Xian Lim’s ‘Ibong Adarna’ screened as tribute to late National Artist Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio

Published January 5, 2021, 3:38 PM

by Stephanie Bernardino

The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) showcased Xian Lim’s version of “Ibong Adarna” for MALA (Movies Adapted from Literary Arts) as tribute to the late National Artist for Theater Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio.

On Facebook, the CCP said they wanted to celebrate Amelia’s many contributions to the arts.

“‘MALA: Ibong Adarna,’ directed by Xian Lim and written by Ony Carcamo, incorporated puppetry, something that Ms. Lapeña-Bonifacio has developed, not just in the country, but in certain parts of Southeast Asia,” it shared.

“Known as the ‘Grande Dame of Southeast Asia,’ Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio drew on traditional Asian puppet theater forms to create ‘an indigenous fusion of puppetry, children’s literature, folklore, and theater’ that integrated music, dance and drama in order to educate, inspire, and entertain young Filipino audiences.”

Xian’s educational puppetry film series originally premiered October last year.

Amelia, 90, passed away early morning of Dec. 29.

Back in 2010, she was honored with the title “Mother of Philippine Puppetry” by UP’s Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts for her efforts in promoting Philippine stories and Asian puppetry and eventually creating a Philippine puppet tradition.

Before she became a National Artist for Theater in October 2018, she had written 44 plays, 136 short stories, and 26 books, mostly for children and young adults.

Some of her notable plays were “Abadeja: Ang Ating Sinderela (Abadeja: Our Own Cinderella),” “Papet Pasyon (Puppet Passion),” and “Sita & Rama: Papet Ramayana.”