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Saturday, April 01, 2006

LAAAAAB And Other Highs



It feels good that after months of preparation, frustration, and anticipation, you witness the fruits of your hard labor being seen on the big stage.

Last Sunday, a collection of five plays--including mine--was presented as the culminating event of our theater organization Artistang Artlets' 25th Anniversary. The official theater guild of Faculty of Arts and Letters in University of Santo Tomas presented the love-themed plays in a collective title "THIS MUST BE LAAAAAB!"

My script was the first in line. "Si Jewel At Ang Kanyang Dalawang..." (Jewel And Her Two...) tells the story of Joel, a gay student who goes by the name Jewel, who falls in love with a college heartthrob Edward. Trouble lies in Jewel himself, since his thoughts are being challenged by two contrasting "consciences."

Years pass by and Jewel's feelings for Edward have diminished because of certain conflicts, but he realizes too late that all along, Edward harbors deep romantic feeling for him as well. Jewel now must make up for the lost years of miscommunication, but at what cost?

I managed to take some pictures of the presentation, although it was against theater rules. Well, I don't want this once-in-a-lifetime event only be stored in memory.

Also in the presentation is "Memorandum Of Agreement" by fellow alumni (and blogger) Geng. It is a reunion gone bad. Really bad.

Arlene (the pregnant woman in red) realizes that his fiance has been keeping a homosexual relationship with their common friend Cromwell (played by fellow alumni and blogger Paulie).

And with all the complexities in their relationship, and as to who would keep the baby-to-be, the group creates a memorandum of agreement that Chickie (the other girl in the play) would take care of the baby.

(I personally think that this is the best script, but mine is the best play, kidding. This is not a competition, anyway.)

Third in line is "Abuloy" (Offering) directed by photo-blogger Rain, in which Geng played the lead role. It is about a woman who receives help from a mysterious man in order to pay anough money to release his dead husband's body from the cudgels of the funeral parlor.

What they do is they bring out the mystery man's "brother's body" and roam it around different villages as a front for illegal gambling (a classic Filipino tradition).

(Sorry Geng if I don't have enough photos for Abuloy. Most of them are blurred.)

Next is "Baraha" (The Cards), which is about a fortune-teller in her late 30s who tries to manipulate the predictions she makes for her love interest Emil, a policeman who is a skeptic in love.

The play is set in Quiapo, where you can find a horde of fortune-tellers and an array of quirky personalities.

Last is "Bilisan Mo" (Make It Faster), a flashback of the loves and lives of a clinic attendant who has difficulty finding the right guy for her.

And when she finally finds the one, she is the one who lets go.

Boy, it was fun! We were happy on the audience's reception of the five plays. Their laughters and applause are proof that we did a great job.

POSTSCRIPT: Reading my playwright's note today, I find it lacking that I failed to express my appreciation to the people behind my play.

To director Jon, I truly thank you for bringing my play into life. Actually, it is more than alive. What was intended as a simple "fictitious anecdote" becomes a struggle of a gay man's psyche. Your creative interpretation was well-received by the audience, and with that, I thank you and your wisdom.

To the cast (Stephen, Gret, Fudz, and Tope), thank you guys for giving justice to the challenging roles of Jewel, Segunda, Una, and Edward. I know portraying the characters were too physical and tiring, but you guys still managed to end the play with beating a sweat.

Stephen, I heard that you had most of your body waxed to personify Jewel. I hope it was not too painful (which I doubt). Gret, your talent stands out but does nto upstage your fellow actors. You are the perfect actor for Segunda. Fudz, I've heard that you and Stephen had to go a "gay" workshop in order to move and talk like a gay person. I wonder how hard it was? Tope, the incoming Artistic Director, your performance was delivered smoothly and superbly. I admire your concern to justify Edward's role, and I hope you and the rest of the incoming officers of AA would continue the tradition of theater and camaraderie, and inculcate the minds of future members to keep the AA flame burning even as far as its 50th year. Thank you all.

To Jewel's artistic group, thank you for infusing your talents with my play through on-time musical scores and sound effects. The audience and I truly appreciate it.

Lastly, to AA. Thank you for acknowledging my writing talents. Thank you for providing me shelter in my college days and shower me with friendship and camaraderie. I am truly proud that I am an AA member, and I am looking forward for our 50th Anniversary Presentation.



1) My dad let out this quote last Friday while confiding to him about my film project:

"My son, your fate is trying to bring you to America, but you are trying to make your own fate with no avail."

I thought it was funny. That's why I'm sharing it to you. As about my status, well, let's just say that I survived another week. I am not yet eliminated.

2) SHAMELESS PROMOTION: Yezzz! The hair-teasing, nail-clipping parlorista-ng-bayan-superheroine isBACK!!! ZSAZSA ZATURNNAH ZE MUZIKAL is back by popular demand! Asus! ORIGINAL CAST pa!!! Now in a bigger, better venue ---THE NEW PETA THEATER CENTER at Sunnyside Drive, Bgy. Kristong Hari, E. Rodriguez QC (directly behind the QCSPORTS CLUB) from April 21 to 31. For reservations, call Tanghalang Pilipino Office at 8323661. Original Cast Recording CD also available at the Tanghalang Pilipino Office and Top and Bottom Nakpil cor. Orosa, Malate Manila. DONT WAIT TILL THE LAST DAY! BUY YOUR TICKETS and CDS NOW!!!

3) Here's another funny Filipino commercial. I remember watching it back in college and I couldn't stop laughing (and learn a valuable lesson at the same time).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow congratulations on the nice play! you should have captured some video or some samples. anyways, i remember that commercial! really great. Hey if i am no longer busy I might find you a nice template being my long time blog friend as well!

Sun Apr 02, 11:55:00 PM GMT+8

Blogger Rocky said...

Congratulations on your play. Great post and pictures of it. I wish you even more success in the future.

Mon Apr 03, 02:51:00 AM GMT+8

Anonymous Anonymous said...


thanks for capturing stills nung play. i borrowed some. congratsa sa play natin although short lived siya. pwede pa nating ulitin!

Mon Apr 03, 03:56:00 PM GMT+8

Blogger Kiss My Mike said...

Congrats! Keep it up, I'm proud of ya.

I think in everything that we do, we get better and better as we get older. I know I would also criticize myself if I happen to find materials that I wrote in the past, may it be just an old journal or an article for the school paper.

Wed Apr 05, 11:18:00 AM GMT+8

Blogger Empress Maruja said...

CHAS -- thanks so much for your concern regarding my blog template. if you have the time, why don't you make one for pretty me? i only need a template that looks cool but loads fast.

ROCKY -- thank you so much for the kind words. i wish you good luck on your upcoming book (am i predicting something?).

GENG -- congrats din at natapos na sa wakas. i do hope for a repeat.

KISS MY MIKE -- i think we ourselves are our worst critics. we always end up "binabaril" (shooting) our works even after they are published.

Fri Apr 07, 01:30:00 AM GMT+8

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah I will! You are in my hotspots dear but the title was Contrast Makes Reality since that was ur previous title. Anyways, I will change it!

Fri Apr 07, 02:45:00 AM GMT+8


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