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The Manhid Challenge: Remembering What I Cannot Forget About the Play

When the second act of Manhid: The Pinoy Superhero Musical ended, I thought that was it.

I was wrong. The third act started in a few minutes, and that the singing and dancing continued to captivate the audience.

Almost a month after I set foot on the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) main theater for the play, I could still see myself glorifying Teetin Villanueva, who played Lam-ang. I really admire her capability of shifting her style of singing, from operatic to pop.

I consider Lam-ang as my own lead character of the play. Although there are 29 superheroes mentioned in the play, the goodness I felt from the portrayal of the character is genuine.

Because of Allusina, the character, who seems to have  a database of all contemporary swearing and cursing expressions, the play is not recommended for children. This is on top of the satirical nature of the play.

As a satirical piece, Manhid is obviously anti-Marcos. No one in the theater could say it is not.

I wonder how admirers of the past dictator would have behaved when he was referred in the play as “Anito”.

The play uses visuals to supplement the scenes that show superpowers and flashback stories. My favorite is a parody of Ninoy Aquino making a speech before he was shot to death.

While going the play, one would challenge himself to memorize all the characters that are based on Filipino folklore. But for me, I just found myself in delight of appreciating the romance of Urduja and Radia Indarapatra.

In fairness to all the actors who led in the singing, they did a good job especially Judith Javier, who has got an acrobatic voice. And in fairness to the composers of the songs, their produces can be comparable to those of  Andrew Lloyd Weber.

Christian is a Marketing Communications practitioner in Quezon City. He is an Igorot from Sagada, Mountain Province. To get in touch with him, please shoot an email to christianaligonow@gmail.com.


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