The Vagina Monologues: Fighting violence against women

WITH their continuous fight against violence on women and girls, the VDay Cagayan de Oro will once again stage The Vagina Monologues on Feb. 17 at Liceo de Cagayan University's Audio Visual Room (AVR) 1.

The Vagina Monologues (VM) is an award-winning play based on the interviews of more than 200 women all over the world by VDay founder and playwright Eve Ensler.

With the intent to create awareness of the existing violence against women, Maia Fortich Poblete, the director of the Vagina Monologues and founder of Oro Teatro Bulawanon, said VDay CDO has been working with all genders: men, women, and the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community.

"Here in CDO, we thought that if we focus on just women and girls, it’s not really a complete move to a solution because if you want to achieve something, you have to work together. So ours is, we work with women, we also work with men and also with the LGBTQ," Poblete said.

Poblete added that even though it was against the production rules, they still continue to involve all genders in the production of the Vagina Monologues as they think it was "the right way."

"We involve everyone because there are also men who want to help out and there are LGBTQ community members who also want to help out. Everyone who wants to help out is welcome with us," Poblete said.

She also stressed the group's aim to make the public conscious of the idea that the word "vagina" is not "a bad word."

"So if you say 'bilat' or 'bisong' or 'vagina,' you do not commit a sin. Because dili sya pamalikas (it’s not a bad word). It’s a part of our body as women, it’s one of the miracles that produces life so how can it be bastos? How can you sin if you say the word 'vagina?' It gives life. It’s a part of every woman that you meet," Poblete said.

In contrast to their production in 2017 wherein they just translated the English pieces to Visayan or Tagalog, the VM director said this year they will be performing eight original pieces, all are true stories, written by Kagay-anons who are play's casts and former members of VDay CDO.

According to Poblete, the pieces will focus on different themes: two will be on rape; two pieces about a woman's experience during their first menstruation; another two will tell the story of women who wanted to become men; a piece for older women; and the play's spotlight piece about sexual harassment.

"Hopefully ma-realize sa mga tao nga dili joke ang violence (people will realize that violence is not a joke), whether you are a man or a woman or a gay, transgender, lesbian, violence of any kind can happen to you. So mas ok na informed ka kaysa you close (it’s better to be informed rather than closing) your eyes," Poblete said.

VDay CDO, Poblete said, will also be having a bazaar in Limketkai Mall on February 8 to 14 wherein merchandises such as t-shirts which are sold at P350 (black shirts) and P450 (white shirts), will be on sale.

Tickets for the show are also available in the bazaar at P150 for professionals and P100 for students.

On the day of the performance on February 17, VDay Oro will also be selling their merchandise and tickets outside Liceo de Cagayan University's AVR 1.

VDay is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. It is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations.