Alice Reyes’ Rama, Hari 2024: Why you should watch it again and again…and again!

We went to see Rama, Hari at Samsung Performing Arts Theater last February 17 mainly for two things: to show support and cheer for Filipino artists, and for my two older boys, Pablo and Lukas, who aspire to be as skillful as their dancing icons. You should have seen them all leaned over the entire second act!

I was expecting to see exactly the same acts from when we watched Rama, Hari at the Metropolitan theater in 2023, but I was delightfully surprised to see that ARDP added a few touches that made the show even more unforgettable.

(Read: Alice Reyes’ Rama Hari 2023)

Last year, we witnessed Ronelson Yadao and Monica Gana shine as Rama and Sita. But what made the experience feel new was seeing powerhouses like Katrene San Miguel, Ejay Arisola, and Ricmar Bayoneta step into the roles of Rama, Sita, and the main villain, Ravana, in the 2pm show.

The cast of Rama, Hari at It’s Showtime:

I instantly became a fan of Bayoneta when he portrayed Val in ARDP’s Puso ng Pasko last December. There’s something refreshing about his presence onstage. This one, my friends, is a star.

Interestingly, Bayoneta portrayed a priest in Puso ng Pasko two years ago, a role that stands in stark contrast to his portrayal of the dark and scheming Ravana in ‘Rama, Hari.’ This highlights Bayoneta’s versatility in tackling diverse characters.

I didn’t even recognize him because of his moustache. I had to lean over the boys to ask who it was, haha! I’ve seen this kid up close and he is nothing like Ravana in real life.

One of my favorite scenes was when Sita, played by the beautiful Katrene San Miguel, sent off Lakshmana (played by Renzen Arboleda) to go after Rama when she heard screams from afar. She was dancing to the haunting “Magbalik ka na, mahal”and while lost in her anguish and longing for her missing Rama, the vile Ravana was making his way down slowly towards her.

That scene and the one that followed were so strong, it freaked me out. I posed the same question last year — but was that a rape scene that followed between Ravana and Sita? Freaked me out last year, still freaks me out to this day, holy cow!!!

Rama, Hari 2024 promo video:

Katrene San Miguel was long and beautiful, and absolutely charismatic. And if I may say so, believably distressed (and bratty towards Lakshmana!) in her portrayal of Sita: and Ejay Arisola conveyed the full spectrum of emotions required of Rama. He exuded authority as the rightful king, exhibited strength as Sita’s husband, and displayed remarkable courage in the battle scenes.

That shadow play, OMG — outstanding! I don’t think I appreciated it last year as much as I did this year. I especially loved the part when Rama met Ravana in the middle of the battlefield and killed him. Ang galing!

I have one question, though…why is Rama always sleeping? In Act 2 alone, I think he slept three times. I told my husband it reminded me so much of him, haha!

The part in the show that I found endearing the most was when Rama returned to Ayodha after his 14-year exile. His brother, Bharata, who had acted as king in his absence, extended the crown to him. Bharata, played by the young stunner, James Galarpe, then knelt and bowed before him, acknowledging Rama as the rightful king.

I was teary over this! I thought I was just being over-emotional, but I turned and saw Judah as teary-eyed as I was.

In my humble opinion, “Rama, Hari” is an incredible blend of two cultures—Indian literature and Filipino creative genius. But what truly makes it a Filipino masterpiece is the preservation of the heart at its core and the combined efforts of all the artists involved.

“Rama, Hari” is a collaborative work of five National Artists: Alice Reyes for Dance, Ryan Cayabyab for Music, Bienvenido Lumbera for Literature, Salvador Bernal for Theater Design, and Rolando Tinio for Theater and Literature.

Live music was performed by The Orchestra of Filipino Youth under the baton of Toma Cayabyab.

The production also boasts the enchanting voices of Vien King and Nica Tupas, and the dynamic performances of Jonel Mojica as Ravana, Jon Abella as Hanuman, Raflesia Bravo as Kooni, Marynor Mademesila as Gintong Usa (Golden Deer), and Audie Gemora as King Dasaratha.

Rama, Hari is primarily a ballet musical, but it was quite refreshing to see that the singers were moving more (and even dancing!) in this version as they took on their roles alongside their dancing counterparts all throughout the show. They are, after all, renowned musical actors and respected performers. In my humble opinion, it took the storytelling up a notch.

Alternating for the roles are Richardson Yadao/Arman Ferrer as Rama, Monica Gana/Karylle Tatlonghari & Sheila Valderrama-Martinez as Sita, Poppert Barnadas as Ravana, Sarah Alejandro & Kristynne Buri/Miah Canton as Soorpahanaka, Erl Sorilla/Paw Castillo as Lakshmana, Lester Reguindin/John Ababon as King Dasaratha, Michaella Carreon as Kooni, Karla Santos/Katrine Sunga as Kaikeyi and Gintong usa, Dan Dayo as Hanuman.

Ronelson Yadao and Lester Reguindin head Rama, Hari’s artistic team.

Homeschoolers represent! With Ken, Joanna & their kids who came to watch the 7:30pm show.
With friends from church -homeschooling family, Jeff, Pia & Erin.

ARDP’s Rama, Hari will have another weekend of performances on February 23, 24 and 25, with shows at 2pm and 7:30pm. Tickets are available at Ticketworld.

Sponsor a student to watch Rama, Hari on February 24, 2pm show! Click here to register and check your email for payment details.


  • Kimberley Asante

    I just read your article on Fully Housewifed about “Alice Reyes’ Rama Hari 2024,” and I must say, it’s incredibly compelling! Your passion for the production shines through as you delve into the intricacies of the performance and its enduring impact on audiences. Your insightful analysis of the themes and artistic elements of the show adds depth and nuance to readers’ understanding. It’s evident that you have a deep appreciation for the artistry and craftsmanship involved in bringing Rama Hari to life on stage. By highlighting the reasons why audiences should watch it repeatedly, you’re not only celebrating the work of Alice Reyes but also encouraging others to experience the magic of theater. Keep up the fantastic work of sharing your love for the performing arts and inspiring others to immerse themselves in its beauty! 🎭✨👏

  • Nayna Kanabar

    Watching the video you shared made me want to go and see this performance in person. What a beautiful and delightful performance , amazing costumes and interesting story about Lord Rama and Sitaji. I remember watching the story of Ramayan as a child with my grandma.

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