PINKY MARQUEZ PLAYDATES!

"PORTRAIT OF A FILIPINO AS AN ARTIST", CCP Little Theater, Feb. 28, March 1, 7-8 at 8 p.m. and on March 2-3, 9-10 at 3 p.m. Pinky plays sophisticated society girl, Elsa Montes. A Nick Joaquin masterpiece with a Behn Cervantes and Anton Juan gender twist! For tickets, call 551-79-30, 832-37-04, 832-11-25 local 1801 to 1807 or 891-56-10. Synopsis. Updated!

"PINKY MARQUEZ... MY SECRET PASSION", A VALENTINE'S DAY CONCERT! 14 Feb 2002, EDSA Shangri-la Hotel, Mandaluyong City. Opera, Broadway and classical hits. P1600 per person. Strictly formal. More. Updated!

THE ANGFOURGETTABLES LIVE! The globe-trotting music-comedy quartet of PinkyMarquez, Isay Alvarez, Bimbo Cerrudo and Jorge Javier wowed 'em at Strumms, Jupiter St, Makati / (632) 894-3590, Jan 2002. More shows to follow! Ang4 - a phenomenal group that can sing the silliest songs one moment, then send you rolling down the aisle with laughter the next!

Pinky (front left) with fellow cast members of "Portrait Of A Filipino As An Artist" (Source: www.philstar.com, 18 Feb 2001)

An Invitation from Pinky Marquez!

From: "pmarquez"

Date: Thu Jan 10, 2002 1:03 am

Subject: An Invitation

HI EVERYONE!!!

THIS IS PINKY MARQUEZ...

I WILL BE HAVING A SOLO VALENTINE CONCERT ENTITLED "PINKY MARQUEZ... MY SECRET PASSION!" ON FEBRUARY 14, 2002 AT THE EDSA SHANGRI-LA HOTEL IN MANDALUYONG. HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL THERE..THERE WILL BE DINNER AND THEN AFTERWARDS -- THE CONCERT. MY SPECIAL GUESTS WILL BE NOLYN CABAHUG (TENOR NG BAYAN) AND JIMMY MELENDRES (THE OPERA SINGER). ACCOMPANIMENT BY DA CAPO CHAMBER INSTRUMNETALISTS, A POPULAR 7-PIECE ENSEMBLE. DON'T MISS IT! BY THE WAY I HAVE A NEW MANAGER..ARNOLD VEGAFRIA..ALV PRODUCTIONS WHOSE OFFICE IS AT TAIPAN PLACE ORTIGAS CENTER. (HE ALSO MANAGES DINA BONNEVIE, JESSA ZARAGOSA, GENEVA CRUZ, ATBP.) I AM STILL A MEMBER OF THE ANG4 (OF COURSE!) AND WE SING REGULARLY AT STRUMMS JUPITER EVERY TUESDAY AT 10:30 P.M. CATCH US THERE!! THIS WILL BE FOR THIS JANUARY.

I'M ALSO CURRENTLY REHEARSING FOR A PLAY "PORTRAIT OF A FILIPINO AS AN ARTIST" WITH BEHN CERVANTES AND ANTON JUAN AND OTHER THEATRE ARTISTS. PLAYDATES ON FEB. 28, MARCH 1, 2, 3 AND MARCH 7, 8, 9, 10-WEKDAYS 7:30, SAT AND SUN-3:30 P.M. SEE YOU THERE! I WILL BE PLAYING THE ROLE OF ELSA MONTES (AKA ELISA MONTE).

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!

LOVE, PINKY

PINKY MARQUEZ'S 'SECRET PASSION'

By Nestor U. Torre

(Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1/31/2002, www.inq7.net)

PINKY Marquez has had a successful career in entertainment and the performing arts that is impressive for its remarkable variety.

As a singer, she has one of the best voices around, and her singing has enabled her to join showbands, perform as one of the popular "Angfourgettables," do many lounge acts and corporate shows, and star in Broadway musicals like ``The Sound of Music'' and original Filipino musicals like "Magnificat" and "Katy!"

As a comedienne, she has done a lot of sitcoms, plus a number of movies. Refusing to be limited to making people laugh, she has also acted with distinction in stage dramas like "The Diary of Anne Frank."

On TV, she had her own cooking show for quite a number of years, aside from many guesting stints on variety-musical programs on television.

Despite her proven versatility and numerous achievements, however, Pinky has been secretly nurturing a special performing dream all these years: to do opera.

She has the voice for it, a strong, clear soprano that is at its most aurally thrilling when she's hitting the highest notes.

Well, this Valentine's Day, Pinky will get her much-longed-for chance to do romantic operatic arias in her ver own intimate concert at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel's Lobby Lounge, with tenors Nolyn Cabahug and Jimmy Melendrez.

Aside from operatic pieces, Pinky and the two tenors will also perform Broadway love songs and classical numbers made popular anew by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman, like " Time to Say Goodbye," "Man of La Mancha" and the Italian version of the "Titanic" theme.

(Our special request is for Pinky to do "Music of the Night" from "Phantom of the Opera"--her voice would be perfect for the song that Sarah Brightman had first crack at when she starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical.)

There will be other shows this coming Valentine week, but Pinky's "My Secret Passion" is the intimate concert to experience for romantic couples who are longing to hear songs that surge up to the highest musical and emotional expressions of love, as only songs from opera and musicals can.

Call (+63 2) 633-8888, ext. 12738.

NOLYN CABAHUG

(Source: Repertory Philippines, www.repertoryphilippines.com/news6.htm )

Active in the music scene in Negros Occidental, Nolyn Cabahug's professional break came when he was given a scholarship in voice when he passed auditions to become a resident artist at the Manila Metropolitan Theatre. This put him under the tutelage of the late soprano Maestra Isang Tapales.

He has then performed lead roles in the CCP productions of LA TRAVIATA, MADAMA BUTTERFLY, LA LOBA NEGRA, RENDEZVOUS IN VENICE, and JOSE ABAD SANTOS among others. His other opera credits include roles in TOSCA (with the San Francisco Opera which starred Placido Domingo and Eva Marton), DIALOGUES OF THE CARMELITES, MEFISTOFELES, and various excerpts from RIGOLETTO, LA BOHEME, CARMEN, and others.

Nolyn is also the first Filipino opera singer to be engaged by a recording company. His album TENOR NG BAYAN brought his classical interpretation to all levels of Filipino listeners. Named 'Opera Singer of the Year' by the National Press Club (1990), Nolyn was also the recipient of the Negros Occidental's Centennial Medal of Honor for his achievement in the field of music. His television and radio commercial, where he sang 3 octaves, won the Gold Medal for Best Radio Commercial of the Year (1990).

DA CAPO

(Source: (http://maxpages.com/paperelegance/Da_Capo )

Da Capo Chamber Instrumentalists is a chamber group composed of flute, violin, guitar, keyboard and percussion. From Bach and Beethoven to Benoit and Braxton, the versatility and musical discipline of this modern chamber orchestra is excellent. Being Music school graduates, they can play any classical piece and modern jazz, pop, etc. They can shift from Pachelbel's Canon in D to the latest Billboard Chart love song with remarkable display of ease and musicality. Their commitment to excellence sets them apart.

"Portrait of the Artist as Filipino"

NICK JOAQUIN'S 'PORTRAIT' TAKES ON A NEW DIMENSION

By Rhea P.m. Catada

(Manila Bulletin, 02/23/2002, www.mb.com.ph )

Political philosopher Simone Weil once said: "The destruction of the past is perhaps the greatest of all crimes."

The past, with all its legacies, plays a vital role in our times, since it serves as a great teacher for the present, thus, it should be carried on.

In this context, the Anton Juan rendition of Nick Joaquin's "Portrait of the Artist as Filipino," unfolds.

This masterwork by the National Artist for Literature, has been deemed as one of the most significant Filipino plays in English.

From what was originally published as an "elegy in three scenes" in the Women's Weekly Magazine in 1952, which eventually morphed into a book form in 1952, 1966, and 1979, "Portrait" has already been translated into Filipino twice.

The first translation was done by Alfred Yuson in 1969, and then again, by Bienvenido Lumbera in 1992.

"Portrait" has already carved a niche as early as 1967, when the film version of Lamberto V. Avellana , which preserved the original English language, was screened at the Frankfurt Film Festival in 1967, starring Daisy H. Avellana and Naty Crame Rogers as the lead characters Candida and Paula.

Incidentally, Joaquin and Lamberto Avellana were named National Artists for Literature, and for Film and Theatre, both in 1976, respectively.

But, it was in the theater scene that "Portrait" drew a great following. The Filipino version, "Larawan," went through a gamut of interpretations and versions under different directions, including a 1979 staging by Lino Brocka, another by Behn Cervantes in 1982, then by Nonon Padilla in 1989, and by Anton Juan in 1993.

This year, directors Anton Juan and Behn Cervantes revive the Joaquin classic with another staging of "Larawan" this time, in an unusual perspective.

Set at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, on Feb. 28, March 1, 7, and 8, at 8 p.m., and matinees at 3 p.m., on March 2, 3, 9 and 1, the new production is presented by NCCA, CCP, and the World Theater Project at Sambalikhaan, as part of the National Arts Month.

In this latest re- creation of "Larawan," directed and conceptualized by Anton Juan, the lead characters, old maids Candida and Paula, are recast as suppressed closet men, Candido and Pablito Marasigan, to be played by Anton and Behn.

This alteration has the blessing of Nick Joaquin himself.

Anton said he personally approached the National Artist to tell him about his take on "Portrait."

"We talked about it at the NCCA awards, last year," recalled Anton. "I went to him like a student, and compared notes regarding the similarities of his women characters to the new characters, and he was fine about it."

Behn commented that he and Anton, who was his former student, had been planning to do something like this for a long time.

"We were thinking of doing something similar to the Virginia Wolfe- type," Behn revaled.

Anton and Behn are quick to add that this latest piece doesn't dwell on homoeroticism; nor does it have anything to do with cross- dressing.

"The context in this version of 'Larawan' didn't change," Behn explained. "It's the same thing, the only thing altered here is the gender. It still speaks the original intentions of Nick Joaquin."

Floy Quintos, a cast member who alternates with Chelu Marques as Bitoy Camacho, agreed, saying that having read the original form of "Portrait," and compared it to this latest incarnation of the play, he realized that the dialogues of the spinsters suit their male counterparts.

The elements that comprise the original script are all present in Anton's "Larawan," such as - Bitoy Camacho's opening scene where Bitoy reminisces about the beauty of Old Manila during the American Commonwealth; the old, Spanish- style house, the painter Don Lorenzo Marasigan, his portrait, and his two bachelor sons; and other people's urgings for the sons to sell the painting.

There is, however, the seduction of musician Tony Javier (played by Raymond Bagatsing and Marco Sison).

Also joining the Marasigan brothers are the other Nick Joaquin's original characters, to be portrayed by Loly Mara, Amiel Leonardia, Fides Cuyugan- Asensio, Pinky Marquez, Lindo Obach, Jaime Yambao, Trini Derbesse and Letty Tison, among others.

Anton explained that the gender change of the Marasigan sisters into brothers is a direct interpretation of Nick Joaquin's metaphor of Aeneas carrying Anchises out of the burning city of Troy as depicted in the play's "portrait."

"The script is about how the younger generation could carry values from the past and bring them into the present," emphasized Anton.

"It's a timely play since my interpretation shows the death of an old city, death of an old culture, and an entrance of a more vulgar one," added Anton. "I'm sure Nick Joaquin will be proud after watching this."

A NEW PICTURE OF JOAQUIN'S 'PORTRAIT' (excerpts)

By Joseph O. Cortes

(Philippine Star, 18 Feb 2002, www.philstar.com )

For many theater goers, it might be the most radical rethinking yet of Nick Joaquin's drama masterpiece A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino. But for director Anton Juan, the idea of transforming spinster sisters Candida and Paula Marasigan into aging bachelors Candido and Pablito Marasigan is just a means of making the familiar unfamiliar.

This co-production, by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and the Arts and World Theater Project at Samba-Likhaan, treats the Joaquin oeuvre with respect. Joaquin, in a letter to Juan, declared that he expected the production to be "solemn" about his drama.

For a time, both Behn Cervantes and Juan, who are playing Candido and Pablito, respectively, have been correcting misimpressions that the whole production would be performed in drag.

A cross-dressing Portrait? "Why would we do such a thing?" Cervantes declares.

The idea had been fermenting in their minds since the late '60s when they appeared together in an all-male version of Jean Genet's The Maids, staged at the defunct Indios Bravos in Malate. Even before Genet's play, which does require three male actors to act as three female characters, they were already thinking of dramas which they could stage with an all-male cast. Joaquin's Portrait was one, although Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? would eventually be their long-term goal.

"We've always wanted to do that because it was really meant and written as such by Albee," Juan says. "We haven't had time, 'no."

"I was going to play Martha," Cervantes says.

"And Behn's going to play Martha and I will play Honey. But Portrait is really a Filipino classic that I think is very open to this reinterpretation," Juan adds.

(For more excerpts of interview, pls go to Philippine Star, 18 Feb 2001, www.philstar.com .)

Nick Joaquin's A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino will be staged at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Little Theater (Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino) on Feb. 28, March 1, and 7-8 at 8 p.m. and on March 2-3 and 9-10 at 3 p.m.

Directed by Anton Juan, it also stars Floy Quintos and Chelu Marques alternating as Bitoy Camacho, Raymond Bagatsing and Marco Sison alternating as Tony Javier, Loly Mara as Pepang Marasigan, Amiel Leonardia as Manolo Marasigan, Fonz Deza ad Don Perico, Fides Cuyugan-Asensio as Doña Loleng, Pinky Marquez as Elsa Montes, Lindo Obach as Don Aristeo, Jaime Yambao as Don Alvaro, Trini Derbesse as Doña Irene and Letty Tison as Doña Upeng. Production design is by Armando "Tuxqs" Rutaquio, costume design and set dress by Ernest Santiago, John Neil "Ilao" Batalla for lighting design, Danny Uayan for music design and Melé Yamono for visual design.

For ticket inquiries and reservations, call 551-79-30, 832-37-04, 832-11-25 local 1801 to 1807 or 891-56-10.

'PORTRAIT' AS SISTERS ACT

By Alex Y. Vergara

(Philippine Daily Inquirer, Feb. 24, 2002, www.inq7.net )

WHAT happens when the two leading female characters in a classic Filipino play metamorphose into men? Nothing much, insisted actor-director Anton Juan, who has given Nick Joaquin's "Portrait of the Artist as Filipino" a new twist by casting himself and good friend Behn Cervantes in the roles of the two spinster sisters Paula and Candida. This time, of course, Juan and Cervantes will be playing Pablito and Candido, respectively.

"After we've transformed the personae," said Juan, during a break in rehearsals at the University of the Philippines' College of Arts and Letters, "it was as if Joaquin had written the play as such. You'd never think of the two roles as female."

Produced by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the World Theatre Project at Samba-Likhaan, "Portrait" caps off the current arts month spearheaded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. It will run from Feb. 28 to Mar. 10 at the CCP Little Theater.

The story set in pre-war Manila still revolves around the same set of principal characters: an ailing, forgotten artist and his two aging sons who cope with the rigors of caring for him.

Now living in dire straits, the family is left with nothing but a crumbling, old house, a glorious past and their father's priceless painting to keep them going. The same artwork later becomes a source of conflict between them and their greedy siblings. The plot starts to thicken soon after the two accept a male boarder named Tony Javier to help make ends meet.

"When you consider that the focus of the play is a portrait of Aeneas carrying his father on his back," said Cervantes, "it seems more appropriate to have two men play the roles."

"Nick probably meant them as men," added Juan, "except in our society it's the woman who traditionally takes care of the ailing father." But the play has undergone more than a mere change in pronouns. Gone are allusions to princes and enchanted castles. Juan and Cervantes have had to do away with certain lines to make their characters sound more believable.

Although the play will be oozing with homosexual undertones, the two have chosen to tackle their respective characters in a more repressed manner typical of homosexuals of the time. Of course, the National Artist has given his blessings to this nth restaging of his work.

"When we've finally agreed that two leads will be played by men," said Cervantes, "I insisted that we get Nick Joaquin's permission first. All that Nick asked of Anton was not to turn the production into a farce."

That means no nude and kissing scenes. No one gets to fondle and be fondled either. "It's bad enough that we're going to get the audience giddy and nervous at the site of a man being seduced by another man," added Cervantes. "The two brothers are closet queens, not screaming faggots."

The novelty of casting two men in roles originally meant for women will invariably stir audience's interest. Juan and Cervantes, however, insist that there's more to the play than the seduction scene.

"More than anything else," said Juan, "it's a testimony of artists carrying predecessor artists on their backs. A man, woman, or even a goat goes through a fall, an experience and a salvation. It just so happened that this time the characters are gays."

The play is also Juan's tribute to the Filipino father, a hapless figure who has gotten more than his share of flak.

"Every time I rehearse," said Juan, as he waxes sentimental, "gentle childhood memories come back to me. The songs my father used to sing, his strong yet gentle personality.

"Popular culture has bashed the Filipino father too often," he added, "but I've met a lot of men who are good fathers and principled individuals. I'm also doing this as a homage to all my mentors who've influenced me in my life."

Cervantes has no illusions of the play ever setting trends or breaking new grounds. At this day and age, he said, there's no more wall to break or shock jaded audiences with as far as homosexuality is concerned.

"People have been much more advanced than we've given them credit for. I just hope the play has enough juice left to keep them interested.

Likewise, I hope it helps young people out there who maybe undergoing confusion to see where their error may lie or the waste of time involved in suffering unnecessarily."

Not that Cervantes had to go through the same experience. "I don't think I went through so much repression as uncertainty. You were raised thinking homosexuality is wrong, and then all of a sudden, aba, something in your heart tells you it's right.

"I'd rather not reveal my role models, but definitely I've culled certain facets of my character from people whom I think were suffering closet queens."

Come opening night, however, all eyes will likely be focused on the two brothers as they ward off their wily seducer's advances. One of the play's highlights is the seduction scene, wherein Tony seduces Paula, or in this case Pablito, who eventually succumbs and runs away with him. Raymond Bagatsing and Marco Sison alternate as Tony.

Admittedly, a play's ability to bring in a bigger crowd hinges greatly on the presence of popular actors. Scheduling problems aside, two talented but totally different performers were tapped to play Tony to cater to the lead actors' distinct requirements.

"Anton wanted Raymond," said Cervantes. "I wanted someone who's charming and cute so I pushed for Marco. I think he's the more believable Tony who'd be able to easily fool two closet queens."

"I find Raymond a bull," Juan reasoned, "while Behn finds Marco a lamb - an unlikely wolf inside the house. I see in Raymond the right mix of sexuality and gentleness required of the character."

The public, of course, is also eager to witness acting fireworks between two legendary stage actors with equally legendary tempers. Who will come out the more believable, more sympathetic character? Who will upstage whom? Their relationship is rooted in deep friendship to be affected by such concerns.

"If you're sincere towards acting," said Cervantes, "upstaging will be the least of your concerns. As soon as you try to upstage each other, then you're not being true to your material. What I try to work hard at is rapport, because the lack of it will show onstage."

"Behn and I have had the chance to work several times before, and we've always had such great rapport," said Juan, while Cervantes yelled "liar, liar, liar" in mock protest. "After being together almost everyday, we've now developed `sisterly' love." And that kind of love will likely sustain their friendships through thick and thin.

'PORTRAIT' WITH A GENDER TWIST'

By Behn Cervantes

(Phil Daily Inquirer, 7 Dec 2001, www.inq7.net )

THE IDEA of staging Nick Joaquin's "Portrait of An Artist as a Filipino" with two brothers instead of two spinster sisters was the result of an observation we once made while discussing the 1960's Albee classic "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf." ... We were excited about it but we never got to realize our plans. It's been many years since we hatched the idea. Staging
"Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" requires ample time for rehearsals, dedication and a lot of emotional energy for the actors. I don't think it is something you can bring off successfully unless the actors immerse themselves thoroughly in rehearsals because the characters' demands are emotionally enervating. "Woolf" has since become one of those things we have
shelved 'For the Future.'

However, one wintry day in New York when I recalled the "Woolf" concept, I thought about other plays that could also have that sex change without being done literary damage. In fact, the conflict would probably become even more
stark and dramatic with the change.I thought a Tagalog adaptation of Strinberg's "Miss Julie" as "Señor Julio" would dramatically improve with that gender alteration. In like manner, I staged "Twelve Angry Men" as "Twelve Angry Women" with hardly a difference as a result of the gender change. I did so because the original play revolving around a jury of 12 men would have not allowed me to cast women. In a university set-up, you should find equal opportunities for the sexes when you stage a school production. It worked out very well with the 12 women.

In the last few years, there have been many productions of Nick Joaquin's best-known play, "Portrait of An Artist As a Filipino." It met great success and critical approval when Barangay Theater Guild headed by National Artists
Bert and Daisy Avellana first produced it in the early '50s at the Mehan Gardens in Intramuros. It was a great production. Daisy, Naty Crame Rogers, Nick Agudo, Sarah Joaquin, Manny Ojeda and others remain etched in my early dramatic memories.

I watched it when I was merely a freshman in high school. I was thoroughly entranced by the clearly delineated direction, the acting of the fine cast, as well as the poignancy of the conflict. I loved the play.

"Portrait" has been staged many times since then. Nevertheless, the Avellanas' staging of it remains the definitive one. I myself directed it in 1982 with Barbara Perez and Susan Valdez as Candida and Paula for the UP Repertory Company. We even toured the play to Iloilo and Bacolod where the production was met with universal approval.

It's been translated to Tagalog (and Spanish), made into a film by Bert Avellana, turned into a musical by Ryan Cayabyab and not too long ago was staged in Tagalog, Spanish and the original English. How then to stage it with a twist?

One lazy evening while Anton and I went mulling over the future, he said, "Why don't you act again? Why don't we act together?" suggesting the original "Woolf" concept. I countered, "Why don't we do 'Portrait?' We play two brothers instead of two sisters. We won't camp it. We'll play for real." Two closet queens who take in a young male boarder would be more scandalous, given the time frame of the plot, I've always thought.

Anton was excited. He had produced the play himself. He could clearly see himself as Paula, I mean Pablo. Deep down in their melodramatic hearts,directors enjoy acting. It is less taxing. You can attend to yourself. So, he could play Pablo, and I could be Candido, the elder brother.

Here we go again with our mentor-student relationship, I told him. I have acted for Anton and many of my other students even while they were still in college. The stage arena is very democratic, indeed.We sat down to plan the production. At first, I suggested we would co-direct the production but we have divergent styles. He could go ahead and direct it
since Joaquin was the subject of his doctoral thesis, after all. He promised he would bend an ear when needed.

We cast the play and received greater acceptance from many others who thought the idea was original, too. In fact, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo expressed interest after Anton mentioned it to her when she saw a play at UP.

Before anything, I insisted we get Nick Joaquin's permission before we proceeded with serious plans. That was crucial. When the author gave it with the proviso that we did not caricature the play and did not turn it vulgar and/or screaming-gay, the signal turned green.

Rehearsals for "Portrait" with a gender twist have begun. The more controversial but equally dramatic production of the classic will be staged this February at the Cultural Center of Philippines. More news to follow, surely!

JOAQUIN'S 'PORTRAIT' NOW A CLASSIC

By Ambeth R. Ocampo

(Phil Daily Inquirer, 27 Nov 1999, www.inq7.net. )

FIRST published as ''an elegy in three scenes'' in the Women's Weekly Magazine in 1952, Nick Joaquin's play Portrait of the Artist as Filipino eventually ended up in book form in 1952, 1966, and 1979.

Considered the most important Filipino play in English and one of the pioneers of realism in Philippine theater, Portrait has been translated into Filipino twice: By Alfred Yuson in 1969, and recently by Bienvenido Lumbera in 1992. Called Larawan in Filipino, Joaquin's play has taken on a new life under many directors who include: Lino Brocka (1979), Behn Cervantes (1982),
Nonon Padilla (1989), and Anton Juan (1993).

It is in film that the play has been preserved in the original English. Lamberto V. Avellana (1915­1991) artistic director of the Barangay Theater Guild first staged Portrait in 1955 and directed the film of the same title 10 years later with Daisy H. Avellana and Naty Crame­Rogers playing the lead roles of Candida and Paula. Screened in the Frankfurt Film Festival in 1967, Portrait is now considered a classic.

In 1976 Nick Joaquin was declared National Artist for Literature and Lamberto Avellana National Artist for Film and Theater.

Synopsis

Joaquin's synopsis of the play further shortened to fit the available space in today's Countdown goes:

''Bitoy Camacho, an old friend of the Marasigans, pays them a visit one afternoon after many years of absence. He is greeted by the two daughters of Lorenzo Marasigan, a famous painter, who in his declining years has been living in isolation and abject poverty. Recently, he finished his latest and perhaps last major work of art, a painting he entitled Portrait of the Artist as Filipino. The sisters Paula and Candida welcome Bitoy. They reminisce about the past and the good old days. Tony Javier, a young musician renting a room in the house, comes home from work and is surprised. Tony confides to Bitoy his frustrated efforts in convincing the sisters to sell the painting to an American client.

Act II

''In the second act, Don Lorenzo is visited by Manolo and Pepang--the older brother and sister of Candida and Paula. They plan to transfer their father to a hospital and sell the house. They have invited Don Perico, a senator to convince their younger sisters. Don Perico appeals to both sisters to donate the painting to the government in exchange for a handsome pension that would relieve them of their burden. The sisters remain firm and indifferent during the debate the senator is forced to examine his life realizing too late that he has betrayed his true vocation as an artist-poet. Forlorn and devastated by remorse, [the senator] bids the sisters farewell.

''Manolo and Pepang quarrel with their younger sisters [who] are forced to reveal why their father painted the picture. They had confronted him a year before, and in pain accused him of having wasted their lives. As a reaction he painted his last work of art and then attempted to commit suicide.

''Alone, Candida tells Paula of her frustration in job seeking. Tony Javier rushes in with news about his American client who has doubled his offer [for the painting]. In a moment of weakness, Paula abandons the house and joins Tony.

Act III

''The third act begins with Bitoy remembering the Octobers of his youth and the feast of La Naval de Manila. A group of visitors to the Marasigan home inquire about rumors that the painting and Paula have disappeared forcing Candida to admit what happened and accuses herself of masterminding the crime. Paula enters and admits to having destroyed the portrait. Crushed, Tony accuses the two women of condemning him back to poverty. He leaves cursing them. In the meanwhile the two sisters reconcile and reaffirm their decision to remain in the house with their father. Bitoy in a monologue ends the play with a prayer deciding to dedicate his life to the preservation of Intramuros and its historical past through art and memory.''

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