Post 461

In this scene from Laro (literally Game), an adaptation of A. Schnitzler’s La Ronde, the Model (Jay Gonzaga) tells his tale of having to pursue perfection because of his beauty while the Philanthropist (Vince de Jesus) disdains hearing pitiful stories – he rather seeks flaws for he finds perfection boring. The play casts the spotlight on gay life in conservative Philippines. The play is written by Floy Quintos.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

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Post 457

What remains of an art installation by Sulong Likha is a mural of a student (pictured), a farmer, a worker, a mother and child, indigenous peoples, and a cultural worker. The art collective explains that these sectors “are holding it all up for us; standing in a circle, sturdy and strong together, silent witnesses to the vagaries of existence.”

Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 456

Darnay Demetillo’s relief Atang features the iconic Oblation pose and the Cordilleran symbols, namely, the likeness of a rice deity bulul and the g-string garment. Behind the main figure is a traditional hut or balé. Atang means a ritual of offering to the spirits, the same meaning of oblation. This work adorns the administration building of the University of the Philippines – Baguio.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 455

In The Kundiman Party, the three concerned titas of the Philippines – Helen (Stella Cañete-Mendoza), Mitch (Jenny Jamora), and Mayen (Franses Makil-Ignacio) – are stuck in social media for things politically viral. Despite their age, they still have the flare burning for the good sake of the country.

This is from the 2018 original run of Floy Quintos’s Kundiman Party, directed by Dexter Santos. (The play has its rerun in late May 2019.)

Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 454

Former opera singer Maestra Adela (Shamaine Buencamino) with Ludwig (Farley Asuncion) giving the pitch vocalises Bobby (Kalil Almonte), a millennial out to fight the political system, in the 2018 original run of Floy Quintos’s The Kundiman Party, directed by Dexter Santos. The play is most relevant today in the midst of the populism trend and the long-standing citizen apathy towards good governance. (The play has its rerun in late May  2019.)

Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 448

Both disturbing and emancipating, Nana Rosa is a play about the elderly Rosa Henson (1927–1997) coming out after four decades of silence regarding her ordeals as a comfort woman during the Pacific War.  The fight for acknowledgement of comfort women continues to this day in East and Southeast Asian countries. The play is written by Rody Vera and the premiere is directed by José Estrella for UP Playwrights’ Theatre.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 426

Andres Bonifacio, without doubt, was a hero of the masses, one who had come to understand his people not with an elitist perspective of a colonially educated leader or cacique. While he championed freedom through an armed struggle, he fell not to colonial hands but to politics and betrayal of his own men he considered brothers.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 425

Buildings, like this one, used to be grand structures of a business district in old-time Manila. Now they are dilapidated and neglected, almost condemned. The ground area is teeming with roadside vendors; above, hints of artistry remain as silent witnesses of the change of the times. The figure is probably Hermes (Mercury) holding a caduceus but curiously not on his left arm.

Photo by I.R. Arenas