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Here's Why You Need to Watch Resorts World Manila’s "Ang Huling El Bimbo"

"Nakakaindak. Nakakaaliw. Nakakatindig balahibo."
Here's Why You Need to Watch Resorts World Manila’s "Ang Huling El Bimbo"
IMAGE Marj Ramos
"Nakakaindak. Nakakaaliw. Nakakatindig balahibo."

One does not need to be a huge fan of the Eraserheads to acknowledge the fact that this Pinoy rock band’s iconic songs are practically synonymous to OPM itself. If you’ve lived long enough to witness the ‘90s, there’s no way the lyrics of Pare Ko, Magasin, or Alapaap have never struck a chord (otherwise, there must be something seriously wrong with you). Enter Resorts World Manila’s latest production, Ang Huling El Bimbo, which is—quite literally—your ticket to a trip down memory lane. Featuring original music penned by Ely Buendia, Raymund Marasigan, Buddy Zabala, and Marcus Adoro themselves, this proudly Filipino-produced musical hits almost too close to home.

Below, we list down more reasons why you NEED to catch the show at RWM's Newport Performing Arts Theater, stat!

1. It will transport you back to the ‘90s.

Sure, Ang Huling El Bimbo also encourages its audience to come in their best ‘90s outfit, but there’s a lot more to the production than characters clad in flannel shirts, combat boots, and chokers. (Don’t get me wrong, though: Award-winning costume designer Marlon Rivera’s wardrobe decisions do make a significant impact on the show overall.) To say that the entire musical gives a pang of nostalgia would be an understatement; the first half of the story was basically dedicated to a flashback to the main characters’ days as students in UP, strategically complemented by a set design and a curation of songs that capture the zeitgeist of what essentially defined the mid-‘90s era.

IMAGE Courtesy of Resorts World Manila

2. The casting was brilliant.

Ang Huling El Bimbo tells the story of three college friends who have had to part ways because of a tragic incident which eventually reunites them after 20 years. The weight of giving justice to the main characters fell heavily on the young Anthony ( Topper Fabregas), Emman (Boo Gabunada), and Hector (Reb Atadero), all of which are brilliantly executed alongside Tanya Manalang who plays the young Joy. Also headlining the cast are Gian Magdangal, Jon Santos, OJ Mariano, Sheila Francisco, and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo a.k.a. the first lady of Philippine musical theater.

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IMAGE Courtesy of Resorts World Manila

3. It tackles relevant issues in our society.

While the first half of the musical is mostly lighthearted and fun, featuring a happy LSS-inducing Tindahan ni Aling Nena (my personal fave, TBH!) and Pare Ko as a marching song reinterpreted by a bunch of ROTC cadets, the plot actually gets dark towards the second act. It tackles poverty, gender discrimination, injustice, and other relevant issues that director Dexter Santos and playwright Dingdong Novenario definitely didn’t shy away from.

IMAGE Courtesy of Resorts World Manila

4. It will give you LSS for weeks.

Prepare to have Eraserheads on repeat in your Spotify playlist, because in case I haven’t reiterated it enough, their iconic songs are the heart of this musical. The likes of Huwag Kang Matakot, Spoliarium, Ligaya, and of course Ang Huling El Bimbo are thoughtfully and artistically weaved into the making of the story.

IMAGE Courtesy of Resorts World Manila

5. Ely Buendia himself highly recommends it.

Because obviously, what better way to convince anyone to watch Ang Huling El Bimbo than Ely Buendia himself giving his stamp of approval, right?

"Ang Huling El Bimbo" runs at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in RWM until September 2, with shows every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Tickets are now available at the RWM Box Office and all TicketWorld outlets. Visit www.rwmanila.com for more details.

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