Once again, the controversial The Vagina Monologues is coming to Dumaguete this March 5, Thursday, 7 pm at the Luce Auditorium. This year's TVM is produced by the SU V-Day College Campaign 2009, the SU Psych Society and the SU Student Government - Gender Studies Executive Committee.
So what is V-Day and what is The Vagina Monologues all about?
V-Day is a worldwide movement began in the late 1990's by author, playwright and activist Eve Ensler who's play, The Vagina Monologues, was staged to raise the public's awareness about violence against women as well as raise funds to benefit female victims of violence and sexual abuse. Valentine's Day has been designated as the official V-Day, a day to celebrate womanhood and renew the fight to end violence against women. TVM is a collection of monologues by several women, all talking about vaginas/sex/abuse/violence in different forms and in different voices.
There have been several modifications and variations to the original TVM. In 2004, a transgender version was presented California and in 2006 the Tagalog version, Usaping Puki, was presented in Dumaguete. My high school classmate, Pam Galvez, our vivacious friend, Sharon Dadang-Rafols, and I were part of the cast of Usaping Puki. We had such a great time with our director, Dessa Quesada-Palm, as well as with the rest of the cast and crew that we were hoping for a rerun. But it was not to be as this year a younger and more energetic generation of women have been tasked to present TVM 2009, subtitled 'Every Vagina has a Story'. I personally know some of the cast and production team members and I know how talented and hard working they are. Thus, my expectations for this year's TVM is quite high.
To be sure, something as controversial as talking about sex and vaginas, to the point of staging a play at the Luce Auditorium about it, is going to meet a lot of criticism, especially in conservative Dumaguete. It has been so for each year TVM has presented. Actually, I find some of the monologues a bit too graphic to the point of being crude. Maybe the crudeness is purposive, intending to be unsettling. Overall, I think it's a wonderful play worth watching. I have my favorite monologues: the one where the persona is a young innocent girl who was molested by her father's friends, then there's the hilarious one talking about orgasm and, of course, that of the lola's who were once made into comfort women by the Japanese during the war.
Find out which stories will make you laugh, cry, cringe or shudder. Be at the Luce Auditorium on Thursday, March 5. Show starts at 7 pm. Tickets at 150, 175 and 200 pesos.