The Epic Dance Musical of Bicolano Epic Ibalong to Open on February 8

Catch the epic dance musical of Bicolano epic IBALONG as it opens on February 8. Presented by Tanghalang Pilipino, the dance-theatre musical interpretation of the Bicolano epic, “IBALONG” caps the theatre company’s 26th season. Adapted for the stage by playwright Rody Vera and directed by Tuxqs Rutaquio with Carol Bello’s musical direction and Alden Lugnasin’s choreography, the audience is sure to enjoy the epic performances. Tanghalang Pilipino presents IBALONG

Opening with a gala premiere on February 8 at the Tanghalang Aurelio V. Tolentino, Cultural Center of the Phiilppines,”IBALONG” will run until March 3, 2013. The dance musical is entitled after Legazpi City’s week-long festivity, “IBALONG,” tells the story of Handyong and his warriors who came to Ibalon (now known as Bicol) and waged war against beasts and monsters plundering the land’s natural wealth. Handyong mightily fought a one-eyed creature with three throats, several winged sharks, and wild carabaos.

As civilization is introduced to the barbaric land, Handyong uses wit and might with the shrewd snake named Oryol. A master of deceit, Oryol disguised herself into a sweet, young lady to seduce Handyong. Not to be outsmarted, Handyong eventually caused Oryol fall in love with him. The love story between a warrior and a monster defines the greatness of Bicol as it explores an individual’s capacity for good and evil, and a land’s history marked by progress and destruction. JENINE DESIDERIO as Oryol on IBALONG

The IBALONG cast is led by Jenine Desiderio -as Oryol. She is joined by May Bayot – Gugurang; Myke Salomon – Handyong; Red Nuestro – Opon; Delphine Buencamino – Koro / Understudy Oryol; Trixie Esteban – Young Oryol / Koro; Cheeno Macaraig – Young Handyong / Makusog / Kawal/ibingan; Tara Cabaero – Buring/Anino; Hazel Maranan – Onglo/Anino; Opaline Santos – Sarimao/Anino; Kristofer Kliatchko -Angongolood/Kawal; Cyril Balderama – Sarimao/Kawal; and Philip Palmos – Kikik.

Tanghalang Pilipino’s Actor’s Company featuring Jonathan Tadioan – Aswang / Koro; Marco Viaña – Rabot/Koro; Remus Villanueva – Handyong / Kawal/Angongolood; Nicolo Magno – Baltog / Koro; Ralph Mateo -Bantong / Kalabaw/ Tambaluslos/Kawal; Regina De Vera – Bonggo/Anino; Jovanni Cadag -Sarimao ; and Doray Dayao – Popo/Anino form part of the ensemble.

During the press conference held at The Aristocrat Restaurant in Manila, the cast gave us a preview of this dance musical. I was enthralled at their voices, their moves, their acting. Although they were somehow restricted by the space and the equipment, having to hold a microphone which looked like an sm57, what the media witnessed was performance level. I fell in love with theatre once again, especially this one which involves music and dancing.

Tanghalang Pilipino Artistic Director Nanding Josef
Tanghalang Pilipino Artistic Director Nanding Josef

This production is in cooperation with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the City of Legazpi of Bicol. Nanding Josef, Artistic Director of Tanghalang Pilipino cited that it is a special offering to the Bicolanos and the rest of the Filipino people who are committed to protecting our natural resources and cultural heritage from the onslaught of irresponsible commercialism, modernization, frenetic world trade and homogenizing globalization — all hiding under the name of human progress and development, but in reality, are all motivated by self-centered motives and selfish interests of the greedy, materialistic, powerful evil creatures of this earth which was originally created by the Supreme Being only for everything that is good, true and beautiful.

IBALONG Director Tuxqs Rutaquio
IBALONG Director Tuxqs Rutaquio

Nanding Josef (Artistic Director) leads the artistic team of IBALONG with Rody Vera (Playwright); Tuxqs Rutaquio (Director/Set Designer); Carol Bello (Composer/Musical Director ); Rizalino Reyes & Inkantada, All-Women Group (Arranger); Leeroy New (Costume & Puppet Designer); Alden Lugnasin (Choreographer); Katsch Catoy (Lights Designer and Technical Director) and TJ Ramos (Sound Designer).

The production team is composed of Jennifer Bautista (Production Manager), Alpha Joy Ruiz (Deputy Production Manager), Jo Ann Requiestas (Assistant Production Manager), Jerome Aytona (Stage Manager), Noel Taylo and Eric Sindol (Assistant Stage Managers), Daniel Gregorio (Costume Custodian), Zaldy Baldelobar (Property Master), Raphael David (Make-Up and Prosthetic Artist), and Jerry Ramirez (Stunt Choreography).


The schedule of performances of IBALONG are: (Fridays)  February 8, 15, 22, March 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm; (Saturdays) February 9, 16, 23, March 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm; (Sundays) February 10, 17, 24, March 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm.

Ticket prices are: P 800.00 ( regular ); P 400.00 ( students ) and P 640.00 (for senior citizens — 20% discount on the regular price)

For the Feb. 8 gala night, tickets are at P 1,000.00 (regular); P 500.00 (students) and P 800.00 (for senior citizens – 20% discount on the regular price)


Don’t fail to watch IBALONG! Let’s support and contribute in saving our planet, our environment, and our cultural heritage. Aside from the actors’ performance, we were told to look out for elaborate costumes, energetic fight choreography, and haunting music. IBALONG guarantees audiences of all ages an enthralling experience rarely seen in original Filipino theatre. Check out the our coverage photos:

Tickets are now available for the epic dance musical of Bicolano Epic IBALONG at all TicketWorld Outlets. Call TicketWorld at 891-9999 and CCP Box Office at 832-3704. For inquiries on ticket reservations, group sales, sponsorships, special performances, call Tanghalang Pilipino at 832-1125 local 1620/1621 or contact Cherry Bong Z. Edralin at 0917-750-0107, 0918-959-3949 for more details. Visit Tanghalang Pilipino‘s website at or E-mail [email protected] or [email protected].

13 Responses

  1. Their photos are amazing! I’m excited to watch this! I’m glad more and more local stories are being brought to theater, letting people see things in a different light 🙂

  2. After the success that was Rama Hari, here comes another dance musical this time tackling a true Filipino epic, Ibalong. Very excited to see this, especially upon reading the cast list here, which includes Jenine Desiderio and Myke Salomon. This should be a good show!

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