(c) Bombie Abetria

Naabot na gayud ang imung panahon. 

It's not everyday you can go to a Bisrock jukebox musical, so when Gugmang Giatay announced its second run at SM seaside, we jumped on those tickets like we would a shirtless James Reid.

Well, like some of us would, at least. :)

Giddy is the main feeling one has for this musical. Especially when you're running though SM Seaside because you're late because your father drives at 30kph max from the island to Talisay because old age. Also because we've been waiting for this for so, so long.

 Thankfully, we get there in time, just as the show is about to start.

So what is Gugmang Giatay all about?

It's not just an excuse to say a "bad" word, you know.

(Giatay is a local curse word; literally it's wishing one to have liver disease. Or so my mother tells me. Lol. So it's like---stupid love? damned love? idk, help me out fellow Bisaya people)

Gugmang Giatay promo poster (FB)

Enter Inday, the chubby upbeat katabang from Urgello, Cebu City (!!!). She works for Ma'am Helen, the uptight landlady, in love with Undo, the bisrocker-tambay and is friends with Rihanna, the other katabang from next door, who, in turn works for Charing, the most fabulous gay in the baranggay, who has the hots for Ben, the newest bedspacer in the boarding house, who at the beginning of the play buys shampoo at Lola Lucy's sari-sari store.


Glad that's out of the way. 

 I don't wanna say more for fear of spoilers---they may have a third run sometime soon. But what ensues from this quirky mashup of characters is a story about all kinds of love, set in the background of your familiar boarding house community, complete with a palahubog lola and basketball court stambays.

With its homegrown story (co-written by the internet's very own Medyo Maldito), witty lines and familiar bisaya songs, Gugmang Giatay truly captures the heart of the Cebuano, or any Bisaya out there, really. It simply transcends all age groups and backgrounds. Everyone can relate. This can be their story, too. :)

The cast is also stellar. Some people were doubtful that the music was even live (of course, it was, hala ha!) because it was so good. Pitch-perfect and beautifully delivered. How can they sound that good live? I was blown away. The cast's chemistry was on point, especially Inday and Undo. Their improv and ad libs are also crazy. When the door jammed and refused to open, Ma'am Helen goes

"Inday, last ka nalang ha! Di ba ingun ko ipa-ayu ni?!"

 I'm glad to say, this is the first theater trip that I truly enjoyed.
(I only went to those free Sacred Heart School-Jesuit plays for the cute insik boys, LOL! JK ;))

I'm so glad that finally, music like this can be enjoyed by a wider audience. Gone were the days where one has to look for Smash FM (DJ Ram, bless his soul) on the radio just to get a decent Urbandub/The Amba/Missing Filemon song chewed out, or for RCTV to show that Matahum Nga Cebu video. Thank you, internet! And hopefully, sooner, the days where Bisaya songs are perceived to be "jeje" can be gone too. Judging from the turnout in Gugmang Giatay, those days will be upon us all really soon. :)

This whole thing feels like a Missing Filemon song to me. It's literally Sine, Sine. :)

Favorite parts: the Charing's Ilab-Ilab (Bali-bali) Song and Sulid ug Lawas. Cracked me up when Boyfriend asked me to translate gay lingo for him. Also, when Undo finally sings Gugmang Giatay. Yikes, there goes my heart.

Sus Inday, kahayag nalang man gyud sa imung panagway.

If you missed this awesome milestone in Bisaya music history---nay, Bisaya culture--- here's to hoping they have a third, bigger run sometime soon.

Sa way pagduha-duha, makahappy jud ning Giatay. :)

This play made me proud to be Bisaya and Cebuana. I think so much of our culture is in our language--our crazy, gahi, poetic, binugoy, 3-voweled language--- and I'm happy that we can celebrate it this way. :)

Congrats to everyone behind this show! Here's to more Bisaya music, plays, movies, novels, art--unsa pa na diha--- in the mainstream! 

All the gugma

K x

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