Imagine a world where you never have to explain why you are who you are.
We had quite an awesome time hanging out with over 150 attendees last June 13 at the Bunk Bar rooftop. IpagLOVEan was a fundraising activity Task Force Pride and Words Anonymous organized for the upcoming Metro Manila Pride March.
Alongside Word Anonymous’ talented group of spoken word artists, we also witnessed performances from Trisha O’Bannon, Jonel Revistual, Kettle Mata, Martin Salvano, Sleepersecond, Start it Up, Daryll Bernal, Project Mayhem, and Unmute.
So here’s what went down last week:
Join Metro Manila Pride and Task Force Pride Philippines on June 27 at the Lapu Lapu Monument, Luneta, Manila.
The recently concluded 7th PHILSTAGE (Philippine Legitimate Stage Artists Group) Awards for the Performing Arts or the Gawad Buhay Awards Night went from poignant to hilarious. From meaty punchlines and long, emotional acceptance speeches to graceful dance numbers and two bigwigs who have shaped Philippine theater, that night was of most importance for the theater community because, similar to the Tonys in the US, the Gawad Buhay is an annual event that gathers and recognizes the Philippines’ best theatrical performances throughout the season.
Let this entry walk you through the highlights of the 7th Gawad Buhay:
Female Featured Performance in Classical Dance
Celina Dofitas, “Cinderella” (BP)
Edana Mae Labitoria, “Cinderella” (BP) KATHERINE TROFEO, “Cinderella” (BP)
Rita Winder, “Cinderella” (BP)
Male Lead Performance in Classical Dance
Richardson Yadao, “Cinderella” (BP) EARL JOHN ARISOLA, “Cinderella” (BP)
Female Lead Performance in Classical Dance DENISE PARUNGAO, “Cinderella” (BP)
Monica Gana, “Cinderella” (BP)
Dawna Mangahas, “Nutkraker” (BM)
Outstanding Translation or Adaptation
Virgilio Almario and José Lacaba, “Mga Ama, Mga Anak” (TP) ROLANDO TINIO, “Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)
Male Featured Performance in a Play
Richard Cunanan, “August: Osage County” (Rep)
Hans Eckstein, “August: Osage County” (Rep) YUL SERVO, “Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)
Dido dela Paz, “Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)
Marco Viaña, “Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)
Female Featured Performance in a Musical BITUIN ESCALANTE, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (Full House)
Kalila Aguilos, “Rak of Aegis” (Peta)
Antoinette Taus, “Grease” (9WT)
Pepe Herrera who stars as Tolits in Rak of Aegis dedicates his award to his mother, who once told him to follow his heart.
Male Featured Performance in a Musical PEPE HERRERA, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Jerald Napoles, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Myke Salomon, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Juliene Mendoza, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Micko Laurente, “Kleptomaniacs” (TP)
Female Lead Performance in Modern Dance
Dawna Mangahas, “Shutter” from “Heart2Heart: Ballet & Ballads” (BM)
Monica Gana, “Duet” from “Art of Dance” (BP)
Kris-Belle Paclibar-Mamangun, “Salome” from “The Blue Moon Series” (BP) CARISSA ADEA, “Songs of the Wayfarer” from “The Blue Moon Series” (BP)
Jessa Balote, “Sari’t Bahag” from “Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika: An OPM Festival” (BM)
Male Lead Performance in Modern Dance
Elpidio Magat, “Shutter” from “Heart2Heart: Ballet & Ballads” (BM)
Earl John Arisola, “Duet” from “Art of Dance” (BP)
Rudy de Dios, “Aramica” from “Heart2Heart: Ballet & Ballads” (BM)
Jean Marc Cordero, “La Revolucion Filipina” (BP) RICHARDSON YADAO, “La Revolucion Filipina” (BP)
Outstanding Choreography for a Dance Production BAM DAMIAN, “Aramica” from “Heart2Heart: Ballet & Ballads” (BM)
Denisa Reyes, “Muybridge Frames” from “Art of Dance” (BP)
Bam Damian, “After Whom” from “The Blue Moon Series” (BP)
Alice Reyes, “Bungkos Suite” from “The Blue Moon Series” (BP)
Agnes Locsin, “La Revolucion Filipina” (BP)
Outstanding Sound Design
Jethro Joaquin, “Noises Off” (Rep)
Jethro Joaquin, “Wait Until Dark” (Rep) MYKE SALOMON and HAPPY CONSTANTINO, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Bart Guingona, “Venus in Fur” (AAI/The Necessary Theatre)
Ryan Cayabyab (remastered by David Theo), “La Revolucion Filipina” (BP)
Outstanding Lighting Design
John Batalla, “Wait Until Dark” (Rep)
Katsch Catoy, “August: Osage County” (Rep)
Martin Esteva, “The Last 5 Years” (9WT)
Bart Guingona, “Venus in Fur” (AAI/The Necessary Theatre) KATSCH CATOY, “La Revolucion Filipina” (BP)
Male Lead Performance in a Musical RED CONCEPCION, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (Full House)
Joaquin Valdes, “The Last 5 Years” (9WT)
Nicco Manalo, “Kleptomaniacs” (TP)
Michael Williams, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (Full House)
Female Lead Performance in a Musical
Aicelle Santos, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Joan Bugcat, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA) KIM MOLINA, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Nikki Gil, “The Last 5 Years” (9WT)
Tippy Dos Santos, “Grease” (9WT)
Outstanding Stage Direction for a Musical MARIBEL LEGARDA, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Jaime del Mundo, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (Full House)
Robbie Guevara, “The Last 5 Years” (9WT)
Outstanding Set Design
MIO INFANTE, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Miguel Faustmann, “August: Osage County” (Rep)
Miguel Faustmann, “Noises Off” (Rep)
Mio Infante, “The Last 5 Years” (9WT)
Mio Infante, “La Revolucion Filipina” (BP)
Outstanding Costume Design CARLO PAGUNALING, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Edgar San Diego, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (PETA)
Rajo Laurel, “Full Gallop” (My Own Mann Productions/AAI and The Necessary Theatre)
Victor Ursabia, “La Revolucion Filipina” (BP)
Valeen Vicente, “Scrooge” (Rep)
Outstanding Stage Direction for a Play CHRIS MILLADO, “August: Osage County” (Rep)
Miguel Faustmann, “Wait Until Dark” (Rep)
Bart Guingona, “Full Gallop” (My Own Mann/AAI)
Chris Millado, “Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)
Bart Guingona, “Venus in Fur” (AAI/The Necessary Theatre)
Outstanding Choreography for a Play or Musical
Nancy Crowe, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (Full House) Gio Gahol, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Nestee Mamaril Gamilla, “Kleptomaniacs” (TP)
Outstanding Musical Direction MYKE SALOMON, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Inday Echevarria, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (Full House)
Joseph Tolentino, “The Last Five Years” (9WT)
Jon Santos, Michael Williams and Red Concepcion sing Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.”
Female Lead Performance in a Play
Baby Barredo, “August: Osage County” (Rep) CHERIE GIL, “Full Gallop”
Liesl Batucan, “Wait Until Dark” (Rep)
Jennifer Blair-Bianco, “Venus in Fur” (AAI/The Necessary Theatre)
Gina Pareño, “Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)
Male Lead Performance in a Play
Spanky Manikan, “Mga Ama, Mga Anak” (TP) ROBERT AREVALO, “Mga Ama, Mga Anak” (TP)
Jonathan Tadioan, “Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)
David Bianco, “Venus in Fur” (AAI/The Necessary Theatre)
Outstanding Ensemble Performance for Modern Dance
“ARAMICA” from “Heart2Heart: Ballet & Ballads” (BM)
“Muybridge Frames” from “Art of Dance” (BP)
“After Whom” from “The Blue Moon Series” (BP)
“Bungkos Suite” from “The Blue Moon Series” (BP)
“La Revolucion Filipina” (BP)
Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Play “AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY” (Rep)
“Venus in Fur” (AAI/The Necessary Theatre)
“Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)
Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Musical “RAK OF AEGIS” (PETA)
“The Last 5 Years” (9WT)
Outstanding Modern Dance Production
“Aramica” from “Heart2Heart: Ballet & Ballads” (BM)
“Muybridge Frames” from “Art of Dance” (BP) “LA REVOLUCION FILIPINA” (BP)
Outstanding Production of Existing Material for a Play “AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY” (Rep)
“Full Gallop” (My Own Mann/AAI)
“Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)
“Venus in Fur” (AAI/The Necessary Theatre)
Outstanding Production of Existing Material for a Musical “PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT” (Full House)
“The Last 5 Years” (9WT)
Outstanding Original Musical “RAK OF AEGIS” (PETA)
Congratulations to all the winners! ‘Til the next Gawad Buhay!
Philstage is an organization of professional performing arts companies in the Philippines, namely: Ballet Manila, Ballet Philippines, Gantimpala Theater Foundation, Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit, PETA, Repertory Philippines, Tanghalang Pilipino, Trumpets, Actor’s Actors, 9 Works Theatrical and Philippine Opera Company. New among the roster of members are: Resorts World Manila’s Full House Theater Productions, Red Turnip Theater, and Philippine Ballet Theater.
After years of glory as frontliners for Side A and Freestyle, Joey G., Top Suzara and Jinky Vidal will take the stage and perform their best concert to date as solo artists. The concert will also feature both their hit songs and cover songs that you fell in love with.
“3 Voices, 1 Journey” will be held at the Music Museum this Friday, June 19, 2015, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are now available at the Music Museum 721-7626 and Dragon Arc Events Management (63) 917 803 2571. Ticket prices are P2,500, P2,000, P1,500 and P1,000.
Follow “3 Voices, 1 Journey,” on Instagram and Twitter, and like them on Facebook. For ticket inquiries and concert bookings, please contact (63) 917 803 2571 or email email@example.com.
Words by Helen de Castro | Photos by Reverb Manila
Losing a loved one is heartbreaking. I once was told that the experience of losing a close relative to the unforgiving arms of death feels weird, surreal. But contemplating on words once spoken and reliving memories over and over again is heartwrenching. This was the feat bravely faced by artists close to Maningning Miclat, the multilingual poet and visual artist who passed away at the tender age of 28. I could describe Ginugunita Kita as a close and intimate gathering at the Aldaba Hall in U.P. Diliman. A celebration of the short but meaningful life of Maningning that explored and internalized her literary works from the book Voice from the Underworld. The stage employed a simple set-up – a chair on the left that was occupied by the soulful cellist, Patrick Espanto; a piano on the right, whose keys were graced by the acclaimed composer, Jesse Lucas; and in the middle, a chair for singer-actor Banaue Miclat-Janssen, Maningning’s younger sister. More than a concert, the setting reminded me of a warm family gathering where members would sit around the living room, exchanging stories on how Maningning has touched each of their lives. In between one of the songs, Banaue shared how people responded to her sister’s book Voice from the Underworld, with most of them interpreting it as if it were Maningning’s final messages. The younger sister took their remarks as they were, opened the book once and never read it again. It wasn’t until 15 years later, as she prepared for that night’s performance, had she been compelled to read it again. She realized that Ningning’s poems weren’t at all goodbyes, rather a recounting of her life journey. Ginugunita Kita started when Jesse Lucas read Maningning’s book. Struck with inspiration, he sought permission from her family if he could put music to the poet’s words. Describing her works as visually rich, it was incredibly easy for him to connect with them.
Jesse Lucas: “The poems of Maningning Miclat is almost melodious that I can hear the music through the images used in poetry”.
One could not help but wonder about Banaue, the younger sister’s, journey in this whole creative process. The actress acknowledged director Roeder Camañag’s guidance.
Banaue Miclat-Janssen: From the beginning, I was scared that I might go to a dark place in the process of the journey, and he (Camañag) always guided me, showed me another way of looking at things na ‘oo nga no, it makes more sense.’
The performance featured a number of Maningning’s poems: Ginugunita Kita, Tawag, Kulay sa Bato, Ang Naliligaw, Duet (Rizal at Bracken) – where Banaue sang alongside singer-actor Al Gatmaitan; A Stare, which was elegantly interpreted by Delphine Buencamino through dance; Verses #2; and To Catch a Second and Turn it To Forever.
Of all the songs performed that night, Banaue said that it was Verses # 2 that made her see Maningning not only as an artist but as her sister. She shared that it reminded her of the day she passed away. Before she left for FEU that morning, Maningning kissed her and said, “I love you, Wei. Ok na ako.”
Banaue Miclat-Janssen: “With Verses, I will always, always see that. I understood what that meant with that song. Ok na talaga siya.”
There was not a single hint of tension during the whole performance. It was relaxing, comforting, nostalgic even. Ginugunita Kita is described as a healing process and a ‘rite of passage’ as each accepted that their loved one, who once graced this earth to impart so much wisdom even at a very young age, is now at peace. And they are left here to celebrate and keep her legacy alive. Pain – whether caused by death, a heartbreak, or a seemingly impossible challenge – is processed differently by each individual. We all have unique styles of coping. Ultimately, it is how we respond to it. We have two choices when confronted with pain: To allow it to destroy us or to get up and create something worthwhile, fueled by that intense emotion. In Ginugunita Kita, we saw how Maningning’s family and friends chose the latter. Through the collaborative efforts of these renowned artists, they have created something beautiful out of it. I was deeply moved by what I had witnessed that night. It was as if the whole theater was engulfed with so much love and fond memories. And though I have only encountered Maningning through poetry classes back in college or in conversations with friends, that night gave me the opportunity to experience the poet beyond her written words. She was no longer just a byline, or a Filipino painter, or the professor who taught in FEU. That night, she simply became a person. Relatable, real, someone who also went through the ordinary highs and lows of human emotions – it was her dedication to her life’s work that put her high up on a pedestal. I could not fully explain here the warmth and intimacy of that night’s experience. Even the photos stored in my phone could not give it justice. It is one of those performances that could not be described by words, but could only be truly enjoyed and appreciated if you are there. It is not quite possible to relive that night’s experience. So in Maningning’s words, I conclude:
So grant me another second
I will catch up with it
I will lock it in my heart
And turn it to forever.
An excerpt from To Catch a Second and Turn it to Forever
There will be a rerun of the performance on July, which will feature more songs (including a Chinese poem), and we’re all hopeful that a CD compilation of the songs will be available by then.
Seventeen nominations at Philstage Gawad Buhay 2014 is not surprising for a hit comedy musical like Rak of Aegis. After achieving a record-breaking 135 shows in its three runs last year, PETA would be making a mistake not bringing the crazy gang from Villa Venizia back as it kicks off its 48th season. Rak of Aegis Version 4.0 promises to bring in a lot of elements to look forward to and more. Fans and first-timers are expected to flood the theater for this record-breaking hit that is set to open this month!
Breakout Kapuso star Aicelle Santos, and 2009 WCOPA Champion Kim Molina come back as Aileen; the promodizer with big dreams to raise her family from the knee-deep floods that have plagued their town for months. This all-Filipino, all-original musical features songs from the iconic band Aegis, with a star-studded ensemble on an award winning, must-see set.
Rak of Aegis is considered a milestone for the theater company and indeed, for Philippine theater. In 2014 alone it has garnered over 16 citations for performance and technical categories including: Outstanding Original Musical, Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Musical, Stage Direction for a Musical (Maribel Legarda), Original Libretto (Liza Magtoto), Musical Direction (Myke Salomon), Choreography (Gio Gahol), Costume Design (Carlo Pagunaling), Sound Design (Salomon and Happy Constantino), Set Design (Mio Infante), Female Lead Performance in a Musical (Aicelle Santos and Joan Bugcat), Female Featured Performance in a Musical (Kalila Aguilos) and Male Featured Performance in a Musical (Myke Salomon, Pepe Herrera, Jerald Napoles and Juliene Mendoza)
The cast of Rak has also enjoyed several new projects in between runs: Poppert Bernadas who plays Aileen’s suitor Kenny was recently seen in The Voice Philippines, while Pepe Herrera (Tolits) enjoys a stint in the romcom TV series, Forevermore. Singer Kim Molina also breaks into the theater scene with production after production, most recently in Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady by Dalanghita Productions. This run also welcomes many new neighbors to Barangay Venizia. Actor and singer Lorenz Martinez plays Aileen’s father Kiel, opposite Lani Ligot (Priscilla Queen of the Dessert; Broad Way, Narrow Way) who plays Mercy, Aileen’s mother; The Company’s Sweet Plantado also joins the cast as Mary Jane. The ensemble is joined by PETA artist-teacher Roi Calilong (D’ Wonder Twins of Boac, PAMANA), and Teetin Villanueva (MANHID, Maxie the Musical). The cast also sees the return of talented ensemble members made up of Stella Mendoza (Mary Jane), Kakai Bautista and Neomi Gonzales (Mercy), Jerald Napoles (Tolits), Myke Salomon (Kenny), Nor Domingo, Julienne Mendoza, and Gie Onida (Fernan), Phi Palmos, Ron Alfonso, and Jimmy Marquez (Jewel), Gimbey dela Cruz, Abi Sulit, Gab Pangilinan, Jet Barrun, Gio Gahol, Carlon Matobato, John Moran, Paeng Sudayan, and Kakki Teodoro (Ensemble). The play runs from June 17 to August 16, 2015, from Tuesdays to Fridays (8PM) and Saturdays to Sundays (3:00pm and 8:00pm) at the PETA Theater Center located at No. 5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, QC. Tickets are available via http://www.ticketworld.com.ph, 891-9999. For more information contact PETA at 725-6244 or 0917-5765400, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.petatheater.com.
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