The play Orosman at Zafira is a Komedya written by Francisco Baltazar, a renowned Filipino writer who wrote it for the Teatro de Tondo.. This theater form, Komedya, is not a comedy, but in fact a colonial Spanish drama that revolves around saints or warring kingdoms. However, this play deviates from the standard Komedya; original komedyas were about the Moro-Christian conflicts while Orosman and Zafira is about the characters rather than religion. The play was an adaptation of Baltazar’s original in order to suit modern Filipino audiences. Examples of the difference made for the play are the Filipino tribes who were originally Turkish kingdoms; the neo-ethnic music for a tribal feel of the play and; the dances instead of marches in the original text.
The story of Orosman at Zafira begins with the introduction of the narrator, Zelima. She sings about the Marruecos, Tedenst and Duquela tribes and Mahamud, sultan of the entire realm and the Pacha of the Marruecos who calls for a feast. All the pachas have been invited including Bousalem, Pacha of the Tedenst, and Zelim, Pacha of the Duquela. Bousalem suspects that Mahamud clandestinely plots to kill all the pachas to gains absolute power. With this in mind, Bousalem orders the assassination of Mahamud in the feast.
The scene then turns into the meeting of the lovers in the story. Gulnara, Mahamud’s wife, and Aldervesin, his adopted son, begins an affair alongside the meeting of Orosman, Tedenst Sultan Bousalem’s son, and Zafira, Marruecos Sultan Mahamud’s Daughter. The affair was soon found out by Mahamud and immediately ordered Aldervesin’s execution while Orosman begins to court Zafira. Gulnara attempts to free Aldervesin but fails to do so. Zafira, who wishes to help Gulnara, enters the dungeon were Aldervesin is kept and bumps into Abdalap, Tedenst Sultan Bousalem’s other son. He is immediately mesmerize by Zafira and tries to woo her while she leaves. The Tedenst tribe then frees Aldervesin and begins plotting Mahamud’s assassination in the banquet.
The assassination was successful and Bousalem immediately takes the late sultan’s throne. Zafira, Gulnara and Zelim, the Pacha of the Duquela tribe, begins the first war against the Tedenst were both Gulnara And Zafira were captured. After the war, Bousalem orders Zafira’s execution. Abdalap then attempts to free Zafira in exchange for her love but was caught by Ben-Asar, Bousalem’s right hand. Abdalap is put in jail and agrees to marry Gulnara in exchange for his freedom. Gulnara meanwhile crosses paths with Aldervesin and both were reunited. Abdalap begins wooing Gulnara but she refuses his offer even when Bousalem confronts her about it. Bousalem then orders Aldervesin’s execution. Orosman then frees Zafira and finds out that Orosman is also Bousalem’s son. She then leads the 2nd war against the Tedenst with Zelim and Aldervesin. Ben-Asar is killed in the war and Zelima is introduced as Ben-Azar’s daughter. Zafira is captured again and...