“Aswang Presidente” Monologue from the “In Full Color” Anthology

As I noted before, I was published in the In Full Color Anthology which was founded, selected, and directed by Summer Hortillosa and produced by Art House Productions. It’s a collection of stories by women of color from the hit theatrical event. It aims to help women of color share their stories on stage and spark timely conversations about some of society’s biggest issues: patriarchy, racism, inequality, white supremacy, etc.

I saw the second sold out production in Jersey City and I was completely captivated by all the performers. It was hilarious, heart stomping, and so much to comprehend, adore, and feel utterly moved by. It was also devastating to see what some of these women underwent. I felt so crushed and so furious, but the fact that they can tell their story so openly, with no holding back, and with determination and grace, made me want to tell my own story and write even more. They were truly an inspiration and Summer did a fantastic job with curating and directing the show!

I never saw monologues be performed live and I haven’t seen a theatrical production in so long, but this was a fantastic way to get back into theater. I can’t wait to watch it again once the video goes online!

Aswang Presidente was the first monologue I ever wrote and the first time I was ever published in a print book! So much excite, so overwhelm haha. I was in the bonus entries, so I didn’t get to perform which is a good thing ‘cuz I don’t know how to act lol. Though drama class in high school was fun and helped me become more confident and more inspired. One day I want to take acting classes, I heard it’s a great way to improve as a writer. And I miss doing bits.

Below you can read my monologue as a PDF. Thank you to  Manang Abet, Christian, and Anna for your deep edits and encouragement. This work would be an incomprehensible mess if it weren’t for you three!

Content Warning for psychosis, violence, suicidal ideation, and death mention.

Aswang Presidente

All of it is true though I did condense all I felt as well as the hallucinations for the sake of space and pacing (it was only supposed to be at most five minutes when performed). Plus a name change and to make it more recent, I moved it to current times with the 2016 election. Honestly, I think it fits better.

And I do want to perform this at an open mic. I always wanted to do one and I think this would be so cathartic, weight lifting, and something you rarely see. You don’t normally read about mental illness in literature and you don’t see it in the media really, except when white extremists plead insanity. And you rarely see an Asian American woman protagonist, much less a Filipina like me, perform in mainstream media. And maybe it’ll help another person with mental illness feel connected and not isolated anymore. God knows I wished someone wrote about being mentally ill and being an Asian American woman when I first went through this at 19.

(I still do.)

So if you have any suggestions of what open mics I can do this at, that’s in NYC or Jersey City, let me know!

You can buy the entire anthology for only a sawbuck, which features a wide variety of monologues of a large age range. They will make you laugh, make you tear, and have you reflecting on what you believe, think, and empathize with other cultures different from your own, as well as your own ethnicity. It’s an in depth and succinct look at what it’s like to be a woman of color, though by no means all encompassing. Though it does give you a sense of the many layers of being a WOC, but I’m not sure there ever will be a work like that, even if you downloaded every woman’s brain.

The proceeds will go to future “in full color” productions and their educational outreach programs. I’m so happy I got the book so I can better comprehend and understand their wonderful, moving monologues. Support small theater and WOC writers and performers!

But this is only the start for Summer, IFC, and Art House Productions, and I hope this is a vanguard for even more upcoming diversity in stories and representation within the theater and ALL of the arts. I can’t wait to see these productions for years to come, and maybe one day, I’ll be able to perform onstage along with these fantastic women.

Wouldn’t that be something?

eileen

 

 

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5 thoughts on ““Aswang Presidente” Monologue from the “In Full Color” Anthology”

  1. […] 2015 bleeding into 2016 and its entirety feels like the year where I was discovering spaces. Like the Asian American Writers’ Workshop where I found a community of fellow uhh AA writers just like me. It was also the year I discovered I was queer. And Gabriela NY which is a Filipina womxn group that connects the Diaspora to the struggles going on in the Philippines. I also held down my first full-time job. Became the head event and donation space coordinator of The Asian American Literary Review‘s “Open In Emergency: A Special Issue on Asian American Mental Health” (that alone needs a blog post). And saw my work published across an array of publications like In Full Color with my FIRST monologue “Aswang Presidente“. […]

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