michael pangilinan as crisostomo ibarra in gtf’s full-length musical version of “kanser”!


michael pangilinan: the new "crisostomo ibarra"
michael pangilinan: the new “crisostomo ibarra”
young jose rizal
young jose rizal

“It’s the quality of his singing voice that impressed me”, direk Franniel Zamora, the director of Gantimpala Theater Foundation’s full-length musical version of the classic play Kanser, told a blogger at the start of an interview. “It sounds so genuine, unharmed and very pure. That’s why when I heard him singing one time, I at once called-up his manager Jobert Sucaldito and offered to them the role of Crisostomo Ibarra in our upcoming musical play of Kanser, which will celebrate the 35 years of existence of the play.

“And Jobert readily said yes to me”, direk Franniel continued saying. “Schedules na lang ni Michael ang kailangan, and everything’s plantsado na. I am so challenged to direct a fresh talent like Michael who comes from the pop scene. I can very well transform him into a fine theater actor of high caliber.”

Aside from the great quality of Michael’s singing voice, it was also Michael’s pair of chinito but penetrating eyes that intrigued director Franniel Zamora.

“His eyes are telling something”, direk Franniel revealed. “May laman ang mga mata niya. May sinasabi. Even without any dialogue at all, his eyes can speak. And that’s what I am looking for as my ‘new’ Crisostomo Ibarra for this full-length musical version of our stage play Kanser.”

Yes, the name Michael that director Franniel was referring to in his words above is no less than Michael Pangilinan, the singer of the hit song Pare, Mahal Mo Ba Ako and just recently performed in his Pre-Valentine concert entitled Come Sing With me, Michael at Teatrino Promenade last February 12.

Director Franniel, together with a friend-blogger watched the concert and further studied and analyzed Michael’s style in singing and wonder as a performer. Both were convinced that Michael can do great justice to the role of Crisostomo Ibarra.

“His jaw lines are perfect”, a blogger whispered to direk Franniel. “It’s almost like the jaw line of Dr. Jose Rizal. Classic and physically-appealing.”

Direk Franniel agreed to what the blogger said. But he noticed Michael’s childish ways and candidness. He wanted to polish it as soon Michael starts to attend their workshops.

“His manager Jobert already verbally agreed that Michael is willing to undergo workshops at Gantimpala Theater Foundation before he starts rehearsing for our play”, director Franniel said again. “When Jobert manages to fix all of Michael’s schedules, then there’ll be no more problems. We will have six full working days before the play opens.”

An alternate for Michael as Crisostomo Ibarra will soon be added, after direk Franniel finishes the upcoming auditions for the musical play Kanser.

There will be an invitational auditions on February 23. This invitational auditions are the ones that GTF invited to be ‘under studies’ for the play. 

The open auditions, on the other hand, is going to be on February 23 (also) and February 24. This auditions is open for everyone, as long they know that they will fit into all the characters needed in the play. Auditions starts at 5 p.m.

“One aspect of becoming a great theater actor is being open”, director Franniel reminded those who are willing to work for him. “You must be honest about yourself, wala kang dapat itinatago. Open ka dapat sa lahat ng bagay. And if that’s the kind of attitude that you have, come on, work with me.”

 “With Michael Pangilinan, I saw his openness”, director Franniel said at the end. “I just don’t want him doing comedy spiels that I see on comedy bars. It’s not good for him. He must be more serious with what he does. And I’m happy he committed to us, portraying a character that can educate youths like him- that is, Crisostomo Ibarra.”

Exciting, indeed. Our hats-off to director Franniel. And Congrats to you, Michael!


(words by robert manuguid silverio)

the boyish michael will soon turn into a man f great distinction- as "crisostomo ibarra"
the boyish michael will soon turn into a man of great distinction- as “crisostomo ibarra”
director franniel zamora: an eye for real talent
director franniel zamora: an eye for real talent


michael: out to conquer the theater scene
michael: out to conquer the theater scene

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