Mabini: The Conceptual Heart of the Revolution
Written and photographed
By Jude Bautista
Arman Ferrer (Emilio Aguinaldo) : Sa palagay niyo po ano ang naging suliranin ng unang himagsikan? Delphine Buencamino (Apolimnario Mabini): Pasintabi po. Pero sa tingin ko hindi nagtagumpay ang unang himagsikan dahil hindi ito na gabayan ng isang malinaw na idolohiya. Hindi rin ito nakagawa ng malinaw na plano para palawakin at bigyan direksyon ang kamalayang rebolusyonaryo. (sings) Ang dalit ng bayan ay ngayo’y naglalatak maari magbunga ng paksang kasamaan kung papabayaan natin at di gagabayan. Tungo sa paglaya ng buong sambayanan. Sa bagong yugto ng pakikilaban kelangan ng bayan ay kambal na himagsikan. Una’y gagamit ng lakas na sandatahan. Pangalawa’y maguunos ng himbing ka looban.
Aguinaldo: Paano ito maisasakatuparan? Mabini: Dapat nang burahin ang salat isip indio na sunod sunuran sa mga Europeyo. Kaya’t aking sinulat Verdadero Dekalogo na makatao at maka Pilipino. Aguinaldo: Diba’t ba inihanda niyo na ito? Mabini: Tinuturo nito’y tao’y pantay pantay ano man ang uri, relihiyon o kulay. Na ang Bathala ay wala sa simbahan. Kung di sa kunsensya ng bawat mamamayan. Para maging gabay sa ating pagbabagkas sa mapangahas ng modelong koloniyal, hetong ordinanza stelarebolusyon na maaaring sundin ng taong bayan sa pagtatayo ng bagong pamayanan at pagtatakda ng pusisyon ni Rizal sa pagbubo ng Kongreso tungohan ng Sekretarya, Gabinete at Presidensiya.
Tanghalang Pilipino’s MAGINING MANDIRIGMA is currently running at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino from February 19 to March 13, 2016. The Musical’s second run however, has now been recast with Liesl Batucan in the role of Mabini, replacing Delphine Buencamino. Arman Ferrer alternates the Emilio Aguinaldo role with David Ezra.
Tanghalang Pilipino is the resident theater company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and has produced MABINING MANDIRIGMA with the support of the National Commission for the Culture and Arts. 2014 was the sesquicentennial birth of Apolinario Mabini (born July 23, 1864), the conceptual heart of the second phase of the Philippine Revolution.
Librettist Dr. Nick Tiongson is a very well respected member of the academe and is a member of the prestigious MANUNURI NG PELIKULANG PILIPINO. He was also the CCP’s vice-president and the artistic director from 1986 to 1994. Tiongson shared that the concept for the play was specifically for the 150th anniversary. He had already talked with TP Artistic Director Nanding Josef and expressed interest in producing something on Mabini. He said, “I always admired Mabini. Ibang klaseng hero hindi siya yung may dramatic death hindi ganoon. Pero very solid person, brilliant mind he just did his work day to day and refuse to give up on ideas.”
During the course of his extensive research he found out that other writers and biographers also admired Mabini. One of them is Nick Joaquin who admired the hero as one of the homegrown intellectuals, unlike Rizal and others who studied in Europe. Tiongson explained, “His law class was one of the most brilliant ever coming from UST. In that class he was recognized as the most brilliant. Grade wise he was better than Rizal. He’s amazing and he could not even afford textbooks. So he would borrow textbooks before class read the lesson. He had a photographic memory so he knew what they were talking about. Obviously not just photographic memory he understood what he was reading.”
The achievement may not have been as spectacular or dramatic as other heroes like Bonifacio or even Gen. Luna, “What he did was provide the whole ideology for the second phase of the revolution. Of course that’s a very intellectual thing. That’s not exactly everybody’s cup of tea. Hindi yon ganoon ka popular. He did not write fiction, Rizal wrote Noli, which is something enjoyable to read. What Mabini did was just as important. An American observer said without Mabini there would have been no second phase of the revolution. And it’s really true. He provided the whole ideology he provided the steps Aguinaldo had to take to dismantle the old order and replace it with a new order. The ideology of a new constitution, he believed in the equality of men and women. He believed women should have the same opportunities for education, professions and suffrage. Wala pang suffrage sa America.”
Mabini’s ideas were so advanced that not everyone was ready for them, “He was very much ahead of his time. In fact that was his tragedy that his vision for a nation was valid but most of our leaders were not ready to accept. Sinasabi nila dalawa himagsikan: Yung sandatahan at yung sa kalooban. E wala yung kalooban e. So kahit anung gawin ng sandatahan walang mangyayari. Wala naman pagbabago sa kalooban. (There were two revolutions: armed struggle and battle for the hearts of the people. But there was no change in the hearts and minds of the people) The same greed that the Spaniards had our own leaders had. So ano pinag-iba doon? Iba lang kulay pero kasakiman pa rin.”
The same greed, the same lust for power can be seen in our candidates today. According to Rappler, February 5, 2016- “In two separate resolutions on 6 docketed cases, the Ombudsman said it has jurisdiction to conduct its preliminary investigation that led it to find probable cause to file criminal charges against Binay, his son, and their co-respondents for graft, malversation of public funds, and falsification of public documents in connection with the bidding and construction of the carpark project.” Vice President Binay is currently running for the highest post of the land.
The Binay connection with political dynasties (ilustrados of the past) was made clearer in Bobby M. Tuazon’s opinion piece in PDI entitled ‘Probing Presidential Platforms’: “Unlike his rivals Binay openly defends political dynasties in defiance of the Constitution.”
MABINING MANDIRIGMA’s run is especially significant coming into the elections. The many lessons we learn and see on stage should help us determine our leaders in this crucial period.
There’s a very clear bridge between Mabini’s era and ours today. Tiongson explains, “That’s one reason we did it. How interesting that he was up against are exactly the same forces we still have today. What was mentioned in the end was the whole point, walang nagbabago. Ganoon pa rin, same greed diba? You keep celebrating independence day but you’re never free. Your people are always in bondage. Very often under their own kalahi. Dati foreigner ngayon sarili mong kababayan.” The statement is especially poignant for the EDSA Revolution Anniversary.
The casting of female actors Liesl Batucan & Delphine Buencamino was a stroke of genius according to Tionson, “He (Driector Chris Millado) wanted gender free casting. Its been a tradition males play female roles in Shakespeare even here our country so why not the opposite? The style is Brechtian, the point is ideas. The point is for the audience to analyze the ideas being presented not to feel emotion for any character. The steam punk style works very well for that. Alam mo kagad it is not trying to reproduce history. Its taking history and putting it in a medium that is now. That’s the guide for the music also.”
Delphine Buencamino was cast as Apolinario Mabini in its previous run. This run is with esteemed actress and vocalist Liesl Batucan. When asked about Mabini’s message Delphine said, “It speaks for itself. Every line he speaks is a statement we should take in. When I was researching him I realized how often this happens. All these issues are still the same. That’s why staging it now is so important. We still don’t think as one nation. That ideology should be the anchor where we do everything.”
Reference Materials suggested by Dr. Nick Tiongson:
1 La Revolucion Filipina Volume 1 and Volume 2 written by Apolinario Mabini, published by National Historical Commission. Available at the National Historical Insitute.
2 The Philippine revolution / Apolinario Mabini ; with a biographical study of the author by Rafael Palma—also known as La Revolucion Filipina con Los Documentos de la Epoca, por Apolinario Mabini by Rafael Palma
3 Mabini and the Philippine Revolution by Cesar Adib Majul, University of the Philippines, Quezon City 1960.
4 Malolos: The crisis of the republic (Philippine studies reprint series) Paperback – 1997 by Teodoro A Agoncillo, available in amazon.com
5 A Question of Heroes by Nick Joaquin – 2005 available in amazon.com
fb fan page:
fb fan page:
fb fan page:
This entry was posted on February 23, 2016 by jude bautista. It was filed under Art, Fashion, Music, News, People, Theater and was tagged with 150th anniversary, A Question of Heroes, Aldo, Alfritz Blanche, Aling Sima, Apolinario Mabini, Arman Ferrer, Bell, Benito Legarda, Board of Trustee Chairman, Carol Bello, CCP, Cesar Adib Majul, Chris Millado, CK Español, Co Arranger, conceptual heart, Costume Design, Cultural Center of the Philippines, David Ezra, Delphine Buencamino, Dionisia, Dr. Nick Tiongson, Emilio Aguinaldo, Felipe Buencamino, GA Fallarme, Gen Mc Arthur, Gregorio Araneta, HENERAL LUNA, James Reyes, Jonathan Tadioan, Jude Bautista, Karl Jinco, Katreen Dela Cruz, Katsch Catoy, La Revolucion Filipina Volume 1 and Volume 2 written by Apolinario Mabini, Lhorvie Nuevo, Librettist, Liesl Batucan, lighting design, Mabini and the Philippine Revolution, MABINING MANDIRIGMA, Malolos: The crisis of the republic, Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, Marco Viaña, Nanding Josef, National Commission for the Culture and Arts, Nick Joaquín, Noriel, Padre Valerio Malabanan, Phi Palmos, Production Design, Recording & Mixing Engineer, second phase of the Philippine Revolution, sesquicentennial, Sigrid Balbas, Sound Design, Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, Tanghalang Pilipino, Teodoro A. Agoncillo, The Philippine revolution / Apolinario Mabini ; with a biographical study of the author by Rafael Palma, TJ Ramos, Tony Boy Cojuangco, Tope Klatchko, Toym Imao, TP, TP Artistic Director, Trias, Video Projection.