Thursday, March 29, 2007

Society of Theater Artists Guild Ensemble

I was in the Vito Cruz LRT station with Rene Aquitania and Stingo Romawac. Rene at that time was the enfant terrible of performance art, then still an underground artform. He was the Baguio Batman (suspended himself for three days over a field of toy soldiers at Amapola Cafe) and Stingo was his Robin. Stingo was a mean drummer and I remembered nephew Chavi studying his every move. Rene is now a shadow of his old self and Stingo drowned in a freak accident in the US Navy. But at that time, they were the Batman & Robin, Penn & Teller and Siegfried & Roy of Performance Art. We were the Society of Theater Artists Guild Ensemble, dammit, and for our inaugural event, we invited them for our opening salvo. I was the one who fetched them from Baguio. Our office was at Ferdie Diokno's house near Dela Salle University. This is the house with a basketball court on the roof. Our members were bums like us and some bored professionals who never realized their dreams of being artists in college. Somehow we managed to scrimp money to pay for the duo. I think we sold tickets. We redecorated Ferdie's house. We placed our own Matisse on the walls. Other than Aquitania and Stingo, we had Willi P and another girl who wrote a poem on the huge mirror using Elmer's glue. It was riveting, with the glue as a symbolism for semen I suppose. But it was hell to clean it. As they were scraping it off the day after, the maids were cursing the now transparent poem the same way Ferdie's sister must have been silently cussing us for destroying the wallpaper. Willi's performance was about Icarus falling down from Earth and finding humanity within. The plan is that Willi would swoop down from LRT and cross the street wiht his wings on fire. We went to his mother's former boyfriend who owned a printing paper to get those small spaghetti of paper for the filling of the Earth and the feathers of the wings. The "globe" would be made with newspapers around the spaghettis we got. Then we bought isaw (pig intestines) to serve as the literal "bowels" of the Earth. The wings were made by Willi in the bathroom and the globe by me and some other guy at the garage. The problem with the globe is that we have no frame and instead of being slightly pear-shaped, it became burger-shaped. Performance time. Willi's wings were set aflame but he forgot to put into account the Taft traffic. He was burning and the jeepneys won't let him pass. Imagine the police report had he not crossed in time! He was screaming (not part of the act) and was doused with water (not expected but necessary). Then he did his dance (what an act!) and then swooped on the globe and started rummaging through the paper strips until he scooped out the isaw. We again didn't take into account the fast decomposition rate of isaw and it smelled like hell. But I think the stench and the fire made an awesome effect on the guild members that it set the tone of the evening. It was very well-applauded. Willi said that a professor even asked him if it was about fast food culture and those were spaghetti and meat balls and burgers. By the time Aquitania performed, I was totally zonked out.


Blogger wilfredo pascual said...

Doused with water? People were drinking wine and some creep in the audience kept splashing my burning wings with it. the idiot, like that was going to help.

i guess we're even now. i'll stop posting pages from your old notebook and your drunk notes -- so no more of my "proud" moments, ok.

11:02 PM  
Blogger wilfredo pascual said...

we got rid of the burning wings and at that point i was already shirtless and drenched in my sarong. still, there were dozens of taong kandila (from quiapo) lit on the garage floor that almost set the house on fire. i was doing my act and the audience was, like, not watching -- people kept going back and forth to the water cooler to fill their empty wine glasses and douse the fire.

and wasn't there a bottle of UFC banana ketchup intended to make the fall of icarus on the bowels of the earth bloody -- except that it just made our flattened paper mache globe look more like a hamburger patty.

these memories will forever haunt me.

to make me feel better, i think i will write about the accidental travelouge in sinipsip and your first time in sagada.

6:44 AM  

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