Robert Flor

Robert Flor

Robert Francis Flor, Ph.D is a Seattle native raised in the city’s Central Area and Rainier Valley. His poems appeared in the Poetry on the Bus, Soundings Review, Four Cornered Universe, 4 and 20 Journal, the Wanderlust Journal, the Tamafyhr Mountain Poetry Review, Poets Against the War, the Seattle Post Intelligencer (2005) and the Field of Mirrors anthology (2008), “Voices of the Asian American Experience...
Robert Francis Flor, Ph.D is a Seattle native raised in the city’s Central Area and Rainier Valley. His poems appeared in the Poetry on the Bus, Soundings Review, Four Cornered Universe, 4 and 20 Journal, the Wanderlust Journal, the Tamafyhr Mountain Poetry Review, Poets Against the War, the Seattle Post Intelligencer (2005) and the Field of Mirrors anthology (2008), “Voices of the Asian American Experience” (2012) University of Santa Cruz and “Where Are You From?” the Thymos Book Project (2013), Portland, Oregon. His poetry chapbook “Alaskero Memories”, was published by Carayan Press, Ltd in 2017.

Robert's play largely take place in Seattle's Filipino community which informed his worldview in it's interplay with American society. His first full-length play “Daniel’s Mood”, was a Studio Lab selection (2011) at Freehold Theatre. Scenes from “My Uncle’s Letters”, another full-length play were read in the ACT Theatre Multicultural Playwrights Festival in 2014. “Pinoys Play Ball” a full-length play is in revision. “The Injury” a ten-minute play was performed in 2013 and “Pinoy Hill” in the 2014 in the Eclectic Theater Festival. “Pinakbet” a ten minute play was produce in the 2015 Eclectic Theatre Festival. “Salamangka’s Barber Shop” a short play was read in the Seattle Playwrights' Studio Showcase at the Burien Actors Theatre in 2015. These four short plays were produced again in 2018 as a fundraiser for Seattle's Filipino Community Center's Senior Housing Program. "Mabuhay Majesty" a ful- length play was also produced at the Rainer Arts Center in 2017 with funding from the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. His second full-length play “The FAYTs - (The Filipino American Young Turks) was completed in 2012. In 2018, the Dramatist Guild Institute Plays-In-Progress Program and the Umbrella Project in Seattle selected The FAYTS for a revision process. Funding was received from King County 4Culture for three readings. These were held at Seattle Playwrights, the Pagdiriwang Festival (Seattle Center) and the UW Ethnic Cultural Theater. A significantly different play emerged from the revision process.

Robert co-chairs Pinoy Words Expressed Kultura Arts. He graduated from the Artist Trust 2010 EDGE Writers Development Program. In 2018, he received a King County 4Culture Fellowship Award to continue developing theatre projects and poetry. He is a member of the American Writers & Writing Programs, Academy of American Poets, Theater for Puget Sound, Seattle Playwrights Studio and the Dramatist Guild of America.

Plays

  • The Monkey and the Turtle
    A tropical storm forces a monkey and turtle to share a banana plant for survival. The monkey selfishly takes advantage of the turtle in this Filipino folktale.
  • Carabao and the Turtle Race
    A carabao and a turtle race to see who is faster after one of them rejects being a friend.
  • Following Orders
    Following Orders takes us aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer escort in 1967-68 as it follows the exploits of David Fabela, an enlisted. He initially comes aboard as a Boatswains Mate with aspirations of serving as a Yeoman. He runs afoul of the Navy's practices but quickly adapts to the Navy's rules and regulations as they seem to infringe on his sense of responsibility.
  • Salamangka Returns
    Genea, Tony Salmangka's daughter, finds her musical career changing from pianist to ethnomusicology. Amando, Tony's son, wants to start a band but needs money for instruments. His girlfriend, Sirena wants to be the lead singer and his band to play contemporary disco music. Genea encourages Amando to include more indigenous sounds putting her at odds with Sirena. Tony holds the key as he guides Genea...
    Genea, Tony Salmangka's daughter, finds her musical career changing from pianist to ethnomusicology. Amando, Tony's son, wants to start a band but needs money for instruments. His girlfriend, Sirena wants to be the lead singer and his band to play contemporary disco music. Genea encourages Amando to include more indigenous sounds putting her at odds with Sirena. Tony holds the key as he guides Genea by introducing her to Filipino musicians such as Carlos Malla. To achieve her goal, Genea must prove she's worthy of the family's healing tradition and recover a valuable heirloom.
  • Salamangka's Barber Shop
    In this short play, Ray Espejo, a young Filipino American visits Tony Salmangka, his Filipino barber, for advice during the late 1960s. His girlfriend has dumped him and he considers dropping out of college and moving to Canada. He's draft eligible during the Vietnam War. Ray also considers a career as a writer/poet instead of one in science or medicine as expected by his parents. Salmangka's...
    In this short play, Ray Espejo, a young Filipino American visits Tony Salmangka, his Filipino barber, for advice during the late 1960s. His girlfriend has dumped him and he considers dropping out of college and moving to Canada. He's draft eligible during the Vietnam War. Ray also considers a career as a writer/poet instead of one in science or medicine as expected by his parents. Salmangka's Barber Shop located in Seattle's Chinatown is no ordinary barbershop. It's magical. Tony, a babaylon or shaman, counsels Ray about life, introducing him to Filipino notables such as Carlos Bulosan, the poet and Bobby Balcena, the first Filipino major league baseball player.
  • Pinakbet
    Pinakbet is a favorite stew from the Philippines. This 30 minute play takes place on the cusp of World War II and involves two young couples. Fernando, a Filipino immigrant college student lives with Lois, his White girlfriend who wants to get married. She's a great cook but primarily familiar with American meals. He misses his mom's traditional Filipino cooking and is bored by her meals. He...
    Pinakbet is a favorite stew from the Philippines. This 30 minute play takes place on the cusp of World War II and involves two young couples. Fernando, a Filipino immigrant college student lives with Lois, his White girlfriend who wants to get married. She's a great cook but primarily familiar with American meals. He misses his mom's traditional Filipino cooking and is bored by her meals. He's disillusioned with America and considers returning to the Philippines. Felicita, Lois's best friend, and her husband Pepe support her and hope Lois and Fernando marry. But, how can they overcome Fernando's longing for his cultural traditions?
  • The Injury
    The Injury is a 10 minute comedy about Pinoy, a Filipino American softball team during the 1970. Pedro, the catcher is injured, attempting to block a baserunner from scoring. His teammates, Agui and Bagobo (Bags) argue about caring for him as he writhes in pain on the field. Their discussion enters a labyrinth of how and who will take him to the hospital, a potential girlfriend and who's car to use, all...
    The Injury is a 10 minute comedy about Pinoy, a Filipino American softball team during the 1970. Pedro, the catcher is injured, attempting to block a baserunner from scoring. His teammates, Agui and Bagobo (Bags) argue about caring for him as he writhes in pain on the field. Their discussion enters a labyrinth of how and who will take him to the hospital, a potential girlfriend and who's car to use, all while under the pressure to continue the game.
  • Mabuhay Majesty
    The parents of two teen Filipino American girls, Reina and Marietta, in 1960's Seattle demand they enter the annual Filipino Community Queen Contest. These traditional and popular contests were held in communities as fundraisers to support their buildings. Girls represented their immigrant family's region or barrio in the Philippine. They were required to sell tickets and participated in the box...
    The parents of two teen Filipino American girls, Reina and Marietta, in 1960's Seattle demand they enter the annual Filipino Community Queen Contest. These traditional and popular contests were held in communities as fundraisers to support their buildings. Girls represented their immigrant family's region or barrio in the Philippine. They were required to sell tickets and participated in the box socials, chaperoned dances with men. The teena reject the tradition as humiliating. Reina's father demands absolute obedience from her in "her best interests".
  • Pinoy Hill
    Filipino families in Seattle gathered annually for the 4th of July celebration on the top of Seward Park. Families would compete for choice tables. Often, the father would arrive early in the morning bringing one of the sons or daughters assigned to guard a table under threat of losing some privilege such as their allowance. Pinoy Hill is the story of a widowed Auntie who competes with a young teen whose...
    Filipino families in Seattle gathered annually for the 4th of July celebration on the top of Seward Park. Families would compete for choice tables. Often, the father would arrive early in the morning bringing one of the sons or daughters assigned to guard a table under threat of losing some privilege such as their allowance. Pinoy Hill is the story of a widowed Auntie who competes with a young teen whose father has stationed him at the table she wants.
  • Daniel's Mood
    Maricela Barker, a Filipina immigrant and victim of domestic violence, and her young son, Agustin escape her violent husband Randy, and move to Seattle. She hopes to find help and a better life within her community. She takes work as a freelance journalist.Agustin blames her for the divorce and Maricela believes he is growing apart from her. She wants him to become more involved in their Filipino culture and...
    Maricela Barker, a Filipina immigrant and victim of domestic violence, and her young son, Agustin escape her violent husband Randy, and move to Seattle. She hopes to find help and a better life within her community. She takes work as a freelance journalist.Agustin blames her for the divorce and Maricela believes he is growing apart from her. She wants him to become more involved in their Filipino culture and traditions as a way of developing respect. He is dismayed by this and resists when she enrolls him in a local Filipino dance troupe. She fears the loss of tradition.

    They meet Daniel Mallon at the Filipino youth agency. Daniels helps coach basketball for boys. Maricela, against her better judgment, allows Agustin to join the team. Agustin comes to admire and respect Daniel. Daniel unfortunately lets his temper get the better of him when he loses while gambling with friends. The police arrive and in a tragic moment Daniel is killed. Maricela fears that Agustin may follow the same path. Through a dream she encounters Daniel who helps her and Agustin with their problems.

    Daniel’s Mood explores the viciousness of domestic violence and displays its forms from verbal abuse to physical attacks and cultural destruction. It also introduces the audience to the influence of bias within the judicial system.
  • The FAYTS - (The Filipino American Young Turks)
    Ben Adama, declares his interest in politics when a State Senate seat opens in their progressive district,. A community activist, Ben surrounds himself with loyal friends, known as the Filipino American Young Turks (The FAYTs). His skeptical, reluctant, but otherwise supportive wife, Ava agrees to manage the family while he pursues his political dream. Ben and his friends lack the financial capability for a...
    Ben Adama, declares his interest in politics when a State Senate seat opens in their progressive district,. A community activist, Ben surrounds himself with loyal friends, known as the Filipino American Young Turks (The FAYTs). His skeptical, reluctant, but otherwise supportive wife, Ava agrees to manage the family while he pursues his political dream. Ben and his friends lack the financial capability for a campaign. Sensing an opportunity to seize a liberal district, Sitan Helel, a powerful conservative State Senator, sends forth Senator Aswang Iblis to recruit Ben to run. Helel offers Ben and substantial financial support and consultants. Mara Hukluban, a beautiful, intelligent, young woman and daughter of Sitan is assigned to the campaign. But, she and others are not as they seem. Inspired by an actual political campaign, the FAYTs explores questions of good and evil, loyalty and the cost of ambition though the use of mythology and folklore, primarily Filipino in origin. Characters morph between real and mythic worlds in this story pitting personal ambition and desire for political power against ideals, loyalty and family.
  • My Uncle's Letters
    My Uncle’s Letter’s follows Roberto Balmores, a Filipino immigrant in the 1930’s through his attempts to balance his personal life with his responsibilities to his family. It’s based on correspondence discovered in my Uncle Balatzar’s trunks on the death of my father. The protagonist, Roberto, a Filipino immigrant seeks his place in American society. He is torn between family responsibilities and finding...
    My Uncle’s Letter’s follows Roberto Balmores, a Filipino immigrant in the 1930’s through his attempts to balance his personal life with his responsibilities to his family. It’s based on correspondence discovered in my Uncle Balatzar’s trunks on the death of my father. The protagonist, Roberto, a Filipino immigrant seeks his place in American society. He is torn between family responsibilities and finding success in his new country.

    Roberto hopes to find love and happiness with the “right woman.” His financial constriants and his outlook on life become his crutch. He cannot commit to a meaningful relationship. Against the advice of Ignacio, his lifelong compadre, Roberto behaves badly with women. The Sarimonok, the mythic rooster of the Philippines, visits his dreams, attempting to set him along a right path. What happens when Roberto meets Bliss, his actual true love? Her brother and his family strongly oppose their marriage.