The Weight of Words: A Millennial Mental Health Monologue

I didn’t know what to expect when we watched this show. After the monologue, your mind was stimulated, but still it needed time to process the depth of storytelling and theatre artistry of Abner and the Black Canvas team.

This is the kind of show that we need to talk about now before another friend passes away.

It took me a few days to reflect on what it meant. It was approachable but profound, the kind that would touch your heart and change your perspective on the weight of every word we speak (and not speak).

I highly recommend that you do not miss the Pineapple Lab run, and I also hope that they have more and more theatre run extensions. (If you are watching the show, best to read this reflection after watching it.)

Here’s why you should watch #BlackCanvasWOW…


Weight of Words (WoW)
PARC Foundation Blackbox on May 31 (8PM), June 1-2 (4PM & 8PM), and
Pineapple Lab on June 15 (5PM & 8PM) and 16 (4PM & 8PM).
For ticket reservations, contact Pineapple Lab at or Ticket2Me at
Facebook Page: Black Canvas
Hashtag: #BlackCanvasWOW

First Things First

The show is a multi-media theatre adaptation of CANVAS’ Weight of Words, a book featuring an Alphabet of Human Rights from 12 Filipino artists and graphic designers.

The show is a millennial mental health monologue by Abner Delina (Kuya Fidel of Batibot fame) and the Black Canvas team.

The show starts with a silent monologue, which often breaks the fourth wall, to build rapport with the audience.


Words that Matter

Words from Childhood.

We, as parents, sometimes forget that our words spoken in haste or in anger are absorbed immediately by our kids. They learn through the words that we speak, the manner with which we say them and the weight of emotions we place on them.

It’s a reminder that if we want our kids to grow up to be kind, polite and responsible persons, our words should be able to guide them to grow as such.

Words from Teachers.

It is very important to choose the right teachers, not just the right school, because they impact the psyche and well-being of our kids. Teachers have a huge influence in words and in deeds, especially when they discipline the kids.

Careless words from a teacher can have a detrimental effect on our kids.

Batang Papel.

Loved the analogy of kids to batang papel because they are so light and can easily be influenced by the words you write on them. You can easily crumple them and destroy their spirit but they can bounce back and heal.

Choose your words that can heal and build rather than destroy the spirit of our little ones.

Live words.

We live in a live streaming world because of the demand to be more genuine, raw and real with our words.

We can choose our words strategically to inspire (instead of boosting), to care (instead of promoting self-centeredness) and to uplift (instead of inducing envy).

Words from Social.

Social media is a double-edged sword for words that can turn your passion into a business or turn it into depression.

Our words on social media have impact, so we should think before we click. We should learn to shield our thoughts and not be affected too much by social media comments.

Words of our Leaders.

Politics and radio are toxic because the broadcasting industry thrives on negative, controversial and destructive circumstances.

We need to surround ourselves with family, friends and a positive community to learn from a constructive environment.

Ideas imprisoned by words.

Ideas are meant to be expressed and shared with our community. Be careful about thoughts that are kept to oneself because of the fear of rejection or non-acceptance by people around you.

Mental health issues often start when you are being incongruent with yourself, magnified by the stress from expectations imposed on your true identity. Be careful about labeling and lack of sensitivity to the needs of the people around you.

Words that can save.

Sometimes you don’t know someone has depression until it is too late. Your words of tribute and prayers do not matter when someone is dead.

Be a friend to the people around you. Reach out and listen. Say your words of appreciation and gratitude to your friends and family. They might just save someone.

It’s not the words, it’s the weight.

It’s not words like “Putang-ina” that matter because some people can say it loosely as an expression of exclamation.

It’s the weight that you put on those words that matter—if you meant it and you said it with heated emotions.


It’s very important to have a conversation with your friends about life. Slow down and spend quality time with people that matter most.

Sometimes, post-game or post-show analysis is the most important thing that matters. Encourage talkback sessions about your work and relationships.


Final Thoughts

After each show, it’s been our tradition to have our post-show analysis over a bowl of noodle soup.

We reflected on the words we say to each other in disgust with or to our kids in anger. We realized how damaging these are and how we should choose tough yet loving words to develop the character of our boys.

We vow to be a better friend to our friends and family, to say encouraging words that can save rather than destroy.

Thank you to Abner and Black Canvas for an inspiring and impactful monologue that is very relevant to our times!

About Weight of Words


Our words create our world! This is the philosophy behind Black Canvas’ “Weight of Words (WOW),” a new theater piece exploring the power of words. WOW rediscovers and reflects how words transform us, how they can inspire or destroy us and how they can renew hope in this chaotic world.

Everyday, we encounter news of death, war and other crimes. While we cope with these adversities by expressing ourselves online, we still witness the growing culture of hate and bullying spreading around our world—in schools, government and in different communities. WOW aims to rekindle our respect for words to become better speakers and listeners to each other, promoting empathy and love.

It features a solo performance by Black Canvas’ founder Abner Delina Jr., an actor (Batibot/Gloc-9 Sirena), director and arts education advocate. His passion for devised theater brought him to the global stage for “Beautiful Trauma”, a collaboration by various Asian artists showcased at the Tokyo Festival 2018. Bringing together young artist—collaborators Mark Dalacat (Art Direction), Joyce Garcia (Video Projections) and Joshua Tayco (Sound Design), in collaboration with artist-teachers Issa Manalo Lopez (Direction Consultant), Jared Jonathan Luna (Movement) and Olive Nieto (Dramaturgy), this performance will also present perspectives on the issues of bullying and mental health.

Black Canvas, a young multi-arts platform promoting creative collaboration, has produced original works tackling gender, relationships and interconnectedness such as “I, Label”, “Werk in Progress” and the Aliw Award Finalist (Best Duo and Best Direction), “Kyemestry.” For “Weight of Words”, the company’s dream is to bring people together and remind each other of our inner power—poetry, magic and the healing powers of words.

Inspired from the book published by CANVAS (Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development), this multi-perspectival multi-media theater piece created for millennials explores how words affect our lives and the world we live in.

Weight of Words (WoW)
PARC Foundation Blackbox on May 31 (8PM), June 1-2 (4PM & 8PM), and
Pineapple Lab on June 15 (5PM & 8PM) and 16 (4PM & 8PM).
For ticket reservations, contact Pineapple Lab at or Ticket2Me at
Facebook Page: Black Canvas
Hashtag: #BlackCanvasWOW

Live an Awesome Life,

Disclosure: Our Awesome Planet is a media partner of The Weight of Words.  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.

P.S. Please support the show by buying the book The Weight of Words and by encouraging your friends to support the show #BlackCanvasWOW.

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