Batang Rizal

Pepe with his mother, Teodora Alonzo

Pepe with his mother, Teodora Alonzo



We all know Rizal’s last words, what he wore on his execution. We’ve read his famous books and we all think we know the guy. Rizal the writer. Rizal the doctor. Rizal the hero. Rizal the man. But beyond his marbled figures, his pop icon graphics (Rizal sporting raybans?), what else do we know about the Rizal? What was his childhood like? Did he ever exchange blows with boys of his age? Was he skinny? What games did he play? Our history books skipped these among all things as author’s fast-forwarded Rizal’s chronicles to his manhood…to his death—so we end up knowing more about how the man died, than how he lived.


PETA’s Batang Rizal, written by Christine Bellen, explores on Rizal’s childhood, his relationship with his family, his siblings and his life back in Calamba, Laguna. During the time when the great hero used to be called Pepe and the Rizal we know was still a Mercado.

But the life of the hero will not be retold simply as it was. It will be in this time that a boy from the present, Pepito, will magically cross paths with our hero. Together the two boys will traverse time and history as they share each one’s experiences and struggles. And in their journey they will learn about friendship, and the real truth about heroes …

A side-splitting comedy directed by Dudz Teraña with music by award-winning composer Vince de Jesus, Batang Rizal is surely more than a visual history lesson—it carries a more valued message: that each one, even children, can be heroes.

Batang Rizal is showing at the PETA Theater Center on Sept 19, 20, 27, 28 (3pm), Oct 3-5, 11, 12, 18 (10am), Oct 17 (9am) and Oct 19 (3 pm). For inquiries and ticket reservations, please call PETA Marketing at (02) 4100821/7256244 or text 0927-7031437.

*Schedules may change without prior notice.





PETA’s 40th Anniversary Concert


May 30th sparkled red as the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) members, staff, honored guests and special friends celebrated 40 glorious years with a concert of the most unforgettable songs from some of PETA’s most memorable plays.

The evening opened with the unveiling of the mural at the Theater Center’s ground floor lobby titled Ang Baraha ng Buhay 1967-2007. PETA senior artist-teacher and visual artist Brenda V. Fajardo led fellow artists Noel Cuizon, Iggy Rodriguez, Karen Flores, and Max Santiago in the concept and design celebrating the continuing journey of PETA since 1967. The mural was made possible through the generous support of the Quezon City Government, most especially through Mayor Sonny Belmonte, a friend and supporter of culture and the arts.

The celebration continued as the PETA Chorale and guest artists filled the night with 40 years of making music – songs from Pilipinas Circa 1907, Diablos, 1896, Panata sa Kalayaan, Canuplin, Hanggang Dito na Lamang at Maraming Salamat and more.

Highlighting the evening is the launch of the book A Continuing Narrative on Philippine Theater: The Story of PETA. PETA president Cecilia B. Garrucho presented the first complimentary copies of the book to significant personalities that helped shape PETA’s history so far: to Ms. Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, the founder of PETA; Dr. Alejandro A. Roces, the first chairman of the Board of Trustees; Mr. Ramon del Rosario, Jr., the incumbent chairman of the Board of Trustees; the family of the late Teodoro “Doroy” Valencia, who helped fund the many projects of PETA during its early years; and to the PETA’s Metropolitan Teen Theater League as represented by Anj Heruela, for PETA has always believed in the youth as the future of our nation.

The product of more than 10 laborious years of research, compiling, writing and editing, the 740 plus page book chronicles PETA’s 40-year journey as a Filipino theater company.

The rest of the evening was wrapped with memories of good beginnings, dramatic journeys, and hard earned success; a reunion of sorts for members from way back 1967, and a step forward for those who have only recently joined the crew. People exchanged stories of their involvement with PETA over cocktails and good wine, reliving the good old PETA days and proud of what it has become now.

It was concluded with a more empowered spirit to spread our advocacy, keeping education through theater alive in the Philippines.

The Story of PETA is now available at a retail price of PhP1,499.00. For inquiries and reservations, visit or call PETA at the PETA Theater Center located at #5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City, telephone number 7256244 or 4100821. (


[images in this post courtesy of Rhona Ramos. top left, L-R: PETA President Cecilia B. Garrucho, Executive Director Beng Cabangon, Founder Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, Mayor Sonny Belmonte, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Ramon del Rosario jr. former Executive Director and senior member Soxie Topacio. center right: PETA President Cecilia B. Garrucho and Executive Director Beng Cabangon present Mayor Sonny Belmonte with a copy of The Story Of PETA. Lower left: serenading the audience with memorable PETA musical pieces.]

41st Theater Season



The Philippine Educational Theater Association presents 5 exciting new plays in its 41st Theater Season!



Opening the season in July, Soxie Topacio directs Nic Tiongson’s NOLI AT FILI DEKADA 2000 (DOS MIL).  The play is set in a small town in the Quezon province where the small town politics and social mores become the backdrop of Rizal’s novels.  Performances are slated for July 18 to August 24, 2008, Fridays to Sundays at 10am and 3pm.



 TOSCA (August 29 and 30, at 2:30pm and 7:30pm) is an adaptation of Puccini’s classic opera piece.  PETA’s interpretation, as directed by Soxie Topacio, is set during the Japanese occupation and Tosca becomes the battle ground of Japanese Imperialism, patriotic love and selfish greed.



Christine Bellen’s MGA KUWENTO NI LOLA BASYANG and BATANG RIZAL are back to back presentations of the Children’s Theater productions for September to October.  Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang, directed by Nor Domingo, features three of Severino Reyes’ folktales: Ang Prinsipeng Mahaba ang Ilong, Ang Binibining Tumalo sa Mahal na Hari and Ang Prinsipeng Duwag, tackling the mythical journeys into self discovery and value formation.  Batang Rizal, under the direction of Dudz Teraña, revisits the notions of heroism and love of country from the point of view of a child.  Shows will be on September 19 to October 12, 2008, Fridays to Sundays at 10am and 3pm.


SAAN BA TAYO IHAHATID NG DISYEMBRE? is the featured play from November 14 to December 7, with Friday performances at 2:30pm and 7:30pm, and Saturday and Sunday performances at 10am and 3pm.  The third of Tony Perez’s trilogy on friendship love and compassion, the play, directed by Nonon Padilla is about the unbreakable love and bonding between best friends and among family members, despite complications of betrayal, jealousy and anger.



The season ends with ADAPTING THE EUROPEAN MASTERS in a pseudo festival that will showcase an end to a ten month project that will take at least forty of our artist be they writers, directors and actors into the study of European playwrights.  Shows from February 6 to March 15, 2009, on Fridays at 2:30pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 10am and 3pm.



Season subscription is available for only PhP1,000.00.  Each subscriber will be entitled to one (1) entry pass to all productions at the Theater Center plus privileges including discounts for up to two (2) companions, regular mail or e-mail updates on the latest happenings in PETA, a subscriber ID and acknowledgment in the souvenir program of all productions.


For more details, contact the PETA Marketing and Public Relations office at The PETA Theater Center, 5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, QC with telephone numbers 4100821 or 7256244, or email  Schedules may change without prior notice.

We hope to see you at the PETA Theater Center! :]





For inquiries and ticket reservations, call 725.6244 or 410.0821, 0917.8154567 or 0918.9354166.  Look for Badette, Pam or Gay.

Theater – Behind the Scenes

 Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes  of a theater production?  

We invite you to bring your students to a tour that will take them backstage and on stage for a complete theater experience!

stage-3b.jpgroofdeck-6.jpgclassroom-2a.jpgback-space-1a.jpgground-lobby-2.jpgstage-3b.jpgstage-3b.jpg This is a 2-hour visit of the various spaces inside the PETA THEATER CENTER where your students will also go through the basics of a performance through exciting, interactive processes:

  • Singing and Music Exploration at the Theater Lobby
  • Interaction with some of the cast from our previous plays as they visit the Lia Sciortino and O’ong Maryono Resource Center
  • Basic Movement exercises with our artist-teacher at  the Roofdeck
  • Dramatic improvisations in the Classrooms
  • Costume and Props exploration at the BACKSTAGE and the DRESSING ROOMS.

And finally…

  • How all elements of  production – LIGHTS, SOUND, PRODUCTION DESIGN – contribute to a theatrical performance as YOUR STUDENTS PERFORM their short showcase pieces from the CREATIVE DRAMA session on the STAGE of the TANGHALANG PETA- PHINMA.

THE THEATER CENTER WORKSHOP TOUR is a fun, memorable experience that will surely entice them to explore the world of arts! The workshops are customized according to the age range of participants. Only P 150.00 per student, with a minimum of 50 participants. Available all year round! Experience Theater.  Experience PETA. Visit or call us now for reservations! PETA Marketing and Public Relations OfficePETA THEATE CENTERNo. 5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City Tel. Nos. (02) 4100821, 0918-9068083

Skin-Deep: February feature at the PETA-Phinma Theater

isayrobert1.jpgVincent A. de Jesus’ SKIN-DEEP headlines this year’s offerings at the PETA Theater Center.

Doctor Beau Batoctol, an internationally famous Filipino cosmetic surgeon opens the world’s first one-stop beauty resort here in the Philippines – the SKIN-DEEP BEAUTY SANCTUARY! And for its grand opening promo, seven lucky texters will win a chance to stay at Skin-Deep for a month and avail of all the beauty treatments, procedures and surgeries it has to offer – ABSOLUTELY FOR FREE!! The Lucky Makeover Seven – an obese female call-center agent, a troubled married couple, a male model wannabe, a flamboyant florist, an abused housewife burned beyond recognition and the reigning Miss Artificial Beauty – go through different miracle procedures hoping to become more aesthetically acceptable to the cruel world outside. Trouble arises inside the Sanctuary when the seven personalities collide – strong opinions clash, questions of self-worth being raised, dirty secrets revealed and ugly truths about themselves are exposed. And the more they become “beautiful” on the outside, the more confused some of them become on the inside.

A story of seven ordinary people and their frenzied search for beauty and happiness, Skin-Deep uses a scalpel and cuts the surface to examine one’s need to be accepted by a seemingly superficial world where ‘packaging’ is more important than ‘character’. From a simple tweaking of a nose to a complete body overhaul, they all soon discover that the pursuit of beauty is much more dangerous nonsense than the pursuit of happiness.

Directed by Nor Domingo with music by Lucien Letaba, Skin-Deep features some of today’s most admired theater actors – Melvin Lee, Rem Zamora, Robert Seña, Eric Bisa, Isay Alvarez, May Bayot-de Castro, Bituin Escalante, Gail Guanlao-Billones, Mary Ann Espinosa, Phil Noble, Al Gatmaitan, Red Anderson, Glecy Atienza, Diana Malahay, Onyl Torres, Joseph Grantusa, Delphine Buencamino, Neomi Tabanao-Gonzales, Joan Bugcat, Eric dela Cruz, and Giu Comia.

Musical Arrangement by Melvin Corpin, Production design by Leo Abaya, Lighting Design by Jonjon Villareal, Costume by Kalila Aguilos and Choreography by Christine Crame-Santillan.  Photography and poster design by Jojit Lorenzo.

Performances happen on all weekends beginning February 1 to March 9, 2008 with matinee and evening performances on Fridays and 10am and 3pm performances on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are at PhP300.00.  Schedules, however, are subject to change without prior notice.

For ticket reservations and inquiries, please contact the PETA Marketing and Public Relations Office at 4100821 or 7256244, mobile numbers 0917-8154567 or 0918-9068083, or email or

The Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory ’07

MekongPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketExplore the potency of the arts for social advocacy…

Create, share new bodies of work…

 The Philippine Educational Theater Association and Phare Ponleu Selpak, and with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, present The Mekong Performing Arts Lab 2007, a three-week intensive training course using theater and performing arts for advocacy on gender, sexuality and HIV/AIDS designed for the performing artists of the Greater Mekong Sub-Region.

This year, the Festival happens November 25 to December 16, 2007 at Battambang, Cambodia.

Event happenings…

November 25, 4pm – Opening Parade & Celebration of Loy Pratip (International Day Against Violence Against Women) at the Veal Preah Meruh Park, Phnom Penh

December 14, 7pm – Performance Recital at the Phare Ponleu Selpak, Battambang (Anh Chanh Village, O Cha Commune)


The Greater Mekong Sub-Region remains the epicenter of HIV/AIDS in Asia since the plague was well established across the region in the late 1990s.  It has an estimate of over 2 million people living with the virus, with a 15% increase of infection in 2004-2006.  With this scourge, approximately 29% of infected individuals within the region are adult women, excluding the many cases that have been discovered among the young ones.  Despite the virus’ different stages and dynamics of development, significant increases in proportion of infection among women have become a common thread throughout the region.  Women are contracting the virus at a faster rate than men.  Gender and sexuality constructs contribute significantly to this vulnerablity of women to HIV/AIDS.  Inequality in gender manifests in culture-specific sexual norms and behaviors that translate into gender-power dynamics in sexual relationships.  Such complexities require a multi-disciplinary approach.  These must be fought in all arenas of battle, including the artistic spaces of the Mekong Sub-Region’s creative communities.

 Vibrant and diverse, the creative arts communities in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region have spanned centuries of exchange across countries and cultures.  This, in effect, gave birth to a great diversity of artistic expressions and performing arts traditions, uniquely woven into the very fabric of each culture.

The arts community has always played an important role in epitomizing Mekong societies and serving as catalysts of change.  Many have used arts as an alternative to people’s education and development in the face of the various threats to human security such as HIV/AIDS.

Within this milieu, PETA organizes the 3rd Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory.  PETA, through its Mekong Partnership Project, commits itself to providing avenues for the arts communities in the sub-region to gather together, hone skills, share and create new bodies of work while exploring the potency of the arts for acvocacy on gender, sexuality and HIV/AIDS.