Thursday, July 2, 2015

VIRGIN LABFEST XI: Set C

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/506186/lifestyle/artandculture/sariwa-xi-love-tales-lead-2015-virgin-labfest
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BIRTWAL – Guy (Ron Capinding) and Girl (J-Mee Katanyag) decide to meet up after almost a year of romancing each other online, except that their descriptions of themselves might be a little bit too farfetched from the truth. They both agree to wear blue, but end up both donning green. Would their online romance be sufficient for them to hold onto once they see that they are both far from the virtual image that they have made for themselves?

This one is a bit hard to watch but innovative nonetheless. The two main characters share the stage with four flat screen TVs displaying their conversations online, which is probably the best way to do it. In a way, it makes the audience feel as though they are part of the action themselves. It must have been challenging for the two actors to pretend texting all the time like that in front of the audience. What you'll find really striking here is not the play itself, but rather the critique of society that it offers you. How do you know which is reality and which is fantasy nowadays, in a society governed by the dynamics of social media, could you still distinguish between what’s real and what’s made-up?

KUBLIHAN – Julio (Abner Delina, Jr.), a senior, and Mike (Joshua Tayco), a freshman, find a quiet spot that is theirs alone to deal with the pressures and expectations involved in being a teenager. They form a bond that almost goes beyond friendship, only for it to be broken by news that the former has been accepted to UCLA, in line with his family’s plans to migrate to the United States.

This one is really entertaining because it is plain weird, well at least the character of Julio, like he is on drugs or something. It is just he always seems high when he rambles about random nonsense that you would expect from the everyday life of a teenager with raging hormones. But you warm up to him rather quickly and embrace his quirks, for the mere reason that he is such an enjoyable character to watch. Mike is the quiet one, but his silence perfectly complements the firebrand nature of the other. Their bromance hints on a gay angle, but it is not fully explored.

It’s not as if they have to. Regardless if they are homo or hetero, in the end you just see two human beings being there for each other, trying to figure out the conundrum that is life. But the world is full of hellos and goodbyes, and parting ways is an inevitable thing. And so while you might feel bad for them at first, you end up realizing that it is just a dry run for what is to come as they knock on the doors of adulthood. The two actors should be commended, especially Delina Jr. for pulling off such an act, which could be a hit or miss depending on the demographic of the audience present.

HINTAYAN NG LANGIT – Represented by a really white and brightly lit sauna, limbo is what Lisang (Edna Vida Froilan) has been calling home for the last two years since she died. For whatever reason, she just keeps on delaying her ascent to heaven despite his dead husband’s big influence on the administration, as far as crossing over is concerned. She spends most of her time picking fights with the Bantay (Ronna Sabellina), who comes along one day with a newbie. Manolo (Nonoy Froilan) is Lisang’s ex, a jilted lover she was supposed to elope with before she got knocked-up by another man. With such emotional baggage in tow, the duo is about to unleash their grudges against each other in purgatory.

If Kublihan is entertaining, Hintayan ng Langit is simply touching. Why so? 1) It tackles the love story of two elderly individuals, which means; 2) It will be a showcase of what-ifs galore and looking back at life with the wisdom of all the years they have accumulated on Earth. For a predominantly younger audience, such a story would always be a good watch because of the lessons you pick up along the way. It helps a great deal that the script is witty, often just sarcastic that it does not fail to crack you up. And of course, the rapport between the real life husband and wife tandem is just too adorable to dismiss.

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