Shakespeare is a lofty subject in theater and literature but it is also one of the hardest to digest…
Enjoying a vibrant sharing in social media are video statements of artists urging the public to vote in the May 2019 elections. Some go one step further and specify “Vote Straight Opposition in May 2019.”
The artists who have uploaded their video statements cut across political colors and age. They say they belong to The Art Forces of the Philippines.
They include heavy weights National Artists Bienvenido Lumbera (Literature) and Ben Cab (Visual Arts). There the voices of the young:Adrienne Vergara, Juan Miguel Severo, Marco Morales.
The issues they raise vary but the common denominator is aversion to tyranny.
All in black and white, the short messages – 20 seconds to a little over one minute - assume a stark tone.
Take the one by actor- director Joel Lamangan:
“Ako si Joel Lamangan ng Art Forces of the Philippines. Isang akong aktor, director sa telebisyun, tanghalan at sa pelikula. Napakahirap pagsamahin ang mga artista. Ngunit nagkasama-sama kami ngayon para sa napakadakilang layunin..Nanganganib po ang ating bayan. Pinamumunuan po ito ng isang rehimen na walang pagpapahalaga sa buhay ng tao, walang respeto sa Saligang Batas, walang respeto sa soberanya.
“Walang habas po ang pagtaas ng mga bilihin na siyang sanhi ng ating kahirapan. Kung nais nating matigil ang lahat na ito, iboto natin ang oposisyun sa Mayo 2019. Diyan natin mapatunayan na tayo ay isang tunay Pilipino. Mabuhay po tayong lahat.
(I’m Joel Lamangan of the Art Forces of the Philippines. I'm an actor, director on television, stage and movies. It’s difficult to bring together artists but now we are joining forces for a noble cause.
(Our country is in danger. It is being ruled by a regime that does not value life, no respect for the rule of law, no respect for sovereignty.
(There is no stop to the increase in the prices of goods which is the cause of our economic hardship. If we want to put a stop to this, vote for the opposition in May 2019. That’s where we will prove that we are truly Filipinos. Long live to all of us.)
Stage actor Audie Gemora delivered his message in Ilonggo.
His quite conviction gave the language, associated with gentleness, a searing quality.
“Ako si Audie Gemora. Isa ka Stage actor kag upod ako sa Art Forces of the Philippines..
“Abaw, ano nay a natabo sa aton man. Nagbutang sila sa poder sang is aka buang. Isa ka buang nga waay na ginhimo kung di magbuyayaw, magbutig, mag-atake sang simbahan paraw waay na gid moralidad. Ang military kag pulis nga nga tani maprotekta sa aton, ginhimo nila private army. Ginsugoi nila magpatay sang citizens laban sini mgfa bata, inosente kag imol.
“War on drugs kuno. Pero kita naton tanan nga mga bigtime druglords, malaya man gihapon. Kag mas madamo pa gihapon ang nagsulod nga drugs. Nga-a? kay nakgabulagbulagan ang bureau of customs. Sangkot abi.
“Bagsak ang peso. Bagsak ang ekonomiya. Nagtaaas ang mgataxes. Tanan ng presyo nagatass. Naga pagutom kita. Anti-corruption kuno sila. Perp tanan nga kawatan ginpalaya nila. Dynasy of plunderers ang nagabalik sa poder. Waay na sila ginhimo kungdimangawa kang mangawat.
“Ginabaligya nila ang bilog nga pilipinas subong sa china. Kabatas kamo sina. Ang independesya nga gindaog sa aton mga bayani, ginahaboy nila. Ang tanan ng democratic institutions ginaguba nila.ginbakal na nila ang supreme court. Ginbakal na ang kongreso. Kag parte kang senate.
“Sa May 2019. Kinahanglan magboko kita s straight oposisyun. Kay man kinahanglan naton punggan silka. Kay man kung hindi, baw kaluluoy gid sang pilipinas. Kaluluoy gid.”
(I’m Audie Gemora, a stage actor and a member of the Art Forces of the Philippines.
(What has happened to us? They put in power a madman. A madman who does nothing but curse, lie, and attack the church and morality.
(The military and police are supposed to protect citizens have turned into extrajudicial killers. The victims, many are poor, young, many are innocent and without the benefit of a fair trial have been murdered.
(These are all in the name of an anti-drug war. Yet we see that bigtime druglords are out free. More drugs are coming in because the Bureau of Customs has turned a blind eye. You draw your conclusion but it smells really rotten all the way up to the top.
(They are also destroying the economy. The peso is down yet they are taxing us to death. Prices have never been this high. They are going to starve us. They say they are anti-corruption. But all the plunderers are back in power. In fact, there’s a dynasty of plunderers waiting and lying for the next elections so that they can get back in position and rape this country dry.
(They have already sold the Philippines to China. Our independence and sovereignty, something that our forefathers and heroes fought and died for, they are selling for a few pieces of silver. They are destroying every single democratic institution.
(They have already bought the Supreme Court, Congress. And now they are up to the Senate.
(So, in May 2019, let us go out and vote straight opposition Senate slate. We have to stop this madness.)
There’s also singer and stage actress and former Duterte supporter Bituin Escalante, who enjoins the public to fight for the rights of women, the indigenous people and the poor. “
“We need to vote to protect our institutions. Palakasin po natin ang boses ng oposisyon sa Senado (Let’s strengthen the voice of the opposition in the Senate)” she said.
As of this writing I counted 27 video messages. They include: Mila Aguilar, Pinky Amador,Ben Cab, Noel Cabangon, Daphne Ceniza, Vincent de Jesus, Jelly Diaz, Lav Diaz, Mich Dulce,
Bituin Escalante,Jaime Fabregas, Minco Fabregas, Nonoy Gallardo; Audie Gemora, Bart Guingona, Quark Henares, Agot Isidro, Joel Lamangan, Non Wynx Mercado;
Hazel Orencio, Jim Paredes, Mae Paner, Bodgie Pascua, Joel Saracho, Juan Miguel Severo, Adrienne Vergara, and Yan Yuzon.
The artists are unleashing their force.The voices are getting louder.