People Power in Pinoy pop culture

Posted at 02/24/13 8:07 PM

It's been 27 years since the Filipino people shocked the world by toppling the Marcos dictatorship through a relatively peaceful uprising.

Here are some creative outputs that have been produced about that memorable event in Philippine history.


"A Dangerous Life"

What it is about: This 1988 Australian TV mini-series is set in the final years of the Marcos regime from the assassination of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino in 1983 to the 1986 EDSA Revolution which toppled the dictatorship. Mixing fictional and historical characters, the Philippine story is told through the eyes of a foreign journalist. It originally aired as a six-hour TV miniseries but was edited down for video release.

Who's in it: Oscar-nominated actor Gary Busey stars as the foreign correspondent, but "A Dangerous Life" also featured Filipino actors in key roles including Tessie Tomas as Imelda Marcos, Laurice Guillen as Cory Aquino, Ruben Rustia as Ferdinand Marcos, Joonee Gamboa as Juan Ponce Enrile, Ray Ventura as Fidel Ramos, Rolando Tinio as Cardinal Sin, Rez Cortez as Gringo Honasan and Odette Khan as June Keithley. Meanwhile, Dina Bonnevie, Roy Alvarez and Jaime Fabregas played fictitious roles.


"Bongbong at Kris"

What it is about: One of the first original Filipino plays to be written and staged after the fall of the Marcos regime, "Bongbong at Kris" by playwright Bienvenido Noriega Jr., who described the 1987 play as "romansa't komedya sa pelikula't pulitika." The play, which imagines a reconciliation between the Aquino and Marcos families, is set in 1991 with Bongbong Marcos as a rebel leader hiding in the mountains, who kidnaps superstar Kris Aquino, in order to force President Corazon Aquino to allow Marcos to return to the Philippines. With a nod to William Shakespeare, the two fall in love. The play was a success and had more than 50 performances.

Who's in it: A young Ricky Davao played Bongbong, while Tricia Amper Jimenez was Kris.

"Ako si Ninoy" (http://www.clickthecity.com/music/?p=5271)

What it is about: A musical that served as a tribute to the late former senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. Presented by the Philippine Stagers Foundation, the play tells the stories of everyday Filipino "heroes," from overseas workers to union leaders, and drew inspiration from the "I am Ninoy" movement, which was launched in 2008. "Ako si Ninoy" ran from August to December 2009 at the Meralco Theater in Quezon City.

Who's in it: Performers in "Ako si Ninoy" include Kierwin Larena, Cindy Liper, Patrick Libao, Monique Azereda, Chin Ortega, Jordan Ladra, Cherry Bagtas, Allison Gonzales, Miel Reysantos, Tere Tajan, Aliw Awards Finalist Glory Anne Nacional, Alex Dorola, Jomar Bautista, Anne Gonzales and Gabby Bautista. 

"Cory, The Musical" (http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/entertainment/12/01/08/cory-musical-draws-big-crowd)

What it is about: The first musical play about the late Philippine President Corazon "Cory" Aquino. Written and produced by Lourdes "Bing" Pimentel and directed by Nestor Torre, the musical ran from November to December 2008 at the Meralco Theater in Quezon City. It featured the life and works of Aquino from her teen years until she became the eleventh president of the Philippines.

Who's in it: Former "Miss Saigon" star Isay Alvarez played the role of Aquino in the musical, while Sherwyn Sozon took on the character of her late husband and former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. Robert Seña and Pinky Marquez portrayed the late President Ferdinand Marcos and former First Lady Imelda Marcos, respectively.

"Cory ng EDSA" (http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/lifestyle/07/29/11/cory-ng-edsa-musical-now-onstage)

What it is about: A Filipino musical chronicling the life of former President Corazon "Cory" Aquino, and a sequel to the musical "Ako Si Ninoy." Written and directed by Vincent M. Tañada, "Cory ng EDSA" tells the story of Aquino through the eyes of Peter, a reporter who covered her life, from her struggles and victories to her eventual death. Peter is joined by Rey, a widower of a desaparecido, and Jason, a poll watcher in the 1986 snap presidential elections.The musical, a production of Philippine Stagers Foundation, ran from July to October 2011 at Saint Cecilia's Hall of St. Scholastica's College in Malate.

Who's in it: Cindy Maree Liper played the role of Aquino, with Glory Ann Nacional as her alternate. Other actors include Vince Tañada and Patrick Adrian Libao as Peter, Jordan Menaro Ladra as Rey, and Alex Dorola as Jason.


"The Last Journey of Ninoy"

What it is about: This documentary focuses on the late Sen. Benigno 'Ninoy' Aquino Jr.'s decision to return to the Philippines from exile in the US despite the risks to his life emanating from the Marcos dictatorship. It includes interviews with Cory Aquino and video clips on Ninoy Aquino in exile and as a political prisoner. It also has dramatizations or re-enactments of Ninoy's fateful journey to the Philippines in August 1983. He was assassinated at the Manila International Airport tarmac, sparking widespread protests that eventually led to the downfall of the Marcos regime in February 1986.

The 50-minute digital film, commissioned by the Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Foundation, was produced by Tony Gloria of Unitel Productions Inc.. It was directed by Jun Reyes. It was scheduled for release in August 2009, but got delayed due to the death of Mrs. Aquino on August 1, 2009.

Unitel says the documentary was a finalist in the 2009 Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival and in the 2009 New York Festivals TV and Film Awards.

Who's in it: Ninoy's nephew, Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino (now running for the Senate under Team PNoy), portrays his uncle in the documentary's recreated scenes. Actress Pia Millado plays Mrs. Aquino. Ninoy's brother, Paul Aquino (Bam's father), is Ninoy's "Thought Voice."