One thing I miss most about our pre-pandemic life is getting to watch all the stage musicals, both local and foreign, anytime I want to. The feeling of watching a stage come alive through the story it tells is something that can never be replicated on screen… but I’ve found that Viu Philippines’ newest original show, “Still,” comes really close.
“Still” is streaming service Viu’s original musical narrative series birthed from the creative minds of director Treb Monteras II (“Respeto”), creator and showrunner Pat Valera (“Dekada ’70 The Musical,” “Mula Sa Buwan”), co-creators Giancarlo Abrahan (“Dagitab”) and Nicco Manalo (“Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa”), and multi-awarded film producer Monster Jimenez.
The 8-episode show will follow the story of a group of aspiring artists who meet and eventually get stuck together in lockdown at a music camp in Balay at the height of the pandemic. Through the power of music, they use their stories and voices to prove to the world that they deserve to be heard and that they still matter.
The series stars a talented cast of film and stage actors and actresses: Julie Ann San Jose plays Laura, the relentless dreamer; Gab Pangilinan plays Laura’s best friend Sab, the voiceless writer; Christian Bautista plays camp head and mentor, Nikolas; Bituin Escalante plays Annette, the owner of Balay where the music camp is held; Mike Shimamoto plays Iggy, the veteran camper whose life turns around following a significant experience; Abe Autea plays Tugs, the happy-go-lucky jester of the group; Lance Reblando plays Leigh, the tired fighter; and Gabby Padilla plays Debbie, the resident drama queen.
“We are so fortunate to have this talented pool of actors. Workshops and scenes were very challenging because we had to follow strict protocols all throughout our production, but that didn’t stop us from achieving our vision for this series. All of us just want to experience music and theater the way we used to before the pandemic,” said director Monteras about the cast and show.
Showrunner Valera also shared that the idea behind “Still” was born from seeing creatives pour out their thoughts and feelings about the current situation into different works which they then put out online—because there really wasn’t any other place to express them. “We would find solace and hope in these works. Naisip namin, bakit tayo lang ‘yung nakakabasa nito? Syempre wala kaming platform, wala kaming lugar kung saan pwede itong ipalabas. Pero hindi pala totoo ‘yun. Kasi there are other platforms to share these stories, things that you know people need to hear,” he said.
[“We would find solace and hope in these works. We thought, why are we the only ones reading this? Of course, we don’t have a platform, we don’t have a place where we can share these works. But that wasn’t true. Because there are other platforms to share these stories, things that you know people need to hear.”]
“And that’s why we thought, why not make a series? From somebody na hindi alam (who doesn’t know) or not familiar with the film world or that industry, why not make a series? Why not? Tapangan natin (Let’s toughen up) because we have something to say.”
And what was just a small idea at first eventually became something big through their partnership with Viu, where they will be able to share their story not just with Filipinos but with others around the world who may also be inspired by the message they’re trying to put across.
“We’re very happy and fortunate to present this message to you, to present this story to you—a story about friendship, despair, love, hoping amidst everything, and more importantly a story about believing that there’s still a future for us, a future where we can create, where we can imagine, and we can still dare,” Valera added.
You can purchase your tickets here. The first episode of “Still” will premiere on November 12 at 8 PM.
(ALSO READ: Iñigo Pascual to Star in New Hollywood Musical Drama)
Are you excited about this show? Sound off in the comments below!
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