Alas, V-Day One Billion Rising came. It took a year of preparation in building up the big day: from the conception, coordination, community organizing and rehearsals through the collaboration of GABRIELA, Gabriela Women’s Partylist and New Voice Company with Monique Wilson as spokesperson. Besides Wilson, among women personalities who rise are Angel Aquino, Anne Curtis and Glaiza Castro.
Philippines’ contribution to the global campaign to end poverty and violence against women and children is the song Isang Bilyong Babae ang Babangon, Filipino translation of the song One Billion Women Rising by Amber Davis, Marcy and Top Loudbox and Merlee Jayme and translated by Joi Barrios with music by Rica Palis / Kalantog. The dance and performance video by Marikina women and children was the first to be done in the country.
The build-up was also capped with the visit last December by Eve Ensler, author of Vagina Monologues and women’s rights activist. Meanwhile, V-Men, men who vow to fight violence against women (VAW), was launched in January 17 this year. Among them are Rep. Teddy Casiño, Rep. Rafael Mariano, Bobby Andrews and Boy Abunda. The V-Men recited a poem on how men can participate in the campaign through cultural transformation and everyday execution of respect to women and children in words and deeds.
Valentine’s Day was more fun at the One Billion Rising (OBR) activity simultaneously done in the whole country and the world. It was announced that 202 countries participated in the global action. In Manila alone, schools and communities conducted their local OBR before converging at Tomas Morato, Quezon City as the main site courtesy of Tomas Morato Business Club.
There was parade in the morning before the STRIKE, RISE, DANCE program from 4 PM to midnight. Sectoral groups and party formations performed in the afternoon session: women workers from labor campaign center Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement), women peasant from AMIHAN, child rights advocates led by Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns, women migrant workers and their families from Migrante International and Kabataan Partylist of youth sector. Migrante also played a key role in mobilizing Overseas Filipino Workers and migrants in 26 countries and 140 organizations. Sixty percent of OFWs are women.
The night session, hosted by Angel Aquino, Joms Salvador, Lana Linaban and Monique Wilson highlighted the seven capital sins against women plus an eight new form of violence: (1) Rape and Incest; (2) Sexual Harassment; (3) Domestic Violence; (4) Sex Trafficking, White Slavery and Prostitution; (5) Sexual discrimination in the workplace; (6) Inaccessibility or limited access to maternal health and childcare; (7) Violence as a result of state repression; and (8) Electronic Violence and Sexual Abuse through video scandals, pedophile and pornography.
Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Luz Ilagan cited political repression through detention, disappearances, extra-judicial killings and the rape of Tubbataha courtesy of anti-patrimonial US-RP Visiting Forces Agreement as among concrete examples of the 7th violence. Urban decay instigated by corruption and discriminatory policies in politics, economics and culture gravitate the proliferation of the other six deadly types of violence. As elaborated by International Women’s Alliance (IWA) spokesperson Liza Maza, it is exactly because of the presence of these sins that women, children and men supporters rise.
Different dance versions of the One Billion Rising Philippines theme song were presented by Adamson Cast, Quezon City Performing Arts, PUP Maharlika Dance Group, Bandang Kawayan and Sining Lila. Meanwhile, guest artists and supporters serenaded the night: Maegan Aguilar with Magdalena and Nosi Balasi; Bayang Barrios with Babae/Gabriela song, The Jerks with Sayaw sa Bubog and Karl Ramirez and Plagpul with Pagbabago para sa Karaniwang Tao. Of course, Monique Wilson herself sang I am Rising. Meanwhile, along with the casts of The King and I, theater/TV/film actors who portrayed in Vagina Monologues since its first production in the Philippines recited poems by Joi Barrios as well as translations of Eve Ensler’s monologues. Among the guest actors present were Irma Adlawan, Madelaine, Frances Mahkil Ignacio, Cris Villonco, Juana Change and Ces Drilon.
In program transitions, powerful infomercial videos by DMJameSyfu were screened. Featured are images of women oppressed but rising for change. The program was formally closed with community singing of Do you Hear the People Sing from Les Miserables and percussion play by Brazilian-inspired ensemble Batteria.
One Billion Rising at the Pride March Philippines
About V-Men by Monique Wilson
Why Women Rise by Liza Maza
Magdalena by Maegan Aguilar
Nosi Balasi by Maegan Aguilar
Dance of Children / QC Performing Arts OBR version
Isang Bilyong Babae ang Babangon Folk Dance version
Isang Bilyong Babae ang Babangon Street Dance version
One Billion Rising philippines MTRCB Infomercial
One Billion Rising Philippines the Making
Furious Dancing and Singing for our Hard Times
Marikina Women and Children Rise Dance Strike
Children Led 1 Billion Rising at STC
Flash Mob Against Rape of Motherland
Seven Deadly Sins Against Women
Vow to Fight VAW
One Billion Rising Philippines
Rise | Dance | Strike