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What to Watch Next: Balag at Angud

August 22, 2018

Balag at Angud

This August, Tanghalang Pilipino (TP), the resident theater company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), will open its 32nd Theater Season with Balag at Angud, an original Filipino musical on the life of protest installation artist Junyee.

Tanghalang Pilipino Opens its 32nd Theather Season with

Balag at Angud

It is a musical about the life of protest artist Junyee and his continuous pursuit of art that inspires & awakens our Filipino spirit and love for country & the environment.

Written by¬†Palanca¬†Award-winner¬†Layeta¬†Bucoy,¬†Balag¬†at¬†Angud¬†tells the life story of¬†the pioneering Filipino¬†visual¬†artist¬†Luis Yee, Jr.,¬†better¬†known as¬†Junyee, from his¬†childhood in¬†Agusan¬†del Norte to the¬†construction¬†of his 2007 outdoor¬†installation¬†‚ÄúAngud: A Forest Once‚Ä̬†at the CCP.¬†

Behind Balag and Angud

Balag is a trellis structure made from bamboo bound firmly by ropes or strings where vines grow. His installation was displayed in UP Diliman where students could pass underneath, tie on objects/paper with messages about protest, poetry or love notes. 

What¬†Junyee¬†held as most significant about¬†Balag¬†was that it no longer carried the ‚Äúguilty burden of colonialism‚ÄĚ and injected a contemporary¬†bayanihan¬†act.¬†

Angud, on the other hand, is the part of the tree trunk where holes are drilled in order to haul logs from the mountains. That part of the hole is stripped or chopped, discarded, and is considered as scrap because it no longer has used and cannot be sold. 

Junyee‚Äôs¬†Angud¬†installation is a visual statement against illegal logging in the country, representing the evidence of our abuse of nature ‚Äď a true testament of¬†Junyee‚Äôs¬†lifelong advocacy on the environment.

Balag at Angud

The Story

An ‚Äėartist against all odds,‚Äô¬†Junyee‚Äôs¬†art manifests¬†an abiding love of life and of nature as the bringer of that life.¬†In keeping with this Season‚Äôs theme ‚ÄúPILIpino,‚Ä̬†the musical¬†recounts¬†the¬†choice¬†Junyee¬†makes to¬†follow¬†his¬†art¬†against the wishes of his father Luis.¬†‚ÄúSa¬†paglikha¬†ko,¬†natagpuan¬†ang¬†katuturan,‚Ä̬†says¬†Junyee.¬†

‚ÄúKung ang¬†sining¬†ay¬†kalat,¬†basura,¬†walang¬†silbi,¬†walang¬†kwenta¬†sa¬†paningin¬†ng¬†iba,¬†tutuluyin¬†mo¬†pa¬†ba?¬†Iyan¬†ang¬†ng¬†tanong¬†ng¬†dula,‚Ä̬†Bucoy¬†said.

‚ÄúI¬†am¬†hoping that this story would both inspire and pose a challenge to the audience through following the life of an artist ahead of us who struggled for his beliefs in his art and triumphed.‚ÄĚ

Opening Friday, August 31, 2018,¬†at the¬†Tanghalang¬†Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater),¬†the production features¬†playwright¬†Rody¬†Vera¬†in the title role. It features¬†Dune Michael Garcia¬†and¬†Paw Castillo¬†playing¬†Junyee‚Äôs¬†child and teenage self,¬†Jonathan Tadioan¬†as Luis,¬†Astarte Abraham¬†as¬†Marites, and¬†Mia Bola√Īos¬†as Felisa.¬†

Musician Bayang Barrios plays the role of Musa, Junyee’s muse, and members of the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors’ Company as part of the ensemble. 

‚ÄúWe live in a country¬†that ignores the conditions of artists. My whole admiration for¬†Junyee¬†comes from how he was able to remain uncompromising in the face of daily doubts ‚Äst‚ÄėBibigay¬†ba¬†ako?‚Äô¬†I often ask myself.¬†Pero¬†itong¬†mga¬†pinili¬†niya¬†ay claro at singular,‚Ä̬†Vera reveals.¬†¬†

Behind the Show

Directing Balag at Angud is veteran actor Audie Gemora, whose previous work with TP includes Noli Me Tangere: The Musical and Pangarap Sa Isang Gabi Ng Gitnang Tag-Araw.

‚ÄúWhat is so beautiful about¬†Layeta¬†Bucoy‚Äôs¬†story is how she personified art:¬†parang¬†mayroong¬†love story between¬†Junyee¬†at ang¬†kaniyang¬†art who is personified¬†sa¬†isang¬†Musa,‚Ä̬†he says.

‚ÄúI want our spectators to know that if you¬†go after¬†what you were designed to do in this world at all cost, it will pay off. That‚Äôs exactly what happened to¬†Junyee.‚Ä̬†

Balag at Angud

The production¬†also features¬†music from¬†Dodjie¬†Fernandez¬†of¬†Patatag¬†and¬†musical direction by¬†Upeng¬†Galang-Fernandez, with¬†set design by¬†Toym¬†Imao,¬†and assisted by¬†Marco Via√Īa.

‚ÄúThe set will take inspiration from¬†Junyee‚Äôs¬†actual installations, reinterpreting them using materials like bamboo, leaves, and seeds. It‚Äôs going to be an art environment where audiences can immerse themselves and get a glimpse into¬†Junyee‚Äôs¬†works, while also telling the story on stage,‚ÄĚ Imao¬†explains.

The rest of the artistic team is composed of Ava Villanueva Ong ‚Äď choreography, assisted by Al Bernard Garcia; James Reyes ‚Äď costume design; John¬†Batalla¬†‚Äď lighting design; TJ Ramos ‚Äď sound design; and¬†Datu¬†Arellano ‚Äď projection design.

What is the show about?

‚ÄúThis musical¬†is a story of love for art, family, parents ‚Äď but more importantly, of love for country,‚ÄĚ says¬†Nanding Josef, Artistic Director of Tanghalang Pilipino. ‚ÄúIt fits in well with the other plays this Season, which are all about the¬†choices¬†we make that are important for ourselves, those we love, and society at large. In this case, the choice¬†Junyee¬†and many Filipino artists¬†have made is¬†to¬†pursue¬†art not for money, but out of love.‚Ä̬†¬†

The Show

Balag¬†at¬†Angud¬†will run¬†from¬†August 31 to September 16, 2018 at the¬†CCP Little Theater¬†(Tanghalang¬†Aurelio Tolentino)¬†with shows at¬†3 PM¬†and¬†8 PM, exclusive of Sundays (only 3 PM shows), with special shows on September 7 3pm, September 13 3pm and 8pm, September 14 3pm.¬†Tickets¬†are¬†‚āĪ1000¬†for VIP seating and¬†‚āĪ800¬†for¬†Orchestra Side seats.¬†

For ticket reservations, group sales, sponsorships, and special performances, please contact:
  • Juan Marco Lorenzo¬†at¬†0999 8843821
  • Lorelei Celestino¬†at¬†0915¬†6072275¬†¬†or¬†832-1125 local 1620/1621.

Tickets are also available at:

  • Ticketworld¬†online¬†or by calling¬†891-9999
  • CCP Box Office

Visit the official TP website or email info@tanghalangpilipino.com for more information.

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Hope to see you there!

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