The Philippine Folklore

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Reflection Paper on ‘Umaaraw, Umuulan Kinakasal ang Tikbalang’

Since our childhood days, we are very familiar with the Philippine folklore introduced to us by the Spanish friars namely: the tikbalang, aswang, mananaggal, kapre and the like. Who would have thought that these creatures are in fact friends of the animals commonly around us and act as guardians of Mother Earth? This brilliant idea spawned from a short story written by Gilda Cordero-Fernandez entitled The Magic Circle and amazingly performed by the Dulaang UP last December.

Basically, the story revolves around Jepoy, a boy living in the forest with his banished mother Aling Barang, and his journey within the depths of the forest to attend a mysterious wedding of fabled creatures. Jepoy is accompanied by his dog Galis, which can walk upright and talk inside the forest. He is welcomed by Doña Geronima, the leader of the magical creatures and Aling Pacqui, a dwarf and later on introduced to the kapre, Kap.

I liked how the play was acted. Being a theater enthusiast, I also commended the beautiful set onstage and how they made colorful costumes out of recycled materials, especially Doña Geronima’s. My favorite character was the humorous but kind Aling Pacquita. She was very funny and I find her walking on her knees tiresome but very effective in portraying her character as a dwarf. But they could have cut down on the miscellaneous actors, (except for the three heads). I found them disturbing sometimes. I didn’t like the use of sprayers to show rain. I guess I expected more. The lesson of the story is about saving the environment. The story reached the resolution later in the play. Before the play ends, Jepoy, the main character, finds him as a certain “chosen one” by the magical creatures and asks him to be their representative to help save the environment. Because of being just a poor boy, with no one but a hysterical mother to live with, he hesitated to accept their request. At that point on,...
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