Date night!: “Mga Buhay na Apoy” -First Prize, Full-length play, Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature

Whenever time and budget permits, we love to go on a Saturdate!? As a couple, this is our time to bond together outside the perimeter of our home. The usual date for us was malling, trying out a new resto or our “tambay mode” where we can just sit  anywhere and have a good conversation.

Watching Theater Play together was something new for us, well I have watched many theater plays when I was in college and that was ____ years ago!haha! Don’t mind the numbers! ?

When we got invited to watch “Mga Buhay na Apoy” I did my little research, it was awarded with the highest place in 2015 Carlos Palanca Literary Competition. So I said a big YES!?

Fell in love with this art masterpiece!
Complimentary tickets


The story was about a Manila-based family comes face to face with the harsh reality of extremely strained relationships resulting from the cowardly denial of some painful truth about their past. My lips are sealed for now!?

Who are the people and cast behind this masterpiece?


Kanakan-Balintago | Director & Playwright

Auraeus Solito is now Kanakan-Balintagos. When he was still “Auraeus”, at age 25, he wrote this play. One of the country’s celebrated and internationally acclaimed film director, returns to his first love: theater, and directs Mga Buhay na Apoy on his own voyage of rediscovering his roots.

Diwa de Leon | Musical Director
Diwa de Leon | Musical Director

A multi-awarded full time composer, arranger and music producer who has been working with films, tv shows and commercials in the Philippines for nearly 20 years. Born to a musical family, he wrote his first composition, a short piano piece, at age 5 under the tutelage of his father. He is highly invested in the performance and promotion of the HEGALONG, a two-stringed Philippine traditional lute, which led him to create his Hegalong Project. The Hegalong Project is a series of original music that highlights the Hegalong and combines it with a genre of music from today, such as pop, rock and jazz.

Diwa has won awards for his film scores including the 2013 Gawad Urian for Best Music for the film Baybayin, Cinemalaya 2012 Best Music for Kamera Obskura, Cinemalaya 2011 Best Music and Best Sound for Busong, and Cinema One 2008 Best Music for Kolorete. As a live musician, Diwa has performed in international tours that include musical festivals from the USA, Germany, China, Sweden, and Malaysia both as a solo artist and as part of the Makiling band. He is also known as The String Player Gamer in his YouTube channel, where he regularly uploads videos of himself performing his arrangements of popular video game and pop culture music, sometimes clad in colorful costumes of iconic characters. He has more than 30,000 YouTube subscribers and 9,000 Facebook Page likes and is considering making YouTube a fulltime career in the future.
As a founding member of the world music band, Makiling, Diwa has co-produced and recorded 3 albums with the band. Diwa also released his 1st solo CD Memories on Two Strings featuring 25 original works for Hegalong and is available online through his website,

He graduated valedictorian at the Philippine High School for the Arts in 1997, and finished his Bachelor of Music in Composition degree at UP College of Music, Diliman.

Dennis Marasigan | Lighting Designer
Dennis Marasigan | Lighting Designer

Dennis N. Marasigan is a theater, film and television director, writer, production and lighting designer, actor, producer, teacher, and learner. He finished BA Theater Arts and Master of Public Administration (UP Diliman) and the Asian Institute of Management’s Managing the Arts Program. He served in the faculty of various educational and cultural institutions and, through various grants and scholarships, observed theater practices in Moscow, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and Canada. He worked in various capacities at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), was Executive Director of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), Artistic Director of TANGHALANG PILIPINO, and President of the Philippine Legitimate Stage Artists Group (PHILSTAGE).

As Lighting Designer, he has worked with most of the country’s major performing groups and toured with Philippine cultural missions to parts of Asia, North America and Europe. He won the first PHILSTAGE Gawad Buhay for Outstanding Lighting Design for Tanghalang Pilipino’s Kudeta.He is currently Secretary of the Philippine Association of Theater Designers and Technicians (PATDAT) and heads the Theater Arts program at the Meridian International College. He continues to mentor young artists while finding time for his creative pursuits in the various media and performing arts.

Erika Estacio | Dramaturg

A former architecture major in UP Diliman, Erika shifted to Theatre Arts to pursue her true love. She has worked for, acted in, and directed various Dulaang UP and UP Dulaang Laboratoryo plays, as well as a couple of productions outside the university.

She is also an aspiring playwright, having studied under Floy Quintos and Glecy Atienza. So far, she has written three plays that were staged for UP Dulaang Lab: the mini-musical Wanted: Dead or Dying (2012) for her practicum finals; the one-act drama Pag-Ibig Parang Ulan (2013), an adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen, and the original one-act Bright Moon(2014).

Last year, she was awarded Best Director in the first ever Short + Sweet Festival Manila for her entry Death in Ten Minutes written by Joem Antonio. As a dramaturg, she has previously worked for Dulaang UP’s Collection (2013) and Teatro Porvenir (2013), as well as for UP Dulaang Lab’s Ang Ahas (2014) and CCP Virgin Labfest’s Mga Buhay na Apoy (2014). This is her first Tanghalang Pilipino production.


Irma Adlawan | Leda Santos

Theatre/TV/Film Actor. She has been a member of TANGHALANG PILIPINO Actors Company from 1991-1998 under the tutelage of FELIX (Nonon) PADILLA

Malou Crisologo | Selmah

She started doing theater work in the 80’s. She then tried her wits into film and television until the present. She maintains to be a freelance film, theater and television practitioner. Her numerous endeavors as an actress paved the way to her doing other production jobs behind the camera: production manager, assistant director, director, event organizer, acting coach, producer, etc.

At present she is often seen in various kapamilya teleseryes of ABS-CBN. She is still known as “Yaya Tonyang” of Agua Bendita, the treacherous “Octopina” in Mutya, the doting Nanay of Inday Bote, and soon she will be appearing with Coco Martin in FPJ’s remake of Ang Probinsyano.

Aside from acting, she juggles her passion in teaching acting and being an actor’s development coach.

But her greatest work to date is being a loving mother to her son, Julian. A role she is and will always be proud and grateful to God for.

Russel Legaspi | Aran
Russel Legaspi | Aran

Emerging from Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company, some of his professional credits include, Mulan, Pinocchio, Pragres, Insiang, Kudeta, Romeo & Juliet, Golden Child, Passing, Landscape, Baby B, Kabanata X, Gabun, Mother Courage, Three Sisters, Titus Andronicus, Bombita, Twelfth Night, Le MaladeImaginaire, Ring Round the Moon, Teatro Porvenir, Measure for Measure, Fluid and a number of plays from VLF. He had the privilege in working with Chris Millado, Dennis Marasigan, Ana Valdes-Lim, Floy Quintos, Loy Arcenas, Dr. Alex Cortez, Jose Estrella, and Nestor Jorfilla, to name a few.

He fiddles with playwriting, which a number of his plays have been staged such as 5 Women in the Same Dress, Valley Mission Care, and most recently Elysium Airways. Off-stage, he devotes his time working on

Karen Gaerlan | Aurora Alba

Gaerl, as she is more commonly referred to is a graduating student in Theater Arts at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Her theater credits include Dulaang UP’s The Seagull Ang Tagak/Nina, Noli the Opera/ Andeng, Teatro Porvenir/Oryang, The Country Wife/ Alithea, UPPT’s Fake/La Loba Negra. She’s a part of VLF 6’s 3SOME by Suryatmoko, read Guelan Luarca’s Ang Kaligayahan ni Nelson at ng Ibang Tao and Kanakan-Balintagos’ Mga Buhay na Apoy in CCP (2014).
She is known for Cinemalaya X’s The Ordinary Things We Do that won a Special Jury Award and rendered Mariquina’s Broken Strings that got nominated for Star Awards for Movies 2015 and for Best Theme Song for Independent Film.
This is her first production under Tanghalang Pilipino.

Carol Bello | Auntie Lili

Maria Carolina Toribio Julian Barona Rodriquez-Bello a.k.a. Carol Bello trained to sing when she was five years old through her sister Carina’s strict guidance. She first acted with her mother Lourdes as her most appreciative audience. Carol played the role of Lola Abe-a in Aureus Solito’s Maikling Buhay ng Apoy in 1991.

Growing up with a father that accepted her frequent loud wails as a baby, Carol overcame her weak lungs and eventually became a singer in church, school and local band scene. She was a vocalist of the short-lived band Carol Affection in 1996. Since 1999, Carol has been singing and co-composing for Filipino world music pioneer Kalayo Band, formerly known as Pinikpikan Band. She also composes and directs music for theater.

As part of her feminist agenda, Carol founded and led the all-women performing group Inkantada. She is a Chinese Martial Arts and free diving enthusiast.

Peewee O’hara | Yaya Naty

Has taught Speech, English and Theatre for 25 years at Trinity University of Asia, A Pioneer of Tanghalang Pilipino, A Gawad Buhay Awardee for the play Mga Mansanas sa Disyerto (Apples in the Desert). She has done several plays including: Walang Kukurap, Mga Ama, Mga Anak, Orpheus Descending, Bilanggo ng Pag-ibig, As You Like It, Huling Huli; and Ang Goldfish ni Prof. Andal.
You may have seen her in  teleseryes like Dahil May Isang Ikaw, Maria La Del Barrio and Analiza.

JV Ibasate | Kuya Ringgo
JV Ibasate | Kuya Ringgo

He is currently a scholar of the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company (AC). He was last seen on the steampunk musical Mabining Mandirigma. JV has appeared in the following productions: Ballet Philippines’ Manhid: The Pinoy Superhero Musical and NeoFilipino 2015: Reboot (Denisa Reyes’ Asong Ulol), Tanghalang Pilipino’s Walang Kukurap (Excerpts), Kama: Isang Duka ng Pagnanasa (An adaptation of Schnitzler’s La Ronde), Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente/Death of a Salesman (2014 BroadwayWorld nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play), Prinsipe Munti (Le Petit Prince), Kleptomaniacs, Sandosenang Sapatos, Ibalong, Der Kaufmann (Ang Negosyante ng Venecia), Jun Ispager (VLF 9), Melanie, Prinsesa ng mga Bilang,  and Ewww, Nakakadiri ang mga germs!

JV was a scholar/participant in the 1st New York Manila Musical Theater Workshop held at the CCP (2014), and was also part of thr Philippine Delegation in the 6th Beijing Theater Olympics last November, performing Sandosenang Sapatos.

JV graduated with a degree in Broadcast Communication, cum laude, from the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

Jonathan Tadioan | Kuya Benj

He is a senior member of Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company (2005-present), and an 8th time Philstage Gawad Buhay Nominee. Tad has done more than four dozen productions under Tanghalang Pilipino, from musicals to straight plays, and classic to contemporary. He was part of Himala when it was sent to Shanghai as the official Philippine entry to the Asian Contemporary Theatre Arts Festival in 2011. Recently he was part of the 6th Theatre Beijing Olympics in Beijing, Peoples Republic of China. He also has been doing community work such as Theatre for Development in AIDS awareness (T4D) and Theater for Development in a Post- Haiyan context (T4D-PHC).

He is a teacher, artist, and educator.

Kyrie Allison Samodio | Topaz

13-year old, Kyrie is a Grade 8 Theatre Arts major at the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA). She has immersed herself in various fields in the arts, from ballet to creative writing – but her true loves are theatre and singing. She honed her acting chops by participating in summer workshops with Trumpets, Gantimpala Theater Foundation and Tanghalang Pilipino, where she was chosen to perform the lead role in their recital Seven.

Developing her musical side under the tutelage of Ms. Nenen Espina, she has had a duo concert for Paco Park Presents entitled Sister Act, and has also sung in various local and school events. She also works as a voice talent, dubbing character voices for cartoons and animated features for airing on local television.

Doray Dayao | Aling Gusing

Doray is currently an Apprentice of the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company. Aside from being active on stage, she also challenges herself in backstage work as Stage Manager and Technical Staff. She is also involved in civic work through Tanghalang Pilipino.

Lhorvie Nuevo | Diwata/Assistant Stage Manager

Lhorvie is currently an Actors Company Scholar under Tanghalang Pilipino (TP). Her theater credits under TP are: Sandosenang Sapatos as Sequins, Ibalong as Bonggo, Der Kaufmann as Jessica, Mga Ama, Mga Anak as Bessy, Kleptomaniacs, Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente as Letta, Prinsipe Munti as Ahas, Juego de Peligro as Elena and the recently staged Mabining Mandirigma. She also performed as Meg in Layeta Bucoy’s Melanie (UNICEF and TP collaboration project for HIV/AIDS awareness) and as Baki Baktirya in Ewwww Nakakadiri ang mga Germs, a theater development project that tackles health and hygiene.

Taken during the 15 mins. break
Taken during the 15 mins. break

We both enjoyed the story, it tackles family values that will surely touched your heart. What I love about watching a play is being able to see the actual facial expressions of the actors, their body language and you can even feel the mood of the characters that they portray.

There is also the “energy” one gets from watching a live performance that you just can’t get from watching movies!?


October  9, 16, 23​  Friday      8:00PM
​​​​​October 10, 17, 24​ Saturday  3:00PM & 8:00PM
​​​​​October 11, 18, 25​ Sunday    3:00PM


Cultural Center of the Philippines Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino​


Orchestra Center         :  P1,500.00
​​​​​Orchestra Left & Right :  P1,000.00
​​​​​With student, senior citizen, and gov’t employee discount (Updated IDs must be presented.)

For tickets and other information, call 09178763678, 09273629081 (Marketing and Sales Department).

Let’s support our Filipino Artists by sharing this!?

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