Ang Huling El Bimbo: The Musical
|Ang Huling El Bimbo|
Ang Huling El Bimbo: The Musical is a musical written by Dingdong Novenario based on the songs of the 1990's band Eraserheads. It was produced by Resorts World Manila and Full House Theater Company, and was performed lived at Newport Performing Arts Center Resorts World Manila. The original production ran from July 20, 2018 through September 1, 2018. A second run played from March 1, 2019 through April 6, 2019. From May 8, 2020 through May 9, 2020, a taping of the musical was made available to stream online for 48 hours through ABS-CBN Entertainment. This served as fundraiser for the victims of the Covid-19 pandemic. There were 115 showings and over 150,000 people came to watch it live. At the last live showing and the live stream, it was announced the Bongga Ka Day: The Musical, another Filipino original musical was in the works and set to release next year featuring songs from the band Hotdog.
Emman, a government employee, Anthony, a family oriented businessman with a secret, and Hector, a hot-headed director all received the same phone call that a girl they all used to know in college was killed in a hit and run accident. The 3 accidentally reunite when each of them reluctantly claims acquaintanceship with her but visits the police station anyways. The story then flashes back to 20 years ago during the trios college days as roommates, classmates, and friends.
Back at present time, the police question the trio and their relationship with someone who was notoriously known as a drug dealer. In college, we learn of Joy, a hopeless romantic street vendor that frequently sells food to the trio but isn’t actually enrolled in college. Emman’s girlfriend from back home leaves him to move to Canada, Hector’s crush has a boyfriend, and suspicions arise that Anthony might be gay. Joy’s Tiya Dely runs a popular canteen, Toyang’s Canteen, nearby where the trio find themselves visiting often with Joy’s invitation.
Joy’s boyfriend breaks up with her after suspecting that she has a strange relationship with a Arturo Banlaoi, a teacher who constantly makes inappropriate remarks towards her and helps her family monetarily. She innocently denies this claim.
As time passes, they group grows closer together. Anthony is domestically abused by his father for his sexuality, and Joy helps him through it, Emman tries to win his first love back with Joy’s help. Hector and Joy end up in a romantic relationship.
In present time, an aged Banlaoi states that Joy has been on the drug watch list, and because the trio were one of the last people she contacted, it appeared as though they were involved. The trio state that Joy would call them from time to time, but they would always just dismiss it and that they had moved on with their own lives. Banlaoi then states that Joy has a daughter named Ligaya (a filipino word for happy).
The trio are finally graduating college, and the four of them celebrate by taking a joyride in Hector’s new car given to him by his parents as a graduation gift. The group makes promises to each other regarding their future together. However, a group of thugs cause mayhem on the group; breaking their belongings, taking their money, and ultimately raping Joy in front of her friends.
At the graduation ceremony, Joy waits to congratulate her friends. Each of them are eaten up by the guilt of her abuse that they keep their distance from her. Joy is also tormented by her own abuse, but chooses to keep it inside. Meanwhile, Toyang’s Canteen goes under, and Banlaoi convinces Tiya Dely to sell the canteen to him. He turns it into a hub for drunkards, drug addicts, and prostitution. Banlaoi sells Joy into prostitution as well, which she ultimately accepts as her fate. Joy uses this money to keep her and Tiya Dely above water, but it consumes her.
Many years have passed and this has become Joy’s life with her abusing alcohol and drugs as well. We meet her daughter, Ligaya, who is the only reason that Joy can withstand her hardship. Joy constantly tells her daughter that one day she will introduce her to her 3 uncles.
Meanwhile, Hector ends up marrying his Canadian college love and having a son, but never having time for them. Anthony marries but is always cheating on his wife with other men. Hector is finally a a tv-show director but is unhappy and is a womanizer. Joy reaches out to the trio over and over again, but none ever seem to have the time for her. Banlaoi’s abuse is still ever-present over Joy, and when she tries to finally leave that part of her life behind, he threatens to kill her.
The story parallels how the present-day adult trio handles the news about Joy’s untimely death and how the young trio handle Joy’s rape that they witnessed. Both conversations end up in arguments and no real resolution. Joy finally stands up against Banlaoi right before she was hit and killed.
In present time, Tiya Dely also stands up against Banlaoi. She tells the trio that Joy went through so much but never once put blame on the friends that neglected her. Ligaya finally meets her three Titos who promise to make it up to Joy by watching over and taking care of her daughter.
Cast of Principal Characters
- Joy – A spirited, optimistic girl whose life turned upside down; one of the best friends of Hector, Emman and Anthony
- Hector — A Mass Communication major who becomes a TV director; had romantic relationship with Joy
- Emman — A patriotic probinsyano who eventually becomes a government worker; the brotherly figure to Joy
- Anthony — Fondly called by Joy as AJ, a closeted gay Business Management major who later becomes a businessman; bestfriend of Joy
- Arturo Balaoi — Commandant of the university's Citizenship Military Training who becomes a councilor after 20 years
- Cha Dely / Tiya Dely — Owner of Toyang's Canteen and Joy's aunt
- Ligaya — Joy's daughter
Manila Philharmonic Orchestra
Full House Theater Company: Executive Committee
- Senior Director: Ana Chua
- Artistic Directors: Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and Michael Stuart Williams
- Project Directors: Mark Manalang and Christine Tan Manalang
- Technical Directors: Ernie De Leon and Rey Baylon
- Line Producer: Ultimate Shows, INC.
Awards and Nominations
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