Remember that time when you tied that blanket around your neck and ran into your house with arms stretched wide, as if you can fly? Or when you were pretending to lift a heavy object, and would throw it to the bad guys played by your childhood friends with less effort?
Because of colonization and globalization, millenial Filipinos grew up closer to Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and Wonder Woman, what with the wide reach of their movies, TV series, and various merchandise, from shirts to toys. We've even created our own versions of them in the names of Darna, Captain Barbell, and Gagamboy, to name a few.
But what really makes us adore these superhero characters? Is it because of their beautiful physique, extraordinary strength, and super powers, or something more? Jan Enriquez, director and scriptwriter of Super Nerda, an ongoing musical play which challenges stereotypes on superheroes, noted three reasons why we Filipinos love superheroes:
1. Entertainment. Beautiful physique, super powers, colorful costumes, astounding sounds and special effects, mind-blowing twists and battles with the evil—these are the primary reasons why superheroes easily catch our attention. Yet behind these characteristics, we yearn for something to entertain and amuse us, and sometimes to destress ourselves after a long day.
Unlike well-known superheroes who are good looking with a perfect body, Super Nerda tells the story of a beautiful girl who transforms into a not-so-tall, nerdy, super heroine. Her story, which promises the audience a “super laugh trip experience,” is unfolded in a comedy musical play staged by Mediartrix, a multimedia organization of the University of Sto. Tomas on February 10-13, 2016, in the university's Albertus Magnus Auditorium.
2. Relatability with the characters. Relate, not in the sense of their super powers but their story and struggles. We look up to them because they were able to overcome those difficulties “without realizing we are already superheroes in our own ways,” Enriquez says. “The fact that we overcome our personal battles in life even without superpowers, is by far more 'super' than being actual superheroes.”
3. Lessons learned. Aside from the laughters, and the characters, we are hooked on these superheroes because of their story and how they triumph over them with their strength, courage, and determination. "We Filipinos celebrate triumph and resilience," Enriquez said.
Super Nerda is not only a play filled with humor, but also one that's loaded with lessons, as their director believes that in any medium, be it a TV show, a stage play, or a movie, "the audience must always take away something good out of what you just showed them."
Superheroes have been, in one way or another, part of our childhood and even makes an impact on our adulthood. They may not exist in real life but they represent certain realities in humanity. And with their physical strength, steadfast values, and victorious missions, they reflect personas we wish we can be.
For more details on Super Nerda, contact G (09175914088) or Merbs (09173461445) of Mediartrix.
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Banner Illustration by Jana Jimenez.