Women-composed group staged ‘Masain Ako Saaga?’ to condemn sexual abuse amid Women’s Month Celebration

TRIGGER WARNING: Sexual Harassment, Child Abuse, Rape

OAS, Albay — Community art group composed of women, Sining Lila Bicol staged Wednesday, March 22 its second anniversary production, ‘Masain Ako Saaga?’ (Where will I go tomorrow?), an experimental theater play that dwells in the dark and disturbing perspective of sexually abused victim of different age and gender.

In a theater play that lasts about one (1) and a half hour, the production carefully introduced and narrate series of stories that depicts a seemingly distrubing yet eye-opening experiences of victims of sexual harassment. 

In an interview with Tiffany Sophia Dorothea Espinosa, the production manager and president of Sining Lila Bicol, she said that ‘Masain Ako Saaga?’ is a product of collaborative work and in-depth research on different stories of real people who experienced such an abuse. 

“[Layunin] ni Sining Lila Bicol na [magmulat ng mga tao] sa mga pang-aabusong pinagdaraanan ng mga kababaihan maging na rin ng ibang kasairan kagaya ng mga lalaki at miyembro ng LGBTQIA+ community,” Espinosa said. 

[Sining Lila Bicol aims to open the eyes of people from the abuses experienced not just by women but also by other gender like men and members of LGBTQIA+ community.]

Sining Lila Bicol is an Albay-based community art group found in 2021 which aims to put forward women’s rights in the community through creative art expression of theater.

End victim-blaming

Meanwhile, the said production is also in celebration of International Women’s Month which aims to raise awareness on women’s rights against different forms of violence and abuse.  

Espinosa shared that ‘Masain Ako Saaga?’ is the group’s way of condemning the continuous stigma of victim-blaming against victims of rape, sexual abuse and harassment. 

“Sa pamamagitan nito (Masain Ako Saaga?) gusto naming patunayan na walang rason kung bakit may mga taong nagiging biktima, lagi itong kasalanan ng abuser,” Espinosa said.

[Through ‘Masain Ako Saaga?’, we wanted to prove that there’s no reason why there’s a victim (of rape and sexual abuse), it is always the fault of the abuser.]

As an experimental theater that defies the usual theater norm, said production also acknowledge suggestions for improvement from the audience which they later incorporates to the storyline of the play as they stage it in each session. 

The said play is also in collaboration with Babaylan Ensemble, another cultural art group based in Albay which advocates for women and human rights. 

‘Masain Ako Saaga?’ is staged every 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. from Mar. 22-26, 2023, and you can watch it by availing a ticket worth Php100.00 at the Pasakalye Black Box Art Studio. | Ken Oliver Balde

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Photos by Zachary Oliver Gonzales, Budyong