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KILAT Premieres to Rave Reviews: A Musical Masterpiece Unveiled

KILAT Premieres to Rave Reviews: A Musical Masterpiece Unveiled

Writers: Joyce Aliana Arreza and Bree Ysabella Kwan

The highly anticipated and groundbreaking theater production, “Kilat: Dulang Musikal,” ignited the stage with its premiere performance at the Virginia Chiongbian Theater of Sacred School-Ateneo de Cebu on Thursday, April 4, 2024. Following the 126th Battle of Tres de Abril commemoration, this production paid tribute to the remarkable legacy of local hero Leon Kilat.

KILAT Premieres to Rave Reviews: A Musical Masterpiece Unveiled
KILAT Premieres to Rave Reviews: A Musical Masterpiece Unveiled

“KILAT: Dulang Musikal” offers a captivating journey into the life and legacy of Pantaleon Villegas, famously known as Leon Kilat, who led the Katipuneros of Cebu. This play marks the pioneering theatrical portrayal of the local hero’s remarkable journey. From his modest beginnings as a pharmacy and bakery worker to his pivotal role and acts of heroism during the KKK uprising in Cebu, the production sheds light on Kilat’s often-unrecognized contributions to Visayan history.

KILAT Premieres to Rave Reviews: A Musical Masterpiece Unveiled
KILAT Premieres to Rave Reviews: A Musical Masterpiece Unveiled

The director and the producer of Kilat expressed their joy at the success of the initial shows and their excitement about how the upcoming shows will unfold.

“The response from the audiences during the opening shows of Kilat was truly incredible. Initially, I am concerned that students might struggle to grasp the storyline since it’s in Cebuano-Bisaya. However, seeing such positive feedback from them has been incredibly satisfying”, says Mr. Mark Arnold Langahid, playwright and director.

“Seeing how the students reacted during and after the show was truly touching. Many were deeply invested in the performance, and some even cried. Their emotional response highlighted their strong connection to what was portrayed on stage,” says Mr. Anthony Hejie Suralta, the producer. “The positive feedback from the grade school audience is a testament to the power of storytelling and the arts to inspire and touch people of all ages,” he added.

Kilat offers a unique and memorable experience for all who witness it, featuring a distinctive blend of music, drama, and storytelling. As the spotlight shines and the performers take the stage, the audiences are immersed in intrigue, emotion, and historical richness.

KILAT Premieres to Rave Reviews: A Musical Masterpiece Unveiled

“I am incredibly proud (even if I had no hand in it) of KILAT: Dulang Musical. The script about the life of Pantaleon Villegas (a.k.a. Leon Kilat) by Mr. Mark Arnold Langahid was thoughtful, witty, and well-researched. Not to mention multi-lingual! How refreshing to hear Tagalog spoken with a Cebuano accent and have it acknowledged openly,” says Ms. Nancy Lourdes Toledo, HUMSS faculty.

“I was deeply impressed by the acting, as it provided a realistic portrayal of how our ancestors were treated during that time,” says Elle Mostar, a grade 5 student.

“The musical play was excellent, and besides the singing and dancing, it offered valuable lessons about our country’s history,” says Kathryne Fetalvero, a grade 4 student.

“The musical wanted to tell us that despite the desire of other countries to conquer the Philippines, Filipinos remained resilient. Despite the cruelty they faced from the conquerors, they refused to give up,” says Ji SunYu, a grade 4 student.

“The storyline was easy to follow. Furthermore, all the actors did a fantastic job, even the background characters, with their small actions and expressions that truly brought the scenes to life,” says Svetlana Noelle Nacua, a grade 7 student. “This is a must-watch show because it tells the story of Leon Kilat in a fantastic and emotionally engaging way, blending historical narrative with vivid emotion. Through this portrayal, the play encourages us to take pride in our Filipino heritage, delve deeper into our collective journey, and emphasize theater’s power in shaping our understanding and appreciation of history”, she added.

Kilat: Dulang Musical” will continue its run with three daily shows on April 5th and 6th, 2024. For those who still need to watch, there are still opportunities to experience this captivating performance. Don’t miss out!

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