Disclaimer: I am no theater geek. The following review is a product of the musings and thoughts of a student who happened to watch the play, and perhaps overthought some things.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if a beloved book was set in the Philippines?
“Munti,” an adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s Le Petit Prince”, was a play presented by Artistang Artlets last May 4 and 5, 2015. The play, which gave a local flavor to the story of The Little Prince, was held at UST Tan Yan Kee auditorium, under the direction of Klea Lloren.
The auditorium was set up as a small theater in the round, but with small “stages” at the four corners of the room. The asteroids and characters visited by the prince are set up in these corners, and the center stage was used by the two main characters. I would have to say that it was a smart use of the small auditorium, because it kept the audience excited as to where and what the next characters would look like. It also made the journeying of the little prince seem more realistic, so to speak, in a very small room, because of the actual movements of the characters in space and the shifts in the visual focus of the audience. The set-up also allowed for some audience-performer interaction, which made it more fun to watch. While this set-up presented difficulties (in terms of lighting), it worked over all, giving the production more life, and helping with the presentation of the narrative.
The adaptation itself was cleverly thought of to make it more reachable to its primary audience- Filipino students. With a convincingly conyo aviator, and a prince who can use an iPhone, the writer made the play very light and easy to watch. The modern adaptation of the characters the prince visited also kept the audience engaged: the king as a Filipino politician clad in barong and with perfectly gelled hair, the conceited man, as a bibbo performer, the tippler as your neighborhood drunkard, and the geographer as a stereotypical strict professor. The characters, including the rose, the fox and the snake were all strikingly full of personality- this perhaps is also due to the very good visuals that came with each character. It was this modern take on the characters that kept the audience captivated- mood changes were palpable in the auditorium, as the prince went from one character to another, and it is credit to good acting and easily relatable characters.
Munti, at its very core, was an intimate and heartfelt play, and while there may be much left to be wanted for the serious (and legit) theater critics, I think that the production aimed for the hearts of its audience, with all the changes they made in their adaptation. And it is exactly that which left me quite satisfied with their adaptation of the little prince- after all,”what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Juan Dela Cruz
Christine Erica Sudiacal
Gerard Andre Barron
Coleen Ivy Cordero
Artistang Artlets, now in their 34th season, is the official theater guild of the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters. Check out their page for upcoming plays and events:
Photo credits: Artisang Artlets Facebook Page, Tomasino Web, Ideastalk
The Philippines is an extremely beautiful country.
Seriously! Whether you’re looking for a super chill beach vacation or an adventurous hike, heritage sites or man-made wonders, and even super fun festivals, the Philippines has it for you. We’re not quite up there yet when it comes to tourism as compared to our neighbors, even locals overlook our own sites! But here are some reasons why you should pack your bags, and explore the Philippines right now.
1. The Philippines is one of the richest when it comes to biodiversity.
Photo from: www.experiencephilippines.org
Map from biodiversity.sg
The red marks on the map above shows the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Look at the Philippines. That’s the WHOLE country marked in red! Plus, a lot of species are actually endemic. For example, there are 580 recorded species of birds in the country, and more than 35 percent can only be found here. 60 percent of 160+ mammal species, and 65 percent of 10,000 plant species are endemic. So if you’re a nature buff and want to see rare beauties, the Philippines is the place for you.
Tip: If you have little time to spare, but want to see our biodiversity, try visiting the UP Diliman campusin Quezon City for bird watching! There are reportedly 110+ species in the campus.
2. We also have a lot of heritage sites.
If you are a history or heritage buff, the Philippines also has a lot to offer. We have four churches declared by UNESCO as heritage sites: the church of San Agustin in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, Nuestra Señora dela Asunción in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur, San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila, and Santo Tomas de Villanueva Church in Miag-ao, Iloilo. We also have heritage towns where you can just walk around and bask in the culture. Eat an empanada in the historic town of Vigan (another UNESCO heritage site) or try a kalesa ride around Intramuros! Check out these articles on Vigan and Escolta street!
In Intramuros. Photo by: Arielle Castillejos
3. Because Nature.
Forgive me, I just don’t know how (or if I have to) explain this. Our islands are simply dotted with beautiful natural sites from waterfalls, to mountains, to pristine beaches. And you don’t even have to go far from the city! A lot are reachable for quick getaways. Let the pictures speak for themselves.
Photo from: www.tourismcentralvisayas.com
Photo from: palawan.gov.ph
Hagimit Falls. Photo by: WiseDvo of Flickr.com
Mt. Pulag. Photo from: www.thingstodoinphils.com
4. Travelling in the Philippines is relatively cheaper.
Travelling here is cheaper compared to our Asian neighbors. Granted, the sites to see are so different, but it’s pretty easy to see that you can get your money’s worth (or more) with the awesome sites the Philippines has to offer. I haven’t been to many countries myself, so I can’t give actual comparisons. But here are a few travel blogs you can look at for references!
Note: There are other blogs which say that travelling is quite expensive here, but I guess it all boils down to strategy and good budgeting! Be wise and load up on information about your destination. There are also a lot of Filipino travel bloggers who would give you good insights on many destinations in the country. You can save up on costs by doing this.
5. The Philippines is a lot of fun.
With thousands of islands, activities you can do in the country can be extremely diverse, and you’re in for a very rich experience. You could go island hopping, spelunking, trekking, mountain climbing, do water activities, or party on the beach! For a more subdued trip, you could go to museums, visit heritage churches, go food tripping or chill in the resorts. Or you know, combine them all. Oh, and don’t forget the festivals you could go to! This site lists down Philippine festivals from January to December. :http://www.philippinecountry.com/festivals.html
Photos from: insights.looloo.com and lakbaypilipinas.com
Of course, we can’t forget the people. Filipinos are usually very friendly and hospitable. Some would even invite you to eat with them in their homes! As in other places, interacting with locals will surely give a new dimension to your trip. Filipinos like having fun with everyone. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, when Filipinos have fun, you can (almost) always join in!
and for the locals, you really should travel domestically because:
6. Travelling in the Philippines can help the Philippines.
There are actually a lot of ways we can help our country through tourism. The most obvious is the boost it gives to the economy of different locales. It creates jobs and opportunities! Another one is heritage conservation. If more people are aware of the importance of heritage sites and structures, then maybe we wouldn’t have such a hard time conserving them!
Oh, and that instagram post? It helps promote tourism! The long and short of it is, you CAN help! and have a lot of fun while you’re at it.
Note: Remember responsible tourism, of course.
7. Because it’s YOUR COUNTRY!
That is actually enough reason. Get to know where you live and where you come from! The sad truth is a lot of us overlook the beauty in our country because of social and political conditions. But really, we should count our blessings. And we have been richly blessed with natural wonders and rich biodiversity. Add to that the rich cultures we can immerse in and get to know! Knowing our origins, our own people and the different cultures we have can enrich us as individuals and as Filipinos.
How about you? Have you tried travelling around the Philippines? Share with us your favorite or dream destinations below!
February is National Arts month in the Philippines, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 683, issued in 1991. It is a month of celebrating Filipino talent and genius, and an awesome time when people can soak in culture and the arts! This month, do yourself a favor and check out the following events all around the Metro:
1. Pasinaya 2015
When: February 15, 2015, from 7 am to 7pm
Where: The Cultural Center of the Philippines
The Pasinaya is a one-day open house festival which would feature productions of the CCP from its resident companies like Ballet Philippines, UST Symphony Orchestra, Philippine Madrigal Singers, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Tanghalang Pilipino, Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group and more, There are also art markets, trade and fair exhibits, plus partner museums to go to! The CCP has partnered with museums like The National Museum of the Philippines, Bahay Tsinoy, De La Salle College of St. Benilde’s Museum of Contemporary Arts & Design (MCAD), Metropolitan Museum of Manila, and even Museo Pambata.
What’s super awesome about this festival is its “Pay what you can, see all you can” scheme, which allows everyone to witness as many performances and visit as many galleries as they can, in exchange for a donation. Their suggested donation is P50, which is extremely affordable even for students! You can even download a schedule of all the performances and plan out your day at the festival. This festival happens only once a year, so it really shouldn’t be missed.
For more information and performance schedules, visit http://culturalcenter.gov.ph/single-tickets/view-event/?id=24595311.
2. Project Bakawan Arts Festival
When: February 6- March 14, 2015
Where: UP Diliman Campus
Project Bakawan is an arts festival held in various spots inside the UP DIliman campus, featuring installation art and photography exhibits, various workshops like kite-making and bike design, film festivals, talks, plus a lot of musical and artistic performances. It is probably one of the best and cheapest (it’s open for everyone and it’s for free!) events to go to, if you want to see raw talent and interact with people with the same interests. Plus, the venues are all so accessible. Project Bakawan has something for everyone, whether you like chilling out in a concert, learning something new, or enjoying the sun while flying kites!
For more information, visit their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectBakawan
3. Art Fair Philippines
When: February 5-8 2015, 10am- 9pm
Where: 6F & 7F, The Link Carpark, Ayala Center, Makati City
Well, this post is kinda late for the event, but it might remind you to catch the next one! Set in a carpark in the heart of urban Makati, the Art Fair Philippines has become the country’s premiere platform for Filipino Contemporary Art. This year, the public can visit 33 amazing galleries, featuring some of the best Filipino artists PLUS artists from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore and Taiwan. There will also be talks from artists, curators and specialists in Christie’s Art Forum. Visit the art fair and see the exciting art landscape of the Philippines (and beyond), get to know, and more importantly, support local contemporary art!
Entrance tickets are at Php150.00, Php 50.00 for students with ID’s, and FREE for students from Makati (with valid ID’s), BPI credit card holders and Globe Platinum card holders.
Check their Facebook page for more information on the exhibits: https://www.facebook.com/artfairph
4. Ani ng Dangal exhibits and performances
The Ani ng Dangal Awards, a state recognition by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, recognizes artists, cultural workers and works which have gained international accolades. The awards will be given on February 12, and exhibits featuring photos and other memorabilia from the awardees will be shown in SM North ( February 13-20), SM Megamall (February 21-27) and Rizal Park (February 28). The public will also be treated to Ani ng Dangal performances in different venues all throughout February.
The NCCA will also hold closing ceremonies for the National Arts month in Rizal Park on February 28, which again will feature various cultural performances.
See the NCCA website for more details on the exhibits, performances and the ceremonies: http://www.ncca.gov.ph/about-ncca/press-releases/press-release.php?i=200
5. Fringe Manila
When: February 12 – March 1 2015
Where: Various spots around the metro! (A lot in De La Salle- College of St. Benilde, and the CCP)
Fringe Manila is a part of the World Fringe Network (WFN), which is a network of independent Fringe festivals that celebrate local art and culture. This year, Fringe Manila will bring us exhibits, theater and dance performances, concerts, spoken word, comedy acts, film festivals and more. It is an exciting time to witness awesome Filipino artists of different ages, and stages in their work. Also, a lot of events will be performed by students, so you can actually get a preview of the future of the local art scene. Ticket prices vary per event, so it’s best to plan ahead! There will be over 90+ events, so budget wisely and try to go to acts and performances you’ve never seen before!
Check this online guide for a preview of the events and the schedule! http://www.joomag.com/magazine/fringe-manila-2015-official-program-guide/0821162001422114999?short
You can also purchase tickets on ticketworld. https://www.ticketworld.com.ph/Online/
Of course, there are tons of other things you could do to celebrate National Arts Month! Visit heritage churches, check out galleries and museums, and get creative yourself! Doodle, paint, learn a new song, dance or create something new. Allow yourself to breathe and look at things differently. Celebrate art, freedom, creativity and imagination!
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.“
Here is a picture of an old abandoned house we found in a neighborhood in Brgy. Pansol, that was established in the 1930’s, during the American colonial period, if I’m not mistaken. A closer look at this house and you would see that the windows behind the grills are similar to those of the traditional bahay na bato. The neighborhood actually has so many houses similar to this one. Very very interesting how there are houses like this one in the middle of a highly urbanized city.
My brain just refuses to come up with something creative for a title. Anyways, I loved the shadows in this picture