Freedom from Dept Coalition (FDC) Philippines in collaboration with SUGID Productions, is all set for the restaging of Chris Millado’s Buwan at Baril sa E♭ Major on September 26 and 27 (Tuesday and Wednesday), 2017, 8 p.m. at the PETA Theater at 5 Sunnyside Drive, New Manila, Quezon City.
Buwan at Baril sa E♭ Major was written by Chris Millado in 1985 and originally directed and designed by Apo Chua, with the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) producing it at the Rajah Sulayman Theater, Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila.
Chris Millado is currently the Vice President and Artistic Director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Cinemalaya Festival Director, playwright, director and educator. Among his noted works are Panata Sa Kalayaan / Oath to Freedom; Peregrinasyon, Pinaytok and Nikimalika/Li’l Brown Brothers.
Tim Cada, Poch Gutierrez, and Vincent de Jesus created the ambient music with live cello and classical guitar accompaniment to render the classical pieces required for the tenor and mood.
Gwyn Guanzon and Riza Romero’s costume captures the silhouette of the period, their minimalist set intends to highlight the human condition under political struggle. The production is designed in anticipation for the tour to colleges, universities and local government units.
For the September 2017 restaging of Buwan at Baril sa E♭ Major, here’s how the play will proceed:
The Manggagawa (Worker), in the first story, long estranged from his family, meets his brother, Magsasaka (Peasant), in one of the pit stops of the historic May 1984 Lakbayan (People’s March). Their conditions and the reasons for joining the long march set the tone and theme of the entire play.
The Priest, in the second part, takes care of the refugees, represented by the Babaeng Itawis, who flew from their ancestral lands in the countryside after a military operation. The two talk with the members of the media and a fact finding team where the cruelty experienced by the indigenous people under militarization is revealed.
The Socialite, in the next segment, rehearses her part as a member of the negotiating panel as she prepares for a rally. This bourgeoisie, awakened by prevalent injustice, illustrates how the middle class views the marginalized sector of society and sympathizes with their need for change.
The Asawa (Wife) identifies the body of her husband, an NPA guerilla, and continues in a horrific narrative of capture and detention. She talks to his lifeless body, recalling their story of struggle and survival.
The Police Officer arrests and interrogates a Student in the final segment. Their exchange is intense as they struggle to outsmart each other. The police officer eventually releases the student, only to find out later that he was charmed and outsmarted by a most wanted activist.
Among the topnotch actors in the play are:
Angeli Bayani (Babaeng Itawis), described as a “Philippine treasure” by international director Ang Lee for her role as nanny in the film Ilo Ilo, a Palm d’Or winner at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Bayani is also the 2013 Gawad Urian Best Actress for her role in Lav Diaz’s Melancholia.
Cherry Pie Picache (Asawa), 2011 Gawad Urian Best Actress of the Decade, is a multi-awarded actress in the Philippines and international cinema. She has performed in various theater companies since her debut role in Dulaang UP’s Supremo in 1993.
Crispin Pineda (Magsasaka) hails from the ranks of workers’ theater in the early 70s to become one of Philippine theater’s formidable actors. He played key roles in Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas, Ang Paglilitis, and St. Louis Loves Dem Filipinos, to name a few.
Danny Mandia (Manggagawa) teaches theater at the Far Eastern University, he is one of the pioneers in dubbing animè and Mexican telenovelas in Filipino. He was a stage manager and actor for Rolando Tinio’s Teatro Pilipino in the late 70s and eventually went on as lighting director and production designer.
Jackie Lou Blanco (Socialite) has been nominated for various Philippine film and television awards for her acting. She has worked in theater almost as long as in motion pictures, most recently in Tanghalang Pilipino’s Pangarap sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang TagAraw, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her other notable theatrical performances are Lin Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights, Nick Joaquin’s Mga Ama, Mga Anak, and Soc Rodrigo’s Cyrano de Bergerac translation for Tanghalang Pilipino.
JC Santos (Pari) is popularly known as Ali in ABS-CBN’s “Till I Met You,” he is a Dulaang UP homegrown, having taken lead part in Bilanggo ng Pag-ibig, Ibong Adarna, As You Like It, Hinabing Pakpak ng Ating mga Anak, and Orosman at Zafira among others.
Joel Saracho (Pulis/Interogaytor) has been busy traveling to represent for his role in Lav Diaz’s Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis – a 2016 Berlinale Silver Bear, his recent television role is on ABS-CBN’s On the Wings of Love.
Mayen Estañero (Asawa) is one of Philippine theater’s precious gems. Mayen has been gracing the stage for more than a decade with her talents. A true triple threat, Mayen had been part of some of the most successful theater productions such as Himala, Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah. She was most recently seen perform in the Virgin Labfest’s Mula sa Kulimliman and Tanghalang Ateneo’s Boy.
Paolo O’hara (Pulis/Interogaytor) has been acting freelance for television, film and theater, he comes from a family of actors, but has long since made his mark in the independent film scene as director and writer. He was a Tanghalang Pilipino Actor’s Company member.
Reymund Domingo (Manggagawa) is a regular of Repertory Philippines’ Theater for Young Audiences since his debut in their STAGES co-produced Peter Pan in 2011 at the age of 40, he was also Friar Lawrence in 2015 Manila Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet, and Butete in 2015 CCP’s Virgin Labfest’s Uod, Butete at Si Myrna by Layeta Bucoy under the direction of George de Jesus.
Ross Pesigan (Estudyante) appears in various independent film and television series, he is an alumnus of Dulaang UP where he played, among others, a central character in Ang Nawalang Kapatid, an adaptation of Mahabharata.
FDC Philippines is a nationwide multi-sectoral, non-sectarian and pluralist coalition conducting policy advocacy work and campaigns to realize a common framework and agenda for economic development through the following programs: Debt and Public Finance, Power, Water, and Women and Gender.
SUGID Productions Inc. is composed of directors, actors, designers and educators, with more than a hundred years of aggregated cultural work experience, aiming to tell the stories of our land and people, of the unheard and untold; and, listen to stories of parallel communities with parallel paths – distinct stories that are relevant and responsive to our time. We mean to engage peers and audiences alike, and offer spaces of conversation and participation.
• For tickets and other queries: call the FDC Office at (+632) 921-1985 and look for Anabel Julian or Ester Evangelista. Or, call them at (+63) 932-8726163 and (+63) 917-1320820, respectively.