Mindanao Theater Convergence

Manila Bulletin, March 12, 2018 | Go to article overview

Mindanao Theater Convergence


By Terence Repelente

Theater guilds and performing arts organizations--from all parts of Mindanao--ended their observance of national arts month by converging in one city, Cagayan de Oro. United, in a goal to develop the already rich regional arts and culture, the groups forged a bond, which showcased the one-of-a-kind Mindanaoan brand of theater, through Tampok. Spearheaded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the regional theater congress aptly tackled 2018 National Arts Month's central themes: Karangalan (honor), katapatan (honesty), and kahusayan (excellence). Tampok celebrated the intellectual, creative, and historical contributions to performing arts of distinct Mindanaoans. It also discussed different aspects of theater and furthered the discourse to the next level, from dissecting history to planning the future of theater in Mindanao.

The festival was filled with talks and forums from different theater directors, playwrights, and cultural experts. Of course, the Mindanaoan talent was featured (itinampok) on stage.

The Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG) was founded by Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa and Steven P.C. Fernandez in 1978, it is widely known for its contributions to the nation in the field of performing arts and letters. During the festival, they staged Sita: The Ramayana Revisited, a play that merges the traditional roles of Rama and Sita Lawana's (Ravana). In the contemporary depiction of Ramayana, Sita was played by Yvonne Emit and Rama by Restinil Kim Indino. Sita: The Ramayana Revisited, through its utilization of gongs and drums, smoothly and creatively played with a thousand-year-old lore through modern Filipino characteristics.

The Sining Kambayoka Ensemble is the resident folk theater company of Mindanao State University (MSU)-Main Campus, Marawi City. Founded in 1974, the group is a multi-awarded and critically acclaimed folk theater company in the south. In its four decades of existence, Sining Kambayoka has produced topnotch theater productions shown in local, national, and international audiences. Their performance during Tampok, titled Pilandok, is a shortened and condensed production from their play Mga Kuwentong Meranaw (The Meranaw Tales). The play follows the character of Pilandok, a local folk hero of Meranaw. In the play, Pilandok was humanized, craving for basic needs such as money and shelter, a peasant dreaming to be a sultan. What's captivating about this short production is the music that disappears within the smoothly directed cast, with the comedic hero, Pilandok, as the forefront. The production is directed by Pepito P. Sumayan, with the original concept and script by Frank Rivera.

The Xavier Stage is the resident repertory theater company of Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro. …

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