Her Father's House

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Her Father's House is a play written by Glenn Sevilla Mas. The play won first prize for one-act play at the 2004 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.


The story is about Dolores, a woman from the province who ventures into sex trade in the big city. She blames her parents for it, so she goes back to the province to confront them about it in order to be able to gain forgiveness and redemption.

The play starts with a procession of a prayer spoken in Kinaray-a. Isabel is disturbed as a light is shone in Dolores making love with choreography to different men. Isabel starts to pray the Hail Mary until Dolores joins her ferociously. After the prayer, Dolores confronts Isabel about the past. Lights change, Dolores steps back as a flashback of a man from the first sex scene forcing Isabel to make love to her is shown. Isabel keeps on refusing while the man keeps on hurting her physically. Dolores steps forward to continue confronting Isabel as to why Isabel stuffed Dolores' mouth with an old rag, tied her hands and feet to the bed, and gave her a mysterious drink that brought her to sleep.

Dolores continues to confront Isabel while Isabel tries to reason with her until a Lenten procession is performed by the chorus, including half-naked men flogging their backs and prayer. Lights turn on the Virgin Mary until the prayer ends and Dolores screams. Dance music fills the air until Madam Ching is shown managing Paradise Inferno, her nightclub. Here, the GRO's laugh before Madam Ching hurries them into doing their erotic dance. Dolores, as one of the prostitutes, disobeys two men's instructions to lick their bodies. The scene turns out to be part of the nightclub's show, and Madam Ching is enraged. Madam Ching asks the men to stuff Dolores' mouth with a rag, tie her arms and feet, and drink something from a bottle until she lies limply on the ground.

A Christ figure with a wooden cross enters to rescue Dolores by untying her hands and feet. She clings on to him as he consoles her. He is nailed with the chorus around him, praying the Our Father. Lights go out on this scene as Dolores and Isabel continue to discuss about the past. Ernesto, Isabel's husband and obviously Dolores' father, steps into the scene waiting for Isabel to make love to her. Isabel refuses, and Dolores helps her by confusing Ernesto. Ernesto grabs Dolores' hair and pushes her outside. Dolores fights back. Isabel rushes forward to assault her husband. Dolores and Isabel start doing mean things to Ernesto, such as spitting at his crotch and biting him fiercely. Dolores realizes what she has done, and she heads for the daylight. She was able to turn the tables around to her parents for what they had done to her. She hopes to find forgiveness as Lent is officially over.


Her Father's House is a harmonious fusion between sacred religion and immoral activity. These two themes were not combined to merely show the contrast between the two. Even though Mas confessed that he uses the sexual theme for the sake of writing a good play, he was able to connect this theme with the other theme smoothly. Dolores seeks revenge (against his parents) and forgiveness (for the wrong things she had done) at the same time, which is a little bit paradoxical in a way. The choreography that was used in the play was very powerful. The whole play showed how far a human person could go just to find the daylight, just as Dolores found her own just after Lent has finished. The play explains Glenn Mas' statement of how we tend to cling to our faith only when we can do no longer anything about it, just as Dolores' surrendering to Christ when she was helpless.



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