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…

#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…

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…

Mula sa Buwan: When a French Classic Becomes a Filipino Zarzuela

There are modern clichés, cheesy movies and hugot plays — and then there is Mula sa Buwan, a theatrical play that gets your hopes up then leaves you devastated as you experience a forgotten story worth remembering. Mula sa Buwan is the adaptation of Edmund Rostand’s timeless French piece, Cyrano de Bergerac. Instead of 17th century France as its…

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…

Care Divas: An Important Story in These Trying Times

To celebrate their golden anniversary, the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) re-staged the award-winning musical hit “Care Divas,” a story about five gay Filipinos working as caregivers in Israel and doing drag shows as a sideline. Without divulging much of the plot, let me attempt to explain why you should watch ‘Care Divas’ and take away with it…

Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Man

Opening Act The curtains rise, the music plays, the backstage hushes stop and the house lights dim. You step onto the stage and the spotlight is on you. That moment, you’d feel infinite. It’s one of the idiosyncrasies of theatre. At any given point, you could be anyone or anything. You could be a king, a peasant,…