Marinduque Island native reaching out for general awareness that our inhabitants have a lot to share with the outside world culturally and environmentally but we must be supported and helped regain our own battered consciousness. Alternative views & pills offered.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


To make a long story short and before we get overtaken by events, for in Buenavista suddenly things appear to churn so fast it's unbelievable, we'll zoom right on what transpired on the 19th January the town fiesta, specifically on the matter concerning "Bulong".

Remember that the provincial capitol purportedly guaranteed that the stage lights officially used for cultural presentations all over the island, except for the much-vaunted, historical follow spots, would be lent to the municipal government. No less than the lady mayor and her assistant, both of whom personally took the matter up with the capitol administration, said so.

Only the disco lights used the night before for the all-barangay ball at the covered court, the same venue where "Bulong" was to be presented, was inside the official van used for the purpose. And we learned about this at 5:00 pm or about two hours before the presentation. The closest thing inside the van for lighting purposes was a par 56 colorless lamp.

"But this is not an election campaign rally!", I didn't know if Ian was being funny. Off we (Ian, Digs and I), motored to Maybo in Ian's tricycle, returning to the covered court with two par 38 lamps borrowed from the man there. Don't know where Digs got hold of yellow and red 'yema paper' to be wrapped around the lamps. In a while, a capitol technician found some transparent green plastic from somewhere and that was placed over the brighter lamp.

In a few minutes a smoke machine, and a lighting apparatus that created lightning effects materialized from the van and were installed in front of the stage. (The stage had been dressed the day before with sasa and the stump of a huge gemelina we found in Bancoro and hauled to the venue by six people, became the centerpiece).

Digs was all over costuming the cast. Or half the cast, as the dressmaker and her assistant were still sewing some unfinished costumes and it was 7 pm. Ian had positioned himself at the sound department, with headset and all and seemed all by himself.

By 7:30 pm the court was half-filled with people, but all the chairs and the bleachers on both sides were already occupied. A representative from the municipal office announced that "magsisimula na po ang ating palatuntunan... may hinihintay lamang po!"

"Tito Eli, wala pang costume 'yung 'Air'! Apo pa naman ni Mayor 'yun!", Digs was in panic.
"E, di ba may isa pa d'yang ganun sa pinaparepair nating costume n'ya? Balutan mo na lang!", I said. The mayor's grand-daughter was close to tears.

I then double-checked the existing lights and reviewed what few possibilities could be done with them to create scene changes, the technician handed over a small spotlight we could use as followspot. But it had to stay on the floor on the edge of the stage as there was no more time to create an improvised stand. It would also be increasingly too hot to handle.

Returning backstage, I saw the mayor's grand-daughter smiling now. "A, natapos din palang tahiin!", I remarked. "Ay, hindi! 'Yan yung pinagpunit-punit ko at ginawa ngayon lang! Di ba bongga?", Digs said.

At 8:05 pm the Philippine National Anthem was sung. "Magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat!... tampok ngayong gabi ang "Bulong", pagtatanghal ng Teatro Balangaw!"

By this time the whole covered court was jampacked with spectators, spilling over the street across. It was the biggest ever crowd we saw in Buenavista that watched a 'cultural presentation'. "This is 50 times more than the number that watched the last Holy Week play!", Roni who took care of some of our promotional aspects said. A security officer (Buenavista's Roving Military Group had made a building near the entrance of the covered court as their temporary headquarters four days earlier), estimated the crowd at around 2,500. Roni insisted there must be at least 3,000.

There was applause now and then to actions where none was expected. It was an audience easy to please, I thought around half-way through the play. Then three dancers (Kidlat and Baylana to do a pas-de-deux downstage right and Alon his 'dance of Anguish' on a platform upstage left), stood almost motionless apparently waiting for the music. 10 seconds, 20, 30. I was looking at Ian who obviously avoided looking at me.

The music came. It was the wrong music. I looked at Ian again, he still would not look at me... What punishment to the actors, I muttered, dancing to the wrong music. (We had labeled that number "Anguish" and the music that came out was something we had labeled "Romance"). It was the only time when all the lights would be closed for the first time. There should be applause. But nothing!

The second part of the play was immediately started. The people started to applaud again. Oh, it's picking up again, I thought. The 'conquistadores' part, the most difficult sequence was surprisingly the most applauded and so was the love-dance of Alon and Baylana. Salve, the lead character, shifting clearly from one emotion to another, obviously had an instant fan club.

Then it was over. I asked Ian to immediately acknowledge the municipal government, the Buenavista National High School, the Marinduque Victorian's College and the few individuals who rendered some help to us. The audience started to leave...

"Ian i-announce mo na may Miss Gay pa na masunod at nagauwian na ang mga tao!", shouted Marilyn a supporter of the next event.

"Ay wala akong pakialam sa Miss Gay!", was Ian's retort. He knew that his disastrous mistake would be forever etched in all of our memory.

Four days later, a whole day cast outing was held at BAHAGHARI. Ian was roasted. "But that was only our dress-tech!", I reasoned, "...just prepare yourself for the real presentation!".

AT TALAGA PO'NG WALANG KADALA-DALA! As of today, 9 February, a new script has been finished (which explains our delayed blogs), and casting under process for TEATRO BALANGAW's Lenten Play: "ANG KRISTO: PASYON-DULA".
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