Friday, July 10

Letters

A Message of Regret

Letters
By MARIA PAMELA S. REYE EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece is one of the works in a seven-part series in line with the Dapitan 2020 theme Ina. All works that are part of the series are written by the Flame’s Letters staffers. DEATH came into my life through a text message. It had a few simple words: “Wala na si mama.” Despite hearing the news, I went on with my daily life. As always, I woke up before the sun peeked through the horizon. I ran past other commuters piling around the streets, in hopes of catching a ride before anyone else. I needed to get to work on time. The ridiculous amount of bills being sent to my apartment was enough to distract me from the event. My mother could wait; I needed to survive. Once I got home, I grabbed the growing pile of letters from the table and
Kalel, 15: Sins of Society

Kalel, 15: Sins of Society

Letters
By MHERYLL GIFFEN L. ALFORTE IN A society stricken with judgmental eyes and constricting stigmas, diseased people are forced to keep things under wraps. With no one else to rely on but themselves, they are driven into a corner. In their attempt to find solace, they resort to things that ultimately led to their tragedy. Soon, it becomes apparent that their fate is not of their own making; rather, it is the unlistening ears of the society that should be blamed. Kalel, 15 opens in a droning hospital hallway filled with people going about with their day. The camera then shifts to an unperturbed Kalel (Elijah Canlas) who is told by a doctor that he has contracted a virus. Next to him is his mother, Edith (Jaclyn Jose), who adopts an alarmed expression. The exact nature of Kalel's cond
Parasite: Exterminating Class Distinctions

Parasite: Exterminating Class Distinctions

Letters
By DENISSE P. TABOR SOCIAL CLASS has been a recurring element of countless films and dramas — the rich-boy-poor girl trope, which, no matter how recycled, still manages to make the audiences’ hearts flutter; the rags-to-riches cliche where the lead character rises to power and takes his revenge on the people who mistreated him; or the storylines where a poor adolescent struggles to fit into a social group in a prestigious school as all the students come from wealthy families. One of the films which adopts this element is Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite as it tackles the disparity between the rich and the poor; its plot exhaustively juxtaposing the lives of two families from these respective classes. However, unlike other kinds of films, Parasite is more of a social commentary that delves
Mama’s Jealousy

Mama’s Jealousy

Letters
By MHERYLL GIFFEN L. ALFORTE EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece is one of the works in a seven-part series in line with the Dapitan 2020 theme Ina. All works that are part of the series are written by the Flame’s Letters staffers. FOR as long as I can remember, I have never had a definite inkling of what I look like. Mama had always forbade me to look at myself in the mirror; she said I must never indulge myself with vanity. It was only through stolen glimpses of my reflection that I had the chance to look at the face I should have memorized like the back of my hand. Here I am, almost desperate for a longer peek even at the risk of getting caught. I stared at my reflection. The television’s screen mirrored my face in a faint manner, but it was enough to discern my features: I had the s
The Potter

The Potter

Letters
By ANA MURIEL R. VERON EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece is one of the works in a seven-part series in line with the Dapitan 2020 theme Ina. All works that are part of the series are written by the Flame’s Letters staffers. When she chose the clay, She perhaps desired the Kaolinite That would have resulted in pristine, white porcelain. She knew this medium would limit her And her creation But it does not bother her.   She would be content in the results Of her skill and the love She would instill in her craft.   To create was a heavy task to take on— She would labor For the rest of her life.   She worked alone. In an orderly workshop With occasional visitors and seldom assistance. She did not need it.   She m
In a War-Torn Motherland

In a War-Torn Motherland

Letters
By DENISSE P. TABOR EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece is one of the works in a seven-part series in line with the Dapitan 2020 theme Ina. All works that are part of the series are written by the Flame’s Letters staffers. AS Generosa stepped out of their family home, the sight was not far from what she imagined. The streets were bestrewed with random firearms and empty cartridges. Lifeless bodies, mostly those of the Japanese soldiers, lay on blood-spattered pavements. Makeshift garrisons were completely deserted; their porch lights flickering ominously. What was once a harmonious country was now devoured by smoke gray and crimson red — a telltale sign of the war. True to their promise, the Americans came back to the archipelago after three years. But what the locals did not anti
Who I Cradled

Who I Cradled

Letters
By PATRICK V. MIGUEL EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece is one of the works in a seven-part series in line with the Dapitan 2020 theme Ina. All works that are part of the series are written by the Flame’s Letters staffers. I was 14 and he was new to the world. Everytime I go out with Rick, people look at me with their eyebrows arched high. I can see them gather around and mumble hurtful words about me. From behind, I hear them laugh and mock me for what I am. There is nothing I can do but let each word pass through me like painful shards. I ask myself, what is wrong with taking care of a child at this age? As I stood inside the nursery full of toys and baby bottles, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. It reflected Rick being cradled in my arms and also my appearance. I lo
Mindanao: The Purpose of Suffering

Mindanao: The Purpose of Suffering

Letters
By PATRICK V. MIGUEL LIFE IS a battlefield where there are given challenges to surpass. With this, one has to decide whether to give up or to push through. However, the value of life is to continue fighting. One should always push through every obstacle, no matter how hard it is. As one of the film entries in the 45th Metro Manila Film Festival, Mindanao is one of the movies that are worth watching as there is a balance of anguish and joy; a striking portrayal of Mindanao. Prior to its release in the Philippines, it was first showcased in the 2019 Busan International Film Festival in October 2019 under the category of Icons. Under the direction of Brillante Mendoza and the writing of  Honce Alipio, Mindanao tells the story of the Datupalo family — Saima (Judy Ann Santos), Mala
Culion: Unsung Story of the Past

Culion: Unsung Story of the Past

Letters
By MARIA PAMELA S. REYES HISTORY HAS taught people many things, from mistakes to mind breaking discoveries. At the same time, it fails to tell everything. These are memories that are forgotten and unrecognized by the present - untold stories that scar not only the people but also its nation. Directed by Alvin Yapan and written by Ricky Lee, Culion is an entry in the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival. As derived from its title, it sheds light on the seldom discussed island of Culion - the Philippines' largest leprosarium during the American occupation, which housed almost a thousand people affected by the disease. It focuses on the perspectives of three women with leprosy: Ana (Iza Calzado), a determined and strong-minded woman, who believes she still has a chance to leave the leper...
Sila Sila: More Than Queer

Sila Sila: More Than Queer

Letters
By PATRICK V. MIGUEL FAMILY IS a powerful word describing a bond made out of love and care. It is the first unit of socialization that will nurture and foster children as they grow up. Most define family as being limited to its fundamental nature: genetics and heritage. However, the time comes where individuals eventually divert from their family ties and adapt by themselves. In this sense, a family is not determined by blood, but bonds shared with one another. Under the direction of Giancarlo Abraham, Sila-Sila tells the story of Gab (Gio Gahol) who returned to Manila after almost a year following his break up with Jared (Topper Fabregas).  It is one of the featured films in the 15th year of Cinema One Originals film festival, winning awards such as Audience Choice Award, Best S