CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro drew the curtains open on a performing arts show that will tour the US and Canada in the next few days.
Putting on center stage 10 members of the clergy headed by Monsignor Urcisino Columbus E. Villamil, rector of this city’s St. Augustine Cathedral, “Only in God” is an hour-and-a-half show featuring over a dozen religious songs in Bisaya, Filipino and English.
“This is our way of giving thanks for the Lord’s blessings,” archbishop Antonio Ledesma declares in a videotaped message at the start of the show, which opened Friday night (Aug. 12) at Rodelsa Hall here, the premier cultural center in Mindanao.
“Proceeds will go to a seminary and the construction work at the cathedral,” the archbishop said in the video message.
Conceptualized around the Rosary—the traditional Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries, plus the new Mysteries of the Light—the show serves as “an inspirational musical concert” that seeks to make the Catholic faithful realize that “the mysteries of the Rosary are the mysteries of life itself,” said Fr. Daniel D. Coronel, the show’s scriptwriter.
The stage, designed by Mindanao’s eminent production designer Nash Naganga, is a meditative sprawl with a grand piano at upstage right, flowers and candles in a candelabra at upstage center, platforms strewn about strategically all over, and a crucifix hanging in the midst of it all. And this became alive with the songs and dances performed by the gamey clergy.
“Lead Me Lord,” “Sa Yo Lamang,” “Panunumpa” and “Gitawag/Ang Tawag” are showcased in the Joyful Mysteries.
With an evocative choreography, “Salamin ng Buhay” topbills the offerings in the Sorrowful Mysteries, which include “Kinabuhi Mo, Kinabuhi Ko” and “Huwag Kang Mangamba.”
Father Lourdesio Armstrong P. Balacuit’s rap rendition of “Sa Yaweh ang Sayaw” set the tone for the Glorious Mysteries, which also feature “I Will Sing Forever” as well as Gary Valenciano’s “Shout for Joy.”
In the final Mysteries of the Light, Monsignor Villamil broke into a stirring “Ako ang Kahayag.” This was followed by “Way Sukod” and “Only in God.”
A procession of the Birhen sa Kote, kept at Xavier University’s Museo de Oro and now enshrined back at the cathedral, segues into a rousing finale, “O Bayan ng Dios,” with the audience dancing in praise led by the priests onstage.
The priests who will perform include Fr. Ricardo A. Dancela, parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Binuangan town, Misamis Oriental; Fr. Domino D. Olango, assistant parish priest of Balingasay town, Misamis Oriental; Fr. Neil B. Limbaco, parish priest of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Jasaan town, Misamis Oriental; Fr. Ricardo A. Pagatpatan Jr., parochial vicar, St. Francis Xavier Parish in Initao town, Misamis Oriental; Fr. Roger M. Gabac Jr., parochial vicar, Sacred Heart Parish in Anakan, Misamis Oriental and chair of the Ecology and Environment Desk of the Archdiocese; Fr. Ronald H. Ledesma, parish priest, Our Lady of Consolation Parish in Opol town, Misamis Oriental and director, vocations promotions of the archdiocese; Fr. Lourdesio Armstrong P. Balacuit, parochial vicar, San Antonio de Padua Parish, Manticao town, Misamis Oriental, Fr. Jose Alan P. Pulgo, parish priest, San Vicente Ferrer Parish, Cugman, Cagayan de Oro City; and Fr. Eleuterio F. Daloy, parochial vicar, San Roque Parish, Magsaysay town, Misamis Oriental.
The ensemble will leave for the US on Monday, Aug. 15, and will keep the following schedule of performances: Aug. 15-19, Sacramento, California; Aug. 20-21, Stockton, CA; Aug. 22-23, San Francisco, CA; Aug. 24-25, Los Angeles, CA; Aug. 26-27, San Diego, CA; Aug. 28-Sept. 4, Los Angeles, CA; Sept. 5-7, Seattle, Washington; Sept. 8-12, New York and New Jersey; Sept. 13-20, Toronto, Canada; and Sept. 21-23, Vancouver, Canada.
Filipinos abroad who wish to catch the shows must contact the show’s artistic director, Joseph Espadilla, by e-mail joe_espadilla @yahoo.com or through his Facebook account.