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Explore Benildean artistry through BCAU’S YAZ 2024

Celebrate National Arts Month and the 19th Lasallian Arts Month by experiencing art in various ways through BCAUS's YAZ 2024!

By Jorel Magistrado | Tuesday, 27 February 2024

With National Arts Month celebrated every February, the Benilde Culture and Arts Unit (BCAU) has a hefty line-up of events with promises of bringing Benildeans on an #ARTventure for Youth Arts Zone (YAZ) 2024. 


YAZ seeks to shed light on the essence of being an artist with a theme revolving around the rediscovery of all things whimsical as one delves further into life's journey. It also showcases what different Benildean artist groups have to offer.


BCAU boasts six uniquely skilled organizations namely Karilyo, Dulaang Filipino (DF), Coro San Benildo, Saint Benilde Romançon Company, Stage Production Operations Team (SPOT), and Cultural Promotions Team—all united by their love for art and the desire to share their craft with fellow Benildeans. The event formally opened last Feb. 8 at the Design and Arts Campus Cafeteria with performances from Karilyo, Coro San Benildo, and Saint Benilde Romançon Company.


In an interview with Amara Averion, Karilyo’s Company Manager, she emphasized the importance of such a celebration. “Filipinos are very highly creative people. It’s important to represent ourselves not only as artists, but also as student-artists—that we get to display our talents and our creativity in such a way that we want to display it.”


That day also marked Dulaang Filipino’s Behind-the-Curtain Showcase 2024, a mega production featuring four short plays performed back-to-back in five-minute intervals. The first play was “Labada,” directed by Aleczandra Ong and written by Andrew Clete. The play thrusts the audience into the world of two labanderas, Gina and Tetay, who upon searching for the reason for the river’s drought, inadvertently open a portal to another dimension. Out come Badet and Bireng, who have much in common with Gina and Tetay—going beyond their shared work.


In contrast, the second play, “Ganito ang Pinangarap Kong Kasal,” directed by Colligne Amon and written by Eljay Deldoc, roots its premise in a more familiar setting. France and Kris, two best friends, undergo a rough patch after they both fall for Noel. As things get heated, bottled-up emotions and unsaid pasts start to rear their ugly head, putting a strain on their friendship. The play explores the depths of loyalty and the extent of what humans are willing to do for love. 


“Hugas-Kamay,” directed by Nathaniel Bebanio and written by Ram Meris, revolved around the world of two sisters, Sarah, a germaphobe government employee, and Sally, a strong-minded activist. Set in the on-set of COVID-19, their bond is tested when their political stances start to clash. Beneath carefully woven back and forths, it is made clear how—despite an explosive fight between the two—the sisters truly only have each other.


Wrapping up the show is “Troll,” directed by Jeanne Kielle Natanawan and written by Mark Padere. Troll is seen from the unconventional perspective of two internet trolls, Jojo and Dado. The former fully dedicates himself to the job, gleefully reaping its promises of money. However, the latter starts to feel a sense of repulsion and guilt as the reality of the job’s demands kicks in. Marked by a biting script, Troll begs the question: How far are we willing to go just to survive?


Each in their own distinctive scenario, Dulaang Filipino’s four-show run truly depicts the harsh reality of Filipinos, sprinkled with fearless socio-political commentary conveyed through unapologetic dialogue. These plays showcase a greatly promising start to YAZ, which has more events waiting over the horizon.


If you missed Dulaang Filipino’s shows, fear not for YAZ will run until March! There will be plenty of opportunities for one to witness Benildean artistry like no other. That, coupled with The Benildean Painter exhibit, is sure to drive in the spirit of National Arts Month. 


To stay updated on the upcoming events and garner more information, check out BCAU’s Facebook and Instagram pages.