Monday, September 21, 2015

Tanghalang Pilipino's Mga Buhay na Apoy, by Kanakan Balintagos

Tuesday of last week, I got to attend the press launch of Tanghalang Pilipino's Mga Buhay na Apoy. It's been a while since I got back into blogging theater events, and this was a good comeback opportunity.

Prior to showing an excerpt of the play, TP President Mr. Jolly Gomez gave a few opening remarks. Part of Tanghalang Pilipino's mission is to develop Philippine theater and raise awareness to the youth about social realities through artistic expression, and they do so not just in Metro Manila, but all over the country. In line with this press launch, they had invited a lot of people who maximize the use of social media, which includes online publications, and even bloggers like me. Sir Jolly had mentioned that these people are always on their gadgets (mobile phones, computers, tablets, etc.), looking down on screens, locked into social media. And it wouldn't hurt for them to just put down their screens even just for a couple of hours, and watch actual people perform right in front of them.

Wow, that makes so much sense. Through these people, after giving time to just do that, can be a very good voice of Philippine theater as they continue to promote the arts through their online publications, website, blogs, and all other types of social media. What a truly inspiring message.

TP's Artistic Director Nanding Josef also added that the celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Month is in October, which was perfect for this particular play.

I have to say, I'm personally looking forward to this, as I have Palawan roots on my father's side.

In Tanghalang Pilipino(TP)'s MGA BUHAY NA APOY, a Manila-based family comes face to face with the harsh reality of extremely strained relationships resulting from the cowardly denial of some painful truth about their past and from the utter disregard for their glorious indigenous Palawan cultural roots and spiritual traditions.

Kanakan Balintagos' stage play MGA BUHAY NA APOY, Tanghalang Pilipino's second offering for its 29th Theater Season is not just about the healing of the shattered relationships between a mother and her children in one specific Filipino family broken apart by domestic filial conflicts.

MGA BUHAY NA APOY theatricalizes the inevitable destruction, not only of the basic family unit, but of an entire human society that has been relentlessly ignoring its primary responsibility of caring for its earthly beginnings--the natural resources, the endemic inhabitants of ancestral lands, the intangible cultures of the indigenous peoples, the unseen spirits that take care of the air, land and sea, the ancient human values that have timeless relevance, that are all needed to save, not just one mother or one family, but beloved Mother Earth.

The ensemble is a strong group of reliable, exceptionally talented artists led by Ms. Irma Adlawan, one of Philippine Theater's best, Peewee O'hara, Malou Crisologo, Carol Bello, Russell Legaspi, Karen Gaerlan, Raymond Dimayuga, PHSA's Kyrie Samodio, and Tanghalang Pilipino's Actors Company members Jonathan Tadioan, Doray Dayao, and Lhorvie Nuevo.

The artistic team is made up of Production designer Architect Paulo Alcazaren, Lighting designer Dennis Marasigan, Costume designer James Reyes, Music composer Diwa de Leon and Dramaturg Ericka Estacio.

MGA BUHAY NA APOY opens on October 2, 2015 and will run until October 25, 2015 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. For tickets and information, call 09178763678 / 09273629081 (Marketing and Sales Department).