‘Acting on HIV’


    At the PETA Theater Center, on No. 5 Eymard Drive, Brgy. Kristong Hari, New Manila, Quezon City, the first quarter of 2020 features Rody Vera’s Under My Skin, a provocative, relevant, and heart-wrenching drama anthology top-billed by multi-awarded actress Cherry Pie Picache.

    Inspired by real people and events, the play, which is part of PETA’s creative campaign “Acting on HIV”, aims to re-examine the issue of HIV and AIDS, as the numbers of recorded cases rapidly increase every day.

    The play therefore accurately depicts the realities, triumphs, and struggles of people living with HIV, while navigating an important conversation about acceptance and tolerance.

    According to Cherry Pie Picache: “I’ve always wanted to do a play with PETA….. so when our director and my good friend Melvin Lee told me that Under My Skin is going to be an advocacy play on HIV, I was enthusiastic to join.”

    “I want to use my position, wherever I am now, to influence and advocate for certain issues. I am learning a lot and I really like the learning process. I was also interested kung nasaan na ba ang Pilipinas sa usaping HIV. It’s very timely because we should all give a part of ourselves to make people aware.”

    The commitment that Cherry Pie has for her craft is something she has in common with her role in Under My Skin. “Dr. Gemma Almonte is very dedicated,” she describes her character, whom she shares with veteran theater actress Roselyn Perez. “She is very objective like most doctors are. But inside, she’s very involved. Andoon ‘yung empathy niya.”

    Cherry Pie is hopeful that Under My Skin will not only be a learning experience for audiences, but will also contribute positive change and action to combat the HIV and AIDS crisis in the country. “HIV is not and should not be a death sentence anymore. We, as a community, as a society, have the responsibility to get involved,” she adds.

    Under My Skin is directed by Gawad Buhay! Awards nominee Melvin Lee. He is joined by his artistic team: Eric Dela Cruz (dramaturg), Migs Cortes (music/sound designer and arranger), Benjamin Padero and Carlo Tabije (production designers), Ian Torqueza (lights designer), Steven Tansiongco (video designer), and Nicole Primero and Bubbles Deriada (choreographers) from Airdance.

    The cast also features TV, film, and theater artists Miguel Almendras, Mike Liwag, Anthony Falcon, and Dylan Talon, together with a roster of PETA artists: Eko Baquial, Gio Gahol, Lotlot Bustamante, Kitsi Pagaspas, Ekis Gimenez, Dudz Teraña, Jarred Jaicten, She Maala, Gold Villar-Lim, Bene Manaois, Mico Esquivel, Erold Enriquez, Jason Barcial, Joseph Madriaga, Rach Gimpes, Reggie Ondevilla, Roy Dahildahil, and Csai Habla.

    Under My Skin is presented by PETA, The Red Whistle, and LoveYourself PH, in partnership with UNAIDS and Unilab.

    The play runs from February 7 to March 22.

    Let’s go watch this presentation. It will be entertaining and educational!!!