In the spirit of “One community, One Hero, One Celebration” and to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of the Philippines National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, director Armando Reyes tackles on the task of once again re-staging in Sydney Leonor Orosa Goquinco’s theatre masterpiece “Her Son, Jose Rizal”.
With the inspiration, and guidance of the Philippines Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis, the support of the Philippine Community Council of NSW the Filipino community and countless volunteers, Fine Artists Collaboration (FAC) brings back to life on the stages of Parramatta Town Hall on November 17 and 18 the events that shaped Filipino history. In lavish periodic costumes, the cast steps back in time to re-enact Rizal’s special moments.
Fine Artists Collaboration (FAC) is a community theatre group composed of a handful of professional Filipino-Australian artists dripping with enthusiasm and consumed by their passion for the theatre. It was no mean feat to turn the director’s vision into a reality. For the cast and production crew, it has been a journey of passion, of artistic expression and of nationalistic pride to preserve the legacy of Dr. Jose Rizal and to ultimately showcase to our Australian friends and to the Filipino community our heritage.
To scout and gather anew talents – actors, musicians, costume and set designers on a voluntary basis was an ardous task. The hunt for props, sets and costumes stretched everyone beyond their comfort zones to achieve the almost impossible.
The cast from last year was re-grouped to include a new lineup of seasoned actors and performers, sprinkled with some of the old cast members – forming a fresh breed of performers stepping into the past to relive a piece of history.
Two veterans of Repertory Philippines join the production team this year. Isabel Delgado who plays the role of Doña Teodora and Erwin Lovero whose expertise in costuming and design, come on deck to lend their professionalism and to do justice to author Leonor Orosa Goquingco’s work.
As per above photo others in the cast include: Jemwel Danao as Rizal, Tom Baena as Rizal in the cell, Gerard Jalando-on-Louis as Pepe, Kate Andres and Isabel Delgado as Doña Teodora, Patrick Patacsil and Rie Manaloto alternate for the role Paciano, Marianne Cuasay as Soledad, Moses Gonzales as Father Lopez, Danny Rosales as Governor General Izquierdo, Joselito Tagalog as the Mayor, Rochelle Montua and Arabella Rivera as the young Soledad and Joshua Pangilinan and Milan Velasco as Rizal’s playmates. The fiesta scene is adorned with familiar faces in the community.
The musical talents include: Oliver Gadista along with the superb vocals of Hannah Natoli, Cleo Diana and Rie Manoloto who performs the final song “Paalam”.
The author, National artist Leonor Orosa-Goquingco, and her family were fervent Rizalists. She grew up in a home where the Rizal name was held in highest honor.
“Her Son, Jose Rizal” is a simple tale and portrayal of a man whom we’ve come to know as our national hero. The play highlights the conflict between the oppressors and the oppressed. In this play, it is the colonizing and enslaving Spaniards versus the patriotic and noble Rizal family.
Next week when the curtains rise at Parramatta Town Hall, it will be the culmination of months of laborious rehearsals and many sleepless nights of planning; a testimony that in oneness, we can see our dreams fulfilled.