Gugmang Giatay - SunStar

Gugmang Giatay

IF you’re looking for a show that has Cebu stamped all over it, then you’re in luck. This October, a local production house will be showcasing an all-Cebuano produced “Bisrock jukebox” musical centering on Cebuano music and culture. Gugmang Giatay is a musical play for those who are in love, who have loved and who will have loved – basically a romantic comedy that would fill the hearts of every Cebuano.

Sun.Star Weekend got to talk to Gugmang Giatay’s director, Edison “Jingle” Saynes, who spilled some exciting bits on the upcoming Cebuano musical.

Gugmang Giatay, Musical play poster
Gugmang Giatay, Musical play poster

What is Gugmang Giatay all about?

It’s a love story, of course — a new one, a familiar one. It’s about moments that are, all at once, both tragic and comic. Because that is who we are as a people — we Cebuanos. We like to laugh at ourselves. We find the funny side of heartbreak. We put the broken pieces into music. But we’re not revealing any specifics! You’ll have to come and see the play.

Why a Bisrock Jukebox musical?

Because this musical belongs to us. This isn’t borrowed from Broadway — this is a Bisdak musical with uniquely Bisdak sensibilities. The humor, the characters, even the typical Cebuano boarding house setting — everyone who is Bisaya or Bisaya at heart will find something recognizable. And the music is a great part of that. These are songs we grew up with. These are songs that feel like home. Bisaya baya ni, bai!


How did you come up with the story? Is it based on someone’s life/love story?

It is and it isn’t. This play wasn’t intended to reflect any real-life love story in particular. Every love story inevitably comes with a package deal of human emotions and experiences. No matter how different one story is from another, there are always threads in common. So there may even be bits you’ll recognize from your own story or someone else’s and others you don’t.

Are all the songs original or are you going to use some Bisrock/Bisaya contemporary classics?

Let’s just say you’ll probably be able to sing along to at least 90 percent of the songs if you wanted to. Some are a bit nostalgic. A couple are, just recently, getting a lot of radio airplay.

Tell us about the Offbeat Concepts Production House and 2TinCans.

The Offbeat Concept Production House is a production outfit that deals primarily with the creation of original materials for — but not limited to — theatrical/stage performances such as musicals, straight plays, dance concerts and other related endeavors. The Offbeats are Edison “Jingle” Saynes, the creative director; Vincent Paul Gaton, choreographer/dance/movement director; Pami Therese Estalilla, wardrobe/stylist; Antoinette Gorgonio, vocal coach; and Jude Gitamondoc, bookwriter/musical director. We were also the team behind You’ve Been Facebooked: the Musical.

2TinCans was founded by our producer, Sarah Enclona-Henderson, because she wanted to produce and direct plays that were bold and daring, relevant, thought-provoking, and inspiring. The name was taken from a children’s game — two tin cans and a piece of string — because of her belief that theatre and the arts are both a creative form of communication and a lot of fun.

What are some values or learnings that could be taken from Gugmang Giatay?

On a personal level, it depends on where you are in life—this isn’t something we can or should pre-empt. Open your hearts and minds and view this objectively. And as with all stories, there’s sure to be something you can take from it and apply positively. But hopefully also a stronger appreciation of Cebuano music and theatre — the realization that we have something we can be proud of.

Why should people watch the show?

Because we, the Offbeats, are bursting with pride at the talent of Cebuano thespians and the brilliance and wit of our local songwriters, and we want you to come fangirl with us! Look forward to laughter, tears, tears of laughter, and an extreme case of LSS. And then we want you to look forward to our next show because you ain’t seen the last of us yet!

Gugmang Giatay will be first seen at the CAP Auditorium on Oct. 23 (8 p.m.) and Oct. 24 (2 p.m. and 8 p.m.). For ticket information, contact Adelfa at 09331880999.

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