Aug 28, 2019 | Press Release

August 28, 2019

THE Cultural Center of the Philippines and The Citizens for Promoting Human Rights, Inc. (CFHR) in partnership with Ms. Mae Paner present Tao Po, a four part monologue interactive performance that gives a human face to the issue of extra-judicial killings. Tao Po is a one night show slated on August 31, Saturday, 8:00 PM at the CCP Tanghalang Huseng Batute.

In Tao Po, award winning actress and activist Mae Paner Aka Juana Change, takes on the different personas of a photojournalist transformed by the brutality she witnesses while covering the tokhang beat; a zumba instructor haunted by her husband and son, both victims of summary killings; a cop who lives the double life of law enforcer and lawless hitman and a young girl lighting candles in the Tokhang Wall of a Manila cemetery as she reminisces about acquaintances and loved ones, EJK (extrajudicial killing) victims all.

Tao Po is based on immersion trips and in depth interviews conducted by Paner and playwright Maynard Manansala.  It asks the hard question: Is there humanity left within us?  The production is intended to raise public awareness to enlighten and encourage them to exercise their civic duties for human rights.

Tao Po was born at the CCP’s celebration of Human Rights Month in September 2017.  It paved the way for performances at other venues in and out of Metro Manila, including an international performance at the Melbourne Fringe Theater Festival and at Canberra in Australia where it earned raves and captured media interest.

Tao Po is a product of the team effort that also includes Ed Lacson, director, Rody Vera, dramaturg, and Moira Lang, Creatives.  The Tao Po team contributes part of the proceeds of every production to the survivors of EJKs.
Tao Po presentor The Citizens for Promoting Human Rights (CFHR) Inc. believes human rights are innate to Filipinos.  Respect for human dignity is a core value as embodied in the way Filipinos live out the principle of “pakikipagkapwa-tao”.  That another person (kapwa tao) is somebody to be genuinely concerned about, which awakens a sense of community, sharing and love for your fellow people.  CFHR maintains that the Philippines would be a better place to live in if only all Filipinos stand by the value of pakikipagkapwa-tao.

Commission on Human Rights Chairman Chito Gascon urges the public to see Tao Po.

“Tao Po compels the viewer to think about what are the moral values that should be important to us as a community that can help with an appropriate response to all these killings and the dehumanization that comes with them,” Gascon said.

“While the experience coming out from the performance did make me feel deeply sad about the very real human costs of EJKs—it also engenders a hope that our collective empathy for the victims might build enough solidarity for our society to ultimately overcome and end this horror in our midst,” Gascon said.

CFHR as an organization raises funds to provide aid to victims of human rights violations.  It is designed as a mechanism to receive individual and group donations from Filipinos (and others) who desire to exercise their civic duty in upholding human rights.  Further, it intends to build networks that collaboratively deliver support on the ground to human rights victims and their families. Among its key activities are fund-raising, partnership building and strengthening the public discourse on human rights.

For tickets to Tao Po at the CCP, please call the CCP Box Office at tel. no. 832-3704.

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