Thank God for the rare times that my rest days fall on the weekends!
Last August 4 at the historical CAP Theater in Osmena Blvd, Cebu, I watched the play Berde: Hindi lang pula ang kulay ng pag-ibig (Green: Red is not the only color of love) directed by Loyd Sato and produced by Focus Productions and Services. It was through the invitation of a talented officemate who happened to be one of the persons who played the main role (and who, also by the way, was exceptional as usual). The play was an adaptation from National Artist Wilfrido Maria Guerrero’s “Clash of the Cymbals”.
The main character is Edwin, a young homosexual who was loved dearly by his mother, to the point of being spoiled by the latter yet disgusted by his father who was from the army. The story revolved in Edwin’s family, his gender preference, and his relationship with another man.
In the introduction, Sato had said that it is the intention of his production to not only entertain but also educate. It is not only for the arts but also about reality. One of the aims of Berde was to somehow open our eyes that homosexuality is existent – and that it is not some kind of sickness that a doctor can cure. It is not an abnormality. In most cases, it is also not a choice. It tried to explain where “gayness” is coming from – did it come from the absence of a father figure (because Edwin’s father was always away on a mission) or did it come from the doting mother who dressed his male child with female’s clothes and put make up on him while he were a young boy?
I enjoyed the play, the fact that here in Cebu, we do not have much luxury for theatrics. I am a big supporter of movers for the culture and arts. Whether the play will turn out good or bad, I will give it the chance to be watched.
It is important to say, however, that while the play did manage to communicate a few things about homosexuality, it was not the best piece that was supposed to make us sympathetic to gays. Or to make us understand them better.
For one, Edwin’s character was a selfish brat who did not think of anything else but his love for his partner and about how his life had been so messed up with his gender he ended up with. It did not bring gays in a more positive light.
Edwin had caused his father’s death when he was insensitive enough to talk back at him even he was showing signs of cardiac arrest. Edwin wasted his parents’ money by going out of town with his boyfriend. He had almost caused his mother’s nervous breakdown when he tried to kill himself if she did not give her money. The whole time, Edwin was trying to tell his parents how he lived so hard being unaccepted, feeling unloved and repulsed even by his own father. But instead of using this hardship to be better, it has become a bitter defense mechanism. It has become an excuse to be tolerated because the world was not good to him.
And so, some of the audience would conclude “Ingon ana diay ma-in love ang mga bayot?” Is that how gays fall in love?
To be fair, it did manage to point out that there is much to discuss about how homosexuality is treated in this society. That despite that it is not new, “we are not accepted, we are just tolerated”, Edwin’s boyfriend would say. While there are standards human had set about love, love is supposed to be not just red. Not just green. It can be of any color, or maybe without color.
To add, aside from issues on homosexuality, Berde actually was much more effective in shedding more light about raising a family – when does a maternal love become too much? When does a father’s love become not enough? And how is the child supposed to react?
Kudos to the actors! By far, comparing to the performance from the other play “Piring” still by Focus, there is a major improvement. Everyone did a great job in each of the roles and that should be commended. And to Focus Productions, please do keep those plays coming! Break a leg in this journey!
I think it would be better not to encourage side comments and interaction during the play because it was disturbing. Or if such freedom is given, there should be limitations.
Right behind me were students, whom, I assume, came there for a school requirement. They were completely annoying – they made comments that were uncalled for and it was done in the entire duration of the play. Like my friend would put it, “works of art are meant to be relished”. Maybe, it is time to introduce to our audience theatre etiquette. I am not in the position to speak about theatre etiquette though, just saying. ;)