10 Reasons to Watch La Revolucion Filipina

“He loved the country more than his breath
That he forgot the endless pain until his death.”

Now on its fourth restaging, La Revolucion Filipinas is a modern dance masterwork that illustrates the life, struggles, and heroism of the sublime paralytic Apolinario Mabini and his significant role in the Philippine revolution. The meticulous play, which is a blend of performing arts, literature, and history, proudly exhibits both the passion and concern of the ballet artists to the mentioned areas of expertise and more importantly the endless love of a hero to his country.


La Revolucion Filipina also marks Ballet Philippines’ 45th year and Apolinario Mabini’s 150th birth anniversary.

Here are the ten reasons why you should watch La Revolucion Filipina:

1. Mabini could not dance but this play allowed him to do so.

La Revolucion Filipina showed the irony of how a paralytic hero dances with nationalism. The performing art symbolizes the strengths and guts of Mabini towards possibilities in life that a polio-infected hero can undeniably fight for his countrymen.

2. You’ll never know how agonizing Mabini’s life was until you see it through a dance.

It is no secret that ballet is difficult. Years of trainings are indeed needed to master the said performing art. In La Revolucion Filipina, the ballet dance’s level of difficulty was congruent to the level of Mabini’s sufferings. This was evident in the foot and upper body exercises demonstrated in the play.


3. It is a work of art by an award-winning choreographer. 

Agnes Locsin, the choreographer of La Revolucion Filipina was named Outstanding Dance Production and winner of Outstanding Choreography at the 2008 Gawad Buhay. She was also the Gawad CCP awardee for Dance in 2012. As a former artistic director and resident choreographer of Ballet Philippines (BP), Locsin is recognized as the pioneer of neo-ethnic dance in the country.

The choreographer said in an interview that she really admired Apolinario Mabini because of his passion, his love of country. When she read about him and read his works, she really felt his selfless devotion to help his countrymen. It was quite a challenge to choreograph movements for someone who’s a paraplegic but that’s part of my job.


4. It will let you imagine our history without Mabini. 

The play let the audience realized the personal sacrifices of Mabini over our independence. Without Mabini’s determination, our country would have been an extension of the dominant United States of America.

5. La Revolucion Filipinas has an excellent and intelligent stage backdrop.

 “Ang himagsikan ay hindi lamang himagsikang panlabas kundi himagsikan rin ng ating kalooban. Kung hindi, ang ating bansa ay pahihinain lang ng mga alitang atin-atin lamang. Ni dugo’t pawis ng mga bayani ay hindi makapagliligtas sa atin sa kamatayan.”

As to how this powerful script was uttered in the play and as to how it was designed as the stage backdrop if for you to find out.

Mio Infante, the set designer of La Revolucion, has designed for theatres, dance, television, live concerts, and corporate industrials. Recently, he received the 2013 Philstage Gawad Buhay for Scenic Design for his work on trumpets’ Bluebird of Happiness.



6. It has a majestic light design too. 

The theatrical play will bring into life the episodes of revolution, allegiances, faithlessness, and victory through the power of light design. The rhythm among the intricate dance interpretations, memorable scripts, and noteworthy historical period was highlighted through the colours, brightness, and other technologies of light.
Virgilio “Katsch” Catoy, the lightning director was the former deputy director of the Theater Operations Department of the Cultural Center of the Philippines for 17 years.

7. Dance with Aguinaldo, Bonifacio, and Mabini again. 

La Revolucion Filipina is a play whose main characters are Apolinario Mabini, the Brains of Philippine revolution; Emilio Aguinaldo, the first president of the country; and Andres Bonifacio, father of Philippine revolution.

Yes, they have made momentous acts in our history, whether you disagree to their plans, decisions, and actions, it is imperative for us to understand these so let’s dance the revolution again with them.

In the play, the ballet artists gave justice to the heroic acts of Aguinaldo, Bonifacio, and Mabini through their tricky foot exercises, body liftings, and harmonic gestures.


8. Stage music is composed by a great composer.

It is in the brilliant music of the play where you will uncover and understand the pains, cries, and insurgencies of the characters.

La Revolucion Filipina was composed by none other than Ryan Cayabyab, the only Asian winner in the 2001 Onassis International Cultural Competitions and is the epitome of the homegrown Filipino talent in the world arena of music.

9. Hear the voice of the heroes and the voice of the nation. 

The powerful Filipino lines articulated by the characters are short because the rest of the interpretations were seen in the dance portions.  The script supplemented the quiet segments of the play when revolutions were happening. Yes, you will hear nothing from Mabini in the play and that signifies his sacrifice and love for the country.

Dennis Marasigan, the librettist of La Revolucion Filipinas, is a master of several performing arts and is a manager of various institutions and cultural organizations. As a writer, his works have received distinctions from the Carlos Palanca Memorial Literary Awards, Cinemalaya Gawad Balanghay, Golden Screen Awards, Philstage Gawad Buhay, and the University of the Philippines.



10. Let’s support Ballet Philippines

The theme of the play is local insurgency, a mass-oriented and rare subject for a ballet performance. Ballet Philippines has waged for this and hopes for the success not only to relay the patriotic message to people but also to promote the performing art.

Written and Review By : Jerome Papa
Photo By : Axl Guinto

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About Jerome Papa

He is the new resident writer in the Axl Powerhouse Group, Studies Master of Arts in Philippine Studies at University of the Philippines Diliman and also a blogger.

About Axl Guinto

He is a founder of Axl Powerhouse Group with is handling magazine blog, an editor in chief of Star Powerhouse, freelance event photographer and heritage advocate.



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