Friday, January 18

Letters

Pan de Salawal: The Irony of Pain

Pan de Salawal: The Irony of Pain

Letters
By RYAN PIOLO U. VELUZ FROM THE torpid state of slumber, Salvador (Bodjie Pascua) disturbs the serenity of night with gasps of pain as he urinates with struggle and droplets of blood. He looks up at the ceiling with tears in his eyes, contemplating his miserable life spent alone while enduring the torments of a chronic kidney condition. Depressed and unaided, he had attempted to end his life several times, but only stopped when a miracle appeared in the form of a mysterious little girl. Pan de Salawal is the debut entry of writer-director Anna Francesca Espiritu to the Cinemalaya film festival. The film revolves around a small community in Manila where a wandering child named Aguy (Miel Espinosa) transforms the depressing lives of sick people by, ironically, inflicting pain on th
ML: Reliving the Pandemonium

ML: Reliving the Pandemonium

Letters
By ADRIAN PAUL L. TAÑEDO photo from Cinemalaya’s official website TIME has taught people that the history of the Philippines is written with blood. Ever since colonial masters invaded the land, natives have taken up arms to try and defend it. All of this is written in the pages of history books and is widely accepted. However, injustices and atrocities to human rights that happened during the years of martial law are always being questioned by those who did not experience the regime of the wicked dictator. Some of these cynics decide to traipse upon the dark past of the country to uncover the truth—only to find out that, like so many others, they entered the void with no way to return. Directed by Benedict Mique Jr., ML is an entry to this year’s Cinemalaya film festival that tack
Liway: A Celebration of Victorious Resistance

Liway: A Celebration of Victorious Resistance

Letters
By RYAN PIOLO U. VELUZ photo from Cinemalaya's official website IN A confined arena of outlaws and insurgents, children are living under imperceptible chains of suppression that inhibit their freedom to prosper and taint the purity of their youth. Governed by their naivety, the children are indifferent to the reality of living inside a world of transgressions. However, through the steadfast love of a strong-willed mother, they survive each day with hope and faith that someday, evil will be vanquished. Kip Oebanda’s entry for this year’s Cinemalaya, Liway,’is a profound personal film set in the Marcos era. It reveals the experiences of a 7-year-old boy named Dakip (Kenken Nuyad) and his parents, Inday (Glaiza de Castro) and Ricardo (Dominic Roco) who are detained at Camp Delgado, a
BuyBust: In a Playground of Sinners and Saints

BuyBust: In a Playground of Sinners and Saints

Letters
By CORHEINNE JOYCE B. COLENDRES  photo from WellGo USA ILLUMINATED BY neon lights and light bulbs that peer from the windows of tattered houses in a poverty-stricken area in Manila, agents from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency stand by to conduct a buy-bust drug operation. Nina Manigan (Anne Curtis) senses that something is off during the entire exchange. After a few nervous breaths induced by her instincts, bullets start pouring down, and the entire team realizes that they were set up in an elaborate scheme inside a playground of sinners and saints. Award-winning director Erik Matti’s BuyBust is a straight-forward revelation of the truth behind the ongoing war on drugs that continues to send the country into a downward spiral. Its fast-paced and violent scenes are crafted i
Tanghalang Tikom XI: Silence Breaks Barriers

Tanghalang Tikom XI: Silence Breaks Barriers

Letters
By CORHEINNE JOYCE B. COLENDRES and MARIA ANTOINETTE A. MALICSE DESPITE THE lack of sound, silence can be both compelling and evocative. It is a loud expression that can echo a variety of meanings. In its 11th year, the Communication Arts Students Association held its annual Tanghalang Tikom, which aimed to tell silent narratives that exhibit certain points of concentration. Staged at St. Raymund de Peñafort Building rooms 101 to 103 from May 16 to 19, and produced by all junior Communication Arts students, Tanghalang Tikom has again shown stories can still be told, despite silence being consistent in the act. Solitaria by Spectra Productions Solitaria discusses the story of how people are willing to do anything, even the most hideous things, if it meant that they could get th
Hexenringe: A Trip Into the Dark

Hexenringe: A Trip Into the Dark

Letters
By CORHEINNE JOYCE B. COLENDRES EVIL IS a natural force that can easily be bred, propagated, and cultured. It finds its roots from the deepest and darkest regions of a person’s identity. It is synonymous to Midas’ touch—destroying everything that comes to its way. Despite that, evil is weak. With enough force, it is something that can be extracted and driven away. Staged at the Albertus Magnus Auditorium from Feb. 1 to 10, Hexenringe, Mediartrix’s first minor production for the semester, tackles the cultivation of evil and how it is something so dark and powerful that it can ultimately consume a person. Hexenringe tells the story of Joshua (Maynee Singson), a medical student who tries to make up for being an absentee boyfriend by agreeing to accompany his girlfriend, Arwen (Mo
Deadma Walking: Opposing the Course of Destiny

Deadma Walking: Opposing the Course of Destiny

Letters
By CORHEINNE JOYCE B. COLENDRES WITH A year to live and an incurable illness that plagues him, John (Joross Gamboa) finally takes matters into his own hands. If destiny made the decision regarding the cause of his death, then he holds the decision on how he will die. He tells his best friend, Mark (Edgar Allan Guzman) about his elaborate plan to fake his own death. Mark feels conflicted about John’s plan, and asks John about what he hopes to hear at his own funeral. With his chin up and a clear disposition, John decides that he will encounter his own death—in a way that even destiny cannot steal from him. An entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2017, the film adaptation of a Palanca award-winning script of the same name tackles the friendship of two gay men who are
Ang Larawan: A Memento of a Moment in Time

Ang Larawan: A Memento of a Moment in Time

Letters
By MARIA ANTOINETTE A. MALICSE TO HAVE progress, there must be motion. However, the same can be said for regress, and so it seems that there is but a fine line between running away and moving forward. The key to distinguishing which from which is one’s relationship with his/her history. Through an audio-visual love letter to the Filipinos, the Obie Award winner and director Loy Arcenas echoes the significance of heritage, culture, and the arts to one’s life and their push-pull relationship with one’s growth and decline both as a nation and as an individual in his 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival Entry Ang Larawan—a musical theatric play based on National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin’s three-act English play “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino.” Set in a period before the o
DISMISSAL: Of Justice and Love’s Complexities

DISMISSAL: Of Justice and Love’s Complexities

Letters
By KRIZIA MAICA G. MAGBITANG A CLASSROOM has always been a place that embodies a learning environment. It is where students come to study and where teachers come to impart knowledge and teach values. Teatro Tomasino’s twinbill production, Dismissal, alters this view and a classroom is no longer shown as a safe space. Through Teatro's two plays, the classrom transforms into a hostile place for underprivileged students and a setting for an old lovers’ unexpected reunion. The first play, Isang Mukha ng Pandaraya written by Oggie Arcenas and directed by Leah Zamorras, tackles the paradox of inflicting justice and the inequality toward people with two different social standings in life. Amor Cruzado (Nathalie Estrada) files a case of Academic Dishonesty against her classmate Isador
Paki: Starting Anew Despite Old Age

Paki: Starting Anew Despite Old Age

Letters
By KRIZIA MAICA G. MAGBITANG AN UNPLEASANT fact in the Filipino society is how common it is for men to commit adultery and how women turn a blind eye. One particular article even remarked at the increasing infidelity rates of married Filipino males and the justification of their act by saying it supplements a man’s machismo. One of the Cinema One Originals 2017 film entry, Paki, takes on this social issue in a contemporary setting and bags the Best Picture and Best Director awards. The main character, Molina (Dexter Doria), has had enough of putting up with her husband’s womanizing ways. She leaves her home and, for once, stands up on her own even though her family does not approve of this decision. The film’s title, Paki, is translated into two words, “please” and “care,” and it