Exposed: The Vagina Monologues cast reveal their thoughts on the hot-button play
CELEBRATED on Feb. 14 with events held until the end of Women’s Month (March), V-Day stands as the cornerstone of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues. The worldwide movement, which commemorates its 15th anniversary, was created with the vision that each local community will stage performances of TVM to raise money for the benefit of female victims of violence and sexual abuse.
In Cebu, five ladies from diverse backrounds but echo TVM’s message of independence and empowerment have been cast in a local production of the episodic play. With director Rhea Fantonial-Bautista at the helm, Adrienne, Andrea, Charlene, Patty and Sheena have joined hands in a creative bid to help end violence against women. (Fiona Patricia S. Escandor)
The Vagina Monologues is a 2-in-1 for me—two passions in one, that is: my passion for performing arts and standing up for women and children’s rights. The play allows me to get hands-on in helping women in our country especially those from the grassroots level. My heart bleeds for every woman and child who is abused consciously and unconsciously, especially if they can’t fight for themselves. It is then important to disseminate information and educate the people —this I do through TVM.”
TVM is all about women empowerment. I like that it gives to different charities that help women in need, and at the same time empower them, especially that we are Filipinas and our society tends to put limitations on who we are and what we can be.
I hope that every woman who sees and hears the monologues will see that they have the power to really make a difference in the world if they choose to do so. I started being involved with TVM because of my love for acting. Now I can really see its purpose, and it gives me fulfillment to be able to work with amazing women for a good cause.”
Just this week, I hailed a cab that was approaching my direction. I was confused whether or not it was going to stop because there was a girl seated in front. It did, the girl went out and I hopped in. The driver then started laughing and told me he just met the girl along the sidewalk, and how he wanted to rent her for a night but he didn’t have enough money. He was so happy telling me about it that it made me sick.
This is why TVM is important to me. I see it as an artistic medium to correct this distorted concept of women as commodities of pleasure. It’s either this or punching narrow-mined people—such as that cab driver—on the face. I choose the non-violent way.”
I didn’t have an idea of what TVM was all about, not until I watched my first show back in 2010—and I absolutely loved it. I love how it addresses women’s issues, still be relatable, not to mention entertaining. The blunt honesty in the individual stories, as well as the message of the overall show, were so overwhelming and empowering that I just knew I had to be part of the next show. I had to be involved. I wanted to inspire other women, to uplift them, to open their eyes and to make them feel there is no shame in talking. I wanted that role.”
TVM is by no means wholesome. It’s straight to the point and downright in-your-face.
It is important to me because I want people to walk out of the theater laughing at the comedy of the material, and also grasping at the reality of violence against women.
Although the play has been done several times in several places, there are still women out there who are afraid to say the word ‘vagina’, who are unaware of their sexuality, and who allow themselves to be stepped on by others. The fact that people are still this way shows that TVM still has a mission to accomplish.”