What Is Philippine Zarzuela?

The Philippine zarzuela is a type of drama that originated in Spain, and includes singing and dancing on stage. The lyrics are alternatively spoken and sung in both operatic and popular styles.

Different types of zarzuelas have evolved in several countries with Spanish heritage, including the Philippines. At present, there are two main types of zarzuelas: the romantic and the baroque. Though most zarzuelas in the Philippines are performed in Spanish, some are performed in the Ilocano dialect. Competitions are officially sponsored throughout the Ilocos region by the Department of Education and are participated in by students of all levels.