Dramatic reading in SF brings to life scenes from Rizal's 'Noli' | Global News

Dramatic reading in SF brings to life scenes from Rizal’s ‘Noli’

/ 02:49 AM November 09, 2016
Photo7 Maria Clara & Fr. Damaso

Maria Clara (Esperanza Catubig) and Fr. Damaso (Van Bagnol) reading from Roger P. Olivarez’s dramatic adaptation of Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere.” DAN DE LA CRUZ

SAN FRANCISCO – A reading from a dramatic adaptation of Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere brought to life some scenes from the history-changing novel.

“Reading of Scenes from a Dramatic Adaptation” by Roger P. Olivares of Noli Me Tangere was held Oct. 25 at the Philippine Center, Philippine Folklife Museum on Sutter Street.


The Philippine Folklife Museum Foundation, the Philippine American Writers and Artists (PAWA)/Filipino American International Book Festival and the Philippine Consulate General of San Francisco hosted the event.

Philippine Consul General of San Francisco, Henry S. Bensurto, Jr., gave the opening remarks. President of the Philippine Folklife Museum Foundation Dan de la Cruz, and Director of Museum Operations & Development Lydia de la Cruz welcomed guests.


The author of the dramatic presentation, Rogelio “Roger” P. Olivares, is a graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University (AB Economics), a Fulbright scholar and a graduate of the University of Illinois (MS in Communications). He is best known for his novel Noli Me Tangere 2 and for writing the first travel guidebook in the Philippines, Roger’s Do It Yourself Tours.

Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) one of the famous novels by the Philippine’s national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal was published in Berlin, Germany in 1887. This novel, together with El Filibusterismo, also written by Dr. Rizal inspired and sparked the Philippine revolution against the Spanish government in 1896.

In the reading, the scene was the return of Juan Crisostomo Ibarra from Europe who learns about his father’s tragic death and the history behind the animosity held against him by Fr. Damaso Vardolagas, who sabotages his wedding to his beloved Maria Clara. Fr. Damaso harasses and humiliates Ibarra at every turn. Another religious figure, Padre Salvi, also becomes Ibarra’s enemy, who attempts to kill him and stages an uprising where Ibarra is implicated.

“A passionate love story set against the ugly political backdrop of repression, torture and murder. The first major artistic manifestation of Asian resistance to European colonialism, and Rizal became the guiding conscience and martyr – for the revolution that would subsequently rise up in the Spanish province.” (Excerpted from the back cover of the Penguin Classics publication)

Performers for the reading were from the Bay Area Fil-Am community, respected actors in their own right and professional stage players. They were: Crisostomo Ibarra (Alan Quismorio); Maria Clara (Esperanza Catubig); Elias (Hari Bayani); Fr. Damaso (Van Bagnol); Basilio (Joshua Icban); Sisa (Penelope V. Flores). Edwin Lozada, an educator and President of PAWA, did the narration.

Emotions were high in the mesmerizing performance, keeping the audience in suspense, completely enthralled, fascinated and spellbound. Lyric soprano Lydia de la Cruz capped the presentation with ariveting performance of “El Canto De Maria Clara” (Song of Maria Clara) accompanied by a flute and a classic guitar.

A simple and sumptuous salo-salo catered by Chef Lydia de la Cruz offered embutido sliders, mostaccioli pasta with prawns salad, baked cassava with varamel topping and lumpia Shanghai courtesy of Ed Lozada.

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TAGS: ” Philippine Folklife Museum, dramatic reading, Jose Rizal, Noli Me Tangere, Noli Me Tangere 2, Rogelio "Roger" P. Olivares
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