A Tsinoy musical
By Chin-Chin Chan Chiu
Video snippet captured by Athens Capiral

"Binondo" tells the story of how Lily (Sheila Valderrama-Martinez), a Filipina nightclub singer in pre-Martial Law Manila, and Ah Tiong (Arman Ferrer), a mainland Chinese scholar returning to Cultural Revolution-era Beijing, embark on a journey of great love and heartbreak that begins one fated, moon-lit night during the Mid-Autumn Festival of 1971 in the heart of Manila's Chinatown.

Lily, a hopeless romantic, finally finds her unlikely great love in Ah Tiong, a cynic about destiny, during a night of one of the fullest moons ever recorded and on the birthdate of Ge Lao, the Old Man Under the Moon, or the Chinese Deity of Love. Vying for Lily's heart as well is Carlos (Noel Rayos), a local Chinese childhood friend of hers who is finally pushed to confront his feelings for her with the arrival of this stranger set on stealing her heart. A triangle centered on different ways of loving, and receiving love, forms the crux of this musical.

Spanning two decades and two countries, the original story penned by Rebecca Shangkuan Chuaunsu, and written for the stage by Ricardo Lee, Gershom Chua, and Eljay Castro Deldoc, explores how love overcomes even times of racial prejudice and poitical turmoil as it endures years of waiting and absence, only to grow deeper and change the lives of everyone who dares to put their hearts on the line.

Directed by Joel Lamangan, the production features the music of Von de Guzman and the choreography of Douglas Nierras. Scenography is beautifully set up by Otto Hernandez, and dramatically illumined by Joey Nombres.


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