“This indeed is a very unique and first-of- its- kind two-hour radio festival – a celebration of the great martyr’s life and works as well as an instilling of our national hero’s noble ideas and teachings… Mars Cavestany

One of its kind in the world!

This page is dedicated to the efforts of a group of Filipino Australian community radio broadcasters, announcers, technicians and producers in Sydney as they pay homage to the Philippine national hero, Dr Jose Rizal, via radio broadcast of the hero’s selected works. The Rizaliana radio festival is their way of celebrating the hero’s sesquicentennial year and their tribute to the hero’s life-time fight for freedom.

The program segments will be aired alternatingly in December 2011 by participating community radio programs. After each broadcast, the radio segment will be uploaded to this page and archived for playback.

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Cast & Production Team

(Concept – Production Design – Script Adaptation – Artistic Direction)

Full Drama No. 1
Parting at Calamba

Radio adaptation by Dr. Mars Cavestany of Dr. Severino Montano’s original English one act play of the same title

Donya Teodora – Nilda Carpo
Saturnina – Violi Calvert
Soledad – Bless Salonga
Trinidad – Hazel Urqueza
Padre Dalmacio / Manuel – Jhun Salazar
Two Kids – Reianne Urqueza (as Adela), Milan Velasco (as Alfredo)
Incidental voices created by Bamban Labalan, Benny Chan, Sally Clark
* Featuring the Sydney Sonata Singers led by Eliora Tagudin, Rachel Zarate, Cecilia Germo and Ramon Rodil

and Mars Cavestany as Jose Rizal

Full Drama No. 2
Along the Pasig

Junto al Pasig by Dr Jose Rizal, Spanish original; Along the Pasig by Leon Ma. Guerrero, English translation, adapted/contemporanized in Modern English as well as translated in Pilipino as Sa Tabi ng Pasig by Dr Mars Cavestany

Original music composition by Oliver Gadista

Additional songs adapted by Mars Cavestany from Gardy Labad and Freddie Dimadura

Leonido – Reggie Daguio
Angel – Florabelle Grace Pasco
Candida – Reianne Urqueza
Playmates – Rocealisa Urqueza, Brandon delos Reyes, Myriel delos Reyes, Hazel Urqueza, Benny Chan
Chorus of Devils – Irvin John Bunyi, Benny Chan Jr., Jhun Salazar
with Mars Cavestany as Satan
and Brian Lorenz Babon as the singing voice of Satan

Sina Donya Victorina at Donya Consolacion… Ngayon

Written by Benny Chan Jr.

Starring guest film/TV/radio actress Ms. Vangie Labalan

Dramatic Excerpt – Dream Sequence
The Love of Leonor Rivera

Written by Dr. Severino Montano

Leonor – Sally Clark

Pepe – Mars Cavestany

with Rachel Zarate singing “Awit ni Maria Clara”.

Tri-lingual Poetry Recitation
An Hour Before Martyrdom

Written & interpreted by Mars Cavestany incorporating a tri-lingual recitation of Rizal’s Mi Ultimo Adios

Gerry Musa – Spanish
Sally Clark – English
Ronald Manila – Filipino

Special music recordings by the Sydney Sonata Singers led by choir master Loi Tagudin with Rachel Zarate and Ramon Rodil as soloists.

Overall Narration
Ronald Manila & Dr. Cen Amores
Technical Direction
Bambam Labalan
Production Management/Coordination
Benny Chan Jr.
Production Assistants
Josie Musa, Fresinida Daguio, Magdalene Pasco

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Did you miss your favourite radio programs when they aired some Rizal-related pieces? Don’t worry. Here are some of them which you can play back.

Dramatic Readings & Music

Awit ni Maria Clara
An Hour Before Martyrdom
Teodora Alonzo

Multi-awarded actor-director-playwright and Radio Bandila broadcaster Mars Cavestany sets the ball rolling with his moving renditions of Rizal’s poem “Awit ni Maria Clara” and his own poetry “An Hour Before Martyrdom” plus a short narration about our national hero’s equally heroic mother, Teodora Alonzo.

“Awit ni Maria Clara” is a classic piece based on Dr Jose Rizal’s Canto de Maria Clara, but the version used in this radio festival is the music composition of Juan M. Hernandez. The song in this website was originally sung by Rachel Zarate for the play “her Son, Jose” directed by RC Reyes and used here as a background to Rizal’s poetry “Song of Maria Clara” recited by MDCJR.

Ikaw Ang Best Friend Ko – Composed by Oliver Gadista, one of the most exciting Sydney-based homegrown Fil-Oz songwriters to watch out for.

More music…

Everything I Want
Only After All This Time

These original Oliver Gadista compositions will be adapted into the Rizal sarsuela “Along the Pasig”. Listen to the original now and watch how these songs transform into musical theatre pieces the next time you visit this website.

Latest blogs about the festival

27 Nov 2011 Chained by Fate by Bless Salonga

27 Nov 2011 Special moments at ‘A Parting at Calamba’ by Violi Calvert

27 Nov 2011 Ang Dalawang Senyora at Si Ms Vangie Labalan by Benny Chan Jr

26 Nov 2011 The Rizaliana Radio Festival rides high by Mars Cavestany

18 Nov 2011 Musings of an Accidental Radio Drama Queen (Kuno) by Violi Calvert

3 Nov 2011 Youth’s chance of a lifetime by Jaime K Pimentel

2 Nov 2011 Rizaliana Radio Festival Update by Mars Cavestancy

29 Sept 2011 Fil-Aust stations going all out for Rizaliana radio festival (Part 2: Conclusion) by Mars Cavestany

20 Sept 2011 Remembering my radio days in line with Fil-Aust stations going all out for Rizaliana Radio Festival (Part 1) by Mars Cavestany

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Sponsoring Groups & Participating Radio Stations

Filipinas – PETALS / Benny Chan Jr.
Filpress Radio Cell / Jaime K. Pimentel
SBS Filipino Language Radio / Ronald Manila
The Filipino Australian / Romy Cayabyab

Radio Bandila, 2CCR 90.5 FM
Tuesdays, 2-4pm
Tom Baena / Raquel Pellero / Mars Cavestany

Radio Dalisay, 2NSB 99.3FM
Sundays, 8-9pm
Nilda Carpo / Mars Cavestany
*** Playing festival segments on 18 & 25 Dec 2011; 1 Jan 2012

Radio Kawayan, 2SWR 99.9 FM
Sundays, 7-8pm
Josie Musa / Gerry Musa

Radio Mabuhay, 2BACR 100.9 FM
Sundays, 9-11pm
Cen Amores / Ruben Amores

The Mob, 2RDJ 88.1 FM
Sundays, 7-9pm
Oliver Gadista / Bless Salonga

The Mob, SWR 99.9FM
Thursdays, 8-9pm
Oliver Gadista / Bless Salonga

Pinoy Radio, 98.5 FM
Mondays, 7-9pm
Ross Aguilar / Cecille Aguilar

Radio Sandigan, 2RDJ 88.1 FM
Fridays, 9-10am
Michelle Baltazar / Violi Calvert / Veronica Munro

Radio Tamaraw, 2GLF 89.3 FM
Tuesdays, 7-8pm
Jhun Salazar / Cora Paras / Alisha Buaya

SBS Radio, 97.7 FM (Sydney)
Sat/Mon, 9:00 – 10:00 pm
Tue/Thurs/Fri, 10:00 – 11:00 am
Wed, 11:00 am – 12:00 noon
Ronald Manila


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The cast of “Parting at Calamba” during their final rehearsal on Monday, November 14 at Director Mars Cavestany’s place.

Here are some photos (courtesy of Violi Calvert) the cast likes to share with everyone. In one of the group photos are Mars Cavestany (front, kneeling down), Jhun Salazar, Hazel Urqueza, Bless Salonga, Violi Calvert, Nilda Carpo and Jemwel Danao (who plays Rizal in “Her Son, Jose Rizal” who dropped by from working on the set for HSJR).


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