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Review: 'Sandosenang Sapatos' a heartwarming musical about father’s love

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"Sandosenang Sapatos" is a must-watch for those seeking a heartwarming musical that tugs at heartstrings and stimulates introspection this Yuletide season.

Tanghalang Pilipino is restaging this well-loved play which speaks volumes about a father’s love for his daughter.

Adapted by Layeta Bucoy from Dr. Luis Gatmaitan's Palanca-winning children's book of the same title, "Sandosenang Sapatos" narrates the story of wheelchair-bound Susie, a talented young writer determined to fulfill her shoemaker-father's wish to have a ballerina for a daughter.


Each year, on her birthday, Susie dreams of a place where a diwata gives her a pair of shoes that enable her to walk and dance.

Upon learning her father is ill, Susie implores the shoes in her dreams to allow her to see the diwata so she can ask for legs and turn his father's dream into a reality. Despite her efforts, Susie fails, and her father passes away.

Drowned in despair, Susie refuses to interact with the diwata in her dream on the eve of her 12th birthday. When Suzie wakes up, her mother and sister discover a dozen shoes.

The revelation that his father made the shoes for her leads to a touching scene where she dreams of dancing with her late dad, moving the audience to tears during the play’s opening night last Friday, November 17.


Under Jonathan Tadioan's direction, the cast's superb acting and vocals brought life and energy to the play. They deeply connected with the audience as they sang songs composed by Jed Balsamo and Noel Cabangon, and danced together with on-point choreography.

Felicity Kyle Napuli’s performance as Susie during the opening night was outstanding. She guided the audience through a rollercoaster of emotions — from pain and longing to joy and hope. (Wincess Jem Yana takes on the role in some shows.)

"Sandosenang Sapatos" also cleverly utilizes the entire theatrical space at the Tanghalang Ignacio Gimenez (CCP Black Box Theater) to enhance audience involvement as the story unfolds.

This heartfelt production is a poignant reminder, especially as Christmas approaches, that true joy lies not in material gifts but in love, family, and friends.

"Sandosenang Sapatos" offers a performance that lingers in memory — a narrative that will resonate with people of all ages, cultures, and circumstances. It's a tale that touches souls, urging reflection on the intangible yet palpable connections binding us all.

"Sandosenang Sapatos" will run until December 3. Visit Tanghalang Pilipino’s Facebook page for more information.

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