Writing this play was a massive labour of love that took us many years. From the onset, we wanted to write a Filipinx-Canadian story that the kids in our family could see themselves in—something we didn’t have growing up. Representation matters so we also wanted it to be big, fantastical, and epic in scale so they could know that their
stories and culture are epic as well.
Through the Bamboo was originally inspired by a book Andrea received as a child about the Samal myth of Tuan Putli and Manik Buangsi. This play was inspired by Philippine mythology, but it is not Philippine myth as you would hear in its traditional form. As Filipinx-Canadians we are interested in connecting with our ancestral lands and the richness of our culture, but as settlers who grew up here in Canada, we are also heavily influenced by Western tradition.
For Through the Bamboo, we were inspired by fantasy and adventure stories like The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, The NeverEnding Story, and the Chronicles of Narnia. We created this play through our unique diasporic Filipinx-Canadian lens, and we’ve reimagined myth and character to reflect those intersections.
Three of our grandparents have passed away and we wish we had the opportunity to speak to them again and learn more about their lives. We hope our play encourages more conversation between grandparents and grandkids and we hope you walk away from this story being curious about your grandparents. If you’re lucky to have grandparents that are still alive, we hope you’ll be inspired to ask them about their lives—who they are outside of being your “lolo” or “lola” (Tagalog for grandpa and grandma)—we bet they’ll have some great stories. And if your grandparents have passed away, we hope this play sparks a memory of them and reminds you that you will always be connected.