Film Festival: Cinemalaya: Gayuma

A good yarn. This is what this movie is. Imagine a story built around a dancing Sto. Nino. The premise is very magical realist. In fact so is the whole movie, but based in a Bikolano setting. But it’s not like this movie was unoriginal. It had the beautiful pacing and humor of the earlier Alvin Yapan movie, I just wrote about in an earlier post.

There’s not much more to write about this film. Except that it is good entertainment. Now I want to watch the whole oeuvre of Alvin Yapan’s work.


Film Festival: Cinemalaya: Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa

The Cinemalaya Film Festival is in town again, and the buzz generating around is that it could be the best one yet. The Cinemalaya is a festival that funds and screens Philippine independent cinema every year. The venues are the CCP and Greenbelt 3. Here is the complete schedule.

So far, I’ve watched Amok and Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa. Below is my review of the latter film. The review is not well-written, but it will do for now. 🙂

How does one write about a great film? Sometimes it’s easier to write about a bad film, because it’s just so easy to castigate it. But a good film? How does one do that justice? Anyway, I’ll try.

A great film is a movie where a theme is repeated again and again as the story progresses. Here we have a story about how difficult it is to get attached to someone. You pour and pour yourself into one person and to what avail? This is the question proposed by this movie.

Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (The Dance of Two Left Feet) is about dance, is about love, is about poetry, is about music, is about gay love? Is it? If the last part is all you are going to take away from that movie, I’m not so sure if you get it. This movie was beautifully vague yet at the same time quite deliberate. Who loved who? And did they love each other in first place? And what kind of love was it? That is what makes this film delicious because it leaves so much to interpretation without being indecisive.

Plus there’s the poetry. I’ve never heard Philippine poetry read so well. The music was gorgeous. Far Eastern University was gorgeous. I’m glad someone was finally able to exploit the beautiful Art Deco that this university is so famous for.

The acting was also superb. I’m not familiar with these acters, who did a great job, but Jean Garcia was able to nail her part perfectly as the hot teacher.

Gawd, I’m not doing this movie justice. Anyway, this was the best movie I’ve seen made here since Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros and Big Time. I am now inspired to see more Cinemalaya films. I hope they are just as good.

Hostel: Casa Vallejo, Baguio

Baguio 1909

Actually not a hostel, but a hotel, the oldest hotel in Baguio, in fact.  Casa Vallejo would be the perfect waypoint on your way to or from Sagada.  Located at the top of Baguio’s Session Road area, Casa Vallejo is central to almost everything with many key commercial areas within walking distance yet at the same time it still feels secluded.

the most beautiful totem pole in the world, imho, lol 😉

And to make it even better, inside the building is located also the fabulous Hill Station restaurant and awesome Mt. Cloud Bookstore.

And the prices aren’t too bad, too.  They average around 2000 pesos a night for two.  And even as low as 1500 pesos a night during the low season.

Casa Vallejo website

Update: As if Casa Vallejo wasn’t awesome enough, they just added the first Cinematheque in the Philippines.  They screen Filipino (and hopefully foreign films) for free.


Movie: Kano: An American and His Harem

Before backpackers made Malate famous, it was more infamous for another kind of traveler. Today I watched a film about that kind of a traveler. So if you are interested in a different kind of movie about the Philippines, watch Kano.  It shows every Tuesday, 730 PM at Fully Booked in Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.  Reservations should be made in advance because it can get full. Tel. 8587082.  It will be showing for the month of April unless enough people force it to extend its screenings.