Alice Reyes Dance Philippines’ Puso ng Pasko goes on tour!

“P’wede pala na magkwento na gamit ang sayaw?” (Didn’t realize you can tell a story through dance!), Hector, a friend of ours said in amazement after the performers took their final bow at the 2PM show last December 2 at The Metropolitan Theater in Manila. He had his wife, Shirley, and daughter, Hiela, with him and it was their first time to ever watch a full length ballet show.

I absolutely love witnessing these kinds of reactions when friends catch the show for the first time. Alice Reyes Dance Philippines’ Puso ng Pasko is absolutely the best ballet show to invite those who’ve never been to one before because it smashes all the stereotypes about what ballet is.

ARDP kicked off December by hosting three shows at The MET on December 1st and 2nd, but the fun doesn’t stop there. They’re taking the show on tour, starting at the NEPO Center in Angeles City, Pampanga, on December 7th, and then hitting up the Mabini grounds in Malacanang on December 10th. They also have performances lined up in Tarlac City on December 13th and Munoz, Nueva Ecija on the 15th.

And here’s the cool part—all these provincial shows are free for the public! So, if you’re anywhere near these spots, seize the opportunity and catch the show with your fam and friends. Trust me, it’s a show like no other!

On a side note, this December tour isn’t ARDP’s first. They went on a national tour in May of 2023 and during these tours, they held master classes and workshops in technique, movement and choreography, whilst raising and discovering raw, new talents. Some of these talents are now training under the CCP PASP Regional Dance Training Program.

This is the company’s second year to stage the show. Third, if we count its short introduction in 2020. And yet, ARDP manages  to come up with new and exhilarating improvements to look forward to each time.

2023’s production welcomed a second set of “barkada,” with Katrene San Miguel taking the lead role of Sab, opposite her real life beau, Ricmar Bayoneta as Val. Renzen Arboleda and Richardson Yadao join them as Teroy and Caloy, and Michaella Carreon completes the roster as the spunky Osang.

On the other hand, Janine Arisola joins the original cast that includes Ejay Arisola, Monica Gana, Erl Sorilla, and Tim Cabrera,  filling in the spot vacated by Katrene for the role of Osang.

The new set performed in the afternoon shows (TDR –Technical Dress Rehearsal –with a live audience, included), while the original set with Janine Arisola regaled the audiences in the evening shows.

I wasn’t sure how to feel about having a second set when it was first announced. I mean, I know how great these dancers all are, but in my head, if it ain’t broken, why fix it? If you’ve seen the show last year, you’d know that the show isn’t all that easy to do, but watching the second group perform only proved that the calibre of each of these ARDP dancers are just as topnotch as the next one. The second set didn’t just pull the act off, they were phenomenal as a team! My palms were red (and possibly swollen) from all the clapping I did by the time the curtains were drawn.

And that’s not all. Tim Cabrera now alternates with Richardson Yadao, and Sarah Alejandrino and Celina Dofitas play alternates, as well, in the heartstopping Sayaw ng Bangko. Both performances in the afternoons and evenings drew the most cheers from the audiences.

For those who haven’t seen the show yet, Sayaw ng Bangko is based on a folk dance originally from Pangasinan. Benches are piled as high as three or four levels, as the dancers jump from one bench to another. ARDP kicks up the thrill even more with incredible lifts and quick leaps atop these benches.

I swear there’s no breathing for you until the number ends with the girl hoisted at the back of the guy while he balances himself on the highest bench. You don’t believe me? Watch the show. And bring a defibrillator while at it, haha!

I find it mind-blowing how a company can duplicate such a stomach-whirring act, but they did because they can — BOOM! ARDP just managed to raise the bar even higher than their last!

Looking for a reason to bring the kids to this show beyond the jaw-dropping athleticism? Here’s one: Jay, my husband, was all smiles last night, talking about how it warms his heart to see our kids not just appreciating, but also singing original Filipino Christmas music.

Where foreign songs dominate the mall speakers and even our homes, ARDP’s Puso ng Pasko is like a breath of fresh air. Our not-so-Tagalog-savvy kids are now belting out classics like “Mano po, Ninong,” “Pasko na naman,” and “Kampana ng simbahan” or humming not-so-new holiday hits like “Tuloy pa rin ang pasko” and “Anong gagawin mo ngayong pasko?”

We’ve had these songs on repeat for two holiday seasons straight, and guess what? None of us are hitting the skip button yet. There’s just something about these tunes that hits us in the festive feels and ties us back to our cultural roots.

The music was arranged by no other than Mr. Ryan Cayabyab and performed by San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra and San Miguel Master Chorale, if you want to find them online.

Puso ng Pasko is also like a cultural journey for the kids, introducing them to the colorful world of Filipino festivals, traditions, and customs, such as Rigodon de Honor, Higantes Festival, Pandang Gitab (Festival of Lights), Puto Bumbong at Bibingka, Pahiyas Festival—all seamlessly woven into the choreography and acts, making it a cultural feast for the senses that’s too good to miss.

And if you’re not Filipino, the show is a great crash course in learning more about our people, our ways and our traditions.

Theater veteran Audie Gemora leads the cast in narrating this beautiful story of growing up, discovering life, falling in love, and forging lifelong friendships.

A first of its kind, ARDP’s Puso ng Pasko is a collaboration between two great national artists – Ryan Cayabyab, National Artist for Music and ARDP’s founder, Alice Reyes, National Artist for Dance. Story and Libretto by Ronelson Yadao and Eljay Castro Deldoc, in consultation with Carlos Suigion-Reyna.

The show is directed by Ronelson Yadao and features the works of some of the best choreographers in the Philippines — Erl Sorilla, John Ababon, AL Abraham, Dan Dayo, Bonnie Guerrero, Ronelson Yadao and Lester Reguindin.

(READ:ARDP’s Puso ng Pasko — A Christmas Ballet worth adding to your Christmas Traditions — 2022)

To inquire on how to register to see the provincial shows in Pampanga, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija, email [email protected] or visit Alice Reyes Dance Philippines on Facebook.



  • Stephanie

    If this wasn’t half a world away I would attend the show with you! I think you would witness my reaction as pure joy and amazement.

  • Claudia

    I love the pure joy that this show exudes. From the movements to the facial expressions of the dancers, just watching these videos makes me so happy. I’d love to see this.

  • Ramil

    As a Dad who values family time, this post resonated with me. The importance of creating memories during the holidays is beautifully captured. Thanks for spreading the Christmas spirit,

  • Alice Mola

    What a wonderful festival and glad to see that it’s being continued from previous years, with some big names attached to it as well! Seems like a lovely and fun way to experience Filipino culture!

  • lear

    “Alice Reyes Dance Philippines’ Puso ng Pasko on tour” is a festive announcement that brings the spirit of the holidays to life through dance. This heartwarming showcase promises to be a captivating journey, taking the essence of Puso ng Pasko beyond its origins.

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