Aside from these 2nd times, this production is also a milestone for Tanghalang Pilipino because it is their first sung-through children’s musical. Layeta Bucoy, who I’m working with for the first time, wrote a libretto that was poetic enough so that even the parts that are supposed to be dialogues can be turned into songs; meanwhile director Tuxqs Rutaquio embraced the sing-through challenge with eagle’s wings.
This children’s musical may lead the public to think that it is just like any of other popular children’s shows or stage presentations. But there are also moments that have challenged us, most notably with the very young actors, to tell a seemingly simple story in a powerful way through a wonderful blend of light-hearted and dramatic elements that are easy for children and adults alike to grasp, appreciate, and understand.
Composed intermittently over a period of four weeks, this production marks my 10th year anniversary with Tanghalang Pilipino. Let me take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to the company that took a chance on an artist who first started as a pianist for “Ang Negosiyante ng Venecia,” who then became audition pianist-arranger for “Himala (The Musical),” and eventually became musical director and composer in subsequent productions. The journey has been incredible and to the wide array of artists that I have worked with, I thank you for allowing me to travel with you.
I dedicate this musical to my dear friend, Harry Dizon Rodriguez, for never losing his child-like disposition amidst adversities which eventually became my source of inspiration.