MR. RONALDO CARBALLO WRITES A VERY WONDERFUL REVIEW FOR THE PLAY “KATIPS”…

ronaldo carballo: one of the most prolific writers that the Philippine Entertainment scene has produced.
ronaldo carballo: one of the most prolific writers that the Philippine Entertainment scene has produced.

SINULAT NI: MR. RONALDO CARBALLO

 

MAMUMULAT ANG MGA INOSENTE AT WALANG MUWANG, HABANG MULI AT MULING MAMUMULAT ANG MATAGAL NANG IMINULAT NG MALULUPIT NA KARANASAN SA BATAS MILITAR NG ISANG MALAYONG NAGDAANG REHIMEN…


Paakyat pa lang ako sa cinema 9 ng sm north edsa na kasalubong ko ang sangrekwang taong nanood ng mas naunang screening na talbog ang dami ng tao ng isang blockbuster star cinema movie, bilang venue ng grand opening day ng pagtatanghal ng prestihiyoso’t award winning theater group, Philippine Stagers Foundation (PSF), ng KATIPS: MGA BAGONG KATIPUNERO bilang kanilang 2016 season of performances ’til march, 2017 na iikot sa buong pilipinas…kinilabutan na ko sa dami nang nagbalik sa aking alaala. Na aaminin ko, kay tagal ko nang di naalala, kung di ko man sadyang kinalimutan mula nang pumasok na ko sa showbiz nung 1981.


Ipinaalala sa akin ng tagpong yun na sa “teatro” din nagsimula ang buhay ko nung ako’y high school, na nagbunsod para maging kung ano ako ngayon. Kinse anyos pa lang ako, sumulat at nagdirek na ako ng ilang stage plays na nagwagi sa mga kumpetisyon ng mga public high school sa division of city schools in metro manila. Yun nga ang nagbukas ng pinto para makapag-playwriting workshop ako sa PETA at maging scholar ng UP PALIHANG AURELIO TOLENTINO PLAYWRITING WORKSHOP, kung saan nagwagi rin ako sa PALIHANG AURELIO TOLENTINO NATIONAL PLAYWRITING CONTEST noong 1979 na si direk Joel Lamangan ang naging consultant-mentor ko habang isinusulat ko ang aking entry. Hindi pa kilalang direktor ng pelikula si direk joel nung mga panahong yun. Doon nga nagsimula ang aming tunay na pagkakaibigan. Hanggang pinagtagpo uli kami sa showbiz para maging writer-director team sa maraming proyekto sa tv at ilang pelikula.


Kamakailan nga lamang din, magkasabay naming pinanood ni direk joel ang Palanca award winning play ni direk vince tanada na “ANG BANGKAY” na pareho naming gustung-gusto ang pagkagawa. Nasabi ko kay direk joel na, “Ang husay-husay sumulat at magdirek ng play ni direk Vince Tanada” at sumang-ayon siya. At sabi ko pa, “Parang di ko na kayang sumulat at magdirek ng play. Nakalimutan ko na mula nang maging TV at pelikula na ang medium na nakasanayan ko”.


Sabi naman ni direk joel nang may pangungumbinse, “Hindi mo malilimutan yun. Maaaring ayaw mo na lang. Pero kung gugustuhin mo, makakasulat ka pa rin ng dula”—kase nga si direk joel, kahit ano na ang narating sa pelikula sa mahabang panahon, hindi pa rin niya iniwan ang teatro bilang mahusay na artista at direktor.


Sa lobby ng sinehan, kasama ang maraming naghihintay na muling pupuno ng venue, habang iniintay na naming papasukin kami sa 3:30pm show, dumating naman ang naging mentor ko sa pagsulat ng screenplay, ang hari ng mga screenwriters na si RICKY LEE.

True enough, tunay na blockbuster nga ang grand opening day ng KATIPS. Punung-puno ng tao ang sinehan.
Nagsisimula pa lang ang dula sa eksenang picket sa mendiola nung 70’s nagpapalakpakan na ang mga manonood at kinikilabutan na ko sa pambungad na awit pa lang. Doon, bigla ko rin naalala na ang ipinanalo ko palang dula sa U.P. PALIHANG AURELIO TOLENTINO NATIONAL PLAYWRITING CONTEST ay “NANG BINULABOG ANG MGA LANGGAM”, isang allegorical play na subersibo . Allegorical play yun kase bawal nga magtanghal ng anumang dulang laban sa isang rehimen, kaya ikinubli ko angmga tunay na karakter sa mga hayop (Ang kapitalistang amerikano “uncle sam”–HARING TAO; HARING ASO; Mga militar at pulis na pumapatay ng mamamayan–MGA TUTA; Mga bayarang media na nagbabalita ng mga maling balita–MGA LORO; mga construction firm na magtatayo ng pabrika para sa interes ng mga amerikano—MGA GAGAMBA; at marami pang iba).
Ngayon, matapos mapalayas ang isang leader nung 1986 mula sa mahigit isang dekadang pagkabilanggo ng ating kalayaan, heto ang KATIPS, malayang naitatanghal ang tungkol sa katotohanan ng martial law na halos ikinubli sa kasaysayan at hindi man lang itinuturo sa mga eskwelahan.
Mabuti na lang, muling binuhay ni direk vince ang tutuong kwentong walang kasinungalingan tungkol sa lagim, kalupitan at karahasan ng gobyerno noon, kung saan hindi lang basta may curfew, kundi nililigpit, winawala, pinapatay at binubura sa mundo ang sinumang hindi sumasang-ayon sa mapaniil sa pamamalakad ng isang pinuno. Lalo na nga ang mga subersibong estudyante at lahat ng kumikilos sa “underground”. Buhay ang mga tao, naglalakad, humihinga, ngunit daig pa ang nakagapos ang mga kamay at paa; may busal ang bibig; tila putol ang mga dila na di makapagsalita ng katotohanan laban sa kaapihan mula sa mga naghaharing uri dahil lahat sakal-sakal at walang kalayaan.
Marubdob, masakit at nakakikilabot maalala ang mala-bangungot na pangitaing ito na buong-tapang na inilalarawan ng dulang-musikal. Na kahit pilit ko nang kinalimutan ang sarili kong karanasan sa mga panahong yun ay nanariwa ngang lahat dahil sa mahusay na paglalarawan at pagbibigay-buhay ng mga pangunahing tauhan at lahat ng buong enssemble of supporting cast.
Sa KATIPS, kung saan nagkatagpu-tagpo ang representante ng “mga bagong katipunero”. Ang katips ay isang bahay sa UP campus nung 70’s na paga-ari ni alet (adelle ibarrientos), isang kasamang kumukupkop ng mga kasamang aktibista pag aabutan na ng curfew; pinapakain ang nagugutom at ginagamot ang mga nasugatan sa mga rally, demonstrasyon at engkwentro.
Sa tahanan ngang yun sila nagtatagpu-tagpo at nanunuluyan pag sila’y nasa kapatagan. Doon namin nakilala nang lubos ang mga karakter ng mga pangunahing tauhan na iba-iba ang pinanggalingan at ginagawa sa buhay, ngunit may iisang ipinaglalaban: ang mapatid ang tanikala ng pang-aalipin ng mga naghaharing-uri at makamit ang kalayaan mula sa pagtakas sa isang diktadurya.
Walang tulak-kabigin sa brilliant performances ng lahat, lalo na nga ang mga pangunahing tauhan: si PANYONG ( Vince Tanada) na isang editor ng “ANG BAYAN”, isang subersibong newsletter noon na lihim na lihim na ipinamamhagi (at sa tutuong buhay, nagkaroon din ako ng pagkakataong mag-ambag ng sulatin sa newsletter na yun).
Si LARA (Maya Encila), na isang dalagitang lumaki sa amerika at umuwi sa pilipinas para hanapin ang kanyang amang professor sa UP. Wala siya ni katiting na kamulatan sa uri ng pamamalakad ni marcos sa sarili niyang bansa hanggang na-meet niya si GREG (Kevin Posadas) na isa rin aktibistang estudyante. Dinala siya sa Katips, only to find out na pinatay ang tatay niya nang walang kalaban-laban. Doon, unti-unti siyang namulat sa katotohanan ng buhay sa pilipinas sa isang rehimen nung panahon na iyon. Hindi man niya kayang ipagtanggol o buhayin pa ang kanyang ama, may adhikain na rin siyang baguhin ang sistema sa pamamagitan ng pakikibaka. Tunay pa rin nga siyang filipino kahit pilipit ang dila niya sa tagalog. Kasabay nito’y ang pamumukadkad ng pag-iibigan nila ni Greg. Tulad rin ng pag-iibigan nina Panyong at Alet; ESTONG (Gerald Magallanes) at SUSIE (Vean Olmedo); ART (John Rey Rivas) at LALLY (Rospel Gonzales).
Tulad rin ng nakamulat na katotohanan, sa gitna ng kagipitan at walang katapusang pagtatago, minsa’y gumagaan ang sitwasyon dahil sa nabuong pag-ibig at pagmamahalan sa apat na pares na tauhan na nabanggit.
All through out the two and a half hours three act play, susundan mo ang mga hinaing ng mga tauhang ito; makikiiyak ka sa kanilang mga dalamhati likha ng mapanggipit na gobyerno; subalit mamahalin mo rin sila ng lubos at makikisali ka sa sarap ng pakiramdam nila habang nagmamahal na unti-unting isinisiwalat ng very endearing performance nilang galing sa puso para patagusin sa bawat puso ng manonood, sa pamamagitan rin ng mga awit na nilikha ang bawat akampanya ng live ng henyong direktor ng musika na si Pipo Omallao Cifra; sa mahusay na tulong naman ni Robert Encila bilang repetiteur-live keyboardist ng dula.
The production design is simple & yet, visually powerful by the imaginative creativity of JEFF AMBROSIO.
That was my favorite scene na “tuhog” na nag-uusap ang apat na pares na umiibig sa kung anong tunay nilang nararamdaman at inawit nila ng buong husay ang nagmarka rin sa aking awit na “SA GITNA NG GULO”.
The music are really brilliantly composed na napakalaking lahok sa isang musical play. Kahit mabigat ang tema ng dula, gumaan ito at mas madaling naarok ng mga kabataang walang alam sa malupit na nakaraan ang tunay na mensahe ng dula na tunay ngang tumitimo sa bawat puso at isipan ng lahat.
Lahat ng awit ay makabuluhan at tulad ng mensahe ng dula ito ay mahirap nang kalimutan, lalo na bukod sa “Sa gitna ng gulo”, tumimo rin sa puso ko nang husto ang “MANHID”, sung by temyong himself expressing his long-overdue suppresed love for alet, na si alet ay unang nagmahal kay BEN (john jerricho gapido porciuncula) at nabigo dahil ito’y isa palang…oooops, dapat panoorin ninyo.
Sa mga napanood ko na in the past, given na ang husay nina vince and adelle as seasoned actors, pero naging one of the most touching & powerful pa rin yung scene nilang yun na “manhid”.
Gusto ko rin yung mga awiting “WELGA KAMI” (Kahit nung teaser pa lang ito sa press launch), kung saan lumutang ang very convincing performances ng tatlong mga nakakabuwisit na torturer na sina JP Lopez; Art Andrade & Chris Lim, respectively;
Markado rin ang masaya at nakatutuwang awit ng isang grupo ng mga loyalistang mga metro aide, headed by Ching Ortega as Mang Temyong with his consistent & remarkable performance, as ever.
Siyempre mahirap din kalimutan ang magkakaibang husay nina Gerald Magallanes (na very commendable din with his very danceable choreography as the musical’s choreographer); john rey rivas who came very strong on stage with his singing voice aside from a powerful acting; at si vean olmedo na consistently good with her comic visayan accent activist. Such a versatile actress after watching her in various serious dramatic roles in the past especially in “ang bangkay”.
But most of all, i will never forget all the songs involving the tandem of Lara & Greg (Maya Encila & Kevin Posadas, respectively). Very endearing performances. Susundan mo at mamahalin mo silang dalawa sa journey nila ’til the end. Maya is such a revelation. I met her & talked to her personally in the press launch. She’s just a cute, innocent & very pretty baby. Pero sa stage, she’s a “giant” na pwede niyang lamunin ng buong-buo ang lahat ng kaeksena niya kung hindi ito mga equally kasing-huhusay niya. She’s such a charmer, but never just a pretty face. Ang lakas ng dating! Brilliant young singer-actress that will go a long, long way.
Kevin is so magical. Iba rin siya sa stage. Ang lakas ng stage presence. With his acting & perfect vocals, you will be moved by his powerful performance. A profile of a very professional theater actor tackling different roles at its best (that i’ve seen too in the past).
All in all, KATIPS is an experience. A wonderful touching experience of a hidden truth that was kept for a long time na muntik na nating di mapanood at maaaring kung hindi naglakas-loob si direk vince tanada to staged this, baka tuluyan na ngang basta na lang ibinaon sa limot.
Masaya naman ang mga millenials na dati’y walang alam na nanood na nakausap namin. Kay bilis nilang na-absorb ang mensahe. Sabi nila, “Sana huwag na maulit ang panahon na iyon. Sana pangalagaan na natin ang ating kalayaan. Sana huwag ilibing ang pinunong iyon sa libingan ng mga bayani. Hindi pala karapat-dapat”.
Sabi nga ni Ricky Lee na biktima rin ng panggigipit at sapilitang ikinulong nung mga panahon na iyon, “Maganda. Buti may mga ganito pang napapanood. At maraming kabataang nanood. Sana kumalat. Para mas marami pang makapanood”.
Yes, ricky. Pangako ikalalat natin. Dahil tunay ka, dapat mapanood ng lahat at mas nakararami pa ang KATIPS, ANG MGA BAGONG KATIPUNERO. You have all the time to see this very truthful musical play in different venues all over the philippines, in all weekends with four performances each day until march, 2017.

Please check the dates & venues. Don’t miss it…

katipsvino

vince: deep message to the youth
vince: deep message to the youth

“kakampi”: even the falling of a leaf has a reason (a film review)

kakampi kakampi2

Even the falling of a leaf has a reason. I guess, it’s one of the most beautiful and meaningful sayings of life. The falling leaf graciously falls down, but most people doesn’t give a heck of it. They don’t care. Because a dry leaf is lifeless, meaningless, senseless…

But if you will look further, the falling leaf falls because of a reason. It flies along with the movement of the wind. And you will see life in a lot more deeper way if you will only notice the FALLING LEAF, and why it fell.

After watching Kakampi, which was an entry to the recently-concluded Tofarm Film Festival, I saw life again in a different and more assuring manner. Because I was already afraid that people might see me in a bad way already, because I kept on blogging and posting on my FB account some deeper meanings of life- I thought, I was already on the loosing end. Crazy, I mean.

But watching Kakampi changed all that. For all those who loves Poetry, Beauty, Enchantment, Journeys and Self-Realizations, well, Kakampi is for you. Just hoping that this film will still have its own special screenings, even after the ToFarm Filmfest.

ms. gloria sevilla: a very warm portrayal
ms. gloria sevilla: a very warm portrayal

The movie was Avant Garde in style and form. But its a very simple, silent, calm film. It told the story of a young man who was called and invited by her grandmother (awesomely and so warmly portrayed in the film by veteran actress Ms. Gloria Sevilla) to take care of their lanzones farm and inherit their vast lands in Camiguin Island, CDO.

perry dizon: brief but magnificent
perry dizon: brief but magnificent

But soon, the young man discovered a problem- the lanzones farm didn’t bear fruits anymore and the people were getting hungry. A man who grew in a modern lifestyle from the city quickly adjusted and tried to solve the problem through one single memory he had left of his grandfather (portrayed so briefly but magnificently in the film by Perry Dizon) who really owned the land of lanzoneses. That memory that kept on coming back brought him back into discovering who he really was. A man of the land. A farmer in genes and in blood.

neil: sexy
neil: sexy

“Do not be afraid of whatever you’ll see”, were the very words that his grandfather told him. Yes, the vast land he inherited was enchanted. Unseen souls and entities continued to live there. And they might be the reason why the lanzones trees didn’t bear fruits anymore. The young man, portrayed in the film by the very sexy and appealing Neil Ryan Sese did everything to make the lanzoneses come back again. He even talked to the trees himself.

But it wasn’t the talking at all that helped. It was the love that the unseen entities needed, and wanted. A love that could bring back life to a dry and hidden rural place of vast mountains, farms and sea.

The unseen entities wanted to see a bondage of love, and after that, they did make the lanzones farm bloom again. And the farmers back to work and back to the new hopes and adventures in life.

vic acedillo: superb direction
vic acedillo: superb direction

Beautifully executed in a lyrical form of direction by Vic Acedillo, Jr., the film relaxed my mind and soul. The words spoken by the actors were brief and precise, but full of meanings and wonder. After you left the Cinema, a good soul somehow guided you happily back home.

Precisely.

Because that’s the main essence of the film from the start to the finish. A good soul traveled in the Modern City to fetch a young and restless man, portrayed in the film by delicious Felix Rocco. He never knew, that a good soul (the taxi driver) would soon change his views in life via the story that the taxi cab driver told him while in the middle of the road and the traffic while travelling around the Metropolis of the city of  Manila. The young man was awed by the story. He wanted to go back to the taxi driver after he had climbed down from it. But suddenly the taxi driver disappeared.

In life, only a man with a good heart and a sincere spirit could see things far beyond our innermost imaginations.

But believe me, stories like this one could only happen-

Whenever FOREVER existed.

 

“Kakampi” is surely a once-in-a-lifetime film.

 

(words by robert manuguid silverio)

“KATIPS (Ang Mga Bagong Katipunero)”: A RAINBOW OF HOPE AMIDST THE CHANGING TIDE…A SECOND REVIEW TO “KATIPS”, WITH EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS BY MR. VINO ORIARTE

kierwin: comes back with a rainbow of hope
kierwin: comes back with a rainbow of hope

It felt like magic. Electrifying, too, and ecstatic. That was the time it hit me- as I entered the Cinema One of SM Centerpoint wherein a full-packed audience of young students eagerly awaited the start of Philippine Stagers Foundation’s latest opus play- KATIPS (Ang Mga Bagong katipunero). It suddenly went into me, I mean, that kind of feeling. Maybe, it was already an extra-sensory-perception on my part or what you termed as ESP. I knew already I was going to watch a truly worthy and beautiful kind of a legitimate theater production.

I lingered to look first at the fabulous stage design at the very center front of the stage, rather than look around the noises and clamors I heard made by the students. The stage, it seemed was already inviting, tickling your artistic bones that I would soon see and hear, handsome performers and fascinating music. The stage, again, was just simple, though, but it revealed a deeper meaning- wherein old newspapers and front pages of it were made as wall designs with a cage/cell at the center- which truly implied a masking tape of lies during that era of a forgotten past in Philippine History. Kudos to Mr. Jeffrey Ambrosio, the Stage Designer who conceptualized and executed a masterpiece of art right there on stage.

Minutes later, I heard the music. The beat of an era. A tune so magnifying it at once brought me to a “not-so-forgotten-past” of my own life. It was the music, I knew, created and composed by Mr. Pipo Cifra- for this stage play. And yes, the play started right a time I really wanted it to be.

Ang Picket Sa Mendiola was the Intro Song of this play. The song was delivered in high notes by the Stagers as they all danced and sung it- in a very energetic execution of perfection and high vision. The choreography of this opening number, visualized by Mr. Gerald Magallanes (PSF’s choreographer) almost said it all and you were almost there. Like a magic wand, it turned you into a soul living in an era of the ’70’s or something. And even the young audience, as I looked around them, suddenly went into a “time travel”. They, yes… at once, knew. And now ready for something more.

I felt so happy again seeing the handsome faces and pretty looks of all the Stagers performing. They’re not half-hearted in what they’re doing on stage, but full-hearted and overjoyed in performing. The New Stagers easily mingled-in and coped-up, as the Old Stagers were still the most impressive performers of that night.

The first scenes of the play already highlighted the main conflict of that era they were presenting in an artistic medium. It became the “catalyst” of a revolt and an anger. Because those “people in power” at that time suddenly intervened at a peaceful rally and even ignored the presence of nuns and a priest. They held and shot a professor- which was Ka Manding  (performed in a captivating manner by Jomar Tanada Bautista, with New Stager Alex Baylon alternating the role) – the rallysts’ leader, inspiration and idol. 

Yes again, the death of Ka Manding became the catalyst and prime mover for the play to revolve. It soon gave birth to the other characters of the play, like the sympathetic character of a teenage boy named Art (awesomely portrayed by Johnrey Rivas) who’s an editorial staff of a campus newspaper, and of course, to a Balikbayan named Lara (so refreshingly portrayed by newcomer Maya Encila) who happened to be the very daughter of Ka Manding. This was already revealed seconds before Ka Manding died as he entrusted Lara to Greg (the play’s male lead actor and portrayed in a magnificent way by Kierwin Larena, with Kevin Posadas alternating) if ever he dies as the military people head-locked him and soon, he was shot and killed.

The play, all the more, continued on with mightier power, angst and tension. The music afterwards became transforming in many different emotions of love, flattery, subversiveness and revelations. I basically loved so much the song Bawal Kang Magsalita, not because of its unique music, but the message it implied. Panyong (the second male lead character of the play and portrayed with perfection and mastery by Vince Tanada) sang the song emotionally which only further made you feel how uncomfortable the life was during that era. Where people’s mouths were shut-up and taped. It was made clear the true message of the play.

Oh yes, the LIVE BAND. Whoa. It’s so good to the ears. I thought in a while, I was watching a rock classic- Jesus Christ Superstar ‘coz the feeling was exactly like that. Unique, surprising, trend-setting.

Thank you very much to Mr. Robert Encila and his band- because with the Stagers singing live in full force, the more they became impressive and the play exciting.

The costume design of Ms. Emy Tanada was colorful, passionate, authentic- and it provided more the feeling of ‘deja vu’ to whomever might want to have that kind of feeling while watching the play. The way the people dressed-up in the ’70’s could be perfectly be seen in this play.

The lighting of Art E. Gabrentina was Hollywood-ish in style in style and execution. It moved in varying colors degree of grandeur and “picture-like frames”, like, you are inside a photo studio of great, powerful lights.

The torture scenes of this play were the scenes I couldn’t bear. It was so heavy to look and watch at, but had to be presented that way because of its truthfulness. It had to be executed for the audience to know that it was really the way that those “people in power” at that time responded to rebellion. But they did it overboard. And Crimes Against Humanity didn’t set the records straight.

What made this play so impressive, really, to this blogger was the acting unison of all the Stagers. But they were able to do it because of great support from the major cast- most especially to Ms. Adelle Ibarrientos-Lim whose character in the play- as Alet– would further convince you of the treachery done to the little ones, the poor ones, the less-fortunate ones- as they were abused by the “people in power”.

Maya Encila as Lara was pretty convincing, too.

The supporting cast in persons of Glenn Magallanes, Rutchell Leonor, Vean Olmedo, Rospel Ann Gonzales, Johnrey Rivas, Hark Montillana, Jessica Evangelio, Oj Bacor, Marjorie Militar, Chin Ortega, De’Rotsen Etolle, Daniel Cruz, Chris Lim, JP Lopez, Art Andrade, Arian Golondrina, Levi Bracia and the rest of all of the Cast Ensemble, all did a terrific job. Even in small roles, they managed to steal “awes and wows”.

And lastly, no words could best describe the alluring direction of this play masterpiece. I bow my heads on you, Mr. Vince Tanada!

 

*********************************

 

In the heart of one man, it was his task that only mattered. A task so dangerous and life-threatening. A task that could be called invisible to the naked eye, but gravitational in force and might.

Kierwin Larena as Greg delivered that. His character must live to serve as a “rainbow of hope amidst the changing tide”.

As Kierwin suddenly appeared anew in the ending scene of the play, and as the audience thought he had already died, the shrieks and shouts of the young students who watched became ear-defying to the blogger who was among them.

Not just because they saw hope, but also, because of the fact that the character became so much handsomer with his shorter hair cut, minus the groovy-shady looks, too. The actor came back and the promise fulfilled.

Together with the other actors of the play, a character only becomes alive if the actor gave his SOUL.

And Mr. Kierwin Larena surely delivered that.

Always, and….

 

FOREVER.

 

 

(as the words were written by robert manuguid silverio)

robert silverio with mr. vince tanada
robert silverio with mr. vince tanada
mr. vino oriarte
mr. vino oriarte

 

EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS BY MR. VINO ORIARTE BELOW, TAKEN DURING THE SECOND DAY OF PERFORMANCE OF “KATIPS”:

 

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“KATIPS”: A MEMORY OF A FORGOTTEN PAST (a rehearsal theater review of vince tanada’s magnificent play of an almost-forgotten violent era in Philippine history)…

KATIPS

Master theater actor/director vince tanada with theater icon Frank Rivera
Master theater actor/director vince tanada with theater icon Frank Rivera

 

When a group of the handsomest theater group (yes, we did agree when theater icon- Mr. Frank Rivera- labeled them as the “the handsomest and most powerful theater group” that existed in the world of performing arts)  performed in front of you with all their might and power in their very last pre-production rehearsal, your view of the world seemed to change. You felt ‘awed’ and it transformed you into becoming a different person- all too suddenly. It made you ask questions of why people seemed to change views of their choices of leaders in the political world, it made you dig deeper and analyze why people seemed to abuse and disregard the freedom that DEMOCRACY has given them. It made you cry because of the hundreds and thousands of dead people and souls, seemingly, FORGOTTEN. People who sacrificed their lives for change. People who deeply believed in their ideologies. People who fought in their own little way – for freedom, for justice, for equality.

In an era of an almost-forgotten past, this group of fresh and very creative people brought one blogger back to an episode he did experience somehow when he was still young and in teens. They all performed so truthfully and convincingly – like, they were the very actual people of those dead heroes in The First Quarter Storm of the Edsa Philippine Revolution.

These “dead heroes” you met once or twice in your lifetime as you yourself participated in marching and took the vigil in Edsa at the height of the people’s unrest in 1970 and felt the beauty of their rebellion, again we say, came back to life in living colors of perfect emotions, moves, dances and songs.

And you cried alone as no one saw you there. Because the “dead heroes” you saw and felt anew, in the present generation and batch of people living as Filipinos, had forgotten them- even in the pages of the textbooks of students of Philippines. And even the son of a Political icon who became the President didn’t live-up to the sacrifices made by his dad and the people who died for the sake of his dad’s legacy??? That, we ask now. Or maybe, it’s the people who simply abused the gifts given by the spirit of Democracy.

Yes, we say, the man who wrote, directed, created and acted so perfectly in Philippine Stagers Foundation’s new theatrical production- KATIPS– delivered the job so awesomely. The message was clear and precise. The play challenged your intellectual beliefs, but more than that, it made you remember again- most of all, the young man you met who disappeared and became a Desparacido and victim in the darkest and most violent era of Philippine History.

You saw back that character in person of Stager John Rey Rivas- as he portrayed the role of a teenager who was abducted by military people and got so violently tortured physically. It was a crime against Humanity.

But you didn’t simply sympathized for that young boy character- yes, you sympathized to all of the characters who got involved there. Dead heroes, you say. People who fought, people who were regarded as N.P.A.’s (New People’s Army)  during that time, people who simply have a different view of the world, people who were simply brave, outspoken, guileless, radical…

The most beautiful character in the play KATIPS was the character that Vince Tanada performed in their last theater rehearsal. He played the character of a very good rebel who fell in love so truthfully to a female comrade who loved someone else. But his female comrade soon discovered that the man she loved was the very man who caused her death. And as Vince’s character saw her dead corpse when the military people killed her, it became the most powerful and dramatic scene of the play. That scene alone, you would honestly say, was all worth it. You wouldn’t ask for more because Vince delivered an acting moment and highlight that would last a lifetime.

Stager Adelle Lim as Vince’s female comrade in the play and object of his affections, delivered an acting style that’s so superb, wonderful, incomparable. We asked- “How in earth could she act so subtle and subdued, but still delivered the perfect emotion?” Wonderful, truly wonderful.

And it was just a rehearsal. Lacking of costumes, stage design and lighting- but still, just because of the all-too passionate acting of the Stagers of this wonderful play- it was almost as good as new. Even the those New Stagers in the background and all the rest of the supporting cast- could steal attention, grab your hidden glances, snatch the scene away from the major characters. Yet, they delivered an acting unison, impressive chemistry with their fellow actors, and interactions. That’s the spirit of the Stagers in every theater productions they give. A well-coordinated and truly united acting participation.

Stager Kerwin Larena’s handsomeness and appeal glowed in every scene of the play. His beauty could somehow steal his convincing acting talent- but nevertheless, his presence in this stage play only added your desires to watch the play over and over again in their forthcoming new theater season performances.

 

******************

 

People disappear because they have reasons. People takes risks of being gone all too soon because of their own crusades, tasks, battles…

People leave, People went missing, too.

But people sometimes can come back over and over and over again.

When Vince Tanada’s character in the play KATIPS died, it was not shown even in a single scene in the play’s final moments- and yet, you would miss him so much. You would feel. You would want to see him again.

As Stager Maya Encila’s character read it in the newspapers that two NPA’s were killed in an encounter and realized that it was Vince and Kerwin’s character who both died, her crying scene was lasting and redeeming.

The very people who sheltered her when his father was shot by the military, were the very people who also died at the end.

And now, an artist in the character of Maya, did believe in their causes. But they were all gone too soon.

Life could play tactics and surprises. In the end, life’s gifts could bring back a dead soul- as you thought.

The battle continues.

Because Kerwin’s character in the play did come back and Maya discovered that he did not really died in the encounter- was indeed,  a symbol of hope. A rainbow of promise.

The spirit of Democracy lives on. As long as there are still people who comes back from the dead to show that love and freedom is still the greatest value of a NATION.

In the Philippines, it’s up to the young people to deliver that promise of…….

FOREVER.

 

 

(wriiten by robert manuguid silverio)

 

 

the handsomest group of theater people- THE PHILIPPINE STAGERS FOUNDATION
the handsomest group of theater people- THE PHILIPPINE STAGERS FOUNDATION
THE WHOLE CAST OF "KATIPS"
THE WHOLE CAST OF “KATIPS”
VINCE TANADA: YOU WOULD MISS THE DISAPPEARANCE OF HIS CHARACTER IN THE PLAY "KATIPS"
VINCE TANADA: YOU WOULD MISS THE DISAPPEARANCE OF HIS CHARACTER IN THE PLAY “KATIPS”

 

 

 

“SAKO” ng isang walang hanggang kasinungalingan… (rebyu)

Nakakapagod na rin kung minsan ang MANGARAP, maski ba ito ay libre lang.

Nakakasuya na rin kung minsan ang UMASA, lalo pa’t ito’y wala namang katiyakan…

O, ang magbulag-bulagan, magpunyagi, at magmahal.

Sa isang madilim na sulok na iyon ng mga taong isang kahig, isang tuka lamang, marahil, hindi na nga nila taglay-taglay ang magagandang dulot na iyon ng buhay-

Ang mangarap, ang magmahal, ang umasa, ang magpunyagi….

Maaari pa rin naman silang mabulag-bulagan. Pero paano kung matuklasan rin nila sa bandang huli na ang pagbubulag-bulagan nila ay hahantong din sa kasukdulan balang-araw?

Hindi namin ikukuwento sa inyo ng buong-buo ang dulang “SAKO”, isang one-act play at kasali this year sa mga competing plays para sa Philippine Stagers Foundation’s Annual Theater Festival.  Pero sa totoo lang, hindi mo mape-predict ang ending ng dulang ito. Isang malaking twist ang magaganap kasi sa pagtatapos ng dulang ito.

Hangang-hanga kami kay Cencherry Ann Bagtas sa kanyang pagganap sa dula. Hindi kasi “tradisyonal” ang ginamit niyang estilo sa acting. Makabago ang approach niya, at napaka-makatotohanan. Dahil ganun na ganun ang kilos at mga galaw ng mga dalagang lumaki sa kahirapan, nawalan ng pagasa, at naging pala-iyak na lamang. Sa totoong buhay, marami na kaming nakitang ganito. At kuhang-kuha ni Cencherry ang tamang timpla sa karakter niya. Kudos sa iyo, Cherry!

Hindi naman siguro dapat na laging sundin na lamang ang makalumang atake sa pagganap. Dapat din sigurong mag-eksperiemnto paminsan-minsan. Pero to be safe, parehong ginamit nina Patrick Adrian Libao at Chin Ortega ang mga “old patterns” na iyon sa effectivity ng kani-kanilang mga pagganap.

Kaya naman mas hinangaan namin si Cherry sa dulang ito dahil nag-“risk” siya. Hindi siya natakot maging SAFE. Hindi rin siya natakot mag-evolve. Iyan ang tunay na artista.

Muli, sa direksyon ni Vince Tanada, mararamdaman mo ang maayos na pagtatanghal ng dula. At dahil nakakulong lamang sila sa isang maliit na sabsaban (tatatlo lamang ang mga karakter ng dula), kailangang sumigaw ka muna sa labas upang tanungin ang oras. Kung hindi ka lalabas, hindi ka maririnig ng mga kapitbahay…

Kaya naman, hayun, maski may namatay na sa loob ng sabsaban na iyon, tila tumigil na rin ang oras para sa kanilang lahat.

DAHIL IYON LANG NAMAN ANG NARARAPAT.

 

(sinulat ni robert manuguid silverio)

cencherry anne bagtas
cencherry anne bagtas
cherry
cherry
patrick libao
patrick libao
chin ortega
chin ortega

theater review: mama monchang’s (a satire that feels like it’s sisterhood)…

Never mind the spanks… nor the high brows… the yells and the snubs…

The six pretty “characters” of the one-act play Mama Monchang’s (a competing play for this year’s Annual PSF Theater Festival),  were all glorious, sexy, daring and humane. As their lives somehow reflected the political candidates for this year’s National Elections, we could say by now that the writer of this play- no less than Mr. JP Lopez (who also portrayed the title role- Mama Monchang), has achieved something unique, reasonable and entertaining.

Mixed-in with real live music and great singing from all the characters, watching Mama Monchang’s was like, watching a fountain that splashes the innermost beings of your soul. It’s so refreshing to realize some things anew…. remember back the beauty of being gay…. and the happiness of loving a younger man. Or, maybe, embracing back your “sisters” which you somehow sacrificed to be with as you grew older with life.

JP Lopez was perfect as Mama Monchang. He acted so mature (JP is one of the youngest Stagers), blended-in well with the beauty and poise of the five other transsexuals and characters of the play. JP has got this sensitivity as a performing artist, because he could transform, he could adapt… he could embrace…

Among the six transsexuals, it was Art Gabrentina who stood-out with his naturalness in acting style, perfect timing and good comedy antics. He’s so pleasant to look-upon on stage.

OJ Bacor characterized a “promdi” (from the province ‘lass’) character and she was so impressive.

De’Rotsen Etolle, as the aging transsexual looked so queenly and respectful, fragile but affectionate.

Jayjay Praxides as the family-troubled gay, was relaxed and efficient.

And Gerald Magallanes as the “horny” gay was unassuming, truthful and ‘kinky’.

Vince Tanada’s direction style for this one-act play was simply light, funny and spontaneous. He remained truthful to the flow of the play and achieved a more worthy delivery.

Some time in our lives, we all have pains, we all have sorrows… But if we are wise, we know that there is ALWAYS TOMORROW.

The satire could have represented our own misgivings, too, not just the evil-doings of the political candidates…

But in the end, united we stand, divided we fall.

The lesson of the play Mama Monchang’s was clear.

And it’s the truth that we’re all still Filipinos-

AFTER ALL.

 

(WORDS BY ROBERT MANUGUID SILVERIO)

BI BI2 bi3 bi7

“marka”: isang kamarka-markadong dula para sa psf annual theater fest

 

GALIT. Ito nga ba ay isang negatibong damdamin o isang ekspresyon ng patuloy na pakikipaglaban?

GALIT. Ito nga ba ay nakamamatay o nagsisilbing taga-udyok ng katotohanan?

GALIT. Ito nga ba ay sanhi ng karupukan o ng pagiging isang matibay na nilalang?

GALIT.

Iyan ang pinaka-buod ng dulang “Marka”, isa sa mga competing plays this year para sa annual theater festival ng Philippine Stagers Foundation. At malaki ang pag-asa ng dulang ito na maging Best Featured Play sa taong ito dahil sa kakaiba nitong tema, eksperimento at atake.

Nuong itinanghal ito last April 23, 2016 sa PSF Studio, may mga hindi naging magandang mga komento ang tatlong huradong sina Franniel Zamora, Peter Flores at Ronaldo C. Carballo. Pero para sa blogger na ito, mali silang tatlo. Dahil ang dulang “Marka” ang siyang nagbigay ng “all-out satisfaction” para sa amin.

At bakit?

Dahil ito ang totoo, ito ang reyalidad na nakikita mo sa buhay, at ito ang buong tapang na tumalakay sa natatagong mga lihim ng bawat taong “nagugumon sa sex”.

Dapat magalit ang isang tao para magising at mamulat sa katotohanan ang mga taong nanloloko at umaapi sa kanila.

Dapat magalit ang isang tao dahil sa pang-aabuso sa sex na ginawa nito sa kanya magmula nuong siya ay bata pa lamang.

Dapat lalong magalit ang isang taong MALINIS at nakasuot ng kulay-puting damit dahil siya ang laging pinupunasan ng dumi at “marka” ng kapwa-tao niya.

Sa nabanggit na dula, gustong-gusto namin ang eksena na iyon ng isa sa pinaka-paborito naming PSF actor na si JV Cruz- ‘Yung eksenang pinunasan siya ng santambak na pintura at sari-saring mga kulay ng kapwa niya may mga sakit din na AIDS.

Kitang-kita sa emosyon ng mukha ni JV ang galit, dahil siya ay malinis naman pero nabansagang MARUMI.

Maganda rin ang damdaming naramdaman namin dahil parang kasama kami sa mga taong iyon na nasa “life-support group”, na maski ba hindi kami AIDS-stricken person, ‘yung damdamin na mapabilang ka sa mga taong marunong lumaban at “mag-express” ng sarili nila- sapat na iyon para lumigaya ka.

Dahil ang naging atake ng direktor ng dulang ito- na walang iba kundi si Vince Tanada, kabilang ang audience sa mga taong iyon na nile-lektyuran ng isang respetadong doktora (mahusay namang ginampanan ni Rutchell Leonor) ukol sa AIDS.

Nang biglang tumayo sa likuran namin si JV Cruz na kasama mismo sa audience at kasama rin sa dula. Nagsalita siya. Lumaban. Nagtanong. Napakagandang eksena.

Sumulpot rin ang karakter ni Marina Esperrida mula sa audience area. Nagtalo sila ni JV. Isang napakatalinong diskusyon sa AIDS ang narinig ng lahat.

Sina JV at Marina, magkaibang-magkaiba ang estilo ng pagganap, pero parehong epektibo. Si JV, kalmado pero mainit at puno ng “passion”. Si Marina, maihahambing mo siya sa beteranang aktres na si Vilma Santos dahil magalaw ang estilo niya at “over-powering”.

Ang pagkakasulat ni Bryan Galvez (ang playwright) sa dulang ito ay tila napaka-personal. Tila baga hindi pa siya nakaka-rekober sa isang personal na trahedya ng buhay niya at naroroon pa rin ang GALIT sa kalooban niya. Sa pagsisimula kasi ng dula, naikuwento ni Bryan sa harap ng audience na nagkaroon siya ng isang malapit na kaibigan na namatay na sa sakit na AIDS. Naging very painful ito sa kanya, pero niliwanag ni Bryan na siya ay AIDS-NEGATIVE. (Hay, salamat naman—ssssip*)-,  and no wonder, dahil sa masakit na pagkawala ng kaibigan ni Bryan sa totoong buhay, all throughout the play ay galit na galit ang lahat ng characters,- pero nai-“express” naman nila ang bawat sarili nila sa mundo. Kaya naman, PANALO pa rin sila…. AT, SILA ANG MGA “MARKA”.

Sa buhay ng tao, may mga bagay na nananatili. May mga bagay na nagbabadyang magbalik. Pero tatakasan mo pa rin ba ang KATOTOHANAN?

Ang partisipasyon ng comebacking PSF actor na si Jayson Bulanghagui sa dulang ito ang pinakamasarap at pinakamagandang sangkap ng dula. Dahil siya ‘yung rock star na hindi pa rin mahanap ang lunas para sa sakit niya. Basta ang alam lamang niya, biktima lamang siya ng isang mapait na “pang-aabuso” sa kanya nuong siya ay bata pa.

‘Yung eksenang kumakanta si Jayson habang hawak-hawak niya ang mikropono at nakaluhod naman sa harapan niya ang isang babaeng sumusubo sa kanyang ‘ari”, isa itong napakatalinong paglalahad na maski anupaman ang estado mo sa buhay- ikaw ay BIKTIMA pa rin ng mga sirkumstansya.

Napakagaling ni Jayson sa dulang ito. Isang pagganap na hindi namin malilimutan….

HABAMBUHAY.

 

(sinulat ni robert manuguid silverio)

jayson bulanghagui
jayson bulanghagui
jayson
jayson
Jv Cruz
Jv Cruz
Marina Esperrida
Marina Esperrida
BRYAN GALVEZ (writer of the play "marka")
BRYAN GALVEZ (writer of the play “marka”)
VINCE TANADA, director of the play "Marka"
VINCE TANADA, director of the play “Marka”