Ballet film highlights Iloilo’s role in PH revolution

Discover the significant role of the Ilonggos in the Philippine Revolution and the remarkable symbolism of the historic Plaza Libertad in a contemporary ballet film entitled  La Libertad de Iloilo.

The two-part showcase brings the audience to the onset of the Tagalog War in 1896. It serves as a reminder of the crucial participation of Iloilo City and its  Battalion de Voluntarios  (Volunteer Battalion), a unit of 500 soldiers shipped to Manila in 1897, which led to the momentous signing of  Pacto de Biacnabato  (Pact of Biak-na-Bato).

  A still from the ballet film ‘La Libertad de Iloilo.’
  A still from the ballet film ‘La Libertad de Iloilo.’
It narrates how the  voluntarios  demanded reform from the Spanish government and revisits the raising of the Philippine flag at the plaza, formerly known as Plaza Alfonso XII, after Spain surrendered Iloilo, its last capital in the country.  

Plaza Libertad, which was built in 1869 during the incumbency of Spanish Governor  Manuel Iznart, stood witness to several notable events including the rising of Iloilo into an internationally known cosmopolitan city in the 1980s.  

Hosted by the Dance Program of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, the film was directed by Dance Major  Joanne Therese Sartorio  under the guidance of dramaturg and former Virgin Labfest director  Armando “Tuxqs” Rutaquio Jr., the Chairperson of Benilde Production Design.  

“Plaza Libertad remains to be the center of Iloilo City,” Sartorio noted. “However, its glory has waned and it needs to be reignited and one way to do this is through arts and dance.”

La Libertad de Iloilo  will be livestreamed on May 21, 5:00 p.m., on the official Facebook page of Benilde Arts and Culture Cluster (

Topics: Ilonggos , Philippine Revolution , Plaza Libertad , ballet film , La Libertad de Iloilo
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