Category Archives: commentary

Oro by Alvin Yapan [MMFF 2016]

I’m not a movie reviewer but I think it would be a great disservice to everybody if I don’t promote this film. I went inside the cinema with high expectations. After all, Sir Alvin Yapan is one of my most favorite professors of all time. And for the first time, one of his films is showing in local cinemas. So yey!

Oro, Dugo ang Kinang ng Ginto
Oro, Dugo ang Kinang ng Ginto

Kahit na sobrang taas ng expectations ko, I was blown away and greatly overwhelmed by Oro. Ang ganda ng storya. Thought-provoking and cringe-inducing siya. At sa totoo lang gusto ko talaga ihagis yung phone ko sa silver screen. Nakakalungkot at nakakagalit. Ang bigat ng pakiramdam habang nanonood ako at kapag naaalala ko yung pelikula. At lalo akong naiinis kapag naalala kong based on true events ang kwento. 😭

Ang galing ng actors. Iba! They deserve the Best Ensemble Award. At siyempre, Irma Adlawan IS Irma Adlawan. Subtle pero powerful. Sobrang saludo ako kay Kapitana, both the character and the real life Kapitana. Mabuhay kayo!

Irma Adlawan as Kapitana in Oro
Irma Adlawan as Kapitana in Oro

Gustong-gusto ko rin sila Joem Bascon (bukod sa crush ko siya matagal na) dahil ang galing niya talaga pati yung mga actors na kabarkada/katrabaho niya sa ball mill. 🙌🏻 And I must not fail to mention Mercedes Cabral. This girl can effectively play all kinds of characters, I think.

At yung mga goons naman, hay nakakabwisit talaga. Kung inis na inis kayo kay Dolores Umbridge sa Harry Potter series… aba nakahanap ako ng mas nakakabwisit sa kanya, ang p*tang *nang si Mrs Razon. Hay! Sarap painumin ng mercury. 😡 Pag na-meet ko si Sue Prado, gusto ko siya bigwasan.

I felt frustrated, helpless, at sobrang dami pang ibang emotions nung nanonood ako. Di ako iyakin pag nanonood ng mga pelikula pero naluha ako several times while watching Oro. At nung nag-end credits na bumuhos luha ko at para akong naka-glue sa upuan ng sinehan kasi ang hirap makapag-get over at mag-move on sa pelikulang ito.

Pasensya na. Medyo emotional ako ulit ngayon kasi narinig ko ulit ang theme song ng movie,
“Nananaghoy ang Puso Ko.” Perfect yung kanta para sa pelikula at nung narinig ko ito ulit ngayon, bumalik lahat ng emosyon na naramdaman ko nung pinanood ko yung film. Ganun kagaling yung kanta.

Ganun kagaling yung pelikula. It will stay with you. Malamang ayaw mong manood ng isang mabigat na pelikula pero etong pelikulang ito kelangan mong panoorin talaga. Magaling ang pagkakakagawa at mapapaiisip ka talaga.

Facebook status lang dapat to pero ang dami kong gustong sabihin tungkol sa pelikulang ito kaya napa-blogpost.

Grabe ang galing talaga ng pelikula. Don’t miss the chance to watch it. Maraming salamat, Gaisano Mall of Davao dahil pinapalabas mo ang Oro at murang-mura lang po and ticket, P145. Kung may time pa ako, papanoorin ko ito ulit.

Maraming salamat, Sir Alvin Yapan and to your team! Expecting more great stories from you.

All images from the Oro – MMFF 2016 Page at https://www.facebook.com/oroformmff2016.

Move On Mo Mukha Mo!

Sinasabi mong wala kang pakialam kasi di ka naman direktang apektado ng Martial Law. Eh kung gayon, tongenuh! Bakit ka pa nag-effort magpost tungkol doon? Wag kang papansin. Kung talagang wala kang pakialam, tahimik na lang.

Sinasabi mong move on na kami. Eh ikaw nga nangingialam ka sa di namin pag move on, kami pa kaya na nawalan ng magulang? Tongenuh mo!

Sinasabi mong magpatawad na kami. Paano magpapatawad ang taong di hiningan ng tawad? Paano magpapatawad kung patuloy na dine-deny ng mga may sala ang kanilang mga krimen? Paano magpapatawad kung maraming nagsasabing hindi totoo at hindi lehitimo ang sakit na nararamdaman namin? Tongenuh mo!

Sinasabi mong legal ang nangyari. Eh tongenuh! Paano na yung pag-aresto, pambubugbog, pagkawala, at pagkamatay ng libo-libong Pilipino, ano na?! Legal ba yun?! Tongenuh! Move on kami doon pero kayo di kayo matahimik kasi ayaw namin ipalibing ang isang kriminal?! Move on kami kahit na pinatay ang mahal naminsa buhay pero kayo di kayo makapag move on dahil di malibing ang isang kriminal? PAKYU PO!!! PAYASO AMPOTAH!!!

Sinasabi mong marami siyang nagawang tama at mabuti. Eh tongenuh mo! Dahil ba nakagawa ng mabuti peke na lahat ng pagnanakaw, pagkitil sa demokrasya, pagpatay, at panggago sa sambayanang Pilipino?!

Sinasabi mong kasalanan to ng ibang tao dahil nanggago rin sila. Tongenuh!!! Pag ikaw binugbog, magiging ok lang ba sayo yun dahil ang ibang tao may binugbog din na ibang tao? Kagaguhan!!! Hindi dahil may nagawang mali ang ibang tao eh ok na yung may libo-libong Pilipino ang inaresto, binugbog, at pinatay?

BAGO NIYO KAMING SABIHAN NA MOVE ON NA KAMI, BIGYAN NIYO KAMI NG HUSTISYA! IBALIK NIYO ANG KABATAAN KO! IBALIK NIYO ANG KALAYAAN NG MGA MAGULANG KO! IBALIK NIYO ANG BUHAY NG LIBO-LIBONG PILIPINONG NAMATAY. BAWIIN NIYO ANG SAKIT NA NARAMDAMAN NG LIBO-LIBONG PILIPINONG BINUGBOG! IBALIK NIYO ANG BILYONG PISO NA NANAKAW SA MAMAMAYANG PILIPINO! IPAKITA NIYO ANG LIBO-LIBONG DESEPARACIDOS! ANO NA?! Emote na emote kayo kasi di mailibing ang isang mandarambong pero kami bawal kami magalit at humingi ng hustisya. PAKYU PO!

Give us back our innocence. Give us back a childhood free of fear. Give me back a healthy, whole family. Give me back my father. Give me back everything I lost and never had. Kaya niyo bang ibigay sa akin yun? Kaya niyo bang ibigay yan sa libo-libong Pilipinong naging biktima ng Martial Law, sa kanilang mga anak at mga kamag-anak?

Hanggang hindi namin nakakamit ang hustisya, hanggang may mga taong patuloy na di inaamin ang katotohanan tungkol sa Martial Law, walang sino mang makakapagsabi na move on na kami. Dahil tongenuh niyo… kung hindi ipinaglaban ng mga bayani at martir ng Martial Law ang ating kalayaan, tayong lahat walang karapatang ihayag ang kahit na anong gusto nating ihayag. Kung hindi sila nagsakripisyo, we will all continue to live in fear and squalor.

Di kita pinipigilang magpakamangmang, tanga, bulag, at bobo. Kaya tongenuh, WAG MO RIN AKONG PIGILAN AT PAKIALAMAN NA MAGALIT, HUMINGI NG HUSTISYA, AT IPAHAYAG ANG AKING NARARAMDAMAN!

Tongenuh mo. Pakyu. Wala akong pakialam kung gusto mong maniwala sa mga gusto mong paniwalaan. Truth is whether you believe it or not, THOUSANDS OF FILIPINOS suffered under Martial Law and you have no effin right to tell us we have no right to be hurt or angry.

Hindi kita pinipigilan sa pagiging tanga, bobo, at insensitive mo. Choice mo maging ganyan. Ako choice kong ipaglaban ang mga ipinaglaban ng mga magulang ko. Choice ko maghanap ng hustisya. Choice kong ipaglaban ang katotohanan. Choice ko na patuloy ipaglaban ang demokrasiya para sa akin, para sa bawat Pilipino… pati na rin para sayo na patuloy na nagpo-post at nakikipaglaban para sa mga maling bagay.

Binuwis ng Papa ko at ng libo-libong Pilipino ang buhay nila para malaya mong paniwalaan ang kahit na anong potang inang katangahan ang gusto mong paniwalan at ipaglaban. Kaya WAG MO AKONG PAKIALAMAN KUNG DI AKO MAKAPAG-MOVE ON AT PATULOY KONG IPINAGLALABAN ANG KARAPATAN MONG MAGING MALAYA.

DON’T ME!!!

Langaw Daw

Una sa lahat, di ko mawari ano ang pakay mo upang mag-post ng kung anu-anong galit at poot sa mga status mo. Di na sana kita papatulan dahil di ka naman kapatol-patol. Sa totoo lang pag-aaksaya ng panahon itong ginagawa ko ngayon. Matagal na kitang kilala, pero di ka pa rin nagbabago. Sa tingin ko pag nabasa mo ‘tong post ko, walang magbabago. Pero dahil nag-viral yung post mo, heto tayo ngayon. Sagarin natin ang “time to shine moment” mo. Oportunidad na rin to para sagutin lahat ng mga kagaya mo mag-isip.

Gusto ko lang iklaro na sa paggamit mo pa lang ng salitang “langaw” para tukuyin ang ibang tao, talo ka na agad. Sa unang parirala pa lang, X ka na. Hindi mapaghusga ang mga tunay na matatalino at matitinong tao. Kung tama at karapatdapat pakinggan ang pahayag mo, hindi mo na dapat minaliit ang inaaway mo.

Yung totoo, hindi ko alam kung sino yung mga tinutukoy mong langaw. Sa pagkakaalam ko walang baong mga langaw si President Duterte. Pero sabihin na nating sa pagbasa ng post mo, napagtanto ko na tinutukoy mo ang mga taga-Davao at Mindanao na mga media at mga staff na isinama ni President Duterte. Sabi mo sa post mo dapat “mag-aral sila ng mabuti. Ayusin nila ang trabaho nila.” Ok, gets. Tama naman. Pero bakit kelangan mong sabihin ito “Hindi biro magtanong at kumalkal ng baho ang manila-based media.”

Hindi po basehan ng mabuting trabaho ang kahusayan sa pagkalkal ng baho. Ito ba ang journalistic standard mo? Mas mabuting mamahayag ka kung magaling kang makalkal ng baho at basura? Baka naman mga chismoso’t chismoso ang hanap mo at hindi mga mamahayag?

Ang mas mahalagang punto, bakit mong iniisip na hindi kasing galing ng mga taga-Mindanao and mga taga-Maynila? Parang siguradong-sigurado ka sa pahayag mo ah. With confidence. (Lakas ng tiwala mo sa sarili mo ah.) Para sabihin ko sayo, may personal na hidwaan ako sa iilang miyembro ng Davao media pero hindi ko maikakailang magagaling, masisipag, at matatalino ang karamihan sa kanila. Mahusay magsulat. Masipag magsaliksik. Matino magbalanse ng balita. Nakita ko ang karamihan sa kanila nuong nakaraang kampanya sa sa iba pang mga pagkakataon. Kahit minsan walang humingi ng special treatment. Lahat nakipagsiksikan. Lahat pinagpawisan. Lahat ginawa ang trabaho ng walang pagkimi, ng walang pinapanigan.
Continue reading Langaw Daw

The Intelligent Candidate

I don’t like kicking the horse when it’s down but I have been meaning to say this for months now… yung mga nagmamayabang na matalino sila kasi they supported a supposedly matalino candidate, magsaliksik kayo ng mabuti oy.

Hindi dahil matalino, mabuting tao at mahusay na public servant na agad. Do you really know your candidate and his/her motivations for running? Are you familiar with everything your candidate has accomplished? Yung totoo, sinusuportahan mo kasi kilala mo at alam mong mahusay na pinuno siya o kasi gusto mo lang masabing matalino ka?

Yung kandidato mo matalino. Totoo yan. Pero yung sasabihin mong matalino ka rin kasi siya sinusupotahan mo? Nakakatawa. Ginagago ka nga ng kandidato mo nang di mo nalalaman, iniisip mo pa rin na matalino ka.
Continue reading The Intelligent Candidate

Being a #PartnerforChange

Well, well, well… here we are. It’s June 30 and yet it has not fully sunk into my brain yet. I have always been the reluctant one, a doubter, a hesitant supporter. On the eve of the 2016 National Elections, I shared my journey with Team Duterte. What I didn’t mention is how I have vowed to return to political blogging, whoever wins. I made this vow sometime February 2016.

And here I am, on the day on the Inauguration of President Rodrigo Duterte. After more than a month of silence, I am finally returning to posting about political stuff. And yes, after many years of hiatus, I will be actively blogging about politics. Not on a separate blog, but here on my personal blog. This is my self-proclaimed duty as a #PartnerforChange.

It has been a month since we branded him as Presumptive President and weeks since he was declared as President-Elect, but it still has not sunk in yet. Wala gihapon ko katuo na nakadaog gyud si Mayor.

The past few weeks have been confusing. Mayor has not taken his oath of office as President and yet, news from left and right, from legit and not quite legit sources were aplenty. Issues came in. In all shapes, forms, and on all topics possible. I refused to answer, post, or comment. Not until I was sure I won’t be part of the incoming administration. And not until I was mentally prepared for it. I told myself, sigurado June 30 klaro na siguro akong panan-aw. Hayag na ang dalan.

First off, no, I am not officially part of the incoming administration. Am I mentally prepared to blog commentaries about the pertinent issues of the day? Not quite. Obviously, I am soooo blatantly pointlessly rambling over here. But I have to fulfill my promise to myself. To return to political blogging.

Why? As my mentee asked me “What do I wish to achieve?” The simple answer is the campaign was such a struggle that I believe I owe it to myself and to every Duterte voter, to every Filipino that we each become a #PartnerforChange. And I would like to start with what I think I can do best.

(I don’t know who came up with that hashtag but I applaud them. So simple yet so brilliant.)

So this is how I choose to be a “Partner for Change.” By remaining the reluctant one, a doubter, a hesitant supporter. Hindi ako bulag. Hindi ako bingi. Hindi ako pipi. At hindi rin ako tanga. At gagamitin ko ang ano man ang kakayahan at meron ako upang bigyan ng pansin ng mga bagay na dapat bigyan ng pansin. Para makinig sa mga hinaing, tahol, at bulyaw ng mga Pilipinong hindi napapakinggan at para bigyan ng boses ang mga mamamayang walang boses mailahad ang kanilang opinyon at mga kwento. Para magbigay ng aking opinyon at kuro-kuro kung kailangan.
Continue reading Being a #PartnerforChange

My Journey with Team Duterte and More

The 2016 Elections and campaign has definitely brought out the best and worst in us. It has shown us our monsters and demons and it has forced us to look deep within ourselves. It has been quite a journey for me as a member of #TeamDuterte.

Late last year, questions started to pour. Everywhere I went, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, people would ask me if Duterte would be running for President. And all I could say was “I really don’t know.” Fact is I really didn’t know back then. Come the deadline of Filing for the Certificate of Candidacy, Duterte did not file a Certificate for Candidacy. A lot of people were disappointed. I wasn’t. I was relieved. People kept the faith. May pag-asa pa raw. Ako naman umaasa na “‘Wag na lang, please.” My biggest problem back then was, “sino na ngayon ang susuportahan ko?”

And then it happened. Duterte filed his Certificate for Candidacy as substitute to Mr Martin Diño. ARGH! I said to myself. What an exciting time but it also gave me much anxiety. And sometime December 2015, I was invited to a meeting. I thought it was just a meet and greet but it turned out to be an invitation to join the Team Duterte Media Central fulltime. I was hesitant but I dove right in and said yes. I thought “it would be an amazing once in a lifetime experience.”

And boy did I get more than what I bargained for. Much, much more.

Rodrigo R. Duterte is not an easy candidate to campaign for and support. To be honest, I had doubts and hesitations but I accepted the call to volunteer because of my Daddy who has retired from politics but remains 100% committed to support Mayor Duterte with whom he work with as VM for four terms. I also accepted because of Sir Peter Laviña and Mayor Jun Evasco. I have known Mayor Jun for many years and I know him as a honest and sincere public servant who never sought glory, fame, or power. And I knew Sir Peter back when he was a councilor blogger. He was, as far as I know, the first politician blogger in the Philippines and one of the first in the world, and he used his blog to make the government closer to its citizens. If Sir Jun and Sir Pete wholeheartedly supported Duterte, then I should, too.

So yes, I was a hesitant campaigner. I resolved to keep my wall posts to a minimum. And if possible, I would never post anything negative and inflammatory. And I told myself to always keep the Bloggers for Duterte in check. Kalma lang tayo. That was something I always told them.

Early on, I wanted to quit. It was just too much. It was beyond my comprehension how our candidate would refuse to temper his statements, how he would seldom heed our calls for tact, and how he would just speak his mind without regard for the on going campaign. Nakakapikon. Galisod mi convince sa mga tao unya siya wala siya pakialam. (Insert many, many curses here.) I was pissed off. I was angry. I was frustrated. And his statement about burying Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani was the last straw for me. TOO MUCH! Di na makaya. I gave myself a deadline. I was going to quit by the end of February 2016. During a meeting of bloggers and Media Central members, the bloggers were asked one by one if they had any doubts. And they all answered no. They were all 100% all in. Duterte Cayetano all the way. Nahiya ako. I told them I was scheduled to quit but that I was now having doubts because di ko sila kayang iwan sa ere. They gave me another reason to hold on and keep moving.

And it has been very rewarding. More and more people expressed their support for Duterte. Survey results kept getting better. Best of all, people were starting to get angry. They started to see everything wrong about the government and they started to ask and demand for more. Dumami ang Pilipino na humihingi at kumampanya para sa TUNAY NA PAGBABAGO. Lami pud sa feeling na somehow I was part of that. I could not claim to have a big role in the campaign because no matter how stressed and no matter how little sleep and rest I got, there were hundreds more volunteers working even harder. Without pay and without the promise of favor, mind you.

But it was also taxing. Kapoy gyud kaayo. The black propaganda, mud, and dirt did not hurt as a campaigner, but I was offended as a Davaoeño, as a Filipino, as a human being. How dare they?! PAANO NILA NAIISIP NA GAWIN YAN? SAAN NILA NAKUKUHA ANG MGA KWENTONG YAN? BAKIT GANYAN SILA MAG-ISIP?

A lot of Davaoeños like me didn’t want Duterte to run for President. We anticipated it would be stressful for him. We foresaw how much mud would be thrown at him. But never in our wildest imagination did we anticipate that our beloved Davao City, our home would be so blatantly attacked with lies, unfounded accusations, and fabricated stories. Nakakasakit ng damdamin. Davao City is the home that nurtured and raised us. It is our safe haven. How dare you destroy our home with your lies? How dare you accuse our Mayor of wrongdoings of which you do not have proof of? Inutil ba kayo? Higit na dalawampung taon na nagsilbi si Duterte as a public servant of Davao City. Kung totoong kurakot siya, kung totoong mamamatay tao siya, kung totoong abusado at masamang tao siya, kayo na nasa national position, bakit wala kayong nagawa para kasuhan siya at para matanggal siya? BAKIT? Kung may agam-agam kayo sa pagkatao niya at sa pamamalakad niya, bakit ngayon lang? HOW DARE YOU INSULT OUR HOME AND OUR LEADER?! Hindi lang siya ang iniinsulto niyo dito kung di bawat Davaoeño na pinagsilbihan at inaruga niya.
Continue reading My Journey with Team Duterte and More