Tuesday, July 2, 2019

VIRGIN LABFEST 15: Set A

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

ISANG GABING ANG BUWAN AY HILA-HILA NG GULA-GULANIT NA ULAP – Childhood friends Egberto (Ybes Bagadiong) and Elisimo (Heber O’Hara) rendezvous in their baranggay where they spend two nights digging a hole to look for treasure. According to a dream that features a ball of fire, the town is a hotbed for hidden gold. As the two reminisce on their childhood and contemplate on their lost friendship, they start to think that they are just using one another in a ploy for eventual betrayal.

Unfortunately, I did not understand what message this play was trying to convey. In a metaphorical level it could be a narrative about greed but it simply drowns in all its cryptic nature. The dialogues are all about mundane small talk and delve into pseudo-philosophical territory once in a while. You will be waiting for a punchline or a revelation but neither will come. On the contrary, congrats to both Bagadiong and O’Hara for keeping their energy levels high from start to finish, without which the material could’ve been intolerable.

HULING HILING NI DARLING – A woman falls into a coma after having an aneurysm. Hooked to a life support system with no chances of coming back, her fate now relies on her loved ones. Mama (Sherry Lara) does not want to let go and insists that her daughter be given the chance to fight as long as she could. Her husband Abet (Renante Bustamante) is ready to set her free seeing how much she has already suffered. Sister Susan (Skyzx Labastilla) is caught in the middle, mediating between mother and brother-in-law.



This is basically three sets of long monologues coming from the mom, the sister, and the husband. The material is strange because it looks like a typical melodrama and intended to be treated as such, but the lines or the delivery thereof turn it into a comedy. As such, you feel confused as to how you should take it all in. After all, the subject matter is something very serious. It makes you wonder if it is indeed intended to be a comedy by the writer and the director or were they also surprised by the reaction of the audience?

FANGIRL – Ape4 is having a reunion concert after two decades of absence in the entertainment industry. As their concert dates come closer, three of their biggest fangirls Barbara (Mayen Estanero), Jessica (Marj Lorico), and Angeline (Meann Espinosa) meet up for a plan of action. The rules of fandom have evolved over the years, and if they don’t work together despite their differences, they just might not get their hands on those reunion concert tickets. And what kind of fans would they be if such a thing happened, right?

I HATE fangirls. Sorry, not sorry. I just don’t get the silliness of devoting your entire life to celebrities who will survive and be successful with or without you. Fangirl is entertaining, though, in a really annoying kind of way, maybe because it pokes fun at the ridiculousness of it all. Again, kudos to the actresses for that high energy level, borderline exaggeration but it did its job in giving off that fun vibe that the audience definitely picked up.

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