REVIEW: “Kalantiaw” is powerful and relevant
Kalantiaw, Tanghalang Ateneo’s powerful season ender, follows the journey of a young historian who delves deep into the historical texts brought to life by Jose E. Marco.
The play written by Rene O. Villanueva is a well-researched masterpiece that uncovers the illegitimacy of the Code of Kalantiaw, a supposed pre-colonial document that reveals the laws and the systems that a Datu Kalantiaw implemented in the 1400’s.
For decades, people have accepted this document as fact, with no thanks to the historical fraud Marco. It has been taught in schools and universities as a valid historical archive and has unfortunately helped shape the way Filipinos have viewed their identity.
As compelling as this sounds, who would have thought that staging a play about a century-old hoax can still be so relevant today? It is a timely piece, as we are reminded of the importance of researching and analyzing our history a month before the most important elections of our time.
Hats off to the creative team- Ed Lacson Jr. (33 Variations, Constellations) who lets the audience traverse from one century to the next with one magnificent stylized set; Tanghalang Ateneo’s Artistic Director Glenn Mas, director Charles Yee, and the talented young cast led by John Sanchez (Jose E. Marco) and Brian Ramos (Batang Historyador) for staging such an important, eye-opening piece.
Kalantiaw proves that a student production done well can rival any professional production any day.
Have you seen the show? What did you think?