One Billion Rising PH: Furious dancing (and singing) for our hard times (Audio Slideshow)

February 16, 2013

“Hard times require furious dancing.”

Thus said Alice Walker, American writer, activist and one of many supporters of the One Billion Rising campaign across the globe. The quote is an apt explanation for the fury and celebration that was One Billion Rising Philippines last February 14, 2013, when thousands of Filipinos — women, men and children — went on large, mostly outdoor, gatherings and danced and protested.

Led worldwide by V-Day founder Eve Ensler, One Billion Rising as a campaign focused on violence against women. But in the Philippines, women and men who participated brought to attention various forms of violence against women, from physical abuse, rape and sex trafficking, to political repression and economic violence that women bear the brunt off, especially in impoverished countries like the Philippines.

By all accounts, in different provinces, One Billion Rising Philippines was a success, and pooled the efforts of sectoral organizations, as well as politicians,civic leaders, artists, schools and universities, and commercial establishments. But undeniably, it is the militant women’s organizations, led by Gabriela and Gabriela Women’s Party, that successfully raised the level of discourse, by way of seeing clear connections between the phenomena of violence against women and the oppressive, patriarchal culture, the backward, underdeveloped economy, the deep-seated corruption and the persistence of imperialist domination upon the land and our people.

The battle lines have been sharply drawn in these hard times. After February 14, we can only expect the furious dancing and singing, and protesting, to continue and grow.

Photos of the main rising in Tomas Morato, Quezon City, by KR Guda, Macky Macaspac, Darius Galang & Pher Pasion

 Music from “I Am Rising,” sung by Monique Wilson, music and arrangement by Andrei Ionescu, lyrics by Joi Barrios; and “Do You Hear the People Sing?” sung by Various Artists during the One Billion Rising Philippines program, music by Claude Michel Schonberg & Alain Boublil, from the musical “Les Miserables”