“Paglilitis” Shocks Talamban Times Square Shoppers and Students

CITE’s adaptation of Paul Dumol’s “Ang Paglilitis Kay Mang Serapio” starts in a gentrifying underworld with dimly-lit rundown interior sets the tone of a trial that shocked even the most matured bystander in the mall.

It is, in fact, the main goal of the play. At its onset, the play immediately grabs the audience by the neck as it introduces the characters whose gravity of their voice and facial expressions are painted with grit and grimes.

The cast, consisted of Grade 11 students from Electrical Engineering Technology Department (2B and some 2A students for the bit parts), played out their parts well with two shows in the row at the activity center of Talamban Times Square on April 5, 2019 as the culmination of their subject in Literature.

Shoppers are shocked by students dressed as beggars as they walk around the vicinity, even so when the actual play began to unfold before their eyes. While the venue was not tightly packed, with only graduating students from San Isidro Parish School and Talamban National High School and patrons, it was a history in the making for Grade 11 students who are all out in their performances.

The first group had to fight against the noise of the streets and had to use their vocal power to relay the story. According to their trainer, Phillip Bernardo Ogang, “It was an opportunity for the actors to play by the ear and use their training in voice projection.”

The play which depicts a seemingly dystopic society where a beggar is tried for raising a child is nothing novel. We all have seen them in movies about underground syndicates. But how lead characters such as Jose Daniel Pregoner and John Renesh Almario alternately portrayed the slow-burning fear in their eyes that escalate as the brutality of their interrogators stakes out is nothing short of an award-winning performance of their lives.

Add the production designs and lighting set-ups of both teams, one would unmistakably conclude that the latest staging (actually the fifth version) is the hardest to beat.

Ultimately, there is nothing anyone in the audience can do as the course of events has been apparent. The message of the play is relevant and bloody part where a crazed executioner is supposedly plucking the eye of Serapio is well executed.

A homage to Dante’s “Inferno”, “Ang Paglilitis Kay Mang Serapio” includes subtle elements of a failing society dramatically portrayed by the members of the cast. It was a dream come true for the team led by directors Clydel Caparida and Mike Tolomia who have labored two months to finally serve a play like no other.

Special thanks goes to CITE for the food, Jonel Jerusalem and an anonymous donor for paying the rent and deposits.