Following are the winners of the Virgin Labfest 4 Blogfest:
Virgin Labfest 3 Revisited--randelirious
“(Mga Obra ng Maestra) As much as it was a play for teens, it definitely stroke a chord in my batang-isip cerebrum-cerebellum tag team of emotions. (Ellas Inocentes) Mabisa itong pala (as in shovel) para mahukay ang deep dark secrets nating mga matatanda(ng batang-isip pa rin hanggang sa ngayon. (Three Sisters, A Noh Play) Overall, I would think na ito--among the three plays that night--ang pinakabuo.”
Kapamilya, Kapuso, Kabisyo--davidplatz
(Pamantasang Hirang (Sa Dilim Man)) “Though some questions are left unanswered, it is clear that this play denounces a kapatiran that is blind and knows only the language of power.” (Masaganang Ekonomiya) “Now, to say that I was confused by this play is an understatement... Still, with the violation and confusion I felt from this play, it was the most memorable in the evening’s set.” (Dong-Ao) “We wonder as the monologues go on: which testimonial is true? Or should we believe that each is acceptable and the truth about this country is more complicated than ever? In the end, their varied beliefs and values depict a fragmented nation: both corrupt and in collapse yet beaming with hope.”
Pagbabago, Paghahanap, Pagkakataon--davidplatz
(Ang Kwento ng Menginga ng New York City na Kamukha ng Bee-stung Lips ni Julia Roberts) “Though shown in the context of a gay relationship and in the midst of extreme conditions for love, the questions posted are the same: Will you change yourself just to be loved? How far will you go just to be accepted?” (Ang Bayot, ang Meranao, at ang Habal-Habal sa isang Nakakabagot na Paghihintay sa Kanto ng Lanao del Norte) “Amidst the laugh-out-loud moments (mostly coming from the characters’ sharp-tongued hits at each other), the play is serious in weeding out the issue of discrimination in modern society.” (Gumamela) “This self-confessed bittersweet-campy story was fun to watch and it did have its moments. Feel-good, ika nga, lalu na sa huli. Like that other audience member’s comment in the talkback, though, I felt that a little more editing and tweaking could have made it more meaningful in the end.”
Pagkagahaman, Panlilinlang, Pananampalataya--davidplatz
(Mga Babaeng Toobright) “My initial feelings about the play reflected the title exactly. For me it was a production that tried to be too bright and in doing so, eventually had us bewildered.” (Ang Kalungkutan ng mga Reyna) “The tragedy in the end is palpable when Yolanda confesses that she knows of the people’s desire for her demise. She understands that her death as a queen is imminent, and yet it is a sadness and a decision she must embrace if she is to hold on to her dreams.” (Ang Dalawa Niyang Libing) “Nararamdaman mo naman ang tunay na effort na gusto ka nilang hatakin sa mga damdamin nila at sa lalim ng sakit nila, pero hindi talaga. Kahit ano pang gawin, hindi mo magawang makiisa. I guess I’ll stop at that lest I be buried twice over as well with what I can go on saying. Hay.”
Kapamilya, Kapuso, Kabisyo--eros
(Las Mentiras de Gloria) “The real driving force of this play is the fact that it never feels boring despite of its heavy theme. (Ang Mga Halimaw) “The easy going, sometimes overlapping dialogue, and subplots make it hard to invoke sympathy, not that it matters much but in a drama tinged with sentiments the undertow usually relies on empathy.” (Amoy ng Langit) “Every aspect in the play from stage to set direction is handled with simplicity. The result is a respectable amount of laughter but no peak moment.”
Blogger Gerald wins a consolation prize for his blog Guinea Pigs and Laboratory Mice.
The winners were selected from bloggers who wrote about a set of plays Virgin Labfest 4 within 48 hours after viewing. Each blog wins for its author a gift certificate from Gloria Jean’s Coffees and merchandise from Tanghalang Pilipino. To claim these, the bloggers are requested to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions.
Congratulations to the winners! More reviews here.
PLUS: Heavyweights in the house. Pic taken after the symposium “From Page to Stage: The Novelist in Front of the Footlights,” an interview of National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose by multi-awarded broadcast journalist (and staunch arts supporter) Howie Severino, at the CCP last Saturday.
(From left): Palanca Hall of Fame poet and playwright Ed Maranan; Ma-Yi Theater Company artistic director Ralph Pena; actor, playwright and Virgin Labfest artistic director Rody Vera; National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose; Tanghalang Pilipino artistic director Dennis Marasigan; CCP associate artistic director Chris Millado; and Howie Severino