Theater is a perfect venue to entertain and enlighten its viewers about pressing issues in society. UP Samaskom’s LIVE A.I.D.S. #TrendingNow is going to do just that.

Many theatrical shows in the country showcase various stories, and a good number of them even discuss the socio-political situation the public is currently facing. But at times, serious theatrical shows alienate the audience more than establish a connection.

Using comedy as a tool seems to be the way for a theater organization at the University of the Philippines to enlighten people on socio-political issues in the country. This is what drove Samahan ng mga Mag-aaral sa Komunikasyon (UP SAMASKOM) to create their annual musical-comedy series,  LIVE A.I.D.S. (also known as Ang Istoryang Dinebelop ng SAMASKOM) in 1985.

“Confident naman kami na for this LIVE A.I.D.S., para sa aming first-time viewers madali silang makakasakay sa show namin. [D]apat nilang abangan kung paano namin ii-inject ‘yong mga issue na iyon sa show namin,” Director Arvin Sicat shared.

Entertain to Enlighten

What seemed to be just an applicants’ batch production in the 1980s came to be the most-awaited theatrical production on campus.

Throughout the years, UP SAMASKOM’s LIVE A.I.D.S has continued to serve avid viewers and newcomers alike with their comedic antics packed with embedded timely socio-political discussions that people can relate to.

Expect the classic satirical take on Filipinos’ ordinary struggles. LIVE A.I.D.S is here to entertain to enlighten the public with “the truth.”

“It’s a commentary on the current Philippine setting. We want to comment on, as a society, kung ano yung nakikita natin around right now. As an ordinary citizen, you would be able to relate to the materials for this LIVE A.I.D.S.,” Director Bill Barrinuevo said in a press conference.

Prepare for a night filled with learning and laughter featuring familiar faces like Tuesday Vargas and Kaladkaren Davila, along with a fresh set of talents of the organization. Directors Bill Barrinuevo, Tero Diaz, Porsche Medijar, and Arvin Carlo Sicat will be directing this year’s production. This is the first time they will be having a production with four directors helping with the conception and ideas.

Unfazed by scrutiny

The esteemed theatrical organization expressed they won’t favor anyone (aside from ordinary Filipino citizens) in addressing today’s issues.

Sa lahat ng LIVE A.I.D.S. na nagdaan, and sa lahat ng LIVE A.I.D.S. na kinalakihan namin, hindi po nag-ho-hold back ang UP SAMASKOM. So wala po tayong kinatatakutan at wala tayong kinikilingan,” Barrinuevo said.

Despite President Duterte’s bad blood with students of the university, the production assures the public that they would not hold back and present the issue as it is. Celebrity alumna Tuesday Vargas noted that it is the shared responsibility of UP Students to enlighten their viewers.

[M]ayroon dapat tayong opinyon sa mga prominenteng karakter ng lipunan, ng politika, ng pop culture. Hindi po tayo papayag na maging kakatwan lamang ang isang palabas o source of entertainment na ganoon lang kasimple. Kailangan mayroon po tayong stand point, mayroon po tayong mga sinasabi bilang mga Iskolar ng Bayan,” she added.

What to expect: The play will touch on current events and trending topics on transportation, health, and Boracay Island’s closure. Watch out for political personalities who will have appearances, too.

UP SAMASKOM’s LIVE A.I.D.S. will run on April 16, 20, 21, and 22 at Abelardo Hall, UP College of Music, UP Diliman, Quezon City. Tickets are available at P250 for UP Students and P550 for Non-UP students and the general public.


Who’s your favorite LIVE A.I.D.S. character? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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