Preserving the past with Philippines Historama

by Cecile Docto, ABS-CBN News


BRITISH COLUMBIA — Philippines Historama has been playing for five years now.

The show has brought the volunteer performers and crew from Vancouver to Portland, Oregon.

Through the collaboration of former Philippine labor attache to Vancouver Atty. Bernie Julve and writer/producer Carmelita Tapia, Historama presented the heroism of our forefathers and how our country came to be.

“It’s not just the youth. Even the old people, they did not know the history and when they come to watch the show, they cry, they appreciate it because they said, I did not know it happened,” said Tapia.

The youth involved in the play say they have a new appreciation of what it is to be a Filipino; realizing the struggles that their ancestors had to go through to achieve independence. They feel fortunate to be living in a country that accepts diversity.

“Many people don’t know, they see Filipinos and they’re like okay, there’s poverty. There’s corruption and such. But they don’t see there’s a whole other different side of the Philippines,” said performer Ashley Rashid.

“I think the Filipino history is very interesting and that it’s very rich, and we’re very passionate in what we do,” said performer Jello Juatco.

History buff Lindsay Redpath recognizes the importance of knowing one’s history.

“I think it’s very important for people to understand what’s going on in the world; now is a reflection on what’s happened in history…  so if we want to know what’s happening in southeast Asia, what’s happening in the Philippines, and even the roots of terrorism and revolt and what not,” she says. “I think it’s very important to understand how that evolved historically.”

Tapia believes that up to this day, Filipinos seem to never have learned from their past.

She likened the political situation in the country now to the historical feud between Emilio Aguinaldo and Andres Bonifacio.

“Palakihan sila ng whatever at pataasan sila ng whatever. Ganun pa rin tayo hanggang ngayon… sana naman po matigil na ang magdiwang-magdalo at sana po magtulungan tayo. Magtulungan lang tayo. Aasenso tayo,” she said.

Tapia adds only in helping each other regardless of political affiliation and personal gains can we truly be a progressive country.

But she concedes it remains to be seen.

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