How a high school homecoming led to 'Silver Lining' musical 2
Gallerist-turned-music composer Jack Teotico (third from left) with the cast of 'Silver Lining' (from left) Joel Nuñez, Ricky Davao, and Raul Montesa

How a La Salle high school homecoming inspired the creation of musical ‘Silver Lining’

Gallerist Jack Teotico's journey through music and life has culminated in the creation of the musical “Silver Lining,” offering audiences a reflection on the past and a glimpse into the challenges of today's generation.
RHIA GRANA | Oct 12 2023

Music, like visual art, holds a profound significance in the life of Jack Teotico, owner and president of Galerie Joaquin. “Ever since high school, I’ve always liked music. We grew up in very exciting times,” the gallerist tells ANCX.

Teotico was referring to the mid-'60s to '70s when UK bands like The Beatles, The Zombies, The Hollies, The Animals, and the Rolling Stones became insanely popular, a cultural phenomenon also known as the British Invasion. 

The United States had its response with the iconic Motown sound, which emerged with its distinctive music.

Noong high school kami, kapag medyo marunong kang mag-gitara, malakas ang dating mo sa mga kolehiyala. So I tried to pick up the guitar and learn a few songs,” he reminisces. “Dati nauso pa 'yung Jingle magazine, a chord book where you could find the chords for your favorite songs.”

Teotico studied Business Economics at the University of the Philippines in Diliman and subsequently built his career in investment banking. Later, he dedicated 25 years of his professional life as a member of the Department of Agriculture’s management team. It was after his retirement from the DA that he established Galerie Joaquin in 2002. 

The Rockitwell Band
The Rockitwell Band. Photo courtesy of Jack Teotico


Teotico didn’t pursue music as a career, but it remained an integral part of his life. He thoroughly enjoyed attending live band performances and listening to his favorite tunes on the radio. He was happy watching from the sidelines until an opportunity presented itself during their brainstorming sessions for their upcoming high school golden anniversary homecoming at La Salle Greenhills. 

His batchmates wanted to break away from the conventional homecoming activities such as bazaars and dance performances. They thought, “Why don't we do it like we did it during our time, the time of Woodstock, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and all the big concerts of the '60s and the '70s?” They proposed the idea to the homecoming committee, who enthusiastically welcomed it. 

“Our band had been rehearsing for four years leading up to the 2020 homecoming,” he says. Then about nine months before the event, they informed the homecoming committee that they had readied three sets of songs, comprising both covers and original compositions. 

“How many songs are we allowed to perform?” they asked. The response was that, while they were the ones marking their golden homecoming, other sponsoring batches had also opted to create their own bands. At most, they could perform five songs. 

Having rehearsed a substantial repertoire, Teotico and friends decided to take their talents to local bars and music venues, leading to the formation of Rockitwell. “It's an amorphous band. I'd occasionally play the rhythm guitar and even tried my hand at singing,” he shares coyly. 

"Another band member, Raymund Reyes, now chairs the Aristocrat Group of Companies. He's been quite occupied, but whenever he finds some free time, he joins us on stage, playing the percussion. Sadly, our batch leader, Tony Atayde from batch '70, passed away during the pandemic due to cancer. Mel Solis returned to San Francisco." 

Currently, there are still three original members who play with Rockitwell — Rene Narciso, who is the lead vocalist; Dindo Ibazeta who is the managing director of Red Rhino Art Bar and Restaurant; and Teotico. They play along with a group of supporting musicians. 

So far, the band has performed at Musica Bar, 19 East, and RJ Bistro, and recently at 12 Monkeys Music Hall and Pub and Red Rhino. 

As for the La Salle Greenhills homecoming, the event successfully pushed through shortly before the onset of the 2020 pandemic lockdown.

Memories and melodies

Over the past years, Teotico rediscovered his passion for the guitar, affording him the opportunity to contemplate past and present experiences, resulting in the creation of multiple songs.

One of the songs he wrote was inspired by the bonds of friendship and support among his batchmates. “One of our batchmates fell ill in Baguio and needed help,” he shares. “I was so touched when our batch got together and everybody put in a lot of effort to bring him down from Baguio to PGH and get him the best care possible from heart specialists there.” Others offered financial assistance. 

“That weekend I was able to write a song called ‘Brothers.’ It's about our life and remembering all those wonderful years. It doesn't matter where you are, where you come from, where you belong. We're all brothers,” he says. 

He also wrote a nostalgic tune capturing the feeling of a guy meeting the girl of his dreams. “It's a generic song. I just I titled it ‘Julia.’ I thought I’d try to capture what it feels like to meet a girl of your dreams for the first time. You have this great, great crush and you feel like you're floating in the air,” he says.

He also reminisced the fun soirees they had with the girls from St. Paul, St. Scholastica, Maryknoll in one song. “At the start, all the guys would be on one side of the room and other girls on the other. Then as the night progressed, the line of the guys would come closer and closer and closer to the girls. In the end, you’re practically just a foot away from the girls. And when you hear the first line of a song, especially if it's a slow dancing song, you’d extend your hand and ask, ‘may I have this dance?’”

Raul Montesa, Ricky Davao, Nenel Arcayan, and Joel Nuñez as friends Raul, Leo, Josie, and Anton in the musical 'Silver Lining'
Raul Montesa, Ricky Davao, Nenel Arcayan, and Joel Nuñez as friends Raul, Leo, Josie, and Anton in the musical 'Silver Lining'

As expected, some of guys wanted to dance with the same girls. “I recall how we used to call it ‘bakuran.’ We'd gently maneuver our way through the crowd, subtly jostling with the other guys vying to dance with the girl of our choice. This whole experience inspired the creation of the song ‘Bakuran,’” he says.

Back in the day, he also observed the spirited clashes and rivalries between universities in the world of sports, particularly in basketball. “Dati hindi pa UAAP e. It was originally the NCAA and every time certain schools would be having a ballgame, it couldn't end without fisticuffs, throwing of peanuts or cans and bottles and that it's also like rambol,” he says. “Usually the blues and the greens, La Salle vs. Ateneo or San Beda vs Letran. May kanya-kanyang school rivalries 'yan e. And I observed that this went on when I got to UP in college so the song 'Rambulan' came out.” 

In the UAAP, it took a while for the UP Fighting Maroons to claw its way back to the championship. “I remember we had just one win and nag-bonfire pa kami,” he looks back, smiling. “Then naging dalawa ang panalo, naging apat, naging walo. And then last year, nag-champion na ang UP. That inspired me to write the celebratory anthem ‘Atin To, Atin ang Panalo.’” 

With the passage of time, one naturally wonders about the people from their past. “What happened to your crushes, your soiree buddies, your slumbook signers, your school fair companions?” Teotico muses. “Where Are They Now” is a heartfelt reflection on the people from the past and their journeys. “We recall all the wonderful moments that we shared, and of course we’re hoping they’re all in good health and doing well.”

In the midst of a bleak period, a song of hope emerged: ‘Silver Lining.’ “I composed this song during the pandemic when everything seemed to be in a state of despair and we were all confined to our homes. But the song ultimately takes an optimistic turn, proclaiming that a silver lining is on the horizon,” he says.

 Jay Cortez, Albert Silos, Sara Sicam, and Noel Comia Jr. as young Raul, Leo, Josie, and Anton
Jay Cortez, Albert Silos, Sara Sicam, and Noel Comia Jr. as young Raul, Leo, Josie, and Anton

Silver Lining the musical

Teotico was sharing about his musical compositions to Jay Valencia-Glorioso, a veteran of musical theater and the executive director of her own agency MusicArtes, Inc., when the idea popped up to make something out of it. 

“Let me call some friends,” he remembers Glorioso telling him. Then to his surprise, great talents came on board for the project. Nine-time Palanca awardee Joshua Lim So wrote the script and the lyrics. PETA artistic director Maribel Legarda saw great potential in the story and agreed to direct it. PETA’s Vince Lim took charge of the musical direction and arrangement and also wrote additional lyrics. 

“This year lang nabuo ang musical. We’re excited… also a bit stressed because it takes a lot of hard work to put a new musical from the ground up. But we’re finally ready to stage it starting next week!” he says with obvious excitement. 

“'Silver Lining' is the story of our generation, all the good times, the triumphs and the trials that we went through,” he says. “It’s also the story of the younger generation — our kids, their own issues and struggles with gender issues, mental health issues, alienation, social media, etc.” 

Cast members include Ricky Davao, Joel Nuñez, Raul Montesa, Nenel Arcayan, Jep Go, Shaun Ocrisma, Maronne Cruz, Albert Silos, Noel Comia Jr., Jay Cortez, Sara Sicam, Krystal Brimner, Khalil Tambio, and Hazel Maranan. 

"Silver Lining" will be staged at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City on October 20 (8 p.m.), October 21 (8 p.m.) October 22 (3 p.m.) and October 27 (8 p.m.), October 28 (8 p.m.), October 29 (3 p.m.). Tickets are available on Ticket2Me or