Cover Photo Courtesy Of Sining Labinsiyam
Cover Photo Courtesy Of Sining Labinsiyam.

Sining LABinsiyam’s takes you into the vicinities of “Orgullo Compound”

“Kahit pa ano ang sa akin ay gawin. Dahil mahal ka'y handa kong tiisin. Kahit mo saktan, 'di ko papansinin. Ang pagluha ko'y huwag mong intindihin.” - Sharon Cuneta

By Ralph Regis | Thursday, 4 August 2022

Sining LABinsiyam (SiLAB), the College’s AB Theater Arts (ABTHA) production house established by a group of ID 119 student-artists, proudly welcomes you to Orgullo Compound, a full-length play directed by Jenny Logico-Cruz and written by playwright Dr. Layeta Bucoy. The play runs exclusively on Ticket2Me from July 29 to August 12, with shows from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.

In her opening remarks during the play’s press preview, Gabby Serafico, Head Production Manager, shared that Orgullo Compound is “a perceptive, character study of one’s inability to change and adapt beyond one’s status quo. [It] revolves around Teofie surrounded by problems in his compound and intimate relationships.” Ultimately, the full-length play shows the parallelism on how the characters approach their situations.

A compound of torment

Centering around Teofie Orgullo (Michael Hilao), a strong-headed and frustrated gay chemistry professor who struggles to secure his tenure in the academe. The story follows Teofie’s story as he tries to maintain the apartment compound he inherited from his deceased father, all while he tries to preserve the tight-knit relationships among its tenants, which include his partner Zosi (Arj Rosales), his half-brother Janus (Jack Gaza), and his wife Esper (Yanni Buenaventura).

Right from the beginning, the pre-recorded play establishes the heated dynamics among Teofie, Zosi, and Janus. We, as the audience, feel more as bystanders, observing the commotions and banters within the compound. The pre-recorded play features close-ups and tight shots that keep audience members guessing what comes next.

Interestingly enough, according to Director Jenny Logico-Cruz, Langgam Performance Troupe’s co-founder and Artistic Director and educator of the College’s Theater Arts program, the compound acts as another character in the story, and is a “manifestation of a series of behaviors habits and attitudes exhibited in Teofie.” The compound moves the story forward by providing conflict and backstory to the characters—even Teofie feels tormented by the very existence of the compound.

The characters are written as humane as possible. Even with Teofie usually stirring conflict from one way or another, Hilao’s performance exemplifies a person with a troubled and heavy heart. The same goes with Gaza’s performance as Janus, who ultimately tries to be on the right side of things. The heated arguments between the half-brothers provide much insight into the human condition.

Meanwhile, Zosi helplessly tries to make honest conversations with Teofie, but always ends up feeling neglected and misunderstood. The quarrels between the lovers exemplify how working in the same field and industry can affect the dynamics of a personal relationship. 

The stage is set

With Logico-Cruz’s direction, moments of reflection and hesitation are carefully captured by adding pauses that act as complexity in itself. With the minimal space and the compound acting as the stage, Orgullo Compound was very difficult to mount, according to Dr. Layeta Bucoy, acclaimed playwright and Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature Hall of Famer.

Incorporating science into the world of theater arts, Orgullo Compound is part of Dr. Bucoy’s dissertations about nanotechnology. The original text comes from actual research papers of the nano technology program in University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). This provides representation of the people from the field of science, dramatized and realized into performance.

Sining LABinsiyam (SiLAB) was formed in May 2021, with the vision to bring forth underrepresented Filipino narratives into the contemporary stage with honest and authentic portrayals.

Orgullo Compound runs from July 29 to August 12, 2022. You can get your tickets here for only ₱250. This pre-recorded theatrical performance is CSBLIFE accredited.