When “Tabing Ilog” returns this March as a musical, audiences can expect it to still tackle real and serious issues familiar to themes, but in a new time and milieu.
The universal themes of friendship, family, coming of age, and finding where one fits in this vast world will still thread through the story. Audiences of all ages will surely appreciate the familiar sense of nostalgia while also learning more about the challenges and realities that today’s young people experience.
This is the “Tabing Ilog” of Gen Z, with all the complexities of what it means to be a teenager today. They have cellphones and social media, and the whole world at their fingertips. But they also face challenges that are different from previous generations.
While its predecessor took on real and serious teen issues – failing in school, the consequences of unsafe sex, substance abuse, and how to handle disagreements with peers and parents – “Tabing Ilog: The Musical” will tackle subjects like depression and anxiety, and how a supportive friend group is a huge factor in taking care of one’s mental health.
It will also portray the struggle of not being able to have the same carefree lifestyle as one’s friends because of financial and family problems. With the barkada’s romantic relationships, there is confusion and infidelity. The group will also face the reality of their fast-paced and changing world.
In support for ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc.’s Bantay Kalikasan, the musical will also tackle environmental issues that concerns the country today.
“Tabing Ilog” was a cultural hit when it first came out on TV screens in 1999. The iconic Kapamilya TV series introduced viewers to future film and TV superstars like John Lloyd Cruz, Jodi Sta Maria, Paolo Contis, and Kaye Abad, among others. At the core of the show was friendship, loyalty, and enduring camaraderie through the eyes of six teenagers who were coming of age. Anne, Rovic, Eds, George, Badong, and Fonzy all came from different backgrounds but found comfort in each other.
The musical features a mix of fresh and veteran talents, including Agot Isidro, Jojit Lorenzo, Joanna Co, Paolo O'Hara with theater actors Gab Pangilinan, Ian Pangilinan, Vino Mabalot Justine Narciso, Krystal Kane, Teetin Villanueva and Franco Ramos; TV personalities Noel Comia Jr. and Elyson de Dios; and PBB and MNL48 stars Kiara Takahashi, Abi Kassem, Sky Quizon, Hanie Jarrar, Batit Espiritu, Emjay Savilla, Jem Macatuno, Gian Wang, Gabby Sarmiento, Miah Canton, Abby Trinidad, Belle Delos Reyes, Lou Yanong, Missy Quino, Shawntel Cruz, Ian Hermogenes, Art Guma, and Lie Reposposa.
“Tabing-Ilog: The Musical” will run from March 7 to April 26 at the ABS-CBN Dolphy Theater at the ABS- CBN compound in Quezon City. Tickets are priced Php 1,000, Php 1,200, Php 1,500 and Php 2,500, and are available online in KTX. The production is also open to showbuyers. Contact 0977 836 0315 for tickets and inquiries.