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CORY, The Musical




Awit.... Pag-Ibig, Alay, Papuri







Songs by Lourdes “Bing” Pimentel

Musical Direction by Jun Murillo

Choreography by Rito Asilo

Lighting Design by Martin Esteva


Script and Direction by Nestor U. Torre




A number of productions about the Philippines’ Martial Law Period have been made but most of them have been documentaries for television.


“Pag-Ibig sa Bayan” is one of only few stage presentations that deals with the country’s Martial Law experience.  Adding to its uniqueness is the fact that it is a musical that further raise the experiences at heightened level.  Most uniquely of all, unlike other productions dealing with the Martial Law period, it deals with the experience, not on a grand, “official scale”, but more personally and intimately: How Martial Law affected the lives of the members of one’s family, the Pimentel’s.


Torre’s script for “Pag-Ibig sa Bayan” is based on the book that Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel is writing.  It’s all about Nene and his family’s daunting experiences during Martial Law, especially when he was detained four times by the military.


The musical begins its story with Nene Pimentel (played by Marco Sison) and his wife Bing (Jane Diaz) in their youth living a peaceful life in Cagayan de Oro City. Their simple existence is first disrupted when Nene is prevailed upon to run for delegate to the Constitutional Convention.  Nene’s initial encounter with politics turned out to be a rude awakening but the young candidate held on to his principles.  After Nene’s surprising victory, he learned more lessons about national politics, the Philippine-style, at the Constitutional Convention in Manila.


At the Convention, Nene quickly emerged as a strong advocate for people’s rights, thus, incurring the ire of traditional politicians.  When Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law, Nene was among the first opposition leaders to be detained.  While Nene was in detention, Bing had to be both mother and father to their brood of six children. Bing had an extremely difficult time, but the daunting challenge further steeled and made Bing a much stronger person.  For their part, the six Pimentel children learned to adjust to their family’s difficult circumstances and helped their mother cope with the new problems that came their way.


Bing and the children looked forward to the times when the military allowed them to visit Nene in detention.  When Nene was eventually freed, they tried to resume their simple existence, but Ninoy Aquino tapped Nene to run for the Interim Batasang Pambansa  So, Nene again challenged the regime with expectedly dire consequences.  But the Pimentel’s didn’t waver in their resolve, because they knew what they were fighting for was just, and vital to the survival of the country’s democracy and freedom.  Towards the end of the musical, Nene again challenges the regime when he runs for mayor in Cagayan de Oro and wins over Marcos’ chosen bet.  To punish him, Nene was put under house arrest.  But he found creative ways to serve his constituents as mayor, despite his detention.


The musical ends with the hope that the country’s ordeal during the Martial Law period has not been for naught, and has made Filipinos value their democracy even more, and strive to protect and defend it against all forces that would want to threaten it once more.





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