And Dalawang Mrs. Reyes is Siksik, Liglig at Umaapaw

Siksik, liglig at umaapaw is an old and frequently used Filipino phrase that is often linked and associated with worldly blessings or material wealth.  These are sets of adjectives which means jam-packed, brimful and overflowing.

Siksik, liglig at umaapaw is how I would describe Jun Lana’s the movie entitled Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes (translation: The Two Mrs. Reyes), the first Filipino movie I’ve seen this year.  Prior to watching with colleagues, I knew that this is somewhat a comedy movie with gay inclinations, thus, I expected that it shall be a typical Filipino comedy movie that will be nothing but a lampoon, slapstick and mockery of Filipino gayness.  I am glad that I was wrong. 

photo obviously is not mine… got it from abs-cbn star cinema’s promo write-up

The movie is light yet full of heart.  Kids won’t enjoy it but adults will truly have fun for it tackles snippets of the wide spectrum of handling adult relationship and sexuality.  The movie is siksik, liglig at umaapaw with virtues associated to maturity like braveness on accepting and outing the inner confines of one’s true gender or from having vengeful emotions to understanding humanoid character or from being a disgraced spouse to acceptance on the falsehood of humanity.

Actually, the movie is siksik liglig at umaapaw with the intricate and imperfect nature of love.  And since love is imperfect the director was able to cleverly and effectively narrate such imperfections through humor, fun entertainment and laughter yet such narrations are siksik, liglig and umaapaw with good human values and virtues.

movie day with jb, mj and willie

Kaaliw!

The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived: A New Classic Fairy Tale

Times has really changed.  Take a peek on how pumpkin farmer Cedric, turns out to be The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived.

Though written in such an upbeat and intelligent way, conservatives here in the Philippines would for sure protest, dispute and object in case this fairy tale of a book will ever be available on the shelves of Philippine bookstores.  For the severe conservatives, imagining Cedric sharing the same bookshelf-space along with The Happy Price, Thumbelina, Pinocchio, Aladdin, and other beloved fairy tale characters in children’s media would be quite difficult to endure and tolerate.

But have you ever wondered? Considering that Filipino children grew up reading and being read with fairy tales with straight/heterosexual characters, i.e., the price end up marrying the princess and lives happily ever after, there are still multitudes of Filipinos who turn up being gay?

This would only make you conclude that story plots of fascinating fairy tales has nothing to do with the development of a child in terms of sexual identity or gender preference.  Perhaps discussing about “sexuality-is-genetic” and the “born-this-way” principle would already be too much.

"often, we can find the answers back where we began" --- daniel errico
“often, we can find the answers back where we’ve began” — daniel errico

Times has really changed.  And I would like to believe that it has gone more accepting.  In fact, the writer of this new classic of a fairy tale, Daniel Errico the founder of FreeChildrenStories.com , happens to be a straight guy.

Though I am an adult who has yet to develop a more mature disposition, I can say that The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived being an absolutely charming fairy tale has nothing to do with sexuality.  For me, it is about receiving the ultimate reward from having a big heart and being brave enough to be true to oneself.

En Dey Libd Hapili Eber Apter…

Feeling Charmed by The Way He Looks

From my own personal observations and from what I have seen so far, pink movies usually have tragic or sad endings.  It usually has too much or prolonged erotic scenes, it is fully packed with emotional wallop and it’s either too heavy or too flamboyant in terms of plot and characters. Everything seems too extreme making gay movies too cinematic.

Glad to note that all of these observations about a gay movie are not present in the Brazilian feature length film entitled The Way He Looks (original title: Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho) directed by Daniel Ribeiro.

the way he looks

About two or three years ago, I saw on YouTube the short film version of this movie where it was adapted and directed by the same director.  That is why when YouTube recommended on its page the full length movie’s trailer I initially got confused.  I was telling myself I already saw that adorable film but the images of the movie and the appearances of the characters seem to have changed.  I thought the teaser was a continuation of the short film version and that the characters have grown a bit.  Out of curiosity, I searched for the film online.  I only realized that the director did a re-make of the short film into a new full length movie after I have clicked and searched YouTube.

Luckily for me but unfortunately for filmmaker Ribeiro, the full length version is available on YouTube.  This enabled me to watch and appreciate the beauty and excellence of the film.  Everything about this movie (both the short and the full-length versions) though simply expressed and executed, seem so brilliant – the light, lovable and innocent quality of the storyline, the captivating fineness of the actors, the distinction of the editing and production design and of course the cleverness of the director.

Even the endearing soundtrack is so merit-worthy.  I am now so in love with the song ‘There’s Too Much Love’ by Belle & Sebastian.  My favorite scene in the film includes the playing of this song!  For me it was not the light kissing scene that is the most tender and most charming part of the movie.  Rather it was when Gabriel was teaching the blind Leo how to dance while ‘There’s Too Much Love’ tune is playing.

Another appealing and impressive things about the movie is that it is not just about young gay romance.  It is also about delightful family relationship, super friendship, boosting of self-worth and the quest for independence.

This movie deserves to be released commercially here in the Philippines.  And if it does, expect me to be queuing at the box office and I would definitely be the first person in line.

Libre ko kayo pag pinalabas yan dito sa ‘Pinas.