PETA continues its Storytelling Sundays series, the company’s weekly online initiative that features a mix of music, shadow puppetry, animation, and performances by various storytellers. This June, it will focus on the themes of nationalism and heroism as Filipinos celebrate Independence Day to honor past and modern-day heroes.
“For three Sundays of June, we’re devoting to stories that center on heroism– what makes a hero out of even ordinary Filipinos,” says Storytelling Sundays writer Felinda Bagas. “No matter who we are, what our situations are, we can all be heroes for our country.”
The first of the June series opens on June 7 with two stories: Marvino’s League of Superheroes by Rae Rival-Cosico, featuring Pepe Herrera, and song-turned-story Ako’y Isang Mabuting Pilipino by singer-songwriter Noel Cabangon.
In time for Independence Day, on the second week of June, PETA will feature stories about Andres Bonifacio and Gregoria De Jesus, Ngumiti si Andoy by Xi Zuq and Ang Lakambini at Ako by Becky Bravo, on June 14.
For June’s finale episode, Storytelling Sundays revisits and reinvents of one of PETA’s beloved plays, Christine Bellen’s Batang Rizal on June 28, a condensed adaptation for the digital platform with new animation. Through this line-up of stories, PETA aims to inspire a love for country and people across all ages, during a time when we need it most.
Aside from the theme of nationalism, the series gives a treat for Father’s Day on June 21 with Russell Molina’s Tuwing Sabado and Ano’ng Gupit Natin Ngayon?, two stories about fatherhood that share how, in so many ways, our fathers and father-figures influence who we are, how we think, and what kind of persons we could be.
Besides Herrera and Cabangon, other storytellers include Jerald Napoles, Noel Comia Jr., Bourne Livelo, Gold Villar-Lim, and Bodjie Pascua. PETA’s Shé Maala also continues to host Storytelling Sundays. “Shé narrates about the world of storytelling, its importance, and even talks about what elements make a good story,” says Felinda Bagas. “Through our host, our viewers have the chance to better understand the value of the stories, and maybe also learn to become great storytellers and artists themselves.”
As June’s episodes deal with heroes, fathers, and Filipinos, PETA hopes to show viewers how the characters of the stories help us recognize who we are, understand what we feel, and understand other people and their actions and motivations. “I think this is particularly important when we talk about heroes or historical events,” says Felinda Bagas. “These children’s stories bring heroes closer and more relatable to listeners. Our heroes were just like us, and now we get to understand what made them extraordinary. We get to relate to the situations that gave them strength and courage to fight for a whole nation’s freedom.”
“We have a really full program,” shares PETA Artistic Director Maribel Legarda. “It’s very exciting and we’re excited to perform it for audiences.”