Komedya is colorful theatrical tradition in the Philippines that describes the conflicts between the Muslims and the Christians. It was used by the Spanish as a method to spread Christianity in the country.
2 Types of Komedya
Secular Komedya is performed at the local fiestas. Moro-Moro is a type of Secular Komedya which portrays the clash between the Muslims and the Christians where the forbidden romance between the prince and the princess is settled by having the non-Christian be converted to christianity or by his or her death followed by a resurrection through divine intervention. Tibag or arakya is a popular secular komedya which is featured during the annual Santacruzan. The story evolves on the search for the Holy Cross by Queen Elena and her son, Emoperor Constantino.
The Religious Komedya is also called Komedya de Santo centers on the life of Christ or of any saint. It usually seen during church celebrations. The actors move in a stylized way, have extravagant costumes and elaborately choreographed war scenes.
Examples of Religious Komedya
- Siete Palabras
- Comedia de San Miguel
The Komedya instantly spread in various parts of the country through the help of the landlords and to the Hispano-Christian values incorporated in the Filipino culture, but it was eventually criticized for lack of realism and national importance.
The Komedya's popularity decreased as the number of feudal lords shrank and modern forms of theather emerged.
- Almario, Virgilio and Ani Rosa Almario, ed. 101 Filipino Icons. Quezon City: Adarna House, Inc. and Bench, 2007