When I read Gibbs Cadiz's blog entry about the walking tour and play at PETA sponsored by PinoyCentric.com, I immediately signed up. I have joined several guided tours in the recent months, but it’s been ages since I watched a play. (OK, OK, the word “free” in the title caught my attention too. :-P).
So on a rainy Saturday afternoon last August 25, I found myself standing in the lobby of PETA along with other bloggers out to experience a tour unlike any other. We were introduced to the lovely Cecilia B. Garrucho, PETA President and our tour guide as well. When she told us that the tour needed our “cooperation,” the first thing that came to my mind was: Oh. My. Goodness… they’re gonna make us act! What’m I gonna do? The inner actress and scaredy-cat in me warred in my guts but of course I am not out there to be a wet blanket so my inner actress won over.
The tour began at the PLDT/Smart Exhibition Hall, which from behind the curtains emerged a woman in a shining-shimmering-splendid costume looking for her son Marco. It was funny watching her scream Marco’s name amidst the throng of people (in normal clothes) milling in the lobby. From this point on, I knew that this tour is going to be anything but boring.
We began our first foray into theater production at the Lino Brocka Hall on the second floor. We were taught a very beautiful Kalinga song by Upeng Galang-Fernandez, which we gamely sang. Not bad at all, if I do say so myself.
Our next “workshop” on movement was held at Studio A, with Dudz Teraña and Lotlot Bustamante (“Marco’s” mum) conducting. We were told to choose one action which we have to do bigger, bigger and BIGGER to the point of exaggeration. But that’s the point of stage plays, right? Every action has to be exaggerated to emphasize the character’s emotions or else the audience would be bored to tears.
The best thing about this tour is that we got to PERFORM ON STAGE. Now how’s that for a one hour tour-slash-workshop? I think I wanna be an actress now. ;)
The play Batang Rizal is not your usual play about Rizal’s life. It is a wacky imagery on what would it be like if Pepe (the young Jose Rizal) came to our time. It all started when Pepito, a 6th grade student, accidentally traveled back to his time. Pepito’s encounter with Pepe and his family are both hilarious (imagine Filipinos of that time learning slang Filipino words and English words and trying to say them) and touching. The poignant scenes between Pepe and his mother had me teary-eyed—even I could feel the love Doña Teodora had for her son. Hilarious results also ensued as Pepe came back to the present time with Pepito.
The story, colorful costumes, props and the shadow animation made the play light and enjoyable to watch. Kids and adults alike delighted in the portrayal of Jose Rizal as a child, which shows that even heroes get into scrapes when they're young. It actually made Jose Rizal more human to me than just a mere picture. In addition, Batang Rizal also teaches lessons on patriotism so unlike how they teach it in school. These are delivered in lines and in situations that are so funny at times that you would not know what hit you unless you listen closely. Just wondering: wouldn't it be nice if Jose Rizal did come to our time? :)
Many thanks to Gibbs Cadiz, Karla Maquiling of PinoyCentric.com, and PETA for this truly extraordinary theater experience. Cheers! =)
PETA Tour/Workshop Pics! (thanks Gibbs ü)