By: Harvey B. Cagalitan
TO CELEBRATE Western Visayan culture, students of Communication and Media Studies 145 (Advertising Campaign) of the University of the Philippines Visayas are organizing a dance adaptation of O’ Layra: Prinsesa cang Dagat.
The production was chosen as a piece to help spread recognition and popularize local Western Visayan traditions and tales. In a world where fast-paced globalization and modernization is diminishing the significance and allure of esoteric myths, this dance drama aims to help re-ignite interest and fascination of near-forgotten stories as well as to preserve them in an ever-changing culture of the contemporary Philippines.
Based on a radio drama by Antique writer Russel Tordesillas which was originally aired over DYKA (Radyu Kauswagan Antique), O’ Layra is inspired by local folk tales. It particularly incorporates the fabled golden boat used by supernatural beings to traverse the waters of Panay and how O’Layra, a tamawo princess, is locally believed to truly exist. She is said to reside in a bubog tree in Carit-an, Patnongon, Antique.
The original script for the production is written and directed by Professor Kevin Pison Piamonte of UP-Visayas Division of Humanities, College of Arts and Sciences. In collaboration for the event, additional credits for the production includes Robert Rodriguez (Choreographer), Crista Sianson-Huyong (Composer & Musical Director), Roman Sanares (Production Designer) and Kristine Javier (Costume Designer).
Select schools from Iloilo and Antique were invited to watch the drama.
The dance drama will be mounted at UPV Auditorium on April 13, 2018 at 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm.