Restaging of Tsinoy musical ‘Binondo’ to benefit foundation | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

The cast and crew of “Binondo”
The cast and crew of “Binondo”


Maritess Alava Yong was a brave soul known for her philanthropic endeavors. She helped many depressed communities while battling cancer, but the disease finally claimed her in 2017.


Her husband Micky Yong of Singapore founded the Maritess Alava Yong Foundation in her memory, which has supported many educational, development and cultural projects in a short span of time.


The latest project is a restaging of “Binondo, A Tsinoy Musical” directed by Joel Lamangan. It is based on a story by Rebecca Chuaunsu, the producer of the original play written by Ricky Lee, with music by Von de Guzman. This was announced at a recent press conference at The Theatre at Solaire.


Multi-awarded “Binondo” is a full-scale musical, a love story amid historical events in China and the Philippines: the Cultural Revolution and its human rights violations by the rampaging Red Guards, who were egged on by Mao Zedong.


In the Philippines, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was the First Quarter Storm against the authoritarian President Ferdinand Marcos.


In the play set in Binondo, a ménage à trois unfolds between Lily (Sheila Valderrama), a night club singer; Ah Tiong (tenor Arman Ferrer), a Beijing University scholar for whom love is a duty; and Carlos (Noel Rayos), a persistent suitor of Lily. The formidable Ima Castro plays Mrs. De la Rosa.


During the press launch, composer De Guzman said he was influenced by both Chinese and Filipino music: “The music was highly orchestral, and it was a challenge to make it Filipino music.”


Director Lamangan observed that it was inspiring to do a Filipino musical “as we have many stories to tell.” Choreographer Douglas Nierras described his work here as “very energetic.”


Leading man Ferrer made a dramatic late entrance at the press launch straight from his flight from Dubai. “I did not vocalize during the flight,” he quipped when prevailed upon to sing. But he obliged with a ringing aria from the play, with high notes that thrilled the media audience.


Line producer Chuaunsu said that one message of the play is that “Filipinos and Chinese should understand one another.” —CONTRIBUTED



“Binondo, A Tsinoy Musical”: July 12-14 at The Theatre at Solaire; tel. 09472985003


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