Just a day or so ago, there was this theatrical show that we attended. We were clueless and intrigued as to what it entailed. All I know was that it is an “Immersive Filipino Folklore.” So thoughts of serena, mananangal, kapre, duwende (see notes), and other Filipino mythical creatures automatically came to mind. But what does that have to do with ‘immersive’? We were curious.
The title of the play is Lambana, which is a production of the Tipsy Tales Group. Their show is located at Eastwood Mall, 4th floor cinema. They have a lounge where glimpses of what the play is going to be, could be felt; from the wall drawings, to the books on the table; there were also questions, some hints, guessworks and talks, but nothing definitive on what awaited us.
And so, only when we were led, closed eyes to the first set-up that everything fell into place. Immersive, in which we were to participate in the play, to go inside each setting, touch, read and look around, communicate with the characters, like Lola Mila, Alpas (the nuno), Rena (the serena), and Mara (the duwende). It was like being a part of a fantasy world, or a fairytale, or a dream, wherein we discover the story of a girl who had everything, who finally found love in a mythical being, and the mischievous lambana.
It was an interesting experience where we learn about old traditional Filipino hospitality and some lores. It engaged all of our senses, eyes, smell, taste, as well as our emotions—from scared, sad, and sometimes even creepy. It was interactive, in that we were part of the story and its final outcome. It left me in awe. I was speechless for a while, hoping to do justice on how to write all these in, without squealing on the story.
And so with everything said and done, in the end, I really did enjoy it. This was my first immersive play, and I know it is not the last. I now have a new liking with theatre, and I really recommend Lambana. Anybody who wishes to learn a bit more of Philippine folk lores may find their stories entertaining. A big applause for Tipsy Tales, and many thanks for my little adventure into your realm.
1Serena is a girl with the tail of a fish and human upper body, or a mermaid.
2Mananangal is a girl, whose lower extremities separates from the upper body. The upper body grows wings and flies off to eat babies still in the womb of the sleeping mother.
3Kapre is a dark tall entity that lives on old Banyan trees. It is said to steal women, who wanders at night and never to be seen again.
4Duwende is like a dwarf that lives in a mound of soil, much like an ant hill. They like to play with people especially children. They lure them to their lair and never to be found again.
5Lambana is a shapeshifter, or a doppelganger.
Also if you haven’t read Bekka’s story on Lambana, here is an easy link Lambana by Tipsy Tales