hello philippines

The UP Repertory Company Alumni Association and the UP Repertory Company presents its first joint offering for 2009: Hello Philippines!

Hello Philippines, a one act musical, is a humorous take on call center culture. Team leader Tiffany tells five agents from his team that one of them is going to get axed. The twist, however, is that he will leave that decision to the five agents. So now, it’s up to ex-tibak Anton, clueless rich girl Berni, the slutty Toni, the probinsyanong Brichi, and the overly religious Elsa to do whatever it takes to keep their jobs. Whatever it takes.

Hello Philippines is viciously funny and holds nothing sacred as it skewers the “call center lifestyle”, a life cycle born out of fast money and desperation, shifting body clocks, and too much coffee, beer, and cigarettes. It attempts to put into perspective all the sacrifices one makes to stay in such an environment, albeit in an entertaining manner.

The Story behind “Hello Philippines!”

Before “Hello…”, there was Chupacabra

Hello Philippines! traces its origin from the play Chupacabra, written by UP Rep alumnus Abet Cruz.  Chupacabra was written as part of a minor productionback in 2007 that saw the play staged at UP’s dormitory circuit.  The dorm tour, centering on call center lifestyle, was a smashing success thanks to the sheer hilarity of Chupacabra.

Even at its earliest incarnations, Chupacabra was a powerful, rollicking, laugh-a-second satire that got the message across.  Since those stagings, there has been talk of restaging Chupacabra due to the overwhelming popularity of the play.  The interest flagged down a bit though; with UP celebrating its centennial, UP Rep decided to do a more UP-centric production for AY 2007-08.  And so, Chupacabra was shelved.

But you can’t keep a good play down.  When the UP Rep alumni started talking about what play they could stage for their inagural offering, quite a few suggested we take a look at Chupacabra again.  Two years since its last staging, Chupacabra was still every bit as funny and irreverent as we remembered it to be.  But, if we were serious in staging this play, we would need to make changes to the play.

Pimp my play

We all loved Chupacabra, but the play needed work.  Chupacabra was very raw and experimental, and we needed to give it a bit of a polish.

With that, Abet revisited his script and started retooling everything.  We also agreed to make the play longer by turning it into a musical.  And we also felt that we couldn’t keep the old name Chupacabra anymore.  That title, more than anything, was an inside joke.  We settled on calling it Hello Philippines!.


Watch HELLO PHILIPPINES at Aldaba Hall Dance Studio, UP Diliman on August 12, 13, 14, 15, & 16, and at Tanghalang Julian Felipe, De La Salle University РDasmari̱as on August 27 and 28!