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Encore for ‘Proudly Green’

Responding to requests from students and alumni for “more, more, more,” De la Salle University (DLSU) is re-staging “Proudly Green” on July 31.

The musical will be staged twice at the St. Benilde Gymnasium in La Salle Green Hills, Mandaluyong City—a matinee at 4 p.m. and main show at 8 p.m. The new venue was selected for greater accessibility to students.

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The three-act hour-long show is a musical narrative of DLSU’s 100-year history.

“Many alumni weren’t able to attend last time,” Bomboy Araneta, chairman of the organizing committee, explained the repeat performance.

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“Proudly Green” had its first successful presentation on June 11 with some 3,000 alumni, university personnel, faculty, students, their families and friends in attendance at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia Complex.

Said to be the biggest gathering of the “green” community, it kicked off La Salle’s centennial week celebration.

The show was organized and managed by the Grade School and High School Taft Chapter of the De la Salle Alumni Association.

Aside from Araneta, other members of the organizing committee are chapter president Manny Blanco, Toto Acosta, Boy Kalaw, Cesar de Larrazabal, Oscar Lagman, Quinito Henson, Andre Kahn, Portia Santos, Tony Cervantes and Adie Peña.

Songs used in “Proudly Green” are borrowed from major musical productions like “Les Miserables,” “The Student Prince,” “Jekyll and Hyde,” as well as pop and rock hits.

Why green is ‘green’

It also features a blending of three La Salle hymns that, to past and present Lasallians, encapsulate what it really means to be “green.”

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Peña changed some of the songs’ lyrics to better portray situations identified with La Salle and to embody the Lasallian spirit.

Performers include “Miss Saigon” London veterans Robert Seña and Isay Alvarez, and JM Rodriguez and Rannie Raymundo.

They are supported by more than 70 performers, both La Salle students and alumni.

Award-winning director and La Salle alumnus Francis “Fritz” Ynfante directs the musical. Ynfante said he did not include famous alumni like Gary Valenciano and Ogie Alcasid because he wanted “the story to be the main star.”

It took six months of preparation to stage the musical that begins with the quest of nine angels, representing the original nine Christian brothers who founded La Salle in the Philippines.

Other highlights include the murder of the Christian brothers during World War II, the entry of the first women La Salle students, and the decades-old La Salle-Ateneo de Manila University “rivalry.”

“The musical is divided into three acts or eras that always end in man-made disasters,” said Peña. “The first act is from 1911 to 1945 and ends with World War II. The second is from 1946 to 1972 (when) martial law (was declared). And the last is from 1973 to the present, with global warming (being a major concern).”

But Peña said the musical was not tragic as it ended with the color green, suggesting a hopeful glimpse of the future. It would also serve as a challenge to Lasallians of all generations.

The DLSU centennial celebration has two themes: Education and the environment. Araneta said, in relation to the first theme, the alumni are raising funds through projects like “Proudly Green” to support full scholarships for 20 percent of La Salle’s about 100,000 students on 17 campuses and managed institutions nationwide.

This is in keeping with St. John Baptist de La Salle’s mission “to educate the underprivileged and marginalized.”

As for the second theme, La Salle launched the “One Million Trees and Beyond” project and “Project Carbon Neutral” to reduce the carbon footprints of its campuses.

A plan to make the show smaller and more mobile is in the works, said De Larrazabal, so it could be brought to other campuses that are clamoring to see the show.

Tickets are at P300 for students and P600 for non-students and for reserved seats. Call Manny Blanco at 8183021 and 8193963.

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TAGS: anniversaries, De La Salle University, Musical, Philippines
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