FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City—Trust the newsmakers to be featured once more in the 100 Nite Show mounted yearly by the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadets.
The annual vaudeville-inspired show is the only time where irreverence and political commentary replace rigidity and stoic obedience at the premier military school, and this year’s characters included spoof versions of detained former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
The senior cadets of PMA Siklab Diwa Class of 2014 also rewrote their script to weave in the devastation in Tacloban City and other parts of the Visayas battered by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” on Nov. 8.
More than 30 cadets from the Visayas provinces were sent home to take care of their families who survived the storm surges last month, academy officials said.
The first song and skit show were produced and performed by the Dialectic Society of the PMA Cadet Corps on Dec. 17, 1978, at the Baguio Convention Center to a select crowd, among them Gen. Angel Kanapi, that year’s PMA superintendent, according to the PMA website.
The show’s name refers to the 100 days remaining before the senior cadets graduate from the academy.
Last week, the PMA Cadets on Display featured the “minions” from the animated movie “Despicable Me” who narrated the tale of Christ’s birth to a would-be thief as well as “angels,” represented by bare-chested male cadets.
The cadets playing Joseph and Mary were turned away by innkeepers, played by the characters representing Arroyo and Napoles. The Arroyo character was not named, although she wore a neck brace and had just one line when the couple asked for a room: “I am sorry.”
The Napoles character also turned them away by saying, “No pork barrel, no entry.” But the cadet playing Joseph had to identify her as Napoles when few people in the audience got the joke.
This is common to many 100 Nite scripts, which often include jokes only PMA cadets and their teachers understand. This year, cadets imitated their instructors and had punch lines referring to their unreleased Christmas bonus, which drew laughter.
The main show featured a version of the movie High School Musical, which was staged to generate funds for the recovery of Tacloban City and other towns in the Visayas battered by Yolanda.
The three-hour show screened a short movie of soldiers rescuing survivors and clearing roads in Tacloban, before launching into a story filled with jokes and songs by the character “Candice,” who was played by a female cadet identified only as Cadet First Class Mendoza.
A pair of comedians, played by Cadets First Class Paras and Ligaya, were also stand outs, taking center stage by throwing old jokes with gusto.
“I don’t think beauty is inside. How would you react if I commend you for your beautiful kidneys?” went one joke.
Maj. Agnes Lynette Flores, PMA spokesperson, said this year’s show was toned down and required less props unlike the previous shows because of the tragedies that struck the last quarter of the year.
In 2011, the 100 Nite Show featured a mock rendition of a television fantasy series, packed with fairies and warriors, to evoke a concern for the deteriorating environment.
“This year, the cadets excluded props for talent and humor,” Flores said. Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon