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PSF’s Bonifacio: Isang Sarsuwela is ‘a very emotional play,’ says Director

Multi-award winning theater group, Philippine Stagers Foundation (PSF) opens its new season with a ‘very emotional musical’ about the life and death of Filipino hero, Andres Bonifacio.


‘Bonifacio: Isang Sarsuwela’ Promotional Photo

PSF stages “Bonifacio: Isang Sarsuwela” in commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Bonifacio who was born on November 30, 1863, says PSF President, Director Atty. Vincent  Tañada during the press conference held on June 7 at their studio in Sampaloc, Manila.

Fresh from the success of its recent longest-running musical, “Joe: The Filipino Rocksical” that highlighted the life of the Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, PSF is set to open ‘Bonifacio’ on Friday, July 19 at Tanghalang Pasigueño.

But unlike their previous plays, “All parts here are emotional,” says Tañada who also plays the role of Bonifacio.

The director also admitted curriculum plays like Bonifacio is quite boring but with the kind of music they mixed with the story of such a historical figure, it becomes more appealing to the audience, especially the students. Music is under the direction of stage and TV musical director Pipo Cifra.

This Sarsuwela tackles on various aspects of Bonifacio’s life. It dares to expose the fact that the hero was a victim not of the foreigners but of his fellow Filipinos, Tañada said. For Bonifacio’s story, it was “Filipinos versus Filipinos. It was about the rivalry between the rich and the poor,” he added.

Though it doesn’t aim to malign Emilio Aguinaldo,  who was believed to have ordered the killing of Bonifacio, Tañada explained their take on the latter’s story is different as it is a product of his own mind and of extensive research done by his team.

However, he is open to criticisms and is ready for negative feedback, especially from Aguinaldo’s camp,  Tañada said. In fact, their offers have already been declined in various schools in Cavite, Aguinaldo’s home province.

“Ganun lang naman ‘yun eh. Alangan namang hindi ko ituloy ang play because they don’t want it,” the actor-director added.

Aside from Tañada, the musical also features homegrown talents JM Encinas who will play alternates as Bonifacio, Cindy Liper as Gregoria de Jesus, Jordan Ladra/Kevin Posadas as Emilio Aguinaldo, Monique Azerreda/Adelle Ibarrientos-Lim as Hilaria Aguinaldo and Patrick Adrian Libao as Emilio Jacinto.

Bonifacio-Isang-Sarsuwela-Cast-3 copy

The cast of ‘Bonifacio: Isang Sarsuwela’ sing one of the musical number for the first time in front of the press during the press conference held on June 7 at the PSF Studio in Sampaloc, Manila.

The cast of 'Bonifacio: Isang Sarsuwela'

The cast of ‘Bonifacio: Isang Sarsuwela’ answer questions from the press.

Bonifacio-Isang-Sarsuwela-Cast-7 copy

The cast of ‘Bonifacio: Isang Sarsuwela’ answer questions from the press.

PSF new members join the cast of 'Bonifacio: Isang Sarsuwela'

PSF new members join the cast of ‘Bonifacio: Isang Sarsuwela’

The cast of 'Bonifacio: Isang Sarsuwela' with the bloggers Ely, Weng Iguis and Mj De Leon.

The cast of ‘Bonifacio: Isang Sarsuwela’ with the bloggers Ely, Weng Iguis and Mj De Leon.

Among the successful plays that PSF has staged in the recent years include ‘Ako si Ninoy’, ‘Cory ng EDSA’, and ‘Ang Bangkay’.

Interested in bringing ‘Bonifacio: Isang Sarsuwela’ to your school or community? Feel free to contact PSF at 0927-391-3447.

About author

Ely Valendez

Ely Valendez is an award-winning blogger-journalist based in the Philippines. He handles several social media marketing projects for various brands in his home country as well as for a US-based IT/e-commerce company, PCM where he works full time. He uses his spare time doing financial consultancy for a UK-based company. He also sits as member of the Board of Directors of the Philippines Communication Society and serves as a web manager and resource person of the Philippine Press Institute.

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