What if the Pope was just beside you when you’re about to die?
What if He was also a Filipino just like you?
And what if He resembles so much about your own life, that you feel that He’s almost there- touching and embracing you?
And, yes. What if your death became a very significant one at that because you died for Him?
These are the questions left totally answered when we watched the spectacular and totally overwhelming new theater production of Philippine Stagers Foundation, a very legitimate one at that, entitled Popepular (Paano Kung Naging Pinoy Si Kiko?).
The mesage was sent loud and clear. That embracing a man worthy of His love could be a life well-lived, and a mission succesfully taken.
In the lives of five “Modern-Day Heroes”- all Filipinos, good examples to the youths of this new generation were presented. These five “angels” were sent forth to inspire once more, and believe once more, that despite the bad practices of the present governing administration, Filipinos could still live a life worthy of purpose and heroic acts.
But the way it was presented, oh my. Very redeeming, powerful and articulate. The playwrights of this musical play were specific and consistent. To be able to intermingle five characters with a Pope’s life on the side, was truly a hard task. But they did it with proper gusto.
It was executed through dances and alluring music. You would want to rock and roll, bang out loud and testify to the goodness of a humble Pope.
In-between the melodramatic tunes and sorrows, a great sigh of relief were the very satisfying comedy antics, a little naughty, but delightful to the youths.
Some sexy undertones won’t hurt. It would only make you feel more humane, erasing hypocrisies and wrong notions of being HOLY.
The costumes were authentic in nature, the make-up- incredible. Faces appear in great characterizations, highlighting proper emotions and raw feelings of passion.
One of the most unforgettable scenes of the play- greatly acted upon by Kenneth Miles Posadas and Vince Tanada, together with Poul Garcia, was the death scene of the SAF soldiers of the Fallen 44, who were both believers of the Pope, devoted to the Holy Rosary they both clung upon at the height of a battle.
So much tears fell on this scene alone, which happened before the final climactic ending scene. The Pope was there, almost like Jesus Christ himself- crying, agonizing in great pains and wanting to help. But the boys died, and as he embraced the one left dying, a shout of the greatest sorrow was heard in the vast four corners of the theatre. And it was, the greatest message of LOVE.
In a land where Filipinos now had nothing to cling for, betrayed by the people they thought would help them- somehow, the Pope was their last chance at Faith. In one single vision and one single hope- they could all be reunited again and save this land out for ruins.
In a great performance that would last a lifetime, actor Vince Tanada never failed to deliver. His presence alone added upon by his godly charm and smiles, made this great theater production an unbelievable journey of life.
(as the words were written in robert manuguid silverio’s “book of love”, august 29, 2015- together with the “67” that included him. sculptured upon the clouds of time and ETERNITY).*
read the link below to know more about “popepular”, as written by walden belen, courtesy of manila bulletin.com:
A musical on Pope Francis
The play will incorporate the lives of four Filipino heroes, namely, Joey Velasco, the “Heart-ist” who painted “Hapag ng Pag-asa” showing Jesus Christ sharing a meal with 12 poor children; Kristel Mae Pasadas, a member of the Catholic Relief Services who died when a scaffolding fell on her while volunteering in preparation for a mass; Dr. Edgar Gomez, an advocate of coral reef protection; Ronald Gadayan, a poor janitor at the National International Airport who returned a
bag containing jewelries and cash amounting to P1.8 million to its owner; and PO1 Mark Clemencio, among the Fallen 44 at Mamasapano.
The stories of these five “ordinary people who did extraordinary things” will be interwoven with the story of Pope Francis.
Atty. Vincent Tañada, through the Philippines Stagers Foundation, which he heads, has been writing, producing and directing musical plays mostly about Filipino heroes.
The musical play on Pope Francis is a passion for him. When the Pope visited the Philippines, Tañada and his son also walked to the Rizal Park where the Holy Father presided over an afternoon mass in front of the Quirino grandstand. That’s how the musical play stirred his creativity.
The lawyer-stage actor plays the lead role as Pope Francis. The play will be shown all over the country.
(With report by Leonardo W. Belen)