Costanilla: ‘The Gift,’ a fund-raiser

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By Sam Costanilla

Spotlight

Sunday, January 19, 2014


PLAY. Four of Cebu’s top-caliber stage artists will be featured in a special gala showing of a one-act minor masterpiece crafted by no less than the incomparable playwright Al Evangelio who will also direct it. Dante Luzon, Marlinda Angbetic-Tan, Maryrose Villacastin-Maghuyop and Padma Mangharam-Siap will star in The Gift, which is a presentation by the Pushermen Players of Cebu (PPC), Pasundayag Sugbo and Cebu Catholic Television Network (CCTN) Channel 47. The four actors have already starred in numerous stage productions so expect their appearance in The Gift to be amazing and wonderful, to say the least. With Evangelio directing them, expect a truly delightful and impressive performance from Luzon, Tan, Maghuyop and Siap.

Surgery. We learned that the staging of The Gift is actually a fund-raiser for the immediate surgery of Evangelio’s bleeding retina so watching the play means a lot to him as an expression also of our love, respect, admiration, support and recognition of his tireless dedication in teaching a number of performing artists that are now in the forefront of the entertainment industry. In fact, some of them are now making waves internationally and multi-awarded singer Sheryn Regis is just one of them. Undoubtedly, Evangelio had contributed a lot to the cultural enhancement of the Cebuano audience. Credit that to his almost five decades of stage engagements here and elsewhere like Japan, the US, Canada and Europe.

Productions. Talking of productions, Evangelio is a veteran. He did more than a hundred of them like concerts, beauty pageants, one-act plays, full-length musicales (Broadway and zarzuelas) as well as traditional and avant-garde plays. Back to The Gift, this writer is strongly endorsing it as a must-see play on Feb. 8, at exactly 7:30 p.m., at the CCTN channel 47 chapel and like all Evangelio shows, it starts punctually. Michel Lhuillier, Joel del Prado, Dr. Warfe Engracia, Dr. Yong Larrazabal and CCTN president Tatay Dodong Limchua should also be lauded for their full support to this play. To support this fund-raising production, call 09222516336, 09999745194 and 09225793616 and 091730211158.

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View. We fully agree with Bantay Radyo commentator Engr. Greg Senining’s view that the Cebu Arts Foundation Inc.) and the local Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and other media clubs here should sign a joint memorandum of agreement or understanding regarding the airing of those songs submitted as entries to the yearly Cebu Popular Music Festival. Cafi, chaired by former Rep. Eduardo Gullas, has been sustaining the songwriting festival since 1981. Senining, who will also be installed as the founding president of the Cebu chapter of the Publishers’ Association of the Philippines, Inc. on Jan. 25, stressed that the move is a sure-fire step of ensuring the constant airing of such compositions over local radio stations.

Revisit. We also think there is a need to revisit the Cebu City ordinance on the airing of songs written and performed by local artists. If such ordinance has not been repealed or revised, how come Cebuano/Visayan songs are not getting constant on-air exposure? So we support Senining’s view about the signing of an agreement for Cafi, KBP and other media clubs to cooperate in addressing this concern. We are hoping against hope that our local radio stations would be more than ready and willing to accommodate such songs. Doing so could encourage local songwriters and performers to improve their craft.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 20, 2014.

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