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The Life and Drama of Severino Reyes Decades ago, before rock, mellow and RnB songs flourished

in the music arena, there was the zarzuela dominating the countryside. Zarzuela, nowadays, is a long forgotten form of art, which underwent a dramatic setback during the 1930s with the advent of the vaudeville and the cinema. Zarzuela is a play with music, deriving its name from the Palacio de Zarzuela near Madrid where entertainments called fiesta de la zarzuela were presented for the royal families. The zarzuela was introduced in the Philippines in the 19th century by Spanish director Alejandro Cubero. Soon, zarzuela became known in the Philippines as sarsuwela. It was later on adapted in the vernacular. The 20th century saw the rise of Tagalog sarsuwela through the efforts of sarsuwelista like Hermogenes Ilagan and Severino Reyes. Severino Reyes was born on February 11, 1861 in Sta. Cruz, Manila. His parents were Rufino Reyes and Andrea Rivera. He acquired his early schooling in an institution owned by Catalino Sanchez and studies at the Escuela de Segunda Enseanza of Colegio de San Juan de Letran, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts. He continued his studies at the University of Santo Tomas for a degree in Philosophy. He was proficient in both Tagalog and Spanish, with a fair knowledge of Latin, Greek and Hebrew, and several Philippine dialects. A widely read man, he could converse with deep knowledge on religion, philosophy, history, literature, arts and the sciences. He married Maria Paz Puato, a childhood friend. They were blessed with 17 children. To get way from being enlisted into the Spanish Army to fight the Muslims of Mindanao and Sulu, he accepted a clerical job at the Tesoreria General de Hacienda. However, he had hard time supporting his growing family with his low income. He quit his job and decided to put up a store at the corner of Calle Ascarraga. In 1902, Reyes founded and directed the Gran Compania de Zarzuela Tagala, which became famous during its time. It presented its first one-act piece, Ang Kalupi in April 1902 in Teatro Zorilla. The company traveled extensively, giving shows in neighboring towns and provinces. On June 14, 1902, the company staged his play Walang Sugat (No Wounds), a drama set in Bulacan during the Philippine revolution. Walang Sugat tackled the bravery and dedication of the Katipuneros or the local revolutionary army of the Philippines during the later years of Spanish occupation. This marked the beginning of the golden Age of Zarzuela in the Philippines. Also in 1902, Reyes staged in Manila a comedy called R.I.P (Requiescat in Pace), which called the komedya dead and ready for burial. Enraged komedyantes in full costume and riding horses stoned his house. Other Tagalog zarzuelas written by him that also received thunderous ovations were Minda Mora, Mga Bihag ni Cupido, Ang Bagong Fausto, Ang Tunay na Hukom, Ang Tatlong Bituin, Margaritang Mananahi, Ang Halik ng Isang Patay and Luha ng Kagalakan. Severino Reyes became recognized in other countries for his mastery in drama. Governor Taft exhibited the programs of his plays in the St. Louis Word Exposition and the Panama Pacific International Exposition. Reyes is also recognized for pioneering the Tagalog literary renascence during his time, for his role in the founding of Liwayway magazine in 1922.

It was in the pages of Liwayway where Don Severinos Mga Kuwento Ni Lola Basyang appeared, a character Reyes based on a neighbor named Gervacia de Guzman. The Lola Basyang stories eventually became the most-widely read prose feature of Liwayway. For many years, readers mistook the real Lola Basyang as an old woman full of ancient stories stuck in her ancient baul, only to find out later that she was actually man. Indeed, Severino Reyes is one of the stalwarts of Filipino arts and literature. Until today, the name Lola Basyang is still being used by different art forms and stage and television shows. Lola Basyang became a generic name in Philippine society depicting an old grandmother who loves telling stories to her grandkids. The stories that she tells are always meant to teach moral lessons to children listening. No one can deny the important contribution of Severino Reyes from his time in the early part of 20th century until today, even after more than fifty years since his death. During the Japanese occupation, he suffered from heart disease and was confined for a time in a hospital. He died on September 15, 1942. Today, the zarzuela is no longer popular, having lost its appeal as a form of popular culture and is now considered a part of the older generation. But the zarzuela remains an integral part of our theatrical tradition and heritage, and because of this, we salute those organizations that are exerting efforts to revitalize the zarzuela. The zarzuela is an art that we must treasure for its expression of Filipino ingenuity.


Zarzuela, also called sarswela in the Philippines, is a Spanish lyric-dramatic genre that alternates between spoken and sung scenes, the latter incorporating dances. It is believed that the name derives from a hunting lodge, the Palacio de la Zarzuela, near Madrid where, in the 17th century, this type of performance first occurred before the Spanish royal court. There are two main forms of zarzuela: Baroque zarzuela (c.16301750), the earliest style, and Romantic zarzuela (c.18501950), which can be further divided into the two subgenres of gnero grande andgnero chico. The zarzuela (also known as zarzuelta) is also a genre and integral part of Filipino music. It was brought during the period of Spanish colonization by the settlers and friars, and quickly spread to the natives, who adapted it to their tastes. Musical theatre had already existed in Spain since the time of Juan del Encina. This new genre named zarzuela was innovative in giving a dramatic function to the musical numbers; that is to say, they were integrated into the argument of the work. Other characteristics were the presence of a large orchestra and the incorporation of choruses, songs, and dances. Baroque zarzuela In 1658 at the Royal Palace of El Prado, King Philip IV of Spain, Queen Mariana and their court attended the first performance of a new comedy by Pedro Caldern de la Barca, with music by Juan de Hidalgo. El Laurel de Apolo traditionally symbolises the birth of a new musical genre which had become known as La Zarzuela. The genre was named after the Palacio de la Zarzuela, one of the King's hunting lodges, situated in a remote countryside thick with zarzas or brambles, in what is now El Pardo. Like Caldern de la Barca's earlier El golfo de las sirenas (The Sirens' Gulf, 1657), El Laurel de Apolo mixed mythological verse drama with operatic solos, popular songs and dances. The characters in these early, baroque zarzuelas were a mixture of gods, mythological creatures and rustic or pastoral comedy characters; Antonio de Literes's popular Acis y Galatea (1708) is yet another example. Unlike some other operatic forms, there were spoken interludes, often in verse. Italian influence In 18th-century Bourbon Spain, Italian artistic style dominated in the arts, including Italian opera. Zarzuela, though still written to Spanish texts, changed to accommodate the Italian vogue. During the reign of King Charles III, political problems provoked a series of revolts against his Italian ministers; these were echoed in theatrical presentations. The older style zarzuela fell out of fashion, but popular Spanish tradition continued to manifest itself in shorter works, such as the single-scene tonadilla (or intermezzo) of which the finest literary exponent was Ramn de la

Cruz. Musicians such asRodrguez de Hita were proficient in the shorter style of works, though he also wrote a full-scale zarzuela with de la Cruz entitled Las segadoras de Vallecas (The Reapers of Vallecas, 1768). The 19th century In the 1850s and 1860s century a group of patriotic writers and composers led by Francisco Barbieri and Joaqun Gaztambide revived the zarzuela form, seeing in it a possible release from French and Italian cultural hegemony. The elements of the work continue to be the same: sung solos and choruses, spiced with spoken scenes, and comedic songs, ensembles and dances. Costume dramas and regional variations abound, and the librettos (though often based on French originals) are rich in Spanish idioms and popular jargon. The zarzuelas of the day included in their librettos various regionalisms and popular slang, such as that of Madrid castizos. Often, the success of a work was down to one or more songs that the public came to know and love. Despite some modifications the basic structure of the zarzuela remained the same: dialogue scenes, songs, choruses, and comic scenes generally performed by two actor-singers. The culminating masterpieces from this period were Barbieri's Pan y toros and Gaztambide's El juramento. Another notable composer from this period was Emilio Arrieta. Romantic zarzuela After the Glorious Revolution of 1868, the country entered a deep crisis (especially economically), which was reflected in theatre. The public could not afford high-priced theatre tickets for grandiose productions, which led to the rise of the Teatros Variedades ("variety theatres") in Madrid, with cheap tickets for one-act plays (sainetes). This "theatre of an hour" had great success and zarzuelacomposers took to the new formula with alacrity. Singleact zarzuelas were classified as gnero chico ("little genre") whilst the longer zarzuelas of three acts, lasting up to four hours, were called gnero grande ("grand genre"). Zarzuela grande battled on at the Teatro de la Zarzuela de Madrid, founded by Barbieri and his friends in the 1850s. A newer theatre, the Apolo, opened in 1873. At first it attempted to present the gnero grande, but it soon yielded to the taste and economics of the time, and became the "temple" of the more populist gnero chico in the late 1870s. Musical content from this era ranges from full-scale operatic arias (romanzas) through to popular songs, and dialogue from high poetic drama to lowlife comedy characters. There are also many types ofzarzuela in between the two named genres, with a variety of musical and dramatic flavours.

Many of the greatest zarzuelas were written in the 1880s and 1890s, but the form continued to adapt to new theatrical stimuli until well into the 20th century. With the onset of the Spanish Civil War, the form rapidly declined, and the last romantic zarzuelas to hold the stage were written in the 1950s. Whilst Barbieri produced the greatest zarzuela grande in El barberillo de Lavapis, the classic exponent of the gnero chico was his pupil Federico Chueca, whose La gran va (produced with Joaqun Valverde) was a cult success both in Spain and throughout Europe. The musical heir of Chueca was Jos Serrano, whose short, one act gnero chico zarzuelas notably La cancin del olvido, Alma de dios and the much later Los claveles and La dolorosa form a stylistic bridge to the more musically sophisticated zarzuelas of the 20th Century. [edit] The zarzuela in Catalonia While the zarzuela tradition flourished in Madrid and other Spanish cities, Catalonia developed its own zarzuela, with librettos in Catalan. The atmosphere, the plots, and the music were quite different from the model that triumphed in Madrid; the Catalan zarzuela was looking to attract a different public, the bourgeois classes. Catalan zarzuela was turned little by little into what is called, in Catalan,teatre lric catal ("Catalan lyric theater"), with a personality of its own, and with modernista lyricists and composers. In the final years of the 19th century, as modernisme emerged, one of the notable modernistas, and one of Pedrell's pupils, Amadeo Vives came onto the Barcelona scene. He contributed to the creation of the Orfe Catal in 1891, along with Llus Millet. In spite of a success sustained over many years, his musical ambition took him to Madrid, where zarzuela had a higher profile. Vives became one of the most important zarzuela composers, with such masterpieces as Doa Francisquita, La villana (both based on plays by Lope de Vega) and the through-written opera in zarzuela style Maruxa. The twentieth century In the first years of the 20th century greater quality pieces are composed (such as Doa Francisquita by Amadeo Vives). Zarzuela was supported with these works that, sometimes, were adapted to the Italian opera musical structure, thanks to the works of Pablo Sorozbal, Federico Moreno Torroba and Jacinto Guerrero. The zarzuela style continued to flourish, thanks to composers of the stature ofPablo Sorozbal - who reinvigorated it as a vehicle for socio-political comment - Federico Moreno Torroba, and Francisco Alonso. However, the Spanish Civil War brought a decline of the genre, and after the war, its extinction was almost total. There were no new authors in the genre and the compositions are not

renovated. There have been no significant new works created since the 1950s; the existing zarzuela repertoire is costly to produce, and many classics have been performed only sporadically in recent years, at least professionally. Furthermore, existing zarzuela is difficult and expensive to play, and is only seen sporadically, by seasons, during a few days. The name of gnero nfimo was given to the emerging form of entertainment known as revistas, a genre rising from the ashes of zarzuela: musical works similar to the zarzuela but lighter and bolder, with many scenes that were described at the time as verdes"green"containing sexual themes and racy double entendres. One masterpiece of the gnero nfimo ("minimal" or "extremely low genre") is La corte de Faran, by Vicente Lle (based on the French operetta Madame Putiphar.) These revistas caught on with the public and the songs are still a part of popular culture. From 1950, zarzuela was revivified thanks to the LP recording. A series was released by the Alhambra Company to great success, many directed by the Spanish conductor Ataulfo Argenta. The best voices of the day, world-renowned opera singers such as Teresa Berganza, Manel Ausensi, and Pilar Lorengar, performed the leads, and choirs such as the Orfen Donostiarra and Coro de Cantores de Madrid provided the chorus. After Argenta's death others such as Indalecio Cisneros and Rafael Frhbeck de Burgos continued in his footsteps. There were also recordings made conducted by the composers themselves, such as Pablo Sorozbal and Federico Moreno Torroba, using such great singers as Alfredo Kraus and Plcido Domingo. (Domingo's parents were themselves zarzuela singers, and he grew up working in their touring company in Mexico; zarzuela inspired him to pursue a singing career.) In Cuba the afrocubanismo zarzuelas of Ernesto Lecuona such as Mara la O and El cafetal and Gonzalo Roig (Cecilia Valds, based on Cirilo Villaverde's classic novel) enjoyed a brief golden age of political and cultural fame, highlighting the plight of the mulata woman and other, mainly black underclasses in Cuban society. Mexico and the Philippines likewise had their own, politically conscious,zarzuela traditions. Interest has been further renewed since the late 1970s as zarzuela again found favour in Spain, primarily with young people, who enjoyed the lyrical music and the theatrical spectacle. Since the death ofFrancisco Franco, zarzuela has started to become known and loved by many people outside the Hispanic world. Discography of zarzuela From 1950 onwards, zarzuela was able to survive thanks to album recordings, an area which has only grown in subsequent years. The first series met with great success, and the majority of these

earliest productions were directed by the Spaniard Ataulfo Argenta. Some of the most popular voices of the time appeared on these discs, world-recognized singers who were professional devotees of opera and recitals. Teresa Berganza, Ana Mara Iriarte, Carlos Mungua, and others lent their voices to the recordings. The choirs of Orfen Donostiarra and Singers' Choir of Madrid also contributed, rounding out the overall quality of the works. After the death of Ataulfo Argenta, directors like Indalecio Cisneros, Garca Asensio, and others picked up the cause. There were even recordings which were directed by the works' original composers, as was the case with Pablo Sorozbal and Federico Moreno Torroba. In this phase, acclaimed voices participated in the newer, bigger recordings: Montserrat Caball, Alfredo Kraus, Plcido Domingo, and many more. In 2007, tenor Rolando Villazn released 'Gitano', a recording of zarzuela arias, accompanied by the Orquesta De La Comunidad De Madrid, with Plcido Domingo conducting. Renewed interest in the genre The latter 1970s witnessed a revived interest in zarzuela, especially its music. All of Europe was experiencing an increasing interest in lyrical opera, especially among younger viewers, and Spanish reverberations of this sentiment produced a renewed interest in zarzuela. Music stores began offering albums whose discs were accompanied by a small pamphlet containing the synopsis of the work and information about the author. Radio and television dedicated program slots to zarzuela, including a popular series of programs offered by TVE entitled Antologa de la zarzuela ("Zarzuela Anthology"). Zarzuela composers

Francisco Alonso Emilio Arrieta Francisco Asenjo Barbieri Toms Bretn Ruperto Chap Federico Chueca Joaqun Gaztambide Jacinto Guerrero Jess Guridi Antonio de Literes Pablo Luna

Miguel Marqus Rafael Milln Federico Moreno Torroba Jos Serrano Pablo Sorozbal Reveriano Soutullo Juan Vert

Dalawa nakalagay sa net na father of zarzuela, Alejandro cuvero at Severino Reyes

Severino Reyes From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Severino Reyes Born February 11, 1861 Santa Cruz, Manila September 15, 1942 (aged 81) Lola Basyang Writer Tagalog, Spanish, English Filipino Filipino

Died Pen name Occupation Language Nationality Citizenship

Alma mater Colegio de San Juan de Letran,University of Santo Tomas Genres Notable work(s) Plays Walang Sugat (literally "No Wounds", meaning "not wounded", with the concept of being "unscathed") Children Jose Reyes and Torcuato Reyes

Literature portal Severino Reyes (February 12, 1861 September 15, 1942) was a Filipino writer, playwright, and director of plays. He used the pen name Lola Basyang.[1][2] He was nicknamed "Don Binoy". Reyes is known as the "Father of Tagalog Plays" and as the "Father of the Tagalog Zarzuela".[3]

Much more sophisticated form of musical theater: the Spanish zarzuela. The zarzuela was introduced in the Philippines in the late 19th century with the arrival of foreign productions, until even local singers and conductors were trained and contracted to perform. The first Filipino sarswela were written in the 1890's. At the turn of the century, the regional sarswelas emerged in Northern Luzon, Bikol and the Visayas. During the American regime, the Filipinosarswela served as a medium of political protest and criticism of the colonial rule. At the same time, the form represented the high quality of music-literary creativity of the Filipinos in that their popularity was partly the result of collaborations between well-known playwrights and composers.

From Zarzuela to Sarwela From Zarzuela to Sarwela A brief insight on where the Zarzuela has ended by the onset of the Sarswela in the Philippines With references from The Zarzuela: The content and form of the musical comedy stage shift with the needs of the times by Helen F. Samson, Filipino Heritage Series, Volume 6

The Zarzuela is one of the few theater art forms one can clearly say conveys an old Filipino sentiment. In spite of it being inherited from Spanish colonizers, the zarzuela was utilized, enjoyed and later transformed by the Filipinos into its now more popular type the Filipinized Sarswela. This article attempts to see how far the Filipino sarswela evolved from its roots in the zarzuelas of Spain and how it provided jobs and creative venues for Filipino composers, musicians and theater artists during the time of its inception. The Zarzuelas humble beginnings started in the Castillan outskirts of Spain. From the word zarza or bramble, it is a genre of musical theater characterized by a mixture of sung and spoken dialogue. Covarrubiass Tesoro de la lenguazarza as a spiny mat a thing that s all linked together and intertwined in itself (Sadie and Tyrell, 759). Zarzuela is also used generally to describe a mixture of rustic dances, spoken dialogues and songs. This was what transpired in the Palacio Real de la Zarzuela, when Gaspar de Haro, Marquis of Heliche organized short musical plays of lightly burlesque nature to entertain the king and his guests. Zarzuela, the Spanish light opera: it has one foot in the palace and the other in the street. The genre takes its name from the Palacio de la Zarzuela north of Madrid, in an area surrounded by zarzas (brambles); the Spanish royal family now resides in the palace. The origins of zarzuela were courtly but its subject matter, staging, dance and music all feature signs of popular culture. The genre has been compared to operetta, Singspiel or Broadway musical, but is really unique to Spain. It is theater that alternates music and spoken dialogue (Stanton, 2002: 158).

Because of what seemed to be a shallow assortment of songs and dances with speaking lines, the early Spanishzarzuelas was snubbed by those who were already awed by the grand opera tradition of its neighboring countries. When nationalism sipped in the consciousness of people around the world, European nations started creating their own music. Amidst the prevailing Italian and German styles, smaller nations started to look around in their own backyard and began creating their own musical forms. Same goes for Spain. In pursuit to have its own identity recognized in the world of music, Spain revived and develop the zarzuela to rival the prevailing Italian Opera. Designed to compete with the opera imported from Italy, these carried the subtitles zarzuela comedia and zarzuela nueva respectively. The Term zarzuela was last used more than a century earlier (Samson: 1642). Incorporating nationalistic identities went through processes of adapting and eventually revamping known forms into more suitable structures. Early zarzuela works still has the reminiscent comedia which is a clever combination of poetic and prose dialogue in four to six acts. Travelling actors usually produce and performcomedias in public squares or in the courtyards of city buildings but unlike the comedia, zarzuelas now enjoy a legitimate venue for a more decent performance on stage and was at a time referred to as zarzuela comedia, A goldsmith from Seville, Lope de Rueda (fl. Ca. 1540-67), and his group of travelling actors produced comedias, a clever combination of poetic and prose dialogue in four to six acts, in public squares or in the courtyards of city buildings known as corrales.8 Many of Ruedas comedias featured musical numbers, frequently titled as romances. Romances were based on dances and popular songs of the era. (Sturman, 2000: 14) As it did in the comedia, music served structural goals in zarzuelas. It was based on popular tunes and text, sometimes rearranged in polyphonic settings. It was especially important in contributing a sense of realism in rustic scenes and provided the medium for mystical, supernatural and anonymous voices and dialogue. (Sturman, 2000: 16 17) Unfortunately the association of the zarzuela with the comedia did not do well for the former. Singers do not find the zarzuela a good vehicle for success if they aspire to go up the ladder in their careers and often turn to the more challenging operatic repertoire to showcase their vocal acrobatics and technical proficiencies. Music in this form holds the backseat and highlights the

dialogues more than the songs. This attitude explains why thezarzuela remained inferior compared to the Italian opera for a while. The Spanish zarzuela reached a more polished and cohesive form in terms of content and structure in 1880. It even flourished in various types and was given other names such as jugete, revista, sainete, paradia, humorada, aproposito, ecloga, pasatiempo, depending on the liking of the its composer. Efforts of noted Spanish composers such as Manuel Breton de los Herreros, Basilio Basili and R. dela Vega to name a few, resulted in the creation of La Verbena de la Paloma. This work is one of the oldest zarzuela still in circulation not only in Spain but also in Latin American communities in the United States of America, marking the emergence of zarzuelabehind the shadows of the Italian opera. Two centuries later, the zarzuela reached the Philippines through the efforts of Spanish dramatist Dario Cespedes and his zarzuela company in 1878 and Alejandro Cubero with Spanish actress Elisea Raguer in 1880. Cespedes company presented Jugar con Guego as the first Spanish zarzuela performed in the Philippines with music by Francisco Asenjo Barbieri and libretto by D. Ventura dela Vega while Cubero was given the title of Father of Spanish Theater in the Philippines due to his efforts of bringing each zarzuela performances to a level of perfection (Samson, 1642). Ateneo de Manila had their production of zarzuelas in 1880. Entitled Junto al Pasig,this work is written in verse by Jose Rizal presented by Ateneo de Manila with music by Blas Echegoyen. This is just one of the early amateur zarzuelas making clear its fast growing popularity in Filipino societies. Trainees and protgs of Cubero and other zarzuelistas started staging zarzuelas in the provinces. People in all walks of life had the chance to witness this form of entertainment whether they speak Spanish or not. As a result of these introductions of zarzuela in the countryside, the inevitable emergence of zarzuelas in the native languages began. The new troupes ventured out in the provinces, as far as Iloilo, Bacolod and the Bicol region areas with enough Spanish speaking inhabitants. In a few years with the change of regime zarzuelas in the native languages began to appear (Samson 1642). This commences the evolution of the zarzuela to fit the Filipino society. Since zarzuelas in Spain usually depicts the rustic life of Spanish society and its common folk, it is not surprising the same will happen in the Philippines if the Filipinos are expected to patronize this art form.

People need a way to connect with it and it should mirror their lives if this goal is to be achieved. Incorporating existing theater forms that are more familiar such as themoro-moro in the zarzuela did it for starters. Moro-moro is believed to be an offshoot of a chivalric-heroic poem called the awit and a legendary religious poem called the corridor that had swept the country as early as 1610 up to the beginning of the twentieth century. It tells of the loves and brilliant deeds and adventures of king and queens, of princes and princesses, of counts and dukes. It also relates of giants, tigers, lions, bears, serpents, dragons, angels, saints, and devils. Often tinged with supernatural and miraculous forces, it may present poisons, magic rings, birds that drop messages, people who get enchanted in the forest. The hero is expected to emerge victorious despite all obstacles and to risk his life for the hand of his lady love (Carpio 2001). At the end of the three and a half centuries of Spanish rule the Americans took over and the political needs of the moment gave rise to a unique theater form in which the central ideas of the moro-moro intermingled with the gaiety, humor, frolic and abandon of the Spanish zarzuela. This new form was the Filipino zarzuela (Samson 1642). Eventually main characters in the zarzuelas became Filipinos in conflict with Spaniards or Americans with the Filipinos emerging as the victorious ones in the end of course. This conclusion of having the native hero winning in the end echoes the moro-moro theme. Back in Spain, the Spanish zarzuela is still in the process of reinventing itself. It flourished into several forms and styles under one umbrella term zarzuela. As it reached its golden age, zarzuelas in Spain have now placed great importance to music in contrast to its earlier form where all the theatric elements stood on equal footing. One very distinct characteristic Spanish zarzuelas in terms of vocal styles is the use of gorgoritos or the vocal trills very common to Spanish art songs. The style of using the natural voice and other regional vocal ornamentations and incorporate it with operatic styles gave zarzuelas a very rustic Spanish flavor. As for Filipino sarswela, it has completely abandoned the zarzuela and had a transformation of its own. Early sarswela does not seem to possess great music. Even the text does not contain any great literary value. A possible reason for this lack of artistic vibrancy is because the early sarswela only serves as a form of entertainment that aimed to stir the Filipino audience to rise up against the prevailing foreign domination in the land.

Literary and dramatic values were also hardly present in those early vernacular works. They were perhaps merely propaganda vehicles rather than literary or artistic types. After all, they were revolutionary plays without any immediate esthetic purpose. What they did was strengthen and stimulate the nationalistic spirit of the Filipinos (Samson 1642). These types of sarswelas with political overtones prevailed in the American era and soon enough American authorities find it dangerous for them and started the arrest of librettists and sarswela producers that they consider subversive. One of the zarzuelas presented during this period was Pag-ibig sa Lupang Tinubuan, with Libretto by Pascual Poblete and music by Severino Kimpin Bautista. It was premiered early in 1900 and in its third performance, in March of that year, saw the arrest of librettist and owner of the Oriental Theater, where the work was being staged. Raids like this continued and they discouraged works with political overtones (Samson 1642). Incidents like this forced sarswelistas to change their tone a bit so as not to let the authorities disrupt the thriving art form. This change of mood for the meantime paved way for a grander sarswela that demanded more composers, writers, theater artists and musicians. The names of composers Bonifacio Soon Filipino zarzuela found itself evolving into a kind of comedy of manners. Elaborate theatrical and musical displays were deemed a necessity. In no time at all, musician found themselves much in demand as composers, conductors or members of orchestras (Samson 1642). Abdon and Jose Estrella with musician Remigio Agustin and Leon Ignacio surfaced and started creating sarswelasAng Maya is one example of a with much needed musical and theatrical values. Estrellas with much needed musical and theatrical values. Estrellas Among Estrellas many waltzes, the now famous Ang Maya is what he is remembered for. It was originally composed for Severino Reyes and his zarzuela Filipinas para los Filipinos in 1905 (Samson 1644). refreshing music style in song found in sarswelas where he provided the music. It displays clearer forms and sections and displays just enough vocal artistry from the singer that does not overshadow the rest of the performance and performers. Although the Filipino sarswela strayed away from the original Spanish zarzuela style, it seemed that it did thesarswela and the Filipinos more good than bad. It enabled them to develop their

own artistry that somehow gave that distinctive flavor that can be claimed truly Filipino. The works of Severino Reyes, and his collaboration with several other Filipino composers such as Fulgencio Tolentino for Walang Sugat, Juan de Sahagun Hernandez forMinda Mora, are just a few of several great works that emerged during this period of prolific production and creation of sarswela materials. Other works include Leon Ignacios Dalagang Bukid. This also launched the career of the well known sarswela performer Honorata Atang dela Rama who later became the Queen of Kundiman. Famous Kundiman composers such as Nicanor Abelardo and Francisco Santiago also had their share of sarswelas. Abelardos Ang Dakilang Punglo featured the immortal Bituing Marikit that has become a favorite in the long list of Kundiman back then until this day of videoke and magic sing. The list will go on and sadly for some works that were destroyed during the Second World War, it only remained in the memories of those who were lucky enough to witness such great works. Even the existing libretto and music of Severino Reyes Walang Sugat are just fragments of what the war has left behind. Its reconstruction and inclusion of newer songs were a collaboration of several other composers to fill up the ones lost from the original works of Fulgencio Tolentino. Conclusion Enumerating just a few of the much known sarswelas only proved how much it evolved from the rustic Spanishzarzuela based on the comedia of the olden days. As the sarswela completely deserted the zarzuela traditions and styles of Spain, the Filipinos were able to put their mark in the art forms Filipinized version. It seemed to have undergone a three hundred sixty degree turn by changing the Spanish text using the vernacular and other regional dialects around the Islands, using ways and culture unique to Filipino society and the distinctive nationalistic fervor which is ever present in the sarswelas of The first step in the indigenization of the zarzuela, therefore, was the language. The subject matter followed naturally, being the experience the language could encapsulate, the reality coming from its own cultural matrix. Although their models for the form, the Spanish zarzuelas, dealt with mythology, royalty, nobility, Dons and Donas and other character of Spanish life, the native sarswelistas focused on Filipino situations, domestic and social: marriage, family, vices, elections, feasts. Stage drama in the Philippines, which had before then been mainly religious or drawn from European

metrical romances, has finally found the form in which it was possible to present native day-today life on stage (Fernndez, 1996: 81). the 1900s. It has been revived and restaged through the years and still possesses these very qualities that the audiences loved. Although one cannot avoid comparing the sarswela with the theater forms of today with the likes of the west end and Broadway musicals, sarswelas echoes the old Filipino culture which started as an offspring of how the Filipinos back then dealt with and processed the influence of foreign culture to make something better for Filipinos by Filipinos. Situations and circumstances were different back then and most of the things created or developed during that time are just products of the era and not of their chosen personalities. Filipino artistry is faced with a challenge to survive foreign domination and a way coming up with something worthwhile out of something that is not good resulted to the sarswela. The sarswela cannot be compared to the modern western musicals of today which are commonly staged in the country following strict adherence from its original performance abroad. If one will look at how these modern musicals came to being is because of totally different set of circumstances. Meanwhile, original Filipino musicals of today still look back to the sarswela traditions of their forefathers for inspiration so as not to lose the Filipino flavor in their modern Filipino works.

Sample of Philippines zarzuela? walang sugat by sverino Reyes paglipas ng dilim by precioso palma and leon ignacio pagibig sa tinubuang lupa by pascual poblete dalagang bukid- hermogenes ilagan

There are two main forms of zarzuela: Baroque zarzuela (c.16301750), the earliest style, and Romantic zarzuela (c.18501950), which can be further divided into two. Main sub-genres are gnero grande and gnero chico, although other sub-divisions exist.