"It will open up a lot of questions and that's what art is supposed to do," said Cherie Gil as she tried to explain the reasons why a play first written nearly three decades ago about the 1980s AIDS crisis in the US can resonate to many Filipinos today.
She's part of the upcoming local adaptation of "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches," the brilliant, award-winning play by Tony Kushner that tells of the struggle the LGBT people --gay men, in particular-- had to face amidst the rise of the religious right and the height of the AIDS epidemic in America.
Gil argued that while so many things have changed --for the better-- in terms of gay rights and HIV-testing around the world, the pattern of ignorance being used as a weapon still persists.
"It is a 'must-see' not just because it is about homosexuality, but because it is about everybody's hypocrisy," the actress said.
She also talked about how it makes us confront our "mortality" --given the chilling reality of the time period when thousands died-- prompting us to think about "what we want to hold on to at the end of the day."
Her castmates, meanwhile, rode with the point that the stigma surrounding AIDS and gay people is still very much present in the Philippines --and this needs to stop.
The play also serves as a warning sign, they said, of the dangers of a divided society and its possibly fatal consequences.
The local adaptation is by Atlantis Theatrical.
It is directed by Bobby Garcia and also stars Art Acuna, Pinky Amador, Angeli Bayani, Topper Fabregas, Nelsito Gomez, Andoy Ranay, and Markki Stroem.
It will be staged staring March 22 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium of the RCBC Plaza in Makati.