Review Roundup: What Did the Critics Think of MIONG at REP Philippines?

Review Roundup: What Did the Critics Think of MIONG at REP Philippines?

MIONG opened at REP Philippines on February 22 and is running through March 10, 2019.

MIONG, a musical based on the life of Emilio Aguinaldo, was written in 1998 to celebrate the centennial of the Declaration of Independence. It spans his life from birth on March 22, 1869, to the declaration of independence on June 12, 1898.

MIONG is a story of how a young person, born into a middle-class provincial family and despite external and internal conflicts, declared independence for his country and gave it its national flag and national anthem.

Recently much emphasis (through movies and theatrical presentations) has been placed,deservedly, on other Filipino heroes, but Aguinaldo's life story and the major role he played in Philippine history has not been fairly told or has never even been told at all.

MIONG covers only Aguinaldo's youth. He was 29 when he declared independence in Kawit. He went on to other achievements - his declaration of the first Philippine Republic in Asia and his fight to defend Philippine independence in the Philippine-American War.

MIONG celebrates courage and love of country and illustrates how the most ordinary young person can accomplish great things.

Books, Lyrics & Directed by Joy Virata
Music by Ian Monsod
Additional Lyrics by Freddie Santos

For tickets and more information, please visit https://repertoryphilippines.ph/2019-season/

Let's see what the critics had to say!

Vince Vicentuan, BroadwayWorld: "Miong," just like any musical, has its challenges and strengths. It starts promisingly--a rousing opening scene (Under the Bells) that foreshadows a potentially moving albeit dark story of Spanish invasion and their 300-year-rule of the Philippines. The story then jumps to an eight-year-old boy being admonished by a dying father for his lack of interest in school. From there, the narrative careers through Miong's trading ventures, puppy love, early political jousts as Cabeza de Barangay, and his induction into the Katipunan and Masonry. Before you know it, Act One closes with a sentimental set of reckoning and soliloquy (What Now/One Step at a Time), leaving the audience with a feeling of want.

Fred Hawson, ABS CBN News: Cara Barredo was a beautiful vivacious Yayang. Her Disney-esque singing voice fit perfectly with Pavino's tenor in their sweet romantic duets like " Is He Looking at Me?" sung when they first met, and "Suddenly Love" sung on their wedding night. She also had an upbeat song of support for her husband's revolutionary activities "Side by Side." (In 1998, Cara's older sister Maya played Yayang, alternating with Liesl Batucan.)

Vincen Gregory Yu, Inquirer: The pivotal part of "Miong" belongs to Timothy Pavino (Team Lea of "The Voice of the Philippines" Season 2). And credit where it is due: His glorious singing really helps get you through the whole ordeal. On the other hand, his portrayal of Aguinaldo lacks gravitas, or even just some concrete, detailed idea of a character that would set him apart from a man playing dress-up.

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