About PETA

Our Company, Our Story

Cecile Guidote-Alvarez founded the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) on April 7, 1967 with the vision of a Philippine Theater engaged in the development of people and society.

In 1971, PETA became the UNESCO-ITI (International Theater Institute) Center in the Philippines, and in the same year it organized the first Third World Theater Festival, held in the 400th year of the foundation of the City of Manila.

When its founder was forced to go on political exile because of Martial Law in 1972, PETA’s new breed of artist-teacher-leaders continued to steer the company towards a People’s Theater committed to social change.

The social conditions and political climate during the Martial Law sharpened the people-based theater aesthetics of PETA. It inspired the company to use the power of theater as a means of producing plays for empowerment and development, especially of the most disadvantaged sectors of society/those in the margins.

PETA began by asserting the then radical view of creating and performing plays in Filipino. Most of PETA’s plays were staged at the historic Dulaang Rajah Sulayman, an open-air theater designed by National Artist Leandro V. Locsin. By the 90’s, it boasted of a solid record of some 300 plays written, translated, adapted, published and performed, which shaped the company’s theater history, enriching it through theater forms and techniques that expressed local, national and universal themes. Among PETA’s earlier plays have been: Bayaning Huwad, Larawan, May-i, May-i, Hanggang Dito na Lamang at Maraming Salamat, Juan Tamban, Pilipinas Circa 1907, Ang Buhay ni Galileo, Macbeth, Canuplin, Macliing, Minsa’y Isang Gamu-Gamo, Ang Paglalakbay ni Radya Mangandiri, 1896.

In 2005 PETA fulfilled one of long-term goals when it moved to a permanent home, The PETA Theater Center. A landmark in Philippine Arts and Culture, the center in itself is a testament to the creativity, ingenuity, resilience of PETA. The center now serves as a physical base for the entire gamut of PETA undertakings, from professional theater repertory performances, year round workshops and its community and outreach programs.

Settled in its new home, PETA continued to mount out-of-the box, cutting-edge productions that mainstreamed relevant issues that engaged its urban audiences. PETA’s modern repertoire ranged from fresh adaptations of world classics like Haring Lear, Arbol de Fuego (Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard), to staging iconic children’s theater productions like Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang, and Batang Rizal. Most recently, the company has also explored the use of modern pop music to maintain the connection with its evolving audience. Its contemporary musicals include Skin Deep, William, Care Divas and its phenomenal musical hit Rak of Aegis.

Relentless in seeking out new audiences, it vigorously partnered with schools, parishes and communities all over the country to ensure that it is able to share its rich educational performances to as many Filipinos as possible. The company embarked on many exhilarating tours. Its mobile plays included Tumawag kay Libby Manaoag, Si Juan Tamad and Diyablo at ang Limang Milyong Boto, Hans Christian Andersen Must Be a Filipino, Noli at Fili Dekada dos Mil, Rated:PG, ASL...Please! and Padayon.

Through its inspired leadership and the contribution of its dedicated members and staff, PETA mastered its triple bottom lines of artistic excellence, relevance and viability while remaining true to its vision of using theater as a tool for education, social change and development.

Vision and Commitment

The signal PETA achievement is its struggle and survival through the martial law years --in the creative poverty of hardly any funding, in the creative presentation of that which was not allowed free expression. Creative solutions were found in the theater of indirection using history, folklore, fable, symbolism and expressionism to say what had to be --- and definitely was powerfully expressed.

PETA’s work is certainly far from complete. The company has laid down the foundations on which future generations can build. What it offered is a spirit that is unafraid to take risks, perhaps even to make mistakes, but certainly a spirit that is bold, daring, innovative, and generous.

To this end, PETA is committed to pursue its theater/cultural work in the following areas:

Theater for Artistic Development (TAD) – working for greater artistic excellence to be able to move and enlighten people through our plays; to be the best of what we could ever be – artists, writers, directors, actors, singers, dancers, choreographers, composers, designers, and cultural managers – full of passion to draw from the tradition and culture of excellence of our own people, while continuously experimenting on contemporary forms, thus helping create in a spiraling manner the evolving tapestry of a people’s creativity and cultural fecundity;

Theater in Education (TIE) – working to help teachers become more creative and inspiring in the classroom; to enhance the quality of education, especially in our public schools, through the arts and the theater; to work with the youth to help produce a new generation of Filipinos endowed with a limitless sense of imagination, pride of place, love for country, and a sensitivity to care for fellow Filipinos and fellow humans; to generate a grounded, rooted, comprehensive theater arts programs in schools that is Filipino in perspective and universalist in dimension; and

Theater for Development (TFD) – pursuing a genuine people’s development agenda, especially for those in the margins of society, to build the creative capacities of people who are excluded by virtue of poverty, race, ethnicity, religion, etc., so that they may be able to assert their rights and participate in matters that determine their lives and their future; to create, in solidarity with our people, a quality of life for all sectors in constant struggle with all forms of deprivation and oppression, showing the path of creativity for reaching holistic and sustainable development.

PETA remains inspired by the ideals of nationhood, global understanding, respect of person, democratization and greater participation of the people in theater, culture and social development. PETA remains committed to the same ideals that it was built upon.

Join PETA and its members in further pursuing a vision of our people and society whose life will be enriched and empowered with each gesture, word, image, sound, expression, and creative learning experience. This is PETA’s continuing way to serve communities… through our theater work, on, off and beyond the stage.

Organizational Profile

PETA is non-stock, non-profit, non-governmental organization; a registered donee institution based in the Republic of the Philippines. It is an association of artist-teachers who are committed to use theater for the cause of social change and justice.

Board of Directors

  • Marlon N. Rivera, Chairperson
  • Cecilia B. Garrucho, President
  • Soxie H. Topacio, Secretary
  • Noel B. Kintanar | Treasurer


  • Vicki H. Aldaba
  • Renato "Butch" L. Santos
  • Jose Mari L. Chan
  • Soxie H. Topacio
  • Tony P. Tuviera
  • Ma. Gloriosa Santos-Cabangon

Management Committee

  • Maria Gloriosa S. Cabangon | Executive Director
  • Melvin E. Lee | Chief Operations Officer
  • Ma. Isabel A. Legarda | Artistic Director
  • Brenda V. Fajardo | Curriculum Director
  • Wilson U. Billones | School of People's Theater Director
  • Julie Anne G. Bautista | Marketing and Public Relations Director
  • Fe G. Canta | Finance Director
  • Joy Bernal | Human Resources and Administration Director
  • Queng B. Reyles | Theater Center Program Director
  • Marichu Belarmino, Arts Zone Project Program Director
  • Gail Guanlao-Billones, Lingap Sining Program Director

Awards and Recognition

  • Manila Critics Circle. National Book Award Marilou L. Jacob (Drama), 1984.
  • Katibayan ng Pagpapahalaga sa Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) Kawanihan ng mga Mangagawa sa Kamayanan Kagawaran ng Pagggawa at Empleyado, Intramuros, Maynila, Hunyo 18, 1986
  • ASEAN Awards 1987 Performing Arts Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), Bangkok, Thailand
  • Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Special Award. Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). 418th Araw ng Maynila, City of Manila, June 23, 1989.
  • “Si Panyo” at “g Hatol ng Guhit na Bilog”. Ikatlong Gantimpala Video (Feature). Ikatlong Gawad CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines) para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video. November 21, 1989.
  • Certificate of Recognition awarded to Handog ng PETA (Channel 9) finalist as the Best Drama Series Category. Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) 4th Star Awards for Television 1990. Manila Metropolitan Theater, October 29, 1990.
  • 1990 Gawad CCP Para sa Telebisyon. Pagkilala sa Handog ng PETA. Sentrongf Pangkultura ng Pilipinas (Cultural Center of the Philippines), Maynila, Mayo 9, 1991
  • Gawad CCP sa Sining. Philippine Educational Theater Association, 1991.
  • Parokya ng Birhen ng Lourdes Tanghalang Batingaw, Plake ng Karangalan Philippine Educational Theater Association. Parokya ng Birhen ng Lourdes, Mayo 29, 1992
  • Domestic Helper, Ms. Nora Aunor and the PETA cast. Appreciation Award for Outstanding Performance in the DH play. Alberta Domestic Workers Association (ADWA ’93-’94), Edmonton Alberta, Canada, October 1, 1993.
  • PETA Kalinangan Ensemble “Domestic Helper” (DH). Plaque of Appreciation. The Filipino-American Community of Jacksonville, Florida Theater Jacksonville, Florida USA, October 20, 1993.
  • The Minister of Multiculturalism and Citizenship Movement of Canada. Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, October 1, 1993. Presentation of Domestic Helper (DH)
  • National Council of Canadian Filipino Associations Montreal, Canada. PETA’s member Raul Alfonso and Rowena Basco at Planet Poverty. Montreal, Canada, April 30, 1996.
  • “Ms.D”. Gawad ng Pagkilala sa Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). Ms. D., GMA – 7, EDSA, Diliman, Quezon City, Abril 17, 1997
  • Philippine Center for Population and Development. Plaque of Appreciation. Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). Baluarte de San Diego, Intramuros, Manila, November 27, 1997.
  • Philippine Center for Population and Development. Plaque of Appreciation, 1997.
  • Educational Research and Development Assistance (ERDA) Foundation Inc., Plaque of Appreciation, Philippine Educational Theater Association. Ma. Elena Yuchengco House – ERDA TUKLASAN Project, San Juan, Metro Manila, September 18, 1998.
  • Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) Plaque of Acknowledgement 1998 Philippine International Theater Festival and Conference, in celebration of the Centennial of the Declaration of Philippine Independence, Culture Center of the Philippines, November 26 to December 6, 1998.
  • Appreciation to Philippine Educational Theater Association – Women’s Theater Program (PETA-WTP) for bringing the informance “Tumawag kay Libby Manaoag” to the Caraga Region, Caraga Women’s Resource Center for Cultural Development, February 22, 1999.
  • Philippine High School for the Arts and the 1999 National Children’s Arts Festival Committee. Certificate of Participation. PETA – Metropolitan Teen Theaer League. 1999 National Children’s Arts Festival. National Arts Center, Manila, 21-24 of October 1999.
  • Plaque of Appreciation. Philippine Educational Theater Association. 1st Youth Cultural Festival. University Theater, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, October 30, 1999.
  • Drama Victoria Conference 2000. Empowerment Drama that makes difference.
  • Shoreline Kabalikat sa Kaunlaran Incorporated, Shoreline Development Program assisted by World Vision Development Foundation Bancaan, Naic Cavite. Plake ng Pasasalamat sa PETA. Bancaan, Naic Cavite, Oktubre 29, 2000.
  • Certificate of Appreciation. PETA Kalinangan Ensemble. Dreamweavers. Boholano-Foreign Friendship Foundation Ins. And Provincial Government of Bohol. Bohol Cultural Center, Tagbilaran City, Province of Bohol, November 10, 2001.
  • Gawad Alab ng Haraya. “Kuwentong Asyano”. Katangi-tanging Produksiyon sa Teatro. National Cultural Center Association, 2001.
  • Outstanding Performance in Theater – “Mga Kuwentong Asyano” – NCCA Gawad Alab ng Haraya, 2001
  • Philippine Educational Theater Association, Inc. (PETA). Plaque of Appreciation. “Bread of the World”, Antipolo City, February 20, 2003.
  • PETA, Plaque of Appreciation. Children and Youth Theater Festival 2004: “Unang Padyak, Unang Palakpak”, Camp Karingal Brgy. Sikatuna, Quezon City, February 15, 2004.
  • Citation Philippine Educational Theater Association. Sining Kamboyaka Ensemble of the Mindanao State University and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Mindawan Art and Culture, April 5, 2004.
  • Best Non-Musical Theater Production – “Agnoia” – ALIW Awards, 2004.
  • National Theater Festival. Ikatlong Tagpo-Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) Tanghalang Pilipino, 2004.
  • National Theater Festival. Ikatlong Tagpo-Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). Tanghalang Pilipino, November 7-20, 2004.
  • Plaque of Appreciation – Children and Youth Theater Festival – “Unang Padyak, Unang Palakpak” 2004.
  • Plaque of Appreciation. Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) for being participated and contributed to the success of the Children and Youth Theater Festival Against Children Trafficking. ECPAT Philippines. De La Salle – College of St. Benilde, Manila, December 16, 2004.
  • Japan Foundation Species Prize for Arts and Culture. Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). Japan, October 4, 2005.
  • The Philippine Heart Association Inc. and Servier Philippines Inc. Plaque of Appreciation Philippine Educational Theater Association as Guest Performer in the show “At the Heart of the Theater” other concerns of the heart year 8. PETA Theater Center, #5 Sunnyside Drive Brgy. Kristong Hari, Quezon City, February 22, 2006.
  • Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) Plaque of Recognition. Development Action for Women Network (DAWN), Bayview Park Hotel, Manila, Philippines, February 10, 2006.
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). Children’s Festival and celebration of the 17th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the first ever Universal Children’s Day in Ormoc City. Central Plaza, Ormoc City, November 20, 2006.
  • Sangguniang Kabataan Council Barangay Kalusugan, District IV Quezon City. Plaque of Appreciation. Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) for sharing their knowledge and expertise by conducting a Youth Workshop in Community Brgy. Kalusugan. Multi-purpose Hall, Brgy. Kalusugan, December 17, 2006
  • The Federation of Catholic Schools Alumni/ae Associations (FeCaSaa) in partnership with the Good Citizenship Movement (GCM). Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) – the Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Award for Social Artistry. University of the Philippines – National College of Public Administration and Governance, Quezon City, August 18, 2007.
  • 20th Aliw Awards. Belong Puti, Best Non-Musical Production. Palacio de Maynila, November 28, 2007.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award to Philippine Educational Theater Association. Aliw Awards Foundation, Inc. (AAFI), City of Manila, November 28, 2007.
  • Institute of Politics and Governance. The Bayi Citation. Exemplary Women in Politics and Governance. Philippine Educational Theater Association. “Special Citation”, 31 March 2011.
  • Ang Post Office, Best Non-Musical Production, Aliw Awards 2010
  • Si Juan Tamad, ang Diyablo at ang Limang Milyong Boto, Best Musical Production, Aliw Awards 2010
  • Certificate of Recognition – UPLIFT in supporting and committing as partner agency, 2011.
  • CaredDivas, Outstanding Musica Production, Gawad Buhay 2011
  • William, Outstanding Play, Gawad Buhay 2011
  • Gawad Parangal/Most Outstanding Organization for 2012 – Republic of the Philippines, Quezon City 73rd Founding Anniversary.
  • Plaque of Recognition. Philippine Educational Theater Association – Metropolitan Teen Theater League. “Sining ng Bata, Sining ng Buhay” – Children’s Arts Happening, 2012.
  • Bona, Best Non-Musical Production, Aliw Awards 2012
  • “D Wonder Twins of Boac”- Outstanding Original Libretto, Outstanding Original Musical Composition, Outstanding Choreography for a Play, Outstanding Sound Design, Outstanding Set Design, Female Lead and Featured Performance in a Musical, Outstanding Stage Direction for a Play, Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Musical, and Outstanding Original Musical – Gawad Buhay, 2013.
  • “BONA” – Broadway World Manila and Phil stage Manila, 2013.
  • Rak of Aegis, Best Musical Production, Aliw Awards 2014
  • Rak of Aegis, Outstanding Original Musical, Gawad Buhay 2015
  • Arbol de Fuego, Best Non-Musical Production, Aliw Awards 2015