The UP Teatro Amakan Alumni Association in cooperation with the UPV Center for West Visayan Studies and other sponsors brought UP Teatro Amakan back to the stage in a remake of one of their hit productions, Kanlaon!
Kanlaon! is a political satire on the the legend of Mt. Kanlaon. It is the story of the people of Tribu Dalumbukid living at the foot of a mountain where a vicious dragon lives. Many have already fallen prey to the dragon so they turn to Bathala for help. Bathala went on to choose his champion to defeat the dragon.
The events in the play are “basically commentaries on the political situation and the corruption happening right now in the legislative bodies and other branches of our government,” says Teatro Amakan’s Artistic Director, Ed Defensor, in his online post. There are scenes like the trial of Lanit Lim Napulis, the clash between Inday Miyam Santigo, Bhong Ponsi Outrile and the unlikely champion, Lakanlaon. There is also a quick pass on the mauling of Outrile by Sedrik Lee-Bat, and finally, the feeding of Napulis to the dragon. The play ends with all lights going out except the one that lights the remains of the fallen Napulis, an image that will let the viewers remember crime does not pay.
“Some of the language used here may not be suitable for children, but they certainly come from the heart of an angry people who are sick and tired of the corruption and the thievery happening now in the different branches of our government,” Defensor said.
The play had a matinee and a gala show last March 11, 2014 at the UPV Auditorium. It started with the usual mini-concert of Tunog Amakan. Tunog Amakan provides the live scoring for all Amakan plays. Our own OAR Director, Prof. Amy Tanoy, who is an Amakan Alumni, joined in the jamming session.
Established in 1979, UP Teatro Amakan is the performing arm of the UPV CWVS. It became the University Performing Group for Hiligaynon Theater until the late 90′s. The company was an Official Philippine Representative to various international festivals, and a recepient of CCP grant for a National Performance Tour.
In 1999, Amakan became inactive. After a 10 year hiatus, the UPTA Alumni Association was formed. With its alumni’s undying passion, it aimed to bring Hiligaynon Theater back. The association worked on reviving Amakan by getting new student members. In 2008, the Teatro Amakan went onstage once again with “Baloy!, Ang Pagbalik” with most of its cast being alumni and only seven new student members. The next Amakan productions had more student members, and slowly the alumni went behind the scenes.
“The Teatro Amakan of the UPV Center for West Visayan Studies, proved its mettle once again as one of the topnotch performing groups in the Visayas and Mindanao, an area of responsibility where 15 years ago it reigned supreme…” Defensor added.
Photos courtesy of Gabbie Castro