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CareDivas: forever and beyond =)

Most people do not find delight in watching  stage plays. Their reasons? The running time being too long, the script being so boring; actors not delivering their roles well, and the venue being extremely cold. The last play that I saw actually had me snoozing inside the theatre. (I found out that I wasn’t the only one who gave in to the charmer called “sleep”.)

I am a fan of theater acts , but due to the geographical constraint that I carry (FYI,  I happen to work in Batangas and I only get to be in Quezon City on weekends.), catching the latest stage plays became a complete struggle for me.  I wanted to watch RENT last February 25, but going to RCBC Plaza in Makati on a Friday night meant hell along EDSA. In short, the venue was just too far. Plus, it was my sister’s birthday night-out that evening, so from the very start I knew RENT was far-fetched.

Since I was practically logged-in on Facebook the entire Saturday, I saw a status update made by my batchmate from St. Scho Manila (hello there Leloi Arcete :D) who at present is working for Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). Her shout-out was a call to those who wanted to catch the company’s latest musical comedy entitled CAREDIVAS. The February 27 shows were at 10am and 3pm, and PETA was not far from our place. To kill the curiosity inside me, I  was able to convince my mom to watch the play the following day.

CAREDIVAS. They are just tooooo hot to handle.

Before Sunday noon, there were already eight of us who would be watching CareDivas.  I called up PETA’s office number and reserved tickets for the 3pm show. We could not contain our eagerness to catch the play, but the recipient of the  “Most Excited” was my 84-year old grandmother.  Her excitement was just felt all over the house, because of the person in the picture below:

Phil Noble as Jonee

Phil Noble is my mom’s first cousin. His mommy and my grandma are sisters, and that makes us relatives. I used to see Tito Phil during family events. A small talk and a little bit of catching up during such occasions were just enough to say that yeah, we are family. All I know time, is that he’s a relative and that he had what I regarded as the coolest job on earth. He was a media person, and I have always wanted to be one. Even though we were not that close, I always felt proud whenever I see his name appear on the credits. I said to myself that someday, my name will also be flashed on the TV screen. So I went to college, got myself a degree, and here I am now, a Sped teacher. 😀 What happened along the way is another issue. ^_^
We arrived at the PETA theater with enough time to chitchat with some of my cousins and other relatives as well. They, too, were there to show support to Tito Phil.

Going back to the play, CareDivas is the story of five gay caregivers working in Israel. In the morning, they individually attend to their old and sickly patients. At night, these five different persons transform into “D’ Nightingales” – one all-diva singing group. They perform in a small club, and a humble dream of making it big in Tel Aviv motivates them to treat every performance as if it were the last.

As they work together to live the dream, conflicts start to rock the boat.

Bombings all over Israel. Immigration officers who keep on showing up. Deportations. The nasty and saintly employers. The mysterious guy (I remember how girls used to scream whenever he comes out on the stage ^_^) who makes one diva go gaga over love.

Lies. Pretensions. Sacrifices. Love.

The divas have their own stories to tell, but what brought them together is their lifelong passion of upholding the lives of their families back in the Philippines.

After watching it, I concluded that the  play explicitly revealed two things: first is the unheard, unseen and unspoken of issues experienced by most of our Overseas Filipino Workers, and second is the society’s acceptance of people from the third sex.

Having a father whose work is in another country, I was able to relate to some of the scenes portrayed by the divas. Who knows if your loved ones working abroad deal with hardcore nightmare everyday? Being an OFW is no joke at all.

CareDivas reinforces the call for gender equality: that being gay knows no boundaries as well. With us living in this time, the gay community are no longer confined in the four corners of salons. Moreover, the play teaches the audience to learn how to be true to oneself. Self-acceptance is the step to much bigger chance of being respected by a wider range of people.

Straight eye for the queer guy? =)

Kayla (Jerald Napoles) with my sister Kat

The diva who really caught my attention (aside from Jonee of course) was Kayla, portrayed by Jerald Napoles. For me, he had the greatest singing voice… and I forgot to mention, he has a very nice body. Being the diva who got deported back to PI, he delivered many of the dramatic lines. He was able to tickle our funny bones – especially the first dancing scene where he bumped and grind just like an experienced macho dancer. Oh and by the way, I heard he is very much straight. You are one great actor, Mr. Napoles. Too bad I was not able to  have a photo op with you.

MACHO SHOT. L-R: kuya mark, AG, kayla (jerald napoles) and JC

As what I have mentioned earlier in this post, the main reason why we watched the play is because of Tito Phil. More than being proud of him, I am happy to see him perform on stage because of his commendable skills in acting. If he has to be mataray, he will be mataray. If he needs to shift his emotions, he does so in a manner that is hard to notice.  I never knew also that he could sing! =) And he just looked dashing when he was in his blondie attire. He is indeed a true diva – forever and beyond. =)

My grandmother was all-smiles the entire play! She was so proud of her nephew that she was one of the many people who rushed out of the theater when the play ended, so she could have her picture taken with Tito Phil.

And boy, she got her wish granted. =) Awesome is the word for you, our dear Jonee! =) Congratulations!

me, jonee (Tito Phil), mama nita, kat

jonee (tito phil), mom, me

jonee (tito phil) and jc

L-R: mama nita, tito blas, jonee, tito vic

This is a must-see, seriously. CareDivas is a musical play that will have you laughing and crying at the same time. It has so many lessons to impart that it would be hard for me to write ’em one by one.  PETA is once more successful in producing a play worth your time, money and energy. With a handful of legendary actors as cast, there is no doubt that you would want to watch it for the 2nd time around.

This afternoon delight brought by PETA is something unforgettable for me. A show like this gives me hope that more and more Filipinos will soon appreciate the real entertainment offered by theater. I am positive that PETA would continue to create more plays that would exhibit the realities of a Filipino’s way of life.

We are all stars. We will shine, come the perfect time. We are all divas.

Congratulations to the cast and crew of CareDivas! It was definitely a great show.

***You can still catch Care Divas until March,2011. Reserve your tickets now!

Contact Peta at  (02) 7256244, (02) 4100821-22, 0917-5765400, petatheater@gmail.com

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