Moro-Moro: Healing the Bayan** Country, NationFrom Devotion to Pay per View & Back toDevotionNenita Pambid DomingoAsian Languages & CulturesUCLA
Outline• Historical & Social Context of the Moro-Moro• The SDA (San Dionisio sa America)• Native Language & Healing• Moro-Moro as Ritual• Quo vadis SDA and Moro-Moro
Moro-Moro or Komedya circa1766• believed to have originated from the celebrationcalled Moros y Cristianos all over Spain incommemoration of the ‘battles, combats, andfights between Moors (or Muslims) during theperiod called Reconquista from the 8thcenturythrough the 15thcentury.– en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moros_y_cristianos. Accessedon March 8, 2011.
Spanish Origin of Moro-Moro• The oldest festival is said to have datedfrom 1588 and is celebrated in Caudete.– . Accessed on March 22, 2011.
Religious plays in poetic vernacular formwere effective and powerful tools to teachreligion, mores, ethics, and values, ‘beingaural, visual and participatory.’ Throughthis imported theatrical form, ‘Spaniardswere accomplishing the unique work ofredeeming an Oriental people frombarbarism and heathenism to Christianityand civilized life.’
In the 18thand 19thcenturies, Moro-Morocontinued to be the drama form for fiestas. Itsupported the status quo and the status quosupported the rehearsals, costumes, performersand performances of the Moro-Moro. ‘The verse,lyrical, often grandiloquent—and the visualspectacle won popular support for the komedyaall over the Philippines, except in the Muslimareas.’ The Filipino people embraced andcultivated the Komedya and used the nativelanguages to speak to their audiences.
Old & Contemporary• The komedya of old andthe present komedya differin many ways but remaintrue to its original form.Both have three parts.Each part has three to fivescenes. Each part isperformed in threesuccessive nights. Likethe komedya of old,majority of the komedyasare translations or adaptedfrom Hispanic ones.
Verse• 7, 8, 14 syllables per line depends onwhat the situation is- serious, comic,sad• Loa, speech, praises, love letters,weddings, any sentimental situation- 12syllables, 4 lines in one stanza- plosa-regal & serious quality
Romance 8 syllables per line• Sarcasm, taunting, jeering, boasting,censuring, reproaching, staccato, crisp• Assonantal rhyme (vowel)• Versification has a formulaLua- verse in praise of high officials-bombastic style-fantastic, allusions toUlyses, Aristotle, events in Greece &Rome
In Paranaque, devotees believe that SanDionisio throws his decapitated head if thereis no performance of komedya on his feastday. In San Pablo, Laguna, it is withcertainty that it would rain during the fiesta ifthere is no komedya. In different towns, it iswith certainty that rice harvest would be lesshad there not been a komedya performed. It isapparent that Filipinos perform the komedyathe way they perform rituals to propitiate thegods and for a bountiful harvest.
St. Dennis of Paris, France aka Tata Dune ofSan Dionisio, Paranaque• Born 250 A.D.Jealous paganpriests beheadedhim. St, Dennisstood up, picked uphis head & walked toburial place--theBasilica of St.Dennis.--Fr. LeoOrtega
Tata Dune of San Dionisio sa Amerika
The Demise of the Moro-Moro• Spread christianity• Only entertainment withchurch & stateimprimaturentertainment• Feudal system wasenforced• Agricultural time• Landlords & proprietors& community financiers• Christianity has becomethe official religion• Multiplicity ofentertainment found inmedia• Time is measureddifferently, office,factory, movie
San Dionisio sa AmericaGoals• SDA hopes to use the moro-moro as avehicle to raise funds for its projects• To present a komedya on the stage of SanDionisio, Paranaque w/ LA actors• To show the komedya in a big theatre with awide Filipino audience, not just townmatesfrom San Dionisio• Dreams to propagate komedya as a theaterform with equal stature as the Noh or Kabukiof Japan
Organizational Setup• Board of Directors (President, VicePresident, Secretary, Treasurer)• 7 Committees (Religious Affairs,Cultural Affairs, Social Civic Affairs,Publications, Komedya, Scholarship,Ways and Means)
Bayan-Bayanan: San Dionisiosa America CelebraProgram of Events• 10:00 am Mass• 12:00 pm Pot luck• 1:00 pm procession• 2:00 pm Moro-Moro• 4:00 pm Door PrizeDrawings
• Food: Potluck
2:00 pm Moro-Moro
Prinsesa Esperanza atPrinsesa Caridad 2001
Princesa Esperanza. . .
Prinsesa Esperanza …
Ang Kambal ng Valencia 2002
Dionisio (Duke, Obispo, atSanto) 2003
Hermano de la Paz 2004RJ Salvador
Prinsipe Rodante 2005George Molina
Nerissa at Bolivar 2006
Nerissa at Bolivar
Nerissa at Bolivar
Esperanza at Caridad 2008• October 11, 2008, Barnsdall Theater• Story of love & hatred, betrayal &forgiveness• Past 12 years, rehearsals held at MariaHerpacio’s residence (Inang Maria)devotee of Tata Hosep & Tata Duneevery Sunday from June to October
Mga Prinsesa ng Cordova2010-2011
Haring Fernando at mgaPrinsesa
Haring Fernando at kawal
Korte ng Kristiyano
Prinsesa Soledad (vain)
Mga Prinsesa ng Cordova
Celebra 2012• Reyna Isabela at Sultana Salimar(Halaw sa “Prinsesa Miramar”) JosephHerpacio, Director• 1986-2012-- 15 presentations
“Reyna Isabela at Sultana Salimar” by MikeLlamas2012 Moro-Moro at Barnsdall Theater at Los Angeles
Quo Vadis Moro-Moro?• Every 2 years performance instead ofyearly• Difficulty in recruiting actors• Looking for director• Time- only reason for refusal to beinvolved
Tata Dune will not Forsake usThe Modern Komedya• Use of technology: 2001 -recorded theoriginal mosiko in S.D., laban & pasa dobles,marcha, etc.; sets projected on screens• Actors no longer limited to people from SanDionisio, Paranaque• Venue moved from community centers: MainHall, Philippine Village Center at Eagle Rock;Social Hall of St. Martha’s Episcopal Churchin West Covina to mainstream BarnsdallGallery Theater off Vermont & HollywoodBlvd.
Implication of Modernizationpay per view• Professionalize production to satisfy payingaudience• Dichotomy of actors & audience, the 4th wall• More non-SDA talents to ensure high qualityperformance• Use of Hollywood soundtracks: Narnya, Mrs.Brown, Robin Hood, Hamlet, The TenCommandments, King of Kings, The ScarletLetter, Elizabeth, Ever After, Malena, PearlHarbor, Julius Ceasar, & The Musketeers
Tata Dune• …continually bless & guide us for ourcontinuing support & patronage of HISbeloved komedya, HIS Tanging Alay to all ofus.” Rick C. San Agustin• The Moro-Moro belongs to the saint as itbelongs to the natives of Paranaque-a duty &obligation on both sides… that this move tomodernize the komedya is the will of TataDune to double the returns to support theircivic projects: scholarships, food basketsduring christmas, help for victims of flood &fire in San Dionisio, Paranaque
Performing ethnicity, bayan• People from San Dionisio don’t need toreminisce the good times in Barrio SanDionisio because in the U.S., in Hollywood,L.A., they are in San Dionisio. They enjoytheir komedya with families & friends,neighbors performing their yearly rituals, ornow every 2 years performance of the Moro-Moro to ask for bountiful blessings in life,good health, cure for terminal illnesses thatwestern medicine cannot cure, much like theanting-anting or amulet- to pass that exam,easy delivery, etc.
Moro-Moro as Ritual• Performing the komedya is likened tothe rituals performed by babaylans orshamans--for a good harvest, no longerin an agricultural environment but in thecash & consumerist economy of acapitalistic society called Hollywood, theentertainment capital of the world.
Tata Dune’s Komedya• The undying & fervent devotion & beliefin the power of the patron saints TataDune & Tata Hosep, St. Dennis ofFrance whose head had been severedbecause of his faith, & St. Joseph, thepatron saint of wives who want to havegood fathers for their children & hiscontinuous blessings of an abundantlife keep the komedya, Moro-Moroalive.
Tata Dune• The saint carries his head on a platter,and if there is no komedya, it isbelieved that he throws his head as abratty child whose caprice was notcatered to. To keep him happy, akomedya has to be performed in hishonor on his feastday.
Tata Dune’s Moro-Moro• Otherwise, there would be floods, theharvest would not be as bountiful as theprevious years when the komedya wasperformed. San Dionisio is situatednear the sea. In the past, according totheater artist GA, who trained with theMoro-Moristas of San Dionisio, part oftheir training was to row the boat toreach the site of the training ground.
Never mind if the patron saint is French-- but thepeople of San Dionisio in Paranaque & the people ofSan Dionisio in America firmly believe that SanDionisio has a soft spot for his Filipino devotees. Hespeaks Filipino, understands the Tagalog komedya inTagalog verse & not in French.
Komedya (moro-moro)= TataDune= SDAThe sine qua non of theexistence of SDA is to pleaseTata Dune & Tata Hosep whointercede for them to the LordCreator to grant all the blessings,financial security, good health,happy family & continuousblessings.