The UP Center for International Studies (UPCIS), UP College of Music (UPCMu) and Sentro ng Wikang Filipino celebrate Buwan ng Wika with the restaging of Putri Anak, Isang Bagong Komedya on August 23-25 at 3p.m. and 7p.m. at the GT-Toyota Asian Center Auditorium inside the UP Diliman campus.
The theater production, a collaboration between the UPCIS and the UPCMu to mark the latter’s centennial this year, premiered at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in April and signals the birth of this new Komedya. It is also UPCIS’ and UPCMu’s contribution to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the ASEAN for it features common themes in celestial maiden narratives among Southeast Asian as well as Japanese, Indian and Chinese cultures as it banners a message of peace and reconciliation.
Largely based on the Maguindanao celestial maiden narrative of the Philippines, Putri Anak, Isang Bagong Komedya tells the story of Putri Anak, a celestial maiden who came down to earth to bathe in a stream with her six sisters. She is stranded on earth when she loses her wings. The play then unfolds as a fictional story of two warring clans led by their leaders, Rajah Sulaymon and Sultan Magnaye, who are caught in a love triangle with Putri Anak. This rivalry is aggravated by centuries-old territorial conflict between their clans. However, an impending disaster makes them realize that only by uniting their forces could they successfully ward off a common enemy. The play is written by Enrique Villasis and Juan Ekis following the dodecasyllabic verse of the traditional Komedya.
Its music, without losing the European-Asian touch in the traditional Komedya, veers towards a more Southeast Asian sound. Dr. Verne de la Peña, a musicology professor at the UPCMu, composed the music with Mary Katherine J. Trangco, UPCMu faculty as musical director.
Woven into the conventions of the Komedya ng San Dionisio of Parañaque are performance elements from Filipino, Japanese and Southeast Asian performance traditions. This bagong komedya is directed by Dr. Jina Umali, an Asian Theater scholar of UPCIS. Her co-directors Angela Baguilat, UPCMu dance faculty who studied India’s Bharata Natyam and Jeremy de la Cruz, UPLB theater professor who studied Indonesia’s Tari Java (Javanese court dance) created the choreography with movement inspiration mainly taken from the aforementioned Asian dance forms. Other movement inspirations were taken from Japan’s Kabuki and the martial arts sagayan, arnis, and pencak silat. Bryan Viray, UP Theater professor, and Grace Jaramillo of the Komedya ng San Dionisio, provided the dramaturgy. Mark Legaspi designed the set with Darwin Desoacido as costume designer. Michael Que restages the play.
Joining the artistic staff in the restaging are costume designer Gino Gonzales who creates the costume of the character Putri Anak, Jethro Joaquin, UP Theater lecturer who designs the sound and Joseph G. Matheu who is both technical director and lighting designer.
The production features performances of UP Tugtugang Musika Asyatika (UP TUGMA) and the UP Dance Company. Elizabeth Garcia Arce, a UPCMu student plays the title role while Alexander Dagalea and Jude Matthew Servilla reprise their roles as Rajah Sulaymon and Sultan Magnaye, respectively.
The production is sponsored by the Office of the UP President and the Office of the UP Vice Presid
ent for Academic Affairs, U.P. Diliman Office of the Chancellor, UP Diliman Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts, and the Japan Foundation Manila.
Regular ticket price is Php500.00. UP Students can avail of a special discounted rate of Php 300.00 while non-UP students, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, government employees and military personnel can avail of a 20% discount.
For ticket inquiries, please call the UP Center for International Studies at 981-8500 loc. 2460 or 426-75-73 and look for Ms. Iyah Lafuente.