Dalawa sa Dalawang Gabi staged at XU Little Theater

February 27, 2018

These are the common themes resonating in Luna Sicat’s "Dalawa" and Maynard Manansala’s "Dalawang Gabi." Adapted by The Xavier Stage for the 10th anniversary of Panaghugpong, the twin-bill production, titled “Dalawa sa Dalawang Gabi,” premiered on Friday evening, February 23, within the XU Little Theater at the Xavier Ateneo campus. Although the twin-bill production premiered in light of the National Arts Month, as encouraged by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), both one-act plays involve narratives that are far from celebratory. Instead, they magnify controversial issues that are rarely talked about in Philippine society, thus, provoking the viewers to think about the existence of such cases and look beyond stereotypes by understanding the characters’ ordeals. With the faithful adaptation for each play, directed by Hobart Savior, the production becomes an educational experience and a platform for advocacy more than just being staged as an entertainment for the viewers. Pain is a curse It takes a late-night conversation between two best friends huddled in a room to overcome a traumatic experience and use it to one’s own advantage. This was portrayed in Sicat’s Dalawa wherein two college girls, Jiji and Rita, whose friendship has been grounded in secrets and emotional support, exchange confessions that eventually broke their bond. In the midst of their interaction as they share their encounter with boys, Jiji, a flamboyant lady who dresses in a skimpy nightdress (played by Xavier Ateneo’s School of Business and Management faculty member Tracy Dy), returns a question to the boyish and introverted Rita (played Aicy Soriano, a social media personality for the City Information Office of the Cagayan de Oro City Government) after the latter had asked it to her best friend. When Rita confessed the truth about her virginity and the assault that she had gone through, tinged with a shocking revelation, the best friends begin to explore their identity as the night deepens, with Jiji threatening to expose Rita’s darkest secret should she fail to do what she asks. The play orbits around abuse in matters related to sexuality. But like many works of art, this has been justified as a reflection of reality. In this case, one which is occasionally unheard, overlooked and disregarded. A minor who is sexually abused by a family member bears this trauma as a curse that will determine her personality and the choices she takes in her life. For Rita, it becomes her cross to bear. For Jiji, it weighs into an anchor for dominance. After the fourth wall was lifted following the audience’s applause, Savior pointed out that this play serves as an advocacy to spread awareness about sexual abuse and to inform the viewers that help is within reach for anyone who has undergone a similar devastating experience, referring to the guidance office as a refuge to report trauma. The play also warns people about the disadvantages of disclosure, as secrets can be used against the person and they can become tools for threats. However, not all matters concerning sexuality are involved with horror. Like many themes found in drama, the sexual experience becomes romantic when it involves a mutual desire shared between two individuals, whether they belong to the same or opposite sex. Love, contrary to how Dalawa depicts it, is never a product of force and blackmail. Rather, the intricacies of love are explored further in Manansala’s Dalawang Gabi, which followed Sicat’s play during the premiere. Pain is pressure Dalawang Gabi’s comedic take on a forbidden love between a teacher and a student has evoked relief to the audience after the trauma of Sicat’s play. When Ma’am Deborah “Debbie” Santos (played by local singer and Xavier Ateneo alumna Muriel Lomadilla) attempts to confess her feelings for her student, Lester “Les” Quizon (played by Cagayan de Oro College Hotel and Restaurant Management student Chris Angelo Monserrat), she faces disappointment when Les admits that he is in love with someone else. But tragedy inverts after two years when Les finds out that his chance for true love has been wasted by his choice. The play takes place in two nights, both set within the same office where Ma’am Debbie works and where Les often visits to help her check her papers (with the second one involving his request for a recommendation letter for a job years after he graduated). But a May to December love affair, as tackled in Dalawang Gabi, has often become a stereotype in society, and much worse is seen of it in the school setting between a teacher and a student. A fraction of this play takes on the pressures of life. For Debbie, her family expects her to get married at her age - a dawning of middle-aged adulthood. But her profession, as well as people’s judgment of her weight, becomes a formidable hindrance to her interest towards Les, which had developed since the pair got to know more of each other beyond classes. On the other hand, Les is overcome by his doubt to date a woman years older than him despite the happiness they used to share before he fell for his classmate. As a faithful adaptation, its substance veers much towards humor, complemented by witty dialogues delivered exuberantly by Lomadilla who sang Faith Hill’s “If I’m Not in Love” when the lights brightened the stage during the first part.  The transition from the first night to the next was paced smoothly with the same recorded song of Hill’s version playing on the radio. Production value As the set design was minimal but functional for the narratives, the acting has convinced the audience, majority of which gasped after Rita’s revelation to Jiji, and applauded for Debbie’s final response to Les. The twin-bill production is also part of this year’s Tampok Mindanao Theater Convergence, a festival that celebrates plays by theater companies and organizations based in Mindanao. It also features alternate cast under TXS. Third-year Education major Queenie Roluma, who plays Rita for another playdate, shares her experience while preparing for her role. “I studied the script and looked into the character [of Rita],” she said in an interview prior to the premiere. “But as she experiences more pain than I did, I had to understand the reason why she felt that way.” This led her to learn more about Rita’s trauma by research and internalization. The rest of the alternate cast include International Studies major Kissie Anne Fudolin for Jiji in Dalawa, and Xavier Ateneo senior high school students, Charyll Jauculan for Dalawang Gabi’s Debbie and Jules Pamisa as Les. Setting a new trend for theater as an advocacy to spread awareness about issues, in reality, might be one of this twin-bill’s essential production value. With pain as common ground for the two plays, viewers may have to experience it by witnessing the characters’ lives and their tragic circumstances, which, although rarely talked about, do not only happen onstage but also in the fringes of the real world. Pain, for this matter, strikes more than once.

Wing It’s spicy buffalo wings a hit among Cagayanons

February 27, 2018

The bare industrial-inspired kiosk services chicken wings that have been rounded up into three sauce flavors known to be popular around the world. – the Italian garlic parmesan, NYC wild buffalo and Texas hickory BBQ. As Wing It! Flavored Wings is strong in quality over quantity. Majority of ingredients have been brought in from other countries so you can enjoy not just lip-smacking wings bnut saucy favorites the way others around the world do!

C. de Oro boxer wins ABF Flyweight crown

November 24, 2017

Jeronil “El Diamanté” Tonasan Borres of Villa Grande, Lumbia, Cagayan de Oro City presented his Asian Boxing Federation (ABF) Flyweight championship belt to Mayor Oscar S. Moreno last Nov. 21, 2017. Also in picture are CDO Historical and Cultural Commission members Nic Aca and Mike Baños. CMO photo[/caption]Another Kagay-anon boxer is now a world champion. Jeronil “El Diamanté” Tonasan Borres, who now calls Villa Grande, Lumbia, Cagayan de Oro City home, defeated IBF World Youth Flyweight Champion Robert “El Rapido” Tinambacan Onggocan by majority decision to annex the Asian Boxing Federation (ABF) Flyweight crown. It was one of the five title fights featured during the 55th Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation Annual Convention at Princesa Garden Island Resort in Puerto Princesa, Palawan last November 10, 2017. You can watch that fight via the video-sharing website, Youtube by following this URL: Borres, who fights for Highland Boxing Gym, now sports a 7-3-1 win-loss-draw record with 5 KOs. Onggocan, who was born in Dapitan City but is now based in Biñan City, Laguna, was coming off a controversial 10-round decision loss to German Mirco Martin last August 12 (Sunday, August 13, Manila time) in Saarbrücken, Germany. The win was a good bounce back from Borres who was coming from three straight losses going into the ABF title fight. He had previously lost a heart breaking split decision loss to Korean Joo Hyun Jung last February 2, 2017 at the Bomnae Gymnasium in Chuncheon, South Korea for the vacant WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Flyweight title. Previous to that, he lost a majority decision to Richard Claveras last September 30, 2016 in Strike Coliseum in Bacoor, Cavite for the vacant OPBF Flyweight crown. In his latest outing prior to finally winning a world title on his third try, Borres was TKO’d by Ivan Soriano last May 12, 2017 at the Waterfront Insular Hotel, Davao City, the only loss of his young career which did not involve a world title. Born April 27, 1995 in Catarman, Camiguin, Borres is a two- time National Boxing Champion and Gold Medalist representing Cagayan de Oro during his amateur career.

Lub d Cambodia Siem Reap - Experience Beyond Your Imagination!

September 13, 2017

Lub d Cambodia Siem Reap is a new-age hostel for all types of travelers, and perfect for those who love the thrill of the journey and want to rest in style! Whether you’re a flash-packer, a backpacker, traveling solo, or in a group, seeking the ultimate adventure, or simply love exploring with your friends, Lub d has you covered! Lub d is different in so many ways, which will give all travelers a memorable hostel experience, with the premium services you dream for in a hotel. Our friendly team are your best friends away from home, ready to assist you at any time of the day. The level of comfort and security you are looking for. Lub d Siem Reap is revolutionary, with an exceptional exterior and interior concept design, merging features of the Khmer lifestyle and culture to contrast our concept. Discover the chic Khmer design inspired swim up bar pool that serves our thirsty travelers, or chill on beanbags and hammocks. We seek the freshest and most authentic ingredients for food and beverage to leave our travelers to have the unforgettable taste to take back home. Got some spare time; hang out in the games area or watch a movie in the relaxation room. We’ve evolved all room types into a creative sanctuary, unseen anywhere in South East Asia! All rooms at Lub d provide all the important amenities and detailed touches, un-typical in a hostel. All millennial, Gen-Z and the digital nomads travelers will enjoy these unique private rooms, and shared dorm accommodation options. We also have a modern co-working space by Garage Society for those who want to mix a little business with pleasure while traveling to Siem Reap. Experience Siem Reap in style and worry-free with the Adventure Travel Co. at Lub d. The tour desk provides extensive tour options for top destinations and as well as secret places to explore not everyone knows. With only 5 minute walk to the famous Pub Street and a short walk to the Siem Reap River, and the various markets, you know you have found the perfect location. Just 20-minute-drive from the airport, and the legendary Angkor Wat. Combine this all together for all travelers, and those who are living in Siem Reap, we promise the most unique experience in the latest, and definitely the most exciting place to stay in Siem Reap!

Amabel Dano | Promising makeup artist

August 28, 2017

HAIR and Make-up by AMABEL DANO offers an exciting and often illusory and romantic attractiveness. After all, beauty is something that every woman must take care of giving emphasis to our beauty is what this business is all about. “The beauty in us should shine out; should be noticed; should be admired,” said makeup artist Amabel Dano. Dano started young at 17 in her hometown of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. She first dabbled in YouTube to master her makeup craft. When she reached 19, she ventured to Cagayan de Oro and began spreading her craft here. That was in 2013. A year after in September exactly, Amabel won as grand champion in the Ever Bilena Bridal Makeup Competition held at Centrio. Then the rest is history. Amabel was hired as an instructor for fashion makeup at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines (FIP). “Make up may deceive people but with HAIR AND MAKE UP BY AMABEL DANO, it accentuates your inner beauty- letting it spark and jive with your personality. I am driven to give transformations among my clients- to allow them wear the beauty they deserve (through make up) because this makes me the person I am today. I love make ups. I love to be beautiful. I love to be attractive. And I wanna let the people be a part of my endeavor. This passion that I have pushes me to go beyond my limits; to go beyond the box-. I really love this passion- this allows me to make life beautiful and even make more beautiful,” she said. So by August 2017, Amabel decided to hold a makeup workshop. And indeed it was realized last Sunday at Sanctuary Spa. On that day, Amabel coached several women individually on how to manipulate correctly liquid foundation, primer, eyeliner, connector cream, moisturizer, cleanser, lipstick and concealer. Amabel’s next plan is to teach more women not just in Cagayan de Oro but back to her hometown of Manolo Fortich the correct way of putting makeup. She can be reached through her Facebook page as well as her IG aamabeautiful and even through her cellphone number 09752660175. Amabel caters weddings, debuts and other occasional makeup.

Espressini – the city’s most Instagrammable café

August 23, 2017

WHEN you and your family are born foodies from the start, opening up a new resto will flow just naturally. Indeed that was what 22-year-old Anna Rochelle Uy did. After graduating as a business student in Xavier University, Rochelle immediately took up a crash culinary course at Culinary Institute of Cagayan de Oro (CIC), owing to her passion of food when she was young. In this interview last Sunday, Rochelle recalled that the family would cook food by themselves and would shy away from caterers during parties. “We really love to cook because we can control the ingredients, the tastes.” After graduating from the culinary course, an opportunity whipped by. It was the entrepreneurial instinct in Rochelle that clicked when she saw an empty spot at the second level of Cagayan Town Center. Conveniently located at the corner of Luna and Vicente Roa St., CTC is just the right place for Rochelle’s debut investment. And so Espressini Café was born. The family was instantly supportive of Rochelle’s endeavors. Her aunt Ann Jeanette joined in the financial side. Then a family friend Chef Edward David Mateo inputted all the interior and decorative suggestions with Rochelle’s approval of course. By August 21 they were ready. Espressini Café is now open to the public, bringing more clientele to a slowly budding entertainment and dining hole in the city, Cagayan Town Center. Take a text and visual look at some of their mouthwatering dishes – linguine truffle mushroom pasta coupled with a hint of white truffle mushroom oil, grilled chicken pesto pasta, matcha cheese cake coupled with matcha green tea smoothie, baked rice tomato pork chop topped with melted cheese, affogato coupled with a separate espresso shot, grilled tuyo pasta with sundried tomato and grilled eggplant, pesto bangus, homemade smoked longganisa, apple yogurt blend, homemade hot chocolate, creamy tomato pasta, coffee salted caramel (using fancy sea salt), creamy French toast topped with maple syrup and crispy bacon. Ain’t that gastronomically inspiring?


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