Theatrical plays with the likes of Integrated Performing Arts Guild’s (Ipag) ‘Sita: The Ramayana Revisited’ are important as part of one’s Filipino and Mindanaoan education, according to Mindanao State University (MSU) cum laude graduate Professor Amado Guinto Jr.
To analyse IPAG’s play and tackle its relevance to the contemporary times, Ateneo de Davao Culture and Arts Cluster (ACAC) held a forum titled ‘Mindanao, Woman, and a New Ramayana’ at Finster Auditorium, Wednesday afternoon.
A popular Sanskrit epic poem in India, ‘Ramayana’ tells the story of Rama, an avatar of the god Vishnu, who saves his wife Sita, an avatar of the goddess Lakshmi; after Ravana, a multi-headed demon king, abducts her. Ipag’s ‘Sita’ is a Maranao take on the Indian epic.
“[T]he value here is for you to realize these things can be your avenue to be critical, to be always on your toes and take everything with a grain of salt everything the government throws at you,” Guinto stressed.
Presenting his award-winning thesis ‘Transcreating the Epic in MSU-IIT Ipag’s Sita: The Ramayana Revisited’, Guinto expressed a good citizen is a thinking citizen.
“[Y]ou cannot be a good citizen just because you are obedient, a good citizen is always a citizen that questions,” he said.
Rea Jean Cabahug, a Grade 12 Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS) student of Davao Doctors College (DDC), shared she found the forum informative and insightful as her initial interpretation of Ramayana’s ending was rectified by Guinto.
“[S]a ending kasi Sita was challenged by Rama to prove her fidelity by going through that fire and personally in the lens of my feminism that strikes me as a form of submission like a woman to a man, a wife to her husband… [Sir said] yung act ni Sita sa pagpasok doon sa fire is it’s not dahil naging submissive siya kundi pumasok siya doon as an act of strength of a woman na kaya niyang i-prove yung fidelity niya,” she said.
The forum concludes Ateneo Arts Month festival and preludes Women’s Month this March.