Poems as Weapons: Words Anonymous Inspires Through Spoken Word
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, June 03, 2019 3:15pm
Art by Ahl Mirambel
It’s amazing how spoken word poets say what we need to feel through their poems. It’s more amazing how these artists have that air of confidence they carry on stage—no special props or visual effects needed—to keep us all drawn to their performance. These artists are the reason why spoken word thrives in our country. They have the passion to promote this art form—and one of them is Words Anonymous.
Words Anonymous, founded in April 2014, is a group of talented folks who want to create extraordinary connections through their stories and words. The members started as audiences and participants of open mic events in a place called Sev’s Cafe in Malate, Manila (which is now unfortunately closed). These artists met and became a team of Filipino poets with the goal to share their love for spoken word poetry with the rest of the country.
This team writes and performs poems on many relevant issues—from politics, mental health, to gender equality and tinder dates. And to further inspire others to express themselves through poetry, they hold open mic events in different pubs and cafes in Metro Manila—the most common one is an event called “Write Out Loud.”
Words Anonymous, as of 2019, is composed of 13 official performing members and two non-performing members who serve as the group’s visual artists and graphic designers. They have been boldly sharing their views and opinions through poems on different events around the metro for quite some time.
To celebrate their milestones every year, Words Anonymous holds anniversary shows where they perform their classic and new poems for their audiences. They also invite musical artists for performances and collaborations. In fact, Ben&Ben became a guest on their fourth anniversary.
For their fifth year, Word Anonymous held “FIVE: An Anniversary Show” at the PETA Theater Center last April 27. It was a night full of poems, music, and stories, with each of the artists pouring their heart out on every word. They didn’t need any grand props or backdrops—all they needed were themselves, their poems, and microphones.
That night, Room for Cielo also serenaded each person in the room with their cover of Ryan Cayabyab’s “Araw Gabi” and their original songs like “Hindi Ko Alam” and Bukas Makalawa.”
The artists performed whether in solo, in twos or threes, and sometimes in collaboration with musicians—all of them powerful in their own way. The mood in the theater would change depending on the artist’s piece. The Words Anonymous poets are transparent with their feelings—nervousness, excitement, pressure, happiness—and you would see they are just normal people with the unbelievable courage to express their thoughts.
Their pieces are more than just acts on stage—these are their cries for help, for justice, for equality. And for every person who has heard the artists’ performances, Words Anonymous hopes their poems become inspirations.
Words Anonymous is grateful for the support they’ve received for the past five years. They’ve proven they are more than just a group or an organization—they are a family, one that was brought together by the same passion and drive to fight what they think is right.
So what’s next for Words Anonymous? Let the universe reveal its plans. But one thing’s for sure: Words Anonymous will continue to use spoken word poetry as a tool to inspire people, spark conversations, and spread awareness.