Kakai Bautista recalls time as Lea Salonga’s wardrobe assistant: ‘Hard but fulfilling happy moments’

/ 01:17 PM November 27, 2019
Kakai Bautista

Kakai Bautista and her throwback photo with Lea Salonga in 2000  (Images: Instagram/@ilovekaye)

Kakai Bautista looked back on her earlier days in the entertainment industry as she recounted her time as a wardrobe assistant to Lea Salonga back in 2000.

“It’s been almost 20 years ago since [I] had the [privilege] to serve the one and only LEA SALONGA,” the actress said in her Instagram post last Monday, Nov. 25, which she accompanied with an old photo of her with the singer. 


Bautista pointed out that the photo was taken during Salonga’s time in the musical “They’re Playing Our Song” when it ran in the AFP Theater in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, in 2000.


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𝙸𝚝’𝚜 𝚋𝚎𝚎𝚗 𝚊𝚕𝚖𝚘𝚜𝚝 𝟸0 𝚢𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚜 𝚊𝚐𝚘 𝚜𝚒𝚗𝚌𝚎 𝚒 𝚑𝚊𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚛𝚒𝚟𝚎𝚕𝚎𝚐𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚜𝚎𝚛𝚟𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚘𝚗𝚕𝚢 LEA SALONGA.❤️ 𝚃𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚢𝚎𝚊𝚛 𝟸000 𝚒𝚗 “𝚃𝚑𝚎𝚢’𝚛𝚎 𝙿𝚕𝚊𝚢𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚂𝚘𝚗𝚐” 𝙸 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚍𝚛𝚘𝚋𝚎 𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚗𝚝. 𝙸 𝚒𝚛𝚘𝚗, 𝚕𝚊𝚞𝚗𝚍𝚛𝚢, 𝚌𝚊𝚛𝚛𝚢 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚌𝚘𝚜𝚝𝚞𝚖𝚎𝚜 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚠𝚊𝚜𝚑 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚒𝚗𝚗𝚎𝚛𝚐𝚊𝚛𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚜 𝟼 𝚍𝚊𝚢𝚜 𝚊 𝚠𝚎𝚎𝚔 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚊𝚕𝚖𝚘𝚜𝚝 𝚊 𝚢𝚎𝚊𝚛. 𝙸 𝚍𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚘𝚗 𝚚𝚞𝚒𝚌𝚔 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚗𝚐𝚎𝚜. 𝙻𝚒𝚏𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚢 𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚍 𝚋𝚊𝚌𝚔 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚗. 𝙸 𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚠𝚊𝚕𝚔 𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚖 𝚎𝚍𝚜𝚊 𝚝𝚘 𝙰𝙵𝙿 𝚃𝚑𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚛. 𝙸 𝚑𝚊𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚜𝚔𝚒𝚙 𝚖𝚎𝚊𝚕𝚜 𝚝𝚘 𝚜𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚢𝚍𝚊𝚢 𝚏𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝙻𝚊𝚐𝚞𝚗𝚊. 𝙼𝚢 𝚏𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚍𝚜 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝙸- 𝚗𝚊𝚐𝚑𝚊𝚑𝚊𝚝𝚒 𝚑𝚊𝚝𝚒 𝚔𝚊𝚖𝚎 𝚜𝚊 𝚒𝚜𝚊𝚗𝚐 𝚌𝚞𝚙 𝚗𝚐 𝚈𝚊𝚔𝚒𝚜𝚘𝚋𝚊 𝚐𝚊𝚗𝚞𝚗 𝚕𝚊𝚗𝚐. 𝙿𝚎𝚛𝚘 𝙼𝙰𝚂𝙰𝚈𝙰 𝙺𝙰𝙼𝙴. 𝙸 𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚍𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚏𝚒𝚗𝚍 “𝚌𝚞𝚋𝚊𝚘 𝚜𝚑𝚘𝚎 𝚎𝚡𝚙𝚘” 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚐𝚘𝚘𝚐𝚕𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚠𝚊𝚣𝚎. 𝙻𝚊𝚜𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚜𝚕𝚎𝚎𝚙, 𝚏𝚒𝚛𝚜𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚛𝚒𝚜𝚎. 𝚃𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚠𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎𝚜 𝚒 𝚠𝚊𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚐𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚞𝚙 𝚔𝚊𝚜𝚎 𝚜𝚘𝚋𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚐 𝚙𝚊𝚐𝚘𝚍 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚘 𝚙𝚊𝚐 𝚗𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚒𝚐 𝚔𝚘 𝚜𝚢𝚊𝚗𝚐 𝚔𝚞𝚖𝚊𝚗𝚝𝚊, 𝙽𝚊𝚐𝚒𝚐𝚒𝚜𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚗𝚐 𝚍𝚒𝚠𝚊 𝚔𝚘☺️ 𝚋𝚎𝚌𝚊𝚞𝚜𝚎 𝚒 𝚂𝚎𝚎 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚢𝚍𝚊𝚢. 𝙸 𝚐𝚘𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚜𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚍𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎 𝚘𝚏𝚏 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚐𝚎 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚍𝚞𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚜𝚑𝚘𝚠𝚜. 𝙸 𝙶𝚘𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚑𝚞𝚐 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚐𝚛𝚎𝚎𝚝 𝚑𝚎𝚛 “𝚟𝚘𝚕𝚞𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚎𝚛 𝚜𝚘𝚗𝚐 𝚕𝚊𝚍𝚢” 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚢𝚍𝚊𝚢. ❤️❤️❤️ 𝙸 𝚓𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚠𝚊𝚗𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎 𝙶𝚁𝙰𝚃𝙴𝙵𝚄𝙻 𝚝𝚘𝚍𝚊𝚢 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚢𝚍𝚊𝚢 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚍 𝚋𝚞𝚝 𝚏𝚞𝚕𝚏𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚑𝚊𝚙𝚙𝚢 𝚖𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚜. 𝙶𝚘𝚍 𝚒𝚜 𝚝𝚛𝚞𝚕𝚢 𝚊𝚖𝚊𝚣𝚒𝚗𝚐! 𝙷𝙴 𝙺𝙽𝙾𝚆𝚂 𝚠𝚑𝚊𝚝𝚜 𝚋𝚎𝚜𝚝 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚢𝚘𝚞. 𝙾𝚗𝚎 𝚖𝚢 𝚋𝚎𝚜𝚝 𝚋𝚎𝚜𝚝 𝚖𝚎𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚒 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚝𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚜𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛.❤️ 𝙸 𝙻𝙾𝚅𝙴 𝚈𝙾𝚄 𝙼𝙰𝙽𝙰𝙽𝙶!! @msleasalonga 𝙿.𝚂. 𝚙𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚐 𝚜𝚒 𝙻𝚞𝚣 𝚝𝚊𝚕𝚊𝚐𝚊 𝚊𝚗𝚐 𝚔𝚞𝚖𝚊𝚔𝚊𝚒𝚗 𝚗𝚐 𝚖𝚐𝚊 𝚎𝚜𝚙𝚊𝚜𝚘𝚕 𝚖𝚘 𝚎𝚑.😂 #𝙶𝚁𝙰𝚃𝙴𝙵𝚄𝙻 #𝙻𝚊𝚟𝚊𝚛𝚗 #𝙽𝚎𝚗𝚎𝙺𝚊𝚙𝚊

A post shared by 𝑲𝒂𝒌𝒂𝒊 𝑩𝒂𝒖𝒕𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒂 (@ilovekaye) on

As Salonga’s wardrobe assistant, Bautista recalled that she had to iron, carry and launder her costumes and inner garments for six days a week for almost a year. She was also responsible for dressing Salonga during quick changes while the show was ongoing.

Bautista admitted that “life was very hard back then,” citing that she used to walk from EDSA to the AFP Theater. She also pointed out how she had to skip meals just to make sure she had enough money to return to Laguna, and how she had to find “Cubao Shoe Expo” without Google or Waze.

She also revealed that she and her friends would even share a cup of instant noodles at times. However, Bautista stressed that she and her friends were happy at the time.


In light of the hardships she faced, Bautista stated that there were times she wanted to give up. But whenever she heard Salonga sing, she said that her spirit would wake up because she got to see the singer every day.

“I got to sing and dance off stage with her during shows,” she added. 

Bautista also expressed how grateful she is today for “those hard but fulfilling happy moments.” She described her time as a wardrobe assistant to the Tony Award-winning singer as one of her best memories that she “will treasure forever.”  /ra


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TAGS: assistant, Kakai Bautista, Lea Salonga, Theater, wardrobe
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