i often tell people that i don’t watch Pinoy films, but it’s only partially true. i don’t usually seek them out, but i do watch them.
in fact, there was a time in my life that i was actually obliged to traipse to the cinema every MMFF season because i had to review the films for the paper i worked for. i chafed at it. i was always subject to whatever mainstream film was showing in my home province, and had to travel 23 km by bus to another city, after a typhoon had decimated the theaters and the onslaught of pirated films had pretty much killed the cinema business in my home city. (a pity, because a big part of my childhood was spent going to those cinemas.)
when i switched jobs, i stopped the MMFF habit. and the indie film habit. too busy, too lazy, one too many Enteng Kabisote required viewings having soured me on MMFF. i actually regret missing some of the stellar stuff that’s been produced the last few years. (which means i’ll have to buy the dvds of the ones i’ve missed and actually really wanted to watch.) but in comparison to how many foreign films i’ve ended up spending P250 on? or downloaded, or streamed? yep. negligible.
so when a friend of mine recently asked that i review—and write in tagalog, my third language (after bicol and english)—my immediate response was ‘no way.’ the last Pinoy films I’d voluntarily seen were Heneral Luna (unfinished because a phoned-in emergency took me out of the theater) and Etiquette for Mistresses, which a friend of mine practically kidnapped me to see (it was interesting, actually, best parts would be the mistress/baretto-wife/pilapil encounter, and the shadow-fight between mistress/aquino vs. mistress/baretto).
but…i figured, what the heck. so yes, i’ve joined the MMFF bandwagon and attempted to bring my rusty skills up to scratch by reviewing #WalangForever and Buy Now, Die Later. upon reflection, the last few times i’d actually reviewed pinoy films were on this blog: On the Job in 2013 and TikTik: The Aswang Chronicles in 2012, both by Erik Matti. (i’ve only just realized i have a fetish for matti-directed films. i missed Kubot last year. i should watch Honor Thy Father this year, just to adhere to my little tradition. note to self.)
i actually had fun writing those reviews. #NoRegrets
maybe it’s a good habit to cultivate, yes? the watching, if not the reviewing.