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Insiang: A some sort of review

After a very long time, I saw theater once again. It was centuries or maybe a millennium ago since my last time I saw a stage play. I’m very grateful to Gibbs because he immersed me to see Insiang at CCP last Saturday. It was like my first time again at the theater. I had a great time and Insiang was a splendid show!

When we stepped foot inside the theater, I was amused with the wrap-around set. The studio was an almost exact replica of the shanties in Pasay—minus the stench. What was more amazing was the props along the stage. Clothes and blankets hanging at the clothesline served as curtains while the small flag by the sari-sari store was used during the national anthem. The casts were coming from all sorts of directions, left, right, back… everywhere. They were like rats coming from every holes of the stage. Just like the real slum areas.

No wonder parental discretion was advised for this play because there were a lot of cuss and vulgar words—aside from mild nudity, self-gratification and Ricky Davao’s butt crack. Hearing crisp vulgar words was not particularly new to me. Though I lived in a somehow decent part of Pasay, I still grew up in the same foul-mouthed neighborhood. As hilarious and exaggerated the show depicts the society wherein Insiang lives, that community truly exists.

Superb talents were performed by the lead roles and ensemble. I didn’t feel like watching a stageplay at all. It was just like outside our home witnessing different dramas and events within the neighborhood. That’s the magic of theater. Sheenly Vee Gener was very effective as the virginal, young, innocent and beautiful Insiang. Toyang (played by Mae Paner) was the comic narrator of the play. Whenever the scene should be dramatic and climactic, she would interrupt with her comic remarks. I would like to despise Ricky Davao not because he showed his butt to the audiences but for his superb acting as the bastard bully sex-addict stepdad Dado of Insiang and how he faked his satisfaction whenever he fucks Pacing by saying “I love you” in a forced tone. Mailes Kanapi (Pacing) was so brilliant playing the role of Insiang’s unloved slutty mom. I could feel her fury everytime she utters “Putang ina mo!”


I enjoyed every second watching Insiang. I suggest everyone to see Insiang. Just be sure you’re old enough to see butts and boobs. Again, I express my gratitude to Gibbs.

After Insiang and a booze talk with Gibbs, Shari, Calvin, Joe and Poyt (which replaced Coy) on the way home, the cab I was riding passed through a street that was somehow similar to Insiang’s setting. In my thoughts while looking at the shanties a realization surfaced. Somewhere there in the slums, a girl like Insiang needs help, understanding, love… and protection.



  1. Wow, kainggit naman. How I wish I could watch. But I’m swamped with work and recently I’ve to do some reviewing.

  2. Bitter again. Oh poverty. Why can’t I do the things I want? Errrgh.

    Am not sure but I think I’ve read this Insiang short story when I was in high school. Just correct me if I’m wrong since my brain’s currently unreliable what with my 3-week uber late sleeping habits.

    Bitter pa rin. Bitter.

  3. Prudence,
    Well at least you saw Neil Gaiman.

    C’mon! Don’t blame it on poverty, blame it on your procrastination. LOL.

  4. now i’m curious..

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