Gantimpala Theater stages the colorful musical "Ang Pagong at ang Matsing" in Manila


The lovable cast of AngPagong at ang Matsing (L-R) Anthony Cruz (Tarsier), Francis Ong (Matsing),Michael King Urieta (Pagong), and Meldea Flor Formacil (Suso) will finallyperform in Manila for a limited engagement.


Inspired by the comic stripdrawn by our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal and made into a children's play byPalanca winner J. Dennis Teodosio, Ang Pagong at ang Matsing is finallyhere in Manila for a limited engagement. It features music composed byaward-winning musical director Jesse Lucas under the direction of GantimpalaTheater's artistic director Tony Espejo.

The original Ang Pagong atang Matsing is a Filipino animal tale about a gentle turtle and a wilymonkey who plant halves of a banana tree. Thinking that the upper part withleaves would bear fruit soon, the greedy monkey plants the upper half but itwithers. The turtle, on the other hand, gets the ugly-looking lower portionwith the roots, but it flourishes and is soon laden with fruits.


Since the turtle cannot climbthe tree to gather the fruits, the monkey volunteers to harvest them. However,he eats all the bananas while he is up on the tree, throwing the skin down onthe tortoise. Angry, the turtle plants some pointed snails around the tree andhides under a coconut shell. The monkey comes down and gets his just desserts.Wounded, he searches and finds the turtle. As punishment, he gives the turtletwo choices: to be pounded with a mortar or be thrown into the water. Theclever turtle chooses the mortar and deceives the monkey into thinking that heis afraid of drowning. The monkey throws the turtle in the water, where thelatter soon surfaces laughing.


DirectorEspejo presents this modern-day version as a musical that gives kids and theyoung at heart lessons about friendship, fairness, forgiveness, sharing, andlaughter.


Michael King Urieta (Pagong),Francis Ong (Matsing), Meldea Flor Formacil (Suso, the best friend of Pagong)and Anthony Cruz (Tarsier, partner in crime of Matsing), Rommel Ponseca(Mango), Ronald Concepcion (Acacia), John Paolo Garcia (Mangrove), ReneNisperos (Upper Banana Part), and Rommel Aratan (Lower Banana Part) are themain characters of this musical extravaganza.

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Bringing the colorful world of AngPagong at ang Matsing to life are Joey Nombres (lights designer), AnthonyCruz (choreographer), Allain de Leon (assistant director), Jay-R Inocencio(stage manager), and Jorge Cabullo (production manager).


Fresh from its successfulperformances in Subic, Pampanga, and Tarlac, this special Pearl Anniversarypresentation of Gantimpala Theater will have a limited Manila run starting onOctober 18 (2 pm), as well as October 24, 25 and 26, (10 am and 2 pm) at the AFP Theater in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.


Ang Pagong at ang Matsing
will also tour Cavite (SM Bacoor onNovember 28, 29 and 30), Cebu, Baguio and key provinces in Mindanao early nextyear.


A special public showing of themusical billed Handog ng Gantimpala Para sa Kabataan ng Maynilais slated on December 1, 7 p.m., at the Concert at the Park Open Air Auditoriumin Rizal Park, Manila.


For more details regarding the Manila shows, please call the GantimpalaMarketing Office at 899-5745 or 896-3503; for the touring performances, callthe Gantimpala Production Office at 528-0603, 536-5860 or write to gantimpalaproduction@yahoo.com.ph


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