The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) staged a splendid brew of Boholano, Hiligaynon and Waray theater productions at the PETA Theater Center in Quezon City in celebration of its week-long Festival of Windows which highlights the role of arts in development.
The festival also delved “into the challenges confronting theater for development specially in areas of building creative communities, public spaces and awareness, participation, capacity building and education, and partnership and stakeholder building.”
Opening the first evening was Lutgardo Labad’s Dagon sa Hoyohoy, a musical production on the life and times of Boholano hero Francisco Dagohoy, who led the longest revolt against the Spanish colonizers from 1744 to 1829.
With thespian Jerrey Aguilar David playing Dagohoy, the actors from Kasing Sining Teatro Bol-Anon Ensemble delivered yet another impressive, stirring performance, their first outside of Bohol.
The musical, originally performed in 1998 in Bohol and adjusted to fit contemporary tastes, was musically arranged by Elvis Somosot with libretto by Marianito Luspo and production design by Marvin Ablao.
Completing the evening’s stellar productions were Dagmay Sigmahanon of Capiz with Damgo, A Night to Keep Dreamin’, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and Padayon, a collaboration between PETA, the Palo Culture and Arts Organization, Palo Youth and Leyte Cultural Network.
Directed by Al Tesoro, Damgo, meaning “dream,” is a complex story of love amid the changing environment set mostly in a mangrove area where the pairings between lovers get mixed up by a kama-kama, an otherworldly creature and his master.
Padayon, written by Joanna Marie Katanyag, is a story of conflict between families, survival and eventual unity.
Underlying both plays are the issues of disasters and disaster risk management, matters that are being advocated by PETA aside from human rights, gender equality, health and sexuality.
The festival, which included workshops, lectures and other performances, was held in celebration of PETA’s 50th year.
Text and photos by Edgar Allan M. Sembrano