“ALUNSINA DESAP,” (ALUSINA’S DISAPPEARANCE)
> 2011 > University of the Philippines at Los Banos > Script
Alunsina Desap is a theatrical performance that I wrote in 2011. Directed by Ronald Binas and Jeremy Dela Cruz, it was staged at the University of the Philippines at Los Banos (UPLB) as part of the UPLB’s Department of Humanities theatre and teaching program. Alunsina Desap is a modern re-telling of a Filipino/Panay myth on why the sky and earth separated from each other during the moment of creation. However, the play also refers to other mythic characters and re-telling, including Bidasari, a Mindanao/Malay epic; sarimanok, a legendary bird of the Maranao people; and the Tagalog’s creation myth retold as the emergence of Malakas and Maganda from a bamboo node. But the main conflict of the story centres on a meeting of the Goddess Alunsina — after she flew from her husband’s anger as she was not able to fulfill the delicate task of cooking rice — with mortal characters (a humanities teacher, a mistress, a wife of a disappeared soldier, a woman-lawyer, and an activist) who found themselves in a time and space where the past, present, and future collide after a devastating earthquake. It is at this moment, of disappearance and being a desaparecido, that Alunsina discovered humanity through their weakest spots and at that point, she needed to decide whether to continue the task of creating the rest of the earth or not. A review of this play is found in this blogsite, written by a creative writing scholar, multi-awarded writer, and former colleague at the Univeristy of the Philippines, Prof. Vladimeir Gonzales.