The celebrity judges of the popular ABS-CBN TV show, “Voice of the Philippines” were literally blown away when Juvie Pelos, 21, sang the prologue of “Uwahig” a dance-drama-musicale by Steven Patrick C. Fernandez, Artistic Director of the Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG), the MSU-IIT’s Resident Theatre Company.

Juvie Pelos

The “Voice of the Philippines” judges, Bamboo formerly of Rivermaya, international performer Lea Salonga, Allan Pineda or of the Black-Eyed Peas and Sarah Geronimo were unfamiliar with the music much less the folklore of Mindanao but all easily recognized the quality of Pelos’s voice and were blown away by the beauty of, according to Salonga, the “very, very original” and “interesting” rendition by Pelos.

Pelos who finished an AB Political Science degree in MSU-IIT in 2011 and one of the performers of IPAG played the role of the poet and sang the prologue of “Uwahig” from Fernandez’s play with the same title. Fernandez said that he saw the dominant image of water in the Mindanao folklore of Lanao and Bukidnon and combined the Bukidnon flood myth and the Maguindanao epic, “Indarapatra” to produce “Uwahig”.

 Pelos, IPAG performer

These folk materials were collected by Frank Laubach sometime in the 1920’s. Students of folklore are taught that Laubach had popularized the Maranao epic hero Bantugan’s story by being the first to publish this in a magazine for teachers in the Philippines.

“Uwahig” was IPAG’s entry to the UNESCO-International Theatre Institute’s 31st Olympic of the Nation in Manila in 2006 and was the country’s representative during the 2007 Taipei International Arts Festival. IPAG again performs “Uwahig” in Vietnam in September this year.

In Fernandez’s FB wall he said that “Uwahig” is a “deconstruction of the Mindanao Indarapatra epic and the Bukidnon water legend “that resets into the mythic realm of wars, violence and the degredation of the environment of Mindanao’s postcolonial and postmodern landscape.”

Fernandez wrote the lyrics of the prologue in “Uwahig” that was later set to music by Davao City’s Geejay Arriola Langlois.

Fernandez, the IPAG Artistic Director said that Pelos performed for IPAG for four years. She played some of the lead roles of IPAG productions such as Kamayungan in “Ranaw Isang Alamat” and was the lead singer in another play, “Suhi”.

Fernandez saw the talent of Pelos as a performer when, as a Freshman in IIT she had auditioned for IPAG. He said Pelos’s voice is “clean and has [a] long range”. (OC-OPI News)

(Credits: IPAG, The Voice Ph)

Topics : ipag