A Study of the Popular Drama in Bikol

Realubit, Maria Lilia Fuentebella (1961) A Study of the Popular Drama in Bikol. Masters thesis, University of the Philippines, Diliman.

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The drama has become an outlet for the expression of a people’s ideals and philosophies. The Bikol playwrights have utilized these folkways and mores as worthwhile themes, and their dramas reflect the social conditions and literary taste of the past. By popular Bikol drama is meant the dramas and dramatic literature written and staged in Bikol from the earliest times to the present. Bikol drama consists of: religious plays, comedia, zarzuela, plays of manners and customs, and recent plays. The early Bikol natives loved to sing and dance – the song, the dance, and the drama developed almost simultaneously in a kind of primitive ritual or ceremony. During the Spanish regime, drama was almost exclusively of religious nature. There were also dramatic debates in rhymed verse which are reminiscent of the English interludes. The comedia, like the mystery plays, had its origin in the church. The missionaries used the plays for religious propaganda. Thus the people’s main attraction to the comedia was not so much the religious lessons that the play brought as their delight in seeing the Moros, their enemy, defeated and subdued. Zarzuelas were played in Naga by the Spanish troupes from Manila. But it is in Albay and Sorsogon where the Bikol zarzuela flourished. In Camarines, the religious nature of the comedia suited the people’s tastes better. The lagaylay and coloquio were very popular and were always enthusiastically played in the towns. In form, the zarzuela was an improvement of the comedia in point of characterization, localization of theme, and the reduction of bulk in dialogue. The dramas that came after the revolution were aggressive in spirit and denunciatory in tone. But the plays written by the priests were either religious or humorous. When the movies threatened the progress of drama, play writing stopped. The Cathedral Players were, however, a strong influence towards the revival of drama in Bikol. Today, there are no important dramas written or produced. There are a few writers who see in drama a form of artistic expressions, but they have been thwarted by material needs and by the absence of a social climate.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: drama history, Bikol drama, drama, drama criticism
Depositing User: Machine Whisperer
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2017 07:55
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2017 04:04
URI: http://philippineperformance-repository.upd.edu.ph/id/eprint/1810

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