LAPULAPU, ANG DATU NG MACTAN at the Metropolitan Theatre Streams Oct. 24

Manila, Philippines--The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) will stream the musical "Lapulapu, ang Datu ng Mactan," staged at the newly-conserved Metropolitan Theatre (MET), on October 24, 2021.

"Lapulapu, Ang Datu ng Mactan" is the first theatrical production at the MET since it closed its doors in 1996. The public presentation will be part of the Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines, the Year of Filipino Pre-Colonial Ancestors, and the National Indigenous Peoples' Month.

NCCA Chairperson and Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) President Arsenio "Nick" Lizaso spearheads the project as its artistic director.

With a libretto written by award-winning poet and lawyer Nicolas Pichay and set to music by Krina Cayabyab, "Lapulapu, ang Datu ng Mactan" is directed by University of the Philippines (UP) professor Dexter Santos, who is known for directing many plays, such as the musical "Ang Huling El Bimbo" and "Orosman at Zafira." The production also features the choreography by Stephen Viñas and Kenneth Torres.

The musical unpacks the many historical events commemorated this year, which includes the Victory at Mactan in 1521, as told from the point of view of the mysterious Lapulapu, a symbol of Philippine resistance to all forms of oppression; the circumnavigation of the world, as told from the point of view of the trip's chronicler Juan Sebastian Elcano; and the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines, as seen from the lens of Reyna Juana. This meta tale explores how history--and what people choose to be the lessons from it--contribute to the cultural identity and the strength of any nation.

Leading cast is tenor and theater actor Arman Ferrer, who plays Lapulapu. Other cast members include Andre Tiangco, who plays role of Ferdinand Magellan; Red Nuestro as Rajah Humabon; Cara Barredo as Reyna Juana; Natasha Cabrera as Babaylan; Paw Castillo as Enrique de Malacca; Robert Barbers as Juan Sebastian de Elcano; Al Gatmaitan as Antonio Pigafetta; and Ivan Niccolo Nery as Papa Alexander XI and Padre Pedro de Valderrama.

NCCA Arts Ambassador and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and historian Xiao Chua will also participate in the production, led by Aaron Veloso as acting theater director, Adriana Agcaoili as creative director, Gino Gonzales as production designer, Dennis Marasigan as lighting director, and GA Fallarme as video designer.

"Lapulapu, Ang Datu ng Mactan" will stream on the Facebook page of The Metropolitan Theater, and will be cross-posted on the pages of the NCCA, Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM), Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), and other partner institutions' official Facebook pages on October 24, 2021, at 6 p.m.

Photo: National Commission for Culture and the Arts