It has been a tradition that a stage play called Komedya Ilocana is being showcased to the community in celebration of the Pamulinawen Festival. Komedya is a colorful theatrical performance show. It is just so sad that few people watch this. It is a dying performing art. This is my second time to watch this in Laoag and I saw the same people. I had the chance to talk to one of the organizers and she said that they need a special stage with a curtain for their show. They need also good sound system and lightings. It was traditionally held in the evening time to give a good dramatic viewing.
In the olden days, people would really watch out for this. It is a series of show and they really go for it with their friends and follow this play everyday. It is like following soap operas in the modern day.
Komedya is one whole book of story. The one they had shown during the fiesta is just 1/10th of the story. This is a serious show with humor. It’s a story with a setting in Europe and Arabia. This play was introduced to us by the Spaniards during the colonization of the country. It is also a method for them to spread Christianity.
This is a secular komedya which is typically a moro-moro fight. It portrays the clash between Muslims and Christians where a forbidden romance of a prince and princess would end up by conversion of non-Christians to Christianity. Elementary teachers in their colorful royal costumes were the cast members. They really have to use prompter to deliver their dialogue which makes it dragging sometimes but they performed well nevertheless.
I guess in putting up a better show, a good financial support to stage this play and to inject innovations to make it more interesting and appealing are necessary. I am sure this would catch the attention of many people.