Quantcast
Latest Stories

‘Orosman at Zafira’ at CCP–one more time for Balagtas

By

JAY GONZAGA, Kierwin Larena, Roeder Camañag, Jean Judith Javier, Delfin Buencamino, Tao Aves and Chuck Hipol

Another major work of our greatest poet Francisco Baltazar (Balagtas), apart from “Florante at Laura,” is “Orosman at Zafira.”

The manuscript was believed to have been lost for many years but it was discovered by the scholar Buenaventura Medina Jr. in a collection at the National Library in 1974.

“Orosman at Zafira” is a love story but also a tale of conflict. It is a komedya (moro-moro) but there are no Christians here, only Muslims warring against one another. Eventually peace is restored and Orosman wins the love of Zafira, whose father he had killed.

Epic poem

PRODUCTION number from “Orosman at Zafira”

The epic poem, a play in verse, was first staged by Teatro Pilipino under the direction of Rolando Tinio (later National Artist for Theater) in 1977 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. It had an all-star cast, with Tommy Abuel as Orosman and Celeste Legaspi as Zafira, backed up by Jose Mari Avellana, Ella Luansing, Aurelio Estanislao and Rene Requiestas.

Tanghalang Pilipino then restaged the work in 1993, with John Arcilla and Allan Paule alternating as Orosman and Irma Adlawan as Zafira. The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Cecinio Ronquillo, provided the music.

Finally, in recent years, Dulaang UP jazzed up the play; putting in choreography, martial arts (with heartthrob JM de Guzman at one point) and music; adapting the story and appending an ending that was uncertain and disturbing, as interpreted by director Dexter M. Santos.

Dulaang UP presented the production three times, twice at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater in UP-Diliman and once at the SM Mall of Asia early last year.

And now it is time to mount “Orosman at Zafira” again, this time during the National Theater Festival at the CCP’s Tanghalang Aurelio V. Tolentino. Playdates are Nov. 17 (8 p.m.) and Nov. 18 (3 p.m). This was announced at a recent press conference at the Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan, UP-Diliman.

Director-choreographer is again Santos, with Mara Marasigan as assistant director. The original music is by Carol Bello.

MARA Marasigan and Dexter Santos

There is a new, young cast, mostly students, the most experienced being Roeder Camañag, actor-dancer-singer and star of Mario O’Hara’s “Stageshow.”

The press con began with a production number by the full cast, after which seven actors and actresses playing major roles took center stage. They talked about their favorite scenes, and which ones were most challenging. “One scene made me cry,” said an actress.

The seven were Jay Gonzaga (Orosman), Kierwin Larena, Camañag, Jean Judith Javier, Delfin Buencamino (Zafira), Tao Aves and Chuck Hipol.

Santos said, “There are new nuances, new attacks on the roles. Some songs were arranged, and there will be some surprises. We were very careful with the text, but each has his own way of presenting the komedya.”

He added, “There is a discovery between the original and the adapted text … in a komedya there is freedom to execute each scene, to explore the text. We try to share our own experience with the audience.”

For the director, “the ending is always open-ended. Bahala na ang (It’s up to the) audience if it is pessimistic.”

Santos concluded: “Ang galing talaga ni Balagtas (He is really great). That’s why ‘Orosman at Zafira’ is a classic, because it’s universal.”


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: CCP , Cultural Center of the Philippines , Francisco Balagtas , National Theater Festival , Theater , “Orosman at Zafira”



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  4. This is not just a farm
  5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  6. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  6. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  7. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?

News

  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • 14 killed in car bombing in Homs
  • 57-nation group plays key Ukraine monitoring role
  • Sports

  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
    Marketplace