Patriarchy, Pagod na AKo: A Review of ‘The Hows of Us’

‘The Hows of Us’ performs a balancing act between a call for autonomy and independence on the one hand, and a traditional discourse of patience, understanding, not giving up, and sticking-through-thick-and-thin on the other. Continue reading


‘Gusto Ko Na Siyang Iwan, Pero Mahal Ko Pa Rin Si Ferdinand….’

Twenty-one years din kami ni Ferdinand. Ok-ok naman kami sa simula pero paglipas din ng panahon, things went downhill talaga. Sinaktan na niya ako. Binugbog. Pinahirapan. But sadly, hindi ko kinayang makipagbreak. Call me a crony romantic, I mean, corny romantic, pero kahit papano nakinabang rin ako sa mga rega-regalo niya’t pagsuyo. Pero even if I wanted to end things, I couldn’t. By then kasi, hinigpitan na niya ako. Parang Martial Law. So iyon, tagal ko rin nanatili’t nagtiis sa relationship namin.

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Weak Signals, Chill Attitudes, Strong Connections: ‘Signal Rock’s Paean to Small-Town Life

Grabbed from Cinema Bravo’s Facebook page

This film is about connections: celebrating them, lamenting their loss, breaking them, and renewing them.

Set in the island of Biri in the province of Samar in the southeastern Philippines, Signal Rock tells the story of a young man, Intoy, who pulls out all the stops to help her sister, Vicky, wins a custody hearing in faraway Finland. Abused by her husband/lover, Vicky runs away with her daughter, Sophia, and flees to a church, where the priest reports her to the police, who then turn over the case to the courts. Penniless, Vicky is sure to lose custody; she must prove that she can support her daughter. Continue reading

The Hero is a Dog is an Eagle: A Review of ‘Goyo’


Photo from Goyo website (

That it is an anti-hero film—tearing down of heroes as idols—appears to be the consensus about Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral, which opened last 5 September 2018. But given the young general’s shortcomings in the historical record, the film could have done a better demolition job. Dishing the dirt on del Pilar would have been too easy. That it did not do so, however, shows it has another thing in mind: present the hero’s shortcomings but paint a more sympathetic figure. Perhaps, it works the other way too: give a more sympathetic portrait of the hero while revealing his flaws.  Continue reading

Cariño Brutal: The Politics of Caring in Duterte’s Philippines

To answer this, we must treat the politics of caring not as deception or as a deviation from modern, rational, and institutional forms of politics. It should be seen as a framework on its own right, one with different yet legitimate assumptions about the relationship between the ruler and the ruled; the mode of governance; and the scale of political action. Specifically, the politics of caring projects an intimate relationship between the ruler and the ruled; prefers direct, hands-on governance; and posits a small sphere of political action.


Photo by Richard Madelo for the Presidential Communications Operations Office