Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It’s a great time to watch porn: A Review of Noli at Fili Dekada 2000 (Dos Mil)

Theater plays usually catch my attention for one reason: its authenticity in big gestures. And when realism strikes a chord, sure it’s painful but oh so relieving.

Noli at Fili Dekada 2000 (Dos Mil) is a modern-day social porn. It’s hard core but not too graphic, disturbing but enlightening. When reality bites you, it makes sure it seals it with a slap on your face. And my cheeks went red.

The play echoes its original counterpart’s shoutout. More than a century after, it still resounds the face of a sick society; the same symptoms, only a little face lift. You will still encounter Ibarra, Maria Clara, Elias, Padre Damaso and other iconic characters, only with contemporary personalities.

Set in Maypajo, a small town somewhere in Southern Tagalog, nature took its toll to humanity’s abuse through flash floods and landslide; a toll very large enough to claim the souls of hundreds. Young blood Ibarra Marasigan, newly-elected mayor of the town, witnessed his constituents’ misery and pushed for the total log ban in Sierra Madre mountain ranges. He sought help from Governor Santiago Santos, his future father-in-law and godfather. But instead of a helping hand, Ibarra stumbled upon the rotting government system that compromised his future marriage to Clarissa. She was forced to marry Col. Salvi, the notorious architect of some of illegal government transactions. Meddling of the Church to state affairs was apparent with Bishop Damaso’s filthy involvement in illegal trades and shadow of dark past. Affected parties engineered Ibarra’s way out of public office. Ibarra brought his battle to the mountains and joined a rebel armed group. He eventually went down and took a vengeance for his ill-fate.

At present time, Nic Tiongson has written what every social goons would avoid: a reflection of their ill deed, a mirror of their own self. They may be narcissistic, but dirt on their faces—and worse on their inner self, is another thing.

I think Soxie Topacio is well-endowed to direct the play. A master of his field, Mr Topacio was able to connect the grim line between reality and the lack of it.

The play didn’t lack great actors. In fact, they’ve got an overwhelming number. Respected names in theater, TV and music like Lex Ramos, Bembol Rocco, Robert Seña among others, flocked together to bring a must-see play this season.

I was particularly impressed with the underlying cause of their engagement in the play. Some of them were able to see the gloomy picture of Quezon back in 2004, the province hardly-hit by a super typhoon, a natural calamity worsened by the abuse of humankind. The disaster claimed hundreds of lives. The play is a by-product of their desire to “strike a message” to the concerned, a badge of every PETA play for forty years now. Crying for no reason is nonsense. Acting for nothing is equivalent to shit.

Roughly six years back, I took up Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo at third and fourth year high school, respectively. I could boast of my outstanding marks in Filipino subject then, that’s where I only excelled on anyway. (Well, History was another I guess.)

My interest in Noli Me Tangere led me to direct a play, partially to fulfil the final requirement for the subject and mostly to kindle my lust for social awakening; this was sort of juvenile ejaculation, I suppose. Pardon my language.

And I guess that had awaken my sixth sense: a keen eye for social imbalance. We all have a story to tell about Noli at Fili, some might got dead bored while taking the subject, some shared my admiration for both novels. But in the process, sure we learned that something's wrong a century ago. Presently, please care to ask ourselves, how far did we improve as a nation, or how sick did we turn out.

You wouldn’t allow your child to watch porn, and worse a hardcore one, but I dare you to try this, sure your child would reach social foreplay in no time. I bet politicians and people on highest social layer would never herd up their kids on PETA theater, but I challenge my generation to give this a shot and, for once, think over our future roles in a society predominantly ruled by the powerhouse elite.

PS. All photos courtesy of PETA Facebook account.

Showing at the PETA Theater Center from July 17 to August 9, 2009 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 10AM and 3PM)

Tickets are P300 each.

For inquiries or reservations, call PETA Marketing at 410 0821 or 0917-8044428 or email petampro@yahoo.com.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Parang pangarap ka na lang.

Hanggang pangarap ka na lang ba?
Antagal na kitang inasam.
Naging tapat ako sa'yo.

Sabi mo may money-back guarantee ka.
Sabi mo abot ko ang mundo pero ni
Friendster (dumbing me since 2004) 'di ko ma-access.
Sabi mo, sabi mo. Blah blah blah.

Up to 512 kbps ka kamo.
May Wi-Max ka pang nalalaman.
Murang mura ka nga sa PhP 795 kada buwan.
Mapapamura naman ako sa bagal.

Panis na Panis.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sow what you reap: An Open Letter to the President

Dear Madam President,

I hope you’re in great shape before reading this love-hate letter, because I’m daydreaming for another emotion to sink in to your sacred, grandmotherly heart after reading this.

I resent being a young adult. It’s a big term for me, huge enough for me to get anxious of its perks. I have unwelcomely reached twenty just two months ago, and received my bittersweet diploma on the same period. A twenty-year old badge plus a college diploma are not a good mix I tell you; some have been and currently in my shoes so sure they know what it feels like. But the stigma is not yet over, our country’s economic figures are just one-round off shy to recession. I won’t just mention here that even before CNN has managed to inject the word recession in every one minute of their broadcast, the bottom 90 percent of the Filipino people have already been living in its supposed aftermath—daily life struggle at its finest (pun always intended), and I want to acknowledge your exemplary governance here. You count me in on the figure. Twenty-year olds and so at this time are on the verge of despair over our country’s fate, and again, I join the ranks.

I’m a post-Edsa I baby, if that still appeals to your senses. And I too am an Edsa II kid; I was at sixth Grade when some of the young took up the refresher course of old about ‘Think Again 101: How to sack a president when he’s gone too far’. I also deliberately did a home study so I could cope up with something I believed was a great refresher. I might be 30-plus kilometers far from the scene but I tell you, I figuratively guarded your way up to Malacañang. I placed my bet on you. In 2004 general elections, at 14, even when you cried wolf and ran for greed, err, president, I still gambled and entrusted my uncounted ballot to you.

Madam president, I did careful judgment on every single stone your critics threw unto you; it’s like viewing a valued shares of stock plunge yet hope against hope that it will soon recover. Still, I kept loyal.

But enough is enough, madam president. I need not mention this but when your crying sorry for ‘lack of judgment’ got in to my resting nerves, when a poker-faced Gloria excused herself from the price of phoning a commissioner, when you mastered the discipline of gluing your tired a*s from seating on your eight-year old treasured high-chair, my doze of tolerance has gone sick. You stepped on my tipping point.

You have failed me. And you have failed just everyone else who placed a bet of trust on you. Thanks to our prime moment, the youth, among all segments, have the sharpest memory nobody could stand. You have asked for forgiveness, but we find hard to return the favor when the other end shows no remorse.

And just now, amid issues of eight years of unpopularity and flopped presidency, among others, you have all the guts to engineer your celebration of enormous power. No thanks to your allies who do all their concerted might to carnal attack the Constitution for your pleasure, our country is now one-string away to a banana republic. I cannot help but think: What are you thinking?

But when my tolerance for evil ends, my seek for good begins. And I concede no one’s perfect, madam president. As devout Catholic as you are, I believe forces of good will still hit your heart. I’m now speaking to you as a supposed loving grandchild.

Lola Gloria, you’re now 62 and lolo Mike’s 63, I appeal for you to breathe some fresh air and mull over: What have we done to our native land? How will people write down our history? What are we to pass on to our grandchildren, to the youth of today?

Lola Gloria, you now take a rest. Bring with you lolo Mike. Have you seen the blossoming of orchids in the garden lately? Lola Gloria, you now take a rest. Bring with you lolo Mike. Abort your plans for 2010. Sure, you have vast fields all over the country, but I’m sure you now terribly miss Lubao, you keep on coming back there recently I was told, so why not spend the rest of your retiring years there? You two lovely couple will surely fit in there. Lola Gloria, your unexploited backyard is waiting for you there, plant lovely flowers and let lolo Mike give you a hand. You keep a fertilizer scam, err, spray on your hand and a shovel at lolo Mike’s. What a great picture, isn’t it? Who knows, there you’ll finally experience a ‘eureka moment’ when you get to dig in a long-abandoned maxim: Kung anong iyong itinanim, sya mo ring aanihin. (Reap what you sow.)

My concern for you both made me search for the Philippines’ average lifespan. I startled for your closeness to the figures: 70 for men, 73 for women. Lola Gloria and lolo Mike, on 2010, may you rest, in Lubao.

We don’t want another Imelda in the list of greediest of all time, if that time comes, I might seriously consider be one in the 2,000 daily average of Pinoys who’d find refuge in a foreign land.

Madam president, please don’t fail us now; our generation plea for your mercy on us. We've had enough suffering at this early life. Please spare us from another years, or even worse, another generation of failed dreams. Don’t let us rupture and desperately ask for natural force to meddle in and bring forth your ultimate rest. We don’t want that to happen. Filipinos give high respect for the elderly. Let us keep that values running.

I am deeply sorry if you find the letter unlikely for a twenty-year old, but please teach us to write a thank you letter.

Your grandchild

Saturday, July 4, 2009

This time, sex icon

Feted as one of the world’s most powerful among her class, president Gloria Arroyo might seem overwhelmed by her prominence and influence; but lo and behold, news has it that she’s hiding a painful past in her running closet (of course not wealth, it’s given).

Fresh from her expensive travel spree in three H1N1-infected countries, Ms Arroyo submitted herself to a free quarantine in Asian Hospital to show the public that precautionary measures of virus spread is a must to those who went abroad—including herself. Truth will set us free, so after painful scotch on defending the president, Press chief Cerge Remonde finally spilled the bean. The president has made a sidetrack to the hospital and undergone biopsy to check on lumps on her breast. Philippine Star columnist Jarius Bondoc wrote Friday that the dear president “checked in for a “mammoplastic repair” of leaking breast implants done in the 1980s, and removal of a cyst in the groin and extra hair growth”.

I can feel the pain, madam president.

Here’s my take. This is too personal. If she has (or had) fetish for perfect boobs, no one cares, it’s her life. But I think the president is a victim here. Medical malpractice advocate, anyone? First, it’s a failed procedure. I didn’t even take notice, did you? Parang wala lang. The president should ask her allies in the lower House to railroad the passing of Medical Malpractice bill to give justice to her breasts’ bad fate.

Surfing GMA: No trace of enhancement. Google Photo

GMA with fellow Assumptionista, Loren Legarda. PCIJ photo

I guess you too look forward to see the president’s boobs este SONA (hopefully her last) this month. I’m quite sure the legislators have double of our excitement. After all, they have this obsession to help women in conflict, right? See Katrina Halili circus.

All eyes are on president’s boobs this time. Not bad, this is a good neutralizer to her unpopular presidency. Suddenly, the president has another tag— a sex icon.

Full story here.