from the editor's laptop
welcome readerpoemsessaysshort storiesplaysstories for childrenportraitbookslinksarchivesindex to issuesOOV readersabout us / submitcurrent issue

Andy, If You're Starting a Revolution, Fax Me the Date, a play by Remé A. Grefalda

Andy, If You're Starting a Revolution, Fax Me the Date! by Reme A. Grefalda

How Bonifacio got his dates mixed up and how his courier had a flat on his way to Aguinaldo who was not home anyway because he was visiting a balikbayan in Fort Santiago


Remé A. Grefalda


SCENE: SOUND of alley cats fighting and hissing, garbage can covers dropped noisily. CURTAINS OPEN to ball being tossed back and forth in an alley where trash cans and corrugated boxes are stacked. A woman is hanging clothes on a line. Others are seated on trashcans watching and kibitzing, some are learning dance steps; a group is squatting, playing Kara/Kruz on the ground (SOUNDS of grunting by losers and hurrays from winners). ENTER STAGE RIGHT: One character on a wheelbarrow is being pushed towards the players.

After 3 beats, ENTER STAGE LEFT Goyong Bulag and Enteng Bingi dressed in folk dancers’ costume (red pants and tight barong) struggling to hold up a banner with the backside facing the audience, and 6 lanky bean-pole carriers lightly carrying a single TINIKLING bamboo with aplomb and even swaying to an imaginary melody.

It’s here! It’s here!

(Stops hanging clothes) You mean it’s finally finished? Unbelievable! Do you know how tacky it would be to march without a banner? The press would eat us alive. Well, turn it around.

Banner is reversed to show large letters in red on a white sheet: "R-R-R". Everyone gives his two cents worth of critique.

(Squinting hard)I think the letters are too small. (turning to painter) Couldn’t you have used a more Gothic print or italics to give it some... vroom?

What "ver-rroomm"? For a measly $7.99 plus free paint and an old sheet you want "verr-rroom"?

Maybe if we iron the sheet, it will look more stylish!

If you do, the paint will come off and the iron will be scorched in red.

A farmer wearing a military jacket complete with epaulets approaches the sheet and pulls out a measuring tape, sizing up the banner. Puts on a baseball cap with a large "QC" written on it.

This won’t do! (Groan all around.)

(sitting up from the wheelbarrow) Oh no, not another typo again!

Mrs. Bee, I hate to tell you this but this banner won’t pass the strict measurements for official revolutionary banners put out by the Department of Permissions. The regulation states that it has to measure Twin Sheet and three eighths not Queen Sheet or Full. This is definitely a Queen sheet, if I am not mistaken.

(to pole carriers) I tole you guys it was a sissy looking sheet.

It was on sale at Filene’s Basement—

And it fit our budget!

(Both collapse from the weight of the banner.)

What’ll we do? Andy will tear his hair and I don’t want a bald husband after the revolution.

Hey, I have an idea. (Hands over her smouldering giant tabako to Luna)

(Runs off stage. Everyone watches as she comes back with two large pairs of scissors. The folk dancers struggle to stand, holding up the banner. Tandang Sora hands other pair of scissors to Dolpong Kalbo and each one starts from end to end to cut off the top part. When they’re finished, they raise the banner and EVERYONE reads out loud.)

K - K - K!!!

(Whipping out his tape measure and measuring the sheet top to bottom) Perfect! Meets regulation to a T!

(holding up the wheelbarrow) Well, you’re the brains, Poli, I mean Mr. Mabini—what does it mean? What will the letters stand for?

Hmmmmmm....Quite profound! There’s a meaning to those 3 letters. Let me think this one over....

You mean we are no longer the Riding Rebels of the Revolution??

Well, there’s no time to think of a new name.

Someone find out what the deadline is for submitting a new name to Historians and the Press.

I’ll go, I’ll go. (Exits)

Let’s get on with it. Okay, everyone, start packing. Let’s have a roll call. Poli Mabini! (at the sound of name, say "Here") ... Makario Makulay! Milyo Jacinto! (no response) Cinto!

Manang! Manang! Don’t you remember? Cinto is with Mang Andy!

Oh, how can I forget! Maria Magbanua! Enteng Bingi! Goyong Bulag! He was here, wasn’t he? (As a few nod solemnly) Tandang Sora, Dolpong Kalbo, Caciqueng Tomas, Mestizong Bangus, Cianong-Ciano, Primo Berde, Chikito Luna, Makaryo Donal, Sirang Kabeza, and Porbidang Yawa. Now, pay attention, everyone. Don’t forget your hand-carry. (Group starts holding up chop-sticks, knives and forks, ladles, large barbecue fork etc) Andy is meeting us at the bottom of Jones Bridge under the Pepsi Cola sign. You there, make sure that Andy stands behind the banner so he’ll never know the difference.

But won’t Pareng Aguinaldo notice the banner?

Ole Crew Cut is short-sighted anyway.

Oh my goodness, I wonder if Milyo managed to get the doctor out. We really need a physician who will charge us a group rate once the wounded are brought in.

What about the guy who treated your athlete’s foot, Poli?

I’d recommend him, but he left to do his residency at Cook County General in Chicago.

The Philippine Medical Association says they’ll assign someone to our cause if we take out a one-page ad in their Medical Ball souvenir program.

Don’t believe them! The last time we took out a quarter page ad, they promised to cover our ambush-skirmish team, and who did they send?

They sent Pio Poblete.

What’s wrong with Pio Poblete?

Hey, nothing, Mrs. Bee! I love Pareng Pio myself, but the guy’s always offering to do an angioplasty first even if you have a broken leg or a bashed head.

The school bus has arrived! Everyone take a leak before we go.

(Everyone heads for stage left, some return on stage zipping up their fly, or fluffing their hair, women smacking their lipstick.)

EXIT Revolutionaries, Mabini being wheeled out and Mrs. B singing revolutionary song: the Beatles "There’s gonna be a Revolution", followed by a contingency singing

I heb two hens, da lep and da rite
Hold dem up high so clean and bright
Clap dem soplee, wan...tu...tree
Clean litul hans are good to see

next page | back to toptop | about the author

powered by
  poems | essays | short stories | plays | stories for children | portrait
from the editor's laptop | welcome reader | frontispiece
books | links | archives | index to issues | readers
about us | current issue