Paglayang Minamahal is a material written by George De Jesus III which won 2nd prize in the sarswela category of the Centennial Literary Competition.
The story might seem familiar for the story was influenced by our historical book Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo of our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. But its variations will make you laugh and cry, and make you feel that our own history is being brought back right before our eyes.
The material is now on its fourth-time production with the direction of George De Jesus III himself, and music by Jeff Hernandez. It deviated from the previous three productions which were staged by Tanghalang Pilipino under the direction of Chris Millado with music by Jesse Lucas.
Being a thesis production of the Benilde's Technical Theater Program batch 112, many new things were added to this production. Although I have not seen the previous productions, people from behind this production, as well as, one of the previous cast gave me the idea of what the differences are.
Obviously, it is now staged by the creative students of Benilde's Technical Theater under a different director and a newly composed music.
The collaboration of these students with George De Jesus III to reproduce the material was splendid. Their creative imagination to recreate the set that looked like paintings with "living, moving dolls" as described by Mr. George to the characters is a proof to their creativity and it's just pretty. The flyers are plain white with curves, lines, and shades to give it the clear view of the set. Even though the sets are just a ply--the house, the cemetery, and the church, they have been utilized as if a one real 3-dimensional setting but with the stillness of being a painting. The costumes are also white and grey but with the exception of the main character who has a red scarf to give her more life than the rest. Whatever the materials the students used for the sets and costumes it just proves them to be artistic bringing what the director wants to show to the audience.
Music intensifies the emotion of the entire show. With this whole new music, composed and arranged by Jeff Hernandez, he really did a great work for it. It is a nice music considering he hadn't listen to any of the music of the previous productions. Solely his skills and creativity brought an entirely different music for the show. I just expected a more intense arrangement for this production as it could have brought the intensity of the scenes even more.
Nevertheless, the entirety of this production is wonderful. You can say that this is just a thesis production, but truly it has been made like a professional theater production. I must also commend the professional casts who took part of this production. Most of them are already known for their productions under varieties of known theater companies in the Philippines. And still, they contributed their best efforts and superb talents for this one. So I must say that this is a thesis production worth watching.
Review by : Daniel Cruz
Photos and edit by : Axl Guinto