I am proud to say that I am glad to be granted a chance to see this wonderful and amazing sarswela in my alma mater, De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde. What makes me prouder is that this is a production by the Technical Theater students (ID 112). This sarswela was written and directed by Palanca winner George de Jesus III and music by Jeffrey Hernandez.
It is a three-act sarswela about the love between Alodia, a young barrio lass and Mauricio who is a rich ilustrado set during the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution. The story explores various levels and facets of love and freedom; the play inverts the traditional sarswela by protecting the relationship between Alodia and Mauricio from any satanic inclination, promises forever to each other in the middle of endeavor of the nation for their freedom.
Paglayang Minamahal was written during the fever of the Philippine Centennial celebration in 1998 and won 2nd prize in the sarswela category of the Centennial Literary Competition.
“It was first staged by Tanghalang Pilipino at the CCP in 2000 directed by Chris Millado with music by Jesse Lucas. The collaborative process of that production resulted in an edit of the original script creating a sung-through musicale that somehow diminished the sarswela form. This production, although edited to run for less than 2 hours, brings back a number of scenes and dialogues from the original winning draft of the play, “
George de Jesus III remarks.
Last night, there was a press preview at SDA and luckily I got an invite as was given the chance to have a plus one so I invited my friend Charles. There, we were able to meet Sab of The Sab Stuff and Mich of Mich Santillan. There was a cocktail which we enjoyed since we were able to get know each other personally.
(L-R) Charles, Mich, Maria, Sab
It was a bit nostalgic for me since it has been quite a while since I last visited SDA and watched a show. So when I saw the opportunity to be able to watch this, I immediately signed up! To be honest, I had no idea what is a sarswela up until I did my research just hours before the show and I never thought that watching a sarswela would be that entertaining and amazing!
We got our tickets from Ms. Mars Callo / Ms. Tin Garanchon and were assigned in the orchestra area. The seats were fine, the room was just cool enough yet a microphone was somehow blocking our view yet we just tried to ignore that it was there.
I loved the way they sang and delivered the lines. It was just really from the heart, or at least in my opinion. The punchlines, dialogues, songs, music were just so great that you have to watch it and appreciate our own!
Those stooges that I’m referring to are the guwardiya sibil that used to haunt the Filipinos back then because they are brutal, well that’s what I remember from my history classes. They would even torture innocent people and even kill them if they were instructed to. The reason behind the giant heads is simple. It got literal! At least, that what the director said when Charles asked the question.
Whenever Carmela would sing, she never fails to mesmerize me. The message of her songs or lines were just painful that if you are having some pain right now, you would be able to relate to her. From what I saw, she and Joselito are in pain not because of what war had brought but with the emotional pain they have been receiving. The character is portrayed by KL Dizon and I think she is really such an amazing singer!
This has been one of the most painful scenes for me. I realized that it’s not always a woman who needs to be rescued (most of the time) and, women are powerful yet somehow society does not see that.
Hence, Paglayang Minamahal aims to transport the audiences to the era of the Philippine Revolution of 1896 with stylized sets and a newly-written music inspired by the Filipino traditional form of sarswela.
Musical Composer, Jeff Hernandez also shared with us last Tuesday that he listened to kundiman and other genres of music to be inspired in composing for Paglayang Minamahal.
As mentioned earlier, this is a production of the Technical Theater students with ID 112. It’s comprised of the students taking up Bachelor of Arts major in Technical Theater at De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde. This course provides all the students’ need in order to successfully produce a theatrical event.
The degree is a three-year and one term course offered by De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts that trains students to become professional production managers, stage managers, lighting designers and technical directors. Not only that but they are also taught the art of producing a show, and learn how all the different aspects of the production process work in tandem to produce the spectacle that is live theater.