PINASILIP SA amin ang ilang makabuluhang eksena ng #popepular” stage play ng Philippine Stagers Foundation, Inc. Gaganap bilang Pope Francis si Vince Tañada. Ang nasabing dula ay hindi lang simpleng paglalahad ng biography ni Pope Francis. Papaano kung Filipino ang Santo Papa? Sasagutin ng dula ang katanungang ito sa pamamagitan ng iba’t ibang buhay ng limang makabagong bayaning Filipino at kung ano si Pope sa mga mata natin.
Kahit legitimate ang Philippine Stagers Foundation, may ilan ding tinatawaran ang kakayahan nila bilang alagad ng sining at hindi binibigyan ng recognition ang kanilang theater company tulad ni Professor Chua (ng University of the Philippines) na siyang author ng Encyclopedia of Philippine Theater.
“Just recently one particulat professor from UP made a book Philippine Encyclopedia. Professor Chua wrote a book about Philippine theater. He enumerated all the barrio’s theaters company in the Philippines. He enumerated everything except Philippine Stagers,” say ni Vince.
When ask why Philippine Stagers is not part of the book? “Professor Chua said, ‘That is not a legitimate theater company. That’s a fly by night,” dugtong pa ng actor.
Kaya naman ipinangako niya sa kanyang sarili na gagamitn niya all the resources in order for him to be good in the scholastic world called Philippine theater.
“But my beloved audience watched all my plays for fourteen years now. We have set a good record for “Bonifacio” doing 480 plus shows in the period of 10 months. For “Pilipinas”, 365 shows all over the country for 10 months. Those people from your legitimate theater companies presented their play for a month with 24 shows and one particular TV station said that the play presented by PETA last year is the most successful play for staging the show one hundred times. But one hundred times, for Philippine Stagers, one hundred shows is just for a month. So, I haven’t told anybody. I haven’t submitted my portfolio to anybody. For the past 14 years, I remain humble and silent,” pahayag ng award-winning stage actor and director.
Sabi pa ni Vince, “For Professor Chua, we will just wait for the Philippine Encyclopedia to come out because we really want to see the part of that encyclopedia. That is a good device for some theater company. If ever they came out with the book, some schools, our market schools might question our idendity and our legitimacy. Maybe they’re… maybe, successful in that objective and some of the markets might be aware of our theater company, and try to support theirs. Walang problema sa atin, ang problema lang, that’s a loss of opportunities on my part which is punishable by law. Most specially, it was a malicious intent. If ever that primary evidence will come out soon, I am thinking of suing for damages, for not including Philippine Stagers in that Philippine Encyclopedia of Theater. I will sue them for damages. So, let this be a warning to them, not for me to be included, but to know my capacity not only as an artist… as a lawyer as well.”
Ang ikinatutuwa ni Vince, isang artistic director ng Tanghalang Ateneo na si Professor Ricky Abad ay malaki ang respeto at paghanga nito sa kanya. Sabi nga sa akin ni Professor Abad, ‘I’ve been following your career and sometimes I watched your play and he said that I’ll do really believe you’re underrated artist, that the people should know about you. That is the reason why I call upon you…”
Philippine Stagers Foundation is not just an ordinary performing group. They are self-sustaining theater company with no assistance from CCP or from the government. “We manage to hold millions of show all over the Philippines because of our presistence and our hard work. Hindi po kami bano na theater company. We won for several instances in the Aliw Award. We won almost every year in Broadway awards. I won a Palanca grand prize because some theater company said, I cannot write. Just for the purpose, I join, I won first place. Just to prove my worth as an artist. I don’t usually believe in the awards. I just tell myself, if there’s an award, I welcome that. I don’t join for the award…” Vince said.
by Eddie Littlefield