An original Filipino musical written and directed by a Kagay-anon will be staged at Rodelsa Hall next month. Ang Paglaya: The Musical is a simple story that focuses on relationships: the father-daughter relationship of Manuel and Annika, Annika’s longing for her mom Anna, and relationships with newfound friends from an enchanted place. It is also about a father’s misplaced love for his daughter.

It’s about Annika and her quest for freedom from her domineering Dad; her journey to discovering her true self.

Produced by 7HS Productions and Oro Teatro Bulawanon, Ang Paglaya was first staged at Kampo Juan in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon in May 2019. At that time, however, it was a straight play intended specifically for guests from Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, and other parts of the country who were there to enjoy a cultural and culinary feast.

Last year, the playwright joined Sulat Dula, a playwriting workshop commissioned by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and was encouraged to turn the play into a musical. The musical version was completed in May this year.

Ang Paglaya: The Musical features 13 original songs written, arranged, and composed by some of the cast members.

The first part of the story takes place in regular settings: Manuel’s house, the school library, the Diwa’s house. The second part of the story will take you to an entirely new world where you’ll meet diwatas, engkantos, and dwendes.

The original Filipino musical features Kagay-anon artists who are mostly graduates of Liceo de Cagayan University’s Senior High School Arts & Design strand. Alternating as Annika are Christy Aboniawan and Mykie Sostinto, and playing the role of Manuel (Annika’s dad) are Bernard Alain Castro and Raven Joshua Zamora. Kareem Almirante and Dawid Rosh Mahilum alternate as Oren while Jay Abcede plays the role of Annika’s good friend Marco.

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Playing the role of Anna, Annika’s mom, is Lovely Mae Daguimol. Junalyn Arrabis is Tanesha. The three singing diwatas are portrayed by Jessa Bernaldez, Rowella Regatuna, and Hanh Felicity Agawin. Seff Timosan is Mr. Diwa while Kale “Bom” Ramos and Khiara Bucol alternate as Mrs. Diwa. Playing the special role of Lola Maharlika is Car-lene dela Cruz-Lagare.

The other cast members are: Henziel Gabriel Nagac, Steve Leevon Roa (Angelo), Zilpha Kaye Ibañez (Barbara), Ira Sophia Zamora, Zane Abigail Lucrecio, Earl Francis Quitoriano, Jonathan Kyle Pascua, Daniel Mijares, John Ric Timola, Rhea Angelique Baranda, Nova Grace Bontao, Brenlyn Lazo, and Karyll Mangubat.

Production management is by Jean Jacques Agbon. Stage management is by Zilpha Kaye Ibañez, Caro-lene Dela Cruz, and Phoebe Nickole Otero. Vocal coaching is by Jessa Bernaldez, Hanhn Felicity Agawin, and Franklin Toledo. Donie Galigao is the production’s Music Adviser.

Ang Paglaya will be staged at Rodelsa Hall on August 05 (Friday) and 06 (Saturday). There will be two performances per day, one at 3pm and another one at 7pm. Tickets for the 3pm show is at PhP200 while the 7pm show tickets are at PhP300 each. The proceeds of the musical will be for the benefit of the Liceo U High School Alumni humanitarian and special projects. You can book your tickets online here.

You can also visit the Ang Paglaya official FB page or the 7HS Productions page. For inquiries, you may call or text 0917-8708792.

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Ang Paglaya: The Musical is written and directed by Maia Fortich-Poblete. It is presented in partnership with Liceo de Cagayan University. It is one of the featured activities of this year’s Higalaay Festival.

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