Thursday, March 21

Letters

My Sweet Bita

My Sweet Bita

Letters
By ISABELL ANDREA M. PINE EDITOR'S NOTE: This piece is one of the works in a five-part series in line with the Dapitan 2019 theme Insureksiyon. All works that are part of the series are written by the Flame's Letters staffers. MY EARLIEST memories of my grandmother are her giddy smiles and the scent of her fabric softener. To my three-year-old self, she was a best friend whom I can never live without; every place she stepped on forged paths to new adventures. Our apartment became our playground, with her chasing me whenever I wanted to play taya-tayaan and looking for me whenever I wanted to play tagu-taguan. Every moment in my childhood was filled with her presence; her face etched itself deep into my mind like deja vu constantly played on repeat. She was the prime parental f...
‘Women: A Play about Women’: The Consequences of Menarche

‘Women: A Play about Women’: The Consequences of Menarche

Letters
By LORRAINE C. SUAREZ THE TRANSITION to womanhood is a terrifying process. It is a road paved with physical changes: the beginning of monthly cycles, painful cramps, and budding breasts. From thereon, this road eventually leads to an exit. It is through this door that the adolescent now makes her entrance into the world as a full-fledged woman; an entrance marking her as a repressed specie and an object of desire in society. The distant future promises a paradise that eliminates this problem in the form of a place called Edena. It is a haven for women, a utopia where they are free to choose how to live, whether it be for the sake of virtue, solidarity, or self-gratification. It is here that they worship a mysterious deity known as Yoncé (Philippe Catindig), the idol of female emp
Ang Kalungkutan ng Kagubatan: The Battle for Freedom

Ang Kalungkutan ng Kagubatan: The Battle for Freedom

Letters
By MARIA PAMELA S. REYES THE FOREST is a lush and lively part of nature. It is an ecosystem filled with various creatures, but deep within its trees and shadows lie stories that are untold and creatures that are unseen. These are stories that only tongues can tell and creatures can only imagine to see. These are tales used to frighten children to sleep or simply to entertain them. They are a part of the culture, a vital aspect that keeps the nation’s spirit flourishing; but when conflict arises and conquerors arrive, they are either altered or completely wiped out from existence. Staged by Artistang Artlets at the Benavides Auditorium during Nov. 26 and 27, Ang Kalungkutan ng Kagubatan was directed by Jonas Garcia and written by Kenshin Alberio. Set during the Spanish occupation,
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