By Rica Arevalo
We recently watched the performance launch of Ang Hindi Nakikitang Pakpak The Musical last Oct. 21 at St Scholastica’s College, Manila, based on Rita Avila’s children’s book The Invisible Wings.
Stage director Joey Ting whose last children’s play was Nick Pichay’s Uyayi ng Ulan in 2000 makes a comeback in this inspirational musical about faith and forgiveness.
In the musical, good-hearted siblings Popoy, Mimay, and Ponyare, bullied by their tyrant classmates, have three beautiful angels for invisible constant companions to guide them in fighting back without doing ill.
Why is there a need to have an original Filipino musical? Ting stresses, “Every country should depict their identity, culture, tradition, and practices in their arts. As we move on to the 22nd century, we should be consistent in showing what kind of culture we are in. The bullying in the play is an incidental issue in the overall dilemma of every Filipino. What is universal is faith and family who unconditionally loves you.”
As an only child, actress and author Avila likes to write poems and draw sketches. When she lost her son, writing became therapeutic, helping her overcome her pain and grief. The “dolls” became the main characters in The Invisible Wings, a finalist in the 9th Cardinal Sin Catholic Book Awards (CSCBA) in 2015.
She shares, “While reading the script and songs for the play, I was emotional,” says Avila. “I got so excited seeing my ‘dolls’ move! They are so special to my husband (TV director F.M. Reyes). Dolls that filled up our home with joy and magic will now be on stage! Isn’t that great? God made this happen.”
To achieve its magic realism style, the stage became stylized to romanticize the look for the kids.
Avila has been taping every day for the ABS-CBN soap, Magpahanggang Wakas, directed by her husband. She compares her two passions: “Through writing, I can teach. I can make others imagine and learn. I can leave a lesson that can be passed on and shared through the years. Through acting, I can be who I am not. It is like dreaming of becoming another person and waking up, still as yourself.”
A rerun is in the works this December produced by State of Stage Entertainment Productions in cooperation with Heaven’s Best Entertainment Live.
The 1997 Asian Television Best Actress winner encourages people to come see the musical. “It will remind the adults of their responsibility to guide and to raise children properly,” says Avila. “After watching it, their role does not end there. They will continue to inspire their children to do good things every day for the love of God.”
The musical’s target audience is the children and the millennials. “I want them to want those invisible wings. I want them to imagine their wings growing and flapping and to become proud being our angels on earth. Adults need these angels on earth to make them see love, peace, and joy in this world.”
Ang Hindi Nakikitang Pakpak The Musical is an original adaptation by Neil Ericson Tolentino, music composed by Barbie Dumlao with libretto by Chynna Roxas. email@example.com; 02 917 893 4465