[Update: Winners here]
There is no official Virgin Labfest blog contest this year (last year there was, organized by the Writers' Bloc and Tanghalang Pilipino), but this blog is putting one up--thanks to some office freebies I've been able to hoard for prizes.
1. Watch any or all of the plays featured in Virgin Labfest 5 and blog about them--in whatever way you choose. There are 6 main sets. You may write about only one set, or all of them; whether in English or Filipino, I don't particularly mind. No editorial input from me; your honest opinion is what counts. And though I'd be delighted to read one, I'm not expecting a formal review. (See our earlier Cinderella contest for reference, and a roundup of last year's Virgin Labfest 4 Blogfest winners if you need pegs for your own posts.)
2. Once your entry is up, leave a comment/link here or e-mail your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Virgin Labfest 5” as subject. For Multiply users, leave a comment/link in my Multiply site.
3. The entries will be winnowed down to the Top Three. I'll ask two other people to help me read all the entries.
4. The contest runs June 23-July 5, or the entire run of the Labfest. Winners will be announced on or before July 10, through e-mail and an entry here.
First prize: a copy of Preview Art, “a stunning, limited-edition collection of images from the Philippines' most provocative visual artists,” released to celebrate Preview Magazine's 150th issue. Retail prize: P1,000. Plus, an exclusive autographed copy of Sinta and Other Plays, by the legendary teacher and theater mentor Onofre Pagsanghan of Ateneo's Dulaang Sibol. Exclusive, because the book, which collects four of Mr. Pagsi's seminal plays and/or adaptations (Doon Po Sa Amin, Sinta, Adarna, Sa Kaharian ng Araw) is not available anywhere, but was published privately as a gift to Mr. Pagsi by some of his former students. Mr. Pagsi has donated autographed copies of the book for use as prizes here.
Second prize: A pair of white original Havaianas (size 37-38), with a blue Havaianas bag included in the package. If the pair isn't to your size or liking, win it for your mother, sister, brother, beau or fiancee. Plus, a copy of Sinta and Other Plays.
Third prize: A gift pack from Zen Zest consisting of bottles of room fragrance, linen spray and aromatherapy oil. Plus, a copy of Sinta and Other Plays.
Let me further explain why, among these prizes, I consider the Sinta anthology the most precious--as I hope you would, too. The four plays contained here are an initial summation of the trailblazing, at times historic but still underappreciated role that Mr. Pagsi holds in the development of Philippine theater. Filipino Librarian aka Von Totanes' succinct introduction mentions “the importance of his adaptation of Thornton Wilder's Our Town into Doon Po Sa Amin--one of the first in the Philippines--during a time when most, if not all, plays being produced were in English; the significance of Dulaang Sibol, a high school theater group, as one of the first theater groups to consistently produce plays in the vernacular; [and] the lasting effects that Mr. Pagsi and Dulaang Sibol had--not just on the Ateneo theater tradition, but also on the evolution of Filipino theater as it broke free from its dependence on English plays...”
It's a document, in short--a rare, valuable one, not for sale anywhere and signed by Mr. Pagsi himself.
And the point of all this? Here I go again: Do you remember the good shows you caught this year? Blog about them. The artists responsible for the diverting--perhaps even revelatory or life-altering--evenings you had at the theater would appreciate being remembered for their efforts. If, on the other hand, you didn't think a show was worth it, write about that, too. Honest criticism is as valuable as avid praise, and theater--the art form as well as the industry--would benefit as much from the aesthetic vision of its practitioners as from the candid feedback of its audience. The larger point, here and now, is to CARE that it exists at all.
I thank you, and world peace. Whew, preyssure!
Please help me inform everyone about the Virgin Labfest and this contest by reposting in your blogs and/or mentioning in your Facebook and Twitter. See you at CCP!