Culture Magazine

Rama at Sita on Video--the Return! (p. 3)

By Gibbs22manila @gibbscadiz
Part 1 here, Part 2 here.
The last heart-stopping moments of perhaps the most lavish original Filipino musical ever staged. The clips are made available online by special arrangement with Franco Laurel and Ayen Munji-Laurel of ML Entertainment, owners of the copyright to the musical. No DVD copy of the musical, whether bootleg or original, is available commercially, so--thank you, Franco and Ayen, for this wonderful gift to Pinoy musical theater fans.
From my original entry on these musical excerpts: For those who caught the production at the UP Theater, here's a chance to relive its magic. For those who missed it, now's the time to watch, from dazzling opening number to exhilarating finale, the most-talked-about theater event of that long-ago season.
This video captures the closing performance of the musical on the evening of March 6, 1999, with Ariel Rivera as Rama, Chiqui Pineda as Sita, John Arcilla as Rama's brother Lakshmana, Robert Sena as the villain Ravana, Jaya as Ravana's sister Soorphanaka, Mr. Laurel as Rama's youngest brother Bharata, and Edward Granadosin as Rama's teacher Vishmavitra.

11. Ginoong Ermitanyo/Type Kita, Rama/Tingnan mo ang Aking Byuti--Robert Sena, Chiqui Pineda, Jaya, Ariel Rivera, John Arcilla. Ravana, dressed as a hermit, attempts to seduce Sita (Ginoong Ermitanyo), while Soorphanaka is all over Rama and Lakshmana (Type Kita, Rama). But the brothers see through her designs, and when she tries to hurt Sita, Lakshmana maims her, sending her back screaming to her underground lair, demanding that Ravana take revenge on the brothers (Tingnan Mo Ang Aking Byuti).

12. Kaya N'yo Bang Tumagal--Chiqui Pineda. Ravana succeeds in snatching Sita and spiriting her away to Lanka. To rescue her, Rama asks help from the monkey army of Kiskinda. Sita, meanwhile, refuses Ravana's advances, but in an optical illusion, Rama's monkey spies see a Sita look-alike cavorting with Ravana. The hasty report crushes Rama.

13. Magbalik Ka Na, Mahal/Tagistis ng Ulan--Chiqui Pineda, Ariel Rivera. Rama and Sita's mirror laments, one waiting to be freed from captivity, the other missing his bride but ruing the frailty of love.

Just to complete your Rama at Sita experience, here is (alternate Sita) Lani Misalucha's version of Magbalik Ka Na, Mahal, from the original cast album:

14. Finale: Sadyang Pinagtagpo/Huwag Takasan (reprise)--Ariel Rivera, Chiqui Pineda, Chorus. In the great war that follows, Rama's forces defeat Ravana. But believing that his wife is now impure, Rama refuses to take Sita back. Sita, heartbroken, decides to end her life by being burned on a pyre. The gods intervene just in time to commend Rama and Sita for their fealty to dharma (duty), no matter how difficult. Rama and Sita reunite to reclaim their love and the throne of Ayodhaya.

15. Bonus: Curtain call--Watch the star-studded closing-night crowd erupt in thunderous cheers as the performers and creative crew take their bows. If you feel like joining them in applauding the remarkable all-Filipino production you've just seen, by all means, go ahead! Bravo, indeed!

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By Paul Ignatius
posted on 12 May at 09:58
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Came across this blog today and I want to thank you for the Youtube uploads of Rama at Sita. I remember wanting badly to watch it years ago, but I was just a student then. I had a great time watching it! Thank you so much!