Theater Review : Baril at Buwan sa Eb major

The Powerhouse cast of Baril and Buwan sa Eb Major together with
the director Andoy Ranay
For every person who has lived in this world, there is this moment of time that we have experienced pain, fear and grief. These feelings are caused by events that have happened in our lives; and will always scar in our heart and mind no matter how light or heavy it is.

Now imagine how painful, fearful and grave it is for the victims of martial law. Shouldn't martial law be to have a disciplined country? Well , we can't deny that there are VICTIMS of abusive use of power during martial law; and it is considered to be the darkest era of the Philippine history. Perhaps some of you knows this already, but there is a huge proportion of the population who doesn't really know it. Why? Because it isn't included in the curriculum of education--that martial law is not even discussed in detailed in history subjects. Only through art that the story is continually being passed on. "Buwan at Baril sa Eb major" is one of the majestic creation of art in a theatrical story-telling of the experiences of the victims of martial law.


THE STORY. The play is composed of five stories on a cross-cultural perspectives. The first is the story of two brothers being a commoner. Magsasaka at manggagawa that shows how these kinds of people were affected during martial law. Even in the second story, it shows the extent of its effects on the indigenous people. The third story is about a middle-class lady who took courage in fighting in the front line of the rallys even if she doesn't really have to. The fourth is about a widowed mother trying to cope with the reality of her dead husband while covering up the reality to her hopeful child. And the last is a fight for survival--an arrested student (later revealed as a most wanted activist) who outsmarted the arresting officer in setting him free.


THE PRODUCTION. As the audiences walk inside the theater and just before the show start, a stimulating act is presented with the rallying youths and the harsh experiences of riot and running during a rally. The choice for an intimate venue is perfect for a natural and intense portrayal of the story.

The "Eb major" in the title was a puzzle to me until I heard and experienced the chilling sound of cello in Eb major setting the mood of the scenes. The use of such instrument and the composition is driving that it will make you feel the chilling horrors that still haunts from the past.
Simple costumes also bring back memories of how the 80s people dress.

There is only an actor or two in each of the story. And they presented it as if the environment is full of people. They talk to rallyists, media reporters, a housemaid, a child, and townspeople being imaginary part of the casts.


THE ACTORS. With only eight actors, they brilliantly delivered each stories in a said environment. Crispin Pineda (Magsasaka) and Danny Mandia (alternating with Reymund Domingo for Manggagawa) convincingly made the long march scene talking to people around them while having their own conversation recalling their days of joy and hurt. JC Santos (Pari) and Angeli Bayani (Babaeng Itawis) set the environment with media reporters being their audience. Angeli did a very spectacular portrayal of an Itawis speaking their fluent dialect while being intense and faithful to the character's emotions. Jackie Lou Blanco (Socialite) has shown a different side of her usual roles in the mainstream television--being the bitchy antagonist. "Kenkoy" as she described it, she owned the stage on her sexy, playful but brave character talking to their housemaid about her stand against martial law. Cherrie Pie Picache (alternating with Mayen EstaƱero for Asawa) also took a brave solo performance on the stage enduring all the pain of the character. From finding her dead husband morgue to morgue, up to covering the truth to her child that his father is dead. And finally, Ross Pesigan (Estudyante) and Joel Saracho (alternating with Paolo O'hara for Pulis) gave a comedic touch out of the four previous heavy scenes.


In their epilogue, each story has had a deeper revelation and further aggravation of their situations that is truly life-touching and -moving.

Watching this play is like experiencing the extreme emotional conditions that the victims of martial law has suffered.

The show will continue to run until February 12, 2017.

Schedule of their performances:
January 26, 27, 28, 29 (3pm and 8pm)
February 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12 (3pm and 8pm)

Written : Daniel Joseph Cruz
Edited & Photos : AXL Guinto

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