By Hanna Jillian Ho (Class 2022)
Photos by Rani Domingo (Class 2022)
Medical students once more shifted from the classrooms to the stage for one night last May 11, 2018 at the PGH Science Hall for the much-awaited annual inter-class play-writing and theater competition.
The theme for this year’s Mediscene, hosted by the UP Medicine Student Council (MSC), was “A Musicale”, with the night’s plays drawing their musical inspiration from nursery rhymes. Mark Lester Magabo (Class 2020) and Raxy Yangkong (Class 2020) served as the event’s hosts.
Days before the event, trailers of each play were released on the MSC Facebook page to heighten the excitement of the actual event. The trailers were played again before each performances.
Class 2021 was first on stage with their production P.I. (At Iba Pang Mura sa Mundo) based on the nursery rhyme “Ili-ili Tulog Anay”. The play, set in Malate, Manila, centered around the so-called “ladies of the night”, depicting the harsh realities of the occupation, while reminding everyone that they are still human beings. The acting, storyline, and the beautiful and striking compositions raised the bar for everyone that night. Actor Jana Negre took home a trophy for Best Supporting Performer.
Class 2022 came next with their play Lobo, adapted from the children’s song “Ako ay May Lobo”. Their play was a whimsical but riveting journey told through the eyes of a drug addict, showing the audience the depths of choices he has to make. With their play’s psychedelic acts, combined with a remarkable production, costume design, and a twist at the end to boot, Class 2022 swept almost all the special awards, winning trophies for Best in Costume, Best in Choreography, Best in Technical Production, Best Poster, Best Trailer, Best Supporting Performer (Garry Baybay), Best Performer (Aldwin Baronda), and Best Director.
Unfortunately, Class 2023 with their production Alwas, based on the classic rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star”, had to withdraw from the competition as their lead actress was stricken with health problems hours before the event. The class, however, still graced the stage by performing their three original songs live while exhibiting their production design. Director Jea Alcovendaz narrated the story of the struggles of an aspiring ballerina from the province who wanted to hone her skills and land a career in the city. Their score made quite the impact, as they won the award for Best Musical Score and Best Original Song.
Finally, Class 2024 depicted the possibility of history repeating itself with their play Ang Curfew, based on the nursery rhyme “Oranges and Lemons”. They told the story of a family living through Martial Law under Marcos’ rule, reminding everyone of the brutality and violence that plagued those times. Their story, setting, and themes, frightening yet extremely relevant, bagged them the award for Best Script.
While Class 2020 was not able to perform this year, in keeping with the event theme, ICCs Justine Jacinto, Kirby Plando, and Benjo Kho performed their rendition of “Summer Nights” from the hit musical Grease.
Class 2022’s production ultimately won them Overall Champion. Props head Trisha Galapon gave some insight on how they made the production come to life. “It was a big production, and the stage design per scene was intense. We had to brainstorm and plan how to assemble some larger props, and my team’s creativity and resourcefulness were really tested. It was a huge effort – the making and especially the transportation of props during rehearsals, but it was exciting. The play was coming together beautifully, and we wanted to translate the script into a worthy visual spectacle. The production deserved nothing less. All I can say is that it was all worth it, seeing everything come alive that night.”