BWW Interview: Eugene Domingo Talks 'NIGHT, MOTHER, Living Life to The Fullest

BWW Interview: Eugene Domingo Talks 'NIGHT, MOTHER, Living Life to The Fullest

Manila, Philippines--Almost six years after her last play, "Bona," Eugene Domingo returns to the stage via the Filipino adaptation of Marsha Norman's Pulitzer Prize-winning play 'NIGHT, MOTHER. She breathes life into the character of the depressed Jessie, a divorced wife and a mother of a delinquent son.

In her current theatrical outing with the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), Domingo tackles again a sensitive character: a woman who doesn't want to live anymore despite her mother's attempts to dissuade her from committing suicide.

'NIGHT MOTHER, starring Domingo and Sherry Lara, plays the PETA Theater Center (5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City) now through Sunday, March 18.

Life is Sometimes Unfair

As someone who has worked in the theater, film, and television, Domingo has seen how "unfair" life can be.

"The world is really unfair. Kahit saan anggulo mo tignan. Most of the time, mare-realize mo 'yung ibang tao parang OK na siguro kung maayos ang buhay nila pero 'yung iba naman nawawalan na ng pag-asa. Pero minsan kanya-kanyang tayong survival.

"'Di talaga patas eh. Mapapanood mo naman talaga sa mga balita sa TV, mababasa mo sa dyaryo. Hindi nagbabago. Nag-iiba lang ng intensity. Pero paulit-ulit lang," she said.

BWW Interview: Eugene Domingo Talks 'NIGHT, MOTHER, Living Life to The Fullest

Similar to Jessie, Domingo has her share of frustrations in life, "I used to get exhausted, frustrated at times. Ang cause was that parang wala ka namang freedom to do what you really wanted to do. Tapos 'di mo maintindian sa sarili mo kung bakit mo ginagawa ang isang bagay. Tapos you'll regret it kasi parang wala ka ng panahon sa sarili mo and then you'll feel sad. Kasalanan ko rin 'yun."

Take on Life and Death

Her effective portrayal of Jessie may have touched the audience who saw the play, but she admits she's no expert on mental illness and suicide, "Wala sa atin ang desisyon kung kailan tayo ipapanganak at kung kailan tayo mamatay. Basta namamalayan na lang natin na buhay na tayo eh. Saka ginagawa na nating mabuhay araw-araw. Wala talagang makakasagot.

"...The most important thing is to live your life--make the most of life because it's a gift. It's not easy, but live life to the fullest."

She shares her thoughts on people with suicidal thoughts, "Mahirap magsalita para sa mga tao na dumarating sa punto na kukunin na nila ng buhay nila. Mahirap mag-conclude.

"Kung sakaling makaharap ako ng kaibigan o mahal sa buhay na aabot sa punto na parang bibitaw na siya... I'll really pray for that person.

BWW Interview: Eugene Domingo Talks 'NIGHT, MOTHER, Living Life to The Fullest

"Si God na lang talaga ang makakapagbigay liwanag sa isip nila. I don't think kaya ng expert, I don't think kaya ng words ng kahit na sinong tao. At this point, only your faith will save you," she said.

"Kasi faith is hope. If you accepted God, only He can help you. Tuluy-tuloy mo lang. I have proven myself most of the time kapag wala ka na talagang pag-asa o sa tingin mo di mo na kayang malalagpasan ito, just pray. Kahit na 'di ka na magsalita. Just surrender to God and believe that a miracle will happen."

More About Jessie

Acting side by side with an equally intense artist, Sherry Lara, as Jessie's mother, Thelma, is one great challenge, but she describes her character's relationship with her mother as like any normal mother-and-daughter relationship.

As Jessie, she pointed out, "Again, wala kang choice kung sino ang magiging nanay mo, wala kang choice kung sino ang magiging anak mo.

"People are not perfect. No one is a perfect mother, I think, and no one is a perfect daughter kasi iba-iba naman talaga ang tao. So I think that's what we go through as Jessie and Thelma.

"All the mothers and the daughters sometimes fail to communicate. We misunderstand each other. What we don't want to happen is when huli na ang lahat dahil 'di talaga natin nabigyan ng pansin kung ano ang tunay na nararamdaman ng isa't-isa."

BWW Interview: Eugene Domingo Talks 'NIGHT, MOTHER, Living Life to The Fullest

Though, in one article, some may mistake depression as a "life phase," which is not.

It states, "A constant feeling of sadness for at least two straight weeks and loss of interest in the things one finds satisfying is what depression is. Thus, self-awareness and communication techniques are to be enforced especially to individuals having depression."

Domingo is glad to share how she "debriefs" herself from her character after every performance, "After the play, I put on makeup, lipstick, and cheek tint.

"Ayun, nagpapaganda ako sa abot ng aking makakaya. Kasi gusto kong makita ang sarili ko, ang sarili kong cuteness (she bursts into laughter). Kasi 'yun 'yung ako.

"I really like smiling and laughing... and making jokes. You know just playing around. That's the way I survive."

Buy tickets to 'NIGHT, MOTHER, visit

Photo: Kyle Venturillo

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