Mula sa Buwan’s #HulingLipad: Wounds Cut Anew

Raw, vivid and emotionally haunting—that was how I felt when I first saw Pat Valera and William Manzano’s Mula sa Buwan two years ago. This majestic Filipino Zarsuela was an adaptation of Edmund’s Rostand’s timeless piece, Cyrano de Bergerac but instead of 17th century France as its setting, the play brought us to Manila during the 1940s…

Peeking into ‘The Dressing Room’

Staging re-runs is equally challenging than staging original theatre productions. One works with the same material but newer elements have to be added to make it more powerful and visually stunning. Hence, a re-run isn’t just a re-play but a whole reimagination of the same story. Dulaang UP’s The Dressing Room might be a re-run, but…

Hagdan: A Docu Film on Drug Rehabilitation

The “war on drugs” forms a huge part of Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s government platform when he was elected as President in 2016. For the past two years, at least 4,814 deaths have already been recorded in police anti-drug operations—or an average of about six people killed every day. Human rights groups claim way 300% more,…

#DUPDalagita: Reflections and Subversions

The stage is bare, black, and empty. Yet this emptiness is the most telling of Eimear Mcbride’s A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, which has been recently adapted in Filipino and premiered in Dulaang UP (DUP). A single actress is all it took for DUP to stage a story of 15 characters, each of whom…

Bagong Cristo

In a conservative country like the Philippines, tinkering with the image of Jesus Christ is usually taboo. We are all familiar with the divine narrative – the begotten son of God was sent to Earth to save the world from sin, the man spends his three decades on Earth teaching, and is later persecuted and…

Birdshot: More than a Parable on Innocence

WARNING: This analysis has a few spoilers. Filipinos face too much brutality that it feels as if we have already been desensitized by our society’s ills. But Birdshot reminds us of our true nature—one of innocence and idealism. Like the endangered Philippine eagle, this film is a rare breed of cinema that entertains yet opines,…

Fathers and Sons: A Dulaang UP Masterpiece of Two National Artists

What do you get when a Nick Joaquin classic gets translated by Virgilio Almario and Jose Lacaba, directed by Tony Mabesa, and brought to life by veteran thespians like Leo Rialp and Rody Vera? For the opening salvo of its 42nd season, Dulaang UP stages Fathers and Sons – a powerful work of not just…

Bite-Sized Reviews of Cinemalaya 2017 (Full Length Features)

Let’s be honest: many of us just watch movies to satisfy our visual and emotional appetite. Sadly, this affects the quality of the films we enjoy and choose to watch. Very few are trained to look beyond a film’s narrative and appreciate the figurative and the technique. As a result, many are unable to have…

The ‘Female Oblation’: After #UPlift, Ferdie Cacnio Will Continue to Create

​ He wasn’t able to sleep the night his masterpiece, “Uplift,” was shown to the public, in front of the University Theater of UP Diliman, during the full bloom of sunflowers along University Avenue, at a celebratory time of commencement exercises. It wasn’t because of uncontainable sense of achievement that the visual artist was still…

Understanding the Angry Christ

I am no theatre critic, but I’ve seen every single production of Dulaang UP since its 33rd season—that’s more or less 30 plays. There were hits and misses, but hands down, Angry Christ easily ranks as one of the most enigmatic and beautiful. I would admit, for each Dulaang UP season, it is Sir Dexter…

Orapronobis

The commemoration of the Passion of the Christ is an opportune time to pause for a while and reflect on all that has been and all that will be. And while a very few blessed kababayan can afford to travel either to the Sistine Chapel in the Holy See or the Holy Land in Jerusalem, you…

Gabe Bondoc: The Homecoming of a YouTube Sensation

One. Two. Seven. Nine. It took a while before I (as well as hundreds of other fans) got to hear that intro live in Manila straight from the man himself—Gabe Bondoc. It was long overdue, but damn was it worth the wait. We Match Unlike many of his over 300,000 subscribers, I didn’t find Gabe…