Bp’s ‘Limang Daan:’ An odeto Filipina resilience and heritage (food, included)

Photographs by Pauline Pascual for the Daily Tribune ABREGANA.

Ballet Philippines, known for its seamless fusion of art and dance, unveils its latest production, Limang Daan, marking the culmination of its 54th season. This original full-length ballet, set to premiere on 8 March (International Women’s Day) at The Theatre at Solaire, promises to be a captivating narrative that traverses 500 years of Philippine history, spotlighting the resilience and triumphs of Filipina women.

Under the visionary leadership of Ballet Philippines president Kathleen Liechtenstein, Limang Daan emerges as a powerful testament to the enduring spirit of Filipinas throughout the ages.
“It’s an important narrative about Filipino feminism,” she said.

Liechtenstein affirmed the significance of the narrative, describing it as an exploration of Filipino feminism, encapsulating the struggles, joys and aspirations of Filipino women past and present. It is a celebration of how Filipinas have transcended societal constraints to shape their own destinies.


At the heart of Limang Daan is the collaborative genius of librettist Moira Lang, an esteemed writer and filmmaker whose insightful portrayal of Filipino women’s experiences adds depth and resonance to the production. Lang delves into the complexities of Filipino identity and confronts the lingering vestiges of colonial mentality, drawing inspiration from the untold stories of Filipino women who have defied oppressive forces throughout history.

“Our people’s complicated relationship with national identity and the colonial mentality that persists to this day certainly informed the piece as I was writing it,” Lang said.

The writer added, “But the bigger and more direct inspiration came from the lives of Filipino women who have suffered and transcended the oppressive, deadly and very sex-negative tandem of religion and the patriarchy.”


Limang Daan introduces a cast of heroines whose stories span centuries. From Ana, a modern-day healthcare provider in New York grappling with workplace harassment, to Amihan, a babaylan resisting Spanish colonization in the Visayas, the ballet weaves together a tapestry of narratives that embody the diverse struggles and triumphs of Filipino women.

The production also pays homage to iconic figures, such as Maria Clara, whose portrayal transcends the pages of literature to embody the awakening of repressed desires, and Gawani, an Igorot woman finding strength amidst exploitation at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.


As Ballet Philippines embarks on this artistic journey, Limang Daan serves as a poignant reminder of the rich cultural heritage and resilience of Filipino women. Through captivating choreography and evocative storytelling, the ballet invites audiences to reflect on the indomitable spirit that has shaped the Filipino identity.

To further immerse the members of the press in the ambiance of Limang Daan, Liechtenstein recently curated a gastronomic feast featuring a selection of dishes inspired by the production. 


The Limang Daan Dinner Menu included Abgrena (Chicharon manok, Roquefort, Pepper gellee, Bagnet chips, Composta di Amarene, Silay Ginamos, Amedei chocolate), Bola bola (Pipinito, Lumpia ubod, Itlog maalat and Molo), Sabaw (Paho Manila and Tultul Guimaras), Ensalada Alibangbang (Gin-sunog nga Kuliplor, Singkamas, Sigarilyas, Pakwan, Tessa, butong), at iba pa, Labneh), Adobo (Adobo nga Lukos kag Pitaw, String Hopper), Prutas Popsikol (Variety of frozen fruits), Sud-An (King crab alimango, Lukon Maine, Pangat kag butong), Antes Panyam-is Aiskrim (Kampot ube kag piyaya nga may pamienta) and Sri Lanka true cinnamon (hot tea in a pot).

These culinary delights served as a sensory complement to the narrative, allowing audiences to savor the flavors of history and culture intertwined.