I brought 11 friends to the Sunday (Aug. 15) 3 p.m. show of Dulaang UP's Orosman at Zafira, and was happy to see them afterwards unanimously fired up over the show. One of them was so moved by it that he posted his thoughts on his blog--in Filipino verse, inspired by the sonorous bygone Tagalog of Balagtas that he heard on the show. Here it is--a unique and brilliant appreciation.
PAG-IBIG PA RIN
O musang marikit at kaakit-akit
Ibahagi sa akin mga katagang ninanais
Diwa kong hapo ay 'wag bigyang pasakit
Sa paghanap, paghalaw ay naghihinagpis.
Sa pagkamangha sa nasilayang komediya
Na halaw sa likha ng Dakilang Makata
Tuloy ay naisip na tumipa sa letra
At magpugay sa dula sa lengua Tagala.
Sayaw at galaw ay kagilagilalas
Sa halaw ng himig na buhay at wagas
Puso'y napako sa aking namalas
Na siyang dahilan at nagbabalagtas.
Pag-ibig, pag-ibig at pag-ibig pa rin
Kasumpa-sumapang pag-ibig, salarin
Tatlong kaharia'y napailalim
Sa dusa at dugo at waging malagim.
Salamat sa aking mga katoto
Na nag-imbitang manood ng teatro
Orosman at Zafira, aking ginusto
At nagbigay kulay sa aking Linggo.
Ngayon ako, sa inyo'y nag-aanyaya
Huwag palampasin yaring naturang dula
Inyo itong antabayanan
Sa kuta ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan.
Muna'y lubayan ang banyagang produkto
At ang pilak na tabing na ating gusto
Kayo ay magmadali ng husto
Ang dula ay lamang hanggang dulo ng Agosto.
The original blog is here (where you'll discover that the guy is also a fine writer in English).
To quote that CCP ad: O di ba mas cool 'pag me art sa buhay mo?
PLUS: “'Musical' might not be the best word to use to describe Dulaang UP’s production of Orosman at Zafira, but whatever it is it is mesmerizing theater.” -- Exie Abola's review of the original (2008) production here. Mine here.
And since this restaging is substantially the same show that shook the rafters of UP's Guerrero Theater two years ago--give or take the fresh nuances of a new cast, plus further improvements by director Dexter Santos--let me reiterate what I wrote then, when I chose Orosman at Zafira as the best musical production of 2008: A blazing musical-theater experience, and, not incidentally, a calling card for how disparate elements--Baltazar’s archaic Tagalog text, Bello’s neo-ethnic world music, Santos’ hybrid choreography--could create something uniquely, arrestingly homegrown, as far away from Broadway as could be.
I'm happy to report that the show I saw yesterday has not given me any cause to revisit my judgment.
You still have time--until August 29--to catch it. Go.
[Thanks to Zaf Masahud Jr. for the photos.]