What is the musical about?

²BAYANI is a two-act rock opera on the last days of Andres Bonifacio, his arrest in April 1897 to his assassination a month later. Memories of the main events that led him to prison comprise the bulk of the musical.


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It is a tribute, a celebration, and a call.

It is a tribute to a hero who rallied us for the first time as one nation and one people—not katutubo, indio, or mestizo, but as Filipinos.

It is a celebration of defiance from a man who, despite incredible odds—betrayed, imprisoned, hounded, and treated as a footnote to the revolution—pursued his desire to establish to free us from colonial rule.

It is also a call, a rock call, to re-imagine ourselves as a nation as we confront the threats that divide and make us small.

Rock with us!

Synopsis of the Play

Soldiers loyal to Aguinaldo swoop down Bonifacio’s camp and arrest him and his brother Procopio for, supposedly, malversation of funds. The arrest turns violent as Bonifacio gets shot and hacked. Soldiers drag Bonifacio to jail, there to languish in pain, until the court sentences him. His spouse, Oryang, and friend, Santiago Alvarez, offer constant support.

Bonifacio looks back at the events that brought him to prison from his cell. His mind drifts to the time he organized the Katipunan, held secret meetings in Mt. Banahaw, suffered betrayals, and in a dream, spent a happy day with fellow Katipuneros. He recalls traveling to Cavite to prevent the Magdalos from setting up a revolutionary government and merging with the Magdiwangs as a united force against Spain. Such a move would spell the demise of the Katipunan and undermine his authority as Supremo. But advisers and, in particular, Don Mariano Alvarez, persuades him to consolidate forces and join a convention that will elect the new government leaders.


²BAYANI first stepped on stage in 1996 as a Tanghalang Ateneo production with an ensemble of student actors at the Rizal Mini Theatre, Ateneo de Manila University.

Areté, in partnership with Tanghalang Ateneo, staged the rock opera ²Bayani as an online theatrical production in early 2022. Reunited for the re-staging after 26 years are Ricardo Abad, who directed the play and the tandem of Zosimo Quibilan, Jr. and Khavn, who wrote the libretto and the music.

Complying with strict health and safety protocols, Areté and the production team proceeded with a 10-day lock-in schedule. They recorded a stage-to-screen performance of the Bonifacio rock opera in November 2021.

After a month of online rehearsals, the professional cast, the artistic team, and the production staff entered Areté's Hyundai Hall, thrilled to return to live theater after almost two years in pandemic isolation.


How is ²BAYANI connected to the 2022 elections?

²BAYANI exposes many parallels between elections then and now. We see vote-buying, rigged elections, the maligning of candidates, the personality-orientation of politics, the factionalism of the parties, the clash of egos, false trials, betrayals, negotiations and violence to witnesses.

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How does ²BAYANI reflect our identity as Filipinos?

²BAYANI shows the seemingly contradictory aspects of our identity. We are religious. Like the Katipuneros, we believe that faith gives purpose and meaning to life and confers strength and protection from evil. Yet we also possess, like the Katipuneros, a secular spirit strong enough to battle against colonial rulers or tyrants to achieve our freedom.

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Bullet Dumas

Alyana Cabral

Larissa Buendia

Ali Figueroa

MC Dela Cruz

Greg Abelardo de Leon

Angelo Galang

Matt Gador

Gabo Tolentino

Pat Libao

Norvin De los Santos

Michael D. Fernandez

Meyanne Plamenio

Jam Binay

Nashvie Magracia

Lance Soliman

Pio Bagnol

Austin Gonzales

Tara Jamora Oppen

Jamie Papa


Nanding Josef

Artistic Team

Direction: Ricardo Abad

Original Music and Libretto: Zosimo Quibilan, Jr. and Khavn

Lighting Design: D Cortezano

Set Design: Adriane Mark E. Ungriano

Costume and Make-up: Tata Tuviera

Choreography: Jared Jonathan Luna

Musical Direction: Zosimo Quibilan, Jr. and Khavn

Vocal Direction: Matthew Chang

Sound Design: John Robert B. Yam

Director of Photography: Glen Charles Lopez

Property Design and Execution: Winter David

Graphic Design: Rio Reyes

Projection Design: JJ Agcaoili

Production Team

Production Management: Kevin Duane Ligot

Musical Arrangement: Francis De Veyra

Technical Direction: Adriane Mark E. Ungriano

Stage Management: John Mark Yap

Sound Engineering: Nilo Beriarmente

Safety Officer: Justine Ray B. Santos

Assistant Production Managers: Senanda Gomez and Noriel Mendoza

Assistant Stage Managers: Rio Tanchuling and Maxine Pulgar Ramos

Assistant Costume and Make-up Design: Francesca Dela Cruz and Shaun Ocrisma

Projectionist: Jethro Nibaten

²Bayani is a rock tribute, a rock celebration, a rock & roll call to arms!

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