Sunday, July 21

Letters

Bb. Bahaghari: Unleashing Colors

Bb. Bahaghari: Unleashing Colors

Letters
By MHERYLL GIFFEN L. ALFORTE FOR SOMETHING to change, one must be willing to go against the raging current; one must be that drop of color against black; one must be brave enough to be a catalyst of something great. No matter how small it is deemed, one ripple can have an enormous impact. For their major production, Mediartrix presented “Bb. Bahaghari,” a musical written by Gerard De Leon and directed by Vienna Gasper. Set in 1994, the musical follows the story of Red, a young closeted gay man who has made it his resolve to make a dent on the prejudiced society and introduce the concept of LGBTQIA+ through the use of his talent for writing under the pen name of Bb. Bahaghari. The musical starts with a contemporary dance that reflects Red’s struggles. Lights are dimmed as he si
Freedom Wall: Vigilance is a Friend, Uncertainty is a Foe

Freedom Wall: Vigilance is a Friend, Uncertainty is a Foe

Letters
By MARIA PAMELA S. REYES photo by MARLOU JOSEPH B. BON-AO/ THE FLAME WITHIN THE halls of a certain senior high school is a particular rumor spreading through clicks, shares, and reactions. An online “Freedom Wall” post accusing a notorious student-athlete of sexually harassing his schoolmate started circulating, but it does not stop there. Countless victims suddenly claim that they were also harassed. In the middle of it all, King, the student council president, wants to hear both sides of the story by requesting the victims to file a formal complaint to give proper sanction to the accused—yet, no one did. The problems remain unsolved due to numerous reasons, and more posts continue to be shared online by victims that accuse not only students but teachers as well. Despite having
Maria: Resurgence of Women in Action

Maria: Resurgence of Women in Action

Letters
By RYAN PIOLO U. VELUZ STARTING anew, Maria (Christine Reyes) gazes blissfully at her family, the symbol of her liberation from the fright and gore of her past. While savoring her redemption, she was not expecting that the evils from her former identity would seize and ravage her present life. After they annihilated all her inspirations and reasons for existing, Maria summons the clandestine beast inside her, Lily, allowing her to avenge her family and put an end to the demons of her past. Directed by Pedring A. Lopez, Maria tells the story of a former cartel assassin who failed one of her missions. After faking her own death to escape the cartel’s possible castigation, she transforms into a new identity as “Maria” and starts a new life with her own family. Unfortunately, when h
Sa Muling Pagkikita: No Comfort in Closure

Sa Muling Pagkikita: No Comfort in Closure

Letters
By CORHEINNE JOYCE B. COLENDRES IN THE grand scale of certain journeys, one will always feel a specific kind of ease in finally figuring out the finality of things. No matter how tasking, however, people easily forget the importance of the process and the journey itself; instead, they like to focus on the results, on the ending. Some find it more comforting to be able to reach the destination without actually taking the entire route. Despite this, one must realize that some endings are never truly uplifting. Directed by Robert Villanueva and Fenichi Lozada and staged by Likhang Laya in partnership with Artistang Artlets, Sa Muling Pagkikita features an anthology of plays that proves how reaching the end of a journey does not always provide the necessary conclusion—how we do not alway
Alunsina: Live to Empower

Alunsina: Live to Empower

Letters
By ISABELL ANDREA M. PINE KNOWING one’s purpose in this world helps one change for the better. Performed in the Albertus Magnus building and produced by Mediartrix, Alunsina is a musical written by Rachel Hester and Marty Agustin and directed by Monica Divino. It retells the Visayan myth of Tungkung Langit and Alunsina and adds a twist by mixing the modern era and the folklore through playing with the idea of deities living and interacting with people on earth. The story begins with the impending danger brought by the evil god known as Panlinugon who starts causing natural disasters around the world and is planning to raise chaos in the Philippines through corrupt means. The deities above, who are losing their powers because of the slow deterioration of the people’s belief i
Born Beautiful: The Caprices of Identity

Born Beautiful: The Caprices of Identity

Letters
By ADRIAN PAUL L. TAÑEDO EVERY PERSON in the world possesses beauty and it is imperative that society respects the innate pulchritude that each individual holds; yet, there are also other kinds of aesthetics that different kinds of people appreciate. Some forms of beauty are peculiar and may seem uncanny to the scrutinizing eye. One of the biggest challenges in the life of those who possess a unique kind of beauty is to find the acceptance of the people around them—and sometimes, to have the courage to love and accept themselves. Directed by Perci Intalan, Born Beautiful is a film that attempts to manifest the life of a homosexual man in the Philippines. The film showcases not only the stereotypes that are more often than not forced upon the Filipino gay, but also the struggl
Defying the Cosmos in Agnoia

Defying the Cosmos in Agnoia

Letters
By RYAN PIOLO U. VELUZ AMID the silent crowd, a voice of a yearning woman echoes. She is a mother conversing with her children to reconcile their shattered relationship with their patriarch before his pending demise. Meanwhile, another woman cries out her desire to achieve the totality of herself; a pressured teenage boy wavers on the expectations of his sister and his lover; a confused and fearful student pursues her forbidden love with her professor. They are all plagued with fear, skepticism, and varying perspectives of their fate; of being either comfortable with whatever the stars have to offer or standing strong and taking control of their future. Teatro Tomasino’s production, Agnoia, was written by acclaimed playwright, Liza Magtoto, and directed by Lendro Enore. The s
Spotlight

Spotlight

Letters
By IAN JOZEL N. JEREZ EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece is one of the works in a five-part series in line with the Dapitan 2019 theme Insureksiyon. All works that are part of the series are written by the Flame’s Letters staffers. MY COUSIN told me she saw a man walking along the side of the road last night. She described the man to be dressed like a woman, to which I responded: “How could you tell?” It is not difficult to distinguish a person’s identity through the clothes they wear, she explained to me. She went on to provide a more vivid description that illustrated how the man so obviously appeared not to know how a woman walks and, in particular, how a woman speaks. I was barely listening to her as I was lost in my thoughts. The (wo)man my cousin saw walking along the street last
The Other

The Other

Letters
By MARIA PAMELA S. REYES EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece is one of the works in a five-part series in line with the Dapitan 2019 theme Insureksiyon. All works that are part of the series are written by the Flame’s Letters staffers. THEIR STARES were everywhere. Accompanied by their rambunctious mouths, they followed my every move as if I was a child who needed to take heed of orders. Their eyes undressed my very essence. They watched over my actions like I was a lion in a cage, but I am human, and that was how I wanted to be seen. The moment I came out of my mother’s womb, the world already knew what I was and where I was supposed to head. I was expected to be prim and proper: the perfect example of a refined lady. During my toddler years, I was constantly told not to run on the mu
Talim

Talim

Letters
By RYAN PIOLO U. VELUZ EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece is one of the works in a five-part series in line with the Dapitan 2019 theme Insureksiyon. All works that are part of the series are written by the Flame’s Letters staffers. Sa pagsabog ng bukang liwayway Liyab nito ay kawangis ng mga tala At sa inusal na himig at salita: Siyang sa akin ay bumuhay at gumising! Letra at salitang sa atin—wikang pambansa. Alab ko ay nilimliman sa diwa ng mga bayani Lingas ay pinalakas sa mga pusong api Sa mahabang panahon, pag-usbong ay natigil Ako ay inalipin, sa sariling bayan ay sinikil Tinanggal aking alab, ngunit ‘di ako nagpasiil. Sa gitna ng rebolusyon, muli akong isinilang Nagkatawang tao sa mga nobela, tula, at awitin Ang baga sa pusong naupos, sa alab ko ay nagising Nang ma