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Philippine Drama

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Drama is Simply Drama
By chelsea_is_a_penguin |
Drama is Simply Drama
Drama is simply drama. Drama is not about the spectacle nor the actors as well as the place where they present it. It’s not all about theatre, it’s more than that. As I have read Nicanor G. Tiongson’s “What is Philippine Drama” and have watched his documentary “Dulaan”, we could see that drama is more than what we know. Drama may come in various packages. It may be simple or extravagant, unpopular or popular, big or small in production but they all have the common denominator which is Mimesis or the imitation that it presents that happens in real life. In our simple imitation of our friend who is weird and to

If there’s European Drama, American Drama, Spanish Drama, and other dramas that existed in other countries, of course there is Philippine Drama. But what makes Philippine Drama different from the other dramas that existed? It differs with the involvement of what we call “Philippine-ness”. This “Philippine-ness” involves three things: our culture and heritage, the essence it gives to our people and the solution it may present in our people at a certain time of need. It involves our people, our culture and tradition, as well as Philippines itself; all in all our identity. Philippine Drama existed way before the Spanish colonization. I really appreciate this period of drama: The Indigenous Period. Compared to other periods of drama, Indigenous period reflect the true “Philippine-ness” of a drama. It is original, more Filipino, more real, and when it comes to imitativeness or mimesis it is more grandeur. One part in Tiongson’s video documentary that caught my attention is the man who imitates the action of a monkey. In that example we could see our culture, its originality, its refinement in that simple acting or imitation; A really true Filipino drama. But as our country progresses in its development, Philippine drama adapted to it as well. The transition or differentiation of drama period began when colonization of various countries took place in our country. It started to affect our state of being “Philippine-ness”. We could clearly see during the Spanish occupation that more religious and Catholic liturgical dramas flourished. Among these religious dramas, the ever famous Sinakulo and Komedya became part of our Philippine Drama. The 337 years of stay of the Spanish is enough to change our whole perspective of drama. As I have watched “Dulaan”, I noticed that in every town they perform something that is religious. It clearly paved the way to new drama perspectives and disregard what is our own. The babaylan dance and other ritual dances may still exist but let’s face it; people are enticed to do something different. Same goes with drama. The transition and differentiation drama does not end with the Spanish but it goes as well to the Americans. They also introduced another perspective when it comes to drama, Bodabil, the stage show and legitimate show. They introduced comedy, romance and dramas for entertainment. But as time goes on, I could say Filipinos would still be Filipinos and that they would seek what Filipino really is. In this period, national consciousness became vital. Yes, different styles rose in this period just like the other periods did. For me all these changes are not really bad because without them, our own drama and performing wouldn’t be what it is today. People would say that it affected our culture and it brought changes to our drama paradigm but without these changes, we will never know. Maybe we will be forever stuck in our traditional ways or maybe we will improve on our own. These “maybes” will never end but what is important now is that “it has grown a little closer to the ideal of a Filipino national theatre”.

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