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PETA's 3 Stars and a Sun; Photo by Trixie Dauz

The Philippine Educational Theater Association’s “3 Stars and a Sun,” an original Filipino musical that featured the music of the late rap artist Francis Magalona in a story about youthful hope and rebellion in a dystopian Philippine setting, grabbed 13 nods to lead the 2016 nominations for Gawad Buhay, the Philstage Awards for the Performing Arts.

Following closely with 12 nominations is Ballet Philippines’ “Firebird and Other Ballets,” with new choreography by George Birkadze for the Act 1 “Firebird” section, and a suite of modern works by several Filipino choreographers in Act 2. Another BP production, “Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko,” which employed the music of the ‘70s band VST & Co in a hybrid dance-musical show, garnered 11 nominations.

Sharing 10 nominations each are Red Turnip Theater’s production of Nina Raine’s “Tribes,” a play about a young deaf man and his unconventional family; and Full House Theater Company’s production of the Broadway musical “Annie.” (Full House is the resident theater company of Resorts World Manila.)

The nominations, chosen by an independent jury, were announced via a Facebook Live session this Friday evening, hosted by Philstage president Audie Gemora and VP Maribel Legarda (also the Peta artistic director). The awarding ceremonies will be on May 10, Wednesday, 7 p.m., at CCP's Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater).

(See complete list of nominations below.)

Now on its ninth year, Gawad Buhay is the first-ever industry awards exclusively for the performing arts.

It is juried by an independent panel of critics, scholars, artists and theater enthusiasts. Outstanding individual and group achievements in various artistic and technical aspects of play, musical and dance productions and performances are honored based on quarterly citations deliberated by the members of the jury, who are required to watch all productions of Philstage member-companies for the entire year.

From the four quarterly citations (the first and second quarters are merged into the midyear citations), the jury selects the final nominees qualified to win the awards by the end of the performance season.

Philstage is the only alliance of professional performing arts organizations in the Philippines. Its members include 9 Works Theatrical, Actor’s Actors Inc., Ballet Manila, Ballet Philippines, Full House Theater Company (Resorts World Manila), Gantimpala Theater Foundation, Peta, Philippine Ballet Theatre, Philippine Opera Company, Repertory Philippines, Red Turnip Theater, Stages, Tanghalang Pilipino and Trumpets.

[Visit Facebook.com/gawadbuhay]

TP's Pangarap sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-araw; Photo by Trixie Dauz



Outstanding Original Script
No nomination

Outstanding Original Libretto
Mixkaela Villalon and Rody Vera, “3 Stars and a Sun” (Peta)

Outstanding Translation or Adaptation
Rolando Tinio, “Pangarap sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-araw” (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Musical Direction
Myke Salomon, “3 Stars and a Sun” (Peta)
Daniel Bartolome and Onyl Torres, “American Idiot” (9 Works Theatrical)
Gerard Salonga, “Rebel” (Ballet Manila)
Rodel Colmenar, “Annie” (Full House Theater Company)
Jed Balsamo, “Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko” (Ballet Philippines)

Outstanding Original Musical Composition
Malek Lopez, “Opera” (Ballet Philippines)

Outstanding Choreography for a Dance Production
Redha, “Opera” (Ballet Philippines)
George Birkadze, “Firebird”/from “Firebird and Other Ballets” (Ballet Philippines)
Carlo Pacis, “Weighted Whispers”/from “Firebird and Other Ballets” (Ballet Philippines)
James Laforteza, PJ Rebullida, Carissa Adea, Paul Alexander Morales and Gia Gequinto, “Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko” (Ballet Philippines)

Outstanding Choreography for a Play or Musical
PJ Rebullida, “American Idiot” (9 Works Theatrical)
Rose Borromeo, “Stepping Out” (Repertory Philippines)
Nancy Crowe, “Annie” (Full House Theater Company)
Dexter Santos, “A Little Princess” (Repertory Philippines)
PJ Rebullida and Yek Barlongay, “A Christmas Carol” (9 Works Theatrical)

9works Theatrical's A Christmas Carol; Photo by Trixie Dauz

Outstanding Costume Design
Gino Gonzales, “3 Stars and a Sun” (Peta)
Mickey Hirai, “American Idiot” (9 Works Theatrical)
Mark Higgins, “Firebird and Other Ballets” (Ballet Philippines)
Gino Gonzales, “Annie” (Full House Theater Company)
Marsha Roddy, “The Tempest Reimagined” (Peta)

Outstanding Lighting Design
John Batalla, “Constellations” (Red Turnip Theater)
John Batalla, “Almost, Maine” (Repertory Philippines)
Ian Torqueza, “3 Stars and a Sun” (Peta)
John Batalla, “Opera” (Ballet Philippines)
Tsuguo Izumi, “The Tempest Reimagined” (Peta)

Outstanding Sound Design
Teresa Barrozo, “Constellations” (Red Turnip Theater)
Teresa Barrozo, “3 Stars and a Sun” (PETA)
Teresa Barrozo, “Tribes” (Red Turnip Theater)
Rards Corpus, “Annie” (Full House Theater Company)
Rards Corpus and Jaime Godinez, “A Christmas Carol” (9 Works Theatrical)

Outstanding Set Design
Coco Anne and Baby Imperial, “Almost, Maine” (Repertory Philippines)
Gino Gonzales, “3 Stars and a Sun” (Peta)
Mio Infante, “American Idiot” (9 Works Theatrical)
Ed Lacson Jr., “Tribes” (Red Turnip Theater)
Marsha Roddy, “The Tempest Reimagined” (Peta)

Female Lead Performance in a Play
Cris Villonco, “Constellations” (Red Turnip Theater)
Natalie Everett, “Almost, Maine” (Repertory Philippines)
Caisa Borromeo, “Almost, Maine” (Repertory Philippines)
Blanche Buhia, “The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!” (Tanghalang Pilipino)
Liesl Batucan, “Pangarap sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-araw” (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Male Lead Performance in a Play
JC Santos, “Constellations” (Red Turnip Theater)
Reb Atadero, “Almost, Maine” (Repertory Philippines)
Jamie Wilson, “Almost, Maine” (Repertory Philippines)
Kalil Almonte, “Tribes” (Red Turnip Theater)
Aldo Vencilao, “The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!” (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Repertory Philippines' The Game's Afoot; Photo by Trixie Dauz

Female Featured Performance in a Play
Pinky Amador, “The Game’s Afoot” (Repertory Philippines)
Angela Padilla, “Tribes” (Red Turnip Theater)
Dolly de Leon, “Tribes” (Red Turnip Theater)
Thea Yrastorza, “Tribes” (Red Turnip Theater)
Antonette Go, “Pangarap sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-araw” (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Male Featured Performance in a Play
Teroy Guzman, “Tribes” (Red Turnip Theater)
Jonathan Tadioan, “Pangarap sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-araw” (Tanghalang Pilipino)
Marco Viana, “Pangarap sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-araw” (Tanghalang Pilipino)
Bodjie Pascua, “The Tempest Reimagined” (Peta)
Norbs Portales, “The Tempest Reimagined” (Peta)

Female Lead Performance in a Musical
Angela Padilla, “Stepping Out” (Repertory Philippines)
Krystal Brimner, “Annie” (Full House Theater Company)
Isabeli Elizalde, “Annie” (Full House Theater Company)

Male Lead Performance in a Musical
Nicco Manalo, “3 Stars and a Sun” (Peta)
Nel Gomez, “American Idiot” (9 Works Theatrical)
Jef Flores, “Tick, Tick…Boom” (9 Works Theatrical)
Miguel Faustmann, “A Christmas Carol” (9 Works Theatrical)

Female Featured Performance in a Musical
Carla Guevara-Laforteza, “3 Stars and a Sun” (Peta)
Joy Virata, “Stepping Out” (Repertory Philippines)
Ela Lisondra, “American Idiot” (9 Works Theatrical)
Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, “Annie” (Full House Theater Company)
Tanya Manalang, “Tick, Tick…Boom” (9 Works Theatrical)

Male Featured Performance in a Musical
Nar Cabico, “3 Stars and a Sun” (Peta)
Bodjie Pascua, “3 Stars and a Sun” (Peta)
Ariel Reonal, “Tick, Tick…Boom” (9 Works Theatrical)
Jef Flores, “Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko” (Ballet Philippines)
Sandino Martin, “Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko” (Ballet Philippines)

Rita Winderr in BP's Awitin mo at Isasayaw Ko (Press Launch); Photo by Trixie Dauz

Female Lead Performance in Modern Dance
Rita Winder, “Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko” (Ballet Philippines)

Male Lead Performance in Modern Dance
JM Cordero, “Simoun” (Ballet Philippines)
JM Cordero, “Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko” (Ballet Philippines)
Garry Corpuz, “Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko” (Ballet Philippines)

Female Featured Performance in Modern Dance
Denise Parungao, “Opera” (Ballet Philippines)
Gia Gequinto, “Simoun” (Ballet Philippines)
Denise Parungao, “Simoun” (Ballet Philippines)
Rita Winder, “Simoun” (Ballet Philippines)
Edna Vida, “Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko” (Ballet Philippines)

Male Featured Performance in Modern Dance
Erl Sorilla, “Simoun” (Ballet Philippines)
Nonoy Froilan, “Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko” (Ballet Philippines)

Female Lead Performance in Classical Dance
Rita Winder, “Firebird”/from “Firebird and Other Ballets” (Ballet Philippines)
Irene Kim Abrojena, “The Great Classics” (Philippine Ballet Theatre)
Regina Magbitang, “The Great Classics” (Philippine Ballet Theatre)
Dawna Mangahas, “Cinderella” (Ballet Manila)
Abigail Oliveiro “The Swan, The Fairy, and the Princess” (Ballet Manila)

Male Lead Performance in Classical Dance
Garry Corpuz, “Firebird”/from “Firebird and Other Ballets” (Ballet Philippines)
Jimmy Lumba, “The Great Classics” (Philippine Ballet Theater)
Rudy de Dios, “Cinderella” (Ballet Manila)

Female Featured Performance in Classical Dance
Monica Gana, “Firebird”/from “Firebird and Other Ballets” (Ballet Philippines)
Denise Parungao, “Firebird”/from “Firebird and Other Ballets” (Ballet Philippines)
Tiffany Chan, “Cinderella” (Ballet Manila)
Violet Hong, “Cinderella” (Ballet Manila)

Cyril Fallar and Victor Maguad alternated as the villain from Ballet Philippines' Firebird; Photo by Trixie Dauz

Male Featured Performance in Classical Dance
Cyril Fallar, “Firebird”/from “Firebird and Other Ballets” (Ballet Philippines)
Victor Maguad, “Firebird”/from “Firebird and Other Ballets” (Ballet Philippines)

Outstanding Modern Dance Production
“Weighted Whispers”/from “Firebird and Other Ballets” (Ballet Philippines)
“Simoun” (Ballet Philippines)
“Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko” (Ballet Philippines)

Outstanding Classical Dance Production
“Firebird”/from “Firebird and Other Ballets” (Ballet Philippines)

Outstanding Stage Direction for a Play
Rem Zamora, “Constellations” (Red Turnip Theater)
Bart Guingona, “Almost, Maine” (Repertory Philippines)
Topper Fabregas, “Tribes” (Red Turnip Theater)
Ralph Peña, “The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!” (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Stage Direction for a Musical
Nor Domingo, “3 Stars and a Sun” (Peta)
Robbie Guevara, “American Idiot” (9 Works Theatrical)
Michael Williams, “Annie” (Full House Theater Company)
Robbie Guevara, “Tick, Tick…Boom” (9 Works Theatrical)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Play
“Almost, Maine” (Repertory Philippines)
“Tribes” (Red Turnip Theater)
“The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!” (Tanghalang Pilipino)
“The Tempest Reimagined” (Peta)

9works Theatrical's American Idiot; Photo by Trixie Dauz

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Musical
“3 Stars and a Sun” (Peta)
“American Idiot” (9 Works Theatrical)
“Annie” (Full House Theater Company)
“Tick, Tick…Boom” (9 Works Theatrical)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for Modern Dance
“Weighted Whispers”/from “Firebird and Other Ballets” (Ballet Philippines)
“Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko” (Ballet Philippines)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for Classical Dance
No nomination

Outstanding Production of Existing Material for a Play
“Constellations” (Red Turnip Theater)
“Almost, Maine” (Repertory Philippines)
“Tribes” (Red Turnip Theater)
“The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!” (Tanghalang Pilipino)

Outstanding Production of Existing Material for a Musical
“American Idiot” (9 Works Theatrical)
“Annie” (Full House Theater Company)
“Tick, Tick…Boom” (9 Works Theatrical)

Outstanding Play—Original or Translation/Adaptation
No nomination

Outstanding Musical—Original or Translation/Adaptation

“3 Stars and a Sun” (Peta)

Repertory Philippines' Almost, Maine; Photo by Trixie Dauz

Writer: Mark Anthony Cabrera
Last Monday, April 17,2017, me and couple of my friends were able to witness an awesome performance from volunteers of courageous women and members of the LGBT at Alek Café in Makati. The first monologue entitled Suffragette (by Jose Victor Torres) features a woman and her husband having a conversation about a woman’s right to vote as it was set in such a time that women were not yet allowed to put people into position. A woman enters frame with some baking utensils preparing an apple pie for her husband who was tired from work. I find it simply perfect as the woman (being a wife ) was able to juggle baking and having a conversation with her better half. Her last line was memorable, “Women should be allowed to vote, it doesn’t mean we can’t be wise voters and wives at the same time. The second one entitled Kiriring ( a portion of Kiriring, Aida, at Macaraig) features Kathy Arguelles, a Pinay who dreamt of greener pastures, got married to an American Husband who she did know was a sex addict who only married her to take her to America and have her work as a prostitute. Many people thought she hit the jackpot marrying an American but people didn’t realize what she has been through in the hands of her American husband. With the help of the Philippine Embassy, she was able to come back to Manila albeit not rich, she was lucky enough that she was still alive. She tried reconnecting to old friends but no one seemed to care for her anymore. Drunken nights followed until she confided to her best friend that she has AIDS.

The third performance was entitled This is My Life .It was a riveting tale of a tranny who is at the wee hours of her days as a performer. It was a really sad portrayal as it echoes the way other people treat the LGBTQIA community. It mellows on the song by Shirley Bassey with the same title of the monologue. The last one by actress Mosang in Petunia was my favorite of all.It talks about fun and that though there comes a time when we reach that age when we would just watch movies and enjoy coffee, it’s best to still enjoy life to the fullest. That our love for dancing and anything mundane must still be there.Mosang’s comedic timing never lost its spark. The adlibs were spot on and it was perfectly enjoyable.

BRAVE NIGHTS are held on announced Schedules at Alek Café. Alek Café is located at Builders Center Ground floor 170 Legazpi St. Makati City.It’s just a few blocks away from Makati Medical Center.Ticket is Php500.00 inclusive of snacks. Part of the proceeds will be donated for causes that involved battered women and the LGBT Community.

Text and Visuals by Gus Cabredo

Morissette and Tanya Manalang, two of today's brightest female stars onstage, are set to stage their first major concert together entitled Platinum: World's Favorite Hit Songs Live! at Resorts World Manila's (RWM) Newport Performing Arts Theater (NPAT) on May 6, 8:00pm.

Both young, beautiful and blessed with voices that have awed audiences from around the globe, Morrisette and Tanya have accomplished so much in their young careers than most artists today.

Morissette first made waves after winning TV5's Star Factor in 2012. With her vocal range that covers Wicked's Defying Gravity' to Disney's "Let It Go" to Heart's "What About Love", Morissette rises up to her title as one truly exceptional star.

Born and raised in Cebu, Morissette has reaped awards from the PMPC Star Awards, the M.O.R. Pinoy Music Awards, the National Consumer Affairs Foundation's Seal of Excellence Awards, the Wish 1007.5 Music Awards, and has performed in sold out concerts nationwide.

Her cover of Little Mix's "Secret Love Songs" registered over 35 million views on Youtube sealing her reputation as a true star with a wide following.

This time around, Morissette expands her repertoire as she shares the stage with another headliner, Tanya Manalang.

Tanya's role of Kim in Cameron McKintosh's 2014 revival of Miss Saigon at the West End polished her craft as an actress and marked her as one of the royalties of Philippines theater.

To broaden her acting prowess, Tanya was given a scholarship by Sir Cameron Mackintosh at the Arts Educational School in London while she was into the grueling auditions for the musical.

Starting at an early age,  Tanya has performed in such musical productions as Godspell, Whistle Down The Wind Footloose, In the Heights, KAOS, The Sound of Music, and The King And I prior to landing an alternate role as Kim in Miss Saigon.

Last year, Tanya landed the lead female roles in acclaimed local musicals Rak of Aegis and Tick, Tick...Boom!, and shared the stage with rocker/thespian Mig Ayesa in RWM's twinbill offering Curtains Up!, which awed audiences with repertoire of hit songs from Broadway and West End musicals.

Joining the two ladies as special guest is OPM president, singer, songwriter and actor Mr. Ogie Alcasid who has 12 gold, three platinum, and another three double-platinum records to his name.

Platinum: World's Favorite Hit Songs Live! promises a nigh of chart toppers from Tagalog ballads to London hits and Hollywood theme songs courtesy of Morissette, Tanya and Ogie together with the rythym ensemble of the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Rodel Colmenar and over-all direction by Freddie Santos.

Tickets for the concert are now available at the RWM Box Office and all Ticketworld outlets. Visit www.rwmanila.com or call the Tourist/Visitor Hotline (632) 908-8833 for more details.

27 year-old UP Diliman student and noted "iskolar ng bayan" named Leandro Alejandro was shot and killed in September 19, 1987. As the iconic student activist, Lean fought for national democracy in the university and in the nation. He is one of the unsung heroes who have sacrificed their lives during the turbulent days of the martial law. His life has defined an era of student activism and his work still inspires the youth today.
Students of the University of the Philippines, being a state-funded institution, are called “Iskolar ng Bayan” or People’s Scholars. The description gained political weight during the First Quarter Storm (FQS) in the 70s, a time of discontent by a generation of Baby Boomers. The description also carried with it the aphorism “Serve the people.”

Kenneth Mangurit as LEAN

Described as a Filipino left wing activist and nationalist, UP student leader Lean Alejandro actively fought the dictatorship in the 1980s. Lean became a member of the Youth for Nationalism and Democracy in 1980-81. In 1983, he was chosen as a President of its University Student Council (USC). After Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. – himself a fighter and hero and a great pride of the UP students– was assasinated, Lean left the University and went full time in the anti-Marcos struggle. In 1985, Lean was one of the founders of the left-wing umbrella organization BAYAN becoming it's Secretary-General. He was arrested and detained for two months and participated in the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolt after he was released. Post-EDSA Revolution, Alejandro ran for a seat at the Philippine House of Representatives for the small district Navotas-Malabon losing to Teresa Aquino-Oreta, the sister-in-law of then president Corazon Aquino. in a controversial and disputed election.
After losing in the election, Lean returned to his previous activities as secretary-general of nationalist organization Bagong Alyansang Makabayan. Lean openly criticized the 1987 coup d’tat that killed and injured innocent civilians. On 19 September 1987, after the failed coup attempt led by Col. Gregorio Honasan, Alejandro announced plans for a major demonstration against the return to fascism. Returning by car to the headquarters of BAYAN, he was fired upon by a gunman instantly killing Alejandro. One suspected that the assassination had been in the angle of Marcos loyalists from the Philippine Army, but no one was arrested for the assassination. Up to this untimely death, Lean offered his life to people’s movement, speaking in mass demonstrations, writing articles and discussing social issues inside the campus and in urban poor communities.

Carmela Reyes as Bobby

Lean’s multi-roles as activist, politician, friend, husband, son and father will be recreated in the forthcoming LEAN - A FILIPINO MUSICAL produced by UP Manila Dramatista.
The playdates are: APRIL 28 - FRI. - 7 PM and APRIL 29 - SAT. - 4 PM / 7 PM.
   The cast are as follows: Kenneth Mangurit (Lean), Frances Mendoza (Lidy), Carlo Cabahug (Ka Tanny), Carmela Reyes (Bobby), Dean Lopez (Edward), Lalaine Quinan (Jojo(, Neil Suyat (Noli), Raffy Baybay (Chino) and Uriel Molina (Mr. Tim).
Don't fail to watch this musical about the turbulent 1980s written by Gary Granada, one of the Philippines' best composers of songs that evoke nationalism and pride in our country. In this musical play, Gary Granada remixed the tune of “UP Naming Mahal” in a contemporary rock version and gave it a new and more "nationalistic sounding" lyrics, reasserting the purpose of the Iskolar ng Bayan as a "Iskolar ng Sambayanan, Tagapaglingkod ng Taongbayan".

Neil Suyat as Noli

LEAN - A FILIPINO MUSICAL shall also feature powerful catchy songs that breathe new life to the many different characters and personas of the 1980s. Through song and dance, the musical not only tells the story of the influential student activist but also creatively re-imagines the loud cries of the masses.
The September 1997 original production of LEAN THE FILIPINO MUSICAL was produced by the Leándro L. Alejandro Foundation and the UP Student Council in cooperation with the UP Diliman Committee for Arts and Culture. The musical featured renowned artists like Chikoy Pura, Bayang Barrios, Cookie Chua, and Noel Cabangon. 
   In 2013, it was restaged by the University of the Philippines Repertory Company (UP Rep) with youth activists Vencer Crisostomo of Anakbayan and Third Alub of the League of Filipino Students who both played the role of Lean.

For further details and tickets, please call 0906-427-3981 c/o Zoe Caballero.

Uriel Molina as Mr. Tim

The Film Development Council of the Philippines, in partnership with SM Entertainment will launch Cine Lokal on April 19, 2017 with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as the Guest of Honor. The event will be heled at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City with cocktails at 6 PM and the main program at 7 PM. Cine Lokal is a partnership between the Film Development Council of the Philippines which dedicates eight (8) commercial theatres for the exclusive screening of FDCP-curated independent and award-winning films. The launch will be the first film-related event that the President is attending since he assumed office in July 2016.

"We are beyond honored and grateful for this show of support by no less than our President," said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Dino. "This reaffirms the government's support to the development of the Philippine cinema. We are confident that Cine Lokal is just the start of the government and  the film industry coming together to further cultivate a culture of film appreciation that goes beyond entertainment value. This is in line with the President’s vision of using culture and arts as key elements in nation-building, as film is a powerful medium that can instill the concept of culture and identity among Filipinos," she added. 
FDCP will be programming content every month with a running theme to further encourage discourse among the audience. For April, films for Salve Pelikula will be screened, including the following titles: Spotlight, Himala, Iadya Mo Kami, and Of Sinners and Saints. Salve Pelikula will showcase these films that focus on faith, religion, and humanity’s take

Salve Pelikula will run starting April 21, 2017 in Cine Lokal theaters.

Artist Playground proudly announced yesterday the official release of AL GATMAITAN Self-titled 3 tracks - Single CD album which can be downloaded in iTunes and streamed via Spotify.

The links are as follows:
SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/album/5Q39mmgTqJ5IHnJ7tPDatO

ITUNES: https://itun.es/ph/eTW2ib

AL GATMAITAN is a Classical Crossover Artist and a 2-time
Aliw Awardee for Best Male Classical Singer.

Award-winning composer JESSE LUCAS (2016 Aliw Awardee for Best Musical Director) composed, arranged and produced
the following:

1. Perché Ringrazio La Vita
Poem by Rodolfo Chirico
Music Composed and Arranged by Jesse Lucas

*” Perché Ringrazio La Vita” which means “Why I Thank Life” is a song about gratitude. The poem is written by Al’s Italian professor, the late Prof. Chirico.
2. Bituing Marikit
Lyrics by Servando Angeles
Music by Nicanor Abelardo
Arranged by Jesse Lucas
Guitar: Mark Reese Gelbolingo

*A new rendition with an updated arrangement of the popular and well-loved kundiman.
3. Sa Muling Pagsibol
Poem by National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera
Music Composed and Arranged by Jesse Lucas

*An inspirational song with the poem written in response to the devastation of the Super-typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban.




Photo by Trixie Dauz

Officially christened on the 7th of April 1967 at a national conference organized at Pope Pius Center, the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) founded by Cecil Guidote-Alvarez had its first production at the Rajah Sulayman Theater titled Bayaning Huwad. From then on, they were relentless in pursuing their vision which centers on social transformation and a theater for the masses.
Last weekend, PETA celebrated its golden anniversary by holding a ritual concert in its old home as well as its new one, the PHINMA Theater. Theater veterans such as Joel Lamangan, Mae Paner and Soxie Topacio were among the hosts who delivered spiels which summarized PETA’s history in between performances.
For those who knew Rody Vera more as an award-winning writer than as a performer, it would’ve been a surprise that he delivered one of the most powerful performances of the night as he sung a solo from Ang Buhay ni Galileo Galilei. The song is about freedom from oppression, with some of the most memorable lines being, “Walang patutunguhan ang sunud-sunuran. Hindi bababa ang hari sa luklukan.”

Photo by Trixie Dauz

So, aside from Marlon Rivera who became PETA’s Board Chair recently, here are 8 thespians you would be able to recognize from film and TV, who did plays with PETA:

Tommy Abuel
A 1975 FAMAS Best Supporting Actor winner for Maynila, Sa Kuko ng Liwanag and was seen recently as a lead actor in the Cinemalaya 2016 film Dagsin by Atom Magadia, this 75-year old actor appeared in Ang Tao (1970 translation of Everyman) and The Chinese Wall (1971).

Isay Alvarez
Recently seen in Someone to Watch Over Me (2016 TV series), she played the role of a troubled wife who considers sex change in Skin Deep (2008). She was also part of the original Miss Saigon cast as Gigi, the same production where she met her husband Robert Seña.
Photo by Jude Bautista

Bernardo Bernardo
Iconic for his portrayal of the antagonist Steve Carpio in Home Along Da Riles (1992 to 2003 TV series), he made his theater comeback after years of teaching in the United States via PETA’s Haring Lear (2012) directed no less by Nonon Padilla, who was one of PETA’s icons.

Shamaine Centera Buencamino
A homegrown artist of Dulaang UP, her most iconic role to date was the title role of Lorna (2014 film) where she had love scenes with Lav Diaz. She also appears in the controversial film Bliss (2017) as Mommy Jillia. For PETA, she did  D’Wonder Twins of Boac (2013 adaptation of The Twelfth Night).

Angie Ferro
Uray Hilway from Amaya has been an actress for almost 40 years and she appeared in the following: 1969 PETA adaptation of The Visit; Ang Butihing Babae ng Setzuan (1971); Halimaw (1971); and The Chinese Wall (1971).

Photo: lyka_binukot from Pinoyexchange

Joonee Gamboa
This veteran actor who appeared in more than 145 movies and TV shows  appeared in the theatrical productions Ang Piging (The Feast), 1973, and Canuplin (1980). His last regular TV role was Master Javier in the The Baker King.

Audie Gemora
Another veteran actor who appeared in Bliss, he usually essays meaty roles in English=speaking stage productions. However, one of his earliest lead roles was in a Filipino play of PETA, Ang Paglalakbay ni Radiya Mangandiri, Isang Pilipinong Ramayana (1993).

Robert Seña
Noli at Fili Dekada 2000 (2007); Skin deep (2008); Si Juan Tamad, ang Diyablo, at ang Limang Milyong Boto (2009); and Rak of Aegis (2014)

Photo by Trixie Dauz

PETA President CB Garrucho also offers “Singkuwenta” to the public whom its vision is dedicated to. “We dedicate Singkuwenta to the Filipino people: whose history and culture are far too rich and meaningful to forget; whose stories of bravery, resilience, strength, compassion and capacity for sacrifice are far too inspiring to be left untold. These are the people who we tell these stories for and who are all part of the stories we tell. Then, now, and until the next fifty years.”

For more information regarding PETA’s 50th Theater Season, contact (02) 725-6244, 0917-5765400, petatheater@gmail.com or visit their website www.petatheater.com or official Facebook page: www.facebook.com/PETATHEATER.

Photo by Trixie Dauz

PETA: 50 Years of Social Transformation and Beyond

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