A friend forwarded a public invitation on a show by the Far Eastern University Theater Guild (FTG). The poster was in pink and peach color, with title: Tamdula VI: Love-Oratory, along with a list of titles to watch, and at the bottom indicating the ticket price Php 100 for members and Php 150 for guests. On the side, was written R-16, a rating classification intended for 16 years old and older audiences.
The show is around one and a half (1.5) hour with eight oratories presented in well-thought attire, stage design, and musical pieces. Each oratory was about ten minute each with musical pieces for every transition. The venue in FCA studio (also within the university campus) is a small room like a black box, with a stage almost a third of the room at one side, and movable seats arranged on three sides. The set is more popularly known as a black box theater. The seats while may feel crowded to general audiences, may also feel a sense of connection to the performers as a guild with the proximities.
The show being R-16 may make other viewers uncomfortable, but the oratory presented with a fancy stage production makes sensitive topics sound like fiction. The themes cover the polarized concept of love, mainly of the youth at varying age group: late teens to middle age adults. The speeches sounded like statements drawn from your queer lovelorn to lovestruck neighbor, acquaintances, or even family and friends that builds connection to the audience. The connection follows extreme emotions of the orators that keep the audience awake, at awe, and enjoying the show. Audiences were quick to respond in the interactive oratory sessions.
Engaging enough, I saw some wiped tears, perhaps moved from the statements, or overjoyed with laughter. I remembered some of my friends who talked about love and expressed similar sentiments from segments of the oratory. With developments intriguing enough, I found myself thinking about what could happen to some profiles. I thought my reactions with the show profiles can be as similar with encounters of similar profile in society. I recommend to those who wish to recall different profiles in one sitting.
The sequence was good enough to bring the audience to a particular sentiment at the start, and leave the room back to status quo, or simply, warmth by the whole oratory. The show was a good break from the long days of work hours.
The eight titles and their writers are: “Against Any-Body” by Drea Achas, “Ang Pinakawalang Kwentang Kwentong Pag-ibig ni Tanga” (The Most Useless Love Story of Fool) by Dudz Teraña, “It’s Always You” by Davewyn Macawile, “Shake, Rattle, and Fall” by Aaron Bayani, “Mama Kong May Tama” (My Just Mother) by Brigitta Marilla, “Dear God” by Dudz Teraña, “Colorblind” by Franz Luis, and “Paghihintay ng Isang Libong Minuto Para sa Pag-ibig” (Waiting a Thousand Minute for Love) also by Teraña.
Love as a theme with nuances and related social norms was presented with oratory of unique profiles. My personal favorite was the second-to-the-last oratory: “Colorblind” for making me pleasingly agree most of the time. Runner-up personal favorite is the last one: “Paghihintay ng Isang Libong Minuto Para sa Pag-ibig” for its comforting effect on me, but a favorite for its title composition. The profiles are unique combinations of a mix of people we know, and not necessarily one exact person. Little details allow us to find connection in one way or the other, which can be one of the purposes of theater performances. Another creative and refreshing performance by FEU Theater Guild.
FEU’s Tamdula VI: Love-Oratory opened last August 29, 2023 running for a week and a half. The shows are extended until September 13, 2023 to accommodate cancelled shows due to the bad weather and typhoon.
Review by Abigail Ko
Abigail Ko is a millennial Filipina born and raised in Manila. She has been a studious student and had opportunities to watch theaters and oratory speeches in school. Now, as a young professional, occasionally pursues interests in arts and design.