Pintig presents Alamat (Legend) in Chicago

Now on its 13th Theater Season, Pintig Cultural Group, the Chicago-based, Filipino American Community Theater Company is bringing back to stage Alamat (Legend), a play by Rodolfo Carlos Vera. Performed about ten years ago, Alamat revisits a chapter in Philippine American history which to this day echoes sentiments of avuncular tendencies within postcolonial relations. In 1904 as the US celebrates the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase, about a thousand Filipinos taken from various indigenous tribes in the Philippines paraded the grounds of the St. Louis World Exposition in Missouri at whose expense America contrasted its rise to modernity vs. barbaric culture. Vera&Mac226;s play relives that moment weaving it into the stories of three men in a haunting depiction of alienation, dislocation and search for identity. Hedy Weiss of Chicago Sun Times in her 1993 review of the play tells, "Alamat evolves on stage with beauty."

PAT (played by Narciso Lobo), an American-born Filipino of Kalinga ancestry is going to the Philippines for the first time to bury his father, GADIAMAN (played by Cesar Conde), a Kalinga warrior who came to the US in 1946 after serving USAFFE in WWII. Unknown to him from the time of his birth, PAT meets his 85-year old grandfather OCHAS (played by Bert Matias), a Kalinga who came to America in 1904 and whose desire to reclaim his lost dignity still haunts him. The play carves out a life montage for these three men and juxtaposed with it are myths and legends that speak of truths, parallels and folk insights that in postmodern times maybe considered archaic or an item of novelty but whose wisdom is more enduring than time itself. Likewise, the play attempts to create a mosaic of dramatic storytelling fusing traditional forms and stylized improvisations both in terms of music and choreography. The play also boasts of an impressive assemblage of performers with a good mix of Pintig veterans and new promising talents. Cast also includes Evelyn Masbaum, Levi Aliposa, Frank Suda, Aimee Algas, Louie Sison, Leah Ignacio, Ginger Cacnio, Guiao Truong, Jennifer Shin, Fonz Aliga, Stoni Bueno, Melissa Canciller, Jamie Dicker and Duane Warner.

Alamat (Legend) will perform from October 9 to November 2, Thurs-Sat. at 8pm, Sundays at 3pm at the WIDC Theater, 5th floor of the Preston Bradley Center, 941 W. Lawrence by Sheridan Road. Directed by Louie Pascasio with set design by Cesar Conde, music direction by Steven Baz, costume design by Susan Kirpach, movement and choreography by Jillian Banzon, Chip Payos, Kerensa Peterson and Allan Sargan as producer. This production is supported in part by grants from the City Arts 1 of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Illinois Arts Council and Resist. For more info call 773.293.2787 or thru

The tribal Filipinos who came in 1904 brought with them their sacred traditions, their haunting chants and pulsating beats and somewhere within and along the long trail of that collective memory from which we try to gain our pride and wisdom as a community, lies ominous strains of some melodic resonance that only we can continue to hum. And hopefully the next generations too.

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Copyright 2003, Roger W. Tang

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