Personal Essays

A Stage Can Save

A Nation

by Maria Romero, November 06, 2018 4:06pm

Art by Dani Elevazo

Personal Essays

A Stage Can Save A Nation

by Maria Romero, November 06, 2018 4:06pm
Art by Dani Elevazo
 

For their 51st season, Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) dropped their most ambitious yet revolutionary advocacy campaign—the Stage of the Nation. They devoted all their artistic teachings in spearheading this creative campaign that hopes to utilize arts and engage artists to contribute to the discourses concerning our nation. Truth be told, this is my kind of SONA.

My first time seeing the campaign’s teaser, I was immediately taken aback by Trumperte. It puzzles me how at this time of autocracy, a political parody is still being enjoyed by many people and artists are still brave enough to satirize known personalities. When I thus received an invitation to watch the play, I didn’t even think twice to decide. But I wasn't in my best self when I finally went to see Trumperte.

Traffic was unbearable that night but I ironically found the time to ponder on how much power we hold if we only utilized transformative arts sooner. All thanks to PETA, we now have the avenue to make use of art’s function.

Time and time again, arts—no matter what form—proved to be an essential tool in breaking barriers between all forms of inequality. It communicates across different languages and it unites people regardless of race, religion, social status, and culture. It also prompts social introspection and establishes limits while rendering transparency on significant issues.

As we progress, the arts also evolve because it drastically expanded its decorative purpose as it now affects social engagement and political motives.

We may feel untouched by other people's problems and global issues but through arts, we will feel connected as part of the larger "we." This is where arts can make a difference; it stirs us to spur creative thinking, engaging, and taking actions.

Arts, especially theater, can also heal our wounded past. It communicates stories to make us understand our history and it brings people together to build a future founded in nationalistic faith.

In the Philippine scene, if a theater play is what it takes to educate the obstinate people on social issues that loudly screams for help, then we’re beyond lucky people like Jon Santos of Trumperte and associations like PETA are willing to take the great leap just to fuel our fire to continue fighting the good fight. And I, on the other hand, am more than eager to travel across the Metro despite the jam-packed traffic to support advocacy that promotes only the truth no matter how inconvenient the battle gets.

With our current political, economic, and social challenges that seem to be endlessly going in a full circle, now is the time to utilize the power of our artistic capacities more than ever!

 

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