LOOK: Lapulapu Ang Datu ng Mactan musical onstage as MET reopens after 25 years

Lapulapu Ang Datu ng Mactan musical onstage
Arman Ferrer portrays the title role of “Lapulapu, Ang Datu ng Mactan” in the MET’s first theatrical production since its closure in 1996. Photos from NCCA.

The Filipino musical “Lapulapu, Ang Datu ng Mactan” will be streamed to the public for free on October 24, 2021, to commemorate the quincentenary of the historic battle of Mactan at the newly-conserved Metropolitan Theater (MET) in Manila, its maiden production in 25 years.

The theatrical production, which is the first to be staged at the restored Metropolitan Theater since its closure in 1996, unpacks the impactful events five hundred years ago as part of the Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines.

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“Lapulapu, Ang Datu ng Mactan” follows the Cebuano leader-hero Rajah Lapulapu in his triumph over Spanish forces in 1521 and commemorates the Philippines’ part in the first circumnavigation of the world, as well as the arrival of the Christian faith in the islands.

“This meta tale explores how history—and what people choose to be the lessons from it—contribute to the cultural identity and to the strength of any nation,” the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) writes.

Lapulapu Ang Datu ng Mactan onstage at the MET.

NCCA Chairperson and Cultural Center of the Philippines president Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso spearheads the project as Artistic Director, with a libretto written by award-winning poet and lawyer Nicolas B. Pichay and set to music by Krina Cayabyab.

The play is directed by UP Professor Dexter M. Santos, who is known for directing original Filipino plays such as the musical “Ang Huling El Bimbo” and the classic “Orosman at Zafira”. Choreography is by Stephen Viñas and Kenneth Torres.

The cast of Lapulapu, Ang Datu ng Mactan is led by popular tenor and theater actor Arman Ferrer as Lapulapu.

Other cast members include:

  • Andre Tiangco as Ferdinand Magellan
  • Red Nuestro as Rajah Humabon
  • Cara Barredo as Reyna Juana
  • Natasha Cabrera as Babaylan
  • Paw Castillo as Enrique de Malacca
  • Robert Barbers as Juan Sebastian de Elcano
  • Al Gatmaitan as Antonio Pigafetta
  • Ivan Niccolo Nery as Papa Alexander XI and Padre Pedro de Valderrama

The MET is an architectural landmark in Manila.

Lapulapu was supposed to be performed live at the iconic Metropolitan Theater earlier in April but its premiere was postponed to October due to restrictions and limitations posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the MET’s restoration is complete, it will not reopen to the public until later this year.

The rehabilitated MET Main Hall

Instead of welcoming back theatergoers to the refurbished venue, the NCCA and the Metropolitan Theater will stream the musical online.

“Lapulapu, Ang Datu ng Mactan” will be streamed on the Facebook page of The Metropolitan Theater on October 24, 2021, Sunday at 6 p.m.

Lapulapu, Ang Datu ng Mactan was virtually presented to the media on October 12, 2021.

Take a look at these photos of the MET released ahead of the historic Manila landmark’s reopening.

The remastered version of “LapuLapu: The Neo-Classic-Ethno-Rock Opera” was streamed online for free to the public for the first time on June 12 to mark Philippine Independence Day.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the team behind the Filipino musical “Lapulapu, Ang Datu ng Mactan” which will be streamed to the public for free on October 24, 2021, to commemorate the quincentenary of the historic battle of Mactan at the newly-conserved Metropolitan Theater (MET) in Manila, its maiden production in 25 years.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.