New Kularts production highlights history of Manong laborers and Filipino immigrants

SAN FRANCISCO — From video presentations to a blend of interpretive, jazz, and Filipino folk dance — “In the Belly of the Eagle: Manong is Deity” is the latest production from Alleluia Panis and Kularts.

“As colonized people, our histories have been erased. And it is a way to empower ourselves to imagine what the past was, what the future is and what the future can be.”

“There’s a queer perspective, a woman’s perspective, the day laborer,” said Jose Abad. “It offers a multiplicity of the self and opens up the narrative so we aren’t pigeonholed into this model minority.”

The audience at Bindlestiff Studios follows Manong Valentino Pablo reflecting on his life while he lays on his deathbed.

He remembers the bond with his fellow kababayans, despite the cheap labor they were subjected to endure.

According to the showrunners, the production is a testament of survival and camaraderie that defined the Manong generation that the younger generation can appreciate.

The show also touches on the history of racism and discrimination against Filipino immigrants.

“I think part of this work is kind of the real struggle and hard times that came with being new immigrants in this country and I think a lot of reflective in what’s happening now and how immigrants are viewed today.”

While the show focuses on aMmanong’s perspective, Panis is interested in learning more of the Manang’s stories for possible future productions.

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