PETA marks theater comeback with Batang Rizal

After Philippine Educational Theater Association’s (PETA) big digital breakthrough during the pandemic: a string of successful online show streams and virtual workshops, the pioneering Filipino theater company is making a big theater comeback for its 55th Theater Season! 

The return to the theater features no less than a PETA classic, Christine Bellen’s Batang Rizal! First to launch online via streaming from October 14-16, the well-loved musical will be the first show to open PETA’s theater stage in November.

Co-written, directed for stage, and choreographed by Dudz Teraña, with musical direction, arrangement, and composition by Vincent de Jesus, Batang Rizal is a remarkable piece because of its ability to resonate with audiences across generations. Its power rests in its simplicity and relatability, while carrying a deep challenge for audiences to become everyday heroes.  

Even after a decade and a half, the magic of Batang Rizal has not wavered. PETA artistic director, and Batang Rizal video director, Maribel Legarda, says that one of the most powerful aspects of the show is “how Rizal’s story is told not through the eyes of an adult but that of a child’s.” 

“We hope to inspire children and young people to imagine a world where they can participate and contribute in a healthy way. We want them to be conscious of not only their own reality but also of the world around them,” she adds.  

First staged in 2007, Batang Rizal won the hearts of critics and audiences because of its imaginative storytelling, together with timeless songs, including the well-known PETA classic “Pag-asa Ng Bayan,'' which originated from the show.

It is for this reason that the story of Batang Rizal lives on, always remaining fresh for new, young audiences. However, older audiences are still able to enjoy the show, as it serves as a reminder of a Filipino’s duty to family, friends, and country. 

Perhaps, Legarda continues, it is also because of how the social realities during Rizal’s time are not too far from the issues and problems our society faces today. “Batang Rizal is timeless and it will always be able to speak to any generation and inspire them to believe in and be part of that heroism.”

After fifteen years since its original run, the 2022 staging now features a new cast, new set, and new animations. The cast features Tim Mabalot, Yhuan Gatbunton, Gold Villar-Lim, Norbs Portales, Carlon Matobato, John Moran, Teetin Villanueva, Jovy Vieja, Raven Relavo, and Marynor Madamesila.

Watch Batang Rizal’s online streaming via from October 14-16, 2022, and the limited run at the PETA Theater Center on November 25 and December 2 (9:00 AM and 3:00 PM). 

For ticket inquiries and touring packages, contact Mitch Go at 0917-539-1112. 

For streaming tickets, go to 

Batang Rizal is also part of PETA’s Hero Vision creative campaign, which aims to trigger conversations and reflections on heroism – and to inspire Filipinos to choose to live heroically every day.

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