Passion of the Christ for kids told through puppets

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - April 9, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - For the 32nd consecutive year, Teatro Mulat ng Pilipinas will stage today, Palm Sunday, a children’s version of the Passion of the Christ in Teachers’ Village, Quezon City.

Papet Pasyon, which has been staged every year since 1985, will introduce children to the Holy Week through a puppet play featuring events that happened from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.

Believed to be the first of its kind in the world, the play was written in 1985 by Mulat founder and artistic director Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio.

Bonifacio – known as the grand dame of children’s theater in Southeast Asia – supposedly wrote the play out of disappointment after missing a performance of a live Passion play, performed once every 10 years in Oberammergau, Germany, in 1980.

In an article written for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Bonifacio’s daughter Amihan Bonifacio-Ramolete said the play “squeezes the most important events into an hour and a half with the help of illuminated screens as backdrop.”

“How were the characters to be portrayed? Like the blond and blue-eyed Spanish images of saints in churches or like Hollywood actors in the biblical epic movies? Professor Bonifacio rejected these popular images and approved artist Bernadette Solina’s dark skinned and pug-nosed puppets: the first Filipino Jesus and Mary,” wrote Ramolete, now the dean of the University of Philippines College of Arts and Letters.

She previously told The STAR that the play limits violence and gore to make it child-friendly.

The play, which is open to the public for free, will be staged at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. today at the Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio Papet Teatro-Museo, 64 Mapagkawanggawa St., Teacher’s Village, Quezon City.

PNP: Be alert this Holy Week

Every year, thousands of people from Manila go to the provinces during the Holy Week.

For this reason, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reminded the public to be wary of “new faces” in their neighborhoods before they go on vacation.

Police spokesman Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said the public should take precautionary measures, especially if there are new residents in their areas as they could be criminals waiting for an opportunity to strike.

He warned that members of the Termite Gang would dig tunnels towards jewelry shops, pawnshops, banks and private residences left unattended by their owners during the Holy Week.

“Do a 360-degree inspection of your establishments because the long weekend is the perfect time for these tunnel rats,” Carlos told reporters on Friday.

He urged people to ask trusted neighbors to watch over the properties they would leave behind.

Around 75,000 policemen were deployed nationwide to ensure the safety and security of the public during the Holy Week break.

Government security forces will also be on moderate terror alert the entire Holy Week to thwart any possible plot to create chaos. – With Jaime Laude, Emmanuel Tupas


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