Jukebox musicals are more fun in the Philippines. There is something about tuning in to musical stage productions starring the songs of artists we know and love.

The world of musical theater can be too intimidating for many to even give a chance. But by featuring songs that we are already long familiar with, jukebox musicals provide an accessible entry point for more casual fans.

Here are jukebox musicals that became a cultural reset in the Philippines due to their immediate and oftentimes lasting impact.

3 Stars and a Sun

3 Stars And A Sun Poster

This 2016 dystopian musical set only 10 years later offers hope in a non-ideal world through the revolutionary rap music of the late Francis Magalona. As alluded to by the title, the musical’s plot posits how remembering one’s Filipino identity is already an act of rebellion.  Aside from the eponymous track, 3 Stars and a Sun includes songs like “Kabataan Para sa Kinabukasan” and “Mga Kababayan”.

Ako si Josephine

Promotion for Ako Si Josephine

In reference to the Pop Rock Superstar’s real name, Ako si Josephine is a tribute to the career of Yeng Constantino. It celebrated her decade anniversary in the industry through special arrangements of the singer-songwriter’s entire catalog. By setting the story where love songs are banned, Constantino’s work takes on new meaning as heard in the ever more romantic renditions of “Hawak Kamay”, “Ikaw”, and the like.

Ang Huling El Bimbo The Musical

Scene from Ang Huling El Bimbo

Courtesy of @joselito.o.tolentino

Ang Huling El Bimbo The Musical is the most-watched Filipino musical of all time, staging over 100 shows since its 2018 premiere with sold-out reruns in the process. Through streaming, a recorded performance of the musical was able to raise over P12 million in donations with over 7 million views in two days. It features the lyrics and melodies of at least 40 Eraserheads songs, namely the band’s titular hit.

Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! 

Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! Promotional Poster

The work of APO Hiking Society is the star of the show under Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! Set in the ’70s, the musical follows a group of college friends who experience their respective struggles while entering a songwriting contest. It tackled relatable themes such as family and freedom during Martial Law, all seamlessly with hits like “Panalangin”.

Rak of Aegis

Rak of Aegis promotional poster

Featuring the music of the popular 90’s rock band, Rak of Aegis premiered in January 2014 only months after super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) ravaged the central Philippines. The musical performed in Filipino proved to be both timely and timeless. It included classics from the Aegis catalog such as “Halik”, “Luha”, and “Basang-Basa sa Ulan”.