Incelebration of its golden year, the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) staged a two-night show titled Singkuwenta: The PETA 50th Anniversary Concert at the PETA Theater Center in New Manila, Quezon City, on April 7 and 8.
PETA veterans Soxie Topacio, Mae Paner (aka Juana Change), Dessa Quesada-Palm, Cris Gonzales, and Joel Lamangan, along with newer member Meann Espinosa, acted as the show’s narrators.
“Sa nilakbay ng PETA, ano nga ba ang kuwenta ng singkuwenta?” Mae asked, and Joel hastened to add: “Ano nga ba ang kuwento ng singkuwentang taon?”
The kuwenta and kuwento, the significance and the story, behind the theater company’s journey to where it is now—a recognized leader in producing and promoting Filipino plays, discovering and nurturing talents, and educating and developing audiences— were told onstage through songs, dances, and spiels that lasted more than two hours.
Singkuwenta also served as a reunion for those who have been part of PETA and as a thank-you gift for those who have supported the group, whether as viewer, sponsor, or show buyer.
Congratulations! And here’s to the next 50 years of original productions that entertain and educate!•
PETA founder Cecile Guidote-Alvarez (third from right) joined up with in this photo with current PETA officers—president Cecilia B. Garrucho, popularly known as CB Garrucho (sixth from left), and executive director Beng Santos-Cabangon (fourth from left)—and with supporters from the sectors of public service, business, and the arts: (L-R) Senator Risa Hontiveros, Ella Kintanar, Vicki Aldaba, Joy Virata, Marivic del Rosario, and Ramon del Rosario Jr.
Cecile Guidote-Alvarez was honored with a song number by guest artist Michael Odoemene. The song, “Tapunan ng Lingap,” is from the play Pilipinas Circa 1907, with lyrics by Nicanor Tiongson and music by Lutgardo Labad.
Cecile did not give a speech, but she had written a Founder’s Message that came with the press kit.
Her brainchild, she said in her message, was born 50 years ago “out of a vision of dynamically applying theater, the meeting ground of all the discipline of the arts, as a force for education and social transformation towards peace and sustainable development.”
She added: “It was a dream to build a National Theater Movement truthfully articulating our people’s thoughts, feeling, values and aspirations by drawing meaning and power from the lives, language, heritage and habitat of our people.”
Architect Leandro “Andy” Locsin Jr. is the administrator of the Leandro V. Locsin Partners (LVLP), the firm responsible for the achitectural design of the PETA Theater Center. He is named after his father, the late National Artist Leandro Locsin.