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“The Vagina Monologues” returns onstage

 

VAGINA WARRIORS. From L; Regal Oliva, Elaine Bathan, Jean Altavas-Lund, Sarah Mae Enclona-Henderson, Michelle Mendes-Palmares, and Laurie Boquiren (photography Candice Hintz)

 

“The heart is capable of sacrifice. So as the vagina.” With her command of the written word, winning playwright Eve Ensler chose the vagina as her weapon in the fight for women empowerment.

Of course, Ensler talks about more than just lady parts in The Vagina Monologues–the play is based on real-life stories of women interviewed by Ensler who talk about the everyday struggles of being a woman. Since it’s debut 20 years ago, Ensler has inspired millions of women to be proud of their sexuality.

Hence, V-Day. It is a global movement to end gender-based violence, particularly against women and children, one that Ensler herself initiated following the first showing of The Vagina Monologues.

Here, the pussy talks. It delivers a message of individuality, and exploring what it means to be a woman. It tackles the reality of oppression that women face, and the distorted ideas of human equality and discrimination.

In Cebu, The Vagina Monologues has been onstage for 16 years, produced by 2TinCans Philippines, Inc. “What we’re trying to do is to celebrate the victory that we have for women and girls,” says 2TinCans Philippines Producing Director Sarah Enclona-Henderson. “With The Vagina Monologues coming to horizons, it declares women have a place and free to express our sexuality.

VAGINA WARRIORS. From L; Shifrah Bouchikhi-Enclona, Cherryl Pelayo-Dacua, Bea Everdone, Candice Hintz, Patty Taboada, and Sarah Mae Enclona-Henderson (photography Candice Hintz)
VAGINA WARRIORS. From L; Rain Villagonzalo, Gembelyne Icamen, Charlene Virlouvet, Cheryl David-Ibay, Sarah Mae Enclona-Henderson, Korina Estrada, and Joer Gallur (photography Candice Hintz)

On this momentous year, The Vagina Monologues returns on theater stage on Sunday, February 25 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. It marches with Bidlisiw Foundation Inc., to shine a light on one of the province’s darkest problems: child trafficking.

Among Bidlisiw’s objectives is to intervene and raise awareness for HIV-AIDS, child pornography, and human trafficking. The Bidlisiw Foundation aims to improve quality of life of underprivileged members of Filipino communities, and conducts programs that include assisting women and girls who have been abused and exploited.

VAGINA WARRIORS. From L; Sarah Mae Enclona-Henderson, Chiqui Cañete, Stephanie Tiro-Sitoy, and Ehds Javier (photography Candice Hintz)
VAGINA WARRIORS. From L; Lourdes May Maglinte, Brazzy Valdez, Sarah Mae Enclona-Henderson, Jet Cantal-Bacaltos, Alem Garcia, Maki Gingoyon, and Sheila Pestaño-Gemperoa (photography Candice Hintz)

In bringing this mission to Cebu, Enclona-Henderson is joined by the cast of women from varied walks of life, many of whom are veterans of the previous plays and V-Day activities.

Also in the light, to add color to the production is Mandaue City Treasurer Regal Oliva whose representing persons who identify their selves as a woman. “That is who I am representing, persons who transition themselves into a woman,” she says.

Charlene Virlouvet, one of the longest-running vagina warriors, started doing The Vagina Monologues when she was 13. “I used it as an opportunity for myself to talk to my parents about the real issue,” she says. And although she’s been doing it for years, Charlene admits that it is still a long way to go. “People still seem uncomfortable about women talking about their sexuality, about childbirth, rape, and stories of sexual harassment,” she expounds. “All of these are pushed under the rock, this movement is our way of reaching women telling them that ‘you are not alone, we hear you.'”

Witness how Sarah, Regal and Charlene, together with the rest of the vagina warriors, tell the story of women. This year also is a tribute to one of the toughest and a very well-loved warrior Maxi Bolongaita, who passed away late last year.

 

Tickets for The Vagina Monologues are at Php1500, Php600, and Php350. Purchase them at Waterfront Box Office located at the lobby or purchase tickets online through https://2tincans.yapsody.com.

The author: Carlo Rivera

Carlo Rivera is the Managing Editor of Zee Lifestyle Directory. He loves everything about Cebu--where to eat, where to go, where to stay and what's hot in the city. Follow his adventures and morbid #1amthoughts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @carlotherivera
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