In 1518, Niccolo Machiavelli wrote La Mandragola, a satirical comedy set in the early 16th century. In 2006, Jerry Respeto translated and adapted La Mandragola into Ang Birheng Matimtiman, a play set in 1901, shortly after the Philippine-American War.
Ang Birheng Matimtiman harks to the Tagalog adage: “Walang matimtimang birhen sa matiyagang manalangin,” and in the rural town of Laguna de Bai, where Catholic rituals and traditions have become part of the daily life, and Spanish friars remain at large, Clarita Matimtiman’s story takes centre stage.
As she comes into contact with a corrupt friar, a wily trickster, a dutiful but dim-witted servant, devotees of the Virgin Mary, and a wealthy bohemian, in this quiet city, a story of frailocracy, hypocrisy, and infidelity unfolds.
This is the fourth and final play of the Ateneo ENTABLADO’s (ENtertaynment para sa Tao, Bayan, LAnsangan at DiyOs) 33rd season: Makita Kang Sakdal Laya, a season centered on an advocacy of good governance and engaged citizenship.