Archive for July, 2012

Uyayi sa Digmaan

Posted in Uncategorized on July 4, 2012 by admin

“Uyayi sa Digmaan,” as “play within a play,” is an interchange of the scenes of the drama Norhaina, which Teatro Pagariya rehearses, and the off-scene moments between Raizza and Kurt who are the lead actors in the play. The dramatic and real life, as it were, dialectics on stage is what provides momentum in the action and development of “Uyayi sa Digmaan.”

Norhaina, the play within, depicts the long trek of the Moro evacuees of mostly women and children in the wake of the war that breaks out at the Liguasan Marsh between the government troops and the Moro rebels. Raizza, a young Moro member of Pagariya, plays the central character Norhaina. Kurt, a Christian, plays Norhaina’s rebel- leader husband Hassan. Kuya Margo directs the play.

The rendition of the story of Norhaina offers a kind of heroic relief against a backdrop of war. Her heroism is marked from the moment she assumes leadership of the women and the barrio folk of Shariff-Aguak as they all flee across the waters of the Liguasan marsh until they reach the distant banks of Pagalungan. This she does as she carries her infant child. Her will and an abiding faith in Allah and the cause of the Bangsamoro struggle sustain her through the endless nights of their exodus, even as her heart sings constantly the uyayi.

In between the scenes of the Norhaina play, Raizza and Kurt have their own scenes of entanglement. Raizza has staked her personal honor and the pride of her people in her portrayal of Norhaina. But she is confronted with a kind of disquiet gnawing at her heart during the whole season of the rehearsal. Yet, she is enlivened excited by her relationship with Kurt, which, she realizes, has no future. She is a Muslim and Kurt is a Christian.

Norhaina’s ordeal and the trial of a relationship between Raizza and Kurt rise as the play’s songs and music culminates in the premiere of Teatro Pagariya’s production.

DON PAGUSARA is a trilingual poet and a Palanca awardee now based in Davao City. He is a Humanities professor of the Ateneo de Davao University.

MARILI FERNANDEZ-ILAGAN is a Mindanaoan theatre artist and a cultural researcher now based in Quezon City. She is finishing her Masters in Theatre Arts at the University of the Philippines – Diliman.
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Play in the Making Makes It

Posted in Uncategorized on July 4, 2012 by admin

By Josefina Pedroza

“WE did not expect it to be a huge production,” said Nikki Torrres of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Performing Arts Department who spoke in the forum following the 45-minute production of “Uyayi sa Digmaan” at the Tanghalang Huseng Batute on December 4, 2008.

And huge it appeared indeed. There was the 18-member troupe that played Moro music on the palabunyibunyian, providing an ominous introduction to a somber unraveling of the Moro war, circa 2008. Recently formed out of a foundation that goes by the uncanny name Serve the Children and Older Persons, its members looked like authentic Moro, which they were not. Fact is, the play itself, written by a non-Moro, was mounted by non-Moros.

In any case, “Uyayi sa Digmaan” at the CCP presented before a limited audience a human dimension of a war that has raged in Mindanao for ages. (See play synopsis.) The war has been there for so long that it no longer offers excitement to newsreaders, except when the body count rises to hundreds and whole villages are plundered.

The play’s CCP outing was made possible by the Tag-ani Performing Arts Society, in cooperation with the CCP, as part of its Waiting in the Wings program. The program features plays that are “works in progress,” meaning unfinished. Nikki Torres noted that oftentimes, the performances were simply dramatic readings sans a directorial concept or production design. But Tag-ani did excerpts of “Uyayi” with lights and sound and all that. Director Marili Fernandez-Ilagan even made sure that the playwright’s lyrics were set to music and arranged for the CCP performance, and by noted artists such as Cynthia Alexander and Malu Matute. The cast and crew, composed of students from Miriam College, the University of the Philippines and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, were admirable.

Perhaps, the sentiment that “Uyayi” created among the audience could be captured by the two foreigners who came in earlier than the Pinoys (so what else is new). They said they did not know the language but they nevertheless understood. And that they were touched.

And touch the audience a play ought to do.

The Mindanawon Theater Movement

Posted in Uncategorized on July 4, 2012 by admin


Kaalam sa Dramaturgong Kaliwatan:
Post-modern Philosophical Roots, Underpinnings, and Perspectives of the Mindanawon Theatre Movement1

by Karl M. Gaspar, CSsR

Maayong buntag!


First of all, I would like to thank the organizers of this conference for the distinct privilege of addressing all of you this morning. When Waldolito Nestor Horfilla,  Mindulani’s shaman, initially asked me to be one of the speakers of Mindulani sa Milenyo Dos and informed me that my topic was – THE MINDANAO THEATRE:  PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS AND POST-MODERN PERSPECTIVES – I was taken aback.  The dramaturgo in me went into an instant monologue and I heard myself asking these questions in the privacy of my theatrical space:

Philosophical roots?
Post-modern perspectives?
Mindanawon post-modern theatre?

Nakahuna-huna ko: unsa may nahuna-hunaan ni Nestor Horfilla nga morag natakdan man siya aning mga nagpaka-aron-ingon nga mga post-modernists?  Gani, una natong problema – nagkasinabot ba ta unsa ning post-modern?  Unsaon ba pagBinisaya ani nga termino?  Post-modern?  Despues sa moderno?  Lampas/pag-agi sa moderno? Nahuman na ba diay ang moderno?

Then in the deep recesses in my mind I recalled one particular event as I sat at CCP’s Little Theatre when – if my memory serves me right – UP’s Repertory Theatre mounted Noli (or was it Fili?): Isang Dekonstruksyon.  As the voice announcing the title of the play faded, I heard a voice at my back declaring loud and clear these words: Ano ba iyan? Ano ba ‘yang dekonstruksyon?

What I thought interesting was not the questions raised; what caught my attention was the disdain and contempt that was embedded in the dramatic text. It was as if the speaker voiced out a frustration among theatre artists who would rather emote  than rationalize; and was directed at other theatre artists who would dare use words that are not in the vocabulary of the community of artists and cultural workers.  Dekonstruksyon:  unsa ba na? Makaon ba na?

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Klasikong Dula Itinanghal Kaugnay ng February Arts Month

Posted in Uncategorized on July 4, 2012 by admin

Ang “Pagsambang Bayan,” klasikong dulang kontra-batas militar ni Bonifacio P. Ilagan, sa direksyon ni Behn Cervantes, ay itinanghal ng Tag-ani Performing Arts Society kaugnay ng February Arts Month, sa pagtataguyod ng National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

Ipinalabas ito sa Tanghalang Batute ng Cultural Center of the Philippinessa Tanghalang Umali ng U.P. Los Banos, at sa Bantayog ng mga Bayani noong Pebrero 2009.


Ang national tour nito ay sinimulan ng dalawang palabas sa Ang Bahay ng Alumni, University of the Philippines sa Diliman, Quezon City, sa ganap na 7 PM, 25-26 Pebrero, 2009.


Ang unang pagtatanghal sa probinsya ay sa pagtataguyod ng Workers’ Assistance Center.  Ang palabas ay ginanap sa 4 PM at 7 PM, 28 Pebrero 2009, sa Emilio Aguinaldo College Auditorium sa Dasmariñas, Cavite.


Para sa bookings, mangyaring kontakin ang Tag-ani Performing Arts Society, Inc.:

● Mobile 09209461975 / 09228010792