Wednesday, January 23

Letters

Cinemalaya Shorts A: Through the Glistening Scythe

Cinemalaya Shorts A: Through the Glistening Scythe

Letters
LIFE HAS been man’s cornucopia of successes and misfortunes in the world. Yet it is only when he faces death that he realizes how precious and limited it is. The Shorts A division of the 12th Cinemalaya Film Festival focuses on this, compelling the viewers to reflect on their lives with its various exemplifications of death in all its forms. Bugtaw (Awake) The Ilonggo film Bugtaw brings to life Arman and Leo, two kids who have a common pastime—writing their dreams on notebooks and sharing them to each other every time they meet. One sunny day at the grasslands, after telling each other about what they have dreamt of the previous night, Arman gets chased by a rugged man who, he thinks, haunts the dark past about his family that he struggles to hide. Through animation, the produce
Tuos: Breaking the Shackles of Tradition

Tuos: Breaking the Shackles of Tradition

Letters
MILES AWAY from the country’s capital region, where daily living includes mobile phones and honking of cars, lay various pre-Hispanic traditions that still survive up to this day despite the speeding influence of modernity. Cinemalaya 2016 Audience Choice Feature Film Tuos presents the clash between tradition and modernity by the use of allegories as an art drama. It tells of the ethnic customs and beliefs centering on the binukot or “kept maiden” still practiced today in Panay, Bukidnon. Written by Denise O’Hara, the story revolves around Pina-ilog, played by Philippine cinema’s Superstar Nora Aunor, who is an old binukot thrown at the crossroads between keeping their tradition alive and choosing the happiness of her granddaughter and successor, Dowokan, portrayed by Barbie Forteza
Island Hopping

Island Hopping

Letters
Three specks of mossy green behind her, she wonders, both legs dangling off the edge of the running motorboat, What would happen if islands could have memories like humans do? Would the first island remember the way its seaweeds twice her arm length tickled her cheeks and ears as she dove in deeper to get closer to a school of grey fish each the size of her fist? Would the second island remember her palms delving through the coarse earth for sand dollars of various colors— from ivory to graphite-grey— that she planned to take to the city? Would the third island remember the shifting of her legs and the wiggling of her toes as she buried them under the white sand almost as fine as baby powder? Yet if islands were to have memories like humans do, they would
Ma’Rosa: A Pure Witness to the Filipino Condition

Ma’Rosa: A Pure Witness to the Filipino Condition

Letters
A PORTRAIT of a homeless family, a couple with a child, scraping glass bottles to sell to the junkshop—at a distance is Rosa (Jaclyn Jose), watching them from the police jeep. Slightly soaked from sweat combined with rainwater, she is handcuffed with her husband by her side. It is visible on her face the subtle yet emotionally-shattering note that her family’s life beholds a different fate if not for one thing. The Filipino auteur Brillante Mendoza makes his return to the Cannes competition with Ma’Rosa. The film has a clipped pace and a violently truthful narration of the condition of a small-time drug dealer from a shady street in the sprawling city of Mandaluyong under the corrupt surveillance of policemen. Mendoza understands the core of being a Filipino living in the slums of M
Iadya Mo Kami: An Advent of Epiphany

Iadya Mo Kami: An Advent of Epiphany

Letters
IT IS through rose-tinted spectacles that man perceives the social order, making him selective and indifferent to the troubles burdening him at the present time. Director Mel Chionglo deviates from the typical themes used in films and transgresses to expose one of the ills in today’s society with his movie "Iadya Mo Kami" (Deliver Us). Through the power of cinema, he concentrates on a controversy that silently plagues not only the Catholic Church but also man’s reality. The film brings to life Greg (Allen Dizon), a diocesan priest who has broken his vow of chastity by siring a child with his lover Carla (Diana Zubiri). Living as a sinner himself, his life plunges deeper into the realm of immorality as he moves up to the town of Placido for his reassignment as its next parochial prie
Double-sided Gesture

Double-sided Gesture

Letters
  Double-sided Gesture by Dianne Alyssa A. Aguirre Let your thumb speak your judgment about the past in a coin toss, when He was more than a right-sided face in every five-peso, and led the Motherland in its first republic year. A thumbs up could be as double-sided as a flipped coin, when heads and tails fight for dominance in mid-air and two opponents are left hoping to win in silence. The gesture could be an act of approval to the freemason fighting for independence, the politician who created truce with Spain, the president of the revolutionary government. It could also be an act of condemnation, wherein you make a fist as if holding a lighter, with the thumb ready to roll the spark wheel. From its flame you would smell contempt for the man who declared s...
Huwag Magpigil Seryoso

Huwag Magpigil Seryoso

Letters
Huwag Magpigil Seryoso ni Ynca Ann Eve Duerme Isang parodiya sa tulang “Ang Huling Tula Na Isusulat Ko Para Sa'yo” ni Juan Miguel Severo Ito na ang huling tula na isusulat ko para sa’yo. Pangako ‘yan, at totoo. Sa pagdami ng taong kay dulas magsalita at sa pagdami ng mga indibidwal na ipinapako sa pader ang kanilang bawat gunita, dito kita ihihimlay sa pahinang ito, dito kung saan walang tugma’t sukat o ritmo, kung saan gagamitin ko ang kahit na anong kataga, letra, salita upang ilabas ang imbiyerna sa mga ipinanukala mo. Di ko alam kung gaano magiging kahaba, kung kasya ba sa isang piyesa o isang pahina dahil hindi naman lahat nasasabi sa dulo. Pero pangako ‘yan, ito na ang huling tula na isusulat ko para sa’yo. Wala akong pakialam kung abutin man tayo ng buong maghapon pero kaila
Artistang Artlets’ Pendulum: A Review

Artistang Artlets’ Pendulum: A Review

Letters
TIME IS the indefinite continued progression of existence and events that occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future. However, Pendulum seeks to let the audience think otherwise. Fascinated by the concept of time, writer Rani Mae Aberin attempted to reconcile Cronus, the god of time in Greek mythology, with the modern era. She revealed a god who intervenes with the linear motion of time. He halts time and allows the past to catch up. As he trains a student to be his rightful heir, the next in line to help the mortals proceed to the future, he was in awe by the struggles of the youth faces today. The play had three settings carefully arranged in one spacious stage with the mood set through stage lighting. Any change of color and the
3 Stars and a Sun: A Subtle Revolution

3 Stars and a Sun: A Subtle Revolution

Letters
FIFTY YEARS from now, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration perceived that half of Manila and parts of Las Piñas will be completely gone due to the effects of climate change. On the other hand, most fantasize about a Philippines taken over by robots and highly advanced technology like “smart homes.” However, for writers Mixcaela Villalon and Rody Vera, the Philippines 70 years from now would look exactly like a dystopia, but with a few twists: a country haunted by the remains of a nuclear war, a group rebelling against their oppressive government leaders, and the Stormdome, a walled shelter established by their ancestors to “protect” what remained of the population from the possibility of their countrymen's extinction. “3 Stars and a Sun” is one of Philippine Educatio
Comedy of a Summer Romance: ‘It’s April, What Are We Doing Here?’

Comedy of a Summer Romance: ‘It’s April, What Are We Doing Here?’

Letters
NORTHROP FRYE, in his theory of Archetypes, mentions that there is a universal experience discernable in each season of the year. Summer, he said, was the start of romance: the celebration of marriage and the consummation of love. However, Palanca award-winning writer Rolando Tinio rebels on this idea. In the very title of his play “It’s April, What Are We Doing Here?” one can delineate a dejected rhetoric—a certain feeling of disappointed yearning and frigid impassivity. In his play, summer represents the slow degradation of romantic love. The play was recently staged by IKARUS in a black-box type studio at DITO: Bahay Ng Sining, in Concepcion, Marikina City. Set in Manila during the 60s, the play starts when Teresina catches her husband, Nicholas, inside the apartment of his