Sunday, February 6, 2011

# Bit by Bit Production # Dulaang UP

It's All Because of "Pag-ibig"

Zafira and Orosman. Photo by: Johan Sy of Studiyo.

Last Friday, February 4, 2011, I chose to watch the press preview of "Orosman at Zafira" over Janet Jackson's expensive concert. I know that I will not regret watching "Orosman at Zafira" after seeing some scenes during their press conference. Honestly, upto this moment, my mind keeps recalling some songs, lines and dance moves from the show. I also keep telling friends and my relatives about it.

Orosman (L). Zafira (R). Photo by: Johan Sy of Studiyo.

"Orosman at Zafira" may sound very old fashioned with its name and of course, it was written around 1856 by Francisco Baltazar aka "Balagtas." However, this old story holds the universal and the forever-in-fashion message called "pag-ibig" or love.

As I entered the Centerstage Theater, I noticed the stage and lighting design. They look amazing! I felt that being there to watch the show was already so worth it.

Gulnara and Muhamud. Photo by: Johan Sy of Studiyo.

The show started with the three tribes being presented - Marruecos, Tedenst and Duquela - narrated by Zelima (Ben-Asar's daughter). Each tribe were dancing their own dances happily while Zelima introduces the characters and their relationship to one another.

At the Garden of Houris in the land of the Marruecos, Aldervesin (Sultan Muhamud's adopted son) and Orosman (Boulasem's son) were strolling around when Gulnara (Sultan Muhamud's wife) showed up. A steamy exchange of dialogue between Aldervesin and Gulnara were shown which introduces their affair. They were caught by Sultan Muhamud who throws Aldervesin into jail and sentences him to death. After everyone left the garden, it is in this the same place and time that Orosman and Zafira meet. This marks the beginning of all conflicts that is to come.

Aldervesin and Gulnara

Muhamud scolds Aldervesin.

Aldervesin will be put to jail and punished. Photo by: Johan Sy of Studiyo.

The message I got from "Orosman at Zafira": Love can be good. Love can be destructive. Love can be a curse. Whatever form love can be, it's still love that a lot of people choose to feel.

Gulnara tries to persuade Muhamud. Photo by: Johan Sy of Studiyo.

Aside from the story, what makes me love this show are the killer dance moves, specially by the Duquela Tribe. The choreography was fantastic! Despite all the jumps, catapults and cart wheels of the huge group, they were able to do their stunts without hitting the one beside them. My eyes were wide open during the three wars because of all the stunts happening at the same time! My jaws dropped when Zelim (played by Acey Bryle Aguilar) was jumping from one stand to the other stand! I also like how the Duquela Tribe came down from the top of the stage on a rope while dancing and singing. All the action and passion can be felt by their dance moves!

Sample of Duquela Tribe's killer dance moves taken during the presscon.

Kudos also to the voices of all the actors! Their voices are terrific and each song wowed me. The voice of Zelima (played by Tao Aves) made the hairs behind my neck stand up like there's a ghost from the past that passed by! Maybe Balagtas was there enjoying the show? Gulnara (Jean Judith Javier) made different pitches that showed the flexibility of her voice. In a chorus, the voice of Boulasem (Nazer Salcedo) stood out and gave shivers that signals something bad in the next scene will happen.

After watching the show, I feel so proud that the Filipinos are good singers, good dancers, good actors, good musicians and are very creative with stage and lighting design. This show proves that Filipinos can give a world class original Filipino play. I really hope that a lot of Filipinos will go watch this or they'll be missing a lot!

Sultan Muhamud

"Orosman at Zafira" will be showing at the Centerstage Theater, 2/F SM Mall of Asia on February 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26 at 8pm; on February 12 and 19 at 10am; and on February 12, 19 and 26 at 3pm. It's going to be an experience of a lifetime so bring your loveone, family and friends!

Toots Tolentino welcomes the press.

Congratulations to Dexter Santos, Carol Bello, Darwin Mariano, Carlo Miguel Francia, Alex Cortez, Toots Tolentino, the casts and crew of "Orosman at Zafira" for a worldclass original Filipino play!

The first time Orosman and Zafira meets.


  1. hi Joy! been planning to take the family to a play (Mickey on stage, Barney & Friends, etc.) one of these days :D i know the boys will love it. lots of priorities to spend to lately that's why we haven't been to one.
    thanks for dropping by to my blog. wish you well :D
    A Time To Weep and A Time To Laugh

  2. I agree! "Pag-ibig, pag-ibig, at pag-ibig pa rin!" :) - Ruth


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