Photo By John Derick Manalo
Photo By John Derick Manalo.

Brace for the butterfly effect of misinformation in Sining LABinsyam’s “Pamilya”

Sining LABinsyam pilots a staggering first show with “Pamilya,” going through themes of family issues, social media, information, misinformation, and disinformation.

By Bianca Sanchez | Monday, 14 November 2022

With amazing productions like Ang Dress Makisig, Bago Dumilim sa Labas, and Orgullo Compound, Sining LABinsyam hits it off again with a riveting thesis production by Dr. Layeta Bucoy, directed by Tuxqs Rutaqiuo. Pamilya reveals the compelling sentiments of opposing political beliefs and social media influence in the form of a dysfunctional family.


The show begins with a seemingly normal Filipino family getting ready for a New Year’s Eve celebration. Each member had their own quirks–Tatay (Janji Gamboa) sucking up to the Mayor, Nanay (Yanni Buenaventura) tired of her husband’s antics, Yaya (Jiana Velasco) distancing herself from chaos, Gitna (Arj Rosales) opposing his family’s blind belief in the mayor, Kuya (Jack Gaza) in love with the mayor’s daughter, Ate (Georgina Nolasco) updating as a social media influencer, and Bunso (Michael Hilao) who’s only wanting to be taken away by his Yaya to the province and away from family issues. A seemingly typical Filipino family.


With the exceptional performance brought out by the ID 119 students, you would doubt that it was not made by professionals in the field. Attention to detail was obvious in each costume. One in particular, although played by a young student, looked exactly like how an older woman would. The staging contained a simple backdrop of a house, not too simple and enough to bring life to the show. The simplicity helps in keeping the audience from the story and performance.


Although established and appearing ordinary, tension could not be ignored with the banters between family members. This begins with the late appearance of the middle child, Gitna, who isolates himself in his room to escape from his family’s—specifically his father’s—opposing political beliefs. Tatay is a strong believer in the Mayor, one with an iron fist, and dedicated to climbing the political ladder, which includes broadcasting juicy chika to his live viewers and favoring his son, Kuya, for being dating the Mayor’s daughter. 


It does not help that no one was there to question either of the two strong opposing beliefs in the family. Nanay blindly supports her husband, Tatay, hoping he will bring fortune to the family. Meanwhile, Ate promotes Tatay’s live streams only to receive more views since political topics gain more traction. Kuya is busy focusing on his love life with the Mayor’s daughter and Bunso just wants to escape from his family with his Yaya.


With tension and the huge role of the eighth character, technology, the family goes through violence, threats, confusion, and utter downfall. 


And it was all gray

During the press preview, Dir. Tuxqs Rutaqiuo shared how each side of opposing beliefs had its own different nuances. Although one side may seem correct, the colors remain gray. Different shows and films shine a light on a specific perspective, emphasizing the colors that shine in those areas. With Pamilya, each perspective was given its own shine. If neutral is the road, gray is the destination.


Picking up the shards

One important thing that can be pointed out in the show is the use of their eighth character, technology, specifically social media. The spread of misinformation becomes prominent in the fate of each character in the story. Rumors on top of rumors, on top of rumors, on top of more rumors to deflect all the previously established rumors. All this developed through the use of social media.


Information on social media acts like broken glass. People pick up the little shards and form their own story of the whole. Although it may appear as they want, that is all it is. There are always three sides to a story: yours, mine, and the truth.


We are on our own

The transparency of the show is what makes it a must-watch. It makes us question where the truth is. The fact that the show was based on the personal experience of the members of Sining LABinsyam during the 2022 Philippine elections only makes it disturbingly close to reality. 


Who is the oppressed? Who is the perpetrator? These are questions that arise while watching the show. It emphasizes awareness of these from your surroundings, beginning with the people you interact with daily–people like your family.


Tatay shares an eerie phrase at the end. This phrase may be off-putting as an ending to a show, especially since an end usually aims for a happy and light ending. “We are on our own.”


Even those who may seem closest to us may leave after a simple disagreement. In the end, all we have left is ourselves. 


Pamilya is still ongoing with online shows on Nov. 23 to 30! Visit SiLAB’s Facebook page to grab a ticket for ₱250 before they get sold out.

Last updated: Thursday, 17 November 2022