BARANGAY Tisa, this year, is celebrating the fourth Siomai Festival and the 30th anniversary of its patron, San Lorenzo Ruiz. To honor the saint, a Cebuano musical play called “Tanghaga” will be staged.
Director, writer and song writer Roldan “Manong Danz” Ardines said the play will focus more on Ruiz's human life.
“I wanted to give them the real San Lorenzo because sometimes we only see him as a saint and not a person and I think the best way to portray his life is through music and dance," said Ardines.
Lawyer Joel Alcazaren, overall organizer of the Siomai Festival, said the barangay wanted to do something special this year because it's a milestone year for the parish.
"I wanted to do something grand and marvelous this year. The play will be the highlight of our fiesta and is actually a collective effort of three entities—the barangay, the schools and the church—working hand in hand to create this play," said Alcazaren.
About 50 people comprise the cast, which is a mix of students and working individuals who volunteered to be in the play. Most of them have no stage experience and are residents of Tisa.
The play's title comes from a song in the play, which will be sung in the finale. Tanghaga means puzzle or enigma, the perfect description for life—no one knows what lies ahead.
Alcazaren said that despite setbacks like financial and logistical constraints, plus an inexperienced cast, he's still proud of the work: "I asked Manong Danz to create a play with the budget of beer but the taste of champagne and I'm proud to say, he pulled it off."
San Lorenzo will be played by Jef-Jef Saagundo and Nhel Albon while Elizabeth, San Lorenzo's wife, will be played by Kristel Mastumban, Lei Paguntalan and Kare Sombilla.
"Im happy that among the many people who had the potential to play this role, I was one of them." said Saagundo.
As for plans to take the play outside of Tisa, Ardines said it is in the works but the goal is to make the play affordable to everyone because what they want most is for the people to internalize and know Ruiz's story.
The play is an hour and 40 minutes long and will be held at Tisa 2 Elementary School Gym.
There will be four shows, two on Sept. 23 and another two on the 24th. The first show will start at 7 p.m. followed by a 9:30 p.m. showing. The last show will be the VIP showing. Tickets are free but only 400 people will be admitted. (Cherizar Maxine Magat, USJ-R Intern)