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Reviews for Shock Value


Posted here are links that will lead to two sites that feature a review of Shock Value’s first run.

The articles are protected by copyright laws and posting them here may be an infringement to the law.

That is why, here are the links instead: :) (by Gibbs Cadiz):


AUDITIONS for Shock Value will be on Monday (August 9, 2010), 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, at the Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan (THY), Faculty Center, UP Diliman, Q.C.
More details at 



AUDITIONS for Shock Value will be on Monday (August 9, 2010), 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, at the Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan (THY), Faculty Center, UP Diliman, Q.C.

More details at 

Orosman at Zafira Opens Dulaang UP’s 35th Theatre Season

Orosman at Zafira Opens Dulaang UP’s 35th Theatre Season

Opening Dulaang UP’s 35th season is the restaging of Francisco Baltazar’s Orosman at Zafira. This successful production promises to captivate and thrill audiences better than it did last 2008.


The contemporary adaptation directed and choreographed by Dexter M. Santos and original music by Carol Bello garnered nominations for both Best Musical Production and Best Stage Director at the 21st Aliw Awards. It also received acclamation from various renowned critics and artists.

Baltazar’s Orosman at Zafira is about the enmity due to thirst for power and the beliefs of the three tribes – the Marruecos, Tedenst and Duquela. In the midst of hate and war whence two individuals find love, this adaptation highlights its women characters in their unyielding strength. This production also celebrates the Philippine heritage through its ethno-linguistic music and the fusion of modern and cultural movements.

Dulaang UP is a semi-professional university-based theatre company, which serves as the foundation for UP Theatre students’ professional exposure in the performing arts, training them in the fields of performance as well as technical, stage and production management.

This adaptation includes in its roster of casts bright and promising actors in the persons of Delphine Buencamino, Tasy Garrucha, Jerson Lafuente, Joel Molina, Reuben Uy, Jean Judith Javier, Tao Aves, Roeder Camanag, Kevin Concepcion, Gabs Santos, Acey Aguilar, JM De Guzman, Jacinta Remulla, Natasha Cabrera, Jules Dela Paz, Ronnie Martinez and the Dulaang UP Ensemble.

Comprising the artistic team are Production Designer Tuxqs Rutaquio; Lights Designer John Ilao Batalla; Dramaturges Anril Tiatco, Katte Sabate  and Patrick Valera; Accessories Designer Paolo Rodriguez; Photographer Jojit Lorenzo; Assistant Director Mara Marasigan and Associate Choreographer Via Antonio.

Orosman at Zafira will run from August 11-29 at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, U.P. Diliman, Quezon City from Wednesdays to Fridays at 7pm and at 10am and 3pm during weekends. For tickets, please contact Cherry at 09177500107, or the Dulaang UP Office at 926-1349, 981-8500 local 2449 or 433-7840.

DUP’s 35th season poster.

DUP’s 35th season poster.

(c) Jojit Lorenzo photography
Delphine Buencamino as Zafira in DUP’s Orosman at Zafira 2010

(c) Jojit Lorenzo photography

Delphine Buencamino as Zafira in DUP’s Orosman at Zafira 2010


Ang Orosman at Zafira ay tungkol sa tunggalian sa kapangyahrihan ng tatlong kaharian: Marueccos, Tedenst at Duquela. Magsisismula ang kuwento sa pagsasalaysay ni Zelima, anak ni Ben-asar na kanang visir ni Boulasem, ang pacha ng Tedenst hinggil sa dilubyo sa pagpapatawag ni Mahamud, pangkalahatang sultan at tubong Marruecos, ng isang piging. Imbitado ang lahat ng pacha ng kanyang sinasakupan kasama sina Boulasem at Zelim na mula naman sa Duquela. Sa piging na ito, nabuo ang pagdududa ni Boulasem na balak patayin ni Mahamud ang lahat ng pacha para makuha niya ang tanang kapangyarihan. Bunsod ng pagduruda ni Boulasem, pinapatay niya si  Mahamud sa piging na siyang  simula ng sunod-sunod na digman, ubusan ng lahi, at agawan ng kapangyarihan. Ang unang digmaan ay pinasimulan nina Gulnara, ang irog ni Sultan Mahamud, at Zafira, ang naulilang anak ng Sultan. Nagpatuloy ang mahabang digmaan dahil sa kanikaniyang pagkagutom sa kapangyarihan at pag-ibig. Dahil sa pagkasilaw sa kapangyarihan at pagnanais maging pangkalahatang sultan, pinatay ni Abdalap ang sarili niyang ama para maangkin ang trono. Nang maupo bilang bagong sultan si Abdalap, ninanis niyang pakasalan si Zafira, pinakulong at binantaan ng araw ng pagpugot ang sariling kapatid na si Orosman na siyang sinta ni Zafira at pinapatay ang lahat ng mga bilanggong nagnais siyang pigilan at nakilaban sa kanya sa mga nagdaang digmaan. Dahil rito, umusbong ang isa nanamang digmaan at pagdanak ng dugo. Kailan kaya matatapos ang pagkitil ng maraming buhay nang dahil sa inaasam na kapangyarihan?

List of Playdates


First Week

Aug.11, 2010            Wednesday 7:00 pm

Aug.12, 2010            Thursday     7:00 pm

Aug.13, 2010            Friday          7:00 pm

Aug 14, 2010            Saturday     10:00 am

                                  Saturday     3:00 pm

Aug. 15, 2010           Sunday       10:00 am

                                  Sunday        3:00 pm

Second Week

Aug.18, 2010            Wednesday 7:00 pm

Aug.19, 2010            Thursday     7:00 pm

Aug. 20, 2010           Friday         7:00 pm

Aug. 21, 2010           Saturday     10:00 am

                                  Saturday     3:00 pm

Aug. 22, 2008           Sunday        10:00 am

                                  Sunday        3:00 pm

Third Week

Aug. 25, 2010            Wednesday 7:00 pm

Aug. 26, 2010            Thursday    7:00 pm

Aug. 27, 2010            Friday         7:00 pm

Aug. 28, 2010            Saturday     10:00 am

                                   Saturday      3:00 pm

Aug. 29, 2010            Sunday        10:00 am

                                   Sunday        3:00pm

Dance of the Damned (Review by Mr. Gibz Cadiz for OZ 2008)


Dance of the damned

By Gibbs Cadiz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:17:00 02/25/2008


MANILA, Philippines - Dance as the basis of theater. Not text, not acting, but gesture and movement—actions that hark back to sacred rituals on ancient evenings, when stories were told and myths formed around campfires by a tribe’s designated dancer-storytellers.

The pioneering drama theoretician Antonin Artaud had such a vision in 1931, when he glimpsed a performance of a Balinese dance in Paris and grasped the possibility of theater freed from the sovereignty of text or the willfulness of actors. A form of drama that gave pride of place to spectacle, myth-making, thought made visible—the fusion of sounds and images to create theater of a visceral, elemental purity.

If he were alive today and by any chance living in Manila, Artaud would probably look with kindly eyes on “Orosman at Zafira,” a reconfigured strain of the colonial-era komedya that director-choreographer Dexter Santos has brought to Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater in UP Diliman with blazing life and ingenuity.

“Orosman’s” text remains the mellifluous, sonorous Tagalog of Francisco Baltazar, its structure the familiar moro-moro mold of warring groups clashing to the sound of music and the beat of precise choreography.

The language, spoken by a large cast of professional and student actors, is largely leeched of declamatory artifice, its picturesque power emerging with coherence and transparency.

At its simplest, “Orosman” makes a persuasive case that Balagtas, a figure of bland terror to millions of students required to read his archaic poetry, can be accessible, comprehensible, when spoken right.

Dark and gritty

One is likely, however, to give more space in one’s mind to how this play veers much farther away from the conventional komedya into altogether novel territory—one darker, grittier, even ground-breaking in its desire to confound the predictable.

For starters, this “Orosman” is as much dance as it is dialogue. Its electrifying display of movement is this play’s most glittering achievement.

Santos, who has made a name for himself as a choreographer (he created the movement for, among others, New Voice Company’s “Into the Woods” and “Cabaret”; Metropolitan Theater Guild’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”; Dulaang UP’s “St. Louis Loves Dem Filpinos…The Musical”; and Atlantis Productions’ “Beauty and the Beast”) paints “Orosman’s” nearly-Shakespearean tale of bloodlust, revenge, war and forbidden love in dances of scalding heat and savagery.

The story of three kingdoms locked in endless strife, plot after vicious plot assuring a constant pileup of dead bodies and broken souls, gathers momentum and energy from a series of breathtaking stylized battles that Santos has devised.

Their staging is altogether fresh, bold, original. “Orosman” offers a go-for-broke melange of inspirations, cultures, sounds and rituals improbably held together by a belief in the power of the stylized gesture—a fling of the hand, a thrust of the hip, a communal leap into the air—to define characters and entire clans, illustrate the grandiose chaos of warfare, push the story forward to its mournful, tragic close.

Production designer Tuxqs Rutaquio helps the vibrant cast along with an ingenious assortment of double-duty props—the kubing as both dagger and musical instrument, a rainmaker used as a spear, bamboo slats flogged with frightening ferocity to create the noise and fog of war. The evocative lighting is by John Batalla.

Weaving through all this is the plangent sound of Carol Bello’s neo-ethnic score (played by a live band), which lends texture and immediacy to the roaring pageant onstage.

The songs themselves—urgent, soulful melodies that give no concession to pop sensibilities—form an inspired tapestry of indigenous sounds that, sung by the play’s superior vocal talents (such as the two alternating female leads, Cris Villonco and Maita Ponce), cross over from chant to love tune to lament with eloquent ease.

A highlight is the Act 2 opener, which blends the voices of the major characters into one gorgeous anthem of yearning.

Star-making turns

What a pleasure to see Villonco and Ponce play Zafira. The first exhibits alabaster hauteur, the second plucky vulnerability. When they sing, they charge every note with soaring authority. These two fresh-faced actresses deliver star-making performances that will remind one of Aida, the indomitable captive princess in Verdi’s opera.

As the scrappy Gulnara, Jean Judith Javier holds her own against Villonco and Ponce. Gulnara and Zafira, in fact, much to one’s surprise, considering the ethos of Balagtas’ prose poem, form a self-contained feminist bond that this play underlines with much care and apparent approval. The women are an intelligent, aggressive, cunning lot, as vengeful as they are beautiful.

One can’t say the same, alas, of the men. Except for ferocious turns by Roeder Camañag as the usurper king Boulasem and JC Santos as Zelim, the two alternating Orosmans (Arnold Reyes and Felix Rivera) do right by their roles and sing sweetly, but are hamstrung by weak, underwritten characters. Orosman doesn’t register strongly until late in Act 2, and by then the play’s tenacious amazonian women have carted off and made dinner of the scenery.

Similarly, Orosman’s younger brother Abdalap is played by veteran actor Lex Marcos with a noticeable slack, frustrating any effective tension between the battling siblings.

Zelima the narrator, meanwhile, is sung with exquisite ethnic-inflected vocal flair by Tao Nono Aves (clearly the daughter of her mother, Grace Nono), and less so by Natasha Cabrera (who was excellent in Dulaang UP’s earlier musical “The Silent Soprano,” but seems a tad too strident here).

Lumpy Act 1

Fleet-footed as it is, “Orosman at Zafira” is not without stumbles. After a bracing start that sees the three kingdoms introduced and cross-matched via distinct movement vocabularies, Act 1 settles into a rather lumpy run.

But Act 2 supplies the balance with a breathless, exhilarating series of set pieces that hurtles the storytelling toward a final feverish orgy of bloodletting and violence.

The closing scene throbs with a haunting sense of despair, ambivalence and regret— the last spadeful of earth that “Orosman at Zafira” throws to bury the chirpy, happy-ever-after resolutions of the old komedya.

No dancing around it: This brave, resonant show is the first great production of the year.

“Orosman at Zafira” runs until March 2 at Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, Palma Hall, UP Diliman, QC. Call 9261349, 4337840, 9818500 local 2449, 0917-6206224. Visit

E-mail the author at gcadiz@inquirer., visit