Sining: Biyaya o Sumpa?
Art Reviews

Sining: Sumpa o Biyaya? A Balag at Angud Review

Sining: Sumpa o Biyaya?

Last August 31, 2018, we watched a game-changing show which I find very timely for millennials nowadays. Most of us question ourselves whether or not we pursue what our hearts want or stick to what’s practical.

One of the lines that struck me the most, “Sining, isang sumpa o isang biyaya?”

Balag at Angud: A Review

Disclaimer: Photos used in this blog post came from Tanghalang Pilipino. They strictly imposed no photo taking during the show. Also, you will see Filipino words or phrases along the way. I will do my best to give an English translation of it.

So, here we are. One rainy Friday night, we found ourselves driving and powering through the manic Friday traffic in Metro Manila. Every thought counted as we kept on thinking positive to arrive just in time before the show starts. The show that night was a special preview of Balag at Angud.

It was a good thing that we live near the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) which made it easier for us to go home after the show.

As I previously stated, this show brings in a train of thought for the younger generation who find themselves questioning the path they are in right now. Some think that they’re doing the wrong things. Others wear different hats just to support their families and their side hustles. Well, most of us are now slaves of the ongoing work hard campaign.

Sining: Isang sumpa o isang biyaya?

Translation: Art: is it a curse or a gift?

The Story of Junyee

Sining: isang biyaya o isang sumpa?

Junyee, when he was a make-up artist.

Who is he? What did he do for the creative scene in the Philippines? When was he born?

Quite frankly, I got a lot of questions in my head before watching the show. When I got the invite for the preview, what struck me the most was the implication on whether you choose passion or getting work to support yourself. This issue bothers a lot of people nowadays. Most question their decisions thinking and wondering if they made the right move.

As a young adult in this current generation, I question myself a lot too. At times, it ends up with my anxiety taking over.

Junyee’s story relates to many aspiring artists out there. Some deviate from the normal track their parents want them to have. The usual, take up a degree wherein it will allow you to earn a lot of money afterward or manage the family business (if your family has one). Junyee came from a family who runs a hotel business. His father wanted him to manage the business once he finished college. Junyee wanted to pursue Fine Arts and not Commerce. What his father wanted him to pursue was Commerce. Yet, he just did not see himself pursuing that.

However, he did not give up that easily. Junyee carved his own path, did everything he could so he becomes an artist.

I personally admire his perseverance when he continued becoming an artist even if the universe seemed to be against him. His story continuously inspires me to strive harder with my craft and to continue passing and sharing what I know to other aspiring artisans and crafters out there too.

What I love the most about this show?

Sining: isang biyaya o isang sumpa?Ang sining ba ay isang sumpa o isang biyaya?

The show continues to wake up people in all walks of life

From our parents who frowned or got dismayed by our decisions of taking another path we want, to the ones who stood by our side, I hope you never fail to love us, your children. The show tells everyone that succeeds if they persevere on what they want or what they set their mind to doing.

Now, it may sound cliche and all but that’s how Junyee did it. He did not let anyone stop him, even if it was hunger!

Late night visits from our muses

Also, I saw myself in parts of his story because he got late night visits from his muse. She gives him light and hopes to continue creating and expressing himself through art and his sculptures. Through hard times, she always visited and comforted him even though he felt weighed down.

It happens to anyone too. There are times we wake up in the middle of the night having a blast of ideas. If we fail to write it down, we lose it to the universe. Hence, we usually get up and start creating even if it means that we will lose sleep. Nevertheless, we know that it’s worth it because we get to do what we love.

Now, if only others will understand how art makes us feel ecstatic and alive again. The power of creating sends out a message that people must understand. The majority may not understand what it really means but we captivate them in our own little way.

There are people who will always support us

Even if Junyee’s father wanted him to pursue Commerce, he still supported him in his creative journey. It may not be that explicit like his mother’s support for him but the show never failed to show that to the audience.

The same goes for us. We may face a lot of negativities throughout our different journeys in life. But, we will always have people that will support us no matter what.

I realize that while watching the show. That even if we make poor decisions all through our lives, there will always be those people who continue to believe in us and in what we can do. Personally, I am in awe of Junyee’s wife as she did not leave his side. She is always there. And with that, this memorable line that I could never forget.

Sana ako na lang ang inspirasyon mo. (Bakit?) Dahil hindi kita iiwan.

Translation: I wish I’m your inspiration. (Why?) Because I will never leave you.

For me, that’s one of the most powerful scenes and dialogs in the whole production. Truth be told, I tried restraining myself from shedding tears but the show just struck me straight to the heart!


Art brings life and makes people alive even if they are going through something tough in their own lives. People seem to forget and condemn the people who create and make art that they are just wasting their time. To them, taking the creative path does not give anything.

As they say, if you pursue art, you become a struggling artist.

That is half-true. There are those who are afraid of taking the leap of faith and investing in themselves. They stick to what’s safe and just treat their art as some hobby. However, there are those people who jump off the cliff with everything they can grab. Both ideas are admirable and true.

But what do you think? Are you ready to take the plunge?

I am still afraid. However, I’m continuously making progress with everything, especially with #adutling.

But anyway, the show shares a message that everyone must take time to hear. If it were to me, I would do everything in my power to keep the production alive and accessible to most people so they understand what I’m saying.

Now, what do you think?

Is art a curse or a gift?

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