Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Story and the Critique


While walking on a dark thoroughfare, a girl is menaced by an intoxicated man, who attempts to abuse her sexually. As the attempt begins to frighten the girl, a man appears and slays the man and flees with the girl from the scene.

After some time, a man named Pablo Gonzalez, revealed to be the man who murdered a drunken man, is put into a penitentiary. He is with his spiritual advisor and priest, Father Lim, who is accountable of giving him his last confession before his sentence to death, with which Pablo refuses to have. He recollects the past events of causing his imprisonment and shares with Father Lim his sentiments for his loved ones after the incident. He feels disappointment for his friends, family and his girlfriend Christina (the girl he saved), realizing that he doesn’t receive visits from them. He also expresses how much suffering he has after the disaffiliation of his family, blaming it all to his mother after his father’s death. Afterwards, the guards come in informing Pablo several people have come to visit him.

Father Lim leaves Pablo for Andres Gorospe to have a personal talk with the condemned. Then, Pablo denies he knows his first visitor but Andres tries to make himself clear to him as his childhood friend. Pablo expresses his depressing thoughts to his friend and gratitude for not forgetting him. After the time expires, Simeon Sereno comes in, his friend and partner in every bad leisure pursuit such as gambling and drinking. Pablo conveys his pure disappointment with him for being a best friend who doesn’t understand him. Simeon explains the reason why he isn’t able to speak to him for he spends his time with his girl, having leprosy. For a short time, they have talked and Simeon leaves for the next visitor.

Pablo is grateful for his aunt Chedeng Gonzalez, the one whom his mother left him. They have an emotional talk and aunt Chedeng has given him a crucifix as his guidance through his final moments. He asks him to confess before he ‘leaves’. Subsequently, Christina, his girlfriend and the girl he has saved comes in and becomes moved. As they talk about the past and their future, Pablo asks Father Lim to marry them inside the prison before his time, with Simeon, Andres and Aunt Chedeng as witnesses. After their ‘marriage’, Pablo’s imposing mother, Angela Gonzalez, comes and pleads for his forgiveness in which Pablo does after a few moments. After that, the guards come in to take Pablo to the execution room and his loved ones cry as he’s sentenced to death.


The story above was depicted in reality in a form of a play presentation. Our school had a DramaFest today with four literary works from all HS levels were presented and our (4th year HS students’) entry was “The Condemned” (story above).

The play was very superior but had some issues. First with the decent side, the play was able to depict the story splendidly even in a limited time. The story was fully understood because of the clear, precise and explicable expression and direction. The casting was also fine and I really loved all the cast’s acting. I had goose bumps for I felt the factual presence of the truthful emotions of the characters from the cast, especially from the moving scenes such as the moment when Christina cried when Pablo was brought to the execution room and heartfelt performance from Pablo’s mother who pleaded for his forgiveness. In addition, the play brought out such an incontrovertible impact on the audience when Pablo and Christina had their intimate moments with each other.

On the other hand, it had some issues. One was that the background music used didn’t match with the decisive factors of the event which was in Filipino language, not in the projected English medium however, the Filipino songs used brought out more emotions in the scenes which was good. It had technical problems also which spoiled the scene of Pablo’s confession and other music was played, not matching with it. The good side with it was that the actors continued to do their part, proving that the show must go on regardless of any predicament.

To wrap it up, the play was excellent. I loved the performance and the story itself. It was such an emotional anecdote testing how love can withstand in circumstances, even death, whether in family or the one we love as a partner, and the play really showed it impressively.


  • Zeejay Lobo as Pablo Gonzalez
  • Kimberly Arsenio as Christina (nominated for Best Actress)
  • Sharmaine Florante as Angela Gonzalez (nominated for Supporting Actress)
  • Vanessa Gongora as Aunt Chedeng Gonzalez
  • Edmundo Apelo as Andres Gorospe
  • Andrej Gatchalian as Simeon Sereno (nominated for Best Supporting Actor)
  • Lakan Gaspar as Father Lim
  • Jademond Acielo & James Alminar as rapists (2 were shown in the play with 1 in the original)
  • Robinson Notarte & Clarence Santos as security guards

I ‘m really proud about these:

  • Zeejay James N. Lobo – Best Actor (won)
  • Camille Viktoria Calimag – Best Director (won)
  • “The Condemned” (4th Year students) – Best Play (won)

Congratulations to all 4th Year students!!!

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