MANILA, Philippines—Dulaang UP’s 3rd offering for its 39th season, “Ang Huling Lagda ni Apolinario Mabini” is a full-length musical with book and lyrics by Floy Quintos, and direction and choreography by Dexter M. Santos.
Equally notable, it is the first full-length musical composed and arranged by Krina Punsalan Cayabyab. Krina, who is also known as a vocal coach and performer, composed the music for the show’s seven songs, including a haunting chant that sets Mabini’s “True Decalogue” to a chorus of male voices. Quintos describes Cayabyab’s music as “… difficult, and yet engaging. Melodic, but hardly predictable; stimulating, yet accessible.”
This musical which re-envisions the final days of Mabini’s exile in Guam has a live accompaniment during every show courtesy of the famed Manila String Machine, one of the country’s pioneering string quartet group which plays modern music. The quartet is composed of graduates from top music institutions and who are present members of orchestras in the Philippines. Their genre encompasses a gamut of musical styles from classical to modern making their music highly unique.
Interpreting the songs is a cast of professional performers and students headed by acclaimed actor and singer Roeder Camañag who plays the titular Mabini. Roeder was the unanimous choice of both the playwright and the director to essay the role of Mabini because of his commanding stage presence and singing voice.
Leo Rialp brings to life General William Taft, Mabini’s admirer and adversary. Aside from being a renowned theatre actor, Leo is a director, set designer, and regularly forays into acting for television and film. Versatile performers Al Gatmaitan and Poppert Bernadas alternate as the brave Brigadier-General Ricarte who vehemently refused to sign the oath of allegiance to the US.
Multi-talented actor Nazer Salcedo is the young Philippine President Emilio Aguinaldo. Sopranos Banaue Miclat and Jean Judith Javier lend their powerful singing voices to breathe life into Mabini’s nurse and staunch follower Salud.
Theatre Arts majors from the University of the Philippines Diliman comprise the formidable supporting cast led by Ralph Oliva who plays the role of Prudencio, Mabini’s loyal and devoted younger brother. Completing the ensemble of young theater actors are Chase Salazar, Adrian Reyes, Arion Sanchez, Bym Buhain, Edmundo Abad, Jr., Ralph Perez, Ross Pesigan, Roco Sanchez, Rence Aviles, Jon Abella, Vincent Pajara, and Stephen Viñas.
The artistic staff is completed by Ohm David for set design, John Batalla for lights design, Darwin Desoacido for costumes, assistant choreography by Stephen Viñas, 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.
“Ang Huling Lagda ni Apolinario Mabini” runs from October 1 to 19 at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, 2nd floor Palma Hall, University of the Philippines Diliman. For tickets, sponsorships and show buying inquiries, call Samanta Hannah Clarin or Camille Guevara 926-1349, 433-7840, 981-8500 local 2449 or email [email protected]