The Cultural Center of the Philippines and Erehwon Center for the Arts presented “BAYAN BAYANAN: Letters from Home,” a musical based on the classic play of Bienvenido M. Noriega, Jr.
It was shown at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo of the Cultural Center of the Philippines through a “venue grant.”
The production enjoyed the special support of the Embassy of France in the Philippines, which has designated the play as part of their series of celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the Philippines – France diplomatic relations. The Embassy has sponsored the participation of French actress, Ms. Uno Zigelbaum, for a special role in this musical.
The musical was directed by internationally celebrated film and theater director, Anton Juan, and the play was written by Bienvenido Noriega Jr., widely regarded as the best playwright that our country has ever had.
The play portrayed the heart-warming and, sometimes, heart-breaking stories of Filipinos trying to carve a better life for themselves abroad. Former Philippine Ambassador to Canada, Leslie B. Gatan, regarded the play’s stories as a rallying point for unity among Filipinos overseas. He called for a deeper appreciation of the community support system that enables Filipinos to cope with the challenges of migration to foreign lands while providing spaces for them to thrive in their adoptive country.
New songs have been composed by Anton Juan, himself, along with Cleofe Guangco-Casambre, who had composed for the play, “‘Rizal’s Sweet Stranger;” Russ Narcies Cabico, who is also a theater and television actor and singer; pianist-composer Andrew Bryan Sapigao; and composer-musical arranger Jonathan Cruz. Jonathan Cruz has tapped the talents of the Metro Manila Concert Orchestra musicians to produce the musical arrangement.