Senate Bill 2208: An Act Creating the Department of Culture

Proposed by Sen. Loren Legarda in the 16th Congress of the Philippines, 1st Regular Session, May 2016.

Download copy SB 2208 Legarda Bill Dept of Culture

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Artists’ Welfare Project: On Taxation, Legal Obligation and Financial Literacy

The AWPITalks-Taxation-LegalObligation-MINTAug2015Artists’ Welfare Project, Inc. (AWPI) invites artists and cultural workers to an afternoon talk about Taxation, Legal Obligation and Financial Literacy to be held at Mint College, 2F CIP Bldg, McKinley Hill, Campus Avenue, Taguig on August 29, 2015 from 3PM to 6PM.

The talk is part of AWPI – Education Committee’s series of educational activities to raise awareness and empower Filipino artists and cultural workers.

AWPI Forthcoming Activities:
August 22
Orientation on Artists’ Welfare Bill and open membership registration during the General Assembly of Sining Bugkos at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts
September
Talk on Marketing and Public Relations
October
Medical and Dental Mission
November
Workshop on Wellness and Preventive Healthcare

AWPI Membership is open to Filipino artists and cultural workers from all disciplines. You can apply here.

LET’S COLLABORATE!
For more information about our national campaign, committee projects, membership, and how to organise lectures and workshops with AWPI, send a message to:
Jenny Bonto, Executive Director
Ryan Murillo, Executive Assistant
Email: artistswelfareproject@gmail.com / artistswelfarecoordinator@gmail.com
Contact Number: +63927-5753531
Like/Follow us on Facebook
Check out News at the AWPI Website

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Artists Welfare Project: Art & Fashion Fair + Membership + Social Welfare

AWPI-ArtFair-SocialWelfareThe Artists’ Welfare Project, Inc. (AWPI) is participating in the National Art and Fashion Fair organised by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to be held at SM Megamall Megatrade Halls 1-3 on August 14-16, 2015.

The AWPI Booth is open from 10 AM – 10 PM. Besides the display of artists’  merchandise, the booth also caters to AWPI Membership Registration as well as to Social Welfare Registration.

AWPI Membership is open to Filipino artists from all disciplines who are 18 years old and above, with the following experience:
Literary artist – has authored 5 poems or 2 short stories
Dance artist – has participated in 5 productions
Music artist – has participated in 5 productions
Theatre artist – has done 5 performances
Film artist – has done 5 performances
Architect – has built 5 structures
Visual artist, designer, and photographer – has participated in 5 exhibits
Traditional artist – has practiced any of the following: weaving, embroidery, basketry, traditional house-building, pottery, traditional chant, traditional dance, and other forms of traditional knowledge with an aesthetic aspect
Technical support/crew (i.e. lighting technician, sound engineer, make-up artist, etc. – has participated in 5 productions

You may also download the membership form here and email to

AWPI Partnership with SSS, PAG-IBIG and PhilHealth

Since early this year, AWPI has partnered with SSS, PAG-IBIG and PhilHealth to make artists’ registration, pension counselling as well as loan counselling easier for artists and cultural workers, majority of whom are freelancers if not contractual/seasonal employees.

SSS Requirements for New Registrants: 
Please bring any one of the following primary documents (original and photocopy)
1) Birth certificate (issued by the NSO or certified by the Local Civil Registrar)
2) Baptismal certificate
3) Driver’s License
4) Passport
5) PRC Card

New registrants are further asked to bring any one of the following secondary documents (original and photocopy)
1) ATM Card with cardholder’s name, or without name but with certification from bank
2) Bank Account passbook
3) Birth/Baptismal Certificate of children
4) Company ID
5) Credit card
6) GSIS card/Certificate of Membership
7) Health or Medical Card
8) ID Card issued by Local Government Units
9) ID card issued by professional organizations recognized by the PRC
10) Life Insurance Policy
11) Marriage Contract
12) Membership card issued by private companies
13) NBI Clearance
14) OWWA card
15) Pag-IBIG Membership Data Form;
16) Police Clearance
17) Postal ID card
18) School ID
19) Senior Citizen card
20)Temporary License and Student Permit issued by the Land Transportation Office
21) Transcript of School Records
22) Voter’s ID Card/Affidavit

SSS Renewal Requirements
1) Full name
2) Date of birth
3) Philhealth, SSS, and Pag-ibig nos.
4) Name of last employer (if employed)

SSS monthly contributions (minimum: PHP 120 / month) will be paid afterwards at SSS-credited banks, or at payment centers, or at SSS branches.

PHILHEALTH Registration Requirement
1) Please bring any valid ID.

The minimum Philhealth contribution for self-employed artists is 600.00, covering for one quarter. One may also opt to pay 1,200.00 (bi-annual payment for the self-employed); or 2,400.00 (annual payment for self-employed).

PAG-IBIG Registration Requirements
1) Any valid ID
2) Accomplished form downloadable at PAG-IBIG website or available at the AWPI booth.

The minimum contribution is a minimum of 200.00 per month, with options to pay quarterly (600.00), or bi-annually), or annually (2,400).

The Artists Welfare Project Inc. is a non-stock, non-profit organization registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2007. It was set-up by a group of Filipino artists from various disciplines in an effort to contribute to artists’ wellbeing by 1) tapping into government agencies that provide welfare benefits to Filipino citizens; and by 2) pushing for legislation that will provide long-term solutions to Filipino artists’ vulnerable conditions.

For more info about our national campaign, committee projects and membership, send a message to:
Jenny Bonto, Executive Director
Ryan Murillo, Executive Assistant
Email: artistswelfareproject@gmail.com / artistswelfarecoordinator@gmail.com
Contact Number: +63927-5753531
Like/Follow us on Facebook
Check out News at the AWPI Website

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Art + Environment: Artists Converge in Project Bakawan Arts Festival 2015

Project Bakawan 2015Be part of the biggest gathering of artists for the environment in the first ever Project Bakawan Arts Festival, a month-long series of exhibits, workshops, concerts, and events from February 5 to March 6, 2015.

The festival features multi-media installations, art exhibitions, film screenings, live art, music and dance performances, street theatre productions, and a unity concert in different areas within the University of the Philippines Diliman (UP Diliman). Admission is open to the general public.

Project Bakawan is a collaborative art festival and community-building initiative that seeks to increase awareness of current environmental issues and strives to foster a sustainable future. Spearheaded by Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development Recipient Emmanuel Garibay with fellow artists Boyet de Mesa and Wire Tuazon among others, the project engages artists of various disciplines in collaboration with the academic community in UP Diliman to formulate an acute analysis of our environmental situation and come up with creative responses that will engage the campus community. Artists envision this as a gathering of socially-concerned individuals—of spectators, students, professionals, and artists—supporting the cause to increase awareness of current environmental issues to foster a sustainable future.

The festival will allow students intimate access to the various installations, sculptures, multi-media projects, and performances by renowned artists and emerging talents by placing them within their environment—the university grounds. This is a rare opportunity for school groups to engage with contemporary artworks and artists up close and personal.

Project Bakawan 2015Submergence, Performance Art Festival
happens on February 19 – 24, 2015

A solidarity for land and environment performances by Talaandig Tribe of Bukidnon and Nick Aca of Cagayan de Oro.

Feb 19 / 4PM      Performance at Stables, Carlos Garcia, UP Diliman
Feb 20 / 1-4PM  Art Talk at UP Vargas Museum
Feb 20 / 5PM     Performance at CAL Galleria Photo Exhibit
Feb 21 / 7PM      Benefit Concert at Taas Bar
Feb 22 /               Talk and Tour at Angono Rizal
Feb 23 / 4-6PM  Submergence Performance at UP Sunken Garden and Academic Oval
Feb 24 / 5PM      Solidarity Night @ Karumata 36,West Avenue

Project Bakawan is hosted by the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Arts and Letters, College of Mass Communication, College of Music, College of fine Arts and UP Film Institute in cooperation with the Center for Environmental Concerns, Vargas Museum, Canvas.ph, ArtLetics, ArtWork, Sipat Lawin and Concerned Artists of the Philippines. The festival is also made possible with the support of Japan Foundation, Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and media partner ABS-CBN.

For more information and the latest update, visit the Project Bakawan Website. You may also contact project coordinator, Ian Carlo Jaucian at mobile number +639178878956 or email at bakawanproject@gmail.com.

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Ateneo School of Humanities presents Alipin, a thesis play by Ariane Lim

Alipin-ArianLim-AteneoSFAAteneo School of Humanities Fine Arts Theater Arts Program presents Alipin (Slave), a thesis play by Ariane Lim under the writing supervision of Glen Mas.

Alipin is a historiographical drama set in pre-colonial Philippine archipelago. It is inspired from the Kavi inscriptions on the Laguna Copperplate which is believed to be an evidence from the 900 BCE about a slave’s freedom from debt.

Artistic and Production Team
Direction, Tim Dacanay; Assistance in Direction, Hazel Gutierrez; Production Design, Vincent Tan; Costume Design, Jean Avellanosa Dee; Stage Design, Arse Armas; Choreography and Chant Coach, Carlito Camahalan Amalla; Adaptation, Lasmyr Edullantes; Stage Management, Cedric Querubin; Technical Direction, Theo Dacanay; Sound Board, Patt Lucido; and Production Management, Jonnel Inojosa.

Cast
Joanna Lerio plays Anluage, the next in line shaman. Ian Segarra plays Pangat Sagwil, the village counsel. Alexander Dungca plays Namwaran, the next in line datu (village leader). Gabriel Frederick Masiglat plays Tayao, a warrior.  Joyce Avellanosa plays Angkatan, a slave from another village. Mar Joseph Aureos Mejilla plays Magkawas, a local slave. Judith Soriao plays the old shaman Munica.

Show Dates: February 17 and 18, 2015 / 7PM
Venue: FA Theater, Gonzaga Building, Ateneo de Manila University
FREE Entrance.

For seat reservations, contact 0917.9716060

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2015 Euro-Pinoy Jazz Concert at Tiendesitas and Intramuros on Feb. 20 – 21

Euro-Pinoy Jazz Concerts 2015

Five international jazz artists from the Philippines and Europe will delight Manila at the 2015 Euro-Pinoy Jazz Concerts. Their sonic syntheses will be performed in two concerts that will take place on February 20, Friday, 9:00 PM, at Tiendesitas, Ortigas Avenue cor. E. Rodriguez Ave. (C-5) and on February 21, Saturday, 8:00 PM, at the historic Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila.

Admission is free on a first come, first served basis.

The musicians’ six-day collaboration will commence with a three-day workshop on February 17-19, where the distinguished musicians will harmonize their unique brands of artistry to compose an original jazz repertoire. During these days, each artist will be bringing his own creative expressions of jazz music to the table, with the aim of creating a fresh and distinctive identity, and fostering cultural cooperation.

Highly respected for their innovative approaches to their craft, these musicians have also come together to foster a greater appreciation of jazz music among Filipino audiences, and transcend linguistic and cultural barriers between European nations and the Philippines through the language of music.

The roster includes:

Mar Dizon | Philippines | Drummer | Mar is a multi-awarded Filipino jazz drummer and percussionist, who used to play for the band Side A. He is a frequent guest to jazz festivals here and abroad, including the Bali, Singapore and North Sea Jazz Festivals.

Henry Katindig | Philippines | Jazz keyboardist | Son of the legendary jazz musician Eddie Katindig, Henry has been a figurehead in the local jazz circuit for the past decades and his prodigious chops have been immortalized in countless recordings and jazz festivals both here and abroad.

Nguyên Lê | France | Jazz/jazz fusion guitarist | Aside from being a guitarist, Nguyên also plays the bass and is a well-known arranger. He has done numerous projects and works, both collaborations and solo albums.

Raphael Preuschl | Austria | Bassist | Raphael is an outstanding bassist in the Austrian jazz scene, performing and producing albums with several bands at the same time, including the highly-acclaimed jazz group FAT (Fabulous Austrian Trio).

Michael Schiefel | Germany | Jazz and experimental singer | Currently a professor of jazz vocals at the Franz Liszt Conservatory of Music in Weimar, Michael has produced 7 jazz albums, both solo and with his band “Jazz Indeed”.

Euro-Pinoy Jazz Concerts is organized by the Goethe-Institut, the embassies of Austria, France and Switzerland together with the Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the European Union Delegation. The event is also supported by Intramuros Administration, the Luneta Hotel, the Swiss Cultural Fund, Tiendesitas and Qatar Airways.

See also FB Euro-Pinoy Jazz Concerts

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Dulaang UP Stages Bilanggo ng Pag-ibig, based on Jean Genet’s Prisoner of Love

BilanggongPag-ibig-DulaangUp-2015A Dulaang UP Production
Script by Rody Vera based on Jean Genet’s self memoir  Un Captif Amoreux (Prisoner of Love)
Direction by Jose Estrella

February 11 – March 1, 2015
at Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, Palma Hall,
University of the Philippines Diliman

Jean Genet (1910-1986) is a French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist and political activist. He authored the novels Querelle of Brest (1974), The Thief’s Journal (1949), and Our Lady of the Flowers (1943); and the plays The Balcony (1957), The Blacks (1959), The Maids (1947) and The Screens (1964). He also directed Un Chant d’Amour (1950), a 26-minute black-and-white film depicting the fantasies of a gay male prisoner and his prison warden.

ARTISTIC STAFF
Ed Lacson Jr (assistant direction and dramaturgy), Barbie Tan-Tiongco (lights), Lex Marcos and Mark Dalacat (set), J Victor Villareal (sound), Carlo Pagunaling (costume), JM Cabling (movement), Sigmund Pecho (puppetry and graphics), and Jon Lazam (video).

CAST
Melvin Lee, Jojo Cayabyab, Tess Jamias, Dolly De Leon, Peewee O’Hara, JC Santos, Tarek El Tayech, Brian Sy, Paul Cedrick Juan, Silvester Bagadiong, Virgilio Balanon, Jomel Reyes, Norbs Portales, Miela Sayo and the Dulaang UP Ensemble.

For tickets, sponsorships and showbuying inquiries for Dulaang UP’s Bilanggo ng Pag-ibig, you may call Samanta Hannah Clarin or Camille Guevara 9261349, 4337840, 9818500 loc 2449 or email dulaangupmarketing@gmail.com.

See also
Rody Vera’s Bilanggo ng pag-ibig Closes DUP’s 39th Season
Bilanggo ng Pag-ibig: Prisoner of Love by Dulaang UP
Rehearsal Photos

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KADAMAY with Urban Poor Resource Center of the Philippines restages Nanay Mameng

Nanay Mameng 2015 posterScript by Amanda Echanis
Direction by Edwin Quinsayas and Noel Taylo
A production of Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY) and Urban Poor Resource Center of the Philippines in collaboration with Miriam College and grant from the Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts 2015 and support from United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), Confederation for Unity Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) and Council for Health Development (CHD) and PhilHealth

Based on the life of Carmen Deunida, a community youth leader at 50 years old during the 1970s and a founding chair of urban poor solidarity organization KADAMAY (since 1998). Now 86 years old, she continues to inspire urban poor communities in their dream for decent living, housing, food, work, participation in governance, education for the children and social justice.

Held as modern-day Tandang Sora (UP Diliman Tribute, 2012) and one of Most Admired Filipinas (Google Forum, 2001), Nanay Mameng was portrayed by Rosa Rosal in Maalaala Mo Kaya (ABS-CBN, 2001). The documentary film about her struggle through 13 regimes directed by Adjani Arumpac (Nanay Mameng: Kodao productions, 2012) won as Best Documentary in the 37th Gawad Urian.

Hermie Conception essayed her role in the first staging of Nanay Mameng as a semi-musical at Tanghalang PUP in Sta. Mesa, Manila on March 20-21, 2014 under the direction of Quinsayas, Taylo and Bonifacio Ilagan.

The restaging of Nanay Mameng, isang dula is led by Tess Dioquino (Piketlayn ng Bayan) and Tao Aves (Orosman at Zafira) in the titular role. Completing the ensemble are Eshei Mesina, Jennifer Dabu, Sheryll Villamor Ceasico, Jane Balleta, Ryan Murillo, Jeffrey Ramos, Alexis Ritual Betito and Joel Zerrudo III.

The play opens on Feb. 13 and runs until Feb. 28, 2015 at Miriam College Dr. Paz Adriano Hall (Little Theater). For tickets, sponsorships and showbuying inquiries, contact 0947.5874497 / 09772039710.

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Ten Things about Dulaang UP’s Production of The Country Wife / Ang Misis kong Promdi

 Poster-Dulaang UP-The Country Wife - Ang Misis kong Promdi

1. Restoration Comedy and a Comedy of Manners

The Country Wife is a play in five acts written by William Wycherley in 1675. A classic comedy of manners, it satirizes hypocrisy and human misjudgement that dominated during the Puritan Regime. Theaters in the UK during this period were then closed from 1642-60 being considered “as sites of indecent acts embodied by actors and participated in by the audience”. It was only reopened upon the return of Charles II from exile in France and The Netherlands. This period is also known as the Restoration.

  1. Paradoxical Plot

The plot revolves around men and women belonging to high society whose lives are entangled in the paradox of love, marriage, mores, sexual conduct and politics. A notorious philanderer’s homecoming ignites a series of infidelities and indiscretions. An innocent young woman from the countryside speaks honestly of her thoughts and desires posing a challenge to the gendered norms and moral codes of the period. These actions bring to the fore questions on urban decadence and displacement of ingenuity which are then and now usually dissimulated.

Sue Prado as Mrs. Margery Pinchwife and Tarek El Tayech as Mr. Pinchwife in Dulaang UP's The Country Wife / Ang Misis kong Promdi. Photo Joanna Lerio.

Sue Prado as Mrs. Margery Pinchwife and Tarek El Tayech as Mr. Pinchwife in Dulaang UP’s The Country Wife / Ang Misis kong Promdi. Photo Joanna Lerio.

  1. Dramaturgical Devices

The play is composed of foul language and of domestic violence. Asides are also heavily employed wherein characters think aloud. This ‘anti-naturalistic device’ works for the audience to hear the characters’ inner perspectives. Thus, the spectators become aware of the characters’ intent and the roles they play especially in high urban society that is too conscious of name, image, honor and reputation.

  1. Familiar yet Interesting Characters

Typical of comedies, Whycherley’s characters romp their own names. Mr. Horner is a man who possesses sexual desire (horny) as a cuckold (cornudo / pendeho), an allusion to brood parasite species of cuckoo bird that normally “lays their eggs in the nests of others”. Mrs. Margery Pinchwife, whose medieval name symbolizes happiness and a precious pearl is the wife who pinches a husband in pursuit of joy. Mr. Pinchwife is the husband who gets pinched by his own manner of repressing his provincial wife. Sparkish is a fop and a vain who merely appears clever. Dorilant is a reflection of Horner. Members of the Fidget family: Sir Jasper, Lady Fidget and Dainty have their own manifestations of flirty manner and sexual restlessness. The Old and Young Lady Squeamish mirror each other in being morally scrupulous yet violate their own conventions. Of course, Doctor Quack is engaged in a fraudulent act. We find redemption in Lucy as the servant who sees the “light”. In Harcourt, whose name is from the Old French for a “fortified farm”, as he embraces a new role from a Gallant (man-about-town) to a lover with a commitment. Finally, in Alithea, whose Greek name pertains to truth, as she finds a true heart in the end.

  1. Powerful Artistic Team

Adaptation and Direction by Dulaang UP Founding Director and UP Professor Emeritus Tony Mabesa. Translation by Palanca Awardee Nicolas Pichay. Set Design by 2014 NCCA Ani ng Dangal Awardee and 2013 Obie Awardee Clint Ramos. Costume Design and Hair by Ikaw Lamang tandem Eric Pineda and Ruben Nazareth. Lighting Design by Shakira Villa Symes who also designed the Philippine staging of Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert. Sound Design and Technical Direction by UP Theater Program faculty and Dulaang UP residents Jethro Joaquin and Meliton Roxas. Assistance in Direction by Fitz Bitaña (On Your Last Legs, Project Mayhem Productions). Dramaturgy by Joanna Lerio with Chona Fernando, both Candidates of MA in Theater Arts at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

  1. Stellar Ensemble of Theater, TV and Film Actors

Martha Comia (The Duchess of Malfi / Ang Dukesa ng Malfi, DUP) and Sue Prado (Barber’s Tales, APT Entertainment-OctoberTrain Films) play the titular role of an innocent young woman from the province: Mrs. Margery Pinchwife. Cinemalaya Awardee Sari Estrada (Asan si Lolo Mȇ?, UP Film Institute) also performs as The Country Wife. George de Jesus (The Emperor’s New Clothes, Tanghalang Pilipino) and Tarek El Tayech (Breakaway Antigone, Tanghalang Ateneo) play the husband Mr. Pinchwife. Neil Ryan Sese (Munting Heredera, GMA Network) and Jay Gonzaga (Orozman at Zafira, DUP) as the king philanderer Mr. Horner. Seasoned actress Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino (Niño, Cinemalaya) essays the role of Sparkish. Frontrow’s RS Francisco (M. Butterfly, DUP) and Arvin Trinidad (Hollywood Boot Camp, Bigfoot Entertainment) also alternate as Sparkish. Jacques Borlaza (The Duchess of Malfi, DUP) and Leo Rialp (Aspects of Love, Andrew Lloyd Webber) portray Sir Jasper Fidget. Adriana Agcaoili (The Duchess of Malfi, DUP) and Dolly de Leon (Ang Naghihingalo, Virgin LabFest 10) portray Lady Fidget. Ces Aldaba (The Natural Phenomenon of Madness, The Grit Project – Outpost Visual Frontier) plays Doctor Quack. Also joining them are comeback actors Francis Mata as Doctor Quack, Aurora Yumul as Old Lady Squeamish; and Regina Mendezona and Yvonne Ricaro as Lucy. Completing the ensemble are Issa Litton (Mga Alaala ng Tag-ulan, CineFilipino) and Karen Gaerlan (The Seagull / Ang Tagak, DUP) as Alithea; Carlo Tarobal (The Seagull, DUP) and Ian Ignacio (Ang Bagong Dugo, 3JS Production) as Harcourt; Brian Arda (Burgos, Heaven’s Best Entertainment) and Sigmund Pecho (Measure for Measure / Hakbang sa Hakbang, DUP) as Dorilant; Michelle Paloma (model and product endorser) and Rizzy Alejandro (Ang Aksidenteng Kamatayan ng Isang Anarkista, Tanghalang Ateneo) as Dainty Fidget; Ron Biñas (Para kay B, UPLB SamaSining), Joanna Lerio (Nanay, Isang Dulang Testimonyal, Urban Crawl) and Chona Fernando (Ang Nerseri, Cinemalaya) alternate as Lady Squeamish; Giancarlo Patelo (Kabugan!, Teatro Tomasino) as Butler; and DUP talent Steven Tansiongco as the Parson.

  1. Bilingual Actors

The production requires actors to perform on both English and Filipino shows.

  1. A Female for a Fop and a Male for a Harlot

Asian Film Awardee for Best Supporting Actress Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino portrays Sparkish while actor-director Ron Biñas portrays Lady Squeamish.

  1. Philippine Premier

It is not easy to make people laugh in a comedy nor make them laugh at the same time think in a satire. How can humor from Europe 339 years ago come across the contemporary audience in Manila? At the same time, how can the Philippine staging push forth the issues raised in the play by Wycherley? Dulaang UP stages this classic work at a time when the country faces its own version of farcical corruption and cultural crumbles. A mother and a baby was awarded as the Philippines hit the 100,000 million population mark this March while the Reproductive Health Bill remains a debate in congress, the civil society and the Catholic Church despite its passage. The case of documented HIV/AIDS has reached 10,000. With 15 million Filipinos in diaspora, many marriages are broken due to separation of families for overseas work. Divorce is not recognized in this country despite justified reasons. Domestic and industrial violence against women and the LGBT community here and abroad continue to promulgate. Recently, the women sector is enraged by lifestyle trademarks with the “rape shirt” merchandize and The Naked Truth Fashion Show where the woman is portrayed as a dog. There is also the Laude-Pemberton transgender slay case that creates tension in the relation between the Philippines and the United States. On one end of the spectrum, Filipinos are being presented with court and congressional dramas on political scams and scandals while bombarded with sexcapades and intimacies of a presidential sister.

  1. Regaining Dignity

It is important to note that what is interesting in The Country Wife is that after almost two decades of forced hiatus, dramatists and league of actors regained dignity by marking Restoration Comedy in English theater history as well as by asserting the first appearance of women actors onstage and the coming out of women playwrights in the years thereafter. What is interesting is how the play is able to regain the place of theater in the social, cultural and political arena by exhausting onstage the bawdy culture and the commoner’s wits which were previously considered censorious. Here we find the essence of Wycherley’s humor: regaining dignity by exposing the indecency of the hypocrite.

——

Dulaang UP is now on its 39th Season. The Country Wife/ Ang Misis kong Promdi runs from November 19 to December 7, 2014 at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, 2nd floor Palma Hall, University of the Philippines Diliman. For tickets, sponsorships, and show buying inquiries, call Samanta Hannah Clarin or Camille Guevara 926-1349, 433-7840, 981-8500 local 2449 or email dulaangupmarketing@gmail.com.
Dulaang UP Facebook Page <Facebook.com/DulaangUnibersidadNgPilipinas>
Twitter <Twitter.com/_TheCountryWife>

 

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FILM REVIEW Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon (From What is Before): Ganun pa rin Ngayon

Photo from Sine Olivia Pilipinas / Lav Diaz.

Photo from Sine Olivia Pilipinas / Lav Diaz.

Inilathala rin sa Pinoyweekly.org

Kapirasong kasaysayan mula sa alaala ng mga misteryo at histerya sa nayon sa panahong niluluto ng Rehimeng Ferdinand Marcos ang Batas Militar. Mga simbolikong larawang bukas sa maraming pagtuklas at pag-unawa.

Ito ang mga ibinahagi ni Lav Diaz sa pelikulang ‘Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon’ (‘From What is Before’) na naglagay sa Pilipinas sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon mula 1946 sa mapa ng Locarno International Film Festival – Switzerland. Nakamit ng pelikula ang pinakamataas na karangalan, ang Golden Leopard Award nitong taon.

Ipinagpalagay na ang alaalang binanggit ay mula sa 12 taong gulang na si Diaz dalawang taon bago idineklara ang Batas Militar. Naging saksi ang awtor-direktor kung paano nagimbala ng diktadurya ang simpleng pamumuhay ng mga mamamayan sa isang nayong bundok noong dekada 70.

Gaya ng panaginip, napapadpad sa iba’t ibang lokasyon ang mga karakter. Sa ganitong paraan naipapabatid ni Diaz ang saklaw ng pelikula: di lamang ng isang nayon sa Timog o kaya Kanlurang rehiyon kundi ng buong bayan. Bagamat nag-iiba ng tekstura sa ekspresyon at wika, nananatiling pamilyar ang tereyn ng luntiang bukid: ang bundok, ang ilog, ang dagat, ang ulan, ang araw maging ang ihip ng hangin, dagundong at kidlat, lagaslas, lawiswis at titig ng kalabaw. Pamilyar din ang mahaba at mabagal na lakaran paitaas-paibaba. Maaaring nakakatortyur ang paghihintay sa paggalaw ng mga tableau ni Diaz ngunit sa huli ay ang buntong-hininga ng panglaw at ang masigasig na pag-aabang sa mabuting kahantungan ng manlalakbay.

Sa unang bahagi, natutunghayan ang sayaw ni Bai Rahmah (Bambi Beltran) na minsan lamang mangyari sa “10 tag-init, 10 tag-ulan at 10 kabilugan ng buwan”. Walang subtitle ang awit ng Shahman (Abraham Abdullah) ngunit mahinuhang ito ay ritwal para sa ikagagaling ng maysakit at para maitaboy ang mga pangitain o masasamang enerhiya.

Bilang katutubong gawain, ipinagpalagay na lahat ng dumadalo rito ay may bitbit na pag-unawa at malinaw ang pakay o layon ng pakikiisa sa ritwal. Sa larawan ni Diaz ay istatik lamang ang taumbayan liban sa aliw na palakpak ng isang may kapansanan, si Joselina (Karenina Haniel). Mapapansin sa mga sumunod na eksena ang pagkasalaula ng malakas na kapit sa kolektibong aktibidad na ito dahil sa mga kababalaghang animo’y galing sa kalikasan ngunit sa totoo’y gawa ng tao o kaya ay resulta ng masamang budhi nito.

Sinasabing kabisado ng mamamayan ang agham ng kalikasan ngunit hindi ang “katotohanang” hatid halimbawa ng demonyong-tao. Nauna nang nagtaka si Sito (Perry Dizon) sa pagkawala ng balon (wild dove) na sa tuwina’y inaabangan kasama ng kanyang ama noon at ngayon ng kanyang ampong si Hakob (Reynan Abcede). Dalawampung taon nang nakalipas ay kinuha di umano ng duwende ang kaibigan niyang si Teban.

Ngunit tumambad ang higit na misteryosong mga imahen gaya ng pagkasunog ng tatlong kubo sa isang gabi, pagkaroon sa kalye ng di kilalang bangkay na tila may kagat ng asawang sa taenga, pagkarinig ng mga nakaka-ulol na hiyaw mula sa gubat, paglalakad ng hubo’t hubad ng di makakalakad na “anak ng kapre” (Joselina) at ang pagkapugot ng ulo / pagkataga ng mga baka sa rancho.

May teorya ang mamamayan dito sa huling pangyayari: na ito ay dala ng galit ng magsasaka sa asyendero ngunit sa buong alaala ay nanatili itong haka-haka at nanaig ang propaganda ng Bureau of Health na ang pagkamatay ng mga baka ay dala ng dumapong sakit dito.

Sa bahagi ng batang si Hakob, isang hiwaga ang kanyang kapanganakan at nais tuloy tawirin ang isla ng mga limot sa Culion, Palawan. Samantala, tumitindi ang panganganilangan ng taumbayan sa pagpagamot. Tinugunan naman ito ni Itang/Pacita (Hazel Orencio) kasangkapan ang kapatid na si Joselina. Bagamat gamit ni Itang ang katutubong kaalaman sa halamang gamot, batid din niyang ginawa niya iyon upang kumita at mabuhay silang magkapatid. Isa itong ritwal-ritwalang pinag-isipan nang husto ni Itang at hindi lubusang sinang-ayunan ni Fr. Guido (Joel Saracho) sa konteksto ng Katolisismo at konsepto ng pang-aabuso.

Sumunod naman ang rebelasyon ng mga trahedya: pagpatay ng isang puwersa sa sanggol ni Babu Amrayda (Ching Valdes-Aran), pagkawala ng trabaho ni Sito bilang bantay ng baka sa rancho, paulit-ulit na paggahasa ni Tony (Roeder Camanag) sa walang muwang na si Joselina, pagkampo ng mga militar sa nag-iisang eskwelahan sa bayan sa pamumuno ni Lt. Perdido (Ian Lomongo), paglason ni Itang sa buntis na si Joselina at tuloy pag-alay ng kanilang katawan sa Banal na Bato. Rumurok pa ito sa malawakang paglikas ng mga kababaryo kasama si Hakob at ng mga kaanak ni Sito.

Ang mapantig na awit ni Babu Amrayda ay hinagpis ng isang Inang Bayang ninakawan ng kinabukasan ang anak: “si Lamlaman ang anak na isinilang kasama ng mga puno at ilog sa kagubatan ay sinira ng takot at ngayon ay tinangay ng kadiliman”.

Matapos ang dalawang taong paghasik ni Heding (Mailes Kanapi) ng kwentong katatakutan kasabay ng paglako ng banig, kaldero, balde at kung anu-ano na lang, ang baryo ay mistulang naging ghost town. Matapos ang mahigit limang oras na pakidalamhati ng mga manunood sa mga ordinaryong karakter ng pelikula habang nakipagbuno sila sa mga hiwaga ng buhay, ay ang malinaw na alaalang si Heding ay isang lintik na tiktik na sarhento sa ilalim ni Lt. Perdido sa ilalim ni Pang. Marcos. Namutawi ang halakhak nito ng tagumpay kasabay ng tagay ni Lt. Perdido sa kanyang promosyon habang sa radyo ay narinig ang boses ni Marcos sa pagbigay-katwiran ng Martial Law.

Sa dulo ng pelikula, nabanaag din ang mga katotohanan sa likod ng mga misteryo. Ang hiyaw mula sa gubat ay naging konkretong hiyaw ng kabataang sinasaksak ng dahan-dahan ang tagiliran habang pilit siyang pinapaamin ng Seksing Vigilante (Kristine Kintana) na mahal niya ang UP… mahal niya si Marcos. Ang eksenang tortyur na ito ay pamilyar sa tulang Mga Bahagi ng Bangungot (Fragments of a Nightmare) ni Amado Guerrero. Eksenang maiksi ngunit masaklap na karanasan ng maraming kabataang tumuligsa sa diktadurya ni Marcos.

Sa unang dating ng shot ni Diaz sa mga vigilanteng naglilinis ng baril sa kubo, iisipin mong sila ay mga “rebeldeng NPA”. Sa malaon, mauunawan mong ito ay tropa ng lantay-militar sa ipinakita nitong arogansiya sa pagtawid sa di maayos-ayos na tulay at sa pagharang sa mga inosenteng mamamayan gaya ni Fr. Guido. Mauunawaan ring ang tanging papel ng Batangueñong dayo na si Heding ay ang “clearing” o paglinis ng bayan, isang operasyong militar kung saan winawalis ang mamamayan: pinapatay ang mga umaangal habang ang iba ay nirerekluta sa paniniktik at pwersang para-militar gaya ng Civilian Home Defense Forces (CHDF) na kilalang CAFGU sa panahon ni Pang. Corazon Aquino.

Karahasan at pananahimik ang sagot sa sosyo-politikal na problema ng kawalang serbisyo at ng pag-iral ng government neglect sa loob ng maraming taon. Kahit sa hinagap ng mga tagabaryo ay simpleng problema lang sana ito kung gugustuhing atupagin ng gobyerno. Mahinahong ipinaliwanag nina Sito na “tahimik ang baryo bago dumating ang mga militar”. Ang nilalatag ng estado kung gayon na tipo ng “katahimikan” ay problematiko.

Sa proseso, ang ibang mamamayan ay nawiwindang, nasisiraan ng loob, naprapraning, nagiging dekadente kundi man tuluyang umalis sa lupang sinilangan. Nilusaw kung gayon ng paghubad sa maskara ni Heding ang mga misteryo sa bayang siya din ang lumikha bilang aparato ng kapangyarihang militar.

Sa isang mukha ng masalimuot na kalagayan, ang ibang mamamayan ay biglang naglalaho naman tungo sa gubat upang umanib sa NPA. Hindi tahasang sinabi kung ganito nga ang nangyari kay Teban. Wala ring pahayag na ang bayan ni Sito ay naaabot ng pag-organisa ng Kilusan laban sa Diktadurya at para sa Pambansang Demokrasya.

Sang-ayon sa konklusyon ni Heding, ang baryo ay “tahanan ng mga komrad at simpatidor ng mga Komunista”. Kung kaya, idineklara ni Lt. Perdido ang lugar bilang bahagi ng war zone. Ipinagmamayabang niyang masugid siyang mag-aaral ng kasaysayan ngunit ang kanyang baluktot na lohika ng pag-iral na kapayapaan (peace and order) ay di maunawaan ng kaguruan sa baryo (Evelyn Vargas at Teng Mangansakan). Tinatanghal ni Lt. Perdido ang sarili nitong pangalan.

Ang malinaw sa pelikula ay nakaranas ang bayan ng malagim na yugto sa panahon ni Marcos. Ang malinaw rin ay may kakayanan ang ordinaryong tao upang maninindigan para sa katarungan. Sa indibidwal na kapasidad ay lumaban ang ilang karakter at inangkin ang katwiran. Marahas ang aksyong tulak rin ng dahas. Nailigtas ni Sito ang sanggol na si Hakob mula sa akmang pagpatay dito ng isang lalaking pinaniniwalaang sariling ama nito. Ang pagbawi sa buhay ni Tony ay pagbigay-hustisya kina Itang, Joselina at sa di pa naisilang na sanggol nito. Samantala, ang ipinamalas ni Itang na karunungan sa halamang lunas ng sakit maging sa tipong pampatupok ng buhay ay isang katutubong kapangyarihan. Maaalalang pinaslang ang kapangyarihang ito ng mga katutubong Filipino sa ilalim ng Batas Militar (Gobernador-Heneral) ng Espanya at ng Amerika. Nararapat lamang mabalikan ito ng mamamayan bilang proteksyon sa sariling buhay liban sa sustenableng armas ng kalusugan. Si Joselina naman ay kakakitaan ng lakas sa mga yogang posisyon nito sa kabila ng kapansanang mental at pisikal.

Sa pagwakas ng pelikula, namilosopo ang Makatang “nagpakalayong maghanap ng tulang matatagpuan lamang sa sariling lupa kaya ngayo’y nagbalik upang dito mamatay”. Bukambibig nito ang “Basag na Uniberso”, “ang patay na bayan”, “bayan ng mga patay” o “ang sumpa ng malalang sakuna”. Idiniin ng monologo nito ang paghahanap sa sariling bayan at sa katwiran ng buhay.

Sa tono ni Crisostomo Ibarra at ng mga bayaning nagbalik sa mga epikong bayan, nanalig siyang “isang araw ay wawasto din ang lahat”. Mataas ang paghanga nito sa gaya ni Sito na “lampas sa pagtatanim ang kaalaman at di sumusuko sa anumang pagsubok”. Samantala, hinikayat niya ang manunood upang maglimi “sapagkat tayo lahat ay nagkamali”. Sa puntong ito, ideyal ang tinutukoy na bayan: binubuo ng makatwirang mamamayan at ng makatwirang pamahalaan. Sa huling eksena ding ito, sinabi ni Sito na “mahirap arukin ang buhay”. Natatakot siya sa bagay na di niya alam: isa pang mahalagang puntong magandang paglimian.

Simboliko ang larawan ng pagpalutang ng pinaapoy na katawan ng Makatang tinupok ng kanser. Hindi makaalagwa ang apoy na nakikibaka sa ulan ngunit ang ritwal ng Malay ay katuparan ng huling kahilingan para sa kadalisayan.

Para sa manunood na Swiss, maaaring konkreto sa kanilang kamalayan ang ugnayan ng pamahalaang Marcos at ng pamahalaang Switzerland sa pagkalinga ng Swiss Bank sa diktador at ng mga nakaw na kabang-bayan kasama ng mga ginto at alahas (Marcos ill-gotten wealth). Maaaring para sa kanila ay tapos na ang usaping ito sa pagbalik ng nakaw na yaman sa Rehimeng Fidel Ramos noong dekada 90.

Ngunit isang katotohanan pa rin sa bansa ang patuloy na kahirapan, kawalan ng akses sa serbisyong panlipunan, pagkatali ng mga magsasaka sa sistemang asyenda at pagdami ng kaso ng sapilitang pagkawala/pampulitikang pamamaslang. Nariyan din ang histeryang likha ng presidential sister na si Kris Aquino sa mga pasabog nitong sex life o kaya kalituhan kung saang bansa magsho-shopping.

Naway sa paglibot ng pelikula sa mahigit 30 bansa bilang bahagi ng gantimpala ng festival ay maitambol ang mithi ng mamamayang Filipinong makabangon mula sa bangungot ng kawalang demokrasya. Samantala, maipaunawa rin nito ang katotohanan ng prinsipyadong armadong pakikibaka sa Luzon, Visayas at Mindanao para sa tunay na pagbabago ng kalagayan ng mga ordinaryong mamamayan.#

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