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.”
We were just sitting around listening to Jay’s Music when Ms. Glaiza suddenly started singing parts of a framed poem. They decided to sing the Van Gogh is Bipolar poem created by Kristin Militante, just because they can! Check out the awesome video above here.
What do you think of this performance? Speak it out in the comments section below!
Remember those days when you’re singing your own tune of “Huling El Bimbo?” and jamming to some Rivermaya hit songs? Well then, Arts Management Students from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde bring you Balik Tugtog, where songs from the 90s-2000s conquer the centerstage with the infusion of our very own traditional Filipino music.
Balik Tugtog aims to promote both Original Pinoy Music (OPM) and Ethnic. Daluyong the main act of the event, a band of Asian Students from UP Musicology/UP College of Music will be unraveling the rhythm and melody of our own music culture.
Daluyong the band
Why Daluyong? Daluyong means storm, surge or flow of the stream in English. They want to connect the reality of traditional music like fluid to today’s Pinoy music. Two words for them, passionate and fun. They are composed of 7 members, Nikko Saliva (guitar), Carl Tolosa (bass), Stephen Arevalo (drums), Theo Blanch (keys), Grace Buenaventura (vocals), and Nicky Juanite (Philippine instruments).
Daluyong the band
“Diverse, a lot of backgrounds,” Theo answered when we asked what do they see when it comes to Filipino culture in general. “Considering the phenomenon, globalization? Mabilis tayong gumagaya,”Nikko added. They also shared with us their views and opinions with today’s Pinoy Music and during the 90s. They have observed that the idea of Pinoy music in the 90s are Siakol, and E-heads which are more inclined in the Rock genre. Thus, the belief that its identity is Rock started to build up and remained in our history. “Hindi na siya Original, kasi may influence na rin ng beatles, ibang international band,” Carlo confessed when he pointed out the word ‘Original’ from OPM. It only shows that the presence of foreign artists have captured the hearts of the Filipino people. The band admitted that spicing up the music with traditional would be challenging, as what Nikko mentioned, “Mataas yung respeto namin sa mga komposers at sa instrument na gamit namin,“
So what are the songs shuffled in Balik Tugtog’s playlist? Familiar with UP Dharma Down’s Oo and E-heads Huling El Bimbo? Well, these are just some of the must-watch-and-listen songs from the event that will be fused up with traditional elements!
“Ako may hopes na sana magustuhan nila. Gusto namin silang i-encourage na mag aral ng mga ganitong instrument. Na sana magkaroon sila ng respect sa kung anong meron tayo dati. Maging open-minded,”Daluyong’s message to all the peeps who’ll be watching the event.
It is the first and one-time event hosted by the Arts Management students to be held at Black Box, SDA Campus, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde on Friday (7pm), March 20, 2015. So better avail their tickets for only Php 150.00! Surely this event will give you eargasm and the vibe of OPM of yesterday jazzed up with our Filipino ethnic music. So if you’re a fan, especially the songs from the 90s-2000s such as Eraserheads, Rivermaya, Up Dharma Down, Imago and other bands of that time, please do watch. Bring your friends so you can chill out and let’s enjoy great music together!
Lettering conquers the new style of writing words and letters. You can’t simply draw a tail beside a circle and say out loud “its letter A!” because today in a greater scheme of things, letters can’t be just letters but also designs. From magazines to billboards, and even front doors of a unique book store you’ll see these intricately formed words that affects how people see, think, and feel. Thus, it gave birth to a new trend, Typography, where letters are etched with style in a printed matter.
In Typogsphere there’s this one unique person we met who graduated from UP and now a doodler, letterer, and owner of a business which is named after her- Ella Lama.
The story behind Ella Lama (The business)
Ella started her business last March of 2014, it was the stress in work that inspired her to doodle and scribble letters which gave life to Ella Lama (the business). The vision of lettering became more evident when she joined TypeKita, a typography exhibit where she saw the possibility of having a market. She starts to sell pins, notebooks, stickers with her own designs in bazaars and various events that opened new doors for her. She was partnered with Filed (planner) last year and did a lettering for a VTR under a T.V. station which she shared as one of the most memorable experience Ella Lama gave her. Today, Ella Lama is on the road for more bazaars and art events where she can sell her own designs and share her love for letters. She is also up for any field of designs as what she said “Kahit ano dumating Yes lang,” If you want to see more of her work she has an Instagram account where she doodles various quotable quotes-
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”
“Work hard and be nice to people”
“Be daring. Be different. Be impractical. Be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the common place, the slaves of the ordinary”
“Quit slackin’ and start hustlin'”
Who’s Ella Lama (the person behind the business)
“I am a frustrated artist” Ella confessed to us.“Kaya nag lettering ako kasi pag nagsulat ka, letter A is letter A. kahit balibaligtarin mo Letter A pa rin,” Ella graduated under Arts and Letters and wanted to be a writer way back in college. She wants to write fictional articles which can inspire its readers, but even though her work and her business demands more from her she still wants to write if time permits. We got the chance to ask her about her passion and she said “Madalas yung mga ka officemate ko lumalapit sa akin for advice. Iniisip ko bakit sa akin? sabi nila kasi nagagawa ko daw kasi na pagsabayin yung work at gusto kong gawin. Siguro kung passion, yun yung to empower people to combine work and their passion,”she said.
Ella wants to claim that this is the year for Ella Lama- “This is the year!” She wants to focus more on her business, and looking forward for socio-civic services that will cater to the less fortunate, and to do more creative stuff that will come along the way. If there’s this one important tip she wants to share to aspiring doodler and letterer peeps (like me), it’s just these three simple words- Practice every day. She didn’t go to any formal trainings or workshops of lettering and typography. It is actually the spark of interest and the will that she wants to learn something new that made her to be the kind of Ella Lama she is today.
Before we left, we asked Ella if we could have an on-the spot lettering for us and gladly she accepted it! So below is the video of how she did our Ideastalk souvenir which is just really great. If there’s this one thing that I applaud her for being Ella Lama it would be her answer when we asked if she wants to have a book published with all her letterings and designs,
“oo gusto ko, yun yung parang validation once may gusto mag publish ng gawa mo pero kung gusto mo siya (yung ginagawa mo) there’s no need for validation. Kahit 20 pages lang yan pwede ng ipublish”
Give Ella a shout! Message her through the details below: