The arts influence and transform people

| Written by MPRO_admin

(Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)
(Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

“Balag, the Musical”, a Tanghalang Pilipino production based on the life of renowned installation artist Luis Yee, Jr., or Junyee, was shown at the University Theater in UP Diliman on October 10, 2018. It shows, among others, how the arts can help change people.

Written by Layeta Bucoy and directed by Audie Gemora, with UP’s own Toym Imao as set designer, Balag conveyed timely messages of determination, creativity, environmentalism, and hope, as it highlighted the artist’s journey toward the fulfilment of his dreams and making a lasting impact on society.

At the end of the musical, Nanding Josef, Tanghalang Pilipino’s artistic director, acknowledged all the artists and staff involved in the production before introducing the man whose life they portrayed.

Junyee himself expressed his gratitude to everyone. He also clarified that the musical is not just about his own “journey of becoming” but that of countless others who believe that “the arts have the power to influence and transform people”.

The event was supported by the UP Office of the President and the Office of Senator Loren Legarda. (Fred Dabu, UP MPRO)

 

With actor, singer and writer Rody Vera as Junyee, the musical opens with an incident that sets the artist’s “journey of becoming” into motion. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
With actor, singer and writer Rody Vera as Junyee, the musical opens with an incident that sets the artist’s “journey of becoming” into motion. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

The teenage Junyee, played by Paolo Castillo, tries to convince his father Luis, played by Jonathan Tadioan, of his dreams of studying Fine Arts, but Luis offers Junyee the family’s hotel business instead. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
The teenage Junyee, played by Paolo Castillo, tries to convince his father Luis, played by Jonathan Tadioan, of his dreams of studying Fine Arts, but Luis offers Junyee the family’s hotel business instead. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

Renowned music artist Bayang Barrios, as Musa, arrives to help Junyee overcome the challenges presented throughout the story. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
Renowned music artist Bayang Barrios, as Musa, arrives to help Junyee overcome the challenges presented throughout the story. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

Krystle Campos and DM Garcia portray the young Musa and the young Junyee, respectively. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
Krystle Campos and DM Garcia portray the young Musa and the young Junyee, respectively. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

Musa inspires Junyee to do his best, even if it means working as a poorly paid makeup artist on cadavers, as a means to pursue his dreams. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
Musa inspires Junyee to do his best, even if it means working as a poorly paid makeup artist on cadavers, as a means to pursue his dreams. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

Junyee becomes involved in the anti-dictatorship movement. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
Junyee becomes involved in the anti-dictatorship movement. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

As a Fine Arts scholar in UP, Junyee tries to convince others to use art as a tool for protest. He heeds the wisdom of his mentor Propesor Abueva, played by Noe Morgado. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
As a Fine Arts scholar in UP, Junyee tries to convince others to use art as a tool for protest. He heeds the wisdom of his mentor Propesor Abueva, played by Noe Morgado. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

Musa, Junyee, and the activist ensemble build the Balag in UP Diliman, an installation artwork involving public participation in their protest against the Marcos dictatorship at that time. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
Musa, Junyee, and the activist ensemble build the Balag in UP Diliman, an installation artwork involving public participation in their protest against the Marcos dictatorship at that time. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

The Balag was an installation artwork involving public participation in their protest against the Marcos dictatorship at that time. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
The Balag was an installation artwork involving public participation in their protest against the Marcos dictatorship at that time. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

Junyee uses objects that are available from his surroundings as materials for his installation art. After the onslaught of typhoons Milenyo and Reming, he gets the chance to create an artwork on the front lawn of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). He intended to use felled trees and branches from around the CCP complex but halfway through, impoverished people gathered these materials for firewood instead.
Junyee uses objects that are available from his surroundings as materials for his installation art. After the onslaught of typhoons Milenyo and Reming, he gets the chance to create an artwork on the front lawn of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). He intended to use felled trees and branches from around the CCP complex but halfway through, impoverished people gathered these materials for firewood instead. The following scenes portray contradictions and resolutions leading to the creation of the new artwork, Angud, the “skulls” of trees felled by local loggers. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

Mia Bolaños as Felisa, Junyee’s mother, and Astarte Abraham as Teresa/Tess, Junyee’s wife. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
Mia Bolaños as Felisa, Junyee’s mother, and Astarte Abraham as Teresa/Tess, Junyee’s wife. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

Junyee and Tess. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
Junyee and Tess. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

Junyee works on his new artwork, Angud, the “skulls” of trees felled by local loggers. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
Junyee works on his new artwork, Angud, the “skulls” of trees felled by local loggers. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

Luis and Junyee. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
Luis and Junyee. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

Tess completes the Angud installation art. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
Tess completes the Angud installation art. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

Nanding Josef, the artistic director of Tanghalang Pilipino. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
Nanding Josef, the artistic director of Tanghalang Pilipino. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

The real Junyee congratulates and thanks the cast and staff of Tanghalang Pilipino. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
The real Junyee congratulates and thanks the cast and staff of Tanghalang Pilipino. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

Tanghalang Pilipino’s cast and staff, with Junyee, Tess, and UP officials and faculty. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
Tanghalang Pilipino’s cast and staff, with Junyee, Tess, and UP officials and faculty. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)

 

Director Audie Gemora, UP Executive Vice President Teodoro Herbosa, Rody Vera, Junyee, Tess, and Astarte Abraham. (Photo by Jun Madrid)
Director Audie Gemora, UP Executive Vice President Teodoro Herbosa, Rody Vera, Junyee, Tess, and Astarte Abraham. (Photo by Jun Madrid, UP MPRO)
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