“Sino ba si Ninoy?” It’s the question that everyone will first hear at the opening of the play. Indeed, it invites the audience to do some soul-searching for more than 90 minutes to ask themselves, “Ako ba si Ninoy?”
To humanize the heroism of the man on the five hundred peso bill was the aim of Philippine Stagers Foundation (PSF) in staging their musical Ako si Ninoy, written and directed by Atty. Vincent M. Tañada. The play came to the Adamson University Theater last August 11 and 12, 2009 with the gala performance happening on the 11th at 2:00 PM. In combining history with musical theater, PSF tells Ninoy’s story in a way that would appeal to the youth’s senses and awareness. In effect, Ako si Ninoy will make these youngsters, who were not yet around when Martial Law and Ninoy’s assassination happened, feel the need to continue the fight.
Atty. Tañada, a scion of the renowned political clan from Quezon, declares Ninoy as his greatest idol. Staging the play whose lines and lyrics he wrote was part of a life-long dream; to complete the dream, Tañada decided to play the part of Ninoy himself. AdU alumna Cindy Liper portrays the late President Cory Aquino alongside Tañada.
The play gives life to the struggles of “ordinary” Filipinos—an OFW, a doctor, reporter, union leader, housewife, among others—and how they stand by their principles and faith parallel to what Ninoy has done in his life. As they take into account the forces that either cloud or clear the way, the characters will be tested and must show extraordinary strength and belief to bring these forces down, as Ninoy has done so before with his indomitable spirit.
After Adamson, the play debuted its regular run at the Meralco Theater last August 14 to 16 with the UST Symphony Orchestra providing the music. Produced in cooperation with the Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Foundation (BSAF), Ako si Ninoy will also be staged at SM Cinemas, UP Main Theater, Cultural Center of the Philippines, and will also be brought to the provinces until March next year. Yael Esperat