Friday, August 21, 2009

Walang Sugat in Bulacan

Last weekend, we once again teamed up with the Barasoain Kalinangan Foundation, Inc. of Malolos, Bulacan for another restaging of Severino Reyes and Fulgencio Tolentino's Walang Sugat. Walang Sugat is a sarswela set in during the Spanish occupation in the Philippines. Two lovers, Julia and Tenyong, amidst the oppression of the government and an arranged marriage, struggle to be together.

A sarswela is the Filipino version of a musical. We adapted it from the Spanish version, zarzuela, and turned it into our own style. Walang Sugat is said to be the most popular and the bestseller among the many Filipino sarswelas. I can see why; Every Filipino can relate to love, comedy and patriotism all in one show. In fact, this is where the patriotic song Bayan Ko came from.

The story may seem simple, but the main character Julia is actually a representation of our Inang Bayan. It shows how Filipinos are willing to fight for her, and that no matter what they do, we still end up being without blemish, hence the title Walang Sugat.

During the early 90's, CCP commisioned Prof. Chino Toledo to write new arrangements for Walang Sugat. Also, since, the last part of the music got lost throughout the ages, he also wrote new music for the surviving text. He also served as conductor for the hundreds of performances staged in CCP. For these performances of BKFI, he was also our conductor.

We first worked withBKFI Febuary this year when UP Diliman hosted the Sarswela Festival. UP has been heading the revival of Filipino theater art forms. Last year, UP hosted the Komedya Festival. This year's Sarswela Festival featured different sarswelas being performed by different theater groups. There were 4 main sarswelas, but there were also minor ones and some sarswela movies. I had the opportunity to play in three of those four sarswelas: Paglipas ng Dilim, Walang Sugat and Bunganga ng Pating. I'm happy that the Sarswela Festival had a very good turnout. I wonder what UP will be doing for next year.

Anyway, moving on, the government of Bulacan loved Walang Sugat that they actually sponsored bringing an orchestra all the way to Malolos, Bulacan to provide the residents with a free showing. Since Bulacan didn't have a theater big enough to accomodate an orchestra, we staged in it the provincial basketball gym only. But I was surprised at the big turnout, and as always, the people loved it.

Here are some shots I took. Sorry they're not very good. It's not easy to play and shoot at the same time. All the pictures were taken from the orchestra side.

the comedians of the show, Lucas and Monica, singing Makikiliti Kang Totoo

the battle against the Spaniards

the "dying" Tenyong saying his last farewell to Julia

Julia and Tenyong get married

the last scene, with Julia dressed as Inang Bayan

Kudos to the government of Bulacan for supporting the arts and their homegrown talent! I can only hope that there will be more of these in the future.


herroyalbleakness said...

I've seen this zarzuela in high school and it was really nice!

Crystal said...

haha i'm glad you like it.

☆Anastacia☆ said...

Awww! It seems like something very interesting!
Very nice pictures!

Crystal said...

anastacia, LOL it is! thank you. i wish my pics were better though.

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