The Lion King's Santino Juan Santiago to Debut as Little Rizal in RIZAL BEHIND BARS
Manila, Philippines - SV Studios Events and Workshop Services' revival production of Rizal Behind Bars revisits Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal's final moments in prison. What was on his mind at that time? What were his frustrations or fears? Child actor Santino Juan Santiago, who alternates with David Jesu Ferro, was supposed to debut last October 2019 as the show's Little Rizal, but he couldn't. He was on tour, playing Young Simba in Disney's The Lion King in Bangkok, Thailand.
But it's not too late for the young Santino to step into the shoes - literally - of Little Rizal. He rejoins the creative team, cast, and crew of Rizal Behind Bars at Pope Pius XII Catholic Center Auditorium on 22 February 2020, at 2 p.m., in time for the National Arts Month 2020.
"Sana po manuod kayo ng Rizal Behind Bars. Malapit na po 'yan. Sana po manuod kayo," Santino, an Aliw Award nominee, Best Child Actor, pitches the show on YouTube.
Rizal Behind Bars, which features the music by Honorio Lopez Jr., and libretto and lyrics by Sheila Gamo (also the director and choreographer of the show), tackles the life of Rizal from his humble beginnings to adulthood, and to the moments when he was imprisoned during the Spanish rule. It serves as a reminder and inspiration for today's audience of how our National Hero dreamt and aspired for the Philippines to prosper.
Rizal was an intelligent kid, way ahead of his generation. He showcased the love for his country and was a talented writer. He was inquisitive and had compassion for his brethren.
From the recent stop of Disney's The Lion King at the AsiaWorld-Expo Arena in Hong Kong, 10-year-old Santino has flown back to the Philippines and ready to take part in Rizal Behind Bars. His talent, wit, and enormous energy identifies with that of Little Rizal's passion and creativity in life.
A consistent honor student, Santino is a bright kid! No doubt, too, that it's worth it to watch for someone who has gone to the international scene! This young talent gives pride to his homeland! From his role as Kiko, in the parol video, to Crispin, in Noli Me Tangere The Opera, to Young Simba, in Disney's The Lion King - what a huge stride! And now, the wait is over! Santino is ready for his comeback performance as the Little Rizal in Rizal Behind Bars.
Also, currently doing hosting duties on ABS-CBN shows Team Yey! and Umagang Kay Ganda, Santino returns to the international tour of Disney's The Lion King in Beijing, China, in May 2020. - with additional reporting by Mary Christine Monsanto
Photo: Disney's The Lion King