Wanted: A Chaperone

The play is a Buwan ng Wika presentation of the school. It is an adaptation of Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero's Wanted: A Chaperone.

My kids were a father-and-(adopted) daughter team. They've really gone a long way from being arch enemies a few years back.

Josh as Don Francisco, with speech mentor Teacher Sandy.

Actors all. Josh and Sophie blend in well with the cast.

(photos by MAV Valenzuela and Marvelous Alejo)

Sophie and Josh yesterday appeared in a play staged by their school at the Valenzuela City Auditorium.

The performance was based on the play Wanted: A Chaperone by Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero and translated to Filipino by Jose Villa Panganiban. I say "based" because the school took the liberty of adding some characters to the original cast called for by the script.

The comedy opens with the father, Don Francisco (played by Josh) and the mother, Doña Petra, complaining that their son who is already employed is still asking for his allowance. Husband and wife are also debating over their college-age daughter Nena, who spent the previous night at a party alone with a certain Fred. Nena describes herself as "dalagang edukada" which means she is of a decidedly more modern disposition than her parents.

Fred's mother Doña Dolores learns about the unchaperoned excursion as well and rushes to Nena's parents, criticizing the morals of their daughter and insisting that "something happened."

When the adults shut up and the children finally speak up, they reveal that nothing in fact happened because Nena became so disgusted with Fred's dancing that she left the party and went to Quiapo instead with her girl friends.

The play highlights the sometimes ridiculous thoughts that go through parents' minds when they feel protective of their children. (I certainly can relate to that.)

The domestic helpers gave comic relief to the seriousness of their employers' concerns. The "ampons" -- Trudis (adopted by Dolores) and Angelina (adopted by Francisco and Petra, played by Sophie) and two boy-admirers of Angelina also tempered the adult concerns and lightened the mood by the occasional dance showdowns. (Sophie danced to a portion of "Totoy Bibo", heheheh).

Needless to say, I am proud of my kids. Sophie was just so pretty and her curls framed her face perfectly. More importantly, I was happy that her involvement in the theater group was out of her own initiative. She has indeed evolved from the shy girl she was three years ago, the girl who would not even dare raise her hand even if she knew the answer, a teacher told me.

Sophie had originally auditioned for Nena but was deemed too young. I agree.

Josh, for his part, enjoyed his role to the hilt. He now parades around the house in his red robe and utters an occasional "Damontres!" whenever things don't go his way -- for instance when our Internet connection is especially slow. What a well-rounded dude: he plays the guitar, he cooks, he plays tennis and table tennis, and now he's shown he's at home onstage, too.

Another interesting side show was the reunion of Bea and her former classmates. They are all college freshmen now, scattered in various schools and pursuing various disciplines. They haven't really seen each other since the new phase of their lives began. I was happy to see them so happy to see each other again.

It was a good day. I was glad to be a chaperone.