The eternal power of storytelling

THE play is inspired by PETA’s vast collection of children’s productions.

The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) restages Tagu-taguan, Nasaan Ang Buwan?, an original children’s musical that will take audiences to a realm of endless possibilities with the help of a little imagination.

Tagu-taguan, written by J-mee Katanyag and directed by Dudz Teraña (who also directed PETA’s well-loved children’s classic, Batang Rizal), is part of PETA’s 51st theater season, “Stage of The Nation.”

The musical is about the forgotten land of Saysay Lupalop, a world of stories that had limitless possibilities. With the curse of the evil Papaw Halimaw, the magical realm becomes Dilim-Dilim Land, an arid and hopeless place full of fear and restrictions. It is now up to Popoy, the young descendant of Lola Basyang, to save the world of stories with the use of his shining heart. Initially unaware of this, his Lola Luna helps him rediscover this forgotten world through the help of some unlikely friends.

The play is inspired by PETA’s vast collection of children’s productions. Katanyag has borrowed characters from PETA’s previous children’s stories like Pepe and Pepito from Batang Rizal, Prinsesa Mina from Ang Tiririt ng Adarna, Little Match Girl from Hans Christian Andersen Must Be Filipino, Ngo from Ngo ang Dagang Patay, and Ismail and Isabel from Ismail at Isabel, and brought them to life for both children and adults to enjoy. Teraña says that Tagu-taguan is a way to celebrate all of PETA’s children’s classics for the past 50 years.

IT is now up to Popoy, the young descendant of Lola Basyang, to save the world of stories.

Katanyag uses the power of storytelling to transcend age. Although many outgrow children’s stories, he says that they help us understand and brave the world.

“The play is a reminder to children to not forget the magic within them. It is a weapon they can use against the monsters of everyday life,” says Katanyag. “We as adults also have the responsibility to take care of the magic within our children, students, nieces and nephews, and most importantly, within ourselves. May we always believe that we have the power to create change no matter how old we are.”

After a successful run at the PETA Theater Center and at Star City in 2017, Tagu-taguan went on to be staged in Adamson, Miriam College, Assumption Antipolo, Rizal Technological University, Philippine Heart Center, Inner Wheel Club of the Philippines, Christ the King Parañaque, and in the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Isabela, with a total of 33 shows that reached around 32,000 audiences.

This 2018, the new run will feature two new Popoys, Andrew Figueroa and Bourne Luna, who will alternate with original Popoys Omar Uddin and Albert Silos. Returning to the cast are Marichu Belarmino, Upeng Galang-Fernandez, Joann Co, John Moran, Vien Alen King, Eric Dela Cruz, Roi Calilong, Joan Bugcat, Gab Pangilinan, Angelo Lantaco, Raven Relavo, Julia Enriquez, Yeyin Dela Cruz-Moran, Teetin Villanueva, Lemuel Silvestre, Gerhard Krysstopher, Vic Robinson and Norbs Portales. They will be joined by new cast members Gold Villar-Lim, Ian Segarra and Joseph Madriaga.

Tagu-taguan also features a young set of artistic collaborators. Under the direction and choreography of Teraña with associate director Ian Segarra, the creative team includes Jeff Hernandez, composer and musical director; Charles Yee, set designer; Leeroy New, costume designer; Loren Rivera, lighting designer and Sig Pecho, shadow and video designer.

Timeless fairy-tale friends and characters from children’s classics are ready to embark on another journey with kids and kids-at-heart. Tagu-taguan, Nasaan Ang Buwan? will run at the PETA Theater Center, No. 5 Eymard Drive, Brgy. Kristong Hari, New Manila, Quezon City from 14 to 29 November (Wednesdays to Fridays, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.). The musical is also available for touring. For inquiries and ticket reservations, contact PETA Marketing and Public Relations Office 725-6244 or 09166103648.

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