By Mary Mae Rias
The stage was set, the lights turned on, and the curtains were drawn! Every member of the audience delighted in the chance of viewing the different facets of faith and its influence in the lives of individuals from different walks of life at the theatre production of Mga Dula sa Pagtuo (Plays of Faith), held at the Seminario Mayor de San Carlos on January 28, 2016.
Written by Msgr. Agustin V. Ancajas, the theatre play depicted five stories about families, lovers, friends and even total strangers that are facing various forms of affliction involving their faiths and their relationship with God.
With the use of minimal props – namely, a table, a chair, a wooden bench, and an altar – the plays captured the audience with their heartfelt drama acting that were excellently conveyed by the performers. The profound essence of forgiveness, acceptance and the reconciliation with one’s self were perceived as each story was perfectly interwoven.
The first play shows a son of a sculptor who is expected to continue the family legacy of sculpting figures for their parish. Believing that it is not a noble work, he constantly refuses to do this and even plans to move to another country with his lover for a better and more comfortable life. His father later converses with him about the beauty of sculpting and his joy in serving God through his works which the son gradually finds inspiring. Only then, did he realize that his father had died while in church and visited him to open his heart to sculpting.
Sa Imong Lawas ug Dugo (Of Your Body and Blood)
As a storm rages and the wind hurls one evening, a woman begins a deranged monologue. The woman was the mother of the parish priest who has been found to have a forbidden relationship with a lady. Wanting her son to remain pure for God, she spills acid on the face of his son’s lover to put a stop to their relationship. But the rumors and gossip still continued and it has disturbed her terribly. As the play comes to a close, she wishes that her son be taken by God than cause more shame.
Two lovers arrive at a spot that bears a picturesque view of the city. However, they begin to argue on their usual issue about the girlfriend constantly refusing her boyfriend to sleep with him until their marriage. The boyfriend coaxes his girlfriend, who in the end, gave in. When they were about to leave the place, her cellphone starts ringing relentlessly which she believes was a sign from Mother Mary to stay away from temptation. The boyfriend’s patience ran out and breaks up with her then leaves. A fellow parishioner then approaches the girl who was also left by his girlfriend with the same reason as the girl’s.
Sila nga Mitaliwan Na (They Who Have Departed)
An atheist husband ridicules the faith of his religious wife and calls it mere superstition after knowing that his wife had invited another nun to visit their home. The wife did so after seeing what she believes as a ghost roaming around their dwelling place. When the nun did arrive, she sees a vision of a woman in black and two children who are in need of a mass offering. The husband then apologizes to the nun for uttering insults earlier after he rushed out from their room saying that he just saw the woman in black. The couple agree to give a mass offering and decided to give their services to the church.
Paklay Para Canta Misa (Tipe Stew for the First Mass)
A family is devastated after learning that their tipe stew will no longer be served in the banquet of the newly-ordained priest’s first mass. After an argument with the son and the event’s organizer took place, the priest arrives and an unsolved conflict resurfaces between the two former friends. It was then revealed that the priest led the son, who was his then fellow seminarian, to do an illicit act with a woman that led him to be thrown out of the seminary. With the priest’s confession, they were able to mend their friendship.
The Plays of Faith is part of the Cultural Events of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress for delegates and viewers who are interested with theatre and acting. Truly, faith was embodied by that which it exists for – the guidance and strength of the individual.