Last Sunday, February 7, 2016, I was invited to watch Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA)’s latest play, 3 Stars and a Sun. I was with Bataan-based community theater group, Tanghalang Tatsulok. I’ve always enjoyed watching PETA’s performances. My favorite to date is Rak of Aegis. I never heard that they’ll be doing 3 Stars and a Sun. This is like a tribute to the late Francis Magalona, the King of Filipino Rap Music. Nor Domingo is the director.
The Future in 3 Stars and a Sun
3 Stars and a Sun is set inside the Stormdome. I imagine this to be like an actual big dome, like a force shield, protecting the people from the danger outside of it. A futuristic fallout shelter. The play has a dystopian feel to it. Yes, this is a musical featuring the songs of Francis Magalona. I am really not a fan of Francis M. I know only his popular songs, and by “knowing” I mean being able to recognize it when it plays on the radio. But it won’t matter since they changed some of the lyrics to fit the story. Of course, the iconic “Mga Kababayan” will be there.
The cast includes Che Ramos-Cosio and Carla Guevara-Laforteza, Bodjie Pascua and Raffy Tejada, Giannina Ocampo and Justine Peña, Anna Luna and Jet Barrun, John Moran and Nar Cabico, Lee Viloria and EJ Pepito, Anj Heruela and Gab Pangilinan, and Jef Flores and Norbs Portales. Completing the ensemble are Jason Barcial, Raflesia Bravo, Yesh Burce, Lance Busa, Roi Calilong, Gimbey dela Cruz, Nica Santiago and Ian Segarra.
3 Stars and a Sun vs. Rak of Aegis
I know I shouldn’t compare 3 Stars and a Sun to PETA’s other play, Rak of Aegis. But I’m getting a lot of questions about this from people who have enjoyed Rak of Aegis and are wondering if they will also love 3 Stars and a Sun. First of all, they’re totally different performances. 3 Stars and a Sun is darker and more serious. The futuristic setting of the Stormdome is more ambitious than the flooded neighborhood of Rak of Aegis. But I have to be honest that I loved Rak of Aegis and I enjoyed it from beginning to the end. I cannot say the same about 3 Stars and a Sun, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not good. It is an amazing play with really awesome performances and memorable characters. And the lesson you viewers can take home from 3 Stars and a Sun is far more important and relevant than that of Rak of Aegis. This just boils down to preference and familiarity. I am not a fan of Francis Magalona and is not familiar with his body of work. The rapping is not my cup of tea, either. But 3 Stars and a Sun is a really good watch. I recommend this to anyone who loves the art and loves to watch something different than your typical movie.