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    His first taste in theatre performances was in 1986 tour of the play-musicale Sinalimba (Magic Hammock) as lead actor, musician, composer and musical director. The following year, he was commisioned to compose and direct the music of a Butuanon play-musicale Lawig Balanghai (Sail People). This initial theatre experience inspired Popong to join a Mindanao theatre group called Kaliwat Theatre Collective. His stint with the group includes performances in the First National Theatre Festival of the Cultural Center of the Philippines(CCP) in 1992, the UK and Ireland 1992 performance- tour, Japan 1993 tour, Baguio Arts Festival 1993, the 1994 -1995 documentary-musical of indigenous peoples' land struggle called Oya! Arakan, the 1997 International Open Air Theatre Festival in Seoul, and the CCP's 1998 International Theatre Festival. He was also involved in other music and theatre productions- with Dimitri Productions' ethno-rock opera "Lapu-lapu", in the Festival of Songs Vietnam-ASEAN in Hanoi, in the Philippine-Indonesia-Japan joint production called "A Story on Moonlit Night" in Tokyo- all in 1997. In 198, Popong joined the performance tour of the Asian Council for People's Culture(ACPC) in Taiwan and South Korea and the 1999 Philippine tour of the ACPC-TENT(Theatre for the Environment) production Seven Rituals of Mother Earth. 

Theatre Experience
His first taste