PETA brings ‘Rak of Aegis’ online as part of its ‘cultural pantry’

Pepe Herrera and Aicelle Santos perform during the 2019 run of ‘Rak of Aegis.’ PETA

MANILA — After more than a year of theater lockdown, the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) launched Friday the much-anticipated online streaming of its biggest hit, the much-loved musical "Rak of Aegis.”

Based on the hit songs of the Filipino pop-rock band Aegis, the long-running musical will stream beginning July 31 on the Ticket2Me platform.

The online casting, culled from the last video recordings of “Rak of Aegis” in 2019, highlights Isay Alvarez, Robert Seña, Aicelle Santos, Poppert Bernadas, Pepe Herrera, Jimi Marquez, and others.

The big bonus is Kim Molina and Jerald Napoles’ collaboration with the Aegis band in an actual live online concert on August 8.

Director Maribel Legarda told ABS-CBN News Friday

she hopes to add more cast members and other innovations in the live online show.

Santos and Bernadas said they are also looking forward to perform with Aegis, who popularized “Halik,” “Luha,” “Sinta,” “Mahal na Mahal Kita,” “Sayang na Sayang,” and “Basang-Basa sa Ulan.”

Both also shared their fulfillment now that they and other artists can reach a wider international audience through online platforms.

In a video message, National Artist and Philpop head Ryan Cayabyab termed its support for PETA as “sabwatan,” to help many artists displaced by the pandemic.

“Rak of Aegis” tells the story of the struggles of fictional community of Barangay Venezia, led by an aspiring singer who dreams of becoming an internet sensation.

The online era is a milestone of sorts for the theater institution, which has embraced the digital world after more than five decades. Late last year, it partnered with KTX.ph in showing “Care Divas” and other PETA productions.

Above all, it’s a way for PETA to stay afloat amid its financial woes. PETA head CB Garrucho is adamant in not raising the white flag of surrender despite losses and letting go of a big percentage of its workforce.

“Online streaming is part of our cultural pantry to inspire the arts community to go on, find a way to survive and prevail,” Garrucho said in the virtual conference, stressing PETA’s #TakePETABeyondCovid campaign.

Aside from “Rak of Aegis,” Garrucho spoke of more loaded “cultural pantry” with more offerings in the digital era. Legarda recalled that this is also a great time for PETA to return to TV format pioneered by its pillars, like Soxy Topacio.

PETA executive director Beng Cabangon also disclosed that as part of its election campaign, PETA will once again show online its comedy “Si Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at ang Limang Milyong Boto,” Vincent De Jesus’ commentary on the social consciousness of the first-time voter Juan Tamad.

Cabangon said the show is targeted to open the minds of thousands of Pinoy first-time voters as they go through the process of the 2022 elections.

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