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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

An Independence Day Celebration

Photo lifted from https://www.facebook.com/knowledgechannel

Yesterday, June 12, 2012, the Philippines celebrated its 114th Independence Day. All together in spirit, Filipinos all over the world commemorated the day General Emilio Aguinaldo unfurled and waved the Philippine flag in Kawit, Cavite, year 1898, declaring our long-sought and -fought independence from our Spanish colonizers. 

We, the present generation, owe it to our ancestors who willingly and courageously faced the enemy's sword (and guns) so that our nation could be set free and so that the Filipinos, could see the light again (I believe in Andres Bonifacio's tripartite view on our History ─ liwanag, dilim, liwanag). 

We owe our present and our future to the past. Let us remember all the lives of our heroes who fought in the revolution and say at least a simple, 'Maraming salamat po.' 

Mabuhay ang mga Pilipino.

Thank you, Google. 
Because this video is really good. Says everything we need to know about the Philippine flag. But we have to dig deeper. A little research won't hurt. 
Bottomline: know your country.


And now, the fun part... and it never goes undocumented

I couldn't agree more with Summer Finn (500 Days of Summer), "We're young (add: we're independent) ... might as well have fun while we can and save the serious stuff for later." If there's one thing I learned today, that is to value the teachings of our elders because they really do know better, you know. We think all they do is treat us like kids but it is because we are. And we should just thank them for it, because these days will come off eventually and before we know it, the fun and crazy days will be over, then it's time for us to be in their shoes. But while that is still not happening and we are still in the prime of our lives, our youth, let's just live to its fullest. Jesus, I'm so sorry for the cliche. But seriously, dudes and bitches (I meant the 'b' word in a good, fun way so give me a pass please), we are young, so LIVE! 

When I woke up yesterday morning, I had zero plan/plans for the day. For someone who's been stuck in front of her laptop like the only life she has is online, I felt kinda sad about it. But it's okay, I thought so, since it's only Independence Day. No pressure. So I spent the morning killing time in a hopeless place until I got a text message from my long-time-no-see bestfriend who asked me if I can come to Manila to go with her, her siblings, and her cousins to this French film festival in Shangri-La. I said enough pretensions, because I have been really feeling alone and useless since the last day of my internship, so, yes! Boy I was excited.

Here it is, the Citi-Rustan's French Film Festival 2012
The Embassy of France to the Philippines and the Alliance Française de Manille, as part of the French cultural program, Francophil, are proud to present the 17th edition of the French Film Festival. While the French invented cinema when the Lumière brothers held the first public screening using the cinématographe in 1895, contemporary French films continue to entertain, inspire, amaze, and provoke audiences all over the world with stories of human interest that tackle a wide range of relevant social issues... (For more info: http://www.ambafrance-ph.org/Citi-Rustan-s-French-Film-Festival)

While I have heard of these international film festivals at Shang, I never had the time to be at one of its film festivals until yesterday. (FYI,) as part of my language elective in the university, I took up French lessons during my entire junior year so I get really excited everytime I get to watch French films/movies wherein the actors really speak French. But since yesterday was Philippine Independence Day, the event organizers opted to show films that were not really French but somehow had connections with France by perhaps being an entry to a film festival in France or by being made by Filipino filmmakers who have been affiliated with the said country, and all at the same time nationalistic (Happy Independence Day, Philippines! - Sincerely, France)

So yes, I was a virgin at this occasion but I have a lot in store for you guys about my 'Little' & 'Au revoir Philippe' experience. 

Little (Plot)

Little is a story about the 'blossoming of a provincial boy', as I put in the words of the director (I'll save my comments for later). His mother dies during his birth, so Little is raised solely by his aging and hard-working father who owns and farms a small property of land in the province. At his young age, he is already very candid about his gay sexuality yet his father, who isn't so hostile about it anyway, still lets him go through the stages that of a normal boy. For example, he goes through the painful stage of circumcision and is left with the duty of farming their land. With the help of his guy bestfriend, Itok, he is able to go through with life. It is also Itok who convinces Little to go to the city with him since he thinks life in the province is dull and boring. But Little's father is opposed to this idea and warns Little that he never can return home if he leaves. Little takes off to the city with Itok and Itok promises Little that someday he will buy him a return ticket home. Because Little is a bright boy, he finds a nice job at a hardware store while Itok drowns himself in vices such as alcohol and drugs. Meanwhile, Little meets Bingo, a street-orphan whom he later brought home with him to the province. Little experiences the life in the city, saves enough money, continues to write to his father, and also endures the ill-tempered and wrecked Itok who steals his money just when a letter from his father arrives asking him to come already. Little comes home to a dead father. He and Itok reconciles and Bingo lives with him. 

'Blossoming of a provincial boy'
Really, blossoming? So that's what the pot of (blossoming) flower was all about. Frankly, the blossoming part was not well-justified in the film. Little's character was consistently flat (yeah, I meant it to be redundant for emphasis). He was the same kind, generous, naive, and simple person throughout the entire film, through whatever endeavor he went through. If his character did really blossom, then it should be round right? But no. Who Little was in the beginning was also who Little was in the end. 

A Gay film?
Not. At. All. Usually, when it's Indie and it's a gay film, the arc, the narrative, and the take of the story is predictable. Nudity, sex, foul language, you name it. But this film didn't have those components at all. Sure there were some awkward 'gay' moments (which I will explain in the next paragraph) and the constant teasing of gay people by society, but they really were of nothing serious. My concern is that, I and the director of this film seem to be heading at a different direction because according to her, yes, it is a gay film. So now I'm confused. I hope some who have watched the film would come across my blog and leave their insightful comments. 

Comedy & the Subtlety
The film was light. Whatever ephemeral emotions I felt while watching it, they were all very light, even the gay thing, I think. Now I understand why it wouldn't sink in to me that it the film was gay because the movie is a comedy (and again, that claim was from the director). Well I would believe her since I admit that the film really had a pretty good sense of humor, but let me say this again, it was very light. 'Little', as in little emotion?

Nonetheless, I really did enjoy the film. Despite my commentary, I do like the film. ☺

Au revoir Philippe

This film is 'experimental and a social commentary.' 
I couldn't agree more. And it really was a good film. According to its director, she never intended to make such film. The film was merely lifted from collected clips and footages when she was in France for a film festival. That part was really amazing. Like, wow, the universe has conspired for her and the result was remarkable.

Now this is really embarrassing, but honesty is the best policy so let me say this anyway: I only realized that the film was about Filipinos leaving the Philippines when it was revealed that Luz was Luzviminda. Right then I knew that Philippe meant Philippines (so Au revoir Philippe = Good bye Philippines) and that the film was about OFWs who keep searching for whatever they are searching for abroad but no matter how beautiful it is there, they will eventually come back here in the Philippines because this is their real home, and this is where there roots are. 

It was really a good film. I would watch it again.

An open forum or discussion was held after the screening and the audience were asked to participate in the form of raising questions, citing their commentaries, or simply showing their praise or appreciation of the films. The director (also producer, writer, etc) of the two films, Ms. Sigrid Andrea Bernardo was personally present in the event to respond to the viewers', well, responses. 

Ms. Ingrid Andrea Bernardo ended her thank you speech with this, "Happy Independence Day! Cheers to Independent Films!" 

Now here goes the photos. 

The screening schedule.
Because there weren't any good tarps or posters where we could take a picture in remembrance of the film fest. 
Fiel, 'Little', Me, ate Nika, and our EUPHORIC SMILES (or is it just you, Fiel? ☺)
'Little' and the boys who have little... smiles. ☺
Had our early dinner at Tokyo Tokyo. The boys were so hungry they wanted 'unlimited' rice even if the girls only wanted a light meal. This is why I hate eating out with boys. I loved their company though, they were hilarious! 
Now everybody's ready for the camera. 
They have it. (Have what?) Sense of humor. And it's insane! They made me laugh like crazy.
I just love it when boys have such good sense of humor. These are great kids.
How sweet is this photo. With Fiel's little brother.
I used to know him way back high school.. and look now, he's in college! I am getting old indeed.
I don't belong in this photo. ☺
To Bem (their youngest sibling who is in Bicol), you are so blessed to have them as your siblings.
Know that you are loved, always. 
Mirrors are more fun in the Philippines!
(This was before I had the guts to ask one of the waitresses to take a picture of us, look at the next one)
Oh the height. Screw the height. I'm cute this way. LOL.
Have you met.. my bestfriend? This lady is certainly one the most wonderful people I've met in my whole life.
Our (best)friendship is something I will always treasure. My life has been so much better since I met her (in high school). Call me lucky indeed.

And since it was Independence Day, there were free rides in the MRT and the bus which I rode way back home still had good seats left. Boy that was easy commute on my way back. I really had a great time! 

And this was another wonderful time of my life.

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