RP: The Streets as Theatre of Philippine Politics

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 22, 2008

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Submitted: May 22, 2008




The backdrops have been set. The characters have been cast. There is no need for a script; spontaneity and character internalization are all that are needed. In a moment, the curtains will be opened to reveal a scene that has already started running even with the curtains closed. As the curtains slowly reveal a peek of light from the stage, the audience sees a damsel in distress constantly being abused by her wicked queen stepmother, with the townsfolk in blindfolds, ears and mouths covered with their own hands, surrounding the scene. Though still hearing the cries of the unfortunate lady, they stand there without stirring to help their princess, nor speak of words of justice and righteousness against such perversity. The audience suddenly fidgets with unease, wondering to themselves why no one from the cast would help the poor creature and pretend to be ignorant instead. Will there be a knight in shining armor to save this damsel in distress and conquer the tyranny of evil, once and for all?

Enter to them JUN LOZADA.

The streets of the Philippine archipelago have become the open coliseums of everyday drama. It is theatre itself, with protagonists, antagonists, casualties and an audience to complete the scene. The setting is the streets; the stage director is our personal interests, the dramatists are we and the script is our impulsiveness. The protagonists are the nation’s modern heroes, the antagonists are the government itself, the casualties are the whole nation, and the audience is the world. The supporting actors are also the whole Filipino population, as they aid/bring down our tragedy’s heroes in pursuing truth and light. The climax of the play will have to be the unfolding of the scandal, with rallies conquering the streets every single day in the hopes of bringing down the antagonist of the antagonists, the President herself. Though the heroes and the supporting actors have done everything they could to dethrone evil, the climax of this story has never ended happily ever-after yet, with a change of the plot’s climax (or even the plot itself) not even welcomed. Though the conflicts may evolve with different stories, the variations are only minimal. The conflicts/climax shall always revolve around scandals and killings, just as the resolutions and the preferred denouements shall always revolve to nothing.

Combining the principles of theatre with current Philippine politics isn’t exactly as exciting as it should be when one lacks the knowledge and interest on the latter. I had a hard time putting our country’s current state into a theatrical context. I must admit; I’ve stopped reading the newspaper, and Patricia Evangelista’s columns won’t even win in persuading me to be informed anymore. Maybe I have grown indifferent, like the 90 percent of the Filipino population who have become apathetic and immune to the schemes of the government, the antagonists.

I must confess that I am not, and never was a fan of politics. As much as possible, I never try to engage myself in anything related to it; my interest has never been in favor of it. Though with such sentiments, I find it utterly disturbing and amusing to see people prefer TV soap operas and reality shows than the news. Ironically enough, what the news delivers to us is the pure reflection of real-life drama with no revised scripts taken from people’s imaginations. I think the reason to this is that people have gotten fed up by the never-ending story this play shows. They resort to make-believe dramas that fill in their want of happy endings and such. This loudly screams indifference, resulting to apathy, and this may be what the antagonists aim to win in the end. With this indifference from the casualties and the supporting actors themselves, the tragedy’s protagonists will never stand a chance against the fire-breathing dragons and witches. Coming from a politics-hater herself, it would be best to show, if not big, maybe a little care and support to our play’s heroes to put a stop to evil and restore peace and bright futures for the benefit of all.


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