Yesterday, I was able to watch the play produced by Dulaang UP under the direction of the legendary Anton Juan, Shadows of the Reef or its tagalog version of Mga Anak ng Dagat. It was, like his other plays, splendid.
Shadows of the Reef was about a group of folk people in a barrio whose men and children do skin diving or muro ami to sustain their family. If not of the resources from the water, they resort to a root crop they refer to as Pagkaing Ugat ng Kamatayan because it tends to kill the person eating it when you peel the crop incorrectly. Since the women are the ones left when the men leave to , most of the scenes are of the barrio women talking about a particular woman who lost his young son through muro ami and became a prostitute, giving sexual services for the men working on board big ships night after night. This woman is particularly controvertial because she wants to portray Jesus Christ for the Holy Week. She wants to be crucified like Christ as retribution of her sins. It was of course a first in their church and in their barrio. But she got a chance to be Christ when she was able to save a son of a town folk who drowned due to diving and thought of the act as a miracle.
It was really creative how they did the set design and how they portray movement under water. The girl who portrayed the controvertial woman was really a very good actress and his son who is really a little boy was exclamatory because he memorize all his lines and deliver them when correct intonation and pronunciation. Note that his part is not a 1-liner. He has a scene when he was underwater and he had a lot of lines about his life and his dreams. Nakakaaliw na nakakabilib!!!
President Erlinda Roman, president of the University of the Philippines, was in the house.