brings elder abuse in the front line of awareness
by Rod Cantiveros
Watching the play “Dapit-Hapon Sa Canada” (Sunset in Canada) reconstructs the functional abuse against our seniors, one would be alarmed by the revelation of the abuse of siblings against their parents.. As the depicted by the characters played by Delia (Gloria Magpali) and Peping (Amante Bayuga and the seniors, Mang Pedro (Florencio “Tony” Antonio) and Aling Dedang (Letty Antonio), the dramatic impact is very real and initiate deep concern if this situation has been going on quietly in our homes.
The writer and director, Rod E. Cantiveros, has been documenting all the oral history of elder abuse. And being exposed to the community, Rod E. Cantiveros has been able to bring into the open the long-awaited secret in the Filipino community or in any other ethnic communities. These physical, social, psychological and financial abuses have not be addressed by any agency because of its secrecy and privacy of abuse. Most of the interviews were done orally and documenting the various kinds of elder abuse.
Only now when the Knights of Rizal (KoR)headed by Sir Tom Colina and the Manitoba Association of Filipino Teachers Inc, headed by Gemma Dalayoan brought out the ever-increasing concerns on elder abuse on their series of seminars known under the Innovative Cultural Approaches in the Prevention of Elder Abuse (ICAPEA). There are series of consultation sessions and the group commissioned playwright and filmmaker, Rod E. Cantiveros to write the play in order to dramatize the actual drama on elder abuse.
After the play presentation, the attendees, mostly seniors, were divided into groups with facilitator. The very gem of the discussion is their reaction to the play “Dapit Hapon Sa Canada” and their own experiences if there were incidents of abuse. Many seniors had added more perspective on the problem by talking their experiences and sharing the concerns and proper initiative to battle any kind of abuse.
“Kung alam ko lang na ganito ang mangyayari sa amin, hindi na ako napunta dito…masakit sa aming mag-asawa ang nangyayari,” one senior said with a tear in his eyes.
“Naku, Mr. Cantiveros, nangyari iyan sa aking Kumare,”, one senior commented. “Good for you, you are able to write this drama…naiiyak ako. Salamat naman at mababait ang aking mga manugang at mga anak.”
“Diyos ko naman, talaga bang may nangyayari ganito sa mga seniors? Sa amin naman, eh wala ganyang abuso.”, one middle-aged woman said after watching the play. She was surprised by the dramatization of the elder abuse.
“Oh, this play told me the answer why my Kumare went back to the Philippines..doon na lang daw siya sa atin, kahit medyo naghihirap, hindi naman mahirap ang kalooban…”, one senior commented.
There are plans to show the play in other Canadian cities to serve a a tool of awareness. Arrangements are being made with other seniors associations in Canada to avail themselves on how to battle elder abuses which are quietly being experienced by the Filipino senior citizens. Other staff of the Teatro Filipino includes Nard Maranan, light and sound; Anthony Antonio, set and stage; Christy Antonio, promptor; and Cherrie Maranan, wardrobe assistant. And thanks to PCCM and Salon de Manila for the chairs, sala sets and plants for the play.
Watch for more announcement on seminars and consultations being conducted by the Knights of Rizal and MAFTI. Be involved and be a part of the solution. And watch for the next play by Rod E. Cantiveros under the Teatro Filipino.