It has been quite a while since I last watched a stage play in Filipino. This chance I got via UP Playwrights’ Theatre’s Distrito de Molo. These three one-act plays were also presented in English. It just so happened that the most convenient time for me to watch was the Filipino version and it certainly did not disappoint.
Distrito de Molo
Distrito De Molo consists of three plays set in the illustrious district of Molo in Iloilo City, albeit taking place in different timelines. Director Tony Mabesa dedicates this production to his father who is a native son of Molo. This is an interesting collaboration between a writer in his late 70s and a director in his early 80s.
Molo used to be Iloilo City’s Chinatown or Parian. It has produced many known personalities. The writer, Leoncio Deriada, wrote the play as tribute to the things Molo should be remembered for.
Tres Hermanas De Molo
Tres Hermanas De Molo is set in the late 1950s. The story revolves around the post-war lives of the wealthy Locsin sisters – Visitacion, Asuncion, and Salvacion. Each has a dark secret from their past. They found a new beginning in revealing their transgressions and looked forward to a new beginning along with their loyal nanny, Maura.
Atlas De Molo
Atlas De Molo is set in contemporary times. Newlyweds Eric and Lorena Avancena moved into the crumbling Avancena mansion where a statue of the Greek Titan Atlas stands in the middle of a dry fountain. Atlas traps Eric into exchanging places with him.
Venus De Molo
Venus De Molo is set in the 1930s. Don Guillermo Arroyo is obsessed in producing his own “Venus De Milo” and employs a local sculptor Crispino Maranon to create a marble “Venus De Molo”. The goddess Laonsena learned that Don Guillermo did not intend to compensate Crispin and decides to become the Venus de Molo.
I never cease to be astounded by the amount of talent I witness when I watch a stage play presented by Dulaang UP or UP Playwrights’ Theatre. Every play is a new experience. Every experience can only get better.
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