Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book launch highlights 10th PHL-Hispano Friendship Day celebration

Jumbo Editorial Team 

 ‘Komedya de Baler’, a theater troupe considered one of only six still active in the country, has been immortalized in a book tracing the rich history of theater in the Philippines.

Entitled “Komedya de Baler: A Celebration of Filipino-Hispano Culture,” was launched in Bailer, Aurora, as one of the highlights of the 10th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day, marking the 113th anniversary of the Siege of Baler.’ National Artist for Literature Dr. Virgilio Almario led the ceremony, witnessed by the Angaras and nine ambassadors, led by Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domecq. 

The book featured interviews with surviving members of the original theater group from this capital town and its gradual evolution into a local community theater. Komedya de Baler portrays fight scenes, dialogues, colorful costumes and intimations. It is one of only six active komedia troupes in the country. The others include two in Parañaque, one each in Antique and Peñaranda in Nueva Ecija.

Sen. Edgardo Angara, who was hermano mayor for the cultural fiesta in 2008 that featured Komedya de Baler, said the next generation of Baler performing artists would get enough support and encouragement to continue performing the comedia. 

He said the Baler-based troupe had been recruiting and training young performers to make sure the tradition was kept alive and underwent a transition to the succeeding generations. 

The Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day has been celebrated annually since 2003. It gives due recognition of the day when then-President Emilio Aguinaldo acclaimed the gallantry and fidelity of the Spanish soldiers who besieged in the Baler Church in 1898. This town was the site of the historic siege, the last and one of the most significant episodes of the Philippine war of independence against Spain. 

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