Stories of magical spells, kings, and their kingdoms are back to enchant young audiences as Christine Bellen’s “Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang” returns to the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) this October 5 to 14.
PETA’s longest-running play coincides with the 20th National Children’s Month, which promotes freedom of expression among children and encourages them to participate in public activities.
The National Children’s Month also reiterates the call for every Filipino to teach children right conduct and Filipino values.
PETA’s “Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang” includes three stories that are rich in morals, namely “Ang Prinsipeng Mahaba ang Ilong,” “Ang Binibining Tumalo sa Mahal na Datu,” plus a new story, “Ang Mahiwagang Kuba.”
“Ang Prinsipeng Mahaba ang Ilong” (The Prince with a Long Nose) grew up thinking that he looked normal until he first stepped out of their castle.
“Ang Binibining Tumalo sa Mahal na Datu” (The Lady who Defeated a King) introduces Sharay, a servant’s daughter from Tondo who surpassed the King’s three challenges to make herself worthy of the prince.
“Ang Mahiwagang Kuba” (The Magical Hunchback) tells the tale of Prince Jorge, who was cursed to be a hunchback separated from his family. To reverse this curse, all he needs is a lady’s kiss.
“Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang” is highly praised for its playful costumes and set design.
Costume designers Ron Alfonso and Boni Juan used household items like spoons, laundry clips, puzzle tiles and hand-sewn rags to adorn the characters. The set design by Mel Bernardo is similarly inventive, as it folds, unfolds, rolls on wheel, and uses ladders, slides, platforms, and boxes.
Director Phil Noble allows his actors to jump and slide through the set that transforms from castle to house, or even a river.
Noble’s direction can easily be dismissed as complex, but his love for drama and movement expels a youthful energy to the entire performance. He draws inspiration from the circus performances he watched during fiestas in his hometown Taal, Batangas.
“In directing Lola Basyang, I brought together all my memories of my childhood and used my love for the circus, wishing that the audience will enjoy the circus as much as I do. I want to create a playground with this play. I want the children to know what the circus is all about…I want us all to be childlike, to be children again, even for a while,” Noble said .
Children of all ages enjoy watching this PETA masterpiece for it brings them to a place where the enchanted meets the child, and the child meets the enchanted. A visual spectacle on its own, “Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang” brings life to a rich memory of each one’s childhood.
“Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang” will be on tour and shown at the PETA Theater Center on October 5-7 and 12-14, 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. For ticket inquiries and reservations, contact 7256244, 09163090707, or firstname.lastname@example.org