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Walang Aray: Tumindig at Umibig—A modern approach to Filipino zarzuela

by Jessica Luna

There is still time to chase Walang Aray! The contemporized adaptation of Severino Reyes’s zarzuela–Walang Sugat which captured the hearts of theatergoers, is set to conclude on May 14.

Courtesy: PETA Official Website

After watching the three-hour play, it is not surprising that PETA decided to reopen its curtains with Walang Aray! after the pandemic forced the theatre to shut its doors. 

Walang Aray! brings modern and fun colors to tell a story that involves the “usual villains” in our history. Set during the Spanish colonial period, the play shows how Filipino society has been freed from the norms by giving the audience an image of a demure Filipina who is feisty, vocal, and ambitious. 

Courtesy: PETA Facebook page

The play, directed by Ian Segarra, was filled with puns and conyo lines. The satirical attack successfully demonstrated how the hypocritical morality of religious institutions deceives people, abuses their rights, and manipulates community regulations. 

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“Walang Aray tries to do what Walang Sugat has masterfully done in the past: Look at the present painful conditions with humor, poke fun at what ails us to jolt us into feeling and thinking and caring… I hope Walang Aray leads us on what needs to be done in our current situation.” said Segarra on the play’s official booklet. 

Courtesy: PETA Facebook page
Courtesy: PETA Facebook page

THE STORY

The story revolves around the two main characters: the lovers– the Zarzuela star Julia and freedom-loving Tenyong and their journey as they remain faithful to their love for each other amidst the revolution. 

The plot highlights not just the intimacy between these two characters but also the different types of love. Even though the topic of the play dates back to centuries ago, the words used to deliver the story were relatable. The playwright even included words and phrases often used by the millennials and GenZs.

“So yung play, it was so good. Kasi it was able to place the different facets of love. Na hindi lang siya limited to sexual love… pinakita niya rin yung same sex or love between—regardless of socioeconomic status. Pinakita niya rin yung regardless of age na love. galing lang kasi hindi siya… hindi siya mahirap intindihin, hindi siya mahirap unawain. Kasi binigyan ng spotlight yung bawat love. And the most important of all is yang love for the country” said Joshua Neri Cristobal, one of the audiences of the show during an interview with RepublicAsia. 

Courtesy: PETA Facebook page
Courtesy: PETA Facebook page

With its commendable songs, captivating storyline written by Rody Vera, and impressive stage design, Walang Aray is definitely most fitting for PETA’s return. Tickets are available at TicketWorld.

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