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Writer’s Recap: Sa Pagsapit ng Dapithapon sees the light in the darkness

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The rhythm of music is parallel to the rhythm of life—it tells our story and speaks the hope we yearn for. This is the message that the De La Salle Innersoul (DLS-Innersoul) sang in their 24th Major Concert, Sa Pagsapit ng Dapithapon, last April 16, 17, 23, and 24. Under Vince Mallari’s direction, the show featured songs that mirror the confusion, anguish, nostalgia, loneliness, and hope brought by the pandemic. 

The concert wasn’t your typical onstage production—featuring a collection of music videos and short messages of healing and recovery, it takes classics we’ve come to love and explores new narratives truly resonant with the times. 

Ihantad ang silakbo ng damdamin 

The show immediately set things straight with their rendition of Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire. The anthem celebrates what unites us despite the isolation brought by the past year and was accompanied with colorful comic book visuals inspired by Jimmy Fallon and the Avengers cast’s version of the hit song. The show then heated up as they belted out Sampaguita’s Nosi Balasi, amplifying how every waking day is a battle to conquer.

For a change of pace, the more soulful Dahan-dahan medley depicted the fatigue of social isolation, and their comforting version of Umaaraw, Umuulan by Rivermaya showed the inevitable highs and lows in life. The message is followed by a cautious reminder—people may take advantage of you, especially in your most vulnerable state, as they sing Bata, Dahan-dahan by IV of Spades. 

‘Di tatagal ang pighati

The singers jived in a celebration of faith with their Better Than I medley kicked off with a cover of His Eye Is On the Sparrow. This was followed by wistful renditions of Filipino classics like Sa Ugoy ng Duyan and Ili-Ili Tulog Anay.

Up next, the Magkakabalikan Medley illustrated the many complexities of love through their covers of Dati and My Valentine, paired with visuals reminiscent of early Nadine Lustre music videos. Opening with editing techniques that expressed the dichotomy of external facade and internal feelings of a person, the next song was a cover of Ben&Ben’s Sa Susunod na Habang Buhay. The medley ended with a performance of Sugarfree’s Makita Kang Muli that evoked  imagery of fire through the backgrounds and the performers’ red clothing.

Ikaw ang Kasama

The next number was an acapella cover of Panic! at the Disco’s High Hopes, which expressed a positive outlook for the future. Then, the succeeding performance opened with a scene mirroring the iconic four-way phone call from the comedy classic film Mean Girls. This signaled the start of a performance that featured an original composition titled Bibitiw, which highlights the friendship among the performers and the need for connection with others.

The energy then picked up through the aptly named Dance Medley which featured songs from female hitmakers such as Kings & Queens by Ava Max, Break My Heart by Dua Lipa, Edge of Midnight (Midnight Sky Remix) by Miley Cyrus and Stevie Nicks, That’s My Girl by Fifth Harmony and Shout Out to My Ex by Little Mix. The medley exuded 1980s vibes, with the performers sporting elegant disco-inspired getups.

Patuloy sa Paglaban

Sa wakas, nakita ko na ang bahaghari,” said the video preceding the next performance. Then, the harmonized first chorus that marked the start of F.U.N.’s Some Nights takes over. Capturing the inevitable uncertainty for the future, this cover performance served as a mellow precursor to a bombastic finale.

(At long last, I can see the hopeful end.)

Featuring the overall concert’s thesis, the final number was a cover of Michael Bolton’s Love Is A Wonderful Thing. This featured guest appearances from organizations under  DLSU-Manila’s Culture and Arts Office, particularly the La Salle Dance Company-Folk, La Salle Dance Company-Street, La Salle Dance Company-Contemporary, the DLSU Harlequin Theatre Guild, the DLSU Chorale, and the Lasallian Youth Orchestra, who provided unique flavors to the performance in line with their expertise.

Amid an era riddled with fear and disconnect, DLS-Innersoul’s Sa Pagsapit ng Dapithapon proved that the will to sing and perform before an audience is stronger than the lack of a shared physical performance space. In fact, the online concert highlighted that the gift of music is most essential in helping us make sense of the confusion and doubt brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ultimately, Sa Pagsapit ng Dapithapon framed itself as a tool for catharsis. “Hindi nawawala sa atin ang pag-asang tayo ay makahahanap ng karamay sa mga hamon ng buhay. Sama-sama nating lampasan ang mga unos ng kahapon,” the concert’s description stated.

(There is hope in us finding a companion in life. Together, we will get through our past hardships.)

By Bea Cruz

By Andrei Jaluague

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