#TheaterPH - Retrospective of The Virgin LabFest 2019!

I am truly grateful to have the leisure to watch all the entries for this year's The Virgin LabFest including the revisited plays from 2018. I would like to share with you me thoughts from each set.

Set A

Herlyn Alegre's Fangirl was a riot! Mayen, Marj and Meann's chemistry on stage was a great combination.

Raymund Barcelon's Huling Hiling Ni Darling reminded me some scenes when I had the last conversation with my dad before he passed away. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions. Another crazy experience inside the theater - crying and laughing.

Isang Gabing Ang Buwan Ay Hila-Hila ng Gula-Gilanit na Ulap by Ryan Marchado touches the topic of drugs set in the middle of wilderness. Paolo O'hara uses the power of lights and sounds to make you have a creepy and chilling experience. Ybes Bagadiong shines and on his element.

Set B

It was a build up for Set B. The height of the experience was Rick Patriarca's Wanted: Male Boarders
 which brought us to tears by laughing out loud with breakthrough performance from AJ Sison, Ross Pesigan, Vincent Pajara and the star of the show, Lance Reblando. Of course it will always be a delightful experience kapag si Skyzx Labastilla na ang umarte sa harap mo samahan pa ng napakahusay na si Krystelle Valentino who are the leads for U.Z. Eliserio's Anak Ka Ng. These two actress made names from their previous onstage performance that will assure you an outstanding portrayals. May konting disconnect lang sa akin yung The Unreacheable Star pero okay naman siya to open the set.

Set C

Dami kong emotions sa "A Family Reunion" na sinulat ni Anthony Kim Vergara. I am not sure if I can handle confrontations like those. The actors were intense as I shed my tears away. Bravo!

Paul Jale Paule steals the show for his character in Surrogare. Natural and believable. Happy to see Alex Medina on the theater scene partnered with the bubbly Via Antonio.

Set D

Para akong baliw while watching Rolin Miguel Obina's Ang Pag-uulyanin ni Olivia. Iyak tawa! Mesmerized with Celeste Legazpi's makulit na portrayal of her character and in pure joy watching Edna Vida as Olivia.

Nicolas Pichay's Larong Demonyo was beatifully written. With backgrounds of Martial Law on the plot, it delivers the haunting memory of the past and how people up to now suffer from it. People will always remember and will not forget.

Wala ng Bata Dito by Tanya Lopez talks about the realistic social injustices in the barrios. Venise Buenaflor delivered the performance of her life on this monolougue. She's truly something to watch out for and sure will be a big hit soon!

Set E

I find Allan Lopez' River Lethe dark and hard to relate with. The scene that stand out to me is when Mara, played by Mayen Estanero, explained the world she and Abe, played by Paolo O'hara, created for the both of them. I commend the ensemble for the great execution.

Mga Eksena sa Buhay ng Kontrabida written by Dustin Celestino will haunt you to the core. It's a battle of the conscience and will let you wait what decisions the characters will be making. I commend the smooth transitions from one scene to the other. Jay Gonzaga and JV Ibesate's performance are highly applausible.

Visconde Carlo Vergara's Edgar Allan Hemmingway is a true gem! It was beautifully written and excellently excuted by Rafa Siguion-Reyna, Arking da Silva and Ricci Chan. It's a kind of material you wanted to see in a full blown production. Good job for this year's "Revisited".

Since I watched all the entries this year, I come up with rankings based on content, impact, entertainment and production value.

Ranking (1 being the highest)

1. Wanted: Male Boarders
2. Ang Huling Hiling Ni Darling
3. Ang Pag-uulyanin ni Olivia
4. A Family Reunion
5. Wala Ng Bata Dito
6. Anak Ka Ng
7. Larong Demonyo
8. The Bachelor and The Bride
9. Fangirl
10. Surrogare
11. Isang Gabi ang Buwan ay Hila-Hila ng Gula-Gulanit na Ulap
12. The Unreachable Star


Set A
25% Fan Girl
50% Huling Hiling Ni Darling
25% Isang Gabi ang Buwan ay Hila-Hila ng Gula-Gulanit na Ulap

Set B
20% The Unreachable Star
30% Anak Ka Ng
50% Wanted: Male Boarders

Set C
25% The Bride and The Bachelor
30% Surrogare
45% A Family Reunion

Set D
40% Ang Pag-uulyanin ni Olivia Mendoza
25% Larong Demonyo
35% Wala Ng Bata Dito

Set E (Revisited)
25% River Lethe
45% Edgar Allan Hemingway
30% Mga Eksena Sa Buhay Ng Kontrabida

Congratulations to everyone who become part of this year's The Virgin LabFest.

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