The zarzuela "Basilia ng Malolos" opens on Valentine's Day

Basilia ng Malolos is a contemporary zarzuela that showcases the struggle of women for education, equal opportunity, and freedom in a patriarchal society.

Every year, UP Playwright's Theater (UPPT) stages original plays by Filipino playwrights and revives the zarzuela. This year, UPPT in cooperation with the Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts (OICA), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), celebrates National Arts Month and the emancipation of women through the staging of Basilia ng Malolos, a contemporary zarzuela based on a study by Dr. Nicanor Tiongson entitled The Women of Malolos.

Basilia ng Malolos tells the story of the women of Malolos led by Basilia Tantoco, who liberated their hearts, minds and will from gender stereotyping of the patriarchy.

The play is directed by Dulaang UP's Artistic Director, Josefina "José" Estrella with music by Joy Marfil. Jenny Jamora, who plays Basilia, leads the cast together with Natashia Garrucha, and Neil Sese among others.

The zarzuela is inspired by the story of the 20 women of Malolos, Bulacan who presented Governor-General Valeriano Weyler with a letter asking permission to open a night school, where women could learn Spanish under Teodoro Sandiko.

This theater production observes the 118th year since Jose Rizal—after reading the petition of the women of Malolos—wrote them a letter on February 22, 1889. The zarzuela tells the story of the women, particularly Basilia Tantoco, who gradually liberates her heart, mind and will from the strictures of colonial rule as well as social impositions and gender-stereotyping of the patriarchy, both foreign and local.

Basilia ng Malolos runs at the Guerrero Theater in UP Diliman from February 14 to March 4 Wednesdays to Sundays at 7 p.m., with 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday matinees.

Performance dates: February 14 - March 4, 2007

Venue: Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City

For inquiries, call Joanne Quiros at 926-1349 or 0927-8274610.





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