The bloody war on drugs of President Rodrigo Duterte, as well as the controversial burial of the dictator Marcos, has reached Philippine theater, courtesy of Pagsambang Bayan The Musical of the Tag-ani Performing Arts Society.
The play is a remake of the landmark antimartial play Pagsambang Bayan that is cited in the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art as a major work in Philippine theater.
Not only does it take us back to the days of martial rule, Pagsambang Bayan The Musical also enjoins Filipinos, 45 years after, to reflect on the present times as it dramatizes the burning issues of the day, including the series of deaths widely described as “extrajudicial killings.”
Directed by Joel Lamangan, its book and libretto is by Bonifacio P. Ilagan. Music is provided by a pool of musicians led by Joed Balsamo; set by Leeroy New; lights by Joey Nombres; and additional choreography by Jomelle Era.
A powerhouse cast of 19 is led by Pinoy rock music stalwart Cabring Cabrera of Datu’s Tribe and internationally-acclaimed tenor Dondi Ong.
After its performances at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Pagsambang Bayan The Musical shall run on September 3, 4 PM, at Irwin Theater, Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan, Quezon; September 8, 5 PM, at the Umali Auditorium, UP Los Baños; September 21, 8 PM, Little Theater, Cultural Center of the Philippines; September 22-23, 3 PM and 8 PM, Little Theater, CCP. Other performances are for confirmation.