Restaging of Joel Lamangan’s “Binondo, A Tsinoy Musical” this July

pilar mateo sni THE “P” TALKS!

BY: Pilar Mateo

THE TIMES were changing…

Political unrest enveloped the Philippines. The Cultural Revolution was in full swing in China. But in Manila’s Chinatown during the 1971 Mid Autumn Festival and under one of the biggest moons ever recorded in history, LILY, a Filipina night club singer and Ah Tiong, a mainland Chinese scholar, meet at the birthday celebration of the Chinese Love Deity Ge Lao.

Lily, a hopeless romantic and Ah Tiong, a cynic about love and destiny, embark on a journey of love that defies all expectations.

But Lily’s local Chinese childhood friend Carlos who has long harbored hidden feelings for her will not make things easy for the star-crossed lovers as all three are forced to discover the different ways of giving and receiving love.

Spanning two decades and two countries, “Binondo, A Tsinoy Musical” explores how love prevails even in times of racial prejudice, political turmoil, absence and longing. This is a story of a deep and enduring love that transforms the lives of everyone who dares to put their hearts on the line.

Maritess Alava-Yong Foundation proudly presented the re-staging of “BINONDO, A TSINOY MUSICAL” to be directed by Joel Lamangan, from the original story by Rebecca Chuaunsu and written by Ricky Lee with Gersjom Chua, Eljay Deldoc and music by Von de Guzman.

Maritess Alava-Yong
The late Maritess Alava-Yong

The Cast:

Shiela Valderrama-Martinez shall reprise the role of Lily, a hopeless romantic; a Filipina who grew up in Chinatown. Unable to finish her college education, Lily is forced to work odd jobs, from a worker in a Chinese factory to a singer at the famous Lotus Club in Binondo. She faithfully visits Ge Lao’s altar (the Chinese God of marriage and love) in the hope to find her one true love.

Arman Ferrer reprises the role of Ah Tiong, a Mainland Chinese scholar from Beijing University who has earned a PhD in the USA. Ah Tiong is pragmatic and does not believe in a great love or destiny and is convinced that love is a duty that must be fulfilled. He has long accepted that his parents have arranged his future marriage. Before returning to the US for his Master’s Degree, Ah Tiong takes a side trip to the Philippines.

Noel Rayos plays the role of Carlos, a local Chinese man whose parents own the factory where Lily and her parents are employed. Carlos grows up with Lily and they become close friends. In college, he becomes an activist and brings Lily to protests and rallies. Carlos also helps Lily get into the Lotus Club, which is owned by a family friend.

Marites succumbed to cancer in 2017. Her husband Micky Yong, a Singaporean, discovered her zealous advocacy. Incorporated in 2018, the Marites Alava-Yong Foundation., Inc. was created by the latter, to honor his beloved wife and to continue her legacy of giving.

The mission is to strive to inspire hope and improve the lives and communities by supporting the less privileged.

The show will be staged on July 12, 2019 with a Gala Night at 8 p.m. ; July 13, 2019 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and July 14 at 3 p.m.

Ticket sales will be for the Benefit of Cancer Support and Research Charity for People Living with Cancer and Potential Prevention in St. Luke’s Medical Center.

In its first staging, “Binondo” garnered 6 trophies from the Aliw Awards-Best Original Musical Production, Best Stage Director (Musical) Joel Lamangan, Best Ensemble Performance, Best Vomposer for Original Musical Tjeater (Von de Guzman); Best Actress (Musical) Carla Gievara-Laforteza; and Best Actor (Musical) David Ezra.

This is the original story of Rebecca Chuaunsu and written by Ricky Lee, Gershom Chua, and Eljay Castro (book ) and lyrics with choreography by Doiglas Nierras, Lighting Direction by Joey Nombres, Production Design and Technical Direction by Otto Hernandez, and Music Composition and Musical Direction by Von de Guzman.

Rebecca was its first producer and now, she plays the line-producer to her new partner, Micky Yong.

Everyone is praying that everybody gets to see this different kind of love story-a romantic love story, a love for the family and the love for the country.

The issues on Spratly Islands have nothing to do with the story of the Tsinoys in the real life story of Rebecca’s grandfather. It really happened in the 70s.

The Supporting Cast:

Mariella Laurel (Jasmine)
Jim Pebanco, Lorenz Martinez, Khalil Kaimo, Rhapsody Li, lrica Laguardia (Koro)
Ima Castro (Mrs. Dela Rosa)
Ashley Mickaela Factor (Rubi)
Dondi Ong (Mr. Chua)
Kay Balajadia (Mrs. Chua)
Jennifer dela Cruz (Lourdes)
Elizabeth Chua (Mrs. Zhang)
Russell Magno (Mr. Zhang)
Philip Deles (Swing)

The Ensemble:

Cheeno Uy Macaraig, Carlos Deriada, Jr., Daniel Joseph Cruz, Dusty Suarez, Patrick Paul Clark, Randy Rey, Rence Avilles, Romcel Brinquiz, Roy Iringan, Ryan Caraan, VJ Cortel, Xander Pineda, Janine Tolentino, Julia Chua, Precious Sementilla, Douglas Nierras Powerdance (Christaliza Sawada-Dabaluz, Froilan Dabaluz, Divine Dacles, Ronald Policarpio, Ricmar Policarpio, Joshua Orbasido, Katlyn Kate Jacob, Cheska Quimno, Jay R Aguvida Calumpiano.

This early, Mr. Yong, who admitted that he is not “kulturado” when it comes to musicals is looking forward to bringing “Binondo…” around the world.

“I’d like to continue what my wife has started. This is just the first fund-raising project for the benefit of those living with, or at the risk of cancer.”

Let’s enjoy once again the journey of Lily and Ah Tiong!

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