Wednesday, November 21

Letters

Hintayan ng Langit: Love in The Middle

Hintayan ng Langit: Love in The Middle

Letters
By MARIA PAMELA S. REYES FOR the youth, death seems to be out of arm’s reach. It is a mere figment of their imagination, a problem they will only need to face when they get older. They tend to look forward to the future and to the various goals that keep them grounded. Once a person gets older, however, everything changes. Their perspective in life shifts and they sometimes start to accept where their choices have led them. Age may also make them wonder if they could have had a different story or a different ending to their life. In this year’s QCinema Circle Competition, director Dan Villegas featured Hintayan ng Langit, a film based on viral spoken word poet Juan Miguel Severo’s stage play of the same name. The film features Aling Lisang (Gina Pareño), an elderly woman who h
Pag-ukit sa Paniniwala: Creating the Divines in Man’s Image

Pag-ukit sa Paniniwala: Creating the Divines in Man’s Image

Letters
By RYAN PIOLO U. VELUZ FROM the main door of the church, wooden statues of Jesus Christ and various saints draw throngs of devotees and parishioners, either due to their divine significance or embellishment of sacred details and the linens of royalties attached to their lifeless structures. Illuminated by candles and elusive light bulbs, these inanimate sculptures seem to come to life through people’s extreme devotion and expression of faith. Director Hiyas Bagabaldo’s entry to this year’s QCinema International Film Festival, Pag-ukit sa Paniniwala, is a documentary film that explores the different facets and expressions of Catholic faith in the Philippines. Set in Paete, Laguna, the carving capital of the country, the film deciphers the process of creating sculptures—how artists
Oda Sa Wala: Confronting the Unknown

Oda Sa Wala: Confronting the Unknown

Letters
By LORRAINE C. SUAREZ DEATH is a paradox—it is a concept known to everybody, and yet, it remains a mystery. It is something that each person is very much aware of, but not something that is truly understood. Thus, one tends to observe it in a manner convenient for primal instincts: through fear and terror, emotions that are similarly observed when dealing with something in the darkness, something unknown. For 44-year-old Sonya (Marietta Subong), death is but a means to make a living. She is the proprietor of her family’s funeral home and the sole breadwinner in a household of two composed of an apathetic father and herself. From the ground floor of their home, she manages their business by directing funerals entirely on her own, starting from the creation of floral pieces down
Masla A Papanok: A Culture Forgotten

Masla A Papanok: A Culture Forgotten

Letters
By ISABELL ANDREA M. PINE THE SPANISH colonization of the Philippines centered around God, gold, and glory. One cannot deny how these played a big role in the country’s history and how they created a lasting impact on Filipinos. This begs the question of whether or not modern-day Filipinos still have a hold of their true culture and how much of their identity is influenced by the colonizers of the past. For this reason, Masla A Papanok retells the destruction of culture and the reality of forgetting it through the perspective of two representations of the Filipinos’ beginnings. Set in 1892, Masla A Papanok tells the story of two royalties of Maguindanao and their experiences during and after the Spanish colonization. The first story focuses on Clara (Quennie Lyne Demoral), origin
Dog Days: Tracing the Depths of Social Struggle

Dog Days: Tracing the Depths of Social Struggle

Letters
By IAN JOZEL N. JEREZ THE INDIVIDUAL is gifted with a life which he expects to become a perfect terrain and spiritual force devoid of struggles, sufferings, and mysteries, but he is also faced with the menace of death—the opposing force of life. The curiosity about what lies beyond the currents of human life and suffering is also the trigger of one’s downfall, bringing damage upon oneself. Directed by Timmy Harn, Dog Days is an entry to the Circle Competition for this year’s QCinema International Film Festival. The story revolves around Michael Jordan Ulili (Ybes Bagadlong), a teenager without a family and a basketball player who is desperate to have a team. His life is shown to be a living hell that becomes exacerbated when he accidentally impregnates his girlfriend Maureen (Bar
Breaking the Barriers of Disparity in ‘Mamu (And a Mother Too)’

Breaking the Barriers of Disparity in ‘Mamu (And a Mother Too)’

Letters
By RYAN PIOLO U. VELUZ ONCE the sun sets to take its respite, Mamu (Iyah Mina) faces the mirror and starts her usual routine: she highlights her face with cosmetics and dresses up to reveal her fair skin through seductive choices in apparel and various accessories. She then dominates the red-light district Fields Avenue in Angeles City, enticing flocks of foreigners to avail of her best product: her flesh. Mamu (And a Mother Too) is the debut entry of director and LGBTQ+ rights advocate Rod Singh to this year’s Cinema One Originals film festival. The film discusses the sacrifices and hardships in the life of a middle-aged transgender woman who roams around the city in search of pleasure seekers to offer her services to as a sex worker. Mamu’s life was simple and predictable u
Singhap: Unleashing the Chaos Within

Singhap: Unleashing the Chaos Within

Letters
By ADRIAN PAUL L. TAÑEDO LOVE EXISTS in dimensions that humans haphazardly traverse. It is a force that is capable of transcending all social constructs. It is an emotion that everyone is able to feel and recognize, and it is powerful enough to make familiar or foreign souls realize a mutual longing for each other. However, humans also put restrictions on the force of love. Society dictates compatibility between lovers based on social strata and gender. Humans tend to suppress their own urge to reach out for love in fear of the unknown lurking within their hearts, causing them to lose their true form that is dormant within themselves. Nonetheless, when humans realize that there is only so much that they can repress, they find out that a berserk catharsis severs the chains that fas
Sol Searching: Cultivating a Better Future

Sol Searching: Cultivating a Better Future

Letters
By RYAN PIOLO U. VELUZ DESIGNED with artistic ornaments and illuminated by colorful lighting, the school’s stage becomes festive for a funeral service. With music and various sets of performances, the supposed solemn and melancholic commemoration of the demise of Gng. Sol (Gilleth Sandico) morphs into a celebratory gathering devised to garner funds from the spectators and crooked politicians. As altercations transpire among the people behind Sol’s unusual wake, her corpse mysteriously vanishes and is never recovered. Director Roman Perez Jr.’s entry for this year’s The Outstanding Farmers of the Philippines (TOFARM) Film Festival 2018, Sol Searching, is a story about a school teacher who passionately educates the farmers about scientific farming. Unfortunately, she suddenly dies
Cleaners: Art against Oppression

Cleaners: Art against Oppression

Letters
By RYAN PIOLO U. VELUZ FROM the arid scrubs stroking the surface of the dusty floor, a strident sound shrouds the quarters of Ms. Dimaguiba’s classroom. Heightened by the boisterous conversation of the cleaners, the room transforms into an arena of juvenile arguments and mischievous plays. However, the blaring echoes are suddenly muted when the cadavers are exposed from the classroom’s cupboard. Written and directed by Jhudiel Clare Sosa, Cleaners is a play about a group of students and their regular cleaning sessions that turn into a plan on how to eliminate the biggest dirt in their classroom: the corpses of their classmates. After discussing possible methods to effectively solve the problem, Irish and her friends decide that they must address the root of the bloodshed by killi
Valor Trumps Dread in Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral

Valor Trumps Dread in Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral

Letters
By ADRIAN PAUL L. TAÑEDO NATIONS CELEBRATE their heroes for their vital contributions to regaining the freedom of the people. Some heroes are acclaimed for their stratagem and tactics in combat, while others are respected for being able to rally thousands of people forward into the battlefield. A hero is revered for braving wars— even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds and the threat of death. Jerrold Tarog’s Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral is a film that tells the tale of Gregorio ‘Goyo’ del Pilar, a Filipino general during the Philippine-American War. The film initially portrays patriotism as something that is limited by the vision of those blinded by their duty to the country. The film also serves as a lesson to viewers that acting for the nation trumps cowering behind faca