The Vagina Monologues

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The Vagina Monologues (TVM) is a revolutionary Obie Award-winning stage play written by Eve Ensler which was first premiered in the Philippines through the efforts of the seasoned thespian Monique Wilson in 2001. Its controversial Filipino version entitled Usapang Puki was staged by the UP Repertory Company and Gabriela Youth at the Dalisay Aldaba Recital Hall in UP Diliman.

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Synopsis

"The Vagina Monologues" (TVM) transpires through a series of monologues, based on interviews, discussing women's issues which relate to the female organ, vagina. Every monologue features stories of women's fantasies, vulnerability, sexual experiences and self-discovery. Some of the monologues include: I was Twelve, My Mother Slapped Me; My Angry Vagina; My Vagina Was My Village; The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could; The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy; Because He Liked to Look At It; and I Was There in the Room. The piece, conceives the vagina as a tool of women empowerment.

"Usapang Puki" On Stage

In February 2001, the New Voice Company (NVC) first staged its VDay benefit production of "The Vagina Monologues" at the Music Museum. The play ran under the direction of the actress and NVC founder Monique Wilson. The initial production of the play encountered strong oppositions such as the government's prohibition of the use of Filipino word for “vagina”. Despite the controversies, the play still took on stage and continued its production at a dozen of venues including many Catholic universities. It came with highly acclaimed cast including famous Filipino actresses like Gina Alajar, Pinky Mador, Angelu de Leon, Angel Aquino, Belinda Panelo, and Shiela Francisco.

It was in March 6, 2002 when the Filipino version of TVM was first shown on stage under the title Usapang Puki. The play, sponsored by UP Repertory Company and Gabriela Youth, ran for three days at the Dalisay Aldaba Recital Hall in UP Diliman. Its controversial Filipino script was commissioned by the New Voice Company to University of the Philippines Professors Glecy Atienza, Joi Barrios, and Luna Sicat Cleto and produced under the direction of Roselle Pineda. On the script, the play opens with the famous defiant line “Ang tinggil ay dalisay ang layon.”

According to a report in Today, "The Vagina Monologues" has already been translated into 45 languages and performed over 119 countries in the world. Since then, the production of TVM became one of the most popular work drives of both local and international women's organizations to end violence against women and girls. In particular, the Filipina Women's Network has been staging TVM annually for local communities agencies that supports the advocacy against violence among Filipino women. The also play paved way to the immediate approval of domestic violence laws in the Philippines when a group of female legislators invited NVC to perform in front of the Senate and Congress.

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Citation

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