Martial law and Philippines: complex history told in dance party with Here Lies Love

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SEATTLE – The recent declaration of martial law in the Southern tier of the Philippines has reignited discussions about the country’s 1986 People Power Revolution, which ended a 20-year dictatorship under the Marcos’ regime. That’s exactly the story showcased in Seattle Repertory Theatre’s hit musical Here Lies Love – the feature presentation at Seattle’s Philippine Soiree on Saturday, June 3 at 5:30 p.m.

For the first time, a story about the Philippines and the Filipino people is told on mainstream stage by a Filipino cast.


Conrad Ricamora (Ninoy Aquino) and company in Seattle Repertory Theatre’s production of Here Lies Love. Photo by Navid Baraty.

The Soiree is presented by 3-time Tony and Grammy Award-winner Jhett Tolentino, in cooperation with the Filipino Young Leaders Program. Tickets are on sale for the special benefit performance at www.FYLPRO.org.

“It’s time for the Filipino artist to tell the story of the Philippines,” said Tolentino. “We have been portraying someone else’s story in plays like Miss Saigon, Allegiance, The King and I and The Flower Drum Song. Here Lies Love’s journey to Broadway starts with the community supporting our own.

“Which is why I am grateful to VIPs attending the Soiree to support our cause such as TV and film actress and producer Giselle Tongi and renowned Hollywood designer Oliver Tolentino.”

Here Lies Love is a one-of-a-kind musical, which follows the rise and fall of the iconic Imelda Marcos, first lady of dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The show takes the audience in a wild dance party on the revolution, which led to the end of the martial law regime.


Melody Butiu (Estrella), Jaygee Macapugay (Imelda Marcos), and female ensemble in Seattle Repertory Theatre’s production of Here Lies Love. Photo by Navid Baraty.

Stories on martial law and the Marcos family in the Philippines remained controversial on mainstream and social media. Those born during the post-Marcos era find themselves sifting through fake news to develop their own conclusions.

“As the musical presents nothing but facts that happened in Philippine history, we thought this was a worthy effort to educate our community, especially this generation thirsty for information,” said Kit Zulueta, president of Filipino Young Leaders Program. “I urge supporters, detractors and the curious to join us and find out why this show is a must-see for all.

“Besides, it’s a disco Filipino party. Sing and dance the night with us.”

The Soiree is open to the public. A post-show Q&A is an added incentive where guests can meet and greet the cast after meaningful discussion about the show. Soiree guests will also enjoy a Sari Sari marketplace featuring Filipino-made products and a Salo Salo reception to delight guests with Filipino food and drinks.


Photo by Navid Baraty.

“We are also honored to have Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. Charge de Affaires Patrick Chuasoto and San Francisco Consul General Henry Bensurto join us and support this celebration of culture and history,” Zulueta said. “We hope you can join us too!”

The Filipino Food Movement sponsored the Soiree’s Salo Salo reception, which features ube butter mochi cake from Hood Famous Bakeshop, ube balls and white chicken adobo skewers from SaluSalo Filipino Kitchen, salmon kinilaw sesame chips and cascarone with coconut caramel from Kraken Congee and delicacies from Seafood City.

The Soiree also features a variety of cultural books from Pinoy Words Expressed Kultura Arts, ancient Philippine writing system Baybayin.org, Filipino-designer products in Matina and an exclusive showcase of limited edition Philip Stein Global Filipino Watch collection. The committee would also like to recognize the Filipino American National Historical Society and Kaya Collaborative in Seattle.

The Seattle’s Philippine Soiree is also brought to you by Supersmile, The Filipino Channel, in cooperation with Inquirer.net, Kababayan Today and Pinoy Buzz.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.FYLPRO.org or email mabuhay@fylpro.org.

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