These are extracts from a musical produced by the vibrant Fo Shang Guan community in Cebu, in the Philippines. I haven’t seen the full musical yet, but I have a friend in Taiwan who has promised to send me a copy when she returns 🙂
I have never been very keen on musicals, but the composition and the earnestness of the actors in this one won me over.
The following clips are of sixteen of the songs, with only a little bit of dialogue in some of them to set the scene. The main composer for the music and lyrics is Jude Gitamondoc, with other songs written by Larisa Hao Chin, Alfeuso Esposite, Joseph Abella, Bob Aves and Grace Nono.
Some of the songs have been based on Ven. Master Hsing Yun’s poetry. The songs, which are in English with Chinse subtitles, are:
01. The Opening Song depicts the desire of King Suddhodana to have a Son.
02. The Birth of Siddhartha.
03. The Prediction of Asita
04. Queen Maya sings My Son is Not My Own.
05. Prince Siddhartha plays with his playmates and ponders on the meaning of life and death.
06. King Suddhodana tries to distract Siddhartha and he chooses his Bride.
07. The Grand Wedding Celebration of the musical Siddhartha.
08. Siddhartha feels something is missing in his life and vows to become more than what he is.
09. The Four Signs Siddhartha saw after going out of the palace.
10. Siddhartha questions the Meaning of Life, while Yasodhara longs for Siddhartha.
11. A Comedy Scene depicting the Five Attendants.
12. Siddhartha started Meditating under the Bodhi tree before he became Enlightened.
13. The Buddha sings the Eightfold Noble Path to the Five Attendants.
14. Taking Refuge and a Discourse about the Four Noble Truth.
15. The Buddha Returns to Kapilavasthu to meet his Father and Wife.
16. The Grand Finale.
One of the astonishing things about this is that most of the team – writers and performers – are Catholic Philippinos, who got together with their Chinese friends to produce the musical.
The Founder of Fo Shang Guan, Ven. Master Hsing Yun, gives his thanks to the performers and audience at the end of the show.