“Ibalong,” the musical tells the story of Handyong and his warriors who come to Bicol – formerly known as Ibalon – and wage war against beasts and mopillaging the land’s natural wealth. Handyong mightily battles creatures bearing a solitary eye and three throats, several winged sharks, and wild carabaos.In introducing civilization to the barbaric land, Handyong matches wit and might with the scheming snake, Oryol. A master of deceit, Oryol disguises herself into a sweet, young lady in order to seduce Handyong. But not to be outwitted, Handyong eventually makes Oryol fall in love with him.

Their love story – between a warrior and a monster – defines the greatness of Bicol as it explores an individual’s capacity for good and evil, and a land’s history marked by progress and destruction.Ibalong the Musical was written by the award-winning playwright, Rody Vera. He is a recipient of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and has written more than 20 original plays, several of which has gained recognition from the same award-giving body.

Furthermore, his adaptation of novels and plays similar to the Ibalong, has likewise been recognized. One of the actresses is Jenine Desiderio, who personified the role of the serpent creature Oryol. Her biggest break in theatrical stage was portraying the lead role of “Kim” in the original cast of “Miss Saigon” in London, England. Aside from her theater credits, her works also extend in movies, television and records. Meanwhile, the portrayal of the love story between the warrior, Hadyong, and the monster, Oryol, amidst the raging war is one of the scenes to watch out for. Blended with the elaborate costumes and backdrops, energetic flight choreography and ethnic hunting music, Ibalong the Musical is truly one of the must-see plays in the Philippine stage today.

Ibalong was staged last August 21, 10 am and 6 pm, and on August 22, 10 am and 4 pm, at the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation.

Ticket prizes: Ringside: Php300
Lower box: PhP200
Upper Box: PhP100

At the musical, the band used different musical instruments such as chants, kali drum, gong, tungatong, bamboo percussions, violin, djembe, chimes, t’boli bells, balimbing, kubing, rainstick, shakers, guitars, and other organic sound effects.The presentation brought a unique musical score that combined a neo-ethnic and rock aimed to satisfy the musical taste of both young and old.Aside from the musical production, Ibalong the Musical also offered the audience value-added attractions such as ethnic costumes, dance and stunt choreography, sound and lighting design, and stage props. Other Ibalong Epic characters are Gugurang, Handyong, Opon, Buringkantada, Onglo, Anino, Sarimao, Kikik, Angongolood, Aswang, Rabot, Koro, Baltog, Bantong, Buring, Tambaluslos, Kalabaw, Bongo, and Popo.

All in all, Ibalong the Musical was AWESOME!

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