Being a big fan of Dr. Jose Rizal, I was quite perplexed when I heard that the UPLB Samasining was presenting a stage play an unknown piece to me entitled “Junto al Pasig,” which is written by Jose Rizal himself.
And because that moment was the first time that I encountered the said story, I was a bit skeptic. Most of the time, even a little background information on what will be presented is helpful for me to appreciate the production. However, in this play, even without the slightest idea of what it is about, I believe that I have fully grasped the message of Dr. Rizal.
Startinng with the costume (by Mr. Carlo Pagunaling) and the set design (by Mr. Kulay Labitigan) one can get the idea that this play was from the time of the Spanish occupation. The stage was fully utuilized in the play, and the costumes were well - suited for the characters. Of course, these features were not be noticed, without the valuable lighting design (of Mr. Merlinton Roxas),
Highly commendations are extended the scriptwriter of this play, Mr. Eljay Deldoc. Written in an easy tone and light manner that the audience can fully understand, even the serious dilemma of the Filipinos and of oppression and religion was made simple. Moreover, if full attention was given to the play, one can understand the connotations of rebellion (created by Rizal) underneath the easy words and fairly ‘direct’ story. The complex idea of the tale was inserted in a concise act, making it enjoyable for the audience.
The original compositions of Ms. Marie Angelica Dayao, performed by the latter and some of the members of the Harmonya, was the crown of the story lines. And the choreography of Mr. Jeremy Dela Cruz, it was remarkable. The message may not be fully understood by the viewers if not for the musical pieces, the background sounds, and the accompaniments in the dialogues. The chanting of the Devil, that of the main character (I forgot his name, so sorry. :P) and the dances...
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