February 22, 2006

Musical immortalizes Our Lady of Caysasay

BIRHEN ng Caysasay Productions presents "Mapaghimalang Birhen ng Caysasay," a religious musical written and directed by Nestor U. Torre, with music composed by Ryan Cayabyab. The lyrics were written by Rito Asilo and Noelani Torre and musical direction was provided by Jun Murillo.

This production, which had a successful premier run at the Little Theater of the Cultural Center of The Philippines last July 2005, sought to make the 400-year tradition of Our Lady of Caysasay in Taal, Batangas accessible to today’s audiences. In the cast are theatre personalities Cocoy Laurel, Ivy Violan, Tommy Abuel, Jane Diaz, Rito Asilo, Andy Bais, Albert Jimenez, Nicole David, Mika Roy Torre among others.

The story unfolds with the return to Taal of a Filipino-American family. The mother, Slyvia, is gravely ill and seeks the miraculous virgin’s healing intercession. However, the teenage daughter, Laine, refuses to believe in the healing tradition thus transporting her to four centuries in the past, wherein she witnesses the miraculous intercession of the Birhen ng Caysasay. The most celebrated of these miracles was the resurrection of a Chinese artisan named Haybing, three days after his decapitation. The play ends with the daughter finally believing in the miracle and the miraculous recovery of Sylvia.

The musical’s provincial tour began last October 2005 with a sold out show in Balayan, Batangas. The tour proceeds now to Batangas City with two on Feb. 24 and 25. The co-presentors on Feb. 24 are The Jose P. Laurel Museum and The Center For Batangas Studies. The 6 pm show will be held at the, Dodjie Laurel Sports Arena, Lyceum of Batangas, Batangas City.

For information, call Leo Ramos Jr. at (043) 723 4235, 0920 924 3124.

On Feb. 25, The University of Batangas will co-present a 3 pm show at the University of Batangas Auditorium. For information, call UB (043) 981 0027.

Through the musical, Birhen ng Caysasay Productions together with the other groups supporting it, expects to increase devotion to our Lady of Caysasay , generate interest in the arts among the youth, as well as promote tourism in the heritage town of Taal.

For local and international tour bookings please contact Ramon Orlina at 781 5918, 0917 880 5108 or email



SUNDRY STROKES By Rosalinda L. Orosa
The Philippine Star 02/22/2006

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 Distinguished sculptor Ramon G. Orlina, executive producer of the religious musical Magpahimalang Birhen ng Caysasay, announces its repeat performances Feb. 24 and 25, 6 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively, at the Dodjie Laurel Sports Arena, Lyceum of Batangas, and the University of Batangas.

The play is written and directed by Nestor U. Torre, with music by Ryan Cayabyab, lyrics by Rito Asilo and Noelaani Torre. Musical direction is by Jun Murillo. In the cast are stalwarts Cocoy Laurel, Tommy Abuel, Ivy Violan, Rito Asilo among others.