Friday, September 29, 2017

Si Janus Silang at ang Labanang Manananggal-Mambabarang - Theater Review.


When I was in college, I was a part of the only theatre group in our university called Tanghalang Bayan ng Kabataan sa Baguio (TABAK-Baguio). With no means of income, the struggles of mounting a production were very evident. We would rely on costumes and props which are readily available. Sponsorship was just an option since no one would like to gamble their money on protest theatre. Campus theatre has been striving to survive. This is the dilemma shared by Guelan Varela-Luarca, director of Tanghalang Ateneo’s Si Janus Silang at ang Labanang Manananggal-Mambabarang. He told the press after their show on Saturday to spread the word about the problems that theatre groups in universities and colleges are facing. Support for campus theatre has always been agonizing. Despite the struggles, Tanghalang Ateneo opens its 39th season with the second installment of Janus Silang.

Based on the multi-awarded Pinoy fantasy book series by Edgar Calabia Samar, Si Janus Silang at ang Labanang Manananggal-Mambabarang continues with our teenage protagonist’s search for the Tala to defeat the threat of Tiyanak to humanity. Janus’ journey is backed up by his mentors, brothers Mang Joey and Mang Isyo, who are “bagani” (protector of the Pusong bloodline) and know the history of the Manananggals and Mambabarangs.

Together with the twins Miro and Mira, who can traverse to the other world, Kalibutan, they travel to different worlds and try to save them. If you’re not familiar with the book series, try to imagine Lord of the Rings in Filipino setting. In this fantasy-themed production, one should expect lots of stunning production design and costumes and big stage movements. Janus Silang did not fail in those aspects.
In a very intimate space, TA was able to fulfil the imagination of its audience. The small space could be a disadvantage though as you can notice the very littlest mistakes. You can also get out of focus as there were performances on both sides of the room at the same time. It would have been better if it was staged on a bigger theatre so the actors can have more room for big movements.

Earvin Estioco stars for the second time as Janus Silang and perfectly nails the part. Veteran actors Carlo Vergara, Renante Bustamante and Jenny Jamora join the cast of skilled young thespians of TA. The artistic team of Janus Silang is composed of Tanghalang Ateneo Artistic Director and Moderator Glenn Sevilla Mas, Guelan Varela-Luarca (Direction and Adaptation), Gentle Mapagu (Assistant Director), Delphine Buencamino (Choreography), Gwyn Guanzon (Set Design), Bonsai Cielo (Costume Design), D Cortezano (Lights Design), Arvy Dimaculangan (Sound and Music Design), Sig Pecho (Puppet Design), and Zoe de Ocampo (Graphics Design).
The playdates of Si Janus Silang at ang Labanang Manananggal-Mambabarang are September 20-23, 26-30, October 3-7, 10-14, and 17-21. Performances start at 7:30PM while Saturday matinee shows start at 2:30PM. Performance venue is the Ateneo de Manila’s Black Box Theater at the university’s Fine Arts Annex Building.

Text by Aga Posadas. 

Obra Ni Juan. Theater Review.

Spoliarium, an opera with libretto by Soprano Fides Cuyugan-Asensio and with music by Ryan Cayabyab was the first production I saw pertaining to the life of Juan Luna. Originally staged at the CCP in 2003 starring Robert Seña at the titular role, the opera was staged in Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York thirteen years later. Philippine Stagers Foundation (PSF) current production of "Obra Ni Juan " was my follow-up. This original Filipino musical was written by Atty. Vince Tañada, PSF President and Artistic Director and with music by Peter Paul "Pipo" Cifra, president of UST Conservatory of Music Alumni Association Incorporated, marked as my first production I saw from PSF.
Established in 2002, PSF is a professional theater company with an objective of helping the poor, elderly, sick and even the forgotten, has been consistently conducting free theater workshop in schools nationwide and continuously organizing outreach programs to various charities. And the only theater company with performances ranging from 100 to 500 shows per season in big venues. Tañada's fascination to Juan Luna was his inspiration for writing the obra.
This experimental musical in two acts narratively tells the life and works of the Ilocano revolutionary painter and political sculptor Juan Luna from October 23, 1857 to December 7, 1899. Tañada who playwright and directed the show emphasized and exposed Luna's journey spanning from the Philippines to Spain, Italy and France. His extensive research and archival collection about Luna were revealed through lines verbally or nonverbally, conveyed through songs and intepreted through dances. Not to be missed are the lines being thrown ordinarily, figuratively and idiomatically.
The choice of rhetoric, symbolically and significantly gave the late 19th century realization period of this piece. Luna's masterpieces welcomed me upon entering the cinema and having a glimpse of these artwork replicas immediately tells a story. The idea of using them as backdrop was a signature spectacle, and these will be perfectly complemented if the venue is a real theater equipped with drape (main, grand or house), curtain (house or act), teasers and tormentors and even scrims, because a European period settings will be created and a European mood will be achieved.
The opening scene, "Sa Biyahe Ng Barko " is a beautiful depiction about Luna's life, who was once a sailor prior to becoming an artist. Seeing the cast and the rest portraying the waves was beautiful. "Europa" is another thrilling musical number with Rizal, Luna (Antonio and Juan), Tavera, del Pilar, Boustead and the whole ensemble. Theatrically beautiful in terms of blocking and emphasis, those men singing and dancing with monogram classic trunk bag, I imagine them carrying those LV monogram classic suitcases. Of all the eight songs from the repertoire, that's my favorite. What a way to begin watching PSF future productions.
Obra Ni Juan cast includes both PSF seasoned and regular thespians. Patrick Lubao (Juan Luna 1), Vince Tañada (Juan Luna 2), Chin Ortega (Juan Luna 2 alternate), Johnrey Rivas (Jose Rizal), Jomar Bautista (Antonio Luna), Cindy Liper (Paz Pardo de Tavera), JP Lopez (Marcelo del Pilar), Kenneth Sadsad (Trinidad Pardo de Tavera / Juan Luna 1 alternate), Adelle Ibarrientos (Juliana Pardo de Tavera), Rutchel Leonor (Nellie Boustead / Juliana Pardo de Tavera alternate), Gerald Magallanes (Antonio Luna alternate), Vean Olmedo (Paz Pardo de Tavera alternate / Ina), Rotsen Etolle (Trinidad Pardo de Tavera), Alyanna Andres (Nellie Boustead alternate), Juddy Tolentino (Leonor Rivera), Chris Lim (Haring Alfonso XII), OJ Bacor (Charles Kipping / Punong Majistrado), Zen Lizardo (Mrs. Boustead), Enzo Vilanaba (Andres Bonifacio / Jose Rizal understudy), Dean Benedict Rafols (Andres " Luling " Luna) and Carol Sarreal (Ina alternate). The rest of the ensemble includes Brent Martinez, Cedie Duller, Rich Bea Martin, Jeremiah Bias, Kier Posadas, Carl Vincent Millan, Pearl Belen, Justine Seclon and Kiel Najera.
For tickets please call (639)956-669-0335. The show will be performed in schools, cinemas and theater up to March 2018. Follow them through: Facebook: Philippine Stagers Foundation Instagram: philippine_stager Twitter: @philstagers

Text and Photos by Gilbert Kim Sancha. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Annual MADE Recognition and Exhibit Showcase

Carrying its tradition and honoring Filipino artistry and creativity, Metrobank Foundation Incorporated (MBFI) established on January 8, 1979 by Dr. George S. K. TY, held its annual Awarding Ceremony and Exhibit Opening on September 21, 2017 at Le Pavilion, Metropolitan Park, Pasay City. This highly anticipated event recognizes Filipino painters and sculptors through Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE).

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely and Senator Francis " Chiz " Escudero accompanied by his wife, elite artist and socialite actress Heart Evangelista attended as honorable guests respectively. Along with National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose, diplomats, government officials, local and foreign artists and dignitaries, gathered in the evening flocked by art and music.

"IMAGINE" this year's MADE theme, challenged the artist's human imagination to create and empower their creative mind to showcase their true works of art exuded through painting and sculpting. "Genesis" by Paul John C. Cabanalan, was the Grand Awardee for Oil / Acrylic on Canvas Category. His masterpiece interpreted in four layers: his childhood, his hometown, his people and his beliefs in life in Iloilo. "For Those Who Lived And [Are] Forgotten " by Marvin E. Quizon, was the Grand Awardee for Watermedia on Paper Category. His painting of a lifeless bird with branches and flowers growing, denotes and connotes what comes after death, an interpretation of new beginnings and opportunities. A very similar scenarios to the victims of rampant killings and terrorism.

The recipient of Grand Awardee for Sculpture is " Pagtataguyod " by Moreen Joy Austria. Her work symbolizes the character and core of Metro Park, redefining a dynamic community and living a symbiotic relationship, truly a summation and crystallization of Filipino values. Pagtataguyod indeed aims to promote, patronize and foster.

Text and Photos by Gilbert Kim Sancha. 

Ballet Philippines Presents Acclaimed Classics From 1970-1980 In The Exemplars: Amada And Other Dances.

 Ballet Philippines, the first resident company of Cultural Center of the Philippines is presenting internationally acclaimed classic repertoire from 1970 to 1980. Founded in 1969 by National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes and Eddie Elejar, is the preeminent classical and contemporary dance company in the country widely recognized today as a cornerstone of contemporary Filipino identity. " THE EXEMPLARS: Amada And Other Dances " is the second series in its quintessential 48th season which will showcase new breed of ballerinas in their long-unseen works and will be revived at the CCP Main Theater from October 20 - 22, 2017.
This production is a rare opportunity for the audience to experience Ballet Philippines' signature style and identity. Featured pieces are " Ang Sultan " (Gener Caringal), " Concertino " (Pauline Koner), " Amada " (Alice Reyes), " Valse Fantasy " (Muñeca Aponte) and " Songs Of A Wayfarer " (Norman Walker). Dancing as Amada is the most celebrated and seasoned ballerina Candice Adea who won first prize in senior women's division at the 7th Helsinki International Ballet Competition in 2012. Adea was seen in Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Snow White, The Nutcracker and Coppelia. Ronelson Yadao will be featured as hero in " Songs Of A Wayfarer " previously played by his older brother. Yadao who has a Bachelor's degree in Dance from De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde was recently seen in A Gala Celebration and 9Works Theatrical musical production of Newsies as Mush. He bagged the Gawad Buhay Award for Male Featured Performance in a Modern Dance Production in 2009. He starred in Ballet Philippines production of Ulaging, Tales Of The Manuvu, Romeo And Juliet Balcony Scene and Our Waltzes.
The Exemplars: Amada And Other Dances runs from October 20 - 22, 2017 at the CCP Main Theater Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo and on October 25, 2017 at the Globe Auditorium, Maybank Theater, BGC Arts Center. Call Ballet Philippines at (632) 551-1003, CCP Box Office at (632) 832-3704 or Ticketworld at (632) 891-9999.
Visit and connect through :www.ticketworld.com.ph www.facebook.com/balletphilippines Instagram: @balletphilippines and YouTube: balletph

Text and Photos by Gilbert Kim Sancha. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Remembering Jose Maceda At 100, Through Ethnomusic Exhibit

To commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of Jose Maceda, National Artist for Music, an exhibit titled "Attitude of the Mind" is set to open from September 26 to December 3, 2017 at the Bulwagang Juan Luna (CCP Main Gallery), presented by UP Center for Ethnomusicology (UPCE) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Born Jose Montserrat Maceda in January 31, 1917 in Manila was an artist, scholar, philosopher and pedagogue. 
As a concert pianist he grew up in Pila, Laguna his parents’ hometown. Although he was trained by renowned Franco-Swedish pianist Alfred Cortot in Paris in the 1930's for western art music, he pursued to become the country's first ethnomusicologist and pioneering experimental composer. Spanning five decades of extensive and exhaustive work in music research beginning in 1953, his works explored alternative directions and concepts, combined Asian and Western idioms. In 1998, he was proclaimed as National Artist for Music.

Attitude of the mind, a condition of openness or readiness of one to receive another will be represented by the audience, the UPCE and the commissioned creatives. Curator Dayang Yraola's inspiration in this exhibit is a quote by Maceda: "It is the task of man today to look for an attitude of mind and a course of action other than that which imprisons him in his own creations. "
For this exhibit, six artists were commissioned:
* Ricky Francisco, a curator for the archival installation of Maceda's life and works.
* Leo Abaya for audiovisual installation.
* Ringo Bunoan for reconstructive installation aftermath of 1971 Cassettes 100 performance at the CCP. * Tad Ermitanio for robotic music installation.
* Malek Lopez and Arvin Nogueras, for digital rendition of the unpremiered composition Accordeon and Mandolin with composition analysis by Professor Chris Brown

Modules, paper files, archival photos, compositions and quotations from the exhibit is part of an umbrella project titled Maceda 100, a yearlong celebration of Maceda's birth centennial anniversary, launched in January 31, 2017. Cassettes 100 will be staged at the CCP Main Theater Lobby at 6:00pm after the exhibit opening. Viewing hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 6pm, and until 10pm on nights with shows in the CCP Main Theater.
For more information, call CCP Visual Arts and Museum Division, Production and Exhibition Department, at (632) 832-1125 local 1504 / 1505 and (632) 832-3702 and mobile at 0917-603-3809. Email: ccp.exhibits@gmail.com Visit: www. culturalcenter.gov.ph

Text and Photos by Gilbert Kim Sancha. 

Book 4 Of Moymoy Lulumboy, Available Now.

PETA actors interpreting Moymoy Book 4.
Lampara Books officially launched the fourth installment of the best selling Moymoy Lulumboy series at the opening of the 38th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) on September 17, 2015 at Meeting Rooms 2 and 3 of SMX Convention Center situated at Mall Of Asia (MOA) Complex, Pasay City. Titled as " Mga Dulot Ng Digmaan " immediately continues what was left from the third installment. Beginning on Moymoy and Alangkaw search for the gold of life stolen by the evil Buhawan.

The retrieval and return of the gold to its rightful place will reverse the curse of the Tibaros. And though it was recovered, it was later discovered that the gold was incomplete. The Apos accused Moymoy of stealing the missing piece. Confused Moymoy confronted the Apos to clear his name and to prove his innocence. After undergoing a test, Alangkaw his twin brother was the culprit.
Segundo Matias, Jr and Jomike Tejido.
The origin and evolution of the Moymoy Lulumboy story started when the author was on a plane en route to Frankfurt in Germany for the biggest book fair in the world. Growing in the province, the author became fascinated about the tales and legends of such Filipino mythological creatures and characters about duwende, aswang, kapre and manananggal. Listening to such stories was the inspiration why Moymoy Lulumboy came into existence.
Matias dedicate Book 4 to Legendary writer Ricky Lee.
The magical journey of Moymoy Lulumboy was written by three-time Don Palanca Awardee teleplay and screenplay writer Segundo Matias Jr. (Loida: Taxi Driver, Alamat Ng Duhat and #PaperDolls). A student of MA in Creative Writing in Filipino at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, he is currently writing, " Batang Pusit, " an adult themed book about HIV research, his masteral thesis.
The beautiful illustration of the places and characters came to life because of the creative imagination of architect Jomike Tejido who has illustrated over 100 books. Being a painter as well, he uses banig as his canvas. Matias and Tejido collaboration made the book a must read for all ages.

MOYMOY LULUMBOY: Mga Dulot Ng Digmaan is now available at all Precious Pages and National Bookstore outlets nationwide. Online purchase: www.preciousshop.com.ph.
Moymoy Lulumboy by PETA.
Visit: www.lamparabooks.com.ph/home/ www.preciouspages.com.ph For inquiry, please call Lampara Books at (02) 367-6222 or email them at inquiry@lamparabooks.com.ph.

Text and Photos by Gilbert Kim Sancha.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Dermcare now in Palawan.

 
Philippines leading wellness professional skin, hair & spa center just recently open their 83rd branch in SM City Puerto Princesa, Dermcare that pioneered whitening business is a trusted brand for quality, affordable and effective products with almost 20 years in the industry, founded by Zenaida Palisoc.

Along with Dermcare, Belle La Peau their waxing salon also open in the said mall that cater to all hair removal treatment, they are one of the country’s sought after wax specialist that is inexpensive but gives soothing feeling. 

Belle La Peau (Bel-La-Poo) in Puerto Princesa is the 23rd branch in the country today, it is just located nearby Dermcare center at the second level of SM City here in Palawan.


Palawenyos and tourist can now enjoy Dermcare bestselling services, the Diamond Power Peel and  another skin treatments such as skin lightening, anti-aging, pimple control treatments, body treatments like scrubs, waxing and spa service. It is a salon also that offer rebonding treatment.

What good in Dermcare is that they have in house Dermatologist and professionally trained beauty therapists. They also offer private and well-appointed spa and massage room, steam and facial treatment area, doctors clinic and an inviting lobby that will keep you comfortable.

The Dermcare and Belle La Peau in SM City Puerto Princesa is the first in the MIMAROPA Region, it open last Sept 14, 2017, local City Officials are among prestigious guest with Ms. Zenaida Palisoc, and Ms. Remedios Ramsay, the mother of actor/model Derek Ramsay. For more details pls check www.dermcareprofessional.com .  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

SM Cinema opens 5 Theaters in Puerto Princesa City.

(L to R) Mr. Steven Tan, SVP, Shopping Center Management Corporation, Ms. Anicia Naval, SVP for Cinema & Exhibition, SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc., Mr. Hans Sy, Chairman of the Executive Committee, SM Prime Holdings, Inc., Hon. Mayor Luciro Bayron of Puerto Princesa City, Ms Aileen Amurao, City Tourism Officer and Vice Governor Victorino Socrates of Palawan. 
Palawan Cinema experience will never be the same, it’s because the 60th branch of SM Cinema already open in the City in a forest that is committed to offer another kind of adventure for friends and family.

The Cinemas in the newly open SM City Puerto Princesa is the first Deluxe theatre in the province, it consist of two Directors Club and three digital cinemas that each house 165 viewers at a time, while Directors Club, a plush premier theatre brand of SM that has 48 seats per cinema.

Director’s Club Cinema boosts with LA-Z Boy type recliners with exclusive food menu along with dedicated butler at your service, ticket per screening is P400 that comes with free popcorn. To be updated with the movieverse, like and follow @SMCinema on facebook or visit www.smcinema.com

SM Cinemas and SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc is the lifestyle and entertainment solutions company of SM Prime Holdings, Inc that offers the best movies, events and leisure that started in 1986. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Nick Joaquin’s Fathers and Sons/Mga Ama, Mga Anak.

Mga Ama, Mga Anak. (PR Photo)
National Artist Nick Joaquin is one of our writers whose works have been reproduced in different genres numerous times. In celebration of his birth centennial, UP Playwrights’ Theatre stages “Fathers and Sons” in English and Filipino (“Mga Ama, Mga Anak” translated by Virgilio S. Almario and Jose F. Lacaba). This is based on Joaquin’s short story “Three Generations”.

Directed by theatre veteran Tony Mabesa, the three-act play Mga Ama, Mga Anak tells the story of an ailing patriarch and the effects of his supremacy in his household. Set in the 70s, Zacarias Monzon reminisces his glorious past as the Caritela King while his family delves into their issues caused by his power. There is his spinster daughter Nena who took care of him all her life. More conflict ensues with his rich son Celo who have always questioned his father’s morality. And speaking of morality, Bessie, a former go go dancer, is the current flame of Zacarias. These characters narrate their struggles of identity and resistance.

When re-staging a classic play as it is, we should expect the strength coming from the actors. With the powerhouse cast led by veteran actors, UPPT’s “Fathers and Sons” displays an array of talents. Leo Rialp and Menggie Cobarrubias play Zacarias. Banaue Miclat-Janssen and Stella Canete-Mendoza alternates for Nena. Issa Litton plays Sofia, the wife of Celo, lightens the angry mood of the show.

Nick Joaquin’s works has inspired stories of today. Reminiscent of family teleseryes, Fathers and Sons is full of metaphors of power and sexism. Zacarias’ whip as a symbol of tyranny, the huge table for his patriarchy. Zacarias never seem to recognize any of the female characters whenever they talk to him. This symbolizes the dominance of males in our society.

Fathers and Sons/Mga Ama, Mga Anak will be at Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater at UP Diliman until September 24.

Text by Aga Posadas. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Marianne Mae Casquejo, the new Gay Queen of Palawan.

Marrianne Mae Casquejo. 
Palawan’s bet at the recent Binibining Gay Pilipinas take home the second place award after competing with other 19 contestant all over the country, Marianne Mae Casquejo who originally hail from Narra, is personally invited in this year’s pageant by the organizers, the Betera Powerhouse of Beauties.

Marianne told us that her invitation is offered after she join Manila’s Five in 2015 wherein she won second runner up too.  Bb. Gay Universe 2017 crown is won by Athena Sollenn Barreto, World by Xandra De Guzman, Gay International by Zhia Vergara, Gay Earth is Caz Villacorza, Gay Intercontinental is Jake Espina, Gay Supranational is Danica New Montecarlo, Gay Trans International by Dahdah Flores, Gay Tourism is Valerie Altamira Licaros, and First Runner up is Asia Adriana Ybbara.
Marianne in National Costume and in Long Gown attire. 
Bb. Gay Pilipinas with a tag line as the advocacy pageant, was held last August 31, 2017 at the Tanghalang Pasigueno in Pasig City, beneficiary of the pageant is the Tulong Pinoy Movers. Among the judges are past Gay beauty icons such as Barbie Archache and Jaunti-Christina Gonzales of Super Sireyna fame. Casquejo represent the City of Puerto Princesa.

Marianne is now preparing to join another gay pageant, the Queen Philippines next year. The 32 year old tour guide, events and wedding planner is a graduate of Hospitality Management major in Tourism at STI Global City. 

Photos from Marrianne Mae Casquejo. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Kanser of Millennials. (Noli Me Tangere The Musical)

To mark its 40th Theater Season, GANTIMPALA THEATER FOUNDATION once again is staging the classic production of Jose Riza's known novel " Noli Me Tangere. " The late Tony Espejo was Gantimpala's artistic director when the play was originally produced in 1979. Staged countless times, the play became a musical in 2015 presented during its 35th season, was considered the longest running play in Philippine theater history and now foundation's longest running play.
Retitled as " Kanser: Noli Me Tangere, " it was directed by Franniel Zamora, with libretto written by Jomar Fleras and music by Jesse Lucas and Jed Balsamo. The rebirth of this musical piece based from the novel of country's National Hero is a living proof and reminder that cancer is still a disease in today's status quo, another satirical and seditious musical. Kanser's current production is very timely to the millennials as it tackles, exposes and reveals the scene during the Spanish era, through Ibarra, Clara and Damaso, a historical symbolism, a cancer revival in Philippine political arena. Contrary from other reviews, Kanser is not a full length musical, dialogues and confrontations were not interpreted through songs but through lines. I don't find it a bit off though because a full length musical still has lines but not as frequently as what I saw in Kanser.
The set design by Joey de Guzman and light design by Joseph Matheu played an integral part and huge realization for this period play. The traditional used of silhouettes and conventional projected sceneries was a pro, combined and complemented by curtain set, minimal set and permanent set through gripping, rolling and flying. The entire cast made a good performance but high regards goes to Paul Jake Paule who played the brave and heroic Elias whom I regularly see either as an actor or a director.
The highlight of this musical in two acts with 10 minute intermission is the scene of Sisa, very moving and touching, a mother's love indeed. A play worth watching and recommended to the millenials. You may reach GANTIMPALA Marketing Office at 998-5622, 872-0261 and 0921-2513733. Email gantimpalatheatermarketing@yahoo.com for ticket inquiries and reservations. Presented by FullHouse Asia Production Studios Inc., Kanser runs on: September 15, 2017 at SM Southmall Cinema 3 (11am and 2pm) September 29 - 30, 2015 at AFP Theater Camp Aguinaldo (9am, 12pm and 3pm) October 6, 2017 at SM Manila Cinema 9 ( 9am, 12pm and 3pm) October 13, 2017 SM Southmall Cinema 3 (11am and 2pm). 

Text and Photos by Gilbert Kim Sancha.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Experience Beauty and Love in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe, a municipality located at Bantayan Island, north part of Cebu known for its beautiful and pristine beaches was the picturesque island location for the indie film, " I FOUND MY HEART IN SANTA FE ," starring real life sweethearts Will Devaughn, a talent of ABS-CBN and GMA who returned in Trops and My Love From The Star and Roxanne Barcelo (Anne Roxanne Jordan Barcelo, real name) an ABS-CBN talent, currently playing Nathalie, the antagonistic character against Maja Salvador (1st season) and Aiko Melendez (2nd season) in the hit afternoon serye Wildflower.

Real-life couple for four years now, Devaughn and Barcelo co-produced this film under BLUart Productions and marked as their first movie together. The film directed by Bona Fajardo (Love On Line and Miss Pinoy) will be screened at select SM Cinemas for Cine Lokal on September 15, 2017.
Jennifer (Barcelo), a flamboyant and fierce woman searching for love in her late 20's, living in the island for the rest of her life. She is managing her family owned resort, Beach Placid. Her previous heartache prevents her from falling in love again, torn by sadness and bitterness. Viktor (Devaughn), an adventurer and backpacker man searching for his roots in his late 20's, living in Germany. He is managing his own company, Green Technology that focuses on the needs of developing countries. Both people are searching in a beautiful island full of wonders. Will they find their #HeartInSantaFe when the two serendipitously meet on the very first day of Viktor in the island? Find out the romance and laughter in #SantaFeMovie.

Text and Photos by Gilbert Kim Sancha. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Horrible In Blackbird.

The Blackbird (PR Photo)
 Actor's Actors' THE NECESSARY THEATRE latest performance of critically praised "Blackbird" is currently playing from September 1 - 3 and 8 - 10 at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati. Written by Scottish playwright David Harrower in 2005 and winner of 2007 Laurence Olivier for Best New Play, Blackbird was inspired by sex crimes offender Toby Studebaker after abusing a minor aged twelve. It tells the story of a 55-year old man named Ray, played by Bart Guingona and a 27-year old woman named Una, played by Mikkie Bradshaw-Volante. At his workplace, Ray was surprised and shocked by an unexpected visit of Una, whom he sexually abused when he was 40 while Una was 12. Una recognized him upon seeing a photograph whom she later searched and tracked. Ray who was then arrested, charged and imprisoned for statutory rape, was seen distressed, disquieted and disturbed. Fifteen years later, they meet again. The two clashed and collided in a stringy and lengthy confrontation, descriptions and questions. Both were torn by fear, anger, curiosity and confusion.  
PR Photo/Jaypee Maristaza
Harrower's perturbingly play is beautiful, rich in comparison and contrast and lots of symbolism. Though the ending was what I anticipated, still the flashback and foreshadow was evident, very symbolic. In fact, the script is a jewel. Television, film and theater veteran actor Guingona as always, did an impressive portrayal, he has the characteristics of Ray. He has always been great at his craft. Seeing Volante as Una for the very first time onstage with this piece was a pro. She was consistently and sustainably delivering the most striking lines. Not to be missed was her long monologue, a thrilling revelation of the script. That was the signature scene of the play, moment of revelation. Both Guingona and Volante interpreted Harrower's script disturb and abusively. Directed by Topper Fabregas with beautiful set and lights design by Joey Mendoza and John Batalla, a must see play for matured audience.    
The cast and Director of Blackbird.
Call Ticketworld at 891-9999 or log on to: www.ticketworld.com.ph for tickets. Prices: Orchestra Center (1,200), Orchestra Sides and Back (1,000), Loge (800) and Balcony (500).

Text by Gilbert Kim Sancha.

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Game of Trolls, a Martial Law musicals for Millennials

 There was this dire need to educate the people about the truth and mobilize them to defend their rights. The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) was born “with the vision of a Philippine Theater engaged in the development of people and society”. PETA may have been in the limelight lately for commercially successful productions like Rak of Aegis and Caredivas but it has the heart of a protest theatre. It is only fitting that they have created A Game of Trolls to promulgate awareness at a time when apathy and cynicism seem to be trending.
A Game of Trolls pokes fun at millennials and/or tries to educate them with written history, not the one posted online when you click a hashtag. It tells the story of Heck, a keyboard warrior who struggles to find his identity through political inclinations of his job, family, friends and the current society. He works for a company of “internet trolls”, led by his boss Bimbam, which has the goal of spreading pro-martial law campaign. At the same time, his relationship with his mother declines with their abandonment issues. Heck’s Nay Tere is an activist who was also survivor of the atrocities of the Martial Law regime.
Ghosts of Martial Law victims from the “internet cloud” visit Heck to try to convince him of true stories of horror in their era. Dr. Bobby dela Paz, Edgar Jopson, Eman Lacaba, Macliing Dulag, Sister Mariani and martyrs of the Escalante massacre invade our protagonist’s consciousness as we see slices of history. Fast forward to ending, Heck did a 180 following an incident involving his love interest, Cons, at a fake concert organized by the “troll company”.
Setting aside the predictability of the plot and aesthetics, playwright Liza Magtoto, director Maribel Legarda and composer Vince de Jesus were able to answer the question “How are we going to tell the truth about Martial Law to the millennials?”. The production team was able to establish relatability and provide facts through social media jargon, cringe-worthy romance subplot and even a flip top battle that will leave you shookt. It’s like spending an entire day on social media without scratching your head. Entertainment value is high. It’s a lecture presented through art.
TJ Valderrama (alternating with Myke Salomon) gives an absorbing performance as Heck and makes us understand why this generation is so confused. Upeng Galang-Fernandez’s gave a chilling monologue about Nay Tere’s past. The entire cast was able to display talent in music and facts.
The important thing in this musical is its goal, the truth. The world has become smaller. Technology is advancing while society is descending. We’re supposed to learn from the past, not from memes. Current political debates have not been as healthy as it’s supposed to be. Social media has created a culture of short attention span and quick decisions. With the present sorry state of our society, A Game of Trolls wishes to eradicate trolling for truth.

Verdict: A-. This should be watched by every millennial. Or even every Filipino.
A Game of Trolls runs at the PETA Theater Center for the entire September.

Text and Photos by Aga Posadas.