Research meets theater in ADNU play 'Gading'

A learned university professor, an allergy-stricken writer, a respected barangay captain and his watchful tigsik tanods, a former NPA commander known for his supernatural skills in battle, a health-worker wife, a young and steadfast Catholic priest, and two lovers in the making—what could bring them together in one storyline?
Research meets theater in ADNU play 'Gading'
When a professor decided to gather a fellow faculty member and a writer to plan the staging of a play based on his research in the remote areas of Partido on the Gading, they never thought that the play was on them. They found themselves struggling to be objective and scientific as the discourse that they were trying to explicate via the confines of theater arts started to close in on them. The Gading is a corpse believed to be miraculous and venerated by a group of people through different rituals.

When the professor came back to the research site with his assistant, he found the Gading about to be buried. There was even a procession for the purpose attended by the community—the health worker all smiles, the priest uneasy. To the mind of the professor, this was unexpected. Why was the Gading being buried? Who was behind it? How could the community allow it?

The story is more than what meets the eye in this Bikol play written by Jose Jason L. Chancoco based on a research paper by literary theorist, college professor and CAS-LLS chairperson Dr. Jesus Cyril Conde. Directed by Ateneo de Naga University faculty Elsie Albis and Shannah Montales, and with students as actors, it is a wonderful tale about the hybrid culture created by the Gading in Partido. It tells the intertwined stories of the people who are affected by or involved in the belief. It is an intellectually stimulating play that delves on philosophy of religion, folk belief, ideologies, and an aspect of Bikol culture which needs examination and attention for a more holistic approach to nation-building.

After a successful staging of the play in February this year, catch the repeat performances on September 26 and 27 at the Ateneo de Naga University Gym at 6pm. Spearheaded by the College of Arts and Sciences-Literature and Language Studies Department and the Theology Department, the play is brought to you by the Naga City-LGU through the auspices of the “Harong kan Literaturang Bikolnon” program. It is also sponsored by Jollibee, Lucky Bookstore and Goldprint Publishing House. Most of the ticket proceeds will finance a book-giving project for indigent school-children on Xavier Day this December 3.

For more information please visit the AdNU CAS-Literature and Language Studies Department and Theology Department or contact hagbayon(at)gmail(dot)com and/or 09199470406. Ticket prices are at P20 for students (with ID) and P50 for professionals.

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