Part 1 here.
Here is Act 2 of "Rama at Sita." You know the drill--just click on the YouTube links below, sit back, and enjoy these never-before seen excerpts!
More praise from the archives:
"Fusing Hindu traditional musical strains with contemporary pop, the musical adaptation [of "Ramayana"] electrifies, [but] the spectacle doesn't bury the epic's heart and soul. The sumptuous production design is easily one of the most lavish this reviewer has seen in recent years."(Cora Llamas, Philippine Daily Inquirer)
"Robert Sena is in a class of his own with his portrayal of the evil Ravana. Jaya's Soorphanaka is only a 10-minute appearance in Act 2, but she does bring the house down with that voice and pizzazz. The role of the storyteller Vishvamitra is sagely acted by Edward Granadosin." (Raul Teehankee, Manila Bulletin)
Before we go to the video clips, it's important that we honor, too, the creative, production and technical crew that comprised the offstage backbone of "Rama at Sita." In particular, the spectacular set design (by director Leo Rialp) and costumes (by Patis Tesoro) deserve the highest praise, right? Click on the images below for the complete credits.
1. Ako'y Iyung-Iyo--Ariel Rivera, Chiqui Pineda. In a cave in the enchanted forest, the exiled Rama and Sita share their first night of bliss. (A splendid touch here: shadowy dancers garbed as Hindu statues form Kama Sutra poses around the couple!)
Franco Laurel's Multiply site has the Lani Misalucha-Ariel Rivera version of this love duet, from the original cast album of "Rama at Sita." Check out his site here.
2. Buktot, Ako'y Buktot/Harot, Ako'y Harot--Robert Sena, Jaya. The witch Maricha (Arlene Borja) reports the presence of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana to Ravana and his sister, Soorphanaka. The evil siblings decide to disguise themselves and try to pry the newlyweds apart. (Prepare to be blown away by the powerhouse vocals of Robert Sena and Jaya!)
3. Ginoong Ermitanyo--Robert Sena, Chiqui Pineda, Jaya, Ariel Rivera, John Arcilla. Ravana, dressed as a hermit, attempts to seduce Sita, while Soorphanaka is all over Rama and Lakshmana. But the brothers see through her designs, and when she tries to hurt Sita, Lakshmana maims her, sending her back screaming to her underground lair.
4. Kaya N'yo Bang Tumagal--Ravana succeeds in snatching Sita and spiriting her away to Lanka. To rescue her, Rama asks help from the monkey army of Kiskinda. Sita, meanwhile, refuses Ravana's advances, but in an optical illusion, Rama's monkey spies see a Sita look-alike cavorting with Ravana. The hasty report crushes Rama.
5. Magbalik Ka Na, Mahal/Tagistis ng Ulan--Chiqui Pineda, Ariel Rivera. Rama and Sita's mirror laments, one waiting to be freed from captivity, the other missing his bride but ruing the frailty of love.
Just to complete your "Rama at Sita" experience, here is Lani Misalucha's version of "Magbalik Ka Na, Mahal," from the original cast album:
6. Finale: Sadyang Pinagtagpo/Huwag Takasan (reprise)--Ariel Rivera, Chiqui Pineda, Chorus. In the great war that follows, Rama's forces defeat Ravana. But believing that his wife is now impure, Rama refuses to take Sita back. Sita, heartbroken, decides to end her life by being burned on a pyre. The gods intervene just in time to commend Rama and Sita for their fealty to dharma (duty), no matter how difficult. Rama and Sita reunite to reclaim their love and the throne of Ayodhaya.
7. Bonus: Curtain call--Watch the star-studded closing-night crowd erupt in thunderous cheers as the performers and creative crew take their bows. If you feel like joining them in applauding the remarkable all-Filipino production you've just seen, by all means, go ahead! Bravo, indeed!
Lucky for us, we can now watch the "Rama at Sita" videos in YouTube again and again, any time we want. We can't say it enough: Thank you, Franco and Ayen Laurel.
PLUS: More pictures!