In this month of love, Tanghalang Pilipino brings to life onstage Nick Joaquin’s “How Love Came to Juan Tamad” in their 31st season ender production – Nang Dalawin ng Pag-ibig si Juan Tamad. The story is part of a series of children stories that the National Artist for Literature wrote called Pop Stories for Groovy Kids (1979).
Nang Dalawin ng Pag-ibig Si Juan Tamad revolves around the love triangle of iconic characters from Filipino legends we have grown up with – Mariyang Makiling (played by Monique Nellas), Monte Banahaw (played by Aldo Vencilao), and of course, Juan Tamad (played by Ybes Bagadiong). Characters from the old legends such as Ulap (played by Lhorvie Nuevo), Bai’, the god of Laguna Lake and brother of Monte Banahaw (played by JV Ibesate) are also present in the play. The story is wonderfully adapted for stage play by Rody Vera and directed by Jonathan Tadioan.
Nang Dalawin ng Pag-ibig si Juan Tamad proved itself to be a show for all ages. The setting of the stage was an eye candy. The whole set up looks as if it came straight out of a pop up story book, making it very enjoyable to children and the young at heart alike. The show was made even more remarkable with the amusing dialogue between the characters and the extraordinary fusion of contemporary and ethnicity in the play’s music. Clever references to this age’s trends and subtle subliminal messages were also woven into the story capturing the mature audience’s interest and laughter. There were also quite a few noteworthy love quotes mentioned during the show drawing quite the sympathy from the most people from the audience. It seemed like so many can relate to Juan Tamad’s situation. The theater echoed with expression from the hugoteros and hugoteras from the audience as Juan Tamad exclaimed, “Nakakapagod namang umibig!”
Not only Juan Tamad’s situation can be found relatable in this story, but the other perspectives of love as well. We can see in Monte Banahaw’s character how he tries to hide his true feelings for Mariyang Makiling and how he acted upon it. I am sure we can also all relate to Monte Banahaw when he sees how his love interest falls madly in love with a lazy head like Juan Tamad. While we have Juan Tamad, who’s so lazy, he even finds the thought of loving being very exhausting.
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To innocent eyes, Nang Dalawin ng Pag-ibig si Juan Tamad may seem like a simple children story. But in reality, when we ponder about the story’s morale, it’s truly more than a story for children. This is an art that exposes many sides of love. At the same time, a responsibility is implicitly bestowed to the viewers to ponder about this nation’s virtues, and to think if what we are doing is still right. It urges us to think if we are honoring who should be honored and if we are looking up to someone worthy.
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Amazingly, even 39 years after its publication, the National Artist’s story is still quite relevant.
I went out of the theater feeling very happy and proud that I am a Filipino, and that this production is purely Filipino. Nang Dalawin ng Pag-ibig si Juan Tamad is again a proof that Filipino works are world class.
Congratulations, Tanghalang Pilipino! Congratulations, Nick Joaquin! Congratulations, Filipinos!
Catch Nang Dalawin ng Pag-ibig Si Juan Tamad all Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 3PM & 8PM, and Sundays at 3PM from February 16 to March 11, 2018 at Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater) at the Cultural Center of the Philippines
For tickets, please call:
Tanghalang Pilipino on 0915 607 2275 or 0999 884 3821 or CCP Box Office 832 3704
Tickets are also available at www.ticketworld.com.ph
Ticket Prices are Php 1000* for Orchestra Center and Php 800* for Orchestra Sides
*50% OFF for students and 20% OFF for government employees, senior citizens, and PWDs