A reflection on Sinagoga 5: MISYON: do you dare?!
by Jillian J Estrellado
The play depicts the typical Aquinian student struggling to serve the community. While students can sympathize with the major characters I’m sure many would find themselves relating to the one portrayed as wholly indifferent to the whole affair and glued to his/her computer.
It started as a portrayal of the whole community in desperate need of help from the outside. Various actors in ‘community’ garb agonize prostrate on the ground, its meaning crystal clear. The main character in Aquinas Uniform tries in vain to help these people only to cry out in outrage, pleading for others to help her because a single person cannot, with all her power, help a multitude. She pleads to the audience to help the poor, to lend a hand to the suffering. The scene dissolves into a typical student dormitory scene as the main characters discuss the upcoming community project spearheaded by the CSTP. All but one discuss the merits such an activity will bring. One can feel the genuine care these actors have for the welfare of the community. Akin to what Saint Dominic had done, selling his precious books to feed the poor.
Along comes a haughty character that would rather lie down—uncaring of such ideas, who would much rather have 'real' fun in going out with her friends to frequent various bars and other entertainment spots. A very artistic display of what most students do with their free time—spending hours on the computer, drinking, even using drugs. Then the scene breaks out to a beautiful rendition of a community and the actors brilliantly perform their silent roles - fishing, harvesting, and doing community chores. Then the main characters prepare to go to the community to teach the children and help out in various ways. They teach Christian concepts with startling depth and candor that it was very enjoyable to watch.
The next part struck me as the heart of this stage play, the immersion of oneself into the community, to feel what they feel and suffer as they suffer in order to see the need and fill it. As the students left, they brought the knowledge with only the people in such a state of life can give. The honest acceptance of what the people in the community are blessed with, no matter how little they have in life as they struggle to make it through each day, always strikes me as precious every time I see it. That poverty can force one to choose painfully between studying and working. That oppression exists even in a world that boasts of numerous malls and air-conditioned classrooms. I know the audience sympathize and feel lucky to have been born in a well-off family so they can study comfortably.
The play ended in a harmonious communion between the students and the community. The haughty student learned to gain more meaningful happiness by service to the community, in contrast to the petty happiness she gains through various forms of entertainment. She finally found how to spend her time wisely.
I especially like the lighting of the candles in the ending. It is a symbolism that as the audience we are not merely spectators of such a change but also a catalyst of the development of the community as a whole. It made me suddenly remember the old song “..It is better to light just one little candle / Than to stumble in the dark / Better far that you light just one little candle / All you need is a tiny spark . . .” Likewise, we just need a tiny spark, each one willing to light his own candle in order to start change.
Posted on: 03.16.2012
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