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November 13, 2015

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Everything around us today is new. Everything has a touch of modern and advanced technology. We’ve been so caught up with the present-day living that we most of the time forget the beauty the Philippines have lived in the past. I am a fan of stage plays that’s why I grab the opportunity to watch one whenever I can. It’s a work of art that takes years and a lot of hard work to perfect. 

Last November 11, I was given the chance to witness a sarswela by the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde’s Technical
Theater Program Batch 112
, titled PAGLAYANG MINAMAHAL.

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Paglayang Minamahal is a three-act sarswela
about the love between a young barrio lass and a rich ilustrado set during the
outbreak of the Philippine Revolution. Exploring the many levels and facets of
love and freedom, the play inverts the traditional sarsuela by protecting the
relationship of Alodia and Mauricio from any satanic inclination, promises
forever to each other in the middle of endeavor of the nation for their
freedom. 

It was written during the fever of
the Philippine centennial celebrations in 1998 and won 2nd Prize in
the sarswela category of the Centennial Literary Competition. 


















It was first staged by Tanghalang Pilipino at the CCP
in 2000 directed by Chris Millado with music by Jesse Lucas. The collaborative
process of that production resulted in an edit of the original script creating
a sung-through musicale that somehow diminished the sarswela form. This production,
although edited to run for less than 2 hours, brings back a number of scenes
and dialogues from the original winning draft of the play,
George de Jesus III
remarks. 

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It was the pre-modern Philippines set-up that reminded me of all the films and lessons we tackled back in elementary. 

The cast definitely moved everyone each time they would sing. They all had great voices that still fascinates me until now. Specially Joselito and Carmela who had amazing voices that would really amaze you. Their voices would show their emotions that would make you feel like you’re a part of the pain and struggle that they are going through.

Every cast did great in portraying their roles. Specially Timoteo and Luicia, who brought humor to the whole play. They lightened up all the heavy scenes and made us feel kilig with all their sweet actions towards each other and plans to bring Alodia and Mauricio together after the revolution.

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Aside from that, you could really say that this sarswela was very well thought of since you’d notice even the smallest details during the play. Like how their dressed like paper dolls and how pretty the hand painted dresses were. But there was this huge detail about the play that we could not help but notice, the giant heads of the Gwardya Sibil. You just couldn’t take them seriously. 

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And when the Q&A portion was held, the director George de Jesus III explained that they made the heads of these guards literally huge intentionally since they really had big heads back in their days. They would take advantage of the civilians and kill them with no mercy. That’s it. And because of them the most emotional scene for me happened, the death of Pascual. He died because he was killed by the gwardya sibil and left her wife Francisca and their unborn child. 

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At the end of the play, Alodia and Mauricio were reunited and promised forever to each
other as everyone sings with joy as they finally won their battle for freedom.

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All in all, you wouldn’t even believe when you watch the sarswela that this production was made by students. Would you believe that they came up with props, costumes, and acting as great as what was shown in the production? It was amazing and I want to congratulate everyone who has been a part of it. It is amazing how they came up with ideas to bring us back to the time when the Philippines was very different from what we know now. And that there are still students who are interested in doing this form of art. 

CAST:
NATASHA CABRERA as Alodia
JOJO RIGUERRA as Mauricio
KL DIZON as Carmela
KEVIN POSADAS as Joselito
BRYLLE MONDEJAR as Pascual
RONAH ROSTATA and RUTH ALFREZ



as Francisca
DENISE NAYVE and BEA RAMOS as Lucia
RON BIÑAS and JOSHUA TAYCO as Timoteo
MIA REONAL-BOLAÑOS as Dona Maura
JOEL SARACHO as Don Felipe

Directed by: 

George de Jesus III

Paglayang Minamahal is showing until November 15 at the CBS-SDA theater. For tickets and inquiries, you could contactSHEMA LAMIAO at 0905 452 2858 or FRANCO RAMOS at
0917 502 5909

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