December 16, 2023 — Elsewhere in this issue of CanadianFilipinoNet is the feature story by our Editor about the all-Filipino musical Ma-Buhay. Earlier last month in its November 16th issue, the Winnipeg-based Pilipino Express newsmagazine headlined this all-Filipino musical as its cover story.One subject, two highlights.One complements the other.
The Pilipino Express coverage1) amplifies “the talent from the Filipinx community in Winnipeg, the all-Filipino production, and the original pop music and hip‐hop dance;” 2) projects the hopes that the production would “lead to more development opportunities for young Filipino artists” (and)representation of Filipino artists in the professional theatre; and 3) notes the historic significance of this all-Filipino musical initiative to the Rainbow Stage – Manitoba’s outdoor musical theatre company in Winnipeg – as it celebrates its 70th anniversary.
The CFNet coverage probes more deeply about the musical and its creator Joseph Sevillo. In the process, CFNet unearthed that Ma-Buhay is more than a musical – promisingly beautiful as it is. It is also a true story of a son’s tribute and gratitude to his parents for their love and nurture; hence, in the creator’s own words, “a love letter to my parents who always believed and supported my love for the arts.”
Thus, Ma-Buhay–an all-Filipino musical production - at once reflects who Filipinos are as a people: musical and artistic, creative and talented, daring and persevering, family-oriented and devoted, thoughtful and grateful, probing and resourceful. These are some of the attributes one can discern from Ma-Buhay; they help define who we are as a community.
Writes Joy Lazo, a Member of the Board of Directors of Rainbow Stage and herself an accomplished teacher in the arts of music in the Pilipino Express coverage:
“I am very elated to see the big dream of Joseph (Sevillo) come to fruition. He has worked tirelessly over the past five years to come up with this wonderful creation…May this musical serve as an inspiration to more Filipino artists/talents and those from other ethnicities.”
An amalgam of the best in Filipinos, Ma-Buhay! Filipinos Singing for Their Lives is indeed worthy of our Canadian Filipino community’s support. A happy coincidence it is that it would premiere in Winnipeg starting June 27 – within the 2024 Canadian Filipino Heritage Month.