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Showing posts from March, 2010

REVIEW: A tour-de-force 'Tatlong Mariya' (Chekhov's 'Three Sisters')

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A tour-de-force Tatlong Mariya
By Walter Ang
March 22, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Watching a play by a dead Russian that only literature and theater majors seem to love is always fraught with trepidation. With Tanghalang Pilipino's staging of Anthon Chekhov's "Three Sisters," any iota of boredom and high-brow pretension is chucked out the window, making this world-classic accessible and fun.

In this adaptation directed by Loy Arcenas and translated by Rody Vera, the title is now "Tatlong Mariya," and the siblings are transplanted from Russia to an Ilocos town in the 1970s, making it familiar and touching instead of alien and unrelatable.

Engineers (instead of Chekhov's military officers) are building a dam, purportedly one of the signs of progress under Martial Law. A year after the death of their father, a senior engineer, Maria Angelina, Ma. Josefina, and Ma. Ramona find life drab and increasingly hopeless in the province and yearn for their once h…

Book captures Palawan at the crossroads of nature and progress

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Book captures Palawan at the crossroads of nature and progress
By Walter Ang
March 15, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Palawan is known by ecotourists and travelers for its limestone cliffs, underground rivers, and dive sites featuring sunken World War II battle ships. For businessmen and investors, Palawan is known for providing millions of tons of fish for the country, the Malampaya gas fields, and its pearl farms.

To introduce an overview of these aspects of Palawan to a wider audience and as a tribute to their home, the Provincial Information Office of the Provincial Government of Palawan has come up with a coffee table book titled "Palawan: Land of blessing."

The book features photographs by Neal Oshima and contributing photographers that capture "places and faces, coastlines and communities, sea creatures and school children, the mavericks of today and the leaders of tomorrow."

It is a testament and commentary as to where Palawan is now in its history as it str…

REVIEW: Theater of the young, the here, the now: 2010 National University and College Theater Festival

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Theater of the young, the here, the now
By Walter Ang
March 8, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The 2010 National University and College Theater Festival organized by the National Commission of the Culture and Arts, titled "Tanghal!," featured the outputs of different school-based theater groups from across the country.

In the shows set in five venues across five days, it was exciting to see what college students (and their adult mentors) are thinking of, interested in, dealing with, and how they process these topics and emotions into performance.

The various forms, styles and methods of the productions gave audiences a chance to become aware of the different ways how production elements (sets, costumes, lighting, sound, etc.) can be used (or not used at all) to tell stories on stage.

Time constraints allowed us to catch only five of the seven showcase productions (marked with an asterisk) and several other participating productions.

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We had to leave SamaSining (Universi…