Friday, August 23

Letters

Born Beautiful: The Caprices of Identity

Born Beautiful: The Caprices of Identity

Letters
By ADRIAN PAUL L. TAÑEDO EVERY PERSON in the world possesses beauty and it is imperative that society respects the innate pulchritude that each individual holds; yet, there are also other kinds of aesthetics that different kinds of people appreciate. Some forms of beauty are peculiar and may seem uncanny to the scrutinizing eye. One of the biggest challenges in the life of those who possess a unique kind of beauty is to find the acceptance of the people around them—and sometimes, to have the courage to love and accept themselves. Directed by Perci Intalan, Born Beautiful is a film that attempts to manifest the life of a homosexual man in the Philippines. The film showcases not only the stereotypes that are more often than not forced upon the Filipino gay, but also the struggl
Defying the Cosmos in Agnoia

Defying the Cosmos in Agnoia

Letters
By RYAN PIOLO U. VELUZ AMID the silent crowd, a voice of a yearning woman echoes. She is a mother conversing with her children to reconcile their shattered relationship with their patriarch before his pending demise. Meanwhile, another woman cries out her desire to achieve the totality of herself; a pressured teenage boy wavers on the expectations of his sister and his lover; a confused and fearful student pursues her forbidden love with her professor. They are all plagued with fear, skepticism, and varying perspectives of their fate; of being either comfortable with whatever the stars have to offer or standing strong and taking control of their future. Teatro Tomasino’s production, Agnoia, was written by acclaimed playwright, Liza Magtoto, and directed by Lendro Enore. The s
Spotlight

Spotlight

Letters
By IAN JOZEL N. JEREZ 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 COUSIN told me she saw a man walking along the side of the road last night. She described the man to be dressed like a woman, to which I responded: “How could you tell?” It is not difficult to distinguish a person’s identity through the clothes they wear, she explained to me. She went on to provide a more vivid description that illustrated how the man so obviously appeared not to know how a woman walks and, in particular, how a woman speaks. I was barely listening to her as I was lost in my thoughts. The (wo)man my cousin saw walking along the street last
The Other

The Other

Letters
By MARIA PAMELA S. REYES 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. THEIR STARES were everywhere. Accompanied by their rambunctious mouths, they followed my every move as if I was a child who needed to take heed of orders. Their eyes undressed my very essence. They watched over my actions like I was a lion in a cage, but I am human, and that was how I wanted to be seen. The moment I came out of my mother’s womb, the world already knew what I was and where I was supposed to head. I was expected to be prim and proper: the perfect example of a refined lady. During my toddler years, I was constantly told not to run on the mu
Talim

Talim

Letters
By RYAN PIOLO U. VELUZ 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. Sa pagsabog ng bukang liwayway Liyab nito ay kawangis ng mga tala At sa inusal na himig at salita: Siyang sa akin ay bumuhay at gumising! Letra at salitang sa atin—wikang pambansa. Alab ko ay nilimliman sa diwa ng mga bayani Lingas ay pinalakas sa mga pusong api Sa mahabang panahon, pag-usbong ay natigil Ako ay inalipin, sa sariling bayan ay sinikil Tinanggal aking alab, ngunit ‘di ako nagpasiil. Sa gitna ng rebolusyon, muli akong isinilang Nagkatawang tao sa mga nobela, tula, at awitin Ang baga sa pusong naupos, sa alab ko ay nagising Nang ma
Aurora: Of Lost Opportunities

Aurora: Of Lost Opportunities

Letters
By LORRAINE C. SUAREZ THE SEA is a haven for lost things. Beneath its cerulean depths is a collection of tragic narratives: abandoned shipwrecks, aimlessly drifting cargo, and wayward souls. It has stories to tell, and it travels in the form of listless waves that come to life upon reaching the shore. Misfortune seems to reign in the life of Leana (Anne Curtis) after an accident claims the lives of both her parents. The task of managing her family’s business, as well as taking care of her younger sibling Rita (Phoebe Villamor), falls into her hands. On her own, she tends to her sister and presides over their run-down inn by the seaside. Her circumstances are only worsened by the sinking of the passenger ship Aurora, the aftermath of which leaves her business stagnating even more
Rainbow’s Sunset: Beyond the Closet

Rainbow’s Sunset: Beyond the Closet

Letters
By IAN JOZEL N. JEREZ “THE CLOSET” serves as a social space for queers who live in fear of condemnation by people around them and by society at large, for they are perceived as individuals who do not conform and adhere to gender norms. These individuals are even branded by superior defaults as abhorrent and abnormal when they subject them to scrutiny, to the point where others believe that being queer has a cure. Under the direction of Joel Lamangan, Rainbow’s Sunset is an entry to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival. The film revolves around the story of Ramon (Eddie Garcia) and Fredo (Tony Mabesa) and their struggles as male homosexuals who are on the brink of death. After learning of Fredo’s illness, Ramon comes out to his family as a gay man and tells them he intends to li
Child of the ABC

Child of the ABC

Letters
By LORRAINE C. SUAREZ 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. I REALIZE now that that man was born to rebel. His very birth is a struggle. From within the peaceful lull of the womb, he is delivered into the world kicking, screaming, and covered in blood. He tries to deal his payback through the intensity of his wails—his attempts to cause the same disturbance that was brought upon him earlier. He cries as hard as his feeble voice could muster, but no one pays him any heed. To them, it is but a natural reaction to his surroundings; to him, it is the lament of his newly-emerged existence. He enters the world as a blan
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