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
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
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
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
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...
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
By ANA MURIEL R. VERON THE AFTERMATH of a loved one’s death is not an easy time to go through. Once they have gone, the people who loved them may continue to seek their familiar presence in the world; in the possessions their deceased have left behind and maybe even in the new people they meet. Some might even go so far as to think that their beloved has been reincarnated. Featured in the 2019 Cinema One Originals film festival, Yours Truly, Shirley is a heartwarming film about grief and moving on, presented with the brighter light of witty humor. While it is yet another comedy to add to the pile, it stands out because it tackles deeper issues in a comical fashion while still not taking away the seriousness of the matter. Every morning, 50-year-old Shirley (Regine Velasquez-Al
By RY PHILIP JACO T. GALVAN DISTANCE IS measured by how far two bodies or objects are apart. For the romantics, it is measured by how close hearts are to one another. Regardless, distance becomes a mere construct when both parties fight for love together. In their 39th season, Artistang Artlets proves that they are truly limitless by tackling the underrated importance of levels in their double-bill play, Kalayò. The play features the stories Isang Buwan Isang Araw and Pagdadalaga, both of which were directed by Voltaire Avendaño and discussed an underlying topic of distance and connection. Isang Araw Isang Buwan Written by Ivan Gordola, the play tells the story of two star-crossed lovers, Luna (Alyssa Paredes) and Paul (Hans Kho), who meet in a dating site and try
By PATRICK V. MIGUEL BEFORE A butterfly spreads its wings, it must first undergo metamorphosis. Beginning as a larva, it gradually grows from time to time by shedding skin, leaving traces of what it used to be and starting anew. As it nears maturity, it entombs itself in a silky chrysalis. Inside, the caterpillar confines itself to transform into its true form. Once ready, it frees itself from the cocoon in order to spread its wings and fly. In the 15th year of the Cinema One Originals film festival, director Jose Enrique Tiglas makes his debut through Metamorphosis. It narrates the story of Adam (Gold Azeron) who discovers that he is intersex. In the film, he is challenged to cope with the changes in his life by accepting and addressing his unique condition. Metamorphosis is ...
By MHERYLL GIFFEN L. ALFORTE AS HUMANS navigate through the different stages of life, sometimes memories fail and begin to be veiled with mist. As a defiant attempt, only then does one decide to resort on what fiction can offerㅡall for the sake of preserving and reliving these memories. Directed by Puangsoi Aksornsawang, Nakorn-Sawan is an entry to this year’s QCinema International Film Festival under the Asian Next Wave section. Puangsoi attempts to connect documentary and fiction to create an extraordinary spectacle where the lines between memory, fact and fiction blur together. In this hybrid film, there are two distinct parts that parallel each other: an intimate documentary footage recorded personally by the filmmaker herself, and a polished and more detached fictional seque