Last Saturday, I got an invitation from a friend and asked me to go to University of the Philippines, exactly in Palma Hall, only to find out that we were going to watch a play.
When I saw the poster of the play, I thought oh historical, such a boring play…but before it started, I was reminded of my college days where I used to be part of theater play production especially my most favorite thing to do, musical scoring.
I got curious how the play will start and end, well, not a typical play of acting but it is an acting while singing and moving according to the scenes needed to portray.
Yes, I have watched the entire musical play and discovered something in our history.
Ang Huling Lagda ni Apolinario Mabini,” is a one-act reimagining of the national hero’s final days in exile in Guam and his conditional return to Manila, with book and lyrics by Floy Quintos and original music by Krina Cayabyab.
To start my review, allow me to give an applause to all the staff, cast and crew for making this play possible.
Here’s my review:
The one act musical is said to be the most significant contribution of the Philippine local theater scene to the celebration of the sesquicentennial of Apolinario Mabini. While the musical explores the private pain of a hero that is forced to swear allegiance to the USA, Ang Huling Lagda ni Apolinario Mabini also instills a new pride & importance in his greatest work – the True Decalogue. The musical also allows audiences to familiarize themselves with the value of Mabini’s greatest opus and strengthen our sense of duty to our country.
The casting was very promising, acting wise was impressive, dialogues were delivered clearly and audible. The acting was superb. It’s not easy to sing while projecting a proper facial expressions. The cast’s powerful voices made the acting like a real ones.
The cast is topbilled by veteran stage actors Roeder Camañag who played the title role, Leo Rialp, Jean Judith Javier, Banaue Miclat, Al Gaimatan and his alternate actor Poppert Bernandas and Nazer Salcedo.
An ensemble of promising actors comprise the formidable supporting cast- Ralph Oliva, Chase Salazar, Adrian Reyes, Arion Sanchez, Bym Buhain, Edmundo Abad, Jr., Ralph Perez, Ross Pesigan, Roco Sanchez, Rence Aviles, Jon Abella, and Vincent Pajara.
The artistic staff is completed by Ohm David for set design which made the setting as real one.
John Batalla for lights design where it able gives the audience to visualize vividly the settings of every scenes.
Darwin Desoacido for costumes and it brought the audience to an old settings in our history. Seeing the cast wearing a traditional clothes for Filipinos during the past era made the play realistic.
Choreography by Stephen Viñas was quite good but not during the dialogue part between Apolinario Mabini and Emilio Aguinaldo. It didn’t establish the difference setting, where people might think that Aguinaldo was being exiled too in Guam because of close encounter to Mabini but not really that problem.
Technical direction by Meliton Roxas Jr., dramaturgy by Marvin Olaes, Miggy Panganiban, Fatimy Ivy Baggao and Kyrstynne Vargas, and poster design and photography by Dino Dimar, where all remaining aspects were good and excellent.
In my conclusion, this play is a big help in regaining the historical view of every Filipino nowadays who lives in the midst of digital age. It embarks knowledge and made us aware of who are the unsung heroes we have during the revolutionary period of our beloved country, Philippines.