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Koji Arsua - The Philippine Star

Watch indie films at Teatrino

MANILA, Philippines - It’s rare to see indie films make appearances at malls, but it’s rarer to see them in a series of screenings. But for the Teatrino Film Series — at Teatrino, Promenade — Saturdays are dedicated to indie favorites. In past weekends, they screened Sana Dati and Ang Nawawala, and today, they’ll screen Shift and Senior Year. Siege Ledesma’s Shift (Cinema One Originals, 2013) is a bittersweet not-love story set in a call center between best friends: a girl (Yeng Constantino) who falls deeply in love with her gay best friend (Felix Roco). Jerrold Tarog’s Senior Year (2011) is a study of the lives of 10 high school students as they face adulthood. What makes the film interesting is that Tarog cast real-life high school students, with seasoned actors like LJ Moreno, Che Ramos-Cosio, Ina Feleo, and Dimples Romana playing secondary roles. With mainstream cinemas regularly screening under-the-radar films, could this mean that independent cinema is gaining traction? We hope.


Learn photography with Shutterpanda

Are you one of those people who own a DSLR but can’t take good photos? You might as well take a workshop to deserve the title of “photographer.” Today, Shutterpanda is launching the first of two sessions for the Workshop Series to teach newbies the basics of photography. For today’s class, the photography group will teach participants tips on framing and composition at Fully Booked BGC’s Forum. After the lesson, a short live shoot will be held to test out their new skills (next week will be about editing). Shutterpanda specializes in Instagram-worthy shots you’d see in artsy magazines like Kinfolk, so a day spent with them means you’ll be able to snap pics like a pro. You may think you have an eye, but most people have two. Learn to use your one eye well. Today’s class starts at 9 a.m.


Screw the Christmas Scrooge for the holidays

The Christmas spirit is slowly infecting everyone around us, but there are still those Scrooges who dampen the holidays with their pessimism. The term “Scrooge” has come to mean selfish, miserable, and a f*cktard (at least according to Urban Dictionary), and it comes from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In the story, Scrooge is visited by three ghosts who show him the error of his ways, including one scene that showed a future with him dead. That’s harsh, bro. A local adaptation of Scrooge, the British film-turned-musical, opened this week care of Repertory Philippines, with Miguel Faustmann taking on the titular role and the stage legend Baby Barredo directing. It’s a great way to flush out jaded thoughts and welcome the Christmas spirit, if not for the endless lechon at Christmas parties then to avoid getting nightly visits from a singing ghost. Scrooge will be staged at Onstage, Greenbelt 1.


#Dontjudge the play ‘Ang Misis Kong Promdi

It’s funny how a play written in 1675 about hypocrisy can still hold so much appeal now. It’s probably because people now are as moralistic and judgmental as they were back then (this is us totally not being judgy). William Wycherley’s The Country Wife is given a Filipino facelift by Nicolas B. Pichay, who directly translated it to Filipino in Ang Misis Kong Promdi, which opened this week at Dulaang UP. The play is set in the Puritan Regime, and a notorious playboy’s return to high society unravels the community’s sexual conducts, politics, and marriages. Sounds like something set in Westeros? The titular promdi is an innocent young woman who voices out her thoughts and hidden desires, questioning the norms of the time. Hey, if we’re a society that still side-eyes a butt on a magazine cover, maybe we’re no different than the people from the Puritan Regime. Ang Misis Kong Promdi may not break the Internet, but it’s sure to raise some questions. The play will be staged at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, Palma Hall, UP Diliman.


Watch local theater come alive with ‘Agyu

It’s not every day you see a completely Filipino play, from its roots to storyline and text. What we usually see are Filipino adaptations of foreign classics and plays. That’s not the case with Agyu: Patungo sa Paraiso, based on the Manobo epic Ulahingen, which will be staged beginning Wednesday next week at the Black Box Theater of the College of St. Benilde. The story revolves around a community struggling to pay taxes to the central government. They flee the town, and meet diwatas who promise paradise in exchange for overcoming challenges. It’s a dramatic retelling of a Philippine oral tradition, led by director Delphine Buencamino (daughter of acclaimed actors Shamaine and Nonie Buencamino), and performed by Al Garcia, Merdin Mojica, and Raflesia Bravo. If you’re craving Filipino flavor, this may be it. For tickets, contact Gabrielle Vizmonte at or visit

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Tweet the author @kojibberish.

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