I was lucky enough to be part of the 8th Cinemalaya’s opening ceremony last Friday, thanks to TriNoma’s Twitter promo. At first I thought it’s just for the invitational screening of Mario O’Hara’s Ang Babae sa Breakwater, but there was indeed a ceremony. I was a few feet away from Director Laurice Guillen, who paid tribute to O’Hara with her opening remarks, actors Tirso Cruz III, Tonton Gutierrez, Cherry Pie Picache, and Ina Feleo. And there’s food, too! It was my first time to experience that. Such a treat.
Now on to the film. I’ve heard a lot about this movie before, but never had the chance to watch it then. It made more buzz when it made it to the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival. And after watching it, I finally learned why. It was different, bold, and discussed a main issue in a non-traditional way. The movie speaks about poverty, mainly, but the way it was told by O’Hara’s perspective will really make you think, and will eventually make you thankful in so many ways (well at least that’s how it felt for me).
The scene I loved the most was when Basilio and Pacquita one night found a suitcase floating by the bay. In it were bottles of wine, different costumes, and a wedding dress. Pacquita used the wedding dress and they made a wedding ceremony at the breakwater for him and Basilio. The wine and other costumes were used by their “neighbors” who turned the breakwater into a “perya” doing games and magical shows to celebrate the New Year. I also liked how Basilio and his brother Buboy talked to the sea like it understands them both. The message in a bottle scene also got me.
These and the occasional breaking out of Yoyoy Villame into a song made the film its mark. Not really pleasant to the ears, or pleasing to the eyes (for most of the scenes), but it has a heart speaking to its audience. And yes, I heard it, understood what it said and got its message.