Hala SIOA, the female rage breakthrough

Answering Quora’s most asked question, “Where do broken hearts go,” SIOA is an organization that mends the hearts of its OA girls.

Throughout the day, nothing seems amiss. Students mill about; some rush to class, while others make the most of their vacant time before their next one. But when both the sun and the campus hubbub begin their slow descent, an interesting group of women settles within Henry Sy Sr. Hall’s discussion rooms. Behind closed doors, they remain deep in earnest conversation, lending a mysterious and nonchalant air to the nature of their meetings—yet anyone who personally knows them also knows that they are anything but.

If one stops and listens carefully, they might catch bits of the group’s talk, rising above a cacophony of indignant voices. “He told me I was too theatrical! Like excuse me, sa ganda kong ‘to makikipag-break ka? The audacity!”

(With my beauty, you’re going to break up with me?)

The all-woman group calls themselves Samahan ng mga Iniwan na OA (SIOA), an organization whose members share one common experience: getting dumped by their exes for apparently being too “dramatic” and “overacting.” In retaliation, SIOA focuses on providing an outlet for these heartbroken individuals, but most importantly, it is a safe space for its female members to showcase their friendship and sisterhood as a way to empower them in seeking revenge in the most flamboyant way possible.

Want war? They’ll give you war 

“If they want OA, we’ll give them OA,” founder Ijbolivia Rodrigo declared following her breakup with Xiao An Seruse who labeled her as such. Born out of defiance and retribution, the organization vowed to become their past lovers’ worst nightmares. A groundwork centered around extreme dramatism was laid down, aiming to strengthen overacting skills. “Forget nonchalance; this is a reckoning,” she adds. 

Member Sabine Karpintero deems her experience enlightening, expressing that she felt “much lighter like a feather” when she joined SIOA. She reflects on the powerlessness she once endured from her relationship with her ex, a sentiment shared by many members. “He called me OA for listening to Taylor Swift, and hindi man lang ako nakapag-resbak,” she protests. After immersing herself in the organization’s communication workshops, she found her voice, determined to use expansive and poignant language to articulate her emotions. Looking back, she now aptly describes the man’s actions to be “so casually cruel in the name of being honest.”

(He called me OA for listening to Taylor Swift, and I could not even say anything back.) 

Pent-up emotions were a recurring theme among these women, fueling their vengeful fantasies. The cathartic Galit yarn? activity filled the basement of Enrique M. Razon Sports Center with “screaming, crying, and perfect storms” as it served to satiate their retributive longing through mock confrontations. Printed faces of their exes taped to mannequins had been set up to absorb all their fury, allowing the members to seize the opportunity to express what they wished to convey to their exes in the most over-the-top, unapologetically OA manner possible.

The word OA may have once been a derogatory term used against them, but now they wear it like a badge of honor. Armed and ready to strike with blades of sheer dramatism, they draw upon the art of overreacting to get even with those who have wronged them.

Coming together to maximize their joint slay

Beneath their rage, all of them desired one thing: to be heard. Upon the serene landscape of Henry Sy Sr. Hall rooftop, spaces of vulnerability were offered through catch-up sessions Delulu Moments in which members talked about their dreams and aspirations without judgment. Whether it was the longing for an ideal partner or the whimsical fantasy of marrying a K-Pop idol, the organization cultivated acceptance and understanding, providing what their ugly exes failed to offer. 

Bound together by individual experiences of pain and suffering at the hands of former lovers, SIOA members have found solidarity within the organization. To recall, Auburn A. Ching shares an unforgettable experience with her boyfriend that made her realize her true calling: to join SIOA.

Kasi tinawag niya akong bruha… Aning… Lahat ng reaksyon ko minasama niya […] Sinabi niya na wala magmamahal sa taong may ugaling tulad ko,” she shares. Finally, Ching felt something snap within her, taking his words as a challenge to find someone who can love her for who she is—for all her flaws and imperfections. 

(He called me a witch… Crazy… He saw something wrong in all of my reactions […] He said that no person could ever love someone with an attitude like mine.)

And she found exactly what she was looking for. Through SIOA, Ching can finally understand what she has experienced. “Because of the many helpful programs of the organization and these lovely people, I realized na valid ako.” Joining SIOA is a blessing in disguise for Ching as she realizes that it was reasonable for her to feel that way and share those feelings with her partner.

Unstoppable force meets immovable object

Through the SIOA, members are able to find solace in like-minded individuals who validate their feelings and experiences. “These people are like family to me now,” Karpintero fondly expresses. Ching also conveys similar sentiments, stating how the organization remained by her side when she was down and feeling self-doubt, which is why she aims “to offer the same comfort and happiness to members old and new.”

For all of their panache and exuberance, this organization is not just a group of people hell-bent on getting revenge. Rather, Rodrigo emphasizes that they want to be remembered as an avenue for women to reclaim their power and confidence without having to change who they are, even amid an onslaught of spiteful and misogynistic remarks. “We’re not just some petty girls, you know,” she stresses. “Revenge is just a bonus, because our main priority is ensuring that our members remember their worth and that they should not allow themselves to be brought down by others, especially men.”

One thing is for certain, and that is SIOA and its members will continue to do things the way they know how to—daringly vivacious and over-the-top. After all, if being OA is their way to achieve their goal and express their strength, then who are we to disagree?

This article was published in The LaSallian‘s Spoof 2024 issue. To read more, visit bit.ly/TLSSpoof2024.