|The "The Vagina Monologues" all-stars dance to Beyonce's "Run the World (Girls)" after the curtain call last Saturday at the Music Museum.
MANILA, Philippines – Singer Aiza Seguerra stole the show at the special performance of the award-winning play “The Vagina Monologues” at the Music Museum on Saturday night.
The one-night-only performance, mounted by Monique Wilson’s New Voice Company in celebration of “V-Day Manila 2012,” featured an all-star cast of 40 women from various fields.
Seguerra’s monologue about a child who was raped by an uncle but discovers sexual healing later on from an older lesbian was wildly applauded by the crowd, who packed the Greenhills venue after lining up for an hour.
Before becoming a full-time singer, Seguerra was a child superstar who appeared in many films, although she continues to dabble in acting in TV and movies.
Seguerra was thoroughly enjoyable as she recounted the character’s excitement over her first lesbian experience but she was also moving during her quiet yet painful recollection of sexual abuse.
Other performers who stood out on Saturday were: theater veteran Joy Virata as an old American woman who was sexually traumatized by an embarrassing date as a teenager; “Juana Change” actress Mae Paner, as a participant in a “vagina” workshop; theater actress Sheila Francisco as an insecure woman who was thrilled by a new “vagina connoisseur” boyfriend; theater actress Roselyn Perez as a woman who was raped during the Bosnian war; and theater actress Juno Henares, who demonstrated the various moans of women who are having orgasms.
Aside from the monologues, there were also musical performances from Cynthia Alexander and Kuh Ledesma, who sang Bette Midler’s “The Rose.”
Eve Ensler’s play, which was first mounted in Manila in 2000, has evolved into a global movement to raise awareness on violence against women.
Saturday's performance began with a reminder to the audience that one in three women around the world will be beaten or raped during her lifetime – a statistic that was repeated again and again throughout the evening.
Wilson, who did not do any monologue, closed the performance by asking women in the audience who have been abused to stand up. Among those who acknowledged that they have been victims of abuse were a group of comfort women from the group Lila Pilipina, the show’s beneficiary.
Among the new monologues added to the play actually dealt with the plight of the comfort women. Theater actress Pinky Amador did the monologue, which was more of a bullet-point presentation of the struggles of the comfort women who have been seeking a formal apology from the Japanese government. A slide presentation of historical photos accompanied the monologue.
Wilson also announced that this year’s “V-Day” marks the one-year countdown for “One Billion Rising,” a global day of action for women and men around the world to gather and dance to end violence against women and girls.
“One Billion Rising” is set on February 14, 2013.