March 31, 2017
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Children from Indigent Communities Perform Balagtas at CCP
Children from indigent communities within the city of Manila joined the cohort of performers in delighting the audiences at the Performatura Festival 2017. The children, whose ages range from _ to _, performed Balagtas’ play entitled La India Elegante y El Negrito Amante beginning at 10:00 am and finishing at 5:00 pm.
Child actors performed the roles of Kapitan Toming and Menangge. The actors are beneficiaries and regulars of the Dagdag Dunong Center, a roving library based in San Andres, Manila. Ms. Ana Maria Acevedo Bacudio, a medical technologist and the founder of the center, endorsed the children because of their passion for performance and reading.
The young actors played roles from a piece written by Balagtas called a saynete which is akin to a short skit performed for an audience during the intermission of a longer play. In this saynete, readers are met by Kapitan Toming, an Aeta and Menangge, a Tagalog woman. Toming is courting the “La India Elegante” and changes into different clothing just to grab her attention. Unfortunately for Toming, his advances are constantly spurned by the woman. Although the play itself is regarded as a comedy, modern readers praise Balagtas for tackling the issue of racism deftly.