About Us

Instructors from TWI are all members of SPIT, the longest running performing improv group in the country, who have been at it for 16 years. Collectively, they have performed in over 750 shows in improv festivals around the world as well as independent shows in cities like Manila, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Chicago, New York, Amsterdam, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Sydney, Boston, and Bogota.

Gabe Mercado

Gabe is the founder of SPIT and is the president of Third World Improv. SPIT has performed to critical acclaim in improv festivals in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Bogota and Amsterdam. He is the producer of the Manila Improv Festival.

Gabe learned improve under Paul Sills, Keith Johnstone and Charna Halpern among other notable teachers. He was also a board member of the Applied Improvisation Network and has designed and facilitated workshops in Applied Improvisation in Singapore, Austin, Amsterdam, Berlin and Oxford. He brings over 30 years of professional theater, television, movie and music experience to the improv stage and classroom.

Gabe leads TWI corporate training, teaser classes, Level 6 electives, and special workshops.

Dingdong Rosales

Dingdong is a founding member of SPIT and Director of the Manila Improv Festival. He has over 20 years experience working as a professional in the theater industry as a freelance actor, acting teacher, stage manager and production manager. He has worked with the country’s top theater companies like PETA, Atlantis Theatrical, Repertory Philippines, Actor’s Actor, Inc. Dramatis Personae and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

He’s been part of the teachers pool of the Repertory Philippines Summer Camp since 2009 and is currently the Improv Coach of the British School Manila and Meridian International College.

Dingdong is a senior instructor at Third World Improv as well as a corporate trainer and consultant. He has conducted and facilitated workshops and training programs for several multinational companies here and abroad.

Ariel Diccion

Ariel completed his degree in MA Literature (Filipino) in Ateneo de Manila University, where he teaches with the Department of Filipino. He played with the Bilingual Improv Group (BIG) and the English Mainstage Players of Beijing Improv when he was visiting faculty at Peking University in 2012 and 2016. Ariel has also joined theater productions with university theater groups, the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) and the CCP Virgin Lab Fest. He has been playing with SPIT since October 2006.

Ariel teaches Levels 1 – 5 and facilitates TWI corporate training modules.

Aryn Cristobal

Aryn has been performing with SPIT since 2006 and is a founding member of Third World Improv. She has taken a course at Magnet Theater and The PIT, two of New York’s most prominent improv schools, and was briefly on the house team of Treehouse Theater. She has been fortunate to learn from improv greats including Cherna Halpern, Mark Sutton, Armando Diaz and Kevin Mullaney. Since then, she has performed and taught in festivals in New York, Chicago, Bogota, Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong. Outside improv, Aryn is a model, commercial actress, events host, and part-time “odd-job holder.”

Happy Feraren

Happy has been practicing improv theater for over a decade with SPIT. Currently, she lives between Manila and Sydney where she teaches and performs improv regularly. She has performed in a wide range of improvisational theater formats for both cultural and corporate audiences. Happy has performed at different international improv festivals in cities like Chicago, New York, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam.

She has also participated in corporate training for local and international clients. When not improvising she is a professional in the anti-corruption space and the event marketing industry.

Kenneth Keng

Kenneth Keng has been an improv theater actor for more than 10 years. He has performed in shows and festivals in New York, Chicago, Beijing, Shanghai, Amsterdam, Singapore and Bogota.

Missy Maramara

Misssy Maramara holds a Master of Fine Arts in Drama (Performance) from the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) through the International Fulbright Scholarship program. Having recently returned from Paris with training in Silent Play and Mask Work from the Ecole International de Theatre Jacques Lecoq and Commedia Dell’Arte from Sorbonne Nouvelle, she teaches full-time in the Department of Fine Arts and the English Department of the Ateneo De Manila University, where she earned a BFA in Theater Arts and an MA in English Literature and Culture Studies, and where she is currently pursuing a PhD in English Language and Literature. She is the moderator and director for the Ateneo’s premiere musical theater group, Blue Repertory. She has also taught and directed in Beacon Academy, Beacon School and Miriam College High School.

Monica Cordero-Cruz

Monica Cordero-Cruz has been performing with SPIT for 11 years and has been teaching Applies Improv for about 5, in Metro Manila and all around the world. She has experience in academic and corporate training in various roles – be it facilitating or acting – for different groups and companies, the latest of which was a workshop for students of Tainan University of Technology in Taiwan. She is a founding member of Third World Improv, the first school dedicated to teaching the art of improvisation in the Philippines. Outside of improv, Monica is an Interior Designer and a mother of two.

Pepe Manikan

Pepe Manikan is a freelance audio producer and a music scorer for television, radio, new media and films. He is also a full-time faculty member at the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde teaching audio production under the Multimedia Arts program. He has been performing with SPIT for 15 years and has started to teach improv as a “TWI-cher” in 2017. In 2017, he won the best musical score for the film KIKO BOKSINGERO in the Cinemalaya Film Festival, and best musical score for the Annonois film festival for REKORDER in 2013.

Thea Marabut

Thea Marabut is a graduate of the Philippine High School for the Arts under its Theater Arts program. She graduated from the University of the Philippines Los Banos, BA Communication Arts, Major in Speech Communication.

Working with several theater companies like Tanghalang Pilipino, Kids Acts Philippines, My Talent, and Sipat Lawin Inc., she has taught acting for children and adults, community theater, storytelling for both kids and adults in different communities, provinces and schools in the country. She is currently a senior teacher in Third World Improv, the first school in the Philippines dedicated to teaching the art and craft of improvisational theater.

© Third World Improv Inc.