Katips: Ang Mga Bagong Katipunero, A Musical About Martial Law And Its Untold Stories #Katips

What do you know much about the Philippine Martial Law? How many books have you read that tackles everything about Marcos regime? What are the things your parent told you about this dark era of Philippine history? Everyone who has experienced and witnessed this event has a different story to tell and some of them may shock you.
Introducing Katips: Ang Mga Bagong Katipunero, a new Filipino musical and another masterpiece of Vince Tañada. It is a story that is merely inspired from real events. This show will take us back in time and let us explore the untold stories, the dark chapters and the events that occurred during the Marcos regime. “Katips” is basically a slang term for “Katipunero” (members of the Katipunan, a Philippine revolutionary society from the 1890s). Although we are talking about Katipunero, the show will not be about its origin. Jose Rizal, Andress Bonifacio and many other heroes will not be a part of this play but yet it is still relevant. What is a Katipunero on the first place? Katipuneros are the people who aim nothing but freedom and peace. These are people who offer love for our country unconditionally even if they know the fact that they will offer and risk their lives just to obtain it. Therefore, every one of us who has the same desire for our nation and is willing to do same sacrifices can proclaim themselves as the “makabagong katipunero” despite of living in an all new generation.
I was lucky enough to be invited to watch the grand opening of Katips: Ang Mga Bagong Katipunero at Cinema 9 SM North Edsa last Sunday (July 30). It’s actually my first time to watch a stage play and I was really excited. This is also my first time to review a musical so please bear with me. Generally, Katips left me in awe not because this is my first time to witness a musical but because I was simply blown by the production and felt every message that this show tried to deliver.

Katips and their retro-inspired production

Katips: Ang Mga Bagong Katipunero follows a story of a group of young individuals and how they struggle to fight on what they believe in during the Martial law regime. These are the young activists, writers and protesters who stand firm on what they thought is right and unjust. The story will take you to different phases of Marcos regime from the so-called First quarter storm, the declaration of Martial Law , the first Philippine Revolution in EDSA and its aftermath.20160731_153535_Richtone(HDR)t

Katips performing “Subersibo“. The song will tackle how the news and media are being manipulated during the Marcos regime

Despite of the intensity and seriousness of the theme, the show will also highlights the romantic story between some of its main characters. The comical scenes were cleverly inputted as well which give this play a perfect balance of emotions. There were moments from the play that will surely give you a great laugh. The character of Sussie( played by Vean Olmedo), in particular is an effective comic relief to the show and I just can’t help myself but to laugh in every scene she is included in. Same thing goes with the character of Ka Panyong (Mr Vince Tañada) and his “Friendzoned” tale with Alet (Adel Ibarrientos). Apparently, it’s also one of the most emotional parts of the play and you’ll find out way.

Ka Panyong singing rock-inspired song “Manhid“, a song where he expresses out his real feelings to Alet and to tell her he is not numb about her feelings too. This is a comical song accompanied by witty dance number. This, however will be reprise but in an all new meaning in the latter part.

The love story between Greg (Kevin Posadas) and Lara (Maya Encila) will also captivate your hearts from the moment they met to the time that they both have to make some risky decisions of their lives. The development of Lara’s character from being a self-centered aspiring Broadway girl to brave and fearless woman who knows what she’s fighting for is a very impressive transition.

Lara (Maya Encila) and Greg (Kevin Posadas) in one of their “cheesy” moments
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Greg, Lara, Alet (Adel Ibarrientos) and Panyong in Katips house (Alet’s). An intense confrontation between Lara and Alet
Young protesters in “Welga ” song
A Confrontation of Sister Claire (Jessica Evangelio) and the Metrocom officer (JP Lopez)
Metro aides singing “I Love You Marcos” with Ka Temiong and his son Art (John Rey Rivas) and his love interest Lally (Rospel Gonzales)

The darkest part of the story begins when three of their comrades were captured by the Metrocom officers (the modern day Guardia Civil). I’m telling you, these were the parts were I am intensely focused on each scene. It’s not just heart pounding drama but something that will tear you up emotionally. The torture part specifically is just too painful to watch and it made me realized what kind of nightmare it was during the Marcos administration. My heart was being smashed into pieces every time I visualize the pain and the sorrow that people went through during the hype of Marcos regime. It made me realized how lucky I am to be part of the so-called millennial generation because I do not have to suffer the way they did. The freedom we have right now should be credited not to the succeeding administration alone but also to the people who risk their lives to fight and end the Marcos dictatorship. It’s just sad that these dark chapters of our country’s history are not being told nor being written in History books. Katips : Ang Mga Bagong Katipunero is mainly aimed to stop history revisionism and let the people witnessed the real and painful history of Martial Law.IMG_0372t

It is also interesting to note that the play is accompanied by a live band headed by its musical director Pipo Cifra, the same genius behind the highly acclaimed Pope-pular. Over all, I must commend the Philippine Stagers Foundation team for delivering such a heart-warming play on stage. It was overall, a remarkable production! (I was actually surprised that they are doing the show four times a day!) Imagine, they are doing all these efforts just to let us , millennial, be aware of what it feels like living during the Martial law regime. This is a reminder to all of us that “History should not repeat itself”. Just like what they said,” Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” so we, millennials should do our best to prevent this nightmare from happening again. We should learn how to stand for our own right and make sure that our voices will be heard!

Stage Director Vince Tañada accompanied by his Musical Director Pipo Cifra on stage

Katips: Ang Mga Bagong Katipunero will be a year-long musical. They just had a soft opening last July and they will run up to March 2017. For the venues and schedules, feel free to visit them at their official webpage at http://www.philstagers.8m.com/ or be updated through their social media accounts:
Facebook Page : Philippine Stagers Foundation
Twitter: @philstagers
Instagram : @philippine_stager

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    1. goodwork po kanina sa musical nyo lhat po ng ksama ko including me loved it so much they said 200 is not enough for that wonderful performance 😀 ^.^

  1. This is amazing! Relevant to our country and especially good for the younger generation to watch. Was this out before the election?

    I hope they make a national tour. 🙂

  2. I actually know nothing about the martial arts in the Philippines. It’s great when you can learn it from a musical, in a theater. I have been to a musical recently and absolutely loved it.

  3. This should be required for students to see, because sadly not all the kids are aware of all the things that went down during the Martial Law, both positive and negative. I’ve been lucky enough to have been told stories from both sides of the spectrum, so to speak, I’ve heard positives and negatives from this period in our history but not everyone is as lucky or as keen to listen, I think this play will definitely spark people’s interest and hopefully they will take it upon themselves to read up on the Martial Law…

  4. This looks great! I hope to be able to catch this. I’ve been into different theatre acts recently. How I wish this be made a requirement to students, I think the young ones today will be more interested knowing more about Martial Law, and the rest of the history if presented this way than just being asked to read it on books.

  5. I hope this would be played in universities, oh I miss performing on stage and it does entails a lot of practice. I’ll check the Web site regarding their schedules, hope they could have a tour

  6. I don’t have much insight about the marcos regime but base from what my parents said it’s 50/50. Yes freedom isn’t as free as it should be but there were also some good points mentioned. A musical like this is what’s needed for the youth today.

  7. I hope they would invite schools to watch this so that students would know how to act onstage. I am teaching basic theater arts to the,m and I must say a musical of this kind should be promoted to be watched in schools together with those educational tours.

  8. I hope I get to catch this musical! What an interesting plot, indeed. And I hope many people (most especially the younger ones) would watch this so they would be more aware of this part of history. I’d say it’s really worth it!

  9. Oooh. I will definitely find time to watch this. I hope that the younger generation get to watch this musical. Good or bad, we can all learn from things that happened in the past.

  10. I am sure the actors did a good job. Filipinos are great at arts, right? How they told the story of martial law though is from the perspective of the story writer. Depending on how one lived during those years, some swear it was horrible, while others say life was better then.

  11. Up to March 2017!! I still have a lot of time to be able to watch this. Wooooo!!! So happy that a musical about martial law is showing. 🙂 It really should be watched by millennials so they will be informed as well. 🙂

  12. Wow! This musical is super interesting. Like you, I feel so blessed to not have experienced the horrors of the martial law but we should be aware of what really transpired for history not to repeat itself. This is also a good tribute for those who exchanged their lives for the peace and freedom we are having now. Kudos to the Philippine Stagers Foundation. Such dedication and passion they have especially in performing four times a day. We’ll watch this once our sched frees up 🙂

  13. I envy you! You’re so lucky that you got a chance to watch the grand opening of Katips: Ang Mga Bagong Katipunero. Glad to know that you had an amazing time out there!

  14. Used to play in theater as well and I miss the feeling. I love watching plays like this because they can add new knowledge and it also shows the real things that happens in our environment

  15. This is very timely and a great way to make the younger generation understand Martial Law. Maybe students will have a bigger understanding about it and will not find it boring compared to just reading them in books.

  16. I have read a lot of negative about Martial Law which is contrary to what older people whom I have talked to shared to me. I am not really sure, though. But this is a great show, I believe.

  17. Me and my friends were about to watch the show before. But since we don’t exactly have the same schedule for work and other activities, we weren’t able to go. Do you have any news when will be the next show?

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