Franco Laurel reprises his role as Dr. Jose Rizal in Isang Panaginip na Fili

by William R. Reyes
Dec 3, 2010
Franco Laurel reprises his role as national hero Dr. Jose Rizal in Dulaang UP's musicaltitled Isang Panaginip Na Fili. It will be staged at UP Diliman until December 11, 2010.

After two years, award-winning singer and stage actor Franco Laurel reprises his role as national hero Dr. Jose Rizal in the latest staging of the musical, Isang Panaginip Na Fili.


Mapapanood ito at the the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater on the following dates: December 8, 9, 10 at 7 pm; and December 11, 12 at 10 am and 3:00 pm; and December 11 at 7:30 pm.


Si Floy Quintos ang director nito at siya rin ang sumulat ng adaptation at libretto (lyrics) ng musical mula sa nobelang akda ni Rizal. Ang musika ay komposisyon ni Ceejay Javier, na siya ring musical director ng dula nang una itong maitanghal noong 2008.


A production of Dulaang UP, Isang Panaginip Na Fili, is a reworking of one of Dr. Rizal's two classic novels (the first being Noli Me Tangere). It is currently enjoying a successful re-run at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater at the UP College of Arts and Letters building. Para sa bidang aktor ng musical play, malaki ang kaibhan ng current production na ito ng DUP kaysa sa naunang Fili.


"The difference is... well, the direction of Floy is really more dynamic," enthused Franco when interviewed by PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) after the musical's third staging on November 26.


"And the music of Ceejay Javier is more full-bodied. So, para sa aming performers, mas nakaka-engganyo din kantahin 'yong mga kanta. And we have eighty-five percent new cast. It's fun!"


Nag-enjoy daw uli si Franco sa pagganap sa restaging ng Fili musical play, "coz I get to work with different people," sabi pa niya. Aside from Maynard Penalosa (as Padre Camorra) and Ces Quesada, who's playing the role of the infamous Dona Victorina de Espadana, majority, if not the rest, of the remaining cast are new.


Kabilang sa mga bagong cast members ang mga gumanap sa pangunahing tauhan: OJ Mariano, Reuben Uy, at Nazer Salcedo, na nag-a-alternate bilang Tunying/Simoun; Inno Martin at Floyd Tena (Basilio); Mica Pineda at Janine Santos (Juli); Greg de Leon at Dondi Ong (Kabesang Tales); Jean Judith Javier, Nicle Aldiosa, at Karla Gutierrez (Maria Clara); Mitoy Sta Ana (Padre Salvi); Emlyn Santos (Dona Victorina alternate); Allen Diansuy (Isagani); Niccolo Magno (Juanito Pelaez); at Charley Magalit (Paulita Gomez).


"So it's really... I mean, it gives you a fresh approach, a fresh attack, kasi iba na 'yong mga scene partners ko. It's so nice, because this is one musical that I really, really love. Ito ang pinaka-favorite ko sa lahat ng nagawa ko."


Last year, Franco Laurel was the recipient of the Aliw Awards 2009 for the category Best Performance By A Male Actor in a Musical (for DUP's Isang Panaginip Na Fili).


"Yes, I won for this!" pagbanggit pa ni Franco, obviously proud of his achievement. "I won the Aliw [trophy] last year for this. So, super special sa akin ito, kasi I originated the role; a role that I created. Salamat sa DUP at kay Direk Floy. I made sure my schedule was free for this."


25 PERFORMANCES THIS SEASON. That same night, PEP also interviewed Floy Quintos, the writer-director and librettist of Isang Panaginip Na Fili. Floy was happy with the acclaim the musical's re-run is similarly getting. Nauulit nito ang tagumpay ng musical sa unang pagpapalabas noong 2008. "Thank you! Ang tagal naming pinaghirapan ito... we're having 25 performances this year. Diyos ko!" exclaimed Direk Floy.


Kung mayroon mang pinanghihinayangan ngayon si Direk Floy Quintos, ito'y ang hindi raw pagkasali ng Dulaang UP plays (straight play and musical productions) sa possible nominees next year para sa three-year old nang Gawad Buhay awards. Ang award-giving body na ito ay binubuo ng mga tagapagtaguyod ng iba't ibang theater companies sa ating bansa.


"Dulaang UP is not qualified for Gawad Buhay awards," he said. "I think it's only Repertory Philippines, Tanghalang Pilipino, PETA, The Actor's Company, Trumpets, etc.


"Sayang nga," banggit pa ng manunulat at direktor, na isa rin sa mga creative consultants para sa Startalk ng GMA-7. "I don't really know why but, I think, it [DUP] was never invited.


"Basically, we're an academic theater, based in UP," pagtukoy rin ni Floy sa isa sa mga dahilan. "Tanghalang Ateneo, hindi rin naman kasali. Hindi nga yata kasama ang academic theater circuit sa Gawad Buhay awards."


RIZAL'S 150TH BIRTHDAY. Next year will be the sesquicentennial year which marks the 150th birth anniversary of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal (born on June 19, 1861). Kaya isang early tribute ng DUP para sa ating pambansang bayani ang muling pagsasa-entablado ng Fili musical.


Maraming mga estudyante, ng UP at iba pang paaralan, ang nanood ng dula bilang kaugnay na aralin. Para naman sa mga tapos nang mag-aral, ang panonood ng mga dulang halaw sa nobela ni Dr. Rizal, tulad ng Isang Panaginip Na Fili, ay isang patuloy na pagtuklas sa natatanging henyo ng isang bayaning Pilipino.


Hindi isang literal na pagkakahalaw ng nobelang El Filibusterismo ni Rizal ang kasalukuyang musical play. Isa itong highly stylized production, na sinangkapan ng mga kaisipan at pananaw ng manunulat at direktor, sa isang malikhaing pamamaraan. Partikular dito ang isang bahagi ng dula tungkol sa mga nalalabing araw ni Maria Clara, sa Beaterio o kumbento, hanggang sa kanyang kamatayan (pagpaslang ni Padre Salvi) at pagiging isang ganap na santa.


Direk Floy explained: "Maria Clara dies, remember? Rizal [in his novel] never really said how Maria Clara died, as he also never said who wounded him after the failed revolution.


"So, parang it was happening in the mind of Tunying," dagdag pa ni Direk Floy. Ang Tunying character ay kaibigan at boardmate ni Rizal, sa Germany, sa panahong isinusulat niya ang nobelang Fili. Sa dula, si Tunying din ang gumanap na Simoun, ang pangunahing tauhan ng El Filibusterismo; siya si Crisostomo Ibarra, ng naunang nobelang Noli Me Tangere, na nagbalik sa kanyang bayan, matapos ang ilang taon, upang maghiganti sa mga mapaniil na Kastilang militar at prayle at muling kunin ang dating kasintahang si Maria Clara na pumasok sa kumbento bilang isang mongha.


"Anyway, ang [artistic] license ko is, since nangyayari ito sa utak ni Tunying, e, 'di i-dramatize na na natin 'yung pagkamatay ni Maria Clara..."


"Ang feeling ko, kaya siguro hindi rin tumatatak 'yung Fili sa mga kabataan natin, kasi may mga nangyayari [sa novel] na implied but not stated," sabi pa ni Direk Floy. "But, for me, it's the genius of Rizal to make his readers think and draw their own conclusions from them. So you'll reach the conclusions by yourself, whether sa book or dito sa stage version."


Sa talambuhay ni Rizal ay maraming tala ukol sa kanyang mga naging panaginip, at ito ang pinagtuunan at binusisi ng dulang musikal. Mga panaginip habang sinusulat niya ang El Filibusterismo; na maaari ding kahulugan ng kanyang mga pinangarap, para sa minamahal na bansang Pilipinas.


Magkapareho ng pananaw si Direk Floy at si Franco hinggil sa nobelang El Filibusterismo.


"Ako, aaminin ko, nu'ng nasa high school ako, hindi ko talaga naintindihan 'yon," ani Franco. "Pero nu'ng ginawa ko na, sabi ko, 'Ah, ngayon, naintindihan ko na... at gusto ko na siya! It maybe dark, pero napakaganda ng mensahe."


Isang Panaginip Na Fili continues its re-run at the the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater on the following dates: December 8, 9, 10 at 7pm; and December 11, 12 at 10 am and 3:00 pm; and December 11 at 7:30 pm. Maaari ding madagdagan pa ang nasabing petsa at oras ng pagtatanghal, tulad sa mga nakaraang Dulaang UP plays.

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Franco Laurel reprises his role as national hero Dr. Jose Rizal in Dulaang UP's musicaltitled Isang Panaginip Na Fili. It will be staged at UP Diliman until December 11, 2010.
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