In her satirical take on “Popular Religiosity”, the sixth performer Lorina Javier surprised the audience with her riveting performance titled “Submission to the Void”.
Clad with shiny purple shawl around her shoulders cascading down to her knees, she swallowed the rosary beads but leaving the dangling crucifix on her mouth; she knelt down with her arms stretched at a 180-degree angle in a devotional position. With her eyes closed and bent head, she seemed to be reenacting the typical gestures of the pious and the fanatics at the Catholic Church in a deep and undisturbed meditative mood. Minutes of silence had elapsed; she stood up brushing away her shawl and began showing the papers to the audience with Filipino inscriptions of a satirical version of “Hail Mary” referring to a Filipino woman as the “Binibining Maria” (Ms. Mary).
As if walking on the aisle toward the altar, she slowly unveiled the text on the papers one by one and after showing the written words, she stepped on each paper on the floor moving toward the audience. Texts such as “Aba Binibining Maria”, "Napupuno ka ng Muta”, “Mga Panginoon nila’y sumasaiyo” and “Babae kang nangangayupa at bumulagta”, among others questioned the common religious belief on the Mother of God in relation to the perception of an ordinary woman in our Filipino culture. Surprisingly, Javier took a radical stride from her religious belief as she presented an unpredictable piece compared to her previous self-conscious and feminine performances.
“Submission to the Void” is a typical experience among the disillusioned believers who, at some point their lives, spent their time on a fanatical devotion to the church but found themselves “void” of spiritual growth in the end.
Photo by Danny C. Sillada © 2005. UGNAYAN Journal