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VIDEO: Dulaang UP Pays Tribute to Its Founder, Tony Mabesa

DUP premieres new play, 'The Reconciliation Dinner,' Nov. 18.

Manila, Philippines--Before the formal launch of Dulaang UP's 45th season, comprised of "The Reconciliation Dinner," a new one-act play by Floy Quintos, premiering on Nov. 18, and "Kung Paano Nanalo sa Karera si Rosang Taba," a stage adaptation by Maynard Manansala and Rody Vera, DUP paid tribute to its founding artistic director, the late Tony Mabesa, also National Artist for Theater.

In a program, "Pagtutuloy, Pagtutulay," University of the Philippines Diliman student-singer Natasha Cabrera sang a heartfelt rendition of "Minsan ang Minahal Ay Ako" from the original Filipino musical "Katy!" Accompanied by guitarist RJ Balledos and violinist Daniel Estrellado, Ms. Cabrera also honored DUP actors, directors, and alums who also recently died.

In an "in memoriam" segment, Mr. Mabesa was remembered, along with Amelia Lapena-Bonifacio, Flordeliz Salangga, Monica "Monette" Arroyo, Cecille Alejo, Domingo "Menggie" Cobarubias, Leticia Hofilena Tison, and Domingo Landicho.

Also, part of remembering Mr. Mabesa was reading his biographical essay, "Life in the Theater," read by Karen Gaerlan, featuring dance interpretation by Joshua "Kinnara Mayari" Bajado, which Rhosan Prudenciado Jr. choreographed.

UP Diliman Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo, College of Arts and Literature Dean Jimmuel Naval, and Mr. Mabesa's longtime friend and frequent film collaborator Joel Lamangan were also present to share with the audience their indelible moments with the DUP founder and his invaluable contributions to professional theater and the theater arts program at the UP-Diliman.

Mr. Mabesa formed DUP in 1976, about a decade after the founding of the premier theater companies Philippine Educational Theater Association and Repertory Philippines. Like PETA and REP, DUP has established a reputation for excellence in the performing arts while providing a scholarly training ground for young performers under the mentorship of various industry veterans. Its notable alums include:

- TV and film actors Eugene Domingo, Candy Pangilinan, and JM De Guzman,

- Cultural Center of the Philippines Artistic Director Dennis Marasigan,

- costume designer Eric Pineda, and

- Tony winner Clint Ramos.

Photo: MRanola

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