the book<the movie<the play: the joy luck club

The Flips Flipping Pages (the book club i’m a member of) discussed  Joy Luck Club and as a supplemental activity, we watched the play by Repertory Philippines directed by Anton Juan.


I mostly thank my stars that I somehow befriended Jeeves and Vlad and they have revived my largely dead interest in watching Philippine theater. In addition, I thank Jeeves for also inviting me to the book club and fishing my brain out of the sea of romantic books that I’ve been mostly immersed in for the past 20++ years. Of which said involvement in the book club, has opened my eyes to other authors, genres and books. I have for the most part, been largely surprised by liking books that I have never thought I would like–like that one about a cathedral. How effing boring could that be right?

I once wrote that most people think that I am the kind of person who read ‘smart’ books, not saying reading romance novels aren’t smart, but when you ask me about the books that one should read in one’s lifetime.. i’m prolly going to score very low. Yes, I still think of myself for the most part— a pretty shallow reader. And many times, I read reviews of my new friends in the club and I want to prostrate myself and start singing “i’m not worthy”. But I thank my mommy that I do have a good brain on my shoulders and manage to get by the discussions without mostly looking like an ignoramus …or so i hope. tee-hee


So we watched the play. I liked it. I don’t understand why I can relate to it. Irma said that June reminder her of me..besides liking her dress, I have no idea why. Then she told me because I hang around with my mom’s friends… aahhh.. with that I agree. I am going to convention with my mom at the end of the month, so there. Other than that, completely nothing about June was like me. (just to make it clear. haha!)

The play was a surprise, because it was storytelling in a different way. The movie was mostly dramatic drivel to me. The book too. The play was less dramatic but more relate-able. Don’t get me wrong, it made me cry but the play approached it more matter-of-fact. Like what is, just is. No question about it being wrong or right.

I use the term ORGANIC. Organic because it was mostly stripped bare, to a large extent I did not feel like I was watching a play about Chinese culture, but just a play about mothers and daughters. Organic too because simply the direction, the stage was beautiful, clean, and had an organic feel with all the bamboo and the blocks, etc.

Most favorite scene just because it was jaw droppingly.. WOW ..was the Moon Lady scene. Can’t get over how I looked at every one of the characters in that scene and they were all on point, doing their own thing and being awesome.

I know I should be using terms more artistic and such—but yeah, I’m just a newb as far as theater going goes, and I like what I like, and I like using the word– awesome.  I loved the play, and was pretty.. eherm.. vocal about it during the Q&A after, and I do think that I largely came off as a gushing fan girl, but what the hey, I was happy!

Some people thought the old ladies playing themselves as children was a little weird. I had no problem about it, I thought it gave the play another nuance. When we do think back on past things, at least I see it with my current eyes and mind, not with my younger persona’s perceptions. I have no idea if that was intentional on the director’s part, but it worked for me.

To be fair, I had some issues on understanding some of the words at the start of the play. The chinese accent is not a common thing in my life. And some parts of the play were mostly monologues, and I’m sure a majority of the people might have found that kinda boring, but that is to be expected given the material/book.

After the play and the Q&A we went to Gloria Maris and discussed the book. There were games (we got runner up status) and we talked about a plethora of things besides the book.

It was fun, understatement.

I like talking to this group of people, also an understatement.

So the consensus during the book discussion was: (or at least what I gleaned)

1) the book was largely a success because it was the “first of its kind”. You know a book that largely deals with China and Chinese culture. Given that during the time it was released, China was closed, so there was an innate fascination for this book, just because.

2) most of us remember reading this book when we were younger, and relating to it more. Maybe because of the theme of mother and daughter and figuring out your life and it’s meaning. (added note: maybe because as kids, we liked drama. As an adult, we’ve all had our fair share, so no more drama.. or maybe this is just me.. haha!)

3) most of us, liked the play and its treatment.

So I loved the play, the movie was alright, the book— I did not love. How that translates in my brain? I dunno.

I really don’t. haha!

Here’s a short clip on Repertory Philippine’s Joy Luck Club. Btw, it’s still showing so go catch it at Onstage if you feel like it! 🙂

For ticket inquiries and other information, call Repertory Philippines at 571-6926 and 571-4941 or email Tickets also available at Ticketworld at 891-9999 or

**Photo of the FFP and Cast by Rhett De Jesus


next up: a write-up on my 10km Condura run!


2 thoughts on “the book<the movie<the play: the joy luck club

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