The title did not interest me when I first heard of the invitation to watch a stage play at the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) theater two Sundays ago. Rated: PG, I was not sure if that is the title of the play or a classification. I reserved two tickets nonetheless, thinking and hoping that Rated PG referred to the latter.
But boy was I wrong. And I am glad that I did not cancel even though Juan was already making his presence felt on Saturday.
Rated: PG (Directed by Mae Quesada-Medina, Written by: Liza Magtoto) tells the story of a typical family finding its way through the everyday challenges of life (click here for the synopsis). Their life seemed alright: husband has job, two kids go to school, and the mother takes care of the home and maintains a direct selling business on the side. Issues started to come out, however, when Joselle, the mother, gets an offer to work in Barcelona as a caregiver. It is only then when concerns over relationships and finding new and creative ways of dealing with ordinary situations that take place at home, in school, and in the community come out. Most importantly, taking center stage is PETA’s advocacy to teach the concept of “positive discipline” as a way of instilling discipline to children in way that is caring and respectful of their rights.
Throughout the play, parents receive tips on how to deal with our kids. Listen to each other. Set and agree on a daily schedule. Discuss and explain plans and problems. Show your love. Set and obey house rules. No spanking. No cursing. No scare tactics. Be ready to say you are sorry. Set a good example. We learn these lessons in nice little song production numbers which the cast does with gusto. In its last song, this play tells us that children are already whole human beings when they were born. While we should give them the freedom to fly on their own, they also need us, our guidance and our love.
The play sought to bring into the open real family relationship issues and succeeded without being too sentimental and contrived.
I was all praises for the script all throughout the show and I was all the more delighted when I learned during the 10-minute intermission that Rated: PG is 2010 Palanca awardee in the full length play category. I was laughing my head off for the most part and so did the kids to my left, right, front, and back. And the superb acting and singing by the actors will put some telenovelas to shame. So much talent, a real treat on a Saturday afternoon!
What’s also worth noting is the production’s effort to live up to PETA’s promise as an educational theater. Two actresses remained on stage after the play ended and they did some processing and discussion with the audience who were mostly kids, parents, and teachers.
Amid all the talk on Reproductive Health Bill and what not, I feel lucky to have caught this play at PETA (thanks to Kleigh for the free tickets!) on what I think is its last run at the theater. The production, I heard, will tour schools and communities around the country, a good move to broaden its reach.
As I close this post, please let me quote some lines from the play’s exquisite closing song, Buong Tao na ang Bata (music and lyrics by Vincent de Jesus).
Nang ipinanganak ng ina ang kanyang sanggol Buong tao na ang bata Maliit sa paningin pero wag ismolin Buong tao na ang bata Buong-buo mula ulo hanggang hinliliit niya Sabik harapin ang lahat ng paghamon Na ibibigay ng mundo Ngunit kailangan ka niya araw-araw Kailangan niyang pagmamahal mo.
A question in the survey form, which we were asked to answer before going out, read:”Sa iyong palagay, sino dapat ang makapanood ng palabas na ito?”
I wrote there: “Lahat ng mga bata at minsan ay naging bata.”