Last Sunday, I went to PETA in Quezon City to watch Caredivas with one of my good friends, Nikko Panti. The musical is about five crossdressers in Israel who work as caregivers by day and showgirls by night. The show was brilliant. It was funny, thanks largely to Vincent de Jesus, who wrote the lyrics and music and starred as Shai, the comedic leader of the group. If you want to know the true genius of de Jesus, he also wrote the music of Zsazsa Zaturnnah and received many accolades for his works, including a Palanca, two Gawad Urian awards, a Luna Award, a Gawad Tanglaw Award, among many others.
The musical hits close to home because many Filipinos work as caregivers abroad. Basically, the musical tackles the hardships OFWs face abroad, from bitchy bosses and not being able to take care of their families at home to fear of deportation. What makes this piece special is the fact that they're crossdressers, which add discrimination (in Israel and the Philippines) to the demons they face each day. Add the fact that they're struggling performers who try to make a niche in a Tel Aviv stricken by the intafada, or the Palestinian occupation of Israel. All in all, the musical was a poignant piece and I found myself on the verge of tears during key scenes.
Despite the drama, the play is just as comedic. It's hilarious and unforgiving and it adds a flirty touch to the serious undertone of the musical. Each character had their funny moments which were priceless. There was Buddy Caramat as Jonee, the grumpiest diva of the bunch and his sarcastic remarks; Jason Barcial as Thalia, with his naïve (read dumb blonde) one-liners; Melvin Lee as Chelsea, the optimist and the mother of the group; and Jerald Napoles as Kayla, whose laugh factor stems from the fact that he's a straight guy with huge... muscles. There is of course, de Jesus, whose biting wit is a clear reflection of a gay Filipino's sense of humor.
I highly recommend this to everyone. It's witty and you don't need to be an OFW or be gay to appreciate the story (most of the people in the audience were gay). You just need to have a sense of humor and a heart that is easily moved. Unfortunately, according to Nikko, this is the last run of the play. I was lucky enough to have caught one of its last productions and I loved it.
Me with Vincent de Jesus and Jason Barcial.
With Jerald Napoles, the lone straight guy of the Caredivas. I was so used to him playing Kayla that I freaked out a little when he talked to me in a deep voice and put his muscular arm on my chest for a picture. My large smile is a result of fear mixed with uncontained joy from the show's glory.
If Caredivas runs again, you should definitely check it out. You never know, it might pull off a Cher and decide to do a comeback.
This Sunday, I was out with the staff of The Perpetualite for our summer outing. We were supposed to go to Nikko's Pampanga house but since many couldn't afford the proposed budget, we decided to go swimming at Park Place in Imus, Cavite. It's kind of like a clubhouse for the village and it has a pool, several courts and nipa huts you can rent for the day.
Nikko and I were at Fashion Week the night before for Design Fusion and Ford Supermodels' Supermodel of the World Philippines and arrived home late so I didn't wake up in time for Cavite. It was already an hour and a half from the call time when I woke up to see Nikko and Jan (my literary editor) standing in my doorway, ready to pick me up. I only had time to brush my teeth and stuff everything I need in a duffel bag.
We frolicked around the pool (we didn't really swim) and played the most stressful game of Uno. Stressful because the game took too long and the punishment for losers was to eat the terrible candies I brought back from Shanghai, China. This is what happens when gay guys get together to play a stressful game. Terms (like Gutom Ford and Tagalia Vodianova) and expletives are invented. In the end, we gave it up to go swimming.
I had the biggest lunch that day. I ate four servings of rice. On the way home, some of us stopped by a Padi's Point in Bacoor for drinks. I haven't been to a Padi's Point in over seven years but the branch we went to was great. It was well-ventilated and the staff were accomodating (and cute). Two show bands were there and it was funny because I didn't know show bands these days have accompanying choreography. It was hilarious.