Being a big fan of Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) after watching the popular Rak of Aegis play three years ago, I didn’t think twice when my sis in law invited us to watch Charot.
Charot is a Filipino colloquial term that means “just kidding”. A comedy intelligently written, Charot gave me the dose of laughter I really needed. From funny names of characters to perfectly delivered punchlines, it’s a must watch for anyone craving for literally “a good laugh”.
While it’s filled with intelligent humor that will definitly tickle the fancy of every Juan, Charot isn’t joking when it comes to nailing its purpose. It’s a hilarious and artistic way of educating Filipinos about what Federalism is really about, its advantages and disadvantages, and the significant effect every single vote has on the future of the country.
Election Day for the PI People
The play was about Election Day in Matila, PI in May 2020. The PI people (which we all know refers to us Pinoys) will have to vote YES or NO to the proposed Charter of Togetherness endorsed by the President.
The characters who represent well the typical voters in the Philippines are stuck in a very familiar situation in the country, carmaggedon or traffic jam. They are all desperate to make it to the precinct before 5 pm to be able to cast their vote.
A pregnant owner of a sari sari store is dying to make it to the precinct to vote because if she doesn’t, Kap will shut down her humble business.
Millennial Girl, a social media influencer wannabe, is exaggeratedly excited to share to her followers every detail of her “election devirginization”. Her boyfriend whom she fondly call lovey munchies, aka Millennial Boy, opposes her beliefs and somehow questions the significance of having to exercise one’s vote.
The gay Grab driver who left the OFW life in hopes of better opportunities in the Country is cynical about the present administration. He was a former supporter of President Papsy who eventually became frustrated with how he runs the country.
A sales lady from the province is yearning for change but always ends up at the bottom of the country’s priorities.
There’s also the street vendor who rejoices over the metro’s traffic situation simply because the hungry commuters already bought all of his goods. He is obviously confused about what this Charter of Togetherness is all about, so he just wants to get by with his everyday life.
Grethel Tuba, a nurse with a big bust, always has some sensible ideas to share but is always ignored by everyone simply because her sexy body makes her look dumb.
There’s a traffic enforcer who is a die hard fan of President Papsy. His mind doesn’t care to explore options or weigh things. He simply follows and praises everything the President says.
Of course, Philippine society won’t be complete without the hilarious Tita Mary Grace, a rich Tita of Manila who tries to be nice to the “poor” people but eventually can’t contain her self centeredness.
A Showcase of Talents
As if the story’s script and plot aren’t enough, Charot captivated me with the stupendous performance of the cast. From singing to dancing to acting, Filipino theater actors are definitely world class.
What’s unique about this play is that it encourages audience participation through online voting. The real time online poll result adds excitement to the play as it influences how the story will proceed.
It also makes me proud to know that the playwrights of Charot are my fellow Thomasians J-mee Katanyag and Michelle Ngu. They did a great job weaving together the different political issues in the country, the pop culture, and details about Federalism. They even handed brochures about the pros and cons of federalism.
While the people behind this satirical play managed to present both sides, their courage to tell the truth about the current situation of the country is just admirable.
Nowadays, most of us Filipinos are either apathetic or scared. Many of us are apathetic. Our frustrations have led us to become numb. We don’t care anymore. Many of us are scared. We’re scared of what others will say. We’re scared that if we involve ourselves we will suffer the consequences. So we stick to the status quo, go with the flow and live for our own “survival”. We remain silent though we clearly see the ills of society. We remain undisturbed even if our values are shaken.
I am so guilty of all this, and watching the Charot play has been an eye opener for me. As Filipinos, we have the duty to scrutinize our system. We have a duty to think. We have the duty to study and discern the options laid before us. We have the duty to discern whether our public servants are doing their job.
If you’re guilty too, please, please watch the Charot play. It will remind you how important your decision is as a Filipino.
The play will run until March 17, 2019 so please don’t miss it. Buy your tickets now at http://www.ticketworld.com.ph or call PETA at 0927-603-5913. #PETASONA #PETAstageofthenation