2. Juan Matapang Cruz -
Hindi Aco Patay
(I Am Not Dead) was presentedat the Teatro Nueva Luna in Malabon on the night of May 8, 1903.The play features the story of Karangalan (honor) who loves Tangulan(defender, patriot), and resists Macamcam (one who usurps power; theAmerican insular government). Tangulan is thought killed in a duel with
Macamcam, but he springs up and declares, “I am not dead!” The red
sun on a Katipunan flag rises behind the stage, representing freedomwon, and the loyal Filipinos take the villains and traitors captive.-A riot occurred when a drunken American soldier hurled an empty beerbottle at the Katipunan flag, then climbed the stage with some othersand tore the scenery apart. This led to the arrest of the theater
manager, the banning of the play, and the confiscation of “seditious”
props, among them Katipunan flags and revolutionary emblems. Ten ofthe actors were arrested a month later while Cruz was arrested twomonths later.-During the trial, Cruz denied he was the author of the play and evenpointed to his wife as the one who wrote the play. Nevertheless, Cruz
was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, and apparently served them
-he was a revolutionary longbefore he concentrated onplaywriting. He was a member ofthe Katipunan and later wrote forvarious nationalist newspapers.In August 1900 he headed a secretsociety called Junta de Amigos,
“with authority from Aguinaldo toform and organize guerrillas” He
became involved in variousrevolutionary activities during theAmerican period and was arrested anumber of times.In his lifetime, Tolentino sufferednine imprisonments.His most popular play was
Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas.
Itwas about attempts tosubjugate the Philippines inthe past (by the Chinese), inthe present (the Spanishofficials and friars) and thefuture (the Americans), andhow Inangbayan (MotherCountry) and her son Tagailog(Tagalog; the Filipino) winover them.This was played on May 14,1903 at the Teatro Libertad inManila.
At one point, the scriptcalled for the actor playingTagailog (the Tagalogprovinces) to haul down theAmerican flag and totrample on it as a sign ofvictory. Since the actor wasreluctant to do this in fullview of the Americans inthe audience, Tolentinoreportedly took over therole himself. This angeredthe Americans in theaudience, who then riotedAs a result, Tolentino andseveral other members ofthe company were arrested