Bohol’s most beloved hero is also her most magical one. Among his legendary powers was the ability to jump great distances. Kasing Sining Teatro Bol-anon Ensemble, the theater company that brought Dagohoy’s story life in the musical, Dagon sa Hoyohoy has channeled that magic and made a historic leap from Bohol to the PETA Theater Center of Quezon City,
2017 is the Philippine Educational Theater Association’s (PETA) 50th Anniversary and as another incentive for celebration has become the first organization to win the much coveted Ramon Magsaysay Awards, Asia’s Nobel Prize. To mark this double victory, PETA will host the Festival of Windows, a series of performances and, workshops and seminars to celebrate PETA’s achievements, share half a century’s worth of lessons, and showcase the talents that exemplify the vision and artistry of PETA. Among those performances chosen to represent PETA’s artistry is Bohol’s Dagon sa Hoyohoy, by the Kasing Sining Teatro Bol-anon Ensemble.
This momentous achievement has been made possible by the tireless efforts of Bohol’s own and one of PETA’s founding members, Lutgardo Luza Labad, known by everyone else as Gardy. Together with HNU’s artist / historian is Professor Marianito Luspo the playwright of the original Dagohoy play of 1998 and part of that original cast. And we have, Boholano now Cebu based composer Elvis Somosot, to thank for setting the libretto to moving and heart pounding music.
From the original 1998 play, BISU faculty and drama director Tertuliano Camacho Jr. of the Bohol Island State University, plays the intransigent Fr. Gaspar Morales. As a testament to the remarkable talent of Camacho, his return to the production highlights his versatility as he does a full 180 from hero to villain having originally played the role of Dagohoy himself. Receiving the mantle of Dagohoy is young artist actor director Jerrey David Aguilar. Aguilar also took the lead role in the production’s former play as Bonifacio in the much loved Teatro Porvenir.
Melding music and movement together is the effort of choreographers Jay Banquil of Holy Name University’s Diwanag dance troupe, Marvin Ablao of Bohol Island State University, and Gerardo Calle Jr. of the Maibojoc Dance Collective, with Keats Ronquillo infusing Filipino Martial Arts influences as learned from the tutelage of Prof. Felipe Jocano of the University of the Philippines.
Gianluigi Ale, winner of The Voice Philippine’s knockout rounds, will be lending his angelic tones to the production as the play’s narrator. And two time Sandugo Festival Bangga sa Kuradang, King of Kuradang Jojo Lugo of Napo Loon will play as an alternate to Jun Camacho’s Fr. Morales
The Festival of Windows to held at the PETA Theater Center will run from the 23rd to the 29th of October, will be a smorgasbord of lectures, workshops, and festivities ranging from acting, writing, stagecraft, theater history, theater for development to plant the vision of PETA in the new generation and further its vision for the next 50 years. Participants will be from theater companies from all over the Philippines and abroad, including those established by PETA or PETA members and those that are the offshoot of PETA’s grassroots programs.
Dagon sa Hoyohoy will be shown on the PETA FESTIVAL OF WINDOWS presentation night of the 25th entitled Dungaw. Dagohoy will be finale act of the night, delivering the entire production in its original Visayan lyrics to the viewing audience of Metro Manila, showcasing Boholano Talent to the world.
Dagon Sa Hoyohoy is also invited to perform on October 28 in the Holy Angels University in Angeles City by the Provincial Government of Pampanga and the City Government of Angeles City. The Municipal Government of Palo Leyte under Mayor Remedios Petilla has also invited the ensemble to perform in Palo, on the 4th anniversary of the Yolanda Event, on November 9, and as an entry to the NCCA TANGHAL Festival of the Committee on Dramatic Arts in Tacloban.
All of these were made possible by the efforts of PETA, the National Commission for Culture and Arts, Air Asia, the Office of the Provincial Government under Governor Edgar Chatto, Congressman Rene Relampagos, Congressman Arthur Yap, Provincial Board Member Jade Bautista, Tagbilaran City Mayor Baba Yap; and Hans, Christian, and Amanda Schoof of the Peacock Garden Resort. Other support comes from Gloria Balili and the Balili Heritage House, Linda Paredes, Atty. Lucas Nunag, Architects German Torero and Niño Guidaben. CCAD or the Center for Culture for Arts Development, the Bohol Tourism Office and BISU have also provided technical and facilitative assistance.
Prospective audience and Manila-based supporters are expected to grace the performance, like the Bohol Association in Metro Manila or BAMMI, UP-based Kadugong Bol-anon and the Andahanos in Manila Residents and Employess Association or AMREA.
The rest of KASING SINING TEATRO BOL-ANON ENSEMBLE includes Zyro Cozo, Kino Rara, Geraldine Ramin, Schwyn Sarabia, Mitchelle Aguilar, Juliet Borja, Dymphna Quicoy. Artistic Management is being handled by Rodolfo Cuhit, Maymay Apipe, Odoni Pestelos, Marrevic Calle, John Vincent Mercado with Jomar Bandol of Disco Records.
This stellar opportunity would be an excellent platform to showcase to the national community the best cherished values of the Boholano people: artistry, creativity, resilience, faith, pride of place, love for heritage, and solidarity. (Khris Marc Ronquillo)