By Isabel Fernando (Class 2022) and Sean Sy (Class 2023)
Photos courtesy of the Medical Student Council (MSC)
After months upon months of epic preparations, UPCM’s medical-students-turned-performing-arts-majors coalesced to celebrate their onstage artistry in this year’s Mediscene last April 15, 2019, at the PGH Science Hall.
This year’s competition centered around the theme “Alamat at Mito”, requiring all of the participating classes to perform plays inspired by classic Filipino folk stories and myths.
In the days leading up to Mediscene, trailers and posters for each play were released on the Facebook page of event organizers UP Medicine Student Council (MSC) to hype up the college for the already highly anticipated event. The trailers were also played before each of the performances.
The event was hosted by Nicole Alberto (Class 2023) and Rausche Sausa (Class 2023), who jump-started the show with their breathtaking skit as Tala, Filipino goddess of the stars, and Hanan, Filipino goddess of the dawn, respectively.
The first performers of the night were none other than the newest members of the College of Medicine, UPCM Class 2025, presenting their play, “Tinimbang na Luha”. Inspired by the Alamat ng Tabios, the batch’s cast narrated the tragedy of Julian (played by Matthew Manalo) and Isabel (played by Kyla Mallare). The inspired use of a friendly drinking spree as a way to narrate the story brought an element of fun and wit to the heart-wrenching story.
Next up was Class 2021, who glued the audience to the edges of their seats with their terrifying and insanely entertaining aswang-themed horror, “Sila”.
The play brought nightmares to life so vividly – being brought to an unknown place after responding to a stranger’s voice, forced to the brink of insanity with a cultish test of morality, and eventually encountering (and being eaten by) a horde of aswang (may Lukas — last person standing and played by Ethan Maslog — rest in peace).
Through “Sila”, Class 2021 discussed morality and deconstructed the definition of a “monster”, asking the question “Is it really the monsters we should be afraid of when there is so much man is capable of doing?” in such a striking manner.
The crew’s unique use of lights and sounds earned them the award for Best Tech Design. On the other hand, Ivanna Sison’s stellar performance as Ilya earned her the crown of Best Lead Performance, while the terrifying ensemble of aswang earned the title of Best Supporting Performance. To add to this, the remarkable performance of the class as a whole earned them the awards for Best Direction, Best Acting, and Best Script.
Set in a small seaside barangay with a rich connection to the legend of the Siokoy, the next performers in Class 2023, embarked on an investigation to figure out the mysteriously sudden death of the pearl diver Emil (played by Samuel Ira Lim) in their production entitled “Mga Lihim na Inanod ng Dagat”.
With “Mga Lihim na Inanod ng Dagat”, Class 2023 held their grand debut as a 180-person class into the limelight with shocking plot twists, as well as an exciting combination of interpretative dance and live music that left everyone in the audience singing “Purihin ang dagat!” for days after the performance.
Next up, Class 2024 graced the PGH Science Hall with their amazingly creative take on the classic myth of “Si Malakas at Si Maganda”. Fast forwarding into a future of androids and artificial intelligence, “Likha” told the story of an escaped android’s attempts at individuality, discovering her identity, and the complex relationship between creator and humanoid.
Through their production, Class 2024 masterfully challenged gender roles and questioned the audience’s understanding of morality, beauty, perfection, and the concept of humanity itself.
Last, but definitely not least, UPCM Class 2022 took to the stage, performing their play “Kinilingang Oras”, based on the tale of Maria Makiling,. Featuring immersive set design, otherworldly props, and endearingly humorous dialogue, the play followed the efforts of a de-powered and confused Maria Makiling attempting to find a way to recenter herself and free two individuals she had cursed to protect her home.
Overall, the cast put on a stunning performance, bagging Class 2022 the awards for Best Costume Design, Best Scenic Design, and the title of First Runner-Up. Apart from this, they also took home the titles for Best Poster and Best Trailer.
After an unforgettable evening of majesty, curses, and monsters, it was Class 2021’s horrifying masterpiece, “Sila”, that ultimately earned the title of Mediscene Overall Champion. The class was overjoyed; after years of stellar productions, it seemed poetic that their final year as competitors earned them the distinction of being the Overall Champion.
Every class certainly brought forth their best, creating what was truly a mythical, magical Mediscene 2019.