Hi! I'm Mary Grace aka Meari Gurezu (メアリーグレース). This is the haven of my brainstorm ideas, stories, analog photographs, rants and daydreams.

(All photos and writings are mine unless otherwise stated.)
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Virgin Labfest Set A Review

Yes yes! I’m still not done with this. For those who are not familiar, Virgin Labfest is an annual festival of local untested plays held at CCP. It has four sets. IN each set, you will be rewarded with three awesome plays with variety of themes. To read my reviews with other sets, here it is, Set D and Set C.

Set A

Anonymous

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Synopsis:It’s a dreaded reunion between a man and a woman who had anonymous sex two years ago. The man appears at a time the woman is in a relationship. He wants to extort some money from the woman or else he will destroy her by showing a video of their sexual act. The truth is out and puts the current relationship to a test, meanwhile interrogating our own discomfort about this level of sexuality among women.

Spoiler Alert: The couple framed the extortionist by accusing that he stole the supposed to be engagement ring. The lover learned the truth about their past relationship and although he helped the girl to prevent the spreading of the sex video, he left her at the end.

Review:This one has an interesting premise. Sadly it did not leave up to my expectations. The first problem was the extortionist has a small voice. We couldn’t hear him. We only understood whats happening by watching the girl react to what she was saying. Flow of the story… It is kind of scattered and messy. The only redeemable factor here is the leading lady’s performance.

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*At set of Anonymous

Sa Isang Hindi Natatanging Umaga, at ang Ulap ay Dahan-Dahang Pumaibabaw sa Nabubulok na Lungsod.

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Synopsis: Meg and AJ meet in the most typical friendly lunch at work. Five years afterwards, Meg visits AJ’s house on his 40th birthday – a date he had once said would be the day he’ll kill himself. In the short and nostalgic “birthday celebration,” the ghost of a brief but ultimately dead love story awkwardly looms above them.

Spoiler Alert:AJ did  not commit suicide in his 4oth birthday and actually he told Meg that he’s just joking. But what he wanted to right now was to work abroad and left their past behind. They talked about their short relationship and even its over and llicit on top of that, they truly cared for each other. Meg asked him if it saddened him when she left, AJ said that he is sad by default anyway. Meg went back to her miserable marriage life. She looked at the window and stared at the gloomy clouds, realizing she let go of her happiness. 

Review:Sad. This play is sad. While the pairing here is about an illicit relationship, I can’t help but to root for them. Especially to the awkward lonesome big guy named AJ. I actually believe he wanted to die on his 40th birthday. He looks intimidating at first but at the end because of his antics he seem to be a giant teddy bear. The actors performance made this play endearing. Overall I like this play and actually had a special spot on my heart.

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The Actors and the set of Sa Isang Hindi Natatanging Umaga ….

SA PAGITAN NG DALAWANG KAHONG LIHAM

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Synopsis:Not wanting to be left alone by his long-time lover Cards, successful actor Tart reminds Cards of their tempestuous yet romance-filled relationship by reading the letters Cards sent him. To justify their separation, Cards fires back at Tart by reading the letters Tart wrote him. As they consume each other’s box of letters, the history of their love affair flashes back with the intermittent singing of Julie Andrew’s “Time is My Friend.” But even as they traverse the romantic rope tying their two boxes of letters, they eventually learn that in matters of the heart, perhaps love is never enough.


Spoiler Alert: Cards decided to really leave Tart even though he loves him very much. Tart finally let go and let him leave. But when he was finally left alone, he slashed his neck.

Review:This is the most heavy drama this year. While their way of fighting is unique, I think it went overboard and bore me a little bit. The actors are really great and you can feel the desperation atmosphere in them. They showed love each other. Their kisses are even real. (The fujoshi in me rises.) I am for Cards decision to break the relationship. Their relationship is really toxic.

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There comes to a point that most people makes me sick. However, I don’t want to be left alone with myself. As you see, myself can say the most horrible things. It speaks of the things I lack, of the things I am not, of the things I regret. Unlike other people, I have no way to silence myself or get away with it. So when people makes me feel bad, I literally have nowhere to go. And at this point, I usually feel self-destruction is the key.

Virgin Labfest 10 Reviews: Set C

And now for the reviews of my second day at Virgin Labfest …

Mapagbirong Haplos

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Synopsis: An ex-convict dreams to work in Canada as a butcher. He asked for her daughter’s help to proofread his resume’. But the daughter is too traumatized because of their past together and is torn between helping and condemning her father.

Spoiler Alert!!! The daughter read the personal statement part of his resume’. Instead of talking about himself, he wrote about her daughters, on how he missed them and how he thinks he is a bad father to them. The daughter excused herself and cried in the comfort room. When she came back, her father asked if she was okay. She answered she was okay.

Review: This one is heavy drama and full of anger. No doubt. The father did many horrible things in the past.if I were the daughter I would never want to see this guy ever. I’m not that satisfied with the flow of the story. Its like the script was so desperate to make you cry or touched but it failed. But the good factor here are the actors. They are really good. They are the one who brought depth to the play even if the flow of the story seems losing its direction.

Last Ten Minutes:

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Synopsis: Two strangers who met online finally make it out for a one night stand in a hotel room. After sex, the boy asked the girl if they could date for real.

Spoiler Alert!!! The man talked about Ivy,  his “the one who got away” . The girl had no problems doing things that Ivy did  to please him before. But in the end they  bickered and fought with each other. It was clear that they are too broken and neither one of them really moved on from the past.

Review: Love scene in Virgin Labfest? I’ve been waiting for this! Haha! Kidding aside, this is an entertaining  take on one night stand relationships.  I like the actors. They have chemistry and I like their interactions a lot. I also like that the actress who played the liberated girl. She is not the typical model type of sexy. But she’s exuded gorgeousness  just the same. Overall this play is light but with some kind of punch. After all, this kind of relationship seems becoming a common scene nowadays.

Ang Goldfish Ni Prof DiMaandal:

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Synopsis: Prof. Di Maandal’s  beloved goldfish “Dedels” was found dead swimming in a pool of detergent in its aquarium. She has three students to blame. She brought it up to the principal’s office, determined to do whatever it takes to seek justice for her poor “Dedels”.

Spoiler Alert!!! The principal, student’s parents and other teachers decided to do the investigation by scientific method,complete with Statement of the Problem, Hypothesis, etc.  And they even agreed to have her goldfish undergo autopsy to know the real cause of its death. The autopsy will be the spotlight investigatory project in the upcoming science fair.  However , in the end, a cat ate the fish.

 Review:  Bato Balani, Investigatory Proj, Terror Teachers….I really like premises that reminds me the good old times. But what came out is not only nostalgic but an outrageously hilarious play. Sherry Lara, the actress who played “Betang” on another set was here again as the principal who has bad English pronunciation. She can do comedy well. This is a brilliant play. Everyone hits the laughter cord and I decided that Sherry Lara is my  favorite actress for this year’s VLF. I hope she will perform again next year.

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The awesome cast of Ang Goldfish Ni Prof DiMaandal ( Source: inquirer.net  Photography by: Butch Weaver)

Virgin Labfest 10 Reviews:Set D

Virgin Labfest concluded last Sunday.  Oh how time flies fast! I still have hangover from it. As part of my own tradition, I’ll be writing reviews. For those who are still unfamiliar, Virgin Labfest is a festival of “untried,untested” local plays annually being held at CCP Huseng Batute theater. For a cost of P300.00, you will be rewarded of three experimental one-act plays. Better than watching 3D movie if you ask me.

Sa Lilim

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Synopsis: Two girls reunite under their favorite tree after a year of separation. Lai experienced city life as she continued her secondary education in the city while Hani stayed with many family struggles in their hometown. Switching stories with each other led up to an awkward realization.

Spoiler Alert!!! They realized that they actually like each other romantically. They even kiss. Real kiss!

Review:The start of the play ..the lasting impression it made me is its predictability. Maybe just few minutes after it started I already figured out they will kiss later on no matter what. The one who played Lai seems not natural at first and I’m not convince with her acting but the good thing Hani is good and their interactions improved as it goes along.This play was written by the youngest playwright in Virgin Labfest histor, a 16 year old student. (A little insecure here actually :( ) The script is good and it really promises a great talent in the future.

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Set design of “Sa Lilim”

Bago Ilibing

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Synopsis:At her uncle’s burial night, Kiko is being forced by her mother to participate in his tribute. But the uncle had abused her when he was still alive and Kiko thinks its about time to tell her the truth.

Spoiler Alert: The uncle’s ghost still lingers around and Kiko’s lover sees that he’s still abusing Kiko even as a ghost. Finally, they revealed the truth but shockingly the mother confessed that she already knows all this time. She just stayed quiet because she truly loved her brother ( which gives us an impression that they had incestuous relationship). Kiko and her lover left with so much disappointment.

Review: One of the best I’ve seen this year. It is riot funny at the beginning. Everyone is incredible with their characters that its a feast to see them perform right in front of you. But Bago ilibing is seriously creepy too. I was really bothered towards the end that I can’t look onstage because of horrifying things they show. The play is a ball of energy. It sucked the energy out of me by making me laugh and making me disturbed. Two thumbs up!

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At the set of “Bago Ilibing”

Betang

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Synopsis: Betang routinely waits for a man with her transistor radio until 3 am. Who is she waiting for? Her death? Her long time lover? One night, he finally arrived. She thought he is finally coming for her but much to her disappointment, he said he was there to fetch a  family relative. Even Betang really wants to go, it still not her time.

Spoiler Alert!!!

Betang is about to retreat to her bed when she felt a pain in her chest. (Heart attack maybe) Her “sundo” came rushing back shouting her name. Betang smiled. She knows that it’s her time, finally. ” Would you like to dance?” she said to him. Her long time lover answered “I thought you’ll never ask” and they kissed.

Review:Having been slated after “Bago ilibing”, I thought this play would be boring or if not,a lesser quality. But I was wrong. This play was so sweet and beautiful on its own. If Bago Ilibing was like a hot and spicy meal, Betang is a cheesecake dessert for me. The actress who played Betang is so great. The way she expresses kilig like a teenager is really cute. I admire her so much after this. I’ll definitely watch out for her future performances.Overall, Betang is a romantic heartwarming play who makes you go “awwww” though the end.

I don’t have any photos from this set. But here, I saw this at abs-cbn official site. All credites to Nicholas Pichay..

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Sherry Lara as “Betang”.

Done with Set D!  More reviews coming up!

Festivals, Festivals Everywhere!…But Only One Body…

A. “The Virgin Labfest is an annual festival of untried, untested, unstaged and unpublished plays. This year, it will be held from June 25 to July 6, 2014 at the CCP Tanghalang Huseng Batute with 3pm and 8pm shows. It is a project of the CCP in cooperation with the Writer’s Bloc, Inc. and Tanghalang Pilipino and with the assistance of the National Commission for Culture and Arts.”..source: kalatazliteraryezine

B. Eigasai, literally means “Movie Festival” is an event conducted annually in celebration of Japan-Philippines Friendship Month every July.  It is held at Edsa Shang Rila Cinema for FREE! But the downside, you have to wait in line for a very long time. Good luck on that one.

C. Libreng Sine Handog ng Cinema One- this festival is actually new. I just saw this on facebook. The line up is not a joke. I want to watch the classic Filipino film “Oro Plata Mata” and Melodrama Negra here. Deym! I hope I can watch either one of them.

I’ll be very busy writing reviews after this!

Uhh this is awkward

Hi tumblr pipz, it’s been awhile. It’s been weeks since I logged on and I think I don’t know how to blog again. It even took so long to get started with this post. As an ice breaker, here’s the latest updates in my life.

*I’ve been attending Japanese classes these past six weeks. I am overwhelmed with new things to learn. As of now I think I haven’t catch up. But my sensei is great!

* I’ve been watching ‘My Man from the Stars’  and ‘One Piece’ (from episode 1)

*The latest book I read was the “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. I hoped to watch the film for Ansel Ergort but it’s too late.

*Finally my hair is now rebonded! It’s color is now ash brown!

*I plan to move to our staffhouse to practice living independently.After I bring my own pillow, blanket and towel, I’m good to go. Good luck to me. I’m a little bit worried. My housemates might discover my montrosity.

* I felt like a crap last few weeks. I felt I am so bad and I don’t deserve anybody. I don’t deserve my friends and awesome tumblr people.

If I ignore you once, I must have my usual mind lapses so don’t feel bad.

If I ignore you once, twice,thrice, I must have a reason for doing so and I was just trying so hard to be silent than to say awful things.

When I scroll down my fb news feed, I keep seeing my old classmates posting pictures of their adorable newborn babies or their wedding day. Sometimes I think why these happenings are still too far fetched for me. Is there something wrong with me? Don’t I want these things? But I realized that I just have my priorities. I also want to give birth and be a mother someday. But for now, I want to give birth to my “new better self”. More loving, more forgiving, more beautiful, self-accepting self.  And I want to got married someday too. But not before, I wed to my ultimate dreams first.