The logo of the Sarag Mi 2.0 art exhibit by Pangasinan female artists. (Photo courtesy of Aileen Dela Cruz)
DAGUPAN CITY -- Some 22 female artists from various towns and cities in the province of Pangasinan will once again band to showcase their works and talents in an art exhibit on women empowerment in celebration of National Women’s Month this March.
“The exhibit, titled ‘Sarag Mi 2.0’, slated on Saturday, showcases the foundation of the artists’ vision on the negative issues affecting women in general, including domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment, abuse, catcalling, and many others,” organizer Aileen dela Cruz said in an interview Tuesday evening.
Sarag Mi, a Pangasinense phrase meaning “We can”, aims to empower women in a male-dominated society.
“Women empowerment. Yun lang. Kumbaga gusto ko sabihin sa male-dominated society na ito na kaya naming lumaban. Na hindi habambuhay na okay lang kami sa mga nangyayaring negative sa lipunan. Na hindi lahat ng babae mananatiling tahimik. Gusto ko din ipabatid sa lahat ng babae na hindi ka babae lang. Malakas ka. Hindi mo pa nare-realize yung full potential mo. Na worth it ka (It is like we want to tell this male-dominated society that we can fight; that we will not close our eyes to the negative incidents happening in our society; that not all women will remain silent. I also want to tell my fellow women that you are not just a woman. You are strong. You just haven’t realized your full potential yet, that you are worth it),” dela Cruz said.
The exhibit will feature the artworks of local female artists, as well as such acts as open mic events, rap, spoken word poetry, and music.
Merchandise, such as stickers and bookmarks, will also be sold, along with Pangasinan-based clothing lines Soon Clothing and Cawus Clothing. A live silk screen T-shirt printing, plus a film-viewing tackling present issues and women empowerment, will also be held.
The very first Sarag Mi event was held on March 18, 2015, organized by local artist, Patrick Fernandez. The event, however, has lain dormant for a few years after Fernandez migrated to Canada with his family.
“Last year, I had a solo exhibit for women’s month. I focused on issues, such as catcalling. But this year, I invited other female local artists so they would feel empowered as well and they would be able to voice out whatever they wanted to tell society through their artworks,” dela Cruz explained, as she related the newfound interest sparked during the art exhibit.
She said their group aims to set an example of women supporting fellow women, and to show that all genders are equal.
“Malayo pa tayo doon, pero yun ang pangarap namin. Yung wala nang babaeng matatakot maglakad ng mag-isa kahit anong oras. Yung kahit wala syang kasamang lalaki, safe sya. At yung kahit saang lugar siya mapadpad, makakamit nya yung equal rights and opportunities with the opposite sex (We are still far from gender equality, but we are dreaming of that day when a woman would no longer fear walking alone any time, day or night, or would feel safe even without the company of men, and would receive equal rights and opportunities anywhere she goes),” she added.
Aside from dela Cruz, other women artists to exhibit are Kat Abenoja-Tersol, Paulyn Albino, Abygail Vale, Nicole Vale, Michaela Gauss, Ann Bolos, Junele Ann Malapit, Jessica Lopez, Rachel Anne Lacaba, Amy Agustin, Lovely Bulatao, Ma. Grace Carpizo, Alma Evita Maniago, Nikki Naoe, Vern dela Cruz Pascual, Lyantra Kryzelle Pasion, Mary Rose Tiongco, Jannine Vargas, Joy Navato Viliran, Mona Vince, and Carl Zarcilla.
The Sarag Mi 2.0 art exhibit will be held at The Spot, Galvan St. Dagupan City at 4 p.m. on March 30. (PNA)