Passions and Obsessions

Puppet show on Passion of Christ to be held free at the MET

The life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are shown in a manner that can be easily understood by a young audience

Papet Pasyon 2023 official poster

Papet Pasyon (Photo from Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas)

Papet Pasyon 2023, a kid-friendly puppet show on the Passion of Christ, will be held for at the historic Metropolitan Theater (MET) on Friday, March 31, 2023. Admission is free.

The hour-long production was written by the late Philippine National Artist for Theater Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio, also known as the Grand Dame of Southeast Asian Children’s Theater. It is directed by her daughter Prof. Amihan Bonifacio-Ramolete, former College of Arts and Letters Dean of the University of the Philippines Diliman.

First mounted at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in 1985, it introduces the events in the life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in a manner that can be easily understood by a young audience.

To make it child-friendly, it utilizes Pinoy-looking puppets specially designed by visual artists Bernadette Solina-Wolf and Maurice Carvajal, and carved by globally-known local artisans from Paete, Laguna. Some of the original puppets are still being used to this day.

Papet Pasyon was first written when the late award-winning playwright and puppeteer missed her chance to watch a live Passion play in Germany. It has since become an act of devotion as well as an advocacy to foster the Filipino puppetry tradition.

“Puppetry is an effective instrument of storytelling,” visual artist and Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas senior puppeteer and puppet maker Carlito Camahalan Amalla stated.

Visual artist, Benilde Design Foundation educator, and Teatrong Mulat senior puppeteer and puppet maker Carlito Camahalan Amalla with Papet Pedru

Amalla, who has been with the organization for approximately 20 years under the tutelage of Lapeña-Bonifacio, likewise reiterated the important role of the art form in teaching Filipino art and heritage.

“As Filipinos, our culture is our soul. It fosters nation-building and unity among the community,” added the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Design Foundation educator.

Amalla likewise highlighted the diverse initiatives of Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas, a theater group which the award-winning playwright founded in 1977. They awaken the children to the wonders and richness of Philippine and Asian folktales and tradition through puppetry. Their outreach includes puppetry workshops and programs in the different communities across the Philippines.

“Teaching puppetry helps foster critical thinking and encourage creative solutions among children,” he expounded. “It is also a form of therapy and healing.”

Produced by Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas, Papet Pasyon is free and open to the public, with shows at 10 a.m., 2:30 p.m., and 7 p.m.

It will likewise be available via livestream on Palm Sunday, April 2, 2023, 8 p.m. via Teatrong Mulat’s Facebook page.

The Metropolitan Theater is located in Plaza Lawton along Padre Burgos Avenue, Ermita Manila.

Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas with a photo of their founder, National Artist for Theater Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio (Photo from Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas)

To reserve tickets, visit The Metropolitan Theater Facebook page

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