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A matter of character: Notes on 'Miong'

I guess in every story there are three main points of consideration: character, event, and how the former engages with the latter. Various permutations may arise. An oddball offers a lens by which we view the world anew. A monster's vindication brings us to a cathartic state. The normal guy, whose shoes we freely slip into, walks us through our own normalcy with heart-breaking clarity.

Things get dicey when an actual human becomes subject of make-believe. For the writer this might mean facing the ire of the real-life person and their kin. Or being accused of inaccuracy, revisionism, and the like when playing fire with historical figures.

All these float in my head after watching Repertory Philippines' Miong, an original musical based on the life of Emilio Aguinaldo, written in 1998 to celebrate the Centennial of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence. Two decades since its premiere, Rep re-stages the show with book, lyrics and direction by Joy Virata, additional lyrics by…

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