03 March 2009

Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid Ng Disyembre?

Written by Tony Perez
Directed by Nonon Padilla

This play completes Tony Perez’s trilogy on friendship, love, and companionship, which began with Oktubre, Noong Tayo’y Nagmamahalan Pa and Nobyembre, Noong Akala Ko’y Mahal Kita, two blockbusters produced by Tanghalang Pilipino at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in the 1990s. Although, like the first two plays, Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid Ng Disyembre? functions as an independent play, this production brings the trilogy to a dazzling closure, at the same time full circle to its beginning. The entire collection, with its finale produced by PETA, is now a major work in postmodern Philippine drama.

In Disyembre, five generations of the Davíd clan attempt to complete the unfinished masterpiece of their Lolo, the La Navidád, on the condition that it must be done only by an artist who has married into their fold. As in Oktubre and Nobyembre, the story is portrayed by a minimum of performers switching roles: LALAKI, BABAE, ISA PANG LALAKI, and ISA PANG BABAE.

The play opens when LALAKI comes home to his abandoned wife, BABAE, after a respite in the U.S., where he was treated for schizoid tendencies for his clairvoyant, clairaudient, and clairsentient tendencies. BABAE, a painter, is attempting to complete the Navidád. LALAKI discovers that she and their best friend, ISA PANG LALAKI, have become lovers in his absence, and that BABAE is pregnant with his best friend’s child. LALAKI demands that BABAE make a choice: and she makes one—a choice that leads to dramatic events that are certain to stupefy the audience. All this is witnessed by ISA PANG BABAE, LALAKI and BABAE’s granddaughter, who has inherited her grandfather’s psychic abilities and arrives from the future to visit the past.

The second part of the play jumps one generation and forwards the story in time, with the granddaughter (ISA PANG BABAE) and her artist-husband (now played by ISA PANG LALAKI) still attempting to complete the Navidád. The granddaughter while, pregnant, develops an aversion to her husband. LALAKI and BABAE intervene as ghosts from the past. Together, all four characters bring the play to an emotional, dramatic resolution.

The epilogue of the play provides an unexpected twist for the audience, and the key to the wonderful mystery behind the Navidád. Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid Ng Disyembre? is about the unbreakable love and bonding between best friends and among family, despite the complications of betrayal, jealousy, and anger.

Ongoing until March 16, 2009
PETA Theater
5 Eymard Drive
New Manila
Quezon City