(MAY 29)—Three theatre experts from UP Diliman (UPD) were among the winners of the 11th PHILSTAGE Gawad Buhay Awards.
The Philippine Legitimate Stage Artists Group (PHILSTAGE) named UP College of Arts and Letters (CAL) faculty members John Carlo Pagunaling and Dexter M. Santos, and University Extension Specialist Barbara Tan-Tiongco as Gawad Buhay awardees in a ceremony held at the Onstage Theater, Greenbelt 1, Makati City on May 28.
Founded in 1997, PHILSTAGE is the only organization of professional performing arts companies in the Philippines.
Pagunaling, who is a professional costume designer, was awarded the “Outstanding Costume Design” for “Himala: Isang Musikal” (The Sandbox Collective/9 Works Theatrical). He received the same award for his work at PETA’s (Philippine Educational Theater Association) “Rak of Aegis” in 2014.
He earned his BA Theatre Arts at UPD under the CAL Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts (DSCTA) in 2010 and took clothing and textile classes at the College of Home Economics and dressmaking classes at the Slim’s Fashion and Arts School.
Pagunaling previously worked as costume designer for Dulaang UP (DUP), the official theater group of UPD. He was apprenticed for set design under production designer Tuxqs Rutaquio and theater director José Estrella for “Sepharad: Voces de Exilio” and costume design under the late Ogie Juliano for a trilogy of Severino Montano’s one-act plays.
In 2017, Pagunaling’s costume designs for “Ampalaya the Musical,” a musical play based on the children’s story “Alamat ng Ampalaya” produced by Silliman University, was exhibited at the 2017 World Stage Design event in Taipei, Taiwan under the Emerging Designers category.
Santos received the “Outstanding Choreography for a Play or Musical” award for “Ang Huling El Bimbo” (Full House Theater Company).
Santos is an assistant professor at the DSCTA and was DUP’s youngest artistic director. He has staged notable plays for the company such as “Orosman at Zafira” (2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012), “Ang Kiri” (2009), “Lulu” (2009), “Rizal X” (2011), “Collection” (2013) and “Ang Nawalang Kapatid” (February 2014 and July 2014).
He has directed a number of events inside and outside the university including the “UAAP Season 71 Opening Ceremony,” “Brilliant! (The Grand Launch of the Theater at Solaire),” Floy Quintos’ “Legacy: The Sun Life Story for the 120th Anniversary of Sunlife Financial Philippines (2015),” First Pacific Leadership Academy’s “Spoliarium” (2015), and “UAAP Season 78 Opening Ceremony” among many others.
Tan-Tiongco was awarded the “Outstanding Lighting Design” for “Himala: Isang Musikal” (The Sandbox Collective / 9 Works Theatrical).
She is a theatre consultant, lighting designer and independent technical director for more than a decade. She currently works as UP Theater Complex technical director.
Tan-Tiongco has a BA Broadcast Communication from UPD and earned her Master of Fine Arts in Technical Design and Production degree from Yale University School of Drama in 2013.
In 2009, she was one of the three Filipinos who received the Asian Cultural Council Philippines Foundation fellowship grant which allowed her to apprentice under master lighting designer Jennifer Tipton, who is an internationally recognized lighting designer. It also enabled her to work on the Public Theater’s production of The Bacchae to be presented at the Delacorte Theater in New York ’s Central Park and in Washington D.C. and the Wooster ’s production of Vieux Carre in New York.
Tan-Tiongco worked as technical director for numerous theater productions such as “The Faust and the Dalumat Evil: An Adaptation of Goethe’s Articles” (2017), “Tisoy Brown: Hari ng Wala” (2016) and “Mabining Mandirigma” (2015)
Meanwhile, Jon Abella, a DSCTA alumnus, won the “Male Featured Performance in a Musical” category for his performance at “Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!” (9 Works Theatrical and Globe Live). —Haidee C. Pineda