By Ramon Jorge Sarabosing
Remember “Lawig Balanghai”? the historic musical staged in the mid-80’s, re-staged early 90’s and re-staged again early 2000’s. It became Butuan’s biggest and longest running stage production in recent times.
It was also performed in Manila and other cities in Luzon and Visayas courtesy of the Cultural Center of the Philippines Exchange Program.
On December 9, 6 p.m. at the Robinsons Atrium, the cast, crew and people who have seen it will have a grand reunion and thanksgiving party. This is organized by the first batch of LB led by Titing Trinquite, Gina Talo and Matet Osabel and this writer.
At first the group decided for a private gathering until Ms. Lilit Concon, the Butuan City tourism officer, suggested to make it public the musical having imprinted and marked an artistic inroad to Butuanon audience and homegrown artists.
“Lawig Balanghai” was named a landmark Mindanaoan production by Mindanao cultural workers and artists during the first ever Mindanao Theater Festival in late 90’s.
It was named alongside classic Mindanaoan musicals like “Halik sa Kampilan”, a Maranao epic by Mindanao State University Sining Kambayoka, “Sinalimba” of Davao City and another musical from Ipag, IIT-Iligan City.
LB is written by playwright Fe Remotigue and directed by veteran directors Nestor Horfilla and Richard Vilar. The former later became National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA) commissioner for dramatic arts, the latter an acknowledged international theater artist.
LB is initially produced by Edcads, a cultural non-government organization then headed by Yolando Arban, now a development consultant. All four are invited and expected to come.
Titing Trinquite, LB’s perennial musical director will provide music along with Sinag, the band, throughout the party.
Invited to host the event is Owen Jaen, the artist-host who himself a part of the third batch.
“There will be impromptu numbers, solo or in groups from the casts, whatever batch they belong. Everything spontaneous so it will be more fun,” an organizing member says.
New generation artists, friends and supporters since way back when are urged to come too.
“See you all Dec. 9 Saturday and bring happy memories,” says Trinquite.
Artwork courtesy of ccp-visularts.tumblr.com