Tag Archives: Cecile Guidote-Alvarez

Cecile Guidote Alvarez (Theater Philippines) – WikiPeaceWomen

Cecile Guidote Alvarez (Philippines)


“I envision a world free from poverty, pollution, ignorance, injustice. This must be done through culture so that it is peaceful. We have to develop minds and hearts that care and share.”

Cecile Guidote Alvarez (born 1943) founded the Philippine Educational Theater Association (Peta), a pioneering theater group that honed creative artists and audiences through children’s, college, and community theater. For 38 years, Peta has depicted social issues through original Filipino plays, using the language of the masses and alternative theater spaces. Today, as Executive Director of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Cecile has been described as a “cultural caregiver”.

Cecile Guidote Alvarez has served the Filipino public for years through the arts as a theater artist, producer, director and founder of cultural movements. As a 16-year-old talent of the Paulinian Players Guild, she was tapped to join the Ateneo Summer Graduate School Theater, where she was exposed to a theater workshop with disabled children at the National Orthopedic Hospital. Seeing the children emerge from hopelessness to confidence, Cecile discovered the power of the arts to transform the marginalized youth into creative individuals. At 18, Cecile directed the award-winning TV series, “Teenagers”, which tackled problems of the youth. From this early exposure to theater arts, Cecile envisioned a theater not just for entertainment, but also as a significant social venue that could articulate the aspirations of the Filipino people. From 1964 to 1967, she pursued graduate studies at the State University of New York and the Trinity University in Texas. She returned to the country in 1967 with her graduate thesis entitled “Prospectus for a National Theater” which envisioned a Philippine national theater movement. This became the basis for the Philippine Educational Theater Association (Peta) that Cecile founded and directed in 1967. For 38 years, Peta has honed creative artists who made successful careers in the Philippine theater and movie industry. The pioneering theater movement has regional chapters involving children’s theater, college theater, community theater and traditional arts. Currently, as Executive Director of the National Commission for Culture and Arts, Cecile continues her lifetime commitment of “cultural care giving” by providing free arts training to street children, the disabled and indigenous youth. Cecile attests that “the arts are a peaceful and powerful means of transmitting values.”

Philippine Educational Theater Association (Peta) Movement for a Free Philippines International Alliance of Concerned Artists for Human Rights and Peace (ACAHRP)

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Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) – “Stage of the Nation”

Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA)

After celebrating its golden anniversary and the milestone of receiving a Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2017, the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) welcomes its 51st theater season with another breakthrough.

From September 2018 – June 2019, PETA devotes all aspects of its artistic and teaching practice to “Stage of the Nation”, a creative campaign that hopes to utilize the arts and engage artists to contribute to the discourses that concern our nation.

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PETA is among the recipients of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Awards. Widely considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in Asia, the Magsaysay Awards are typically given to paragons in government service, public service and community leadership. But in a rare distinction for an organization in the arts and culture sector, PETA was lauded for “its bold, collective contributions in shaping the theater arts as a force for social change, its impassioned, unwavering work in empowering communities in the Philippines, and the shining example it has set as one of the leading organizations of its kind in Asia.”

Five decades of making Philippine theater history

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Through the years, PETA has remained as one of the top theater organizations in the country. In it’s almost 50 years in the industry, the company has developed a multitude creative theater artists who believe in PETA’s vision of empowering a citizenry through theater arts. It has also built a network of partners who value culture as medium for change, and believe that theater can be a tool for education, social change and development.

Public and private schools nationwide
400
NGOs and community-based organizations
45
Student theater groups
25
Local government units
20
Local and International donor agenicies
10
Local and international and education organizations
25
Media partners
35

 PETA has distinguished itself as a pioneer in stimulating and advancing progressive, critical and creative arts, rooted in the realities and dreams of the Filipino people.

– Terre des Hommes Germany in Southeast Asia (TDHG)

 ICCO has been supporting PETA for many years because we think PETA is an effective instrument for the development of democratic culture in the Philippines. PETA, in a very creative way, stimulates a critical reflection on important issues of Philippine society.

– Interchurch Organization For Development Cooperation (ICCO has been supporting PETA)

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  • Address: The PETA Theater Center No.5 Eymard Drive, New Manila Quezon City, Metro Manila 1112 Philippines
  • Phone: 632-725-6244
  • Fax: 632-722-6911 or 632-410-0821
  • Email: petafr@petatheater.com  Philliipe
    All rights are reserved by PETA Copyright 2016.

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Peggy and Randy Ford Authors- FOUND OUR WAY 4th Installment

10. For the longest time Peggy only worked with one teacher, but she didn’t know if she could handle much more. She hoped to teach Mrs. Acuin enough new math that she could teach her students, but she felt so unsure of herself that Peggy ended up doing most of the teaching. Only … Peggy, after a while, began to wonder how much teaching she was doing. To find out she gave a short quiz. She didn’t put grades on the papers, but if she had, she saw that not more than 8 or 9 (out of a class of more than 40) would have passed.

The trouble was that these kids had learned practically no math in their previous years of schooling. And the class was one of the lowest sections of fourth graders at the school. Some spoke almost no English (when English was the medium of instruction), and many could barely read. Their subtraction was atrocious (43 – 7 = 41, or even 46 – 8 = 54), and their multiplication was worse (63 divided by 9 equals 71 or 49 divided by 7 equals 5).

Peggy had worked with multiplication and division with these kids. She used 3rd and even 2nd grade techniques, but she had to start at almost zero with them. It was also the first time they were forced to think and reason (new math required this). Peggy thought if she could take them at her own pace, she could really begin to lay a foundation, but they were forced to follow, at least halfway, a prescribed “budget of work.” And it didn’t provide for treating 4th graders … even the slowest section … as 2nd graders.

Peggy thought that the Filipino school system was really in sad shape. They were pushing an “Emergency Plan” because the school-age population was growing much faster than could possibly be coped with. Schools were on double shifts, meaning that the children got five straight hours of classes, with a 15 or 20 minute “recess-lunch.” The classes were big … anywhere from 40 to 60 students … and the children’s desks were unbelievably small.

The poor teachers got the worst deal. A beginning teacher’s salary was P200 per month, but her take-home pay was more like P140 per month. From this she (there were few men) had to buy all the supplies she needed, including brooms and floor-wax for her rooms. Textbooks were scarce, and duplicating machines non-existent. This meant that everything had to be written on chalkboards or on large pieces of paper, which could be thumb tacked to the blackboard. Some of the morning teachers arrived as early as 5:30 a.m., in order to get ready for their classes, which began at 7:00 a.m. The afternoon teachers had to try to get to the board while the morning teachers were still trying to carry on their classes.

Primary teachers (grades 1-4) taught 12 classes every day … which meant 12 lesson plans every night. Was it any wonder that only the surface was frequently touched … especially when classes were only 30 minutes long. Peggy easily spent all evening preparing for one class and was thankful that she didn’t have twelve.

10. A single stick of gun (Doublement) cost 5 cents, and we didn’t think we’d enjoy chewing it at that price.

11. During those early days our weekends were just as busy as our workweek. Naturally we attended quite a few plays … all of them in Tagalog. One Sunday we went to a beach with some other volunteers. Although it wasn’t a very clean place, we had fun picking up seashells; and it was a relaxing day. The next Sunday the husband of a University of Philippines professor (of social work) took two other couples and us to Taygaytay, a lake resort overlooking a steaming volcano. And the following weekend we had some drama people over to our place on Friday night and some nationalistic Filipinos over on Sunday night. And Peggy’s principal kept saying to let him know when we had a free weekend.

12. The head of my department at the University of Philippines felt very strongly that part of my duty as a professor was to read a lot. Since working in the theater before my Peace Corps days allowed little time for reading, I really took advantage of the attitude at the university. I bet I read 12 or 15 plays in a couple of weeks. I also prepared for two of the courses I later taught there: Children’s Theater and Directing. Then every afternoon I crossed the city to Fort Santiago, where I worked for PETA (the Philippine Educational Theater Association), helping Cecile Guidote-Alvarez (and many other Filipinos) create a national theater in the fort.

13. During those first months we saw some nasty weather caused by a typhoon. It rained, and the wind blew worse than we had ever seen it blow. The typhoon was predicted to hit Manila directly, but the city was lucky because the full force of the storm didn’t hit it. But many trees were uprooted, and hundreds of poorly built homes were destroyed. Electric wires were down all over the city. We were lucky: we only lost two windows, and by 7:00 p.m. we had electricity again.

Peggy expressed how she felt watching the storm in this way: “It made me feel very helpless: nature had changed the plans of the whole city of Manila. Randy and I were lucky that all it did to us was change our plans for one day.”

Peggy and Randy Ford

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Randy-a tribute to the creators of Philippine theater

      A noted columnist, Teadoro Doroy Valencia, who was know as the Drew Pearson of the Phillippines, allowed us to create a theater in Fort Santiago in less than a month.   It was not a small miracle (and Fort Santiago is a national shrine, where incarcerated Jose Rizal waited for his execution). Valencia, full of energy, took care of all of the details of the restoration of Manila during the Marcos era: clearing squatters out of the huge public square known as Luneta, sanitizing Paco Cemetery, creating a flower clock that told time, and maintaining clean public restrooms that flushed.

     Anything was possible in Teadoro Valencia’s world, or it seemed: a man who had a direct line to Emelda, then able to use his influenced he gained as a writer; now though no longer living his contributions to the Philippines and Philippine theater still are alive.

      Theadoro Valencia, as a writer, had great influence.   He used that influence to help PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association).   We can assume he knew the importance of PETA.   He saw the organization create and perform the first plays in Filipino.   From that beginning, they went on to produce over 400 plays that shaped the country’s theater history.   And I was there at the beginning.   I was amazed then and amazed now.   And they have recorded their triumph in “a collective biography” that provides a comprehensive yet intimate account” of the company’s history, from 1967-2007.

       Randy Ford

 PETA Releases ‘A Continuing Narrative on Philippine Theater’

posted on Tuesday June 3, 2008

       “After more than 10 laborious years of research, compiling, writing and editing, PETA is proud to bring to the public its 740 plus page book, chronicling its 40-year journey as a Filipino Theater company PETA Releases A Continuing Narrative on Philippine TheaterThe Story of PETA may be considered a collective biography that provides a comprehensive yet intimate account of its lifework, from 1967 to 2007.   It highlights the company’s unique approach and contribution to Philippine theater aesthetics, performance and pedagogy, and to popular education.

      “PETA began by asserting the then radical view of creating and performing plays in Filipino.   A solid record of some 400 plays written, translated, adapted, published and performed, shaped the company’s and indeed the country’s theater history, enriching it through theater forms and techniques that express local, national and universal themes.
     “PETA’s pedagogy and aesthetics for people’s theater, a unique and powerful curriculum for training in theater and the arts has inspired artist-teachers to share their skills, talents and experiences with others, directed toward individual human development and societal transformation.

     “This book presents a chronicle of the collective journey of men and women who have inscribed a powerful presence in Philippine theater history.   Woven together, their stories provide strings of hope and inspiration, a remarkable tapestry of dreams dedicated to Philippine theater, society, and nation.

    “As PETA enters its fifth decade of existence, it continues to nurture young artists who will metamorphose into artists-teachers-leaders and carry on the torch of art to inspire many to become cultural creatives.

     Launched during the 40th Anniversary Concert held at the PETA Theater Center on May 30, 2008, The Story of PETA is now available at a retail price of PhP1,499.00. For reservations and other inquiries, call PETA at 725.6244, 410.0821 or email petampro@yahoo.com.”

Yes, this is part of Randy’s Story. I’m proud to have been around. Thank you Cecile
Guidote-Alvarez for taking me in.
Here is tribute to her found on the Internet: I hope you are getting well. With great love

and respect, Randy Ford

       “OVERWHELMING was the out pouring of love, admiration and gratitude to the magnificent Filipino Artist for Others, the Ramon Mag-saysay Awardee for Public Service, the brave founder of the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) and the Development Rehabilitation and Education through Arts, Ads By Google Philippines Photo Gallery   Free photos, screensavers & more! Browse our free galleries.  www.Away.com Meet Filipino Beauties   Join Free And Browse Through 1000s Of Profiles For Friendship & More!www.FilipinaHeart.com Acting Schools   Locate Top Acting Schools.   Get Reliable Advice In Your Area.DoTellAll.com  Media and Science (DREAMS).   Ensemble of the Earthsavers Movement and now stricken with cancer Cecile Guidote-Alvarez all in her bid to found a National Theater.       ”

The youngest RM Awardee (for Public Service) all her life Cecile has committed herself to assist in nation building, and in enhancing our national identity through the making and the workings of a national theater.

      “The accolades, fittingly enough began in the Holy Mass officiated by Rev. Fr. James (Mr. Theaterman) Reuter, S.J. who said in his homily: Cecile has three (outstanding) qualities talent, courage and sensitivity of soul.

     “Well represented in the program were the numerous people whose lives she had touched and influenced in one way or another.   And their names are legion, as Soxy Topacio was to call them, Ceciles children, childrens, children, and childrens childrens childrens and more.

      “The program entitled KAPATID: A Tribute to Cecile Guidote Alvarez was held at the Rev. Fr. James Reuter, S.J. Auditorium in St. Pauls College, Quezon City to which the guests had trooped, after relishing a light dinner.

       “Directed by Anton Juan, it reeled off with a brief theatrical offering by Frankie Riveras Sining Kambayoka Troupe come all the way from Marawi City in Mindanao.

      “Recounted were often-humorous anecdotes about the speakers brushes or encounters with tonights honoree a customarily adamant, relentlessly demanding woman of the theater Cecile Guidote-Alvarez.

      “National Artist for Literature Dr. Alejandro Reyes Roces recounted how he had always looked upon her as his adopted daughter ever since he had learnt that Cecile had never seen her biological father, like Anding, himself a guerrillero in World War II, Ceciles Dad (Mauricio Guidote, a USAFFE guerrilla captain) had died while she was still in her mothers womb.   And her mother Caridad Reyes had bravely submitted herself to a ceasarian operation without benefit of anesthesia in order that Cecile might be born (Talk about courage).

      “Actually, Cecile has three surrogate fathers Fr. James Reuter, S.J. who initiated Cecile into the broadcast theater that saw its full flowering in Balintataw; Dr. Alejandro Roces, who linked the efforts she pioneered in PETA to UNESCO for international cooperation; and Teodoro Doroy Valencia, who was hospitable to the concept of a Peoples Theater by allowing them to identify creative spaces for the public particularly Fort Santiago and Paco Park.

      “Bibot Amador of Repertory Philippines founded at about the same time as PETA (of which Cecile was the founder and director) sent a message which was heartily read by Joy Virata and ended truthfully with Cecile may not be a National Artist but she (definitely! LOG) is a National Treasure (as Bibot herself, is.   Too, there is still tomorrow and she may yet be come a National Artist, CCP President Nestor O. Jardin having been in the audience).

     ” Critic/playwright Dr. Isagani Cruz gave examples of how persistent Cecile can be as when Cecile called up Gani in their house and his child answered the phone and Gani told the child to say that he was out, and afterwards the child asked who is Cecile and he answered she is my best friend the child asked again   But, why didnt you talk to her if she is your best friend.   But still Cecile will call again and again until she will be able to talk to me.   And now that I have a cellphone I cant do that anymore.

      “PETAs artistic director Soxy Topacio related, that one time they had a show in Mara

     “PETAs artistic director Soxy Topacio related, that one time they had a show in Marawi City, they arrived at the airport but the plane had just left, so they call Cecile to inform her about the citation and Cecile told them to still go to Marawi in any way adding: If Mao-Tse-Tung could cross the Yang-Tse River, why cant you?   It was good they didnt leave the airport because the plane had to come back because of engine trouble, so they were able to go to Marawi City.

      “Excerpts from the works of PETA that we viewed, included those from: Bayaning Huwad; Dona Clara; Larawan.   Songs by Ateneo Glee Club Alumni with Rev. Fr. James Reuter, S.J. conducting and Rev. Sr. Sarah at the piano, a song by Joy Soler and a song and dance number by the DREAMSEarthsaver Movement composed of street children, resident of Smokey Mountain and disabled persons.

      “Among Ceciles may other children are Lino Brocka, Mario OHara, Rita Gomez, Lolita Rodriguez, Lutgardo Labad, Lorli Villanueva, Malou Jacob, Angie Ferro (although older than Cecile), Lily OBoyle, Bonjin Bolinao, Cecilia Bulaong Garrucho, Joy Soler, Pilar Garcia, Frankie Rivera, Soxy Topacio, Tommy Abuel, Nanding Josef, Nick Lizaso, Noel Trinidad, Jonee Gamboa, Leopoldo Salcedo, and many more.

      “The evenings scene stealer, however turned out to be that great actress, person, and theater woman, Cecile Guidote Alvarez, herself, when she delivered her tearful Pasasalamat.   She admitted to being afflicted with cancer and to having lost her hair.   When she found out that she had been cancer-stricken she asked: Why, Lord?   Is it not enough that I look after your blind, deaf, lame, street children, underprivileged, drug addicts and would-be artists?

      “So buoyed up was the honoree with all the warmth and love demonstrated her this evening, that she found the answer to her question: For this Tribute, this overpowering acclamation from all of you here tonight, might never have been.   And my hair is growing a little a sign that I am getting better… Then, this unflappable, untouchable, incomparable Grande Dame of Philippine Theater took off her shoes and danced (although my toes are black) and then she sang like Joy Soler, in a highly appealing manner.

      “The people kept on shouting We love you, we love you, we love you!   A glorious finale to a glorious albeit tear-jerking evening.

     ” We salute Cecile Alvarez (nee Guidote) a girl with a mission who gave it her all a magnificent artist, and above all, a great Filipina heroine.

    “Blessed are the merciful, for they will obtain mercy.”

    

 
 

 

 

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