Monday, April 27, 2009

Spoken Word Sundays (on Monday)

Yet again, another delayed Spoken Word Sunday; yesterday was dumb busy, but I just had to celebrate my cousin's 21st! Update, I finally re-opened post commenting, so feel free to say what you feel.

But first...

I went to UC Riverside to witness their 20th anniversary PCN (Pilipino Culture Night). I will honestly tell you all this... I've seen a few PCN's, and they really are all essentially the same thing: Some play about identifying what it means to be a Filipino, sprinkled with pretty dances all about. And funny enough, UCR's PCN takes a sharp jab at this. Written by Justin Pansacola, this was the first PCN where I was absolutely FLOORED by the story line. Cleverly written, well rounded, full of depth with each character, the story follows an ambitious, rather anti-social (and anal) Filipino story writer, diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor which limits his life to a couple of months left. In an effort to leave a legacy to his name, he hires a young Filipina assistant to aide him on his final mission, to document various stories of Filipino lives.

Effectively, by going this route, the play was free to delve into a variety of topics without having to follow one single time line, life lesson, or style and treatment. And the topics that were covered in each story was not only well thought out, they were well executed. From the 1st gen Filipino vs 2nd Gen Filipino debate about "who's the real Filipino", to marrying for citizenship, thoughts from the soldiers on the eve of the battle of Tirade pass, Filipino's in space, and ofcourse the main story line itself, it was everything I was looking for in a PCN play and more. The constant criticism I hear about PCN stories is how it's always about "identity". But the stories revolving around the main story line in UCR's PCN delved into simple stories that just portrayed life in an un-tinted light. Some didn't have an ultimate happy ending, others didn't even have a final conclusion, but it was the journey that each story brought you though that was the real experience to learn from...

Unfortunately... I had no idea that it was the story that would grab my attention, and thus I didn't know what parts of the play I should take video of. So this brings us to the other side of PCN, the dances. Here's the one and only dance I was able to get on file: Tumahik/Yakan.
"Tumahik is a mock war dance performed by the males of the Yakan tribe, indigenous to Basilan Island in order to practice their fighting skills. The movements, common among Southeast Asian martial arts, include traveling on the knees, tumbling, and high kicking."

Dancers: Chelsi Dayrit, Luchelli Adorable, Jaymie Sacramento, Shelly Umali, Karena Im, Richelle Taylor, Jennifer Kanjana, Tami Estrada, Eileen Romulo, Vanessa Capalac, Michael Benipayo, Josh Batin, Jesse Julao, Martin Singson, Nathan Tarrosa, EJ Reyes, Sean Quinlan, Jeff Fahardo, Ramond Jimenez, Relly Perez

Overall, one of the best PCN's I've ever witnessed. A fantastic play and a good line of dances. If it was the USC's PCN dances replacing the UCR's dances while still retaining UCR Katipunan's play, you would have a show that should be seen worldwide. Seriously, it was just that f*cking good.

And lastly, this week's Spoken Word Sunday piece, yours truly performing "For The Ladies." The AUDIO GOES OUT OF SYNC about half-way through... I'll be trying various uploads to see if this can make amends...

If you go to spoken word events often enough, you'll be able to categorize the types of poets that hit the stage. This is a commentary on one type that I simply can't agree with...

I'll admit this one was rushed, and I hadn't fully memorized this piece. I think I'll revisit this one later when I'm more familiar with performing it.

THIS WEEK, I'll hopefully be finishing some client commissions that I'll be able to reveal to you all. Stay tuned, and stay up.


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