Bituing Marikit: Nicanor Abelardo play
(The Philippine Star) – September 19, 2020 – 12:00am
Bituing Marikit is one of Nicanor Abelardo’s famous compositions, along with Mutya ng Pasig, Nasaan Ka Irog, Kundiman ng Luha. Abelardo also composed operas, zarzuelas, concertos, sacred and patriotic hymns.
A play on his life and times was written by Bienvenido Noriega, titled Bituing Marikit. It was staged in January and February 1995 at the Tanghalang Huseng Batute of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Bart Guingona played Abelardo. Alternate was Ony de Leon.
Others in the cast of Bituing Marikit: Lou Veloso, Irma Adlawan, Olga Natividad, Mio Infante, Edwin de la Torre, Rommel Singson, Garry Lim and George de Jesus III.
Directed by Nonon Padilla, with Ricardo Cruz (set design), Patis Tesoro (costume design), Dennis Marasigan (lighting design), Gil Castillo (stage manager).
Abelardo was born in San Miguel de Mayumo, Bulacan on Feb. 7, 1893, the eldest of eight children of poor parents. At an early age, he played the piano at saloons, cabarets, pubs and theaters. He took up music at the University of the Philippines, earning a teacher’s certificate. He also studied at the Chicago Musical College for a master’s degree but did not finish the course. He finally finished his studies at the National University.
He died in Manila on March 21, 1935, leaving an unfinished symphony, an opera and a concerto. —RKC