Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

"Vaginas" reigned

- Rycky Pilapil -

CEBU, Philippines - February’s erratic weather could not even prepare for the storm that only “Vaginas” could bring.

My absence in last year’s staging certainly got me to look forward with eager anticipation. Not only was I be able to play a character whom I am akin to, but it also gave me the rare opportunity to be part of a very noble cause: V-Day, a global movement that raises awareness to stop violence against women and girls. This movement brings to local venues its advocacy by raising funds to support anti-violence organizations and ultimately uniting women all over the world giving them a voice of one.

Here in Cebu, Crystal Cavalier Pro-ductions combined this world-wide campaign with its artistic interpretation of Eve Ensler’s award-winning Vagina Monologues. Last February 28, an ensemble cast delivered yet another show-stopping performance at Onstage in Ayala Center. The lovely Iris Cular opened the show as the welcoming vagina, encouraging everyone that for the rest of the evening, it was ok to say the female organ with conviction sans hesitation!

With the welcome monologue setting up the mood for the entire performance, there was no holding back. Cheri Lou Mendoza reprised her monologue “The Flood,” retelling the sexual experiences of a septuagenarian, Lera Lumactod’s “He Liked to Look at It” narrated a woman’s under-appreciation of her own vagina until she found a man obsessed with looking at her anatomy. “My Vagina was a Village,” performed by Heather Cordova and Quennie Razonable, was a poignant tale of the experiences of Bosnian women during the war. Sarabeth Sarita’s “Angry Vagina” screamed about a woman’s scorn over feminine products that in some ways violate its sanctity.

Recently added to this year’s monologues was “Homespun,” detailing a young gay man’s pre-operative stage in getting that much desired sexual reassignment. Maki Gingoyon gave an emotional delivery in reprising his role. In “Reclaiming the Cunt,” director Raymond Ordoño injected a local flavor into the piece by delivering it in three languages: in addition to English were Cebunao—Bi**t and Tagalog—Po-ke. This certainly got the audience screaming the vagina in all tongues!

Finally, the most talked-about monologue, “The Woman Who Loved to Make Women Happy” voiced the many possible moans that women achieve at the height of physical passion. As a twist, Sunshine Mauro delivered the written piece while Sarabeth Sarita vocalized the euphonious tones of pleasure. The surprise performances of this writer and thespian Roy Olivares, along with Maki Gingoyon in “They Beat the Boy out of My Girl” solicited all the laughter and applause for the evening. Adapted in the vernacular, “Ang Pagbukbok sa Babae sa Akong Paglalaki” talks about the courageous plight of every trans-gendered woman to be embraced by society.

Congratulations to the cast and crew! (Crystal Cavalier Productions is currently working hand in hand with the Department of Labor and Employment for a project in increasing awareness of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace).

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