Heeding the call of Mayor Marcy Teodoro to teach Marikina’s history to the young generation of Marikenos, the Batlaya Theatre Guild of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina (PLMar) is mounting plays based on the life of Marikenos who played a big role in the history of the Marikina.
Batlaya is portmanteau or a blended word that resulted from combining two words, in this case “bathala” (God) and “kalayaan” (freedom).
“Somehow may pagka-radical ang Batlaya. Because we believe na dapat ang theatre ay magsilbing mirror ng kung ano ang kasalukuyang nangyayari sa society and how it can awaken the young people of Marikina about the realities of life outside of the school,” says Edwin Maestro, artistic director of Batlaya.
Formally formed in 2012, Batlaya has for its members PLMar students, most of them Mass Communication students taking up theatre arts as a subject.
Batlaya normally mounts one major production lasting for at least an hour each year, and several short ones – 15 to 30 minutes -- for the communities in Marikina.