Bituing Walang Ningning--The Musical (2015)


30 years ago I watched the Christopher De Leon/Sharon Cuneta/Cherie Gil blockbuster hit, BITUING WALANG NINGNING, countless times.  The lines were great, most especially the ones Lavinia uttered: You are nothing but a second-rate, trying hard, copycat! 

That classic line became controversial so people held their breath if Ms. Cris Villonco would be able to say it as Lavinia in BITUING WALANG NINGNING-THE MUSICAL.  The line was Ms. Gil's own and was not included in the original screenplay(not even in the comic book series).  Thank goodness, it was settled, so we were able to hear the iconic line.  :-) (Congratulations, Ms. Cherie Gil, for winning the coveted Best Actress trophy at the Madrid Film Festival!#IFFMADRIDWINNER2015)

In 2006 I was excited when Sarah Geronimo was given a chance to have her own interpretation of playing Dorina Pineda.  The series was a hit, but I was sad that Nico and Dorina did not end up with each other because they gave Lavinia a redeeming factor.  I'm not sure if they did a survey or something.  Maybe they thought Sarah was too young for Ryan Agoncillo or they did not see any chemistry...I really don't know.  Oh well...it's OK.  Dorina chose her family instead of the glitz and glamour.  Lavinia had both fame and love.

When it was announced that #BituingWalangNingningTheMusical was going to be shown at The Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila, I was psyched.  I definitely had to watch it, by hook or by crook.  It would have been nice if I had a date instead, but I am blessed that my parents gladly accompanied me. My brother was sad that we did not buy him a ticket, but we thought he did not want to go because it's their 17th wedding anniversary and he probably wanted to maximize his time with my sister-in-law and my nephew.



Finally, this day, 12 July 2015, came.  It was the only date my parents were willing to watch this musical with me.  I can hardly wait. Would Dorina and Nico end up together like the movie version? In the movie Nico seemed so chauvinistic. Would Mark Bautista's portrayal give justice to Christopher De Leon's role?  Or would he play it differently?




The Vestibule


The souvenir program


Finally!
I followed instructions.  I did not take pictures during the musical/show because of the probable copyright infringement they may cause.  There were a few people who got away with it(their phones weren't confiscated).   I can't blame them. I had to practice a lot of self control too.  (Why didn't I report the people who stole shots? Why would I make a scene? I'm no longer the silly teenager I was decades ago who disrupted the beautiful song number of a certain person during a worship service at Rizal Theater making her, for lack of a better term, hate me forever.  The people beside me, behind me and directly in front of me were obedient.  I would just disrupt the performance if I called their attention.) I wanted to take pictures.  I really did.  Why?  Because of the great special effects, most especially during Dorina's special number: Pangarap na Bituin.  It was such a stunning scene. At first it looked like a Planetarium or an observatory or something from the Mind Museum, then...if you are going to watch this, I won't spoil it for you.

I also love Monica Cuenco's interpretation of the theme song of Bukas Luluhod ang mga Tala. I also love the trio of Ronnie Liang(Garry), Mark Bautista(Nico) and Monica Cuenco...it was a wonderful rendition of SANA'Y MAGHINTAY ANG WALANG HANGGAN, my favorite Bituing Walang Ningning song.

In the musical it was composed by Garry Diaz and the Lyrics were written by Nico Escobar. In real life it was composed by Willy Cruz and the Lyrics were written by Baby Gil.


Doon ka, dito ako

Hindi magkatagpo

Tawag ko'y di marinig ba't kay layo mo

Lapitan man ay di mo matanaw

Bingi't bulag sa akin ay walang pakiramdam

Sayang na pagmamahal

Paano nang pag-ibig kong walang hanggan?



Sana'y maghintay ang walang hanggan

Hanggang makilala mo ako ang iyong mahal
Baka ko matutuhan kita'y kalimutan
Baka pangako ko'y dumating sa kailanman
Sana'y maghintay ang walang hanggan
Sana ang iyong paglingap ay muli kong matikman
Subalit kong paglimot ay di mapipigilan
Alalahanin mong kay tagal kitang hinintay

Narito ang puso kong inilaan sa 'yo
Pagod na nanginginig baka magtampo
Naghihintay ang labi kong uhaw
Handog nito'y ligayang di mapapantayan
Sayang na pagmamahal
Parang hangin lamang sa iyo'y nagdaan

Sana'y maghintay ang walang hanggan
Hanggang makilala mo ako ang iyong mahal
Baka ko matutuhan kita'y kalimutan
Baka pangako ko'y dumating sa kailanman
Sana'y maghintay ang walang hanggan
Sana ang iyong paglingap ay muli kong matikman
Subalit kong paglimot ay di mapigilan
Alalahanin mong kay tagal kitang hinintay

The whole ensemble did great.  Well, there was one number(I won't say what) that there was a slight delay.  The music and the vocals would not jive for a little while, but this was overlooked because it was such a fun number.  A lot of "Oohs and aahs" were heard while that certain song was sung(a guy sang it).

Jon Santos is really a natural.  He played "Auntie" like he was really "Auntie".  Wow.  I'm almost speechless.  His acting was seamless!  (I'm glad they thought of revamping the role of Dorina's guardian that way.  Auntie's lines were very funny and delivered well.)

Mark Bautista was great here, but we wondered why he was speaking in a certain way.  Later we realized something.  He was a probinsiyano who made it big in the city, but longed for the simple life.  Obviously, he had his own interpretation of Nico and he was not as chauvinistic. ;-)  Thank goodness!

Michael Stuart Williams never fails to deliver.  Although I loved him best as Gaston in GIGI, he played Larry like he was born to be Larry...a funnier Larry, that is(I liked Tommy Abuel too).

Handsome Jay Roa played Jay Ilagan's role, Zosimo Blanco.  While he was on stage, I wondered what could have happened if he were Nico instead.  I like Mark.  I just wondered... ;-)

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo is truly FABULOSO.  She was wonderful as Edith(long e).  There is not a tinge of doubt that Menchu could really play any role.  I have seen several of her plays and musicals. She internalizes and becomes the character.  

John Nite portrayed his uncle pretty well.  He was able to get some of mannerisms and his accent. I saw "Kuya" Germs in him and that's a good sign.  

Last, but not the least, I want to congratulate Ms. Cris Villonco for owning her role.  She had a different attack.  Mom even cried during one scene towards the end of the story.  She also told me that even if Lavinia is the main antagonist in the story, you could never hate her totally. 

Mom does not mean that Cris is not a great villain, for she is(she proved this in ANG LIHIM NI ANNASANDRA).  She just gave the role a different persona.  I like the way she acted and how she delivered her lines. Her 80's movements were cute and nostalgic. Her blocking and timing were perfect and she also made some of the scenes lighter by making it funny.  Yes, yes, I know that it's the director's role to make stories more interesting, but no matter how great a director is, if one is not cooperative or whatever, a scene or an entire movie would suffer.

Cris was awesome.  It's in her blood, yes, but as an individual she was able to show her capabilities...her versatility. 

Kudos to everyone involved in this musical.  ;-)

To my readers:  Please watch this musical.  You have until the 19th of July to do so.  Go to the nearest Ticket World or buy your tickets online.  

So happy to learn that this little sister of mine was seated behind us
(With Nikki Limos taken by her fiance, Mark)

MEET AND GREET THE STARS


























I took a picture of this because it's purple. ;-)
























I told Ronnie Liang that he was like a K-Pop star and he said, "Gomabseubnida!(Thank you!)" I got lost in space so I answered,"Annyeonghi gaseyo!(Goodbye!)" LOL






With Joy(taken by her dad)




The very amiable and talented director, Freddie Santos, with a familiar face.

Congratulations, Direk Freddie!






My parents with Monica Cuenco  
We hardly recognized her because she looks younger and sweeter up close and personal.  At first, dad thought she was Gerphil.  On stage, her eyes were crone like, but up close (and personal) she looked kind   She has a long way to go acting wise, but for a first time lead star, she already did great.  This lovely lady will go places one day.  She indeed is very talented.
#UCC_Cafe_Terrace_Resorts_World
#MonicaCuenco
#DorinaPineda

BITUING WALANG NINGNING-THE MUSICAL
Written and Directed by Freddie Santos 
Based on the Pilipino Klasiks series by Nerissa Cabral and the Viva Films Mega-Blockbuster Hit (1985)
Presented by Resorts World Manila in cooperation with Full House Theater Company and Viva Entertainment Inc.

Kudos!
Main Characters:
Cris Villonco as Lavinia Arguelles
Monica Cuenco as Dorina Pineda
Mark Bautista as Nico Escobar
Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Edith
Michael Stuart Williams as Larry Calma
Ronnie Liang as Garry Diaz
Jay Roa as Zosimo Blanco
John Nite as Kuya Germs
and Jon Santos as Auntie

The worth mentioning ensemble:
Mary Joy Solomon
Abeng Tan
Mako Alonso
Edz Bordamonte
Daryl Del Rosario
Danrev Dimaculangan
Dindo Divinagracia
Victor Sy
Timothy Fabian
Reynaldo Ucat
Ana Victoria Andres
Ruth Alferez
Karino Almario
Ring Antonio
Cara Barredo
David Shawn Delgado
Jalynna Magadia
Jill Peña
Luani Sablan

Congratulations too to the whole Production Team (Everyone behind the scenes)


SONG CREDITS
BITUING WALANG NINGNNG
Composed by Willy B. Cruz
Pubished by Viva Music Publishing

MAGANDANG GABI

Composed by Willy B. Cruz
Lyrics by Tessie Tomas
Published by Viva Music Publishing

SA DUYAN NG 'YONG PAG-IBIG

Composed by Willy B. Cruz
Published by Viva Music Publishing

PANGARAP NA BITUIN

Composed by Willy B. Cruz
Published by Viva Music Publishing

SANA'Y MAGHINTAY ANG WALANG HANGGAN

Composed by Willy B. Cruz
Lyrics by Baby A. Gil
Published by Viva Music Publishing
and Margot Gallardo

KUMUSTA KA

Composed by Willy B. Cruz
Lyrics by Baby A. Gil
Published by Viva Music Publishing and Margot Gallardo

INIT SA MAGDAMAG

Composed by Willy B. Cruz
Lyrics by Baby A. Gil
Published by Viva Music Publishing and Margot Gallardo

KAPAG PUSO'Y SINUGATAN

Composed by Willy B. Cruz
Lyrics by Baby A. Gil
Published by Viva Music Publishing and Margot Gallardo

USAHAY

Composed by Gregorio Labaja
Pubished by Viva Music Publishing

POINTS OF VIEW

Composed by Louie Ocampo
Lyrics by Freddie Santos
Published by Viva Music Publishing and Freddie Santos


PAIKOT-IKOT

Composed by Mon Espia
Published by Viva Music Publishing

ANG BOYFRIEND KONG BADUY

Composed by Marvic Sotto
Lyrics by Joey De Leon
Published by Viva Music Publishing

God bless all of you...God bless us all!


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