Thursday, March 21

Letters

Panahon na, Bayan

Panahon na, Bayan

Letters
Editor’s Note: In line with the 44th anniversary of the declaration of Proclamation 1081 as the law of the land, the Flame will post a series of articles written by the publication’s former staffers during the Martial Law period. The Flame, being one of the student publications who continued its fearless reportage during those tumultuous times, believes that we—both the young and the old—should never turn a blind eye and forget the atrocities and plunders during Martial Law. It is our duty as members of the press to enlighten the Filipinos about that dark period in the country’s history. (This poem was originally published in The Flame Vol. 13, No. 1 issue) Ang bulok na lipunan ay saan nga ba nanggaling, Ano ba ang naging sanhi’t tayo ngayo’y nasa dilim? Ni anino ng buhay
Banyuhay: A Magnification of the Filipino Society

Banyuhay: A Magnification of the Filipino Society

Letters
TRAIN RIDES are oftentimes tiresome because of the lengthy lines at ticket stations, the immersion with a huge pack of commuters, the noisy clanking of the wheels with the rail tracks, and the grasping of steel posts as one stands impatiently waiting for the train to arrive at his destination. However, Banyuhay shows it as a more significant notion. Nine different passengers enchained by various burdens in life board the same locomotive. As the vehicle passes by four stations (C. Bulan, Balaquid, Muntican and Katuparan), its passengers vent their frustrations about the irksome experience of riding the train and their troubles at work. One by one, they earn the spotlight—emotionally disclosing their stories and finalizing each of their statements by admitting what they feel inside. T
Kusina: Where the Heart Rests

Kusina: Where the Heart Rests

Letters
IN TRADITION, Filipinos believe that there is life after death—an afterlife in which an individual’s identity and consciousness continue to exist even after the passing of a body. Kusina defamiliarizes Heaven as the holy realm that reveals all that is expected it would be like: a room where there is warmth and joy confined in intimate space—almost like a banquet celebrating one’s journey through life with the company of loved ones and savory dishes.  Kusina is a treat to culinary drama. It revolves around the life of Juanita (Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo) who was born on a kitchen table. Her fate seems to be intertwined with that same room, where she discovers her devotion to cooking. The linear pace tracing from her youth to womanhood is faithful to the accustomed story-telling of a quint
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