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Monsters, mayhem and music highlight new theatrical show



MANILA, Philippines—In the midst of a great war between mortals and monsters, a serpentine creature falls for a man, leading to the birth of a new civilization.

Tanghalang Pilipino caps its 26th season with a dance-theater musical interpretation of the Bicolano epic, “Ibalon,” adapted for the stage by prolific playwright Rody Vera and directed by Tuxqs Rutaquio with Carol Bello’s musical direction, and Alden Lugnasin’s choreography.

Entitled after Legaspi City’s week-long festivity, “Ibalong,” the musical tells the story of Handyong and his warriors who come to Bicol – formerly known as Ibalon – and wage war against beasts and monsters pillaging the land’s natural wealth. Handyong mightily battles creatures bearing a solitary eye and three throats, several winged sharks, and wild carabaos.

In introducing civilization to the barbaric land, Handyong matches wit and might with the scheming snake, Oryol. A master of deceit, Oryol disguises herself into a sweet, young lady in order to seduce Handyong. But not to be outwitted, Handyong eventually makes Oryol fall in love with him.

Their love story – between a warrior and a monster – defines the greatness of Bicol as it explores an individual’s capacity for good and evil, and a land’s history marked by progress and destruction.

Using elaborate costumes, energetic fight choreography, and haunting music, Tanghalang Pilipino promises audiences of all ages an enthralling theatre experience rarely seen in original Filipino theatre.

Ibalong runs every Friday (8PM), Saturday (3PM and 8PM), and Sunday (3PM) from February 8 to March 3 at the Tanghalang Aurelio V. Tolentino of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.


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