#TheaterPH - What To Expect In The ReRun Of Mabining Mandirima

Tanghalang Pilipino continues to charge on with its crusade to provide its audience with productions that reflect the times and show love for our Inang Bayan (country), who is battling different kinds of political, social, cultural and environmental wars today. One of Tanghalang Pilipino’s highly acclaimed musical productions is such a play, and it gets even better now that it is on its fourth run with theater veteran Monique Wilson joins Mabining Mandirigma as the lead titular character. Mabining Mandirigma, the musical about Apolinario Mabini’s life, was first staged in July 2015 and last staged in December 2016 and has already enjoyed three successful runs. Mabining Mandirigma was also the recipient of 12 Gawad Buhay Awards including Outstanding Musical award in the 8th Philstage Gawad Buhay in 2016. Mabining Mandirigma is helmed by CCP’s Vice President and Artistic Director Chris Millado as director, Joed Balsamo as composer, and multi-awarded Ejay Yatco joins as Musical Director. This run is a tribute to the late fashion and costume designer James Reyes, who won Outstanding Costume Design in 2015. Young tenors Arman Ferrer and David Ezra alternately play Emilio Aguinaldo, while Hazel Maranan returns as an understudy to Monique Wilson.

This production serves as Tanghalang Pilipino’s 33rd Season opener and CCP 50th Anniversary offering, and will be staged from August 16 to September 1, 2019 at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater).


Fresh from her directorial success of the highly acclaimed One Billion Rising, Monique Wilson goes back to her acting roots as she plays one of the most prolific Filipino heroes, Apolinario Mabini. Monique shares, “It is a fullfillment of a life's dream to be part of an innovative, dynamic, progressive, radically creative and deeply revolutionary musical. This excites me more than anything because we need artistic works like these in these politically and socially perilous times, more than ever before. I am hugely honored to be invited by Tanghalang Pilipino to play the role of Mabini, and to be working with the best and most radical creative artists in the country.” 

With a season theme that calls us to fight, strive, and for national sovereignty, for equality, justice and human rights, for the preservation of our cultural heritage, and for the protection of children against exploitation, abuses and bigotry, Tanghalang Pilipino’s season opener is one that Monique feels motivated doing: 

“It is not only the deepest honor, but the most profound duty, to be called to do what we can contribute to creative resistance and to the awakening of political and social consciousness through art and theater, and to keep forwarding the revolution we are still fighting against imperialists and colonizers today, in 2019. The war waging inside minds and hearts, as well as in the streets, inside congress and in the countrysides are still going on today; and we need radical, tranformative, provocative art, in all its forms, to keep fighting for dignity and freedom. I feel deeply honored to be on this glorious, powerful, creative, epic life transforming artistic political journey with fellow Filipino artists,” Monique proudly shares.

One of the most versatile Theater and Film actresses in the country today, Monique was last seen on the Tanghalang Pilipino stage in 1995, playing Maria Clara in the musical adaptation of Noli Me Tangere. Prior to Monique, the role of Apolinario Mabini was played by Delphine Buencamino (for which she won the Philstage Gawad Buhay award for Outstanding Female Performance in a Musical) in the original staging in 2015, while former TP Associate Artistic Director Liesl Batucan and actress Hazel Maranan, took over in the subsequent stagings. Aside from Millado as the director, award-winning playwright Dr. Nicanor Tiongson wrote Mabining Mandirigma, while Joed Balsamo created the music.


Ejay Yatco joins the fold as Musical Director. When asked what makes Mabining Mandirigma different from other musicals, he is quick to point out the interplay between the historical and the contemporary. “It takes a beloved piece of our history added with a modern twist to resound with Filipino audiences especially the youth,” he shares.

Despite being the fourth rerun, the material is still very relevant in light of the events of the world today. “One exciting thing you can expect is a new rap number – so, watch out for that.” Through modern elements such as steampunk music and fliptop rap, Mabining Madirigma tells the story of Apolinario Mabini in a heartfelt and imaginative way while keeping the spirit of what it means to be a true Filipino hero.

Mabining Mandirigma, a Steampunk Musical runs at the CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater) from August 16 until September 1, 2019. For ticket reservations, groups sales and special performances please contact Tanghalang Pilipino: 0999-8843821, 09156072275 or (02) 832-1125, local 1621.

Tickets are also available at the CCP Box Office, Ticket2me, Bliimo and all Ticketworld outlets. For more information, visit the TP Facebook page at http://fb.com/tanghalangpilipino or email tanghalangpilipinomarketing@gmail.com.

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