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…

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…

One Light’s Out

It’s been more than three months since his light was put out. That one light that lit up one dim moment of my life. When I was in grade school, I barely had true friends. Most of my so-called friends then are just people I had to be with because of same advanced classes 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…

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…

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…

Sa Wakas: A Realistic Finale

A boy meets a girl. They go through a series of dilemmas and may even be separated for period of time, but they would still eventually end up together. This has been the typical formula for cliché love stories — no matter if the film is foreign or Filipino. But this is not the kind…