Gabe Mercado

An open letter to Cinemalaya

This letter was posted by Joel Trinidad of Upstart Productions as a note in his Facebook account. We are re-posting it verbatim in the interest of dissemination and discussion.

Independent filmmaker Rafa Santos needs to be taught a lesson. Not a lesson in filmmaking, as he is obviously competent enough to have been included in this year’s Cinemalaya. Not a lesson in thrift, as he is apparently frugal enough to have produced his film without major backing. Not a lesson in public speaking, as he can definitely hold his own in interviews about the film in question. No, what this man needs is a lesson in gratitude. (He would also do well to acquire some class.)

In a televised interview on ANC this morning, Mr. Santos said he preferred using theater actors in his films, because “you can feed them Sky Flakes three meals a day and pay them in cat food.”

Congratulations, Mr. Santos. You have succeeded in alienating the very actors that have helped you to make your film so cheaply. No theater performer who has heard your egregious statements will ever work with you now. (Apparently, you lack not just gratitude, but also intelligence.)

Mr. Santos doubtless meant his remarks as a joke, but that does not excuse him from having made them. He is insensitive, mean-spirited, and divisive—qualities that do not become the artistic institution that Cinemalaya has become. We would appreciate it if you removed his film from your festival.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely yours,

Joel Trinidad
Upstart Productions

Supported by:

Aiza Seguerra, Irma Adlawan, Angelina Kanapi, Gabe Mercado, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Noel Trinidad, Pinky Marquez, Nor Domingo, Bea Garcia, Emerita Alcid, Michael Williams, Elmar Ingles, Kalila Aguilos, Ayen Laurel, Milay Guinid, Allan Alojipan, Yanah Laurel, Felix Rivera, G.A. Fallarme, Topper Fabregas, Johann de la Fuente, Gregorio de Guzman, Raul Victor Montesa, Bobby Nazareno, Leah Reyes, Marie Bismonte, Joli Cabangon, Ems Bolanos, Carla Guevara, Gian Magdangal, Sheree Bautista, Guji Lorenzana, Christine Sambelli Marquez, Jojo Malferrari, Shiela Valderrama-Martinez, Lorenz Martinez, Bernice Aspillaga, Karla Reyes, Floyd Tena, Jeremy Aguado, Myrene Santos, Rico del Rosario, J Young, Diana Alferez, Ana Abad Santos, Jenny Villegas, Andoy Ranays, Liza Infante, Rem Zamora, Issa Litton-Garrido, Lani Tapia, Mark Tayag, Kyla Rivera, Jenny Jamora, Dani Ochoa, Mara Paulina Marasigan, Filomar Tario, Ricci Chan, Franco Laurel, Pamela Imperial, Madeleine Nicolas, Peachy Atilano, Robbie Guevara, Cheska Iñigo Winebrenner, Alex Dagalea, Chevy Mercado, Franz Imperial, Joms Ortega, Sweet Plantado, Carelle Mangaliag, Frances Makil Ignacio, Ralion Alonso, Meynard Peñalosa, Jeremy Domingo, Aj de la Fuente, Ariel Reonal, Arnel Carrion, with more names added to the list every minute

Ze return of Zsa-zsa Zaturnah Ze Muzikal!


Tanghalang Pilipino concludes its 24th Season with the power-packed return of its longest running, award-winning original musical comedy. ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal…Vack With A Vengeance! – the production’s 7th run – will be staged at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, Cultural Center of the Philipines, on February 18 to March 13. The production is bound to leave audiences rolling in the aisles again with its zany, madcap and gender bending brand of musical comedy. Eula Valdez reprises her award winning role as the redhaired super heroine.  She will be joined by new cast members Gabe Mercado (alternating with Joey Paras) as Didi, her frilly mouthed assistant; Pinky Amador (alternating with Kalila Aguilos) as Queen Femina Suarestella Baroux, Zaturnnah’s fashionista archnemesis; Rocky Salumbides (alternating with Arnold Reyes and Red Anderson) as the hunk with a heart – Dodong – Zaturnnah’s object of affection.

The rerun also reveals a new set design by Gino Gonzales and lighting design by Katsch Catoy.

ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal follows the misadventures of Ada, a gay beauty salon proprietor who transforms into the voluptuous superhero(ine) ZsaZsa Zaturnnah.  Zaturnnah saves her town from marauding zombies, powertripping fashion forward aliens and a giant dancing frog.  ZsaZsa Zaturnnah became an underground cult classic when it first appeared as a graphic novel, Ang Kagila-gilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Zsazsa Zaturnnah (The Spectacular Adventures of Zsazsa Zaturnnah penned and illustrated by Carlo Vergara.  The piece was brought to the attention of Tanghalang Pilipino by stage director Chris Millado for inclusion in their Theater Season.

The graphic novel was adapted for the stage by Chris Martinez for Tanghalang Pilipino with Vincent de Jesus creating the words and Chris Millado directing the musical theater staging. Since it’s opening in 2006 ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal has attracted a growing, diversified and returning audiences while garnering rave reviews from mainstream critics, bloggers and from word of mouth.  The 95th performance in March 2011 makes ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal the longest running musical theater production of Tanghalang Pilipino and arguably the longest running show in Philippine musical theater.

ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal…Vack With A Vengeance opens on February 18 and runs until March 13.

Tickets are now available at the CCP Box Office and TicketWorld outlets nationwide. For general ticket inquiries, call TANGHALANG PILIPINO at (632)832-3661 or 832-1125 local 1620/1621.