The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) recently announced in a press release that they will open their 45th theater season with a stage play adaptation of the Lino Brocka-Nora Aunor-Philip Salvador film classic Bona. The play is slated to run from August 24-September 23 at the PETA Theater Center. Critically-acclaimed film and theater actress Eugene Domingo will play the title role originally played by La Aunor while Layeta Bucoy wrote the stage adaptation and Soxie Topacio will direct.
The original film was directed by the late National Artist for Film and PETA co-founding member Lino Brocka. the film "Bona" originally centered around a young schoolgirl portrayed by Nora Aunor who became a die-hard fan of Gardo, a wannabe actor essayed by Philip Salvador. Her portrayal won her the Best Actress Award in the 1980 Gawad Urian Awards. The film written by Cenen Ramones also made its way around the globe, first as an official entry in the 1981 Cannes International Film Festival Director's Fortnight. It was cited as one of the "100 Best Films of the World" by The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.
Set in modern-day Manila, the stage adaptation of Bona revolves around Eugene Domingo as a spinster call center agent who becomes a fan of Gino Sanchez (Edgar Allan Guzman), a contestant in the talent search “Star of Tomorrow.” Blinded by her obsession on Gino, Bona turns her back on everything she values and gives up nearly everything she has in martyr-like fashion. Trapped in a quicksand of blind worship and pity, Bona proves how obsession may overpower love and even lead to a person's demise.
In the press release, Bucoy shared her insight about the difference of the new Bona from her cinema counterpart. "Eugene's Bona is more empowered; she is financially independent and even supports her family. As a fan, she lays claim to empowerment, as she believes that the inclusion of fan votes in a talent search on TV affords her to choose tomorrow's next big star. Since her admiration is also stamped with pity, blinded with altruism, she gives the aspiring star her all," shares Bucoy.