WHEN THE lights dimmed, the enlivened audience filling the seats of Beato Angelico Auditorium immediately stopped chatting as they shifted their attention to the stage, ready for an emotional night of spoken word poetry.
UST Mediartrix, in partnership with Words Anonymous, held Takipsilim: A Night of Spoken Word Poetry last October 21. Event organizer Rhafaela Bacal said she wanted to take advantage of the rising trend of slam poetry to introduce the creative culture to the University.
Each performer hooked the audience as they expressed their sentiments, and stances on issues through art. Some of the most striking pieces were delivered by Michelle Manese, whose deep and powerful voice commanded every ear to listen while her sincerity touched every heart in the room.
In her last piece, Approaching EDSA Station, she used MRT as a metaphor for the world that neither stops nor slows down. “Naiwan pa rin ako ng tren,” she confessed about feeling left behind in the fast-paced world. Her emotions could not be contained; her tears threatened to fall, and applause filled the room as the audience felt familiarity in her words.
Although most of the performances tackled sadness, love, and loss, two spiels about social issues stood out.
Jonel Revistual brought up gender inequality in his piece titled Biyaheng Malandi. The anger, empathy, and contention apparent in his delivery sparked the same emotions in the audience and ignited their awareness.
“Hindi birong maging isang Eba sa lipunang tingin sa kanila ay putaheng may iba’t ibang lasa. Hindi birong wala lang sa inyo ito,” he said, noting how most people would rather turn a blind eye on the cycle of social injustices than help stop it.
Through his lines, he demonstrated how rape culture is prevalent but remains to be a taboo topic in the country. “Hindi biro ang gahasa, hindi birong walang magawa ang biktima. Ngayong ginagawa mo itong biro, nakakasuka.”
Zuela Herrera also delivered an equally impressive piece titled Trajectory, a tribute to the victims of extrajudicial killings. Her dark, strong voice unnerved the room as she told the story of a love lost with single shot of a bullet.
“Isang gabi binawi ka nila. Nakatutok ang baril sabay paputok ng bala. Tuwing nakakarinig ako ng putok ng baril naaalala kita. Dinadala nito ako pabalik sa masasayang alaala,” she expressed with a chilling imitation of a sound of a gunshot.
The night, which took the audience in an emotional rollercoaster with various stories of grief and social ills, painted the audience’s face with awe by the end of the event. The organizers, who at first hesitated to pursue the event, felt relief as they witnessed the success of the first spoken word event in UST. F CARMELA JULIAN E. VALENCIA