Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Blog the Labfest 2010 edition: The winners

It's quite a task, poring through some 30 blog entries about the just-ended Virgin Labfest 6 and choosing the best, or at least the most compelling ones. I was looking for incisive ideas expressed with clarity, wit, felicitous phrasing--all three, if we're lucky. Most of the entries deserved to be read in their own right--well-argued and articulated, often with surprising, distinctive takeaways from the plays we all had seen. But I've got only five prizes, and my thankless job is to decide who should get them. (Whether the entries agreed with my own judgments of the plays or not wasn't a consideration.) Here they are, plus a bite of what they wrote. Do check out the rest of their winning entries.

First prize
Arvin Ello (Prize: Festival pass to the 2010 Cinemalaya Film Festival)

On Ondoy: Ang dulang “Ondoy” na sinulat ni Remi Karen Velasco ay may malinis na kuwento at suwabe ang daloy ng diyalogo... Nakatulong nang husto ang tunog ng ulan, kidlat, helicopter, pagbabalita sa radyo o TV upang iparamdam sa mga manonood ang tunay na sitwasyon ng nasalanta ng kalamidad. May lalim ang pag-unawa sa kuwento dahil makapal ang naging ugnayan ng dalawang persona upang mapag-usapan at mapagtalunan ang ilang problema. May lalim at bigat ang pagsasabuhay ng karakter nina (Jojit) Lorenzo at (Cai) Cortez sa dulang ito. Mahusay ang kemistri ng dalawa na siyang nagpatibay sa magandang daloy ng dula.

Second prize
Ipat Luna (Prize: Limited-edition Cory Aquino Swatch watch)

On Kung Bakit Wala Nang Nagtatagpo sa Philcoa Oberpas: [It] reminded me of a Maxim Gorky Play mounted in the basement of a building under construction in UP in 1985 translated into Filipino as Kalatakan, but quite different because this is lighthearted without losing the grit and grime that one imagines to be on everything and on everyone who spends time on such a overpass. I walked out of the theater singing “If you like Piña Colada . . .” and wanting to congratulate Mayen Estañero for giving life and distinction to a role designated merely as “babae”.

Third prize
Rand Jester Poquiz (Prize: Loot bag of premium men's grooming essentials)

On Ang Huling Habilin ng Sirena: Nagsimula itong sumusubok na magpaka-enggrande at magpaka-surreal, mula sa mga kilos ng mga karakter, pagsayaw, pagsasalita, at sa di maipaliwanag na galaw... Pero nagtatago sa teksto ng isang baklang magsasaka na may kontrabidang salamangkero ang madilim na istorya ng monopolyo sa lupa... Naghanap ako ng climax sa loob ng apatnapu’t limang minuto. Naramdaman ko lang sa buong dula ang pagpupumiglas ng teksto sa pagpapanggap at pagsusubok ng suryalismo. Sige, ikaw na ang surreal, kasi lumalabas sa pridyider ang kontrabida at fog-machine ang usok ng niluluto mong tipak-tipak ng ahas. Set D. Dismaya.

Fourth prize
Journey of Eros (Prize: Gift set from global hair-care brand Schwarzkopf)

On Higit Pa Dito: Maituturing na 'departure from old tradition' ang script ni Allan Lopez. Dati kasi, ang mga dula niya'y hindi pangkaraniwan at may pagka-experimental na nagreresulta madalas sa negatibong pagtanggap ng manonood. May pagka-literary, intelektuwal at hindi mainstream ang istorya ng HIGIT PA DITO pero pamilyar. Melancholic. Pamilyar rin ang mga karakter lalo na ang ina--quirky at suicidal na para bang nagmula sa nobela ni Haruki Murakami. Ang pamilyaridad na ito ay nakatulong nang malaki para epektibong kumonekta sa manonood ang emosyon ng dalawang tauhan. Sa palitan nila ng dialogue, sa pagitan ng katahimikan, mararamdaman mo ang bigat ng kanilang dinadala. Kung emosyonal ka, hindi na nakapagtatakang maantig ka't maluluha.

Fifth prize
Eon/Daredevilry (Prize: Notebook set from Filipinas Heritage Library, plus a CD of Highlights from Cats)

On Balunbalunan, Bingi-bingihan: Bembol Roco as Gilbeys the pimp and Paul Jake Paule as Whiskey the bedspacer wore their feelings on their faces well... The play was perfect—the set design, the dialogue, the thespians’ movements and blocking, the clothes, the acting — everything was precise. I would pay two hundred and fifty for this play alone. With Missy Maramara as Brandy the whore, I would readily pay more. Everything about her—the clothes, the movements, the sexual dynamics between her and her husband/pimp, the hesitancy with the bedspacer—turned her completely into the character she was playing. She was delicious on stage.

To repeat my closing spiel from last year's contest: Thank you to everyone who joined in whatever way--by sending entries, donating prizes, spreading the word, leaving comments, or by plain keeping this blog company with your (much-appreciated) lurking. Maraming, maraming salamat. Sa uulitin!


Ipat Luna said...

Thanks, GIbbs. Sorry I had a typo. . . .such aN overpass. Must have been many more on the main piece.

Anonymous said...

it is actually good that the top winners gave prime consideration on the quality of the WRITTEN material. it is good to know that some viewers actually care as well on the the text and not only rely on the visuals (though the visual is also important). i hope viewers, and the labfest organizers and participants (directors, actors)themselves, do not forget that the virgin labfest is actually for encouraging new and good materials. nice to know that people are actually supporting it. i recently watched the labfest and i am glad to note as well that friends of those performers are actually paying to watch the play! i hope though that some of the actors would realize that the performance is not about them, the labfest is actually a showcase for the writers. NO MORE batuhan ng monoblocks backstage please! :)

Art Blogger said...

Thanks Gibbs! It's really unexpected, given that there were a bunch of good review entries submitted. Never thought I'd get the Cinemalaya Festival pass. It's like winning a lotto, really! I just love and enjoy supporting the Philippine arts and entertainment. Muchas gracias!

Anonymous said...

actually, i dont know what made the 1st prize the 1st prize. the piece was *just* skin deep to even pass as winners. and hello, only 'feeling' will list his best for everyon to see without support. im not sure what were gibbs' criteria, but from the list of winners, the credibility of the judge/s is in question. i won't wonder if this contest won't see fruition or grow in the following years.

gibbs cadiz said...

hi IPAT, lemme know how i can give you your watch. :)

randjester said...

salamat salamat:)
hindi man ako makakapanood ng Cinemalaya...(dahil ubos na ang season pass) gaganda naman daw ang buhok at kutis ko sa men's grooming showcase. hehe
salamat ulit:)

EROS said...

Salamat ulit, Gibbs. Regular na akong taga-sali ng mga contest mo at salamat dahil hindi ka nagsasawa. ;-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Search this blog or the Web