“Pagsambang Bayan”, a Critique of the Past and the Present

The original script also tackled government corruption and the insatiable greed of those who are in power.

A teaser released by Tag-ani Performing Arts Society states, “The restaging of “Pagsambang Bayan” allows for a critical contemplation of the then and
now, as well as for a creative sharing and engagement of artists and audience regarding the burning issues of the day.”

“More than a mere reshowing of an old play, the restaging of “Pagsambang Bayan” also
aims to dramatize to the present generation how Philippine theater measured up to its
social function during one of the darkest periods in our history. Its purpose is to reaffirm
Philippine theater’s obligation not only to comment on the human condition but to realize
the full human potential of our people,” it added.

Ilagan said the play also aims to contribute to the cultural work of the progressive movement in the Philippines.

Ilagan said today’s “Pagsambang Bayan” has 25 cast members. Not all of them are activists, said Ilagan. They were chosen after an open audition.

Playing the lead role are Dondi Ong, a member of the UP Singing Ambassadors and Joel Molina, a commercial model.

Ilagan said that gradually, the play would serve as a process of enlightenment for the ‘uninitiated.’ Ilagan said he had to go to academic discussions and explained the play to the new cast.

There were also members of the new cast who are children of the original cast members. “Tuwang-tuwa mga magulang,” (Their parents are so proud.) said Ilagan.

Ilagan said that when Gabriela Representative Liza Maza learned that “Pagsambang Bayan” would be restaged, she was pleased. Maza, then a UP student who watched the play in 1977, told Ilagan that the play was instrumental in her political awakening.

Marami ang ganoon. (A lot of people experienced the same.) The play has served its purpose and I hope it will serve the same purpose now,” Ilagan said.

And like in the 70s, Ilagan hopes the play can be performed all over again in other places of the country to serve its purpose of agitating, organizing and mobilizing the audience for genuine societal change. (Bulatlat.com)

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