At first I didn’t know what to expect when my friend Earle (Figuracion) invited me to watch DUP’s Collection by Floy Quintos. I was not too impressed with the last play that I saw, but since Earle was part of the cast, I trusted his taste and knew this would be good. And indeed it was. Billed as a “dark comedy” by the playwright, its humour appealed to me, its veteran cast (lead by theatre’s famous Jeremy Domingo) was excellent, and the transition-choreographies (directed and choreographed by Dexter Santos) moved the story, the scenes and the message forward seamlessly and gracefully.
At the beginning, my sister, who accompanied me, was somewhat confused as she did not know what to make of the exaggerated depiction of an auction by a government agency (fictional National Commission on the Disposal of Philippine Patrimony) selling to the highest bidder the country’s Banawe Rice Terraces. I thought it was a commentary on the art scene and how commercialism has corrupted the artist, the way he makes art, and how art is consumed. In the next scenes that followed, I then thought the play was a reaction to the classes of society, how the rich spend their wealth on these senseless collectibles-slash-national treasures and how the poor would not mind selling their identity, their history, or the Philippine heritage to alleviate their hunger or escape poverty. I thought I had it, I thought I got the play, but no, the latter half introduced me to the religious icon, the Virgin of the Lost Souls and a mystic character, called the La Hermana Augusta Beata. Both the ivory relic and the Hermana woman had a legend attached to them rooted in faith and religion. And then I finally thought it was story focusing on a piece of our Catholicism that was lost and now being reintroduced in this play. All these things were running in my head while watching, and despite the confusion, the play kept me thinking and excited as to what the next scene would be and what was the real message of this play.
This play was unpredictable, witty, and just plain entertaining. Sarimanok.ph’s DUP favourites Jean Judith Javier and Jules Dela Paz did not disappoint. Miss Javier’s portrayal of the politically ambitious head of the National Commission on the Disposal of Philippine Patrimony was fun to watch, a reminder of how some politicians and public figures are in real life. Jules Dela Paz, has amazing comical timing and despite his big physic, he always seemed so light on his feet during the transition dance numbers.
DUP’s Collection was a pleasant surprise. I left the theatre slightly disturbed and puzzled, as the playwright may have intended, but I also left with a smirk on my face. Indicative that I had fun watching it and me saying to my sister, who apparently does not appreciate dark comedies as much as I did, “That was good.”
Remaining Play Date:
March 3, 2013 (Sunday), 10:00 AM & 3:00 PM
Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, Palma Hall, UP Diliman
Ticket price is P350