Wednesday, January 19

Letters

Full Circle

Full Circle

Letters, Liyab
Red brake lights set the road ablaze. Caloy shifted in the driver’s seat, he gripped the steering wheel as the long hell of a queue burned right before him.  “Eto na naman tayo,” he heaved a sigh. He stared at his bag of purchase in the passenger’s seat: a few tablets of paracetamol, vitamins, and food. Everyone’s throat in their house had been sore, their bodies lay with fatigue.  As a firstborn and the only healthy person under their roof, Caloy regularly ran errands. This made him whine and think of his unfinished works and household chores. Involuntarily, he caressed the hanging rosary in the rearview mirror.  He touched the rosary beads one by one and pondered how this looming dread seemed so familiar. How this burden— once was lifted because of possible face-to-face clas
Big Night!: A comedy that begs to be taken seriously

Big Night!: A comedy that begs to be taken seriously

Letters
WHEN an illegal drug user dies, people rarely bat an eye. The rule of the streets has become notorious and thus expected: Suspects are to be killed. Bloodshed has inordinately frequented many places that it has become a norm. Indeed, the drug war of President Rodrigo Duterte is characterized by high numbers — not of jailed big time syndicates but of ordinary people killed in police raids and vigilante operations. However, society goes on as usual, while the grim reality is left to fade in the background of daily life. Big Night! by Director Jun Robles Lana centers on this theme but with a comedic take. The Metro Manila Film Festival entry tells a story where the drug war intentionally remains backstage. What basks under the spotlight is the comical life story of an ordinary person. How
A Hard Day: Morality Under Pressure

A Hard Day: Morality Under Pressure

Letters
By ABIGAIL M. ADRIATICO   IN TIMES of distress, one can be left with a choice made without further thought. Sometimes, this can go against the morals he stands for. In the process, these choices can brew mistakes with grave consequences not only for himself but for the people around him.  Directed by Lawrence Fajardo, A Hard Day is one of the eight feature film entries of the 2021 Metro Manila Film Festival. It is based on a South Korean film of the same title written and directed by Kim Seong-hun. The sole action film entry garnered multiple awards, including third best picture, the Fernando Poe Jr. memorial award, best editing, and best sound.  The film follows Detective Edmund Villon (Dingdong Dantes), an officer from the Philippine National Police Intel unit who re
Whether the Weather is Fine: In search of refuge

Whether the Weather is Fine: In search of refuge

Letters
By DAWN DANIELLE D. SOLANO   LOSS comes after a storm. In the Philippines, typhoons occur multiple times a year; and Filipinos are expected to rise and smile at these calamities in the name of ‘Filipino resiliency.’  As one of this year’s entries in Metro Manila Film Festival, Whether the Weather is Fine (Kun Maupay Man it Panahon) is a debut feature that wholly captures the horrors of super typhoon Yolanda that devastated the region of Eastern Visayas in 2013. Under the direction of Carlo Francisco Manatad, the film tells the story of human tragedy through drama, humor, and magical realism. The film begins with Miguel (Daniel Padilla) waking to the sight of his ravaged village after the typhoon. Torn-down houses and decaying dead bodies surround him, and it takes him
Country’s longest-running student film festival makes way for CASA’s filmmakers

Country’s longest-running student film festival makes way for CASA’s filmmakers

Letters
By DAWN DANIELLE D. SOLANO   FILM FESTIVALS are a chance for filmmakers, critics, and other key creatives in the filmmaking community to celebrate the art of storytelling through moving pictures. For young filmmakers, it is a platform to showcase their talent and skill in the craft and engage in the world of independent cinema.  This year, the University of Santo tomas’ Communication Arts Students’ Association (UST-CASA) commenced its longest-running collegiate film competition, Sine Reel, bringing together 21 student-produced short films of fourth-year communication arts students.  The previous year had been a challenge due to constraints brought upon by the first wave of COVID-19. Sine Reel 2021 co-project head Caryl Sanchez commended the outputs of this year’s parti
Ang Bata sa Drum: Drawing Hope in Disheartened Places

Ang Bata sa Drum: Drawing Hope in Disheartened Places

Letters
By: CZERIZHA KAIZEL S. ADZUARA LONELINESS can obscure the sense of hope in a child’s eyes. When hope fades, it leaves the heart empty and in perpetual despondence. However, a helping hand can fill the emptiness with flowing optimism once again.  Touching hearts and igniting hope, theater guild Teatro Tomasino offers Ang Bata sa Drum for its 44th season. Written by Dominique La Victoria and directed by Danica Geotina and Mia Kaella Enriquez, the one-act drama was broadcasted on Teatro Tomasino’s Facebook page last Dec. 4.  The play begins with a young weeping Roro (Laurenzo Roda) trapped in a drum by his father as a punishment for causing trouble. Roro’s elder sister, Krisel (Caryl De Los Santos), searches for him in their backyard. As Krisel finds Roro in his water drum predic
Freedom Within: The Spirit of Advocacies

Freedom Within: The Spirit of Advocacies

Letters
By ABIGAIL M. ADRIATICO WHEN it comes to the issue of poverty, the impact on the health of women is often overlooked. Women from underprivileged communities all over the world face a problem—accessing resources for proper sanitation during their monthly period. Since hygienic products are costly, some have no choice but to put their sanitary needs aside for the sake of other necessities. This problem poses a grave threat to their health and well-being in the long run.  This year, the True Colors Film Festival centers its theme on “Perspectives,” where 31 films showcase several narratives that seek to change one’s perception of the world. Its features, short films, and dialogues are available to stream for free on Vimeo until December 12. Directed by Krystal Foo, Freedom Within
Teatro Tomasino to premiere play tackling solidarity amid pandemic

Teatro Tomasino to premiere play tackling solidarity amid pandemic

Letters
  IN ITS 44th season, Teatro Tomasino, the official university-wide theater guild of the University of Santo Tomas, is releasing a one-act play that aims to provide comfort and build solidarity within the Thomasian community amidst the pandemic on Dec. 4, Saturday.  Written by playwright Dominique La Victoria and directed by Danica Geotina and Mia Kaella Enriquez, Ang Bata sa Drum revolves around the concept of Bahagi Palagi. It seeks to communicate inclusivity and belongingness amid the amplified feelings of isolation during the pandemic.  Steering the one-act play is the story of a character named Roro.  Because of his rebellious attitude, he is punished by his father by being placed inside a drum. Roro seeks comfort from his older sister Krisel, who has secrets that ne
The Swim

The Swim

Letters, Liyab
Editor’s Note: Starting today, the Letters section’s Photo of the Week will now be named Liyab. Furthermore, instead of weekly short stories, creative works will be uploaded every other week.   Here I am within the womb of a serene glittering pool; her surface returns  the blue hues of the sky, but  beneath owns my blues in the earth.   Deep in her depths, she engulfs  my body with turbulent force;  caressing my lungs. I let out  a scream, a plea, but only  an anguished moan follows.    Perhaps dry ears hear nothing or refuse to hear me at all. Their dry eyes only see  the glistening surface:  sun-illumined, beautiful, shallow.   But here I am submerged within her lone womb, trying to puncture the surfac
Movie Night

Movie Night

Letters, Liyab
By ABIGAIL M. ADRIATICO Note: This article is a work of fiction as part of The Flame's Photo of the Week. You hear the clock ticking as the credits of your second horror movie for the night start rolling. It is already 11 in the evening, and you still have a few more films to go through. However, that does not really faze you. After all, it is a Friday, and you have nothing to do tomorrow.  The tradition of watching horror movies during the eve of Halloween is something you always did with your sister. Even after you move out of your family home, you still practice it. With the lockdown in place and your sister busy with schoolwork, this is the first time you celebrate it alone.                       As you stare at the screen while the next film plays, you come to realize