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Supresion: Real-life events in the stage

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“From the start it has been the theatre’s business to entertain people… it needs no other passport than fun.” – Bertolt Brecht

     The Faculty of Arts and Letters is a diverse culture in itself. It is a place where artists meet; a place of gathering for people whose knowledge extends beyond their individual courses.

     Artistang Artlets (AA), the official theater guild of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, caters to both the audience and the artist in each of us. Aspiring actors and production staff alike are given a chance to showcase and enhance their talents. They also provide productions, titled Theater Literacy Program, which familiarizes the audience with different elements used in a theatrical play.

     In their 32nd year, AA presented their audience with “Supresion,” a twin bill featuring “20 Questions” by Juan Ekis and “Trabaho Soliloquies” by Ned Trespeces. This semester’s Theater Literacy Program focused on the element called Silhouette.

     Silhouette is the element of an actor’s unconstrained, sometimes exaggerated, movement. It concentrates on the action as the medium of expression and communication to the audience. The purpose of Silhouette is to let the actions express emotions; it should immerse the audience in the situation and let them feel what emotions the actors portray.

The episodes
     “20 Questions” is about two friends, Jigs and Yumi, locked up in a hotel room for three days as an annual tradition in their barkada. Out of boredom, Jigs suggested that they play a game called 20 Questions where alternately they will ask each other a question, anything under the sun. Soon, Jigs and Yumi find themselves in a situation wherein secrets have to be revealed, and trust is something they both have to give to each other.

     In “Trabaho Soliloquies,” four applicants await a possible employment in a standard office environment. Each coming from different walks of life, they tell us the reasons why they want and need the job, and how far will they go to get it. “Trabaho Soliloquies” gave a sneak peek of how the world really is in a third world country, shedding light to the problems of unemployed individuals.

     The best thing about the production was they were able to balance drama and comedy, genres audiences look forward to when watching theatrical plays.

     “Supresion” is only the appetizer, a patikim, for all the upcoming productions the Artistang Artlets will be holding this year.

     Are you ready for more kilig and LMAO moments?

By Patrishia Anne C. Yap
Photo taken by Gelli Ann Javellana

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Kadenang Ginto is more complex than ever

The show may seem ordinary in the spectrum of teleseryes, but with the bouts of recognition and attention it harbors, shows like Kadenang Ginto may have the tendency to succumb to society’s patriarchal roots—a premise that has been the show’s subdued message from the very beginning.

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Photo from ABS-CBN News

Media and entertainment industries, especially in the Philippines, have undoubtedly created a number of teleseryes that got viewers hooked. Iconic lines from television shows made their way through social media, thus birthing an irreversible decade of video parodies, i.e. “Cassie, hindi ka muna papasok sa iskul” which came from the ABS-CBN afternoon prime show, Kadenang Ginto (directed by Jerry Lopez Sineneng and Avel Sunpongco). This particular boomerang created by the show serves as a primary example of the proliferation of teleseryes into the in-betweens of people’s mundane realities. 

Usually, Filipino TV formulas have just been restricted to cookie-cutter stories such as rich girl-poor girl rivalries, wife versus mistress conflicts, and other types of predictable stories with a recurring plotline—dramatically mirroring the struggles of which people could sympathize and in some cases, empathize with. 

Now, with the recent narratives of most materials, it is fitting to raise the question: do teleseryes, such as the case in point, subconsciously imply a patriarchal and capitalist society which can water down women’s roles as simply pawns of the men-splayed environment?

Dissecting the Initial Premise of the Show

The whole idea of the show displays a tangled story between Daniela Mondragon (played by Dimples Romana) and Romina Andrada (played by Beauty Gonzales). Romina, a glorified Secretary, marries the business tycoon and father of Daniela, Robert Mondragon (played by Albert Martinez).

Caused by jealousy, Daniela strived to emerge relevant by physically and emotionally belittling Romina to death, hoping that she could at least gain more relevance in the old Mondragon’s life. It gets more complicated when Daniela marries Romina’s past lover, Carlos (played by Adrian Alandy), who still has unresolved feelings for the latter.

While Daniela’s past actions remain important both in their family business and in the lives of the men involved, it seems questionable that all her intentions were for the sake of these men.

While it is also applauding that Daniela and Romina are their own persons who are fully responsible to stir changes necessary to keep the show going, one may question the end of not just the character’s intentions, but as well as the writers’ inclination to probe and provide a substantial arc for these characters.

It raises the question, especially during a period when a new character was introduced in the persona of Richard Yap, a rich businessman, who somehow became a catalyst on how the character of Romina can get back on track. 

Are the women in Philippine teleserye doomed to always be swept off their feet by some men to garner the easiest way out?

The show may seem ordinary in the spectrum of teleseryes presented by the network, but with the bouts of recognition and attention it harbors, shows like Kadenang Ginto may have the tendency to succumb to society’s patriarchal roots—a premise that has been the show’s subdued message from the very beginning.

Now (with the plot lines tangled and recurring), the characters and their progressions can be attested to hopeful major changes (thankfully), as lead female characters are taking matters on their hands especially with Romina Andrada-Mondragon gaining more control over her circumstances, a (seemingly progressive) march of silent revolution, veering away from the initial premises of the show – yet still bound to its original plot line.  

Trudging the Conventional

While the network’s teleseryes’ cookie-cutter and cardboard characterizations of women are proven formulas, fresh perspectives are always a welcome venture with the exploration of complex female characters. 

Writers and show producers must become more socially-reverberant that they not only choose to showcase shows that pay the rent. In the Philippines, it is slowly building its pace with independent films being at the forefront.

Unfortunately, most mainstream media consumers are still inclined with choosing the proven formulas so mass media practitioners also stick to what generates more audiences. What the consumers can do now is to try to become more adamant to good and progressive changes – utilize the everlasting “get out of your comfort zone” notion. 

Media, as compared to what it tries to cater to before, has certainly come a long way with the sprouts of powerful women characters here and there. Unfortunately, Philippine mainstream media and its consumers sat way comfortably in the reassurance of these boxed and usual beliefs.

It may possibly take a while for these teleseryes to do the same with their high intentions to generate money, even if the essential purpose of art to heighten and challenge the empathic tendencies of the people can definitely suffer.

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Which media noche food are you?

“You are what you eat”, as the saying goes. After the grandiose noche buena comes its successor, the media noche. As this year and decade comes to a close, it is time again for every Filipino family to celebrate it with a heavenly parade of food served on their tables.

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2019’s carefully curated slang roundup

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Artwork by Aldrich Aquino

This year has been an effectuate series of events involving politics, pop culture, or mundane instances. One way or another, we have commented on them whether as a serious connotation or as a get -out-of-my-system remark. Nonetheless, here is a roundup of slang that we have used throughout the year! 

 

1. Ok, boomer

Made popular by a TikTok video, “Ok, boomer” is generally aimed for age-old and close-minded commentaries directed towards young people (obsolete societal views, homophobic sentiments, to name a few) made by the spectrum of old persons, specifically the boomers. 

Popular example: New Zealand’s 25-year-old lawmaker, Chlöe Swarbrick

 

2. *Chef’s kiss*

Originally regarded as a culinary equivalent of subjective perfection, chef’s kiss on social media lingo primarily expresses the same. Add two asterisks when using, and it’s *chef’s kiss*

How it is used: “This year’s Paskuhan fireworks are *chef’s kiss*.”

 

3. Sana all

It was pointed out that using the expression “sana all” is a hundredfold better and less offensive than past expressions pertaining to reclusive jealousy especially when it comes to reacting to relationships sung online (i.e. “Mag-b’break din kayo”). “Sana all” is a steady celebration for good things happening to people. It is important to take note that it had gone on phases, and is still frequently evolving.

Synonyms: sana ol, china oil 

How it is used: “Sana all may maayos na transport system.”

 

4.  Chour

“Chour” (a variation of “charot”) is originally gay-lingo used to dismiss the serious implications of what was spoken. “Chour” was made popular by the Kathniel TwitterSerye, “By Mistake”  written by Gwyneth Saludes under her pen name 4reuminct.

Synonyms: char, chz

 

5. Oof

“Oof” is this year’s equivalent to “yikes” especially when it is directed to a particularly offensive remark or gesture. This expression can be flexibly utilized for a wide range of hurt, annoyance, and pain as it has been made popular by dying characters from Roblox, an online multiplayer game.

How it is used: “Oof! Prinomote niya yung isa pang ride-hailing app.”

 

6. And I oop-

Drag queen Jasmine Masters birthed the expression (yes, the dash is a pivotal element in this one) in a video explaining how she felt about people and their liquor tolerance. The best part is that “and I oop-” was an accidental response to Masters hurting herself (a very delicate part) in the process of her monologue. Hence, this expression is typically used for unexpected situations and irredeemable instances; a vocal manifestation of a wince.

How it is used: “Anak, pasado ka ba?” “And I oop-!” 

 

7. Sksksk

A resultant of a person smashing a keyboard out of peaking emotions, “sksksks” can be used in any situation. Recently, it has been associated with a meme on VCSO girls (or the polar opposite of Instagram girls) along with Jasmine Masters’ “and I oop-”. 

How it is used: “Sksksk and I oop- and I oop- sksksk and I oop-, hi you must be new, mhmm! Yeah, this is my new hydro flask. Oh, you don’t have one? Sksksk and I oop- and I oop-! Um, how do you make your friendship bracelets then? That’s kinda weird?  Hmm well save the turtles!

 

8. Flex

A gym instructor would ask you to flex your muscles when you’re getting buffed up. Of course, you’ll flex when you gain one, and the word “flex” is the same equivalent of humbly showing off what you purposely worked hard for. 

How it is used: “Flex ko lang na nanalo yung TomasinoWeb ng Choice Org of the Year sa Thomasians’ Choice Awards 2019”.

 

9. ____ ka gh0rl

The blank can be anything. What comes after underscores what was stated in a jokingly mocking manner. 

How it is used: “Readerist ka gh0rl?”

 

10. Skrrt

Pronounced as “skirt”, “skrrt” means to get away from something as it imitates the sound of a car engine. Commonly applies to rap music, it is now used as a habitual filler for sentences. 

 

11. Bomboclaat/Sco pa tu manaa

“Bomboclaat” and “Sco pa tu maana” are sets of words made popular on the bird app. “Sco pa tu manaa” is originally a Zambian word meant to coax an opinion on something, and luckily the internet lingo has caught up and utilized it according to context. “Bomboclaat”, on the other hand, was originally meant to express anger. However, it has been taken out of context as people are using the term as a successor to “sco pa tu manaa”. 

Popular example:

Words are generally interwoven in an existing culture, and with this year’s slang, it is evident that an amalgamation of culture transpires as it has been a byproduct of cultural exchange. As a new decade begins, may we see more healthy exposures, and lingos used online as a fresh way to start. 

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