In Tanghalang Pilipino (TP)’s MGA BUHAY NA APOY, a Manila-based family comes face to face with the harsh reality of extremely strained relationships resulting from the cowardly denial of some painful truth about their past and from the utter disregard for their glorious indigenous Palawan cultural roots and spiritual traditions.

Kanakan-Balintagos’ stage play MGA BUHAY NA APOY, Tanghalang Pilipino’s second offering for its 29th Theater Season is not just about the healing of the shattered relationships between a mother and her children in one specific Filipino family broken apart by domestic filial conflicts.

MGA BUHAY NA APOY theatricalizes the inevitable destruction, not only of the basic family unit, but of an entire human society that has been relentlessly ignoring its primary responsibility of caring for its earthly beginnings–the natural resources, the endemic inhabitants of ancestral lands, the intangible cultures of the indigenous peoples, the unseen spirits that take care of the air, land and sea, the ancient human values that have timeless relevance, that are all needed to save, not just one mother or one family, but beloved Mother Earth.

The ensemble is a strong group of reliable, exceptionally talented artists lead by Ms. Irma Adlawan, one of Philippine Theater’s best, Peewee O’Hara, Malou Crisologo, Carol Bello, Russell Legaspi, Karen Gaerlan, Raymond Dimayuga, PHSA’s Kyrie Samodio, and Tanghalang Pilipino’s Actors Company members Jonathan Tadioan, Doray Dayao, Lhorvie Nuevo.

The artistic team is made up of Production designer Architect Paulo Alcazaren, Lighting designer Dennis Marasigan, Costume designer James Reyes, Music composer Diwa de Leon and Dramaturg Ericka Estacio.
MGA BUHAY NA APOY opens on October 2, 2015 and will run until October 25, 2015 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. For tickets and other information, call 09178763678| 09273629081 (Marketing and Sales Department).



Kanakan-Balintagos, the filmmaker formerly known as Auraeus Solito, is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning Palawán-Filipino filmmaker. His feature films have been shown in major film festivals around the world including Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Montreal and Berlin. He was included in Phaidon Press’ book Take 100 which featured 100 New Directors who are the Future of Film.

His first feature film The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros won 15 international awards including 3 awards at the Berlinale (The Teddy award, International Jury Prize and Special Mention from the Children’s Jury). It is also the first Philippine film nominated for Best Foreign film at the Independents’ Spirit Awards in the US. It has been shown in more than 50 film festivals around the world. He is the first Filipino to make it to the premiere independent film festival in the world, the SUNDANCE Film Festival -two years in a row for both The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros and his second feature Tuli. His dream film Busong (Palawan Fate), the first part of the Palawan Trilogy, was recently screened at the prestigious Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes.

A filmmaker of all genres, he has worked on documentaries, short films and a music video Ang Huling El Bimbo by the Eraserheads which won the Asian Viewer’s Choice Award at the MTV Video Music Awards.

He was also a playwright, actor and director of Theater when he was a student at the University of the Philippines, and was founder of the UP Tropa Experimental Theater Company and was touted the enfente terrible of Philippine Theater during his time in the University.

He comes from a lineage of Shaman-Kings from the indigenous Palawán of South Palawan. He is now using his tribal name Kanakan-Balintagos which was dreamt by his shaman-uncle which means “Hunter of Truth”.


Paulo Alcazaren is an urban designer and landscape architect with a body of work covering over 200 projects in 14 countries. He practiced twelve years in Singapore with his own firm, before coming back to Manila in 2002 to continue his practice. He is also a writer and photographer, editing BluPrint Magazine for ten years, contributing to over a dozen books on urban history or design, and continuing his 19-year old Philippine Star column on design, entitled City Sense.

Alcazaren sits on the board of Nayong Pilipino, the Heritage Conservation Society, and Escuela Talyer. His background in the arts has been via folk, modern, and jazz dance in various performing groups under Cora Inigo, Tony Fabella and Douglas Nierras. He is married to broadcaster and Palanca Award winner Twink Macaraig, and is father to Urian Awardee indie filmmaker Whammy Alcazaren, and notorious troublemaker Juancho Alcazaren.

DIWA DE LEON | Music Director

Diwa de Leon is a multi-awarded full time composer, arranger and music producer who has been working with films, tv shows and commercials in the Philippines for nearly 20 years. Born to a musical family, he wrote his first composition, a short piano piece, at age 5 under the tutelage of his father. He is highly invested in the performance and promotion of the HEGALONG, a two-stringed Philippine traditional lute, which lead him to create his Hegalong Project. The Hegalong Project is a series of original music that highlights the Hegalong and combining it with a genre of music from today, such pop, rock and jazz.

Diwa has won awards for his film scores including the 2013 Gawad Urian for Best Music for the film Baybayin, Cinemalaya 2012 Best Music for Kamera Obskura, Cinemalaya 2011 Best Music and Best Sound for Busong, and Cinema One 2008 Best Music for Kolorete. As a live musician, Diwa has performed in international tours that include musical festivals from the USA, Germany, China, Sweden, and Malaysia both as a solo artist and as part of Makiling band. He is also known as The String Player Gamer in his YouTube channel, where he regularly uploads videos of himself performing his arrangements of popular video game and pop culture music, sometimes clad in colorful costumes of iconic characters. He has more than 30,000 YouTube subscribers and 9,000 Facebook Page likes and is considering making YouTube a fulltime career in the future.

As a founding member of the world music band, Makiling, Diwa has co-produced and recorded 3 albums with the band. Diwa also released his 1st solo CD Memories on Two Strings featuring 25 original works for Hegalong and is available online through his website, www.diwadeleon.com.

He graduated valedictorian at the Philippine High School for the Arts in 1997, and finished his Bachelor of Music in Composition degree at UP College of Music, Diliman.

DENNIS N. MARASIGAN | Lighting Designer

Dennis N. Marasigan is a theater, film and television director, writer, production and lighting designer, actor, producer, teacher, and learner. He finished BA Theater Arts and Master of Public Administration (UP Diliman) and the Asian Institute of Management’s Managing the Arts Program.  He served in the faculty of various educational and institutions and, through various grants and scholarships, observed theater practices in Moscow, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and Canada.  He worked in various capacities at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), was Executive Director of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), Artistic Director of TANGHALANG PILIPINO, and President of the Philippine Legitimate Stage Artists Group (PHILSTAGE).  

As Lighting Designer, he has worked with most of the country’s major performing groups and toured with Philippine cultural missions to parts of Asia, North America and Europe.  He won the first PHILSTAGE Gawad Buhay for Outstanding Lighting Design for Tanghalang Pilipino’s Kudeta.

He is currently Secretary of the Philippine Association of Theater Designers and Technicians (PATDAT) and heads the Theater Arts program at the Meridian International College. He continues to mentor young artists while finding time for his creative pursuits in the various media and performing arts.

JAMES REYES | Costume Designer

James Reyes started a career in advertising right after taking up Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines. After 11 years as an art director/creative director at Campaigns & Grey, he decided to go full time in the world of fashion. He was a finalist at the Mega Young Designers’ Competition and the Paris Young Designers’ Competition, both in 2002. He opened his atelier in 2005 which specializes in bridal and special occasion fashions for both men and women. He also does part-time wardrobe styling for TV commercials and print ads, as well as backstage styling for fashion shows for brands like Bench Body and Rustan’s. He became president of the Young Designers’ Guild of the Philippines in the same year. In 2007, he was a featured designer for Ensembles, a brand specializing in women’s corporate fashions. He has presented his collections for Philippine Fashion Week, Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week, Metro Magazine Fashion Series, PDI’s Face-Off series and the Fashion Watch series. His first taste of costume design for theater was with Tanghalang Pilipino’s  Eyebal series in 2012. Since then, he has done several costume design projects with Tanghalang Pilipino like Walang Sugat, Sandosenang Sapatos, San Andres B., Kleptomaniacs, Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente (Death of a Salesman), Juego de Peligro, Mabining Mandirigma and for CCP’s Rigoletto and Musikal!. He has done costumes for Ballet Philippines and Repertory Philippines and is set to do more design work for the CCP and Tanghalang Pilipino this coming season. He is currently a new member of the Fashion and Design Council of the Philippines (FDCP).


A former architecture major in UP Diliman, Erika shifted to Theatre Arts to pursue her true love. She has worked for, acted in, and directed various Dulaang UP and UP Dulaang Laboratoryo plays, as well as a couple of productions outside the university.

She is also an aspiring playwright, having studied under Floy Quintos and Glecy Atienza. So far, she has written three plays that were staged for UP Dulaang Lab: the mini-musical Wanted: Dead or Dying (2012) for her practicum finals; the one-act drama Pag-Ibig Parang Ulan (2013), an adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen, and the original one-act Bright Moon(2014).

Last year, she was awarded Best Director in the first ever Short + Sweet Festival Manila for her entry Death in Ten Minutes written by Joem Antonio. As a dramaturg, she has previously worked for Dulaang UP’s Collection (2013) and Teatro Porvenir (2013), as well as for UP Dulaang Lab’s Ang Ahas (2014) and CCP Virgin Labfest’s Mga Buhay na Apoy (2014). This is her first Tanghalang Pilipino production.




IRMA, has been a member of TANGHALANG PILIPINO Actors Company from 1991-1998 under the tutelage of FELIX (Nonon) PADILLA.


She started doing theater work in the 80’s. She then tried her wits into film and television until the present. She maintains to be a freelance film, theater and television practitioner. Her numerous endeavors as an actress paved the way to her doing other production jobs behind the camera: production manager, assistant director, director, event organizer, acting coach, producer, etc.

At present she is often seen in various kapamilya teleseryes of ABS-CBN. She is still known as “Yaya Tonyang” of Agua Bendita, the treacherous “Octopina” in Mutya, the doting Nanay of Inday Bote, and soon she will be appearing with Coco Martin in FPJ’s remake of Ang Probinsyano.

Aside from acting, she juggles her passion in teaching acting and being an actor’s development coach.

But her greatest work to date is being a loving mother to her son, Julian. A role she is and will always be proud and grateful to God for.


Emerging from Tanghalang Pilipino Actors’ Company, some of his professional credits include, Mulan, Pinocchio, Pragres, Insiang, Kudeta, Romeo & Juliet, Golden Child, Passing, Landscape, Baby B, Kabanata X, Gabun, Mother Courage, Three sisters, Titus Andronicus, Bombita, Twelfth Night, Le MaladeImaginaire, Ring Round the Moon, Teatro Porvenir, Measure for Measure, Fluid and a number of plays from VLF. He had the privilege in working with Chris Millado, Dennis Marasigan, Ana Valdes-Lim, Floy Quintos, Loy Arcenas, Dr. Alex Cortez, Jose Estrella, and Nestor Jorfilla, to name a few.

He fiddles with playwriting, which a number of his plays have been staged such as 5 Women in the Same Dress, Valley Mission Care, and most recently Elysium Airways. Off-stage, he devotes his time working on curtaincallmanila.com


Gaerl, as she is more commonly referred to is a graduating student in Theater Arts at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Her theater credits include Dulaang UP’s The Seagull Ang Tagak/Nina, Noli the Opera/ Andeng, Teatro Porvenir/Oryang, The Country Wife/ Alithea, UPPT’s Fake/La Loba Negra. She’s a part of VLF 6’s 3SOME by Suryatmoko, read Guelan Luarca’s Ang Kaligayahan ni Nelsonat ng Ibang Tao and Kanakan-Balintagos’ Mga Buhay na Apoy in CCP (2014).

She is known for Cinemalaya X’s The Ordinary Things We Do that won a Special Jury Award and rendered Mariquina’s Broken Strings that got nominated for Star Awards for Movies 2015 and for Best Theme Song for Independent Film.

This is her first production under Tanghalang Pilipino.


Maria Carolina Toribio Julian Barona Rodriquez-Bello a.k.a. Carol Bello trained to sing when she was five years old through her sister Carina’s strict guidance. She first acted with her mother Lourdes as her most appreciative audience. Carol played the role of Lola Abe-a in Aureus Solito’s Maikling Buhay ng Apoy in 1991.

Growing up with a father that accepted her frequent loud wails as a baby, Carol overcame her weak lungs and eventually became a singer in church, school and local band scene. She was a vocalist of the short-lived band Carol Affection in 1996. Since 1999, Carol has been singing and co-composing for Filipino world music pioneer Kalayo Band, formerly known as Pinikpikan Band. She also composes and directs music for theater.

As part of her feminist agenda, Carol founded and led the all-women performing group Inkantada. She is a Chinese Martial Arts and free diving enthusiast.


  • Has taught Speech, English and Theatre for 25 years at Trinity University of Asia
  • Pioneer of Tanghalang Pilipino
  • A Gawad Buhay Awardee for the play Mga Mansanas sa Disyerto (Apples in the Desert)
  • Has done several plays including: Walang Kukurap, Mga Ama, Mga Anak, Orpheus Descending, Bilanggo ng Pag-ibig, As You Like It, Huling Huli; and Ang Goldfish ni Prof. Andal
  • Has also teleseryes like Dahil May Isang Ikaw, Maria La Del Barrio and Analiza.


Jonathan Tadioan is a senior member of Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company (2005-present), and an 8th time Philstage Gawad Buhay Nominee. Tad has done more than four dozen productions under Tanghalang Pilipino, from musicals to straight plays, and classic to contemporary. He was part of Himala when it was sent to Shanghai as the official Philippine entry to the Asian Contemporary Theatre Arts Festival in 2011. Recently he was part of the 6th Theatre Beijing Olympics in Beijing, Peoples Republic of China. He also has been doing community work such as Theatre for Development in AIDS awareness (T4D) and Theater for Development in a Post- Haiyan context (T4D-PHC).
He is a Teacher, Artist, and Educator.


JV is currently part of the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company (AC) and was last seen on TP’s Mabining Mandirigma and Ballet Philippines’ Manhid: The Pinoy Superhero Musical. He has also been part of the following Tanghalang Pilipino productions: Kama: Isang Dula ng Pagnanasa (La Ronde), Walang Kukurap (Excerpts), Prinsipe Munti (The Little Prince), Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente (Death of a Salesman), Kleptomaniacs, Sandosenang Sapatos, Ibalong, Der Kaufmann (Ang Negosyante ng Venecia), Jun Ispater (VLF 9), Melanie, Prinsesa ng mga Bilang, and Ewww, Nakakadiri ang mga germs! JV was part of the Philippine delegation to the 6th Beijing Theater Olympics last November, where they performed the hit children’s musical, Sandosenang Sapatos. He was also selected as a scholar/participant in the 1st New York-Manila Musical Theater Workshop held at the CCP last January 2014. JV graduated with a degree in Broadcast Communication, cum laude, from the University of the Philippines – Diliman.


13-year old Kyrie Allison Samodio is a Grade 8 Theatre Arts major at the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA). She has immersed herself in various fields in the arts, from ballet to creative writing – but her true loves are theatre and singing. She honed her acting chops by participating in summer workshops with Trumpets, Gantimpala Theater Foundation, and Tanghalang Pilipino, where she was chosen to perform the lead role in their recital Seven.

Developing her musical side under the tutelage of Ms. Nenen Espina, she has had a duo concert for Paco Park Presents entitled Sister Act, and has also sung in various local and school events. She also works as a voice talent, dubbing character voices for cartoons and animated features for airing on local television.


Doray is currently an Apprentice of the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company. Aside from being active on stage, she also challenges herself in backstage work as Stage Manager and Technical Staff. She is also involved in civic work through Tanghalang Pilipino.


Lhorvie is currently an Actors Company Scholar under Tanghalang Pilipino (TP). Her theater credits under TP are: Sandosenang Sapatos as Sequins, Ibalong as Bonggo, Der Kaufmann as Jessica, Mga Ama, Mga Anak as Bessy, Kleptomaniacs, Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente as Letta, Prinsipe Munti as Ahas, Juego de Peligro as Elena and the recently staged Mabining Mandirigma. She also performed as Meg in Layeta Bucoy’s Melanie (UNICEF and TP collaboration project for HIV/AIDS awareness) and as Baki Baktirya in Ewwww Nakakadiri ang mga Germs, a theater development project that tackles health and hygiene.




Established in 1987, Tanghalang Pilipino or TP is the resident theater company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. It continues to adhere to its mission of strengthening the heights of Philippine theater and engaging the youth in scrutinizing social realities through artistic expressions. Learn more about TP by visiting tanghalangpilipino.com, or through http://www.facebook.com/tanghalangpilipino. You may also call us at (02) 832.1125 local 1620 / 1621.


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