Theater Association’s phenomenal, original Filipino jukebox musical featuring industry veterans Isay Alvarez-Seña and Robert Seña, along with Aicelle Santos, Pepe Herrera, and Poppert Bernadas. Mnor played Velma, a member of the musical’s ensemble.

Mnor considers “Rak of Aegis” as the most defining moment in her career as an artist. After passing the auditions in 2019, the musical opened a new world of possibilities and career opportunities for her.

Her mom described the training for “Rak” as baptism by fire. All of her life, Mnor had been singing alto parts until she was chosen as a soprano singer for the musical while she was working on her undergraduate thesis. With the help of her theater mother, Teetin Villanueva, and alternate and voice teacher, Gimbey Dela Cruz, Mnor miraculously survived.

After “Rak,” Mnor appeared as Prinsesa Mina in another PETA production, “Tagu-taguan Nasaan Ang Buwan,” performed in a supporting role as Leslie for Dreamscape’s boy love series “Oh Mando!,” as Nurse Carol for ABS-CBN television series “Pamilya Ko,” as Chef Dani for Iflix’s “Beauty and the Boss” and many more. “I am eternally grateful to ‘Rak of Aegis.’ Like what my fam in the musical says, ‘Rak is the gift that keeps on giving,'” Mnor shared.

2019 was a memorable year for Mnor. Aside from becoming part of “Rak,” she was also the highlight of a viral graduation video where she sang Etta James’ “At Last” while strutting to receive her BA Theater Arts diploma. The video was recorded by Dr. Vlad Gonzales, an assistant professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

The viral video served as Mnor’s ticket to be featured on ABS-CBN’s “ASAP Natin ‘To,” where she got a chance to meet “Asia’s Songbird,” Regine Velasquez, who lent her two gowns. Mnor performed live on stage with established singers Jona, Kyla, Morissette, Klarisse de Guzman, Bugoy Drilon, Daryl Ong, and Michael Pangilinan. 

Amid the pandemic, Mnor also became part of “The Man Who Looked Like Rizal,” a theater production of Ateneo De Manila University School of Humanities in coordination with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Ateneo University Press. She has more upcoming projects, but right now, viewers can watch her performance on “Pamilya Ko” and “Oh Mando!” through IWantTFC and “Beauty and the Boss” via Iflix.

A native of Bacolod City in Negros Occidental, Mnor has been training as a live performer since she was younger. She started taking voice lessons at the Yamaha Music School in Bacolod City in 2000, which was followed by dance lessons for ballet, Latin dance and street dance in the mid-2000s. Eventually, she trained for theater at Dulaang U.P. in 2011, the year when she started performing professionally.

When asked who inspires her to perform, Mnor said: “Definitely, my family. Not once did they stop supporting me to achieve my dreams despite the countless setbacks. They are the most amazing people on earth and my every performance is dedicated to them.”

You can catch Mnor on Kumu @marynormadamethem.

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