Overcoming technical glitches, a late start, and an audience number beyond the capacity of the gym, the multi-media theatre production Hapoy Daw Wahig finally got off to a spectacular start in the first leg of a three-show run at the MSU-IIT gym, Iligan City, last Sept. 15-17, 2011.


The Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG) performed Mindanao myths — “transcreation” in the terms of IPAG Artistic Director Steven Patrick C. Fernandez –- in a treatment that “approximated” the mythic quality, according to Fernandez.


Performed using dance, music, chants, visuals, and film, “Hapoy Daw Hawig (from the Bukidnon “Fire and Water”), delivered what, to many, was another inspired IPAG ‘masterpiece.’ “Hapoy” performed the Mindanao epic Agyu, the Indarapatra and Sulayman story, Bukidnon flood myth, and a vignette on the Greek goddess of the Earth Gaia.

Wrote three-time Palanca winner and judge German V. Gervacio of the production: “…minsan pa, pinatunayan ng dulang ito na hinog na hinog na ang IPAG. Hindi basta-basta mababaklas sa isipan ang mga imahe at tunog. Kahanga-hanga kung paanong ang mga mata ng mga aktor ay lumilikha ng mga espasyo, distansya, textura at lalim. Paano nga ba isasalin sa entablado ang rima at ritmo ng isang epiko? sa tingin ko’y nasagot ito ng “Hapoy daw Wahig.” Gusto ko na tuloy maniwala na sa past life ni ser tibs…isa siyang magikero…” (Again, the play proves the maturity of the IPAG. It is difficult to forget the images and sounds. The actors are awesome in their use of their eyes to recreate space, distance, texture, and depth. How, after all, does one translate to the stage the rhyme and rhythm of an epic? To me, “Hapoy Daw Wahig” answers this. I’d like to believe that in his past life, Sir Tibs [Fernandez] was once a magician…”)

Poet-critic Dr. Christine Ortega, who accompanied the members of the Committee on Literary Arts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), was also profuse in her praise: “…another superb performance …. What energy! And the overpowering percussion.”

Hapot Daw Wahig

Tired from their two-day forums in Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon, the CLA members nevertheless took the side trip to Iligan to catch the IPAG performance. Impressed, the writers were not disappointed. In Facebook comments, writers Joanna Cruz and Harold Mercutio wrote respectively, “Spectacular show! Worth the side trip to Iligan!” and “What a spectacular performance…”

Kenyan national Barmasah Kiprop Titus who has never missed an IPAG production since he enrolled in the MSU-IIT wrote: “… I watched them with a sigh and awe! … unique, spectacular, very original … Bravo IPAG! … keepers of the past and holders of the future.… awesome.”

Four hundred sixty students and their faculty from the Central Mindanao University in Bukidnon, fifty students from the Special Program of the Arts of the Oroquieta National High School, and a class of the MSU-Maigo School of Arts and Trades travelled to Iligan to watch IPAG.

Contingents of audiences came from the MSU-Integrated Development School, the Iligan Medical Center College, Iligan Capitol College, Lyceum of Iligan Foundation, St. Michael’s College, and the Lanao Chung Hua School.

Presenting the IPAG were MSU-IIT, Pioneer Insurance, the NCCA, Sylvestro’s, and Studio Optix. Major Sponsors were the Departamento ng Pilipino (under Chairperson Dr. Maryjoy Banawa) that marketed the first night, the Cultural Development Office, Iligan City Tourism Office, Jollibee, School of Computer Studies, MSU-IIT College of Nursing, KODAK Express Photoarts, Travel “R” Us, Pure Blue Water, Dunkin Donuts, Ivory printing press, NEMA Electrical Supply, Mighty King Lending Investors, Vice Mayor Henry Dy.

Topics : ipag