It’s the first day of the traditional nine-day novena Simbang Gabi, and what’s apt to celebrate the season is through a popular song and a Christmas classic by Franz Xaver Gruber’s Silent Night, which has been rendered in a totally different sound; an electronic upbeat version by Viva Artist Lance Raymundo.
According to Raymundo, “It was the result of a calculated risk. Viva arranged for a recording session with me and some musicians to do a Tony Bennet-Michael Bublé sounding rendition of Silent Night and it was originally just intended to be a facebook release for the holidays.
“But when they left me in the studio with all the musicians, I let my creativity flow and we ended up making this version, which was very far from the original plan. I knew it was a risk but I was also very confident about it. Sure enough, Viva liked it when we presented it and I got even more than I bargained for from a mere fb release, Viva decided to make it an official Christmas single and even produced an animated Lyric Video.”
The video was released on November 30 in all Digital Platforms. Currently it is being played in radio stations for the holiday playlist.
Listen to Raymundo’s Christmas single and make the season of love and generosity via Silent Night in a more festive way.
On Saturday, October 2 at AFP Theater at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Gantimpala Theater Foundation Incorporated mounted its last show for its Manila-run of ‘Kanser @ 35: The Musical’ with Harana singer-member and the man who popularized the song titled ‘Pare Mahal Mo Raw Ako’—Michael Pangilinan as the lead star, Crisostomo Ibarra.
Pangilinan, who is now part of Kapamliya show ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ as one of the celebrity performers has reservations of assuming the role or venturing into the theater scene. However, after much convincing by Jobert Sucaldito, his manager, he gave in and took the challenge of venturing the stage as a theater artist.
According to Michael, his experience in portraying the character in the musical based on the country’s national hero—Jose Rizal’s novel titled ‘Noli Me Tangere’ was a challenge since he has little knowledge about the author and the role. He was grateful for the his fellow actors and his director of the said production for being helpful in his new-found journey.
He also added that his theater experience prepared him for his stints in the impersonation and total transformation talent competition show over Channel 2 that airs every Saturday (after MMK) and every Sunday (after Rated K), respectively, “My exposure in this musical has helped me a lot in my assuming each personality assigned to us.”
Every Filipino is required to read Jose Rizal’s two greatest and controversial novels—‘Noli Me Tangera’ and ‘El Filibusterismo’ especially during high school, which perhaps this modern-day take of Philippine Educational Theater Association’s (PETA) of the said classic literary piece[s] via—‘Noli at Fili Dekada Dos Mil’ is fitting for people to watch especially the younger generation to understand fully what Rizal was trying to convey back then.
At first, it was quite difficult to imagine how the playright Nicanor Tiongson would compress the two novels into a two-act play, but after watching it—he succeeded; leaving me with alarming thoughts about what every Filipino must be awaken from the system that has been controlling the nation ever since the Spanish reign in the country.
Ibarra as Mayor, Simon as a Rebel.
These two personas of the character that Rizal has created were the basis for the titles of the two-act play. The first act is titled—Si Mayor Ibarra and the second act is—Si Kumander Simon. Unlike the novels, Tiongson has transformed Ibarra and Simon into the usual characters that Filipinos are exposed to these days—the purist and idealist politician who later on became a rebel.
What makes the play endearing is that fact that the actor who portrayed the alter-egos of Rizal—Ibarra and Simon is Lucho Ayala. He effectively breathed into the two characters. With him onstage, he is one actor that you would still get hooked with as he embodies both the elitist and the socialist characters required in the play.
Lucho sustained the momentum of the said production as he shifted effortless from one character to the other.
Two Mainstream Performers join the Cast.
The Starstruck alumna, Kris Bernal, who has been appearing on films and television series after joining the Kapuso’s talent reality search on the boob tube in 2007, eight years ago. Her pretty face is easily qualifies to portray the ladylove of Ibarra, but became the wife of Salvi played by Jack Yabut.
Bernal’s acting skills is placed to a test as she essayed the character of Clarissa, the modernized version of Maria Clara, who represents the portrait of an ideal Filipina—graceful, beautiful and compassionate.
It is also interesting to see film, TV and stage actress—Liza Dino-Seguerra alternating with Kris. It would be interesting to see her take on Clarissa. Like Bernal, Dino-Seguerra was crowned Miss
Rerun Production is with a Totally Different Set Design
Though PETA decided to mount its version from its first production in 2008, it has a totally different set design by Gino Gonzales that combines pipes and improvised tree roots. It definitely complements well with the shows’ new home—the Springs Production Studios after it opened on a Thursday, September 10.
Perhaps the opening scene is one of the most-awaited scenes in the play, which sets the play’s milieu in the mountains of Sierra Madre where illegal logging is still very much rampant even up to these days.
This telenovela-type of love story of Ibarra and Clarissa in ‘Noli at Fili Dekada Dos Mil’ is brilliantly highlighted by Tiongson and audiences will definitely identify the journey of the lovers.
The show runs until September 27. It is directed by film, TV and stage director Soxie Topacio. For tickets, purchase via TicketWorld or call (632) 8919999; or contact PETA at (632) 725 6244 or +639212255183, or visit www.petatheater.com.