July 15, 2015




The Cultural Center of the Philippines & Silliman University


July 15, 2015 – 3:00PM

Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater)



What is the real story of how the ampalaya or the bitter gourd came to be? Ampalaya the Musical is the theatrical adaptation of Augie Rivera’s beloved children’s book about the legend of Ampalaya which won much acclaim and many hearts when it was first published by Adarna House nineteen years ago. With music  by  multi-awarded  guitarist  Michael  Dadap  and  libretto  by  Patty  Yusah  (with  Michael  Dadap), Ampalaya the Musical explores issues like the ugliness of envy and greed and what it does to people, and embracing and nurturing one’s  gifts and strengths. This it  achieves through catchy melodies, colorful costumes and animation, which are sure to delight all audiences and take them back to a happy journey revisiting their childhood days. The musical will  be directed by PETA’s Dessa Quesada-Palm, starring many of Dumaguete's local thespians and singers.  .




Long time ago, in the Land of Sariwa, vegetables grew abundantly and happily. Except for a gourd named Ampalaya who was pale, hairy, and bland. The other vegetables tried to welcome her into their play but she bent all rules to suit herself and pushed away all those who tried to befriend her with her mean ways. She was envious of the good taste, color, and other features of the vegetables in Sariwa, and schemed to steal all these things while the rest are asleep. So one night, in her greediness, she stole the color of Kamatis and Talong, the flavorful spice of Luya, the mouthwatering aroma of the Bawang sisters, the sweetness of Kalabasa, the crunch of Labanos, and many more. The vegetables woke up in shock, realizing their unique features were gone. They confronted Ampalaya, and she nonchalantly paraded all that she took from the other vegetables. They sought the help of Atty. Malaya who lifted the case to the Land of Sariwa’s beloved judge, Ubod man sa Saging, and her jury of diwatas. After all evidences were presented and the misdeed proven, the consequence of Ampalaya’s unjust and selfish behavior would finally lead to her major transformation.




The Orchestra Sin Arco (OSA) simply means an ensemble of plucked string instruments. In the Philippines we are familiar with the instruments of the Rondalla ensemble, namely the bandurrias, octavinas, la-ud guitars, the standing bass played in pizzicato, and the Bajo de Uña. The rondalla could be considered as an Orchestra sin Arco because it also employs the use of plucked string instruments performing together. Building and sustaining an orchestra sin arco requires members to be trained as soloists as well as chamber music players, and must have high proficiency in sight-reading skills. They have to go through auditions to evaluate their musical and technical skills. To meet the musical demands of Orkestra Sin Arco, it is important that the instruments are of high quality, have good projection, and have good tonal quality. A world-class orkestra sin arco can perform symphonic works of great composers from Baroque to Classical, from Romantic to Contemporary to Folkloric. Maestro Michael Dadap, a strong advocate and founder of Orkestra Sin Arco after many years of establishing pilot programs in collaboration of Silliman University, has formulated a new line of the banduria family for the OSA. They comprise of soprano bandurias (reprsenting the violin section), alto bandurias (representing the viola section), contra alto bandurias (representing the cello section), and the Contra Bajo (representing the bass section).

The ensemble members of the COPVA Orkestra Sin Arco are composed of twenty college students from Silliman University and from neighboring communities. The orchesra started in 2000 as a six-member traditional Rondalla ensemble known as the Kwerdas. Maestro Dadap, on first hearing the Kwerdas play, was highly impressed by their skills and musicality. In 2002, he came to Silliman University to start a special project sponsored by the New York-New Jersey Silliman Alumni Chapter to start an ensemble composed of plucked instruments otherwise known as the Orkestra Sin Arco. In 2012, the Orkestra Sin Arco was formally launched performing the Camille

Saint Sean’s “Carnival of the Animals” for two pianos, strings and winds, Michael Dadap’s Tikling Suite for strings, flute, and clarinet, and Jerry Dadap’s “Alay sa Inang Bayan” for chorus and orchestra. What started as a student’s jamming has flourished to become Silliman’s pride as the first Orkestra Sin Arco in the Philippines.



Director            :              Dessa Quesada-Palm

Musical Director:           Elizabeth Susan Vista-Suarez

Composer & Lyricist:     Michael Dadap

Librettists:                     Michael Dadap & Patty Yusah

Choreographer:             Angelo Sayson

Set Designer:                Lex Marcos

Technical Director:         Loren Rivera



 Ticket Price:  

P600 | 500 | 400 | 300