Thursday, July 18, 2024

TeatroPinas : Lapulapu, Ang Datu ng Mactan, the first theatrical production at Newly-Conserved Metropolitan Theater

TeatroPinas : Lapulapu, Ang Datu ng Mactan, the first theatrical production at Newly-Conserved Metropolitan Theater

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The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) is streaming the musical Lapulapu, ang Datu ng Mactan on October 24, 2021, at the newly-conserved Metropolitan Theater (MET).

 Lapulapu, Ang Datu ng Mactan, the first theatrical production at the MET since it closed its doors in 1996. The public presentation will be part of the Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines, the Year of Filipino Pre-Colonial Ancestors, and the National Indigenous Peoples’ Month.

NCCA Chairperson and Cultural Center of the Philippines president Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso spearheaded the project as Artistic Director.

Aside from Lizaso, gracing the press conference were Marichu G. Tellano, NCCA OIC-Executive Director; and Dr. Rene R. Escalante, Chairperson of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and concurrent Vice-Chairperson of the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC).

With a libretto written by award-winning poet and lawyer Nicolas B. Pichay and set to music by Krina Cayabyab, Lapulapu, ang Datu ng Mactan is directed by UP ProfessorDexter M. Santos, who is known fordirecting many plays such as the musical Ang Huling El Bimbo and the classic Orosman at Zafira, with choreography by Stephen Viñas and Kenneth Torres.

The play unpacks the many events commemorated this year, which includes the Victory at Mactan in 1521, as told from the point of view of the mysterious Lapulapu, symbol of Philippine resistance to all forms of oppression; the circumnavigation of the world, as told from the point of view of the trip’s chronicler Juan Sebastian Elcano; and the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines, as seen from the lens of Reyna Juana. This meta tale explores how history—and what people choose to be the lessons from it—contribute to the cultural identity and to the strength of any nation.

Santos described this task as daunting, but he expressed that, “the overflowing generosity and commitment of the whole company will make this journey possible.”

Leading cast is popular tenor and theater actor Arman Ferrer, who plays the main protagonist Lapulapu. Other cast members include Andre Tiangco, who essays the role of Ferdinand Magellan; Red Nuestroas Rajah Humabon; Cara Barredo as Reyna Juana; Natasha Cabrera as Babaylan; Paw Castillo as Enrique de Malacca;Robert Barbers as Juan Sebastian de Elcano;Al Gatmaitan as Antonio Pigafetta; and Ivan Niccolo Nery as Papa Alexander XI and Padre Pedro de Valderrama.

NCCA Arts Ambassador and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, as well as public historian Xiao Chua, is also participating in the production, which was led by Aaron Veloso as acting theater director, Adriana Agcaoili as creative director, Gino Gonzales as production designer, Dennis Marasigan as lighting director, and GA Fallarme as video designer.

Lapulapu, Ang Datu ng Mactan will be streamed on the Facebook page of The Metropolitan Theater, and will be cross-posted on the pages of the NCCA, Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM), Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO),the NHCP,the NQC, and other partner institutions’ official Facebook pages on October 24, 2021, Sunday at 6PM.

For more information on this event, follow the Metropolitan Theater and NCCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more details on this press release, contact Mr. Rene S. Napeñas, Head of the Public Affairs and Information Section through mobile number 0945 788 5698 or email us at

Portrait Photos by Rhon Velarde
In Action Photos by Paul Sugano