UP Manila Dramatista presents ‘Leán: A Filipino Musical’ at Adamson University

CINEMA BRAVO

The 1997 original production “Leán: A Filipino Musical” is brought back to the stage through UP Manila Dramatista featuring powerful, catchy songs by Gary Granada that will give life to different characters and personals from the 1980s.

The new adaptation will be shown on the following playdates at Adamson University Theater (900 San Marcelino Street, Ermita, Manila):

  • May 12 (Fri) – 7:30 PM
  • May 13 (Sat) – 4:00 PM & 7:30 PM

For tickets, contact 09064273981 c/o Zoe Caballero.

The original production was produced by the Leándro L. Alejandro Foundation and the UP Student Council in cooperation with the UP Diliman Committee for Arts and Culture. The musical featured renowned artists like Chikoy Pura, Bayang Barrios, Cookie Chua, and Noel Cabangon. In 2013, it was restaged by the University of the Philippines Repertory Company (UP Rep) with youth activists Vencer Crisostomo of Anakbayan and Third Alub of the League of Filipino Students…

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At the Back of my Mind

I took awhile, standing there at the corner of the street overlooking his place, one Saturday night. Texting him that I was standing just below the light post was not an option anymore. Not anymore.

After ten minutes or so, I began walking the long road back to my place. We used to love doing this together – me and him. I didn’t bother taking a jeep, just so I could slowly drown myself in my thoughts, and to let the idea sink in, that I may probably not see him in person again.

I walked along all the side streets that we used to walk on. Only this time, I was the only one walking myself home. I recall the jokes, the teasing, the surprise kisses in the dark side of the street. His hands that held mine. All that’s left are my hands that clasped each other to fend off the cold.

Maybe I never should have tried. But then again, I was always the hoping type.

The Rough Days

Drained.

One word that could very well describe the state that you have dragged myself in for the past three weeks now. A condition that you long to end, mentally and emotionally. The pile of paperwork has been in a constant flux, and the deadlines never seem to finish. You start skipping meals, and in the long run, forgetting if you even had one, not until you see your wallet and you haven’t even spent a dime for food today, and you conclude that sleep is but a half-hour escape from the stresses you bring home from school, and is not even close to a “sound” one.

Exams usually come in pairs – none of which is easier than the other, and now that you are taking up major subjects in Pharmacy, doesn’t help with the fact that your instructors seem to “plot” you by scheduling the hard ones on the same day. And you usually have exams both in the morning, and sometimes, into the afternoon.

And the worst part is, during those lucid moments, when you blankly stare at the horizon, realizing that as you stare at the city lights, as you go home, that the end is nowhere in sight.

You get home, tired from the traffic, but your mind doesn’t stop from worrying about tomorrow’s exam. You gobble up your meal for the day (literally), and before you know it, you’re leaning on the couch, trying to snatch a  quick nap. You try to get up early for your internship, waving at the endless queue of customers where the lane starts, refusing to sell Clindamycin to customers who claim its their only acne remedy, refilling stocks and getting blister cuts.

And just when the week is almost at its end, you remember that you haven’t started reading for Pharmacology..

Malate

Lampas alas-onse na naman ng gabi. Pero, tulad ng mga taong patuloy na naglipana sa mga sidewalk ng Adriatico, ay gising na gising pa rin ang diwa ko – hindi alintana ang pagod na pinagdaanan maghapon sa eskwela. Madaling madali ako sapagkat ako’y balisa. Balisa dahil sa paligid na kahit ba ilang beses ko nang nadadaanan sa loob ng isang linggo, ay hindi pa rin ako nagkaroon ng kumpiyansa sa sarili na mag-venture out ng mag-isa.

Walang pinagkaiba ang gabi na ito – hindi nawala ang party mode ng karamihan sa mga mag-aaral. Siguro’y dahil ito sa long weekend na naman, o dahil tapos na ang klase. Grupo-grupo na naman ang marami sa Bellagio Square. Magkahalong amoy ng usok ng yosi, at alak ang nalalanghap ko, habang sinusuong ko ang sarili ko sa isang malaking grupo. At sa kilos ko na ito, ay hindi ko namalayan ang isang binata na halos ka-edad ko – maputi, tsinito, at nakaputi na pantalon at polo, ang napatingin sa akin at binigyan ako ng isang ngiting hindi ko alam kung paano ko susuklian. Nahihiyang ngumiti naman ako, pero sadyang nagmamadali lang ako, at kahit gusto ko pa sana magtagal, kahit para lang makita pa siya ng matagal-tagal.

Pero, pass muna ako sa ganyang bagay ngayon. Kahit ngayon lang. Paliko na ako ng Mabini, nang makita kong naglalakad siya papalapit sa akin. Oh Lord, bakit naman ngayon mo pa ako tinutukso?

“Hey, you dropped something. Technika player ka pala? Sa Timezone sa Rob ka rin naglalaro?”.

At iniabot niya sa akin ang isang itim na card – Technika 3 card ko pala. Lumuwa siguro sa mababaw na bulsa ng jacket ko. Tumigil ako sa paglalakad, at tinanong niya kung saan ako papunta. Nakakagulat, pero sa awkward moment namin, ay pumayag siya na samahan ako. Mukhang mas kabado pa ata sa akin itong kasama ko, habang binabagtas namin ang daan, kung saan naglipana ang mga KTV Bar, at ang mga babaeng nasa kalsadang nagaabot ng flyers. Kung hindi lang ako balisa at nagmamadali, baka ako na mismo ang nag-alis ng kabang nasa matipuno niyang harapan.

Sino ba naman ang hindi maiilang sa gwapong kasama ko? Hindi nga ako makafocus sa daan dahil iniisip ko ang lalaking ito na naglalakad nang halos dikit na sa gilid ko. Ewan ko. Kung bakit naman kasi sa mga gulong pagkakataon ko sila dadating. Nakasasama lang ng loob, pero ganun talaga.

Hindi ko na patatagalin. Sa di kalayuan, nakakita rin kami ng lugar kung saan makakakuha ako ng kailangan ko. Hindi naman siya nag-atubiling sumama sa akin, dahil wala naman daw siyang gagawin sa Bella, umuwi na ang mga blockmates niya.

(ipagpapatuloy)

Ad altiora tendo

One hundred and eight days into my Junior year’s second term, and I can slowly feel my energy failing like a melting candle in a dark room. All I feel like doing now is sleeping and lying down in bed, barely opening my Pharmacology notes in time for exams, cramming Manufacturing Pharmacy, a 180 degree turn from my vigor compared to my enthusiasm when I took its prerequisite subject last term.

The subjects are getting into my nerves, and the more that I feel like giving up, the more that I wanna hold back tears from the lack of courage, I fall further down into the pit where I once emerged from, two years ago when I started a new leaf in my new College.

But as my worries start to creep in, I am reminded of a passage:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave nor forsake you”. (Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV)

And yes, the Lord has always been with me, and at times, I may be at guilt whenever I forget His presence, He comes at our side, telling us

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ( Isaiah 41:10, NIV)

That is why, despite the downslide that I am currently facing right now, I know that it would be senseless to stay here at this pit.

So, I start climbing back.
And though it may take me longer than expected,
I know that I’ll emerge victorious by His side.