Filipino films: they don’t make us think

The type of films Filipino filmmakers make reflect the type of people most Filipinos are — people lacking in substance. Just looking at the list of entries for this year’s Manila Film Festival, you can already tell that not a lot of thinking was involved in the process of making them. Even the titles leave nothing to the imagination of the audience. Most of the actors playing the lead roles are the same ones we’ve seen since we were kids or some hot young flavor-of-the-month of one producer or another.

Kraken rip-off

Take the 13th instalment of Shake, Rattle and Roll, and ask: What else can people expect to get out of it? Not much, obviously. People are probably watching it for the eye candy. Every year the film features starlets parading and pouting for the camera hoping to look cute enough to win an award. That’s right. Talent in acting is not really a criterion for winning an acting award in the Philippines.

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In the case of the film Enteng ng Ina Mo starring Ai Ai delas Alas and Vic Sotto; the actors had nothing to work with in terms of storyline and dialogue. The characters just basically rehashed their roles specifically with Vic playing his Enteng character from the 1980s TV series Okay ka Fairy ko and Ai Ai reprising her winning role in last year’s Tanging Ina Mo. It’s another one of those things in the Philippines we can refer to as scraping the bottom of the barrel. The producers are obviously milking the franchise until it bleeds.

And what about the new Panday 2 movie? First of all, how does Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr find the time to make movies? Isn’t he supposed to be spending more time deliberating policies in the Senate instead of delivering cheesy lines? Aren’t there enough men to take over the role Senator Revilla inherited from the late Fernando Poe Jr? Second, the new Panday movie is being criticized for being a blatant rip-off of the 2010 Hollywood blockbuster remake of Clash of the Titans. All the film needed was Medusa to complete the cast of Perseus’s nemesis. There was nothing special about the “special” effects either.

How do these filmmakers sleep at night knowing that they are not really creating a work of art but just copies of some other people’s work? They are not even making people think; they are not even stirring emotions or provoking people into doing something with their lives; they are not even inspiring young people to aspire for greatness. What they are producing is just stuff you can discard after one use. In short, most Philippine films are a total waste of the people’s time and money.

Films are supposed to be cultural artifacts that reflect our culture and, in turn, affect us and our outlooks towards life. Most films are considered art, for entertainment and a powerful tool for educating — or indoctrinating — society. But nowhere can we find our culture or any significant message of consequence in our films. Films are powerful tools of communicating ideas and who we are as a people. Unfortunately, our films tell us and everyone else that we are shallow and superficial.

1,302 Replies to “Filipino films: they don’t make us think”

  1. Everything well said. As I was saying previously in my wall posts., Philippine Horror Movies are a big joke, and the rest of the film industry is only making more filipinos dumb. Perhaps that’s because the producers are dumber.

    Don’t tell me not to generalize. Yes. this is in general. Because what we see are the majority. and there will always be an exception, and sad to say, they’re only part of the minority.

    1. It seems like the only thing that motivates filmmakers is the profit. They don’t care about the quality or the effect of second rate films on the audience. What’s so hard to believe is that so many people patronise it even though most of the films are so dumb.

      1. I agree.. most people were to excited watching trailers of these movies.. but they didn’t really appreciate the real meaning of these movies.. no wonder if you ask some of them about the movie they will just tell you the highlights and the effects on the movie not the real moral values of the film.

      2. It’s one of the powerful medium of art sana sadly the intention is to dumb down the viewers so they can sell their bs. They can spend money for casting. special effects etc. but cannot afford to pay good writers?

    2. I still remember one part of shake, rattle and roll about that evil christmas tree from the amazon and that is waay too cheesy.

    3. Brava hija! You don’t only have the tinggil in-between, but the balls of timid men who cannot tell right from wrong. Don’t get bullied. Get on with it. Ciao!

  2. The Metro Manila Film Festival is a celebration of Pinoy pride – that oft repeated, ridiculous concept that has managed to encompass everything we Filipinos should be working to change. It’s a fete to commemorate the prevailing Filipino outlook, the only feat of which is to make the nation as a whole look more miserable than it already is. I don’t even know why I’m reiterating this – probably out of frustration borne from the stupidity of this whole charade. LOL

    It’s neat that places like GRP are sincerely trying, in their own way, to turn the tide. To be realistic though, I think one year from now, another post here (or somewhere new) will be putting to words the same sentiments for another MMFF entry ripping off Wrath of the Titans, the sequel to Clash. Here’s to hoping that in another 12 months’ time, the voice of mindful minority won’t get too lost in the drivel of mindless majority.

    1. You can be sure there will be another Panday and Shake Rattle and Roll next year. Unless of course some independent filmmaker would be brave enough to challenge these old clowns in the Philippine movie industry.

      It’s pathetic that Vic Sotto and Ai Ai in still make it to the big screen. They don’t belong there.

    1. pinoys have atrociously low standards – from choice of president to choice of movies to the selection of tv shows to choice of condensada.

      there will always be a market for garbage if there are people who are willing to take garbage.

      joe america adores and “supports” garbage.
      jcc eats garbage, and spews it out here when he visits.
      abs-cbn makes garbage and says it does so “in the service of the filipino.”
      vincenzo believes abs-cbn’s garbage.
      kris aquino endorses all sorts of garbage.
      lots of establishment “journalists” come up with garbage, and then publish them instead of keeping them in diaries.
      if sen. bong revilla’s movie were ever played alongside other foreign films, say, in europe, he can bet people will walk out of theatres and say his film is worse than garbage. (at least, some real garbage can be recycled.)

      someday filipinos will learn to raise their standards and make movies as brilliant as this classic:

        1. what’s incredible about it is that this monumental embarrassment (which edu probably wants to never be associated with) was made in post production!

          ang galing ng da pinoy! hehe

          happy new year get real philippines! thank you for being the few sane people in this country.

        2. Flying sideways? I thought, at one point, he was flying backwards since the building behind him was getting bigger – lol!!

        3. Frankly speaking, Filipino filmmakers doesn’t think about the other possibilities of there concept, I’m not being a racist here,[I’m a Filipino]; I just want to share the thought of having such a mediocre kind of cinematography.
          Filmmakers doesn’t know how to think outside the box; they are afraid to take risks; to invest millions on some other “better movie concepts”. As I have seen in the past years producers are fond on releasing some “LOVE STORY AND DRAMA CONCEPTS”, I hate it, cause it seems that the thought and plot of such are still THE SAME, [we can still figure out what’s next, there is no excitement:(].

      1. This is the “longer post” you are proud of?

        Keep being proud of this. I can see you used (up) your brainpower fully on this one.

        1. by the way, this wasn’t it, genius. use your eyes (kahit mata ng pigsa kung yun lang meron ka. use them, please!).

  3. I find it really hard watching politicians do tv shows and movies. It’s like me being a high school student but cutting classes. My parents money going to waste on me playing video games every single day. Every time I see them I blurt out “and we are paying them to work?”. Support the local movie industry they say… give us good movies first.

  4. Kasi profit-oriented sila at ang biggest market sa Pilipinas ay hindi naman ganoon kataas ang standards when it comes to making these films.
    Pang Masa ika nga, that’s why hindi nacacater lahat.
    Hindi rin naman maaappreciate ng nakakarami yung Indir films, and let’s face it : Hindi maiintindihan ng maraming Pilipino ang movies na may substance. Gusto nila ng mababaw, makulay, maraming artista, paulit ulit.

    1. The only way that you’ll get good movies is if all producers convene and decide to show quality and creative flicks to force down the masses throats.

      Unfortunately, that will never happen and even if does, the masses have can have their daily dose of the cheesy and cheap via boobtube. Impeachment drama, anyone?

      1. impossible…they are only interested in profits…they could always give trash, the writer and the director and producer…because they know that is the only intellectual trash that they can offer and that is now the fault ng mga taga tangkilik…i dont mind wasting money at times but to waste my time on a dark place with my eyes glued from afar and my brain lurking around for something worthwhile then that’s a ddifferent story already…

    2. It’s an intractable problem, if you ask me. It’s almost like you need strong state intervention to re-boot the aesthetic faculties of Da Pinoy. The private sector can’t be counted on for that. Delegating cultural education to free enterprise has proved fatal for Philippine society.

    3. They can make low qualify films but they should also make high quality ones for the thinking class. What we have now are just for the non-thinking class.

      1. This is actually doable. All you need is a good dialogue and a good plot minus the multi-million peso budget.. And of course believable actors who are not necessarily famous. Problem is, there is no money in it.

        1. They should do it for the love of filmmaking and to express themselves. Just like what motivates us to write. We don’t get paid to write but we do it anyway for the love of it and to express ourselves.

      2. Perhaps they think the thinking class is not a large enough market. Lets face it, as long as the masses make these terrible films money they will not give a damn.

  5. Apparently, only Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story hit the right notes this year, one way or another. The may neither have the highest gross revenue nor the fancy effects that others have, but the storytelling of the reality of crime is there. But majority of films are just plain screen scum filled with douche bags who want to earn the quickest peso.

  6. Very well said. MMFF 2011 is just for the dumb. The films were for the shortsighted and happy-go-lucky types; and in this case, it’s the common masses that tend to look for entertainment without substance. The films were of piss-poor shit types that just focuses on romance, fantasy and wishful thinking. And what pisses me more is that most Filipinos can’t appreciate the INDIE FILM industry in which the films focus on SUBSTANCE and CONSTRUCTIVE reasoning.

    Most of our countrymen tend only to look at the surface and not digging in deep to the real essence of a A REAL MOVIE. I guess this is one of the many results of a deteriorating mindset of most Filipinos.

    But then again, I see a ray of hope in one particular old school gangster movie.

    1. movies such as these overwrite the critical thinking part of the brains of its aficionados. drag them to a film with substance and it would be like “(kalabit) anu dawww??” for the entire hour and half to two hours. that’s why i go to the movies by myself. plus, hindi lahat ng Indie Films ngayon ay may substance at nagi-stimulate ng mga neurons, madami din ang may “substance” at stimulating…nagin “Indie Film” dhil digital ang dahil may gay content. sometimes nakatatak na din sa utak ng mga tao na pag sinabing “Indie Film” may same-sex kissing/love scene etc.
      Maybe this is all part of the government’s attempt to downgrade every Filipino’s operating systems. AKML T_T

    2. I think the only movie I will watch is the Asyong Salonga story. Last year, I enjoyed the movie “Rosario” and was disappointed that it didn’t win the MMFF – it should have, instead of the one that won.

  7. As Zeus said in the film “Clash of the Titans”


    But instead of Kreken, it becomes


    Philippine film industry is pathetic indeed to the core.

  8. naging money-making caravan na ang MMFF these recent years. bumabagsak na ang kalidad ng mga pelikulang kasali. i’m starting to doubt the existence of a “board” that “deliberates” on which films to include. ibang klase…… this is all part of the government’s hidden agenda to downgrade every Pilipino’s processors. AKML! T_T

    1. It reflects so much on who we are as a people for allowing it to happen. This is why I am speaking out. I want to send them a message.

      1. I hope the film-makers read this feedback! Even the choice of winners is surprising. “Rosario” should have won not just best movie, but best direction, actress, and many more!

    2. Another annoying thing about mmff is that even though Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is still showing at IMAX theaters since, of course, no mmff movies being made for that format, they always remove foreign films to make way for their garbage movies only for da pinoy prayd and a very big profit since masyadong maraming ignoranteng pinoy ang manonood nyan using their pamasko from Christmas to New Year making it so uncompetitive to foreign films.

      1. you know what’s more annoying, that outside MMFF, theaters prioritize showing international films over local films.

        basically, ang point ng karamihan sa mga nag-comment dito na naiinis sa article na ito ay: bago kayo manghusga tungkol sa lahat ng mga Filipino films, panoorin n’yo naman ang mga dekalidad na pelikula. meron kasi.

        obviously, those who can blog and access the internet are those with disposable income. if the indie filmmakers cannot even rely on you guys to patronize their films, no matter how obscure they are, then wala talagang mangyayari. kung kayo, na tinatawag na intellectual elite, na may access sa internet, at di n’yo man lang ma-google ang mga quality indie films at di n’yo malaman na may magandang indie film na pinapalabas, e wala talagang mangyayari.

        inasmuch as it’s easy to rant, sana let’s be a little more responsible. there are quality Filipino films out there. you just have to find them out. kung ang mga nagbebenta sa Quaipo ay kilala sina Brillante Mendoza at alam nila kung anong indie film ang maganda, kayo pa, na may access sa internet.

  9. The thing that bugs me is how they had to turn into a big event what could’ve been just another month of mediocre film releases. Ayan tuloy… all the more was highlighted the sorry state of Philippine cinema — how even a major film event could no longer draw the best out of the industry.

    1. What’s so sad about this is that there’s a lot of creative blood and ideas out there who won’t see the light of day because no producer would dare fund them.

      1. correct, look at Himala….at first no producerdared to produce it because of lack of commercialism…good that Ish Bernal was so entusiastic in doing that film and he waited for the right moment to make it a reality until ECP had a contest on scripwriting. The nice thing though is that he succeeded in filming this one of a kind movie…and now it has been raking awards locally and internationally. What was frustrating when it didnt make awards sa local market and it had the international award gving bodies to tell this Filipino critics that hey…you are missig on something…wow, what an insult to those critics kuno who once hailed themselves as ‘critics’…same with tatlong taong walang diyos….for me, i really really appreciated that movie and watched it several times while it was showing in theaters during that time.

  10. Tis is one of the reason I hate during Christmas season in the Philippines, your try to enjoy “good” home grown movies and you can’t.

    As a child I used to laughed mindlessly at the likes of dolphy and babalu. But as time passes by I began to soon realize that it was redundant in what they did and more importantly the is no plot ever to their stories.

    It takes foreign directors to no the true talent of Filipino actors in movies. It doesn’t take the likes of ding dong dantes or kris Aquino to make good I mean good filipino movie

    And my last message to all those filmakers out the to gets a spot at the MMFF. Quit the shake rattle and roll shot and exploit and explore other genres. Like a freakin serial killer who kills corrupt officials for the good of society.

      1. They all look good in the beginning but somehow, all of them lowered their standards at the same time. Just adding numbers in the end of the title and doing mashups.

  11. asahin niyo since pumatok yang asyong salonga, next year may gagawa ng action movie na gagayahin ang expendables at sigurado kasama diyan si cesar montano

  12. Sa tingin ko magaling naman yung shake rattle and roll 13 ah, kung titignan natin yung mga direktor na kalahok at ang mga previous works nila, pwede natin makuha na ginagawa talaga nila ang mga pelikula na ito para sa art. Gusto ko rin sana matanong kung napanood mo na nga ba yung mga nakasaad na mga pelikula diyan sa article mo?

      1. A waste? It made me laugh so hard, I DO NOT consider it a waste. I knew that I was in for a generic movie with bad acting, figured out the plot in 5 minutes and enjoyed it. There are reasons why people watch these movies. If you want your mind ‘stimulated’ go to arthouse cinemas (don’t ask me where. If your standards are indeed that high to scoff at another person’s choice of mental stimulant, you’d know where they are) and watch Filipino films that will challenge your perception of what intelligent filmmaking is. And if you don’t have time, don’t even dare watch a Lav Diaz or a Raya Martin.

        1. That’s your argument, seriously? “Generic movie”, “bad acting”– well, at least you help in reinforcing what this article wishes to convey. This isn’t about stimulation or standards. This is about the decline of Filipino intelligence, and what you’re saying clearly shows that. MMFF used to be a showcase of great film making, now you’re saying it’s only about making people laugh or making subquality films for profit?

          Even if there are “reasons” why people watch these movies, that’s not enough reason for the thinking public not to show their disgust.

        2. @someone

          “…now you’re saying it’s only about making people laugh or making subquality films for profit?”

          Define a quality film.

          And it’s not really the decline of the Filipino intelligence. It’s consumerism and marketability of films that a lot of Filipinos aren’t made aware of.

          Probably ’cause it’s the Philippine “entertainment” industry.

    1. if writing panatang makabayan on one of intramuros’ walls with a piece of turd is your basis of what art is, sure let’s call that movie art as well.

      taas ng standards mo, dundundun.

  13. Last Philippine movie that really made me think was Sakay, because it got me digging a bit more of Philippine history. That was YEARS ago. Not holding my breath for anything of that sort again, unless the Ayalas would get into movies.

  14. i deeply lament with all who commented and criticized about how the filipino industry has downgraded and how it has been producing dumb, tacky and, pardon me for the word, sh*tty movies. the only way filipinos can change their perspective about movie watching (that is, making better decisions in choosing good movies and separating them from the bad ones) is if the film industry itself makes an effort in changing them. sadly, the creative efforts of some of our brilliant directors and actors are hampered because of the profit-minded producers who are greedy bastards. i wish that these producers be removed and replaced with ones who have artistic visions for our film industry. that way these directors can be free from the chains of limited funding and can collaborate with these “visonary” producers to create better and substantial films. In turn, filipino moviegoers can learn a lot and be well-informed about how new filipino films with substance can be accepted to the general public. it would still be far-fetchd to say so, since our countrymen have literally low standards of living thus a low standard of films. but still i wait for the day that the filipino film industry will rise from its meidocrity and realize that maybe, their films can make a significant impact to the development of our nation.

    1. It’s the “pwede na yan” mentality at work. I personally would not want to release something out into the public when it’s not perfect or near perfect for my taste.

  15. The local movies really sucks. I tried watching it even on cable but no matter how I tried the message it sends me is that it makes me more “stupider”. And they even give ridiculous awards to people pulled out from a large pile of garbage.

  16. i’m just curious, have you actually seen this year’s shake, rattle and roll? also, have you seen any film from Cinemalaya, Cinema One Originals or Cinemanila film festivals? there are good people trying to make good films but are simply just not getting any support. hopefully, people who have the same sentiments like yours would actually go out of their way to watch quality Filipino films.

    1. Are you actually saying that Shake, Rattle and Roll was good?

      If you are, then that says a lot about your taste. And since I don’t share your preference in films, what makes you think I will like the other films that you’d recommend?

      For arguments sake, let’s just say that the films from Cinemalaya, et al are better. But the fact that Filipinos would rather watch low brow films like Enteng ng Ina mo says a lot about who we are as a people.

      Besides, if those indie films were really good, it would have an underground following and would eventually catch the attention of the “gaya-gaya”.

      1. you have not answered my questions.

        have you seen this year’s shake, rattle and roll?

        walang kinalaman kung anong type ng films ang gustong panoorin ng masa. ang tanong ko: IKAW? nanood ka ba ng mga pelikulang pinapalabas sa mga festival na ito.

        the fact that you don’t know which films to actually patronize and to have everything blanketed as “gaya-gaya” lang or “you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” make me lose any form of respect for what you have posted. you seem to be the type of blogger who simply just rants and rants but does not do something.

        if you simply blanket a Filipino film as bad, regardless of who made it, then you are, in your own form racist. and by not even watching any of these, not patronizing any of the “good” ones, then take makes you as bad as the “masa” that you’re criticizing.

        1. It’s not about criticizing or being racist. Or worse, you’re missing the point of this article.

        2. Once in a while we have point missers who visit this site. They let their emotions get in the way of objectivity.

        3. Wahaha.
          Teh, akala ko ba insightful dapat ang mga articles ninyo dito? Kung hindi mo type at rip-off para sa iyo ang mga pelikulang hindi mo pa napapanood, hindi ibig sabihin, basura na kaagad. Naka-ugat kasi iyan sa kasaysayan at kultura ng “masa” (which by the way, how insensitive can you be).
          Mabuhay ka! Magsulat ka pa ng mga ganitong artikulo! We are really enlightened!

        4. @Boom

          Did you learn anything from watching Panday 2?

          Let me just quote myself:

          “Unfortunately, our films tell us and everyone else that we are shallow and superficial.”

        5. @Alem

          If you paid me to watch Shake, Rattle and Roll, I’ll probably, just probably, watch it.

          You are missing the point. Why do I have to see the new film just so I can come up with an analysis that most (I’m not saying all) Filipino films do not have any substance? Give me a break.

          Don’t insist that the film is good when your taste is different from mine. What you think is “good” may not be good to other people. And by the way, this is not just my opinion. A lot of people agree with me.

          Here’s another point that you missed: if something is good, the news about it will travel fast and more people will demand to see it. Even the “greedy” producers will be willing to spend money on promoting it.

          If there are indeed “good” films as you claim, then what happened? The answer is simple, they weren’t good enough.

      2. “Besides, if those indie films were really good, it would have an underground following and would eventually catch the attention of the “gaya-gaya”.”

        This is quite a naive and immature statement. The harsh realities of local film distribution and unfair competition with major studios often leave independent films at a great disadvantage. Instead of making blanket conclusions about Filipino films, why don’t you seek out the possibly good ones? Try attending Cinemalaya and Cinema One festivals. If you’re just waiting for the “gaya-gaya” to latch on to them, aren’t you one of the “gaya-gaya” also? However if you’re as intelligent as your blog post implies, then the intelligent films are just right under your nose. They just don’t have as much resources to publicize because the major TV networks and their film arms have firm control over the mall cinemas.

        1. Well see that’s the thing. Life ain’t fair. That’s pretty much the story of Da Pinoy. Step back and regard the landscape of the plight of Pinoys beyond the movie industry and you will see a similar pattern: For every one or a handful of brilliant, high-achieving, and exceptional Pinoys, there will be a million who will represent their antitheses.

          It’s called the tyranny of the masses. Even the very President himself reflects that reality — while there is a minority who will have voted for qualified politicians, we instead have to be stuck in a country where the moronic preferences of millions of bozos routinely trump the sensible choices upheld by the thinking minority.

          It’s called “the Philippines”. Deal with it. 😀

        2. “It’s called ‘the Philippines’. Deal with it.”

          The way you types that made it seem that you are actually happy about that.

        3. Benigno, yes, I’m dealing with it. My whole career is devoted to “dealing with it.” That’s why I make movies in both indie and mainstream circles and avoid making generalizations based on shallow observation.

          How do YOU deal with it?

        4. @Jerrold

          Sorry, but you have missed my point. What I am trying to say is this: if the film is good, you won’t be able to stop people from talking about it. When people are talking about it or if there’s enough “buzz” around it, then more people will watch it. When more people are demanding to see the film, the “greedy” producers might say, “Hey, I think there is now more demand for intellectual films. I think I might produce one“. Even the film distributors will give the film “fair” competition.

          If I were a filmmaker for example, I’d look at what people would want watch and make one that is more intellectually stimulating. I don’t think it would be hard to make an action film that has a convincing storyline in the first place. I can even make one if I had enough time.

          Not everyone has the time and luxury to watch all the films showing in cinemas. Some people rely on film reviews by film critics. If there is not enough information written about some so-called “good” indie film, people aren’t going to waste their time on it. That is the harsh reality.

          Like I said in an earlier comment, what you think is good may not be good for other people. Validation doesn’t come from getting the number of “likes” about your film from your friends. It comes from the number of “likes” from strangers.

        5. @Ilda

          You’re talking about word-of-mouth. As with this site’s name, let’s GET REAL then. Do you know how many intelligent, commercially-viable films with positive word-of-mouth have been killed at the distribution end because of the influence of major networks and the politics behind it? If you set out to make your action film, do you honestly know how to run it through the entire distribution chain and be confident that “greedy” producers and noble distributors will have a change of heart? You’re making yet ANOTHER statement based on what little you know, much like your article and its irresponsible title.

          Anyway, I’m done here.

          We have Benigno, who’s apparently convinced of his own brilliance and his smug cynicism, and you, who readily makes blanket statements about an entire industry from the outside, without even knowing how the machinery runs. I wish both of you well in your chosen paths. I’m going back to work.

        6. @Jerrold

          I already get the point about your claim that some “intellectual” films go straight to the shelves because of the distributors. But then that says a lot about the people running the film industry, doesn’t it? And if they say that they are only catering to the what the people want, then that says a lot about the people, doesn’t it? Shallow and superficial.

          You gotta make more commercially acceptable films that can make people think. It doesn’t have to be the opposite extremes.

        7. There’s the false dichotomy at work there — the flawed notion that a high-quality work of art cannot also be a commercial success.

        8. Aaaand your last paragraph says a lot about you, especially the emerging fact that you don’t even watch films from Cinemalaya or Cinema One.

          If you do, you’d know that some of them are commercially-viable and not “intellectual” at all. These films are just not given the chance by major studios AND mall chains. Once again, politics.

          Please do yourself a favor and educate yourself so your next articles about Philippine Cinema will have some measure of authority. “A consumer’s viewpoint” is not an excuse. You have a mission statement in this site. Panindigan niyo.

          I hope Benigno does the same. I get that he’s goading the trolls by playing the jerk but, with little exposure to Philippine Cinema, well…sad to say, he’s just being a plain jerk.

          Okay? Nood kayo ha. We’ll be waiting for you. 🙂

        9. Precisely the point I make. You guys are the insiders and therefore are in the better position to push change. We’re outsiders and only comment on what we see. That said, the customer has spoken — and it is not a pretty message for you guys obviously. The solution is a complicated one. But we’re on the same side, you see — just different industries. We are a small blog up against Media behemoths that are force-feeding drivel into the gaping mouths of the Pinoy masa. You are small “indie” film makers with quality on your side but lacking in industry political clout and jolog-appeal.

          Obviously you and your peers need to get a bit more creative with the way you step up to challenge Goliath. You need to find yourself and get in bed with the equivalent of a Miramax to channel your work into the mainstream. Your disdain for “jerks” is an obvious hindrance to getting that fire into the way you push your work to a wider audience. The Weinstein brothers certainly aren’t the non-jerks you seem to prefer to consort with.

          If we apply what you suggest to our line of work, that will be tantamount to appealing to our readers to “educate” themselves in the detail of the politics we analyse here so that they can better “appreciate” the work we do. That won’t fly of course. We need to take it upon ourselves to both analyse the politics and deliver it in a more intuitive form that can be digested by our readers.

        10. @Jerrold

          I didn’t say they are all “intellectual”. Someone referred to them as such. I just repeated it.

          You answer this question then: why do you think the major studios don’t give them a chance?

          You should be able to answer that one. If you blame them for not getting any attention, then you should accept that there is something wrong with our culture.

        11. @Ilda (and I suppose this applies to Benigno as well)

          Read carefully:

          I’ve long accepted the fact that something’s wrong with Filipino culture. I’ve never denied that. This acceptance is even evident in the cynicism of some of my screenplays. But that’s also the exact reason why some of us directors have chosen to work in BOTH mainstream and indie circles. We’re trying to change things bit by bit in our own ways. It’s not easy and it won’t come fast. If you’ve seen indie films and some notable mainstream works by our local directors, you’d KNOW that there have been some improvements amidst the sludge.

          The major studios don’t always give intelligent, commercially viable films a chance because, much like local politics, they have institutionalized views on what passes for entertainment and audience taste.

          A film is only as smart as its producer, not its director. And a smart film’s chances in the cinemas is only as large as its marketing campaign’s reach (exactly why even lousy films get big audiences).

          That’s as far as I’m willing to explain at this point.

          All I’ve been saying is that you CANNOT generalize about things you know little about, especially in your position as a writer. It’s plainly irresponsible. You’re taking the side of the fed up consumer, fine. You distance yourself from the masa. Fine again.

          But you’re also a writer who’s supposedly intelligent and open-minded. Hence, it’s your responsibility to know what else is out there besides the obvious. It’s your responsibility as a writer not to make sweeping conclusions when you don’t have all the facts. The worst excuse is to say you’ll only watch films that you’re paid to watch or those that you’re interested in. That may be true. But then DON’T write articles like this. It’s naive and reveals how narrow your viewpoint is.

          It’s always your article we return to.

        12. @Jerrold

          Thanks for taking the time to explain things. But you gotta accept where we are coming from. The general impression of people is this: most Pinoy films (that get more exposure) and the patrons of those films do not have substance. Some film-goers are tired of the same old formula in the local films. It’s as simple as that.

          As an independent filmmaker, you say that your problem is not getting the right exposure. But in this age of books being self-publicized and shameless self-promotion (lady Gaga), you now have the ability to create your own buzz so people will start talking about your film and others wanting to see them. Who needs all this film execs when you can promote your film yourself? All you need is to get the information out there because I am telling you, most people are lazy to research. They just want to follow what’s “in”. So you have to make it look like your film is the “in” thing so those who are just fond of riding band-wagons will ride on it.

          I am not being irresponsible. I am helping you get noticed. It’s about time someone said something about the pathetic situation of our film industry. Some people need a wake-up call because most Filipinos are not used to criticism. Criticism should help people improve their craft.

      3. If you are, then that says a lot about your taste. And since I don’t share your preference in films, what makes you think I will like the other films that you’d recommend? — this made me raise my eyebrows. Let’s try to be nice and respect those who comment to our blogs 🙂

        1. @Ilda

          That’s where you’re logic of a good film fails. FYI highest-grossing films are most of the time not “intellectual”. The taste for films of the filipino audience is cultivated over time. When the television, the politicians, the church, and other institutions tell them that these crappy films are supposed to be “good” they will watch them. When all you hear on the television is about some Kris Aquino film, people are gonna think “oh, this must be a good film since its featured on the tv”. The reason that these crappy films you speak of are feature on the media is because of power relations. The good filipino films are left out is because most of the time filipinos won’t even check if the television is saying crap, or check out other ways to hear about other films.

    2. Anyway, the movies stated in this article, from which the basis of being “unintellectual” was rooted, are basically mainstream movies. The point of the first guy was that it is an injustice to just generalize the Filipino Film Industry by looking at only a very constrained sample of movies.

      You and independent film makers share the same sentiment: that these films don’t make us think. This was the exact same reason why film makers started doing their own movies, to break the formulaic system followed by most if not all mainstream movies.

      Because of this, maybe the author should try watching our independent films. They are not profit-oriented, and are aimed at showing the “art” that is supposed part of every film.

  17. Hahahahahaha. The Filipino masses do not need good movies because there is already enough drama in everyday news. #pseudosarcasm

  18. mas maganda pa yung mga films noong ’90s at nung early 2000s… and honestly speaking,nakakasawa na talaga mukha ni Vic Sotto, pati ni Sen. Bong Revilla Jr. and totoo nga sabi nila, mga entries ngayon sa MMFF, parang di na pinag-isipan, i mean, what’s up with the title “Enteng ng Ina mo”?? seriously, parang nagmumura na, at yung panday nman puro nlang special effects. Mabuti sana kung mkatotohanan ung mga effects na yun.. kaso hindi eh….

  19. LOL This is so true. We watched Panday 2 and I have already captured its very essence. Last night I watched The Dark Knight for the fourth time and still haven’t completely understood half of it.

      1. my point is simple. before blanketing ALL Filipino films as stupid, immature or does not make us think, I challenge to watch a Cinemalaya movie. or a John Torres, Raya Martin, Khavn Dela Cruz movie. Or any of the poems we featured in our movie. kung nakuha mo siya sa isang panonood lang, bilib na ako sa iyo!!! but before dismissing ALL Filipino films, I suggest you start watching them first. not the ones you see in theaters, but those that are actually making waves internationally. MMFF is an easy target. but try Cinemalaya, Cinema One or Cinemalaya. or even a UP thesis film. try it. see if these films can actually match Christopher Nolan’s films.

        1. Try nyo panoorin Buenas Noches, Espana. Tignan natin kung tawagin nyong “dumb” yon. Or baka naman kasi wala syang narrative kaya tatawagin nyong dumb?

        2. The point of the author is most of Filipino films are stupid (take the present MMFF for example) but Ilda didn’t say that ALL of them. MOST of them.

          So are you saying that all “gaya-gaya” Filipino films are good? That’s what the article is pointing. Most Filipinos watch “masa” films instead.

        3. i actually am already reacting to what she wrote as her comment to mine. she is obviously branding everything as one. that is what makes her racist. branding all Filipino films as bad.

        4. Tsk tsk. Obviously you guys don’t know the difference between (1) making a generalisation and (2) making an assertion about all the elements in a set.

          For example, we can say that the Japanese are an industrious people. That is a generalisation — like “German engineering” and “Italian style” are also generalisations. But that does not mean all Japanese people are industrious, or that all Germans are great engineers, or that all Italians have a great sense of style.

          It is the collective character of Philippine cinema we are making a commentary on here. And as far as we can see, every new Pinoy film made is very likely to be mediocre. That’s not to say that ALL of them will be mediocre. Only very likely — to the point that the money is on the next Pinoy film being the same rehashed piece crap that the typical Filipino movie tends to be.

        5. Benigno, you can call it what you want, but Ilda’s article is one big–and questionable–generalization. And as far as you can see? Ilda’s article shows that she doesn’t even make the effort to see the films. That’s just poor and irresponsible judgment.

        6. “It is the collective character of Philippine cinema we are making a commentary on here.”

          You can’t put a collective character on Philippine cinema without taking those produced outside studio outfits into consideration. Failure to do so amounts in a badly-researched assumption about the local film industry.

          It’s as if you’re saying that what matters is what is being constantly shoved in the limelight. Not to mention a “typical” Filipino film is highly dependent on the films viewed by a person.

        7. That’s the very nature of a collective character of a system. It is an emergent property aggregated from the individual behaviours of the elements that make up said system.

          That collective character will, of course, be strongly determined by the properties of the majority of the elements that it incorporates — kind of like how in a democracy, the character of a society’s politicians reflect the people who voted them into office.

          And, again, it’s like my Japanese example. Industriousness is a collective character of the Japanese people even if there are, in their midst, individual instances of underachievement. The fact that there are winos and bums in Japan does not significantly diminish the overall cultural character of Japan as an intense, hard-working, and excellence-focused society.

        8. there are only 7 films in the MMFF, while there are 25 new films from cinemalaya, cinema one, and cinemanila. since the mid-00’s, independent films outnumber studio-produced films every year. how can the 7 MMFF films be the majority? and why is the blanket generalization of philippine cinema based on that?

    1. @Juggernautsen

      Exactly. I’m not saying all Hollywood films are excellent. They make crappy ones too. I’m just saying that they have filmmakers who inspire people to aspire for greatness.

      1. Hollywood. I want you to scrape the bottom of the barrel about the issues and realities of film distribution and then milk it until it bleeds. 😀

  20. Dear Ilda,

    1. Do you think Hollywood films make us think?
    2. Do you think Hollywood films don’t rip off Asian films, use Filipino talent?
    3. Seriously, judging Filipino films based on the MMFF? It’s like judging the Philippine fashion industry by what’s available at Starmall.
    4. These may not be “good films,” but you cannot say that our culture is not embedded in them. Maybe you cannot see beyond the cheesiness, the genre, the personalities, but these films are products of our time. You may not like the manner of delivery, but they say something.
    5. If you’re really interested in making generalizations about the Philippine film industry, at least try to watch films outside the MMFF. It’s a big industry, and it is irresponsible to make judgments like that based on one week’s worth of movies.

    See you at the movies,

    1. “These may not be “good films,” but you cannot say that our culture is not embedded in them.” Probably the best statement I’ve heard about Philippine cinema for a long time.

    2. Judging the entire Philippine movie industry based on the MMFF alone. Wow.

      If Ms. Ilda here starts watching movies from Cinemalaya or CinemaOne Originals (or any other films outside MMFF) then returns here to repeat her statement that the entire industry is indeed substandard, then that is the only time I’d be willing to listen to what she has to say. At least she has gained more credibility at that point.

      I don’t buy excuses such as “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.” Such excuse is only used by lazy people, those who only complain yet do not take the time to study and increase their knowledge regarding Philippine cinema.

      1. @Will

        When I said, “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all”, I was referring to the Shake, Rattle and Roll sequels.

        Obviously, I will only watch films that interest me. I don’t get paid to watch all the films in the cinema. If the film is about gay people for example, it’s not going to interest me because I am not gay (not that there is anything wrong with gay people).

        1. i’m not an insect but i watch “A Bug’s Life.” nor am i a lesbian but i saw “Boys Don’t Cry.” i’m not a gangster, but i saw “Asiong Salonga.” your reasoning, for all your points, is quite flawed. and that’s what makes me sad. kung mahal mo talaga ang Pilipinas at sa iyong palagay ay may pag-asa pa ang Philippine Movies, sana may gawin ka about it.

          i will pay for your FESTIVAL PASS para lang manood ka ng Cinemalaya. i’m sure i’ll be able to find people who will be willing to pay for your time just to watch Cinemalaya. magkano ka ba? i’m sure i’ll also be able to find people to pay you to watch Shake, Rattle and Roll 13.

        2. @Alem

          Well then, you have all the time to watch all these films. Good for you!

          I don’t want to watch some films because I find some of them “malaswa” or done in bad taste. It’s as simple as that.

          Saying that I have to watch shake, rattle and roll so I can prove to you that I love the Philippines is totally wrong.

          I want the film industry to improve because I know we can do it. Those who are running the industry are just too lazy to do it because they are so used to getting praises. It’s high time somebody told them the truth.

        3. Just hear us out, will you? Please go and see a film from Cinemalaya, Cinemanila and Cinema One. Then go write your article.

          If you still think that Filipino films are still “shallow and superficial”, GTFO.

        4. @PhilippineCinemaISGREAT: you’re a piece of work, aren’t you? “hey i want you to like this stuff or gtfo!”

          is this how you persuade people?
          are you stupid or something?

        5. simple lang ang gusto kong patungkulan. sinasabi mong pangit ang SRR 13. e di mo pa naman pala napapanood. so ano tawag mo sa sarili mo? how can you judge something as bad if you haven’t seen it? why don’t you admit that? that you haven’t seen ENOUGH films to actually say and generalize this. manood ka muna bago ka humusga. ‘yan naman ang point ng karamihan sa mga tumututol sa iyong sinusulat dito.

          BTW, it’s very prejudicial of you to judge all gay films as malawa. unless for you, all gays are malaswa.

        6. @Alem

          What makes you think I was referring to “gay” films?

          Simple lang rin ang point ko. I don’t have to watch SRR 13 to know what I am talking about. If you think a film is good, then it doesn’t mean I will find it good.

          Please refrain from repeating what you’ve said over and over. I hate repeating what I’ve said too.

        7. @Ilda

          Alem’s not repeating what he said over and over because he’s being redundant, he’s repeating what he said because you cannot get his point. And still, as your reply suggests, you still haven’t understood what most of us are saying.

        8. “I will only watch films that interest me. I don’t get paid to watch all of the films in the cinema.”

          – This only proves you article moot. Sure, you can always say that you’re taking the masa point of view, but that only speaks of your lack of ascendancy to even make such strong statements with such flimsy arguments to begin with.

          The Philippine Cinema SHOULD NOT be summed up in a week-long festival. Please be sensitive and critical next time you post.

          This article is worse than the industry you’re claiming to “not make us think”.

        9. Ilda,

          How can you judge a film without watching it? It’s one thing not to watch a film, it’s another to not watch a film and write about it as if you did.

          And how can you say that the Shake Rattle & Roll movies are all the same? They’re done by different different directors, writers and actors from different decades. Surely, each film is different. In the same way that if you’ve seen one James Bond film, you haven’t seen them all.

          You seem to have watched Clash of the Titans, yet are you a titan?

          There’s nothing wrong with being a Philippine Cinema snob, but please don’t write about the industry as if you know better. Just keep your thoughts to yourself and leave the commentary to those who actually give a shit about the subject at hand.

        10. I noticed you keep “defending” your precious Shake Rattle and Roll but so far haven’t provided us any basis for selling its good points across.

          So tell me. What exactly in your opinion are, say, three good reasons why we should watch Shake Rattle and Roll. Reading reviews, for example, all I find are summaries and synopses of the movie and not an actual critical review (note that by “critical” I mean an analysis in both positive and negative aspects of the movie using a critical objectivity). Of course the reviews I’ve seen are all on mainstream media where the writers there are all part of the clique of inbred industry “commentators”.

          So are you up to the challenge? Sige nga. Give us your pitch.

        11. Here’s a good example of an actual opinion about SRAR and its implications to the MMFF as a whole:

          “Shake, Rattle and Roll 13” is one of the many movies in the Metro Manila Film Festival that shows how much it needs serious revamp and rethinking. More than half of the entries are sequels (or at least have connections to film franchises of past) and most if not all have the same budget and polish of films we see all throughout the calendar year. We really had high hopes for “Shake, Rattle and Roll 13” (it’s the “13th” iteration no less) but it made a us look like idiots by doing so. While it had great imagination with its plot for a majority of the mini stories, it completely forgot what people actually look for in a horror film – scaring the pants off the audience.

          (Full article here.)

          Why would one watch a movie that is at its 13th sequel? Even the three prequels of the original Star Wars trilogy paled in comparison to the originals.

          See, that’s what makes a salesman’s job hard — selling products that they don’t believe in. Rather than whining about why people don’t watch Shake, why don’t you step up and make a pitch — tell us why we should see it.

        12. “When I said, ‘If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all,’ I was referring to the Shake, Rattle and Roll sequels.”


          Yes. I was also referring to the Shake, Rattle and Roll sequels. 🙂

    3. Indeed, I agree. These “films” indeed have Filipino culture “embedded” in them and they do “say something” about the culture they reflect.

      As I said in a comment earlier, this may as well been just another week or even month of typical movie releases. But then this is no ordinary week, is it? It’s the “Metro Manila Film Festival” and, as such, it implies that we are here seeing a cross-section of the industry that can be reasonably construed as representative of the Philippine film industry.

      So like it or not, there are judgments that can be made on the basis of what we see here.

      1. Do you watch Pinoy independent films? Do you know how many indies were produced in 2011 compared to studio films? The MMFF’s handful of entries simply CANNOT be construed as representative of the film industry.

        1. But they CAN be construed because they are entries in the MMFF. Tough luck. It is a Film Festival organised under the name of the city that happens to be the CULTURAL CAPITAL of the Philippines.

          Perhaps then have a word with your local Congressman and take up this little tragedy of yours with them.

          Next time you have a “film festival” that is given the name of the capital city and made out to be the cultural event of the year, MAKE SURE you put in entries that represent the country’s best foot forward.

          Life ain’t fair dude. Most people get only one shot at a job interview. If they don’t get the job, they can whine all they want about having “qualities” that the iterviewer failed to see. But that whining will be mere farting in the wind.

          As the character of Sean Connery said in the excellent American film The Rock:

          Losers whine about doing their best, winners go home and f**k the Prom Queen.

          nyek nyek

        2. Benigno, so if we follow your reasoning, the Miss Universe pageant is representative of all the beautiful human females in the entire UNIVERSE? Or the World Series in US Major League Baseball actually involves the entire World?

          I repeat: the MMFF DOES NOT represent the entire Philippine film industry. It only represents a small facet of studio filmmaking, as influenced by politics, economics, and other factors unseen by people like you.

          You appear to be a smart individual, DUDE. But your reasoning and “life ain’t fair” argument is weak. Re-read Ilsa’s article then try watching indie films from Cinemalaya and Cinema One. Then tell me, honestly, who’s really fucking the prom queen.

        3. As far as the public is concerned, the independent films don’t exist. And the major distributors are not the only ones to blame for that. The filmmakers have to find a way to make the public aware of their existence. A commenter made a valid point about this. He said the only indie films he saw are the ones that were heavily advertised:

          I’ve had my share of watching indie films (does Kubrador count?) but most of the time, what I get to watch are the ones which are heavily advertised i.e. via movie banners or pre-movie trailers and are shown within the vicinity I’m in. I don’t even know where they screen the Cinemalaya films though I’d love to see those movies should I have the time to do so.

          Majority of the moviegoers are lazy to do their own research. You need to hand the information to them.

      2. If you have the slight inkling of what the MMFF is, you’d know that the films there are, at best, representative only of MAINSTREAM Philippine cinema.

        MMFF is not representative of the Philippine film industy, in the same way that Sundance is not representative of the American film industry, and Cannes is not representative of the world film industry.

        1. Of course. The quality of the mainstream in an industry does represent the character of the society more than the eclectic minority of said industry. And that is the message of this article — for that matter, the message of the entirety of GRP.

          The mainstream reflects the society. Given that the mainstream sucks (to compare the Philippine mainstream film industry with that of Hollywood — America’s mainstream counterpart) is still an exercise in comparing Apples to to Durians.

          We can whine all we want about the existence of an infinitessimal number of “good” Pinoy films. But ultimately we will be judged by what is readily evident.

          The mediocre mainstream of Pinoy film overwhelms the minority “good” films by an order of magnitude far more vast than the way Hollywood films outnumber Sundance entries, just like the sad reality of how a country of 100 million can produce such such a tiny amount (if any) of world-class films that are actually recognised by international awarding bodies (or voted for at the box office by international audiences).

          Tough luck. It’s called “the Philippines”. 😀

        2. If you choose to believe that Kris Aquino horror films represent your society, you are free to do so. And if you do a little research, you’d find that there are more indie films produced locally, which makes what you call “the mainstream” the minority.

        3. Money ultimately is the best score keeper, as Bill Gates suggested. The fact that a people who, on the average, cannot afford to buy an entire pack of cigarettes (and instead have to rely on the tingi trade) will fork out half a day’s wages to watch Ai Ai de las Alas and Vic Sotto behave like morons in living colour is where the rubber hits the pavement.

          The argument you use is similar to this tired old rah-rah around the Philippines being the only predominantly Catholic nation in Asia. The more you emphasize it, the more you highlight what a big failure the Catholic Church actually is in the context of its self-proclaimed mission to turn their followers into “good” people.

          Perhaps there are a lot of these nice “indie” films circulating around in a futile effort to find acceptance in a society that routinely fails to grasp even its most basic ironies. That then is the failure of Philippine Art — an abject failure at embedding itself into the psyche of Da Pinoy.

        4. Nobody is “whining”. We are pointing out the irresponsibility of this article that makes absurd generalizations about Philippine cinema when it appears that she hasn’t even seen most of the entries and doesn’t even follow indie cinema. The title is irresponsible and the comment about the indies only being a valid entity if subscribed to by the “gaya-gaya” crowd are naive, at best.

          Also, your smug, hipster-ish cynicism about “the Philippines” is already out-of-fashion, my friend.

        5. Wow, from the failures of “Philippine cinema” to the dysfunction of “Philippine society”.

          Here’s a little exercise: Watch more films that are locally produced, and look at it in the local context. Or maybe you haven’t realized that what’s wrong with this article to begin with is the hasty judgment about Philippine cinema using Hollywood aesthetics.

          That’s more uneducated than being spoonfed with “films that don’t make you think”. 😀

        6. Philippine society has been dysfunctional since the Spaniards came. If your idea of dealing with it is being smug, self-satisfied and convinced of your own brilliance, then you’re part of the problem. Tough luck on the rest of us, indeed.

        7. “If you choose to believe that Kris Aquino horror films represent your society, you are free to do so.”

          It shouldn’t. THAT’S THE POINT.

          “you’d find that there are more indie films produced locally, which makes what you call “the mainstream” the minority.”

          This is like the iOS vs Android debate. Sure you have more Android phone manufacturers but at the end of the day who has the biggest slice of the smartphone market pie?

          @Iida, benign0: perhaps an inclusion of MMFF 2011’s earnings at the end of the festival is needed to convince everyone what “mainstream” really means? A quick Google I did showed that Enteng grossed 91M after just 3 days. 😉

    4. @Edgar

      1. Not all Hollywood films make people think. But they have a lot more films that make people think compared to ours.

      2. Of course there are Hollywood films that are based on some Asian or even European films. One of them is the film The Departed, which was a remake of the Hong Kong film Internal Affairs. Another one is the The Girl with a dragon Tattoo. But most of the films included in their film awards are original unlike Filipino films that are included in our film festivals. Obviously, the Panday franchise has been remade so many times already. I don’t get why it is still included in the film festival. There is something wrong with that picture. Pardon the pun.

      2.1 When you said “use Filipino talent”, I’m sure you are talking about Filipinos who were either born in the US or those who are already migrants. I don’t really see the point why you had to mention this.

      3.If your so-called Indie film is not included in the Manila Film Festival, our version of the “Oscars”, then that says a lot about your film – it’s probably not good enough and there’s something wrong with people who run the Philippine film industry. And more importantly, there is something wrong with the audience.

      4. Well clearly, if our culture is embedded in the popular films like you said, one can be forgiven for concluding that our culture embraces mediocrity.

      5. What makes you think I haven’t seen a film outside of the MMFF?

      1. Dear Ilda,

        1. Hollywood has a lot more films, period. I’m sure you know how much bigger that industry is compared to ours. They also have immense production budgets in comparison to the local industry. So you shouldn’t argue as if there’s a level playing field, because there isn’t. It’s like saying there’s a lot more fish in the Pacific Ocean than in the South China Sea.

        2. It gets included because the studio producing it decides to. Convincing big studios that Pinoys deserve better, more original fare is a gargantuan task. (Which is why there is a much more vibrant indie scene now.)

        2.1. Because, Ilda, you bash “the Filipino people” so much, you fail to see that the industry isn’t as simple as your simplistic arguments.

        3. The Oscars are not a film festival. To make that kind of judgment, you should watch the films nominated in the Urian, or at least the Luna awards.

        3.1. The MMFF isn’t an award-giving body. It’s just a festival for the big studios, and they’re free to screen what they want–usually family-oriented fare to maximize profit. There are other festivals which base their selections on artistic merit, like the Cinemalaya and Cinema One festivals. You should watch those instead to know the film industry better.

        3.2. It is simplistic to say that it is the audience’s fault that they are the cause of bad filmmaking.

        4. No, that is not what I meant. What is embedded in these films are contemporary issues, the filmmakers’ (or studios’) ideological beliefs. Horror films like “Shake, Rattle and Roll” can point to actual social horrors. Fantasy films are mythicized narratives rooted in real issues. Rom-coms like “My House Husband,” for example, reflect a picket-fences white-feminist picture of gender so prevalent in middle-class society. Instead of dismissing these films as “mediocre” (and surely, many mainstream films are), perhaps it would be more productive to go beyond the technique and see, not what they purport to say, but what these films actually say.

        5. Your article implies that you don’t really watch Philippine films. If you do watch outside MMFF, I’d be interested to know what you’ve seen. And more importantly, what new films (even non-Filipino) you believe to be “good films.” Then we wouldn’t be discussing in the abstract.

        1. Dear Edgar

          Hollywood being bigger is not a valid excuse for some Filipino filmmakers to keep making crappy films. If a filmmaker is really passionate about what he is doing, then he should be able to use his creativity to make a really good one. Hollywood didn’t start out with a big budget, they started out small too.

          It gets included because the studio producing it decides to. Convincing big studios that Pinoys deserve better, more original fare is a gargantuan task.

          Since that is the case, the independent filmmakers should organise themselves and form a bigger organization so they don’t have to depend on the people currently running the film industry. Something has to be done. If you recognise there is a problem, then you need to do something about it.

          I don’t just bash the Filipino culture just for the heck of it. My article has a valid point and a lot of people can see it.

          It is simplistic to say that it is the audience’s fault that they are the cause of bad filmmaking.

          Those are your words, not mine. I’ll repeat this comment of mine again:

          As far as the public is concerned, the independent films don’t exist. And the major distributors are not the only ones to blame for that. The filmmakers have to find a way to make the public aware of their existence. A commenter made a valid point about this. He said the only indie films he saw are the ones that were heavily advertised:

          I’ve had my share of watching indie films (does Kubrador count?) but most of the time, what I get to watch are the ones which are heavily advertised i.e. via movie banners or pre-movie trailers and are shown within the vicinity I’m in. I don’t even know where they screen the Cinemalaya films though I’d love to see those movies should I have the time to do so.

          Majority of the moviegoers are lazy to do their own research. You need to hand the information to them if you want them to watch you. If you think that you’ve already made the effort at exposing your films and the audience still prefers to watch the likes of Panday 2, then obviously they don’t have any substance.

      2. “Manila Film Festival, our version of the “Oscars”…”

        I think one of my synapses broke. This is your “I can see Russia from my backyard!” moment Ilda. And no, don’t google that.

        1. di ba, ang enlightened nila? muntik din akong mahulog sa upuan ko nu’ng nabasa ko ‘yun e. pero ayan, 14 hours later, andito pa rin ako. ginagawang misyon ang i-enlighten ang sinumang nais ma-enlighten sa site na ito.

          btw, kilala ko ang nagsabing “i can see Russia from my backyard.” ‘yung orig na nagsabi pati na ‘yung nanggagaya sa orig na sobrang funny!

        2. It may as well be. The Oscars are a big media event in the US. Its counterpart in the Philippines languishes in obscurity. You know why? Because good quality films have a bigger shot at being commercially lucrative in the US, far more than the prospects faced by supposedly “good quality” films in the Philippines.

          That is why you have the MMFF and its pseudo-awarding process, and other more snobby award bodies which, unfortunately can only make a claim to fame via the old “we did our best” platitude. 😀

        3. It may not be our Oscars but the people are forced to watch crappy films during the holiday season so it might as well be.

        4. @working girl

          Umm.. How so? If Luna Awards is the real “equivalent” of the Oscars for the Philippines then why isn’t there the same media mileage for it?

          Second, I am your typical consumer, I know both of the MMFF and the Oscars yet I don’t know of the Luna Awards, why is that?

          And after searching for just a quick bit in google, well, apparently, Luna Awards was not done for the past 2 years, and resurrected in 2011. I’m sorry, I haven’t heard of the Oscars suddenly stopping for a year or two. Have you?

          Point is, when you win Oscars, you put in your posters to add hype and awe to the film. It works the same with MMFF awards right? Although, the sad state is, the movie is practically done after the MMFF as the monopoly of the local films in the cinemas are removed. So basically, it amounts to almost nothing winning the MMFF, but you get that small shot at prestige once you do win it, with enough time to have hype before the MMFF finishes, as such the same effect as the Oscars.

          I know, the Luna Awards are done by the FAP, a local film academy which is the counterpart, but still, how come we don’t know that? Begs the question right?

        5. I know for a fact that producers and distributors also “campaign” to get their movies nominated and well considered for an Oscar award. There’s also politics in the Oscars, but the fact that the Academy’s choice of awardees is still very much an anticipated and respected barometer of what is good speaks of the impeccable discretion they apply to selecting their awardees.

          Indeed, as Mr Sphynx points out here, industry insiders can’t just go around whining about not being appreciated. You need to be savvy with the way you package your product and shrewd in the way you market it. The competition being big and tough is a convenient excuse. But that’s what separates the men from the boys. Little boys simply run aways screaming. Men, on the other hand, man up and face the challenge. (Nothing sexist intended, just using figures of speech).

  21. Alam naman natin kung gano ka-bulok ang big studio system ng film industry. Kung gano sila ka-gago pagdating sa pag-swindle ng mga tao. Pero may mga filmmakers dito outside the studio system na sobrang naghihirap makabuo lang ng films that actually say something, that prods moviegoers to think, na mas makabuluhan pa kaysa sa pinagsama-samang releases ng Star Cinema.

    Ang hasty lang ng generalization about our local film industry. If you really look around, the “underground” is spilling into the mainstream. Example na dyan yung “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank”. Kahit na flawed yung film, it had a lot to say about local films and not just the big studio productions.

    Para sa last paragraph mo, punta ka sa video stores tapos bumili ka ng films from the previous golden age ng Philippine Cinema. Pwede din na mag-research ka, ang daming magagandang Filipino films from the past decade, lalo na yung mga small films that deserve a larger audience. Subukan mo panoorin yung films ni Lav Diaz, Raya Martin, Sherad Sanchez. Yon mapapaisip ka. Art kung art!

    1. Feeling ko tamad lang siyang panuorin ‘yung iba. Kasi kung nagbubuhos siya ng panahon sa panonood ng gawang Khavn de la Cruz, Raymond Red, Lav Diaz, hindi niya mabibitawan ‘tong mga salitang ‘to.

      Responsibilidad din natin bilang miyembro ng blogosphere na magbigay ng edukadong tugon sa mga isyung tulad nito. Apparently kapos sa research eh, saka hindi pinag-isipang mabuti ang pagbrand sa kakarampot na seleksyon ng mga pelikula bilang “national cinema”.

  22. There is a big difference between blogging and ranting. Guess which one this is? And by the way, there’s a fine line between being an educated writer and an arrogant schmuck who doesn’t know how to respect other people’s taste.

      1. Okay. typical kung typical. Pero wala kayong karapatang gumawa ng article na ganito kung hindi ka pa naman nakapapanood ng maraming pelikulang Pilipino. The title generalizes the article diba? Then maka-explain ka ng generalizing dyan, eh yun naman talaga ang ginagawa niyo. Ms. Ilda made use of Filipino “films”, so it means she’s referring to all Filipino films. And making a comment just looking at the entries? What, are you dumb? She also said na ALL filipino films are bad, without even knowing much on the topic. And she proceeded to say that indie films are just as bad, simply because no mainstream producer would take them. Hindi naman dahilan yun para mag-dikta ng quality. Kaya nga indie diba, independent, so self-produced, self-marketed, pero kailangan pa rin ng studio na mag-pipick up nun for distribution. And some indie movies tackle topics that major producers think that is not bankable. Because these major film studios think with profit in mind, they will not consider the quality anymore for they just want to make money. They will not tackle a film about sex, drugs and society for it’s not their taste. They will only pick-up indie films if they think they can generate money from it, like Ang Babae sa Septic Tank, which is picked-up by Star Cinema.

        Gumawa ka nga article ng hindi man lang halos nag-research? Really? Yung facts na ginamit niya eh yung common na diba, so dapat nag-research pa sya. We have the power to change the world with our words, so sana nilakipan niya ito ng tamang research kasi gusto mong i-educate ang society pero kung yung article mo naman ay senseless, lalo mo lang pinalalala yung kondisyon ng society. Okay thank you

        1. That’s life. Money is ultimately the best scorekeeper and lots of projects with noble causes get buried by investors who flock to easy-money investments. We reap what we sow. The Philippines is a free-market economy and the freedom you enjoy also has a way of coming back to bite.

          What does this mean? Simple. You need to become commercially creative as well and comepete. Whether you like it or not, the only way to grab an audience in the Philippines is to play in the same field as where the big boys play. If you think your products are under-appreciated in the domestic market, go for the foreign market. Oh yeah, I forgot — Filipino products in general have a very flaccid track record of competing in global markets. Hey look, a generalisation. 😀

        2. What makes you think that there are good films out there? Just because you like them doesn’t mean they are good. And if there are good films out there, why aren’t they getting picked up by the distributors? Your answer can lead you to the same conclusion as the article: that most Filipinos lack substance.

        3. that’s why we’re asking you guys to watch. pero ayaw n’yo naman. mas gusto n’yong mag-wallow sa inyong self-righteous mode na tama ako at pangit lahat ng mga Filipino films. period. ni ayaw n’yo mang mag-research nang kaunti about it. what’s 2 hours of your life? this is already a number of us telling you that they are good. and i can list a good number of websites and reviews, both locally and internationally saying they are good. pero, bakit natatakot kayong manood?

        4. Okay hello, Ms. Ilda. Yes, there may be good films but then we can’t help but whine for producers will choose a bankable movie than a good one.We all know that the whole industry revolves around money, but then we can change it. And yes, you are correct in saying that most Filipino films lack substance. I encourage you to watch indie films for they are the ones that are good, as reviews say so. Saka tama si Alem. You should not be afraid to watch so you will know.

    1. @all-you-butthurts-out-there, especially edgar allan paule:

      if you’re a filmmaker, indie or otherwise, and your entire industry’s reputation is marred by the key players’ formulaic, unimaginative, at times ripped-off output, do you blame those who actually perceive it as it is or do you blame your peers for making your work look like a waste of good money before it ever gets played in theatres? (for the politically correct, kindly replace the word “blame” with “hold responsible”)

      if your product is actually good but you weren’t giving it good enough marketing (you know, the 4+1p’s: product, place, price, promotion, positioning, that sorta jazz), do you blame people for not getting interested in your product? do you blame consumers for not agreeing with the price of your product (because the risk is high that it’s gonna be a waste of good money and time they’ll never get back)? do you blame consumers for not finding your “good” work appealing enough to part ways with their money or their already limited time? do you blame people for thinking that they have better things to do than even consider your film? would you hate people for ignoring your theatrical trailers?

      you have to factor in that your product might be good, but until people get interested enough to give up something else to watch it (like i said – in terms of money, or time doing something else or watching something else), which is basically what we call paying the price, your work is subject to the reputation the entertainment establishment has built for it. if you don’t see that reality, then you’ll really need to keep taking prozac.

      but then, i don’t expect those who consider themselves highbrow filmmakers to understand how the marketing separates their work from every other work that competes with theirs. (fyi, “the harsh realities of local film distribution and unfair competition with major studios that often leave independent films at a great disadvantage” is STILL about marketing, and how you’re losing to the major studios.)

      it’s so typical of pinoys to go butthurt that they go out screaming “huwag nyo naman lahatin!” it’s one thing to be earn recognition, it’s quite another to beg for it, and da pinoy seems to be quite the expert at doing the latter.

      stop being crybabies. especially you, edgar.

      1. sadly your opinion just points out that cinema can’t be of the masses because you’re talking about it from its economic perspective.

        and don’t say that highbrow filmmakers don’t know how to understanding the marketing of their work–if you don’t know that its actually part of the production process. the harsh realities of local distribution is about marketing, yes, but it’s also about the proper distribution of intellectual property rights and resources–which if you know, doesn’t really happen in the philippine “entertainment industry”

        so much for your highly educated comment

        1. exactly, my dear watson! “the proper distribution of intellectual property rights and resources–which if you know, doesn’t really happen in the philippine entertainment industry” is among the things you can attribute the problems filmmakers, small ones specifically, are facing.

          does da pinoy consumer give a hoot? no.
          that’s the problem.

          smart consumers won’t give the kind of garbage we’re served by the big outfits any chance to prosper (like the way chowking couldn’t succeed in binondo).

          sadly, our society isn’t made up of such smart consumers.

        2. i do get your point.

          “smart consumers won’t give the kind of garbage we’re served by the big outfits any chance to prosper” –> we’re talking about taking down oligarchies here :))

          do you know how many killings have happened just by attempting to fight these outfits? :))

      2. Congratulations, I finally found it. Let me just say that it’s very easy for people who only have an vague idea about how things are run, like political pundits on American TV, to be suddenly in the know about such when these things become trends.

        Most of my arguments regarding marketing, the independent filmmaker, and the mainstream producers who equate money with dumb flicks are in my first reply to this article. Please find the time to read them, unless you consider every argument that opposes this article a waste of time.

        I’m tired arguing. Bash this all you want, because I can see we won’t respect each other’s side of the argument anyway. Good night and never darken my door again.

      3. I clap at you Mr. Parallax! This, and Alber Wesker’s reply in the latter part of the thread should actually close the debate.

        When I was reading the article, all I thought of was the multitudes of shake rattle and rolls, chick flicks with titles borrowed from cheesy love songs and Joyce Jimenez. indie films never really crossed my mind until the indie filmgoers began commenting.

        To prove Parallax’s point, I’m what you would call an average/casual moviegoer. I go and visit the cinema when I want to unwind or if I have nothing else to do. I’ve had my share of watching indie films (does Kubrador count?) but most of the time, what I get to watch are the ones which are heavily advertised i.e. via movie banners or pre-movie trailers and are shown within the vicinity I’m in. I don’t even know where they screen the Cinemalaya films though I’d love to see those movies should I have the time to do so.

        1. Not only indie filmgoers, but also indie filmmakers, are the ones who keep posting here. Perhaps you can see where all these began 🙂 And here goes a recap of everything that has transpired.

          The article wasn’t written with indie cinema in mind. That didn’t concern us at all in the least, because most of the indie circle also believe in what the article said about the lack of ingenuity of mainstream movies. However, the article proceeded to rate ALL Filipino films as unintelligent – and of course, indie is automatically included, because even though it might not have been mentioned at all, it is still part of Philippine cinema, right?

          Next. (Now this is a part that might be very hard to explain. I hope not.) Representatives of the indie scene started popping and saying, “May maganda naman sa indie ah! And since part ng Philippine cinema ang indie, hindi pangit lahat ng pelikulang Pinoy!” Now we would have been satisfied with a simple “oo nga ano, pasensya na kayo. tungkol lang ito sa mainstream, ladies and gents” from the author. But she proceeded to say that indie films are just as bad, simply because no mainstream producer would take them. As if being picked by greedy corporates is the reason for a film’s quality! You have to know that the term “indie film” means that a production is not made by a studio or other mainstream producers. Baka kasi may assumption kayo na indie = poverty, gay, porn, etc. Kaya lang naman naging ganun kasi walang mainstream producer na tatalakay sa mga topic na yan.

          And that is where the “rage” began. Hindi rin naman naawat ng author at ibang readers yung “rage” dahil hindi nagrasp ng ibang readers yung point ng mga nasa side ng indie. Ikaw ba naman, na gagawa ng pelikula sa sarili mong budget, at ipapalabas mo sa mga sinehan tapos walang masyadong manonood dahil mababa nga ang market, tapos biglang makakabasa ka ng post na “lahat ng Pinoy film nakakabobo”… you can see where the “rage” is coming from now?

          Hindi rin nakakatulong dahil may mga trolls on both sides of the coin. Now biased siguro ako sa susunod na statement, pero mas justified yung pagiging troll ng nasa indie side. Bakit? For the reasons stated above.

          Sana nakatulong ang post na ito. Sana rin ay manatiling bukas ang isip nating lahat. Maaari nating ibalik ang ideal na pelikulang Pilipino, kung kikilos tayong lahat. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

        2. @Sinestro

          But she proceeded to say that indie films are just as bad, simply because no mainstream producer would take them.

          WRONG interpretation. Please read my previous comments again. You are putting words into my mouth.

      4. to Parallax:

        uulitin ko sa iyo ang tanong ko sa author ng blog na ito: 1) napanood mo ba ang shake, rattle and roll 13? 2) may napanood ka na bang pelikula sa Cinemalaya, Cinema One Originals at Cinemanila. at dagdag ko pang tanong: 3) magtala ka nga ng 10 pelikulang Pinoy na napanood mo sa nakaraang dekada para masabing Filipino films don’t make us think.

        ngayon tungkol sa opinyon mo tungkol sa marketing. nandiyan na tayo. walang marketing machinery ang indie films para i-promote nang mabuti ang pelikula namin. tama ka riyan. marahil, hindi kami creative enough to find ways and means to promote our films. baka rin nga masyado kaming high brow. baka nga. pero haka-haka lang lahat ‘yan di ba? kaya mo bang i-substantiate ang mga ito? so babalik ako sa tanong na, may napanood ka na ba sa mga ito?

        marami sa amin ang nagsasabing maraming magagang pelikualang andiyan. available na sila sa DVD sa mga record stores. pwede ka naming bigyan ng mahabang listahan. ang tanong ko ngayon, bibili ka ba. eto na, may nagsasabi na sa iyong maganda siya. tiyak na di mo pagsisisihan. mae-enlighten ka na, mae-entertain ka pa. at mapapaisip ka pa. ‘yan naman ang point ng buong article, di ba? o papatulan mo ba?

        at, makikita ka na ba namin sa Cinemalaya sa July?

        o maninindigan ka pa rin na bobo kaming indie filmmakers sa pag-promote ng film namin. na malamang ay pangit ang film namin dahil walang tumatangkilik sa aming mainstream studios at kung anupamang maisip ninyong rason. at masyado kaming high brow (na medyo taliwas ngayon sa sinasabi ng artikulong Filipino films don’t make us think).

        ang punto ko ay simple lang. manood muna kayo. saka n’yo husghan. maging enlightened sana tayo sa mga comment natin.

        o ano, kakasa ka ba?

      5. Dear Parallax,

        First, my butt doesn’t hurt and in the first place, I’m not the one whining that “Filipino films don’t make us think.”

        An industry isn’t just films, it’s also people. Do you know that most of the people from the indies used to work in the mainstream? Surely, even from your “marketing” POV, there’s something to be said about that.

        The point is, there are so many films produced outside the mainstream circuit, so many films that do not try to be formulaic and are actually worth watching. And it’s unfair for a reviewer to make generalizations about an industry as if she were some kind od pundit, when in fact she only judges from looking at a list of movie titles.

        And what is with you people who love to make statements about “da Pinoy”? We’re not a homogeneous people! Your limited social network is not “the Filipino people”!

      6. @alem: since when has anyone actually willingly subjected himself/herself to your pop quizzes? ilda has held her ground for the reasons already stated, and that stands alone. fair’s fair.

        if filipino indie films have the quality but aren’t getting enough draw, it’s not because indie filmmakers are lousy marketers. i must explain to you: marketing isn’t just making promotions, making shameless plugs, having ads on trad+non-trad media, etc. (sorry if this sounds like a lecture; i don’t mean to) marketing involves everything that could be influenced to get a target to act a certain way or do something specific. how you price your product may or may not attract me. where you sell it might be more visible or less visible to me, depending on where i actually spend my time. the endorsers you use will either grab my attention or turn me off. how you get my attention will either make me skeptical (by being shown an ad) or make me consider (by being given great feedback by at least 2 friends who aren’t connected with each other). it’s a combination of factors that all have to be swung in your favor, all with the goal of CONVINCING people to go check your product out. fail at the marketing (which isn’t all about spending money to promote) and you end up with a possibly great film no one hears about.

        thus, your failure to get me to part with my money, externally brought about or not, has nothing to do with how good your product is. (this applies to the mmff in the sense that their commercial success doesn’t give us any indication that they’re actually any good. they’re popular, but that doesn’t mean they’re any good. i think you understand that.)

        now do you understand that i’m not calling you bobo sa marketing or anything of the sort? getting people to populate the theatres is the challenge. and if your films are good, and they may be if they’ve got people like you who are so passionate about them, then don’t beg people to see them.

        this post never seemed to be meant to disparage the good works. if anything, it revealed quite vividly that for something worth fighting for, indie films remain obscure. that is the challenge facing you davids.

        get me?

        1. @ilda:

          these people don’t get it that whatever good thing you have to offer the world, you can’t hate the world if nobody buys it. that’s just immature.

          and what’s even more immature is begging or forcing people to like it. they really have no understanding of the consumer buying process or any other mechanism of persuasion. all they do is insist, insist, insist. like that’s gonna work.

          this flood of overreaction is truly odd in the sense that if rizal criticized filipinos for our social ills (which are still here long after he’s gone), i don’t hate rizal or flame rizal even if i’m among “filipinos” used as an umbrella term. i get that it’s not about me, so i don’t overreact.

      7. @edgar: the criticisms weren’t aimed at the worthwhile indie films you are so passionate about. once and for all, stick that into your mind and remember (because i got it, and i don’t think you’re incapable of getting it too) from here on.

        if anyone did whine it was those of you who couldn’t step back for a moment and fully comprehend that you’re not being attacked. and for whatever reasons indie films are so obscure in the philippines, don’t lash out at anyone who isn’t making fun of them in the first place. they’re obscure, so deal with it.

        it’s too easy to bark at the wrong tree, and many of you people did it big time. (hats off to alem for being able to leave some proper comments, unlike the lot of you.)

        about statements on “da pinoy”, you’ll want to read a lot more of the posts here to appreciate what that really means.

  23. O sige na, ikaw (kayo) na ang magaling, so anong solusyon mo?! Mag-rant nang mag-rant sa blog site mo?! Bukod sa dakdak sana may aksyon din.

    O nega ka lang talaga sa Pilipinas. E di umalis ka na lang dito. Problem solved!!!

        1. siguro naman, matagal na tayong mulat sa katotohanang pangit ang maraming pelikulang Pilipino, kahit ‘yung mga lumalabas sa MMFF, di ba? pero more than being MULAT, e may ginagawa ba kayo? ‘yan ang hamon ko. pagkatapos maging mulat, e ano na ngayon? may ginagawa ba kayo?

        2. @alem
          well, anu ba gusto mo gawin ng non-industry persons? We aren’t film makers, producers, actors and the like…

          I can not recommend something if I myself do not have a positive notion on that object and therefore I cannot support it.

          Btw, I am pertaining to mainstream as I am not that aware or exposed to “indie”.

          I speak mainly of mainstream because it has the most means and ways to reach a broader audience like myself. As such, I am turned off and have no particular desire to watch local mainstream, be it big or small screen.

          I am also the type that does not watch indie films, local or foreign, as I am not a “film buff” but I know what I want to watch.

          I guess that can sum up what I am and how I really am bothered by the questions of “e ikaw, ano nagawa mo para makatulong?” It serves no purpose as most are part of target audience whose only purpose it watch or not.

      1. ikaw, may napanood kang pelikula from Cinemalaya, Cinema One Originals or Cinemanila? kami, mulat na kami, kaya gumagawa kami ng paraan para mabago ang sistema. kung itatalak n’yo lang ‘yan at wala namang ginagawa, then bahagi kayo ng sistemang namumulok. kami, ayaw namin sa ganyang sistema kaya kami mismo ang gumagawa ng paraan. this is not about indulging in the status quo. it is also not enough for us to comment about the status quo. we actually do something about it. ikaw, i dare you. watch a Cinemalaya film in July. then see if why all of a sudden, marami ngayon ang nagre-react sa sinulat ng blogger na ito.

        1. Thanks for the invitation but no thanks because I will come into the Cinemalaya and the audience will beat me to a pulp or something.

          Seriously speaking, what benign0 is talking about is the majority is embracing mediocrity through mediocre Pinoy films. I don’t count indie films as one since you’re one of the silent few. The masa is to blame BTW.

        2. Haha Daido, we don’t bite–

          Let’s stop talking about Filipino films being mediocre because they’re rip-offs of Hollywood. That just shows that our aesthetics are Westernized. Yun nga, watch more and learn more! ‘Wag lang selective. :))

  24. You’re seriously making commentary on national cinema just because of one “prestigious” film festival? -slow claps-

      1. Di siya excuse. Napaka-kapitalista naman ng dahilan na “patok” kaya siya naging “national cinema”.

        I disagree that national cinema is plain and simple. You should never look at the local film industry on a familiarity/popularity basis kasi that would mean ang gumagawa lang ng pelikula ay mga production outfits tulad ng Regal, Star Cinema, etc. Sila lang kasi ang may kakayahang mag-publicize at magbayad ng mga nagmamahalang talent fee.

      2. Madaming films na taliwas sa formula ng “commercial Filipino film” na di nabibigyan ng recognition kahit ang karamihan sa kanila ay sumusubok sa intellect at ma-a-appreciate ng mga tao.

        For instance, the rights to the distribution of “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank” were taken by Star Cinema. Hit siya sa “masa” kasi comedic siya, and as any businessman would think it’s highly profitable. Pero meron din namang bahagi ng Filipino community na nakakakita doon sa commentary nito about the state of the Filipino industry.

        But no one publicizes it as a “commentary on the state of Filipino cinema”, instead it is released as “another funny Eugene Domingo film”. And that’s expected to rake in millions.

  25. Ilda,
    Try watching Insiang, Batch 81 and other Lino Brocka or Ishmael Bernal films and maybe you can develop better appreciation of Filipino films. You have to delve deeper in terms of research before you generalize.

    To the haters, let’s instead celebrate the efforts of indie film makers and not be merely pessimists. We can only criticize if we’re actually playing a role to make things better.

        1. hindi lahat ng indie film maganda. the same way na hindi lahat Filipino film pangit. ‘yan ang generalization.

        2. @Parallax: When and where in this comment thread did I generalise? I wasn’t the one who wrote “Only Filipino Indie films are good.”

          Also, Daido and Ilda, if you guys can sweep that wide, CDO needs more clean-up volunteers. Go make yourself useful.

        3. @working girl: that’s the pot calling the kettle black again.

          seriously, indies weren’t under attack. geez.

        1. This girl (if you are a girl) pretends to be smart…truth be told…she is just a ranting regular moron :))))))…my time was wasted reading her (his) crap hahahaha

        1. The way you write and generalize Filipinos really sounds like you hate being and living here. Get real Philippines?! How real are you? Clearly you consider yourselves to be the elite by using terms like Thinking class, what you want is a culture based on your own taste (and from the way you compare hollywood and filipino prductions) is sadly american and western. I feel sad that a website such as yours is run by middle class people who have no insight and clear understanding of what the hell they are talking about. There’s always a disclaimer about their writing being an “outsider’s” point of view. You could have been more specific with your arguments and facts but because like every other spoiled middle class lazy kid out there with a blog :you chose to generalize a whole industry where you do not have a bit of insight ( and by the way, being a “writer” is you best defense I suppose) on how it works and what happens behind the scenes. Did you know that a Filipino film won Top honors in The Busan Film festival this year? If no please do more research on shit you write about (unless website hits are what you’re after you can still continue on this path of self righteous ranting) If yes, then congratulation you have just contradicted yourself. But from reading your post and your replies it seems that you are a nobody who just happens to have a computer a modem, and really american way of trying “change” all things filipino. The thing about culture my friend is that you are born into it whether you like it or not. You want change so that it would suit your taste but sad thing is: It’s not and was never about you. You just try to be a voice but the truth is you are lower than a whimper. Sayang ang pangalan ng blog niyo Ilda. You could’ve been progressive but chose the safe way and just stick writing half assed articles with little insight and just show up as rants made by a highschool kid.

        2. The proof of Filipino greatness (and perhaps its film industry) lies in stronger evidence of collective greatness — certainly such that goes beyond the citing of rare exceptional instances scuh as a “Filipino film” that “won Top honors in The Busan Film festival this year”. For every one of those, there will be mountains of evidence that point to a contrary picture — that of the bleak profile of mediocrity that is readily evident to much of the world.

          Indeed, if all this are no more than voices that are “lower than a whimper”, then it is very telling that many such as yourself would give us the time of day. And that, dude, is where we get a lot of validation that what we say is, in fact, a truth that many Pinoys find difficult to swallow. 😀

  26. The fallacy in your argument arises from the fact that storytelling narrative, character, design, and genre are recycled continuously throughout the history of world cinema. To label this phenomenon as something uniquely “Filipino”, is quite ignorant.

    Take your example of the “Kraken rip-off” for instance. While the design was absolutely an allusion to the 2010 film “Clash of the Titans”, that design itself was an allusion to the design of Ray Harryhausen in the 1981 film “Clash of the Titans”. Harryhausen on the other hand, borrowed the Kraken from Icelandic myths, which in turn was inspired by early man’s encounters with cephalopods.

    What you term “rehashed” is actually the means for which storytelling archetypes in narrative continues to thrive and circulate in culture. I have spent many years studying the evolution of cinema and what I’ve come to learn is that filmmakers will always borrow and copy something from some film they’ve seen… be it a design, a camera angle, an editing point. All the great director have done it, wittingly or unwittingly. And as a critic, you should not penalize films for attempting this. This is the manner in which filmmakers grow and learn to gain confidence in themselves as artists, and it is, in its very nature, the essence of evolving literary culture.

    I would have much rather you focused your article on whether or not any of these films connected with you as a filmgoer.

      1. riiiight. allusion as euphemism for rip-off? nice try. galing nyo ivan and ryan! pinoy talaga kayo!!!

        da pinoy originality: the art of hiding your source.

        1. Actually, I’m the author of a webseries on youtube called “Premakes”. Check it out. In it, I deconstruct some very important films in Hollywood history and show you how blatantly people “rip-off” design, characters and all sorts of archetypes. And that point that I am trying to make is that it isn’t uniquely Filipino.

        2. @Ivan

          I get what you are trying to say. I think it was the blatant copying of the other film that is the issue and being a bad copycat. I even wrote about the concept you are trying to say in my previous article about plagiarism. Here are some excerpts:

          I don’t really believe that there is such a thing as an original product in the first place. Almost everything we use is an improvement of someone else’s previous invention, often one that wasn’t even envisioned to evolve into product that would go on to be invented based on it.

          The telephone for example, although credited to Alexander Graham Bell, was a result of his research into improving the telegraph system. To quote WikiAnswers:

          Bell was experimenting into improving the telegraph system so that multiple messages could be sent at the same time (his theory of the ‘harmonic telegraph’ was based on the principle that several messages could be sent simultaneously along the same wire if the different telegraph signals each had a different pitch). However at the same time he began working on the novel idea that speech could be transmitted electronically, as he accidentally discovered that the sound of a spring being twanged could be heard over his harmonic telegraph system. Almost a year later in March 1876 Bell uttered the first famous words into the device to his assistant in the next room: “Mr. Watson, come here -I want to see you”.

          Can anyone else realize the point here that most stuff today like the iPhone and all the other communication technologies, say, are just improvements of someone else’s work? In fact, to quote WikiAnswer again: “While Bell was the first to receive a patent for the telephone, several others preceded his research and credit for inventing the electric telephone remains in dispute.”

          While western innovators go up in arms from time to time about the fact that China keeps producing fake goods copied from obviously copyrighted property, it doesn’t seem to stop China or all the other copycats in the world from doing it.

          Even though we have laws to protect our original idea from being stolen, it won’t stop people from getting a light bulb moment and say “I can make a better product than that with even more bells and whistles!” And that’s exactly what Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have done.

          It is quite obvious that before they even launch a product, they think of everything, right down to the smallest detail. Can you imagine them launching a new design without even talking to their suppliers first, say, regarding all the accessories that go along with their product? The answer is no because they are very attentive to details and that separates them from all the copycats in the world, which is why they are successful.

          Selling T-shirts for instance is not an original concept. If you wanted to sell a shirt, you will have to compete with all the millions of people who want to make a quick buck out of selling T-shirts with a fancy slogan. What can set you apart is the quality and the attitudes evoked in a potential buyer looking at your shirt. Diesel and Billabong are international brands that express the idea of a whole different lifestyle; one that equates to “coolness” for the most part. It’s all about having the patience to iron out the right statement you want to make before launching a product. Delayed gratification yields better results than instant gratification and the customers will know if a product has been thought out well.

          The bigger problem we have in our society is that, Filipinos are not just bad at being original, we are also bad at being copycats. Just look around us, we hardly have the ability to innovate or improve on other people’s work. The jeepney has always been the jeepney. Yes, we have attached the borloloys like the Mercedes Benz logo and the colorful designs that all but scream “tacky”, but in terms of functionality, the jeepney has remained the same since the Americans left us with the jeep after World War II.

          We are so bad at being original, which is precisely the reason why most Filipinos are so defensive or overly sensitive about other people stealing their work.

          Just think about it, if you had the ability to come up with something original, then there’s more where that came from and you shouldn’t be worried about people stealing your idea. Only those who cannot easily come up with an original idea will end up being overly protective of their work.

          I guess you can say that my attitude is quite similar to Steve Jobs attitude when he just kept on churning out more products after his ideas were stolen. Obviously, his hard work eventually paid off.

          Read the full article here.

        3. Actually, Hollywood was built on ripoffs. From appropriating ideas and stories to appropriating people and markets. So if you study history, it’s actually not a very Pinoy thing. And because our political relations remain subservient to US interests, it reflects in our culture.

        4. That highlights an even BIGGER tragedy — that even in being copycats, Pinoys suck. 😀 Microsoft also built profits on ripping off other people’s ideas. But then, as its founder say, money is ultimately the best scorekeeper. Just like the way Pinoys like to keep emphasizing that they are such a “blessed” people. And yet they are among the most wretchedly impoverished society on the face of the planet. 😀

        5. Actually, Hollywood was built on ripoffs.

          That is a very strong statement that I do not totally agree with.

          In any case, some people are good at copying and some people are bad at copying. Guess where most Filipino film makers belong?

    1. That may be true, Mr Ivan, if evaluating that copying and rehashing is done at the elemental level rather than the overall composite work itself as a whole. It’s related to the concept of a work of art as being more than the sum of its parts. A collage is as legitimate a work of art as a piece made up entirely of elements constructed from scratch. But there are good collages and bad collages. And in the case of Pinoy cinema, we mostly see the bad ones — even ones where the parts themselves are greater than the sum total of the overall work to which it belongs (usually those are the movies where all the good parts can be squeezed into its 1-minute trailer).

      1. As good or bad as these collages may appear to be, 30 years from now a young Filipino film student may produce a film about a sea monster-like creature, which was partially influenced by a Filipino film he saw as child. In so doing, re-invigorates the “Kraken” mythology for future audiences. I cannot find fault in that. That’s how culture functions sometimes. And as long as it does not impinge on the intellectual property rights of others, it shouldn’t be viewed as something necessarily wrong. That’s how many filmmakers learn. They learn from others.

        As per your idea of elemental vs whole concept for art, how would you explain something like Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Can” painting vs an actual can of Campbell Soup? It should not matter how much or little is rehashed/copied, as long as it is purposed or re-purposed for the intention of the artist.

        The case of whether or not a movie is “bad” should lie upon a film’s ability to find an audience for itself.

    1. next time basahing mabuti ang article bago mag react. da pinoy talaga emo bago makaintindi. ang hindi nagbabasa, nabobobo talaga.

      and use some iodized salt, okay?

      1. Pakisabi na lang kay Ilda, Next time, panoorin niya muna yung mga pelikula bago siya magreact. Hindi lang batay sa sinabi ng kakarampot na iba.

        Ang hindi nanonood, walang karapatang mag critique!!!

        1. @pac: you do realize that the way you’re voicing out your angst only makes the mainstream moviemakers (who are the ones mostly making money out of creating crap, while brilliant indie filmmakers are hung out to dry by being drowned out from public view) happy to see you hysterically barking at the wrong tree.

          many readers, myself included, who aren’t too attached to the indie films COMPREHEND what this article means, and you only need to calm down, step back, and find the proper appreciation for where the author is coming from (with the exact same open mind you have in embracing indie films).

  27. Sorry, but I can’t get past the fact that this faux-critique was written by someone who didn’t even watch any of this year’s films.

    “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” is a classic example of sweeping/hasty generalization. Sayang. Ilda’s intentions seem to be well-placed, but the way she presented her ideas definitely need improvement.

    BTW, I’m no film buff, but I am pretty sure films like Insiang, Batch 81 and other classics weren’t even considered Indie in their time. I believe these are good examples of mainstream films that, in the poster’s words, “made people think.”

    1. That’s looking way back. Perhaps, indeed, there were some nice ones back then. Personally, I thought Oro Plata Mata was an excellent film.

      But see, this is 2011 — not the 1980’s. The way things are going, it seems progress in the Philippine film industry is stuck in Reverse gear. 😀

      1. The article didn’t really offer any parameters on Pinoy films, so I felt “past” films should still be considered. Ilda also didn’t really talk about whether things were “moving forward” or “moving backward.” It seems she’s convinced things are just crap with nary a hint or glance at the progressions (no matter how miniscule they may seem) of the industry she is targeting.

        Again, good intentions wrapped in not-so-good execution. Sayang.

        1. Ms Ilda, let me help. What he’s saying is you have a point, but you haven’t constructed your essay well.

          Your objectivity is under attack because you haven’t really seen the movies you’re bashing. You really should admit as much. 🙂

          If there’s something to be faulted from all your haters, it’s mistaking a simple blog post/rant for an objective critique.

          Please do attend some creative writing classes, which will help you express your ideas the way you intend to be understood.

          Good luck and keep writing! 🙂

    2. I can’t get past the fact that you still don’t get the point of the article.

      Just because I didn’t watch Shake, Rattle and Roll doesn’t mean I don’t know what I am talking about.

      1. I get that you’re entitled to your opinion, and, to a certain extent, your point about many Pinoy films being substandard is valid, but it’s the way you discussed this point (chiefly using films from the current MMFF — films you haven’t seen — as representative of the industry, and having no direct reference to some films that run counter to your assertion) that seemed faulty.

        “Just because I didn’t watch Shake, Rattle and Roll doesn’t mean I don’t know what I am talking about.” – This a good example of what is faulty. The fact is you used SRR (amongst other MMFF films you didn’t bother to watch) to illustrate your generalization that Pinoy films don’t make us think. It would’ve been much more credible if you had used movies you’ve seen to strengthen your position. But you didn’t. It’s classic hasty generalization.

        Better research would’ve made the post more reasonable.

        I believe, however, that you will never admit to this basic mistake, so I hope we can just agree to disagree. Thanks and happy new year 🙂

        1. @Enzo

          You fail to see the beauty of it: even without watching SRR 13th, I was able to make an assessment, which a lot of people agree with, that the film does not have substance. Here’s a comment from a forum on Facebook:

          It’s funny that some of the people commenting are asking Ilda to watch Shake, Rattle & Roll 13.

          I watched the film with my girlfriend. We both knew it was gonna be crap, and we were right. A couple of my friends watched the other entries, and so far, the “Manila Kingpin” film was the only one I heard that got good reviews.

          Oh well, at least I got a lot of laughs from the horrible script writing, acting, and CGI.

          If you want to see more feedback agreeing with my views, click on the link : Get Real Philippines

        2. @ilda

          where did your notion that SRR only showcased bad movies come from? :)) remember, just because something lacks in “substance”, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. what substance are you so desperate in looking for anyway that you dismiss all Filipino films lack substance?

          see we can only define things with what they’re not. what is substance to you? what makes a film crappy?

          try looking at your standards first, and then maybe we could talk about it properly, because this “substance” you’re trying to look for in films is quite vague. know what you’re asking for 🙂 and maybe these trolls might see.

        3. If you read the article, then you should know what I meant by substance in films:

          The kind that makes people think; they stir emotions or provoke people into doing something with their lives; the kind that inspires young people to aspire for greatness.

          I know not all Hollywood films have substance but they have a lot that do. Even if you say there are Filipino films with substance, majority of the film-goers do not know they exist and I blame that partly on the lack of advertising by the filmmakers. Well of course not all of them have the funds to advertise but the Internet is not that expensive. They can use it to their advantage. They really shouldn’t be satisfied with just getting the nods from their handful of patrons.

    1. Hi benign0, your article is interesting, but it would really benefit having some specific examples… titles of films perhaps? I haven’t really seen a lot of the so-called “films for the masa,” and using your article as a basis, I would like to know more about these films.

      Especially since there are a lot of comments here about the current quality of films, it would be nice to have some kind of comparison, if there really haven’t been any improvement.

      Thank you very much.

    2. here’s what i thought of that article:

      you make a good point on #1. although i feel it’s more symptomatic of telenovelas than movies. there is indeed a lack of nuanced representations of the upper class. however “the rich” is only one subject among many that are under-depicted or distorted.

      i wish you cited film examples to illustrate your point. this lack of evidence is especially glaring in items #2 and #3. leather jackets and robin padilla are iconographies of a bygone era of action movies, which are rarely produced anymore, and therefore not the proper gauge of masculinity in movies in the present. sam milby and john lloyd cruz are evidently bigger stars than robin padilla now, and maybe vic sotto is the biggest, box-office wise, and these male figures don’t exactly fit the hunter-gatherer as you described him. in the same way, females in movies today tend to be proactive, even powerful, characters. that they’re always “searching” elsewhere for their destinies is perhaps true of any era, perhaps true of other nationalities as well, and maybe even other genders.

      and this is what i meant when i said the author probably doesn’t really watch a lot of filipino movies. the arguments seem to have been built from vague, perhapse even false, impressions.

  28. Better to keep your mouth shut and make people wonder whether or not you are fool, rather than to open it, and leave no doubt.

  29. Some more insight on the sad state of the Philippine entertainment industry from noted thought leader Isagani Cruz which I cited in my book

    The Philippine entertainment industry is not only a vast wasteland, as television has been described in America, but a vicious instrument for the abatement of the nation’s intelligence. The shows it offers for the supposed recreation of the people are generally vulgar and smutty, usually with some little moral lesson inserted to make them look respectable, but offensive nonetheless. On the whole, they are obnoxious and unwholesome and deserve to be trashed.

    The indiscriminate audience eagerly laps them up because it has not been taught to be selective and more demanding of better quality shows for their pastime. In fact, the easily satisfied fans have been taught the exact opposite reaction — to accept whatever garbage the industry offers them and, to add insult to their injury, to pay for it too.

    The leaders of the entertainment industry are supposed to be responsible people but they have evaded their duty to elevate the taste of their mostly unthinking supporters. They have instead cheapened them into a mass of automated individuals whose ultimate joy is to roll up in the aisles at the lewd jokes of potential senators.

    – 😀

        1. OK. Your opinion or critique is not the truth. I’ve seen a lot of Hollywood films that turn out to be really crappy. In every country, there are films that are merely for entertainment purposes. Even the films that win Oscar’s aren’t that great, too. There really are some people who would scrutinize element about the Philippines just so that they can hate it or make themselves feel that they have taste.

          Don’t get me wrong. I agree with you that there are a lot of Pinoy films that suck. But there are also a handful that don’t. It’s just a matter of preference…like with any other movie, foreign or not.

          The Philippines is still far from where we want it to be. But, sometimes, it needs a break from people like you who think that they are saying something relevant when, in fact, they don’t.

        1. Which is why we’ve been asking you and at least Ms. Ilda to point out what specifically about Filipino films that make it “bobo”–since that was the title and the thesis statement of this article.

          Don’t tell us that these Filipino films are mere Hollywood rip-offs, because you can’t read a Filipino book with English grammar in mind.

        2. See but that’s exactly what I do — “read a Filipino book with English grammar in mind”. The trouble with Filipinos is that we try — to the point of tackiness — to emulate Western culture: the way we dress, build our houses, speak English, etc. And yet we balk at being judged using Western standards of excellence. Therein lies the pathetic confusion that underpins the underbelly of Pinoy culture. 😀

        3. “The trouble with Filipinos is that we try — to the point of tackiness — to emulate Western culture: the way we dress, build our houses, speak English, etc.” We don’t try; our Western influences are so deeply embedded that it’s far from noticeable. And the fact that you opt to “read a Filipino book with English grammar in mind” doesn’t help the culture flourish when national cinema should be searching its own identity through us having this supposed intellectual conversation.

          Watch some Kidlat Tahimik. And, please, stop skirting around the question. We were only asking for what you think “sucks” about Filipino films that “render us as shallow and superficial”, as pointed out in the article. Talk will always be talk.

          I also want to know what is it you’re looking for in Filipino films that may actually make it smart. Kasi, baka ‘yung “smartness” ng isang pelikula ay blatant Hollywood rip-off din, diba. 🙂

    1. congratulations! the way you butthurt point-missing crybabies are reacting to this post easily illustrates the characteristics of the exact audience da pinoy really is and why da pinoy is fed crap for entertainment.

      keep it up proving the point of this article. 😀

  30. Nawala si Ilda, hindi na nakahirit. Malamang nanonood ng Buenas Noches Espana at nagno-nose bleed; at na-realize na hindi naman pala gano’n kataas ang kanyang taste.

    1. I’M VERY VERY interested to know. Please oblige us with a list. Please! Even the imminent Mr. Benign0 with a zero for an O (which is really, really clever… Before the first tech bubble burst).

        1. Which part of “what are your top 10 foreign films of 2011?” did this imbecile did not understand?

  31. Fact is, folks, Philippine society is a society that embraces mediocrity like a religion. And the gods of that mediocrity are right there flickering on the silver screens hosted by those airconditioned citadels of shallow consumerism where people go to to forget that the Philippines is, in fact, a Third World country.

    1. another hasty generalization brought to you by yours truly…

      so the audience is to blame. do something about it rather than taking pride in your own elitist bourgeoisie conclusions

        1. so is being “pinoy” a good thing or a bad thing?

          dude, care to look at things in their cultural context :)) and yes, i give myself a bit of credit. being “Pinoy” is not half as bad as you’re implying

      1. speaking of “natutuo”, ikaw, mr katsumo, may napanood ka na bang magandang indie film in the past 5 years? nakapanood ka na ba ng pelikula mula sa Cinemalaya, Cinema One Originals or Cinemanila? may ginagawa ka ba para matuto?

        1. I’m just talking about the TROLL who is a typical spineless Pinoy and not you, sir. 😛

          I’ve watched some indie films and they’re good, especially ung tungkol sa bata na gustong mag-artista. At least that story is enjoyable.

          AT siya ayaw matuto because that guy wants to dwell on mediocrity, as seen on the mainstream Filipino films. Not including the indie ones.

        2. At tapos he changed the subject sa politics naman, maybe blaming Gloria on the downfall of all Philippine cinema. Di ba kabobohan iyon? 😛

  32. I get that you are essentially disowning Filipino films in general based on your idea of what Philippine cinema consists of – basically, the MMFF.

    What I am not getting is why you complain about the state of mainstream Philippine cinema when you yourself are trapped in the notion that Philippine cinema is only limited to its mainstream component… and why you are doing nothing about it except rant and complain, when you can always watch alternatives to mainstream films, such as independent films.

    It’s like complaining about the taste of pork every time you eat it, when you could always order beef.

    It is not a question of taste. It is a question of elitism.

      1. “Unfortunately, our films tell us and everyone else that we are shallow and superficial.”

        I take it that Ilda really means it when she states we are all shallow and superficial, then, by not doing something to change the system.

        1. I’ve just finished reading it, and I am saddened because this particular article does not adhere to your vision of “critical thinking”.

          Take note that I said “this particular article”, not “all the articles in this site”, because unlike what Ilda did in this article I don’t judge based on generalizations.

        2. Generalisations are necessary to make a judgment – specially when one is “judging” at a society level, which is what GRP is all about. So you not only need to live with generalisations, you also have to understand what it means to generalise. Generalisation is made out to be a bad thing by people who misunderstand it. Don’t be one of them.

    1. @J. Marsharilla

      What do you mean, “I am not doing anything?” Complaining is doing something. It’s about time someone said something about the appalling condition of our film industry. If you are part of the film industry and you are not happy about how the independent films are being neglected, then you should appreciate what I’m doing. I’m giving you a voice and a chance to be noticed.

      As I said earlier, I don’t have time to watch all the films that are showing. I don’t get paid to watch them. I am a big fan of films though but I am only going to watch films that interest me. You guys can’t insist that something is good when it hasn’t even gone viral. You let the market be the judge of how good a film is.

      1. vice ganda goes viral and trends on twitter. so that’s your gauge of what good is? because it goes viral? education is not something that will be handed to us on a silver platter. we have to go out there to find out about it. learn for pete’s sake!!! open your eyes and learn. and not just rant.

        1. I didn’t say that going viral is the only measure of how good a film is. Some films can be highly acclaimed but don’t do well in the box office. They are the ones that get the awards. I know what it’s like. I am a writer. There are times when before publishing an article, I am confident that it would go viral but then I realise after that only a few intellectuals get my point. But I don’t get disappointed. Writing the article is part of the process of enlightenment. My enlightenment. I write because I want to understand things. If there are people who get enlightened along the way because of what I write, then that is just a bonus.

          There are times when I write something that gets passed around a thousand times but there are times when it only gets passed around less than a hundred times but that won’t stop me from writing. There are things that need to be said and I have to write it. And that should also be the case for filmmakers. They should satisfy themselves first. What is happening is that there are some filmmakers who are only after making money or being popular. They let others affect their work. They don’t care about the quality anymore.

      2. Sadly, you’re not the first one to complain about the appalling condition of the film industry. This is what we have been doing for years, thru our independent films and our non-mainstream filmfests. How can you give a voice and the chance to be noticed to a group of people you yourself don’t even notice?

        Also I am saddened as to why you keep making hints that you would only watch films if you get paid. That is what your “shallow and superficial” mainstream filmmakers keep doing: they only do things if they get paid. And what makes them get paid is making films that are indisputably bad. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out you write articles here because you get paid. Do you think we get paid to watch films? Do you think that we even get paid when people watch our films?

        What if something doesn’t go viral because the system is not accommodating enough? The market should never be a judge of how good a film is, because films should NEVER be commodities. Okay, I’ll make an argument on this basing on how you wrote the article:

        “Okay, I’ll let the market be the judge of how good films are. Our current market states that films such as Enteng are good. Therefore, Enteng and co. are good films.”

        Now I am left wondering why you said these films are bad. It’s the market that decides after all, right? Therefore let them win all the awards they can!

        Citizen Kane, when it was released, was widely panned because there is no market for a film criticizing the biggest media magnate in the land then. Now tell me what the greatest American film, as stated by the AFI, is, and I’ll send a letter of complaint there because the market decided Citizen Kane is a bad film, by God!

        My last note: complaining only does public good if you propose solutions to the problem, not just whine about it. A very happy new year to you, Ma’am.

        1. @J

          Hay naku. Please lang, you are missing the point again. What I meant was, I am not a paid film critic. Which means, I don’t get paid to watch all the films in the cinema. If I were a film critic, of course I will watch all the films. Try not to be a time waster.

          Wow ha. You are comparing some of the indie films here to Citizen Kane. Pleeeease!

          I do have a solution: make better films. Major studios might give you a chance eventually. If not, then there is something wrong with them and there is something wrong with a culture that only celebrates mediocrity. Get it na ba?

        2. “I do have a solution: make better films. Major studious might give you a chance eventually.”

          see, this is your problem. you ASSUME na walang magandang Pinoy film na nagawa recently. kaya ayaw siyang tanggapin ng mainstream studios. this is where you are so dead wrong!!! isang malaking fallacy for you to insist on your point.

          sige nga, to make your point more credible, name 10 films you’ve seen over the past decade that you say it’s pangit. and does not make the audience think. may pinanood ka bang pelikula over the past decade? you must have seen them ha. not heard about it or watched its trailer.

        3. @Alem

          See, this is your problem: you keep insisting on your point of view. If you love the films so much, then go ahead and be happy deluding yourself into thinking that they are good. You can’t force people to agree with you.

          You’re just a time waster.

        4. Don’t label people you don’t understand, or people who misunderstand you, as time wasters. Does it seem I intend to waste your time by wasting MY time writing something which took me ten minutes to do? I am not a film critic, nor do I aspire to be; I am just the same as you when I only watch the films I like. But I respect the process. And I hate it when people miss the point of what independent cinema is.

          I am not comparing the indies here to Citizen Kane. I am comparing THE PROCESS. Since you didn’t get that bit, am I right in assuming that you are also a time waster? (Of course not.) And yes, I do say that there are indie films that are, even though they might not be at par with Citizen Kane, good. Or at least better than what MMFF provides us annually.

          And what purpose does making better films serve if, using your words, “the market” wouldn’t buy them anyway? To them, if it’s not money-generating, it’s not good, let alone better. I think you would have learned by now, given the status of this year’s MMFF, that no major studio would gamble on indies, good or bad, because indies are NOT what the general public want. And to comply with what they want would get our creative vision for the project replaced with the idiotic antics you yourself despise. I think you are familiar with what happened in the production of the Manila Kingpin Movie.

          There is nothing wrong with beef if the general public are brainwashed every day to eat only pork.

        5. @J Mascharilla

          Time wasters are those who use the same arguments over and over.

          I think you already know the point of the article anyway. Obviously, there is something wrong with our culture when in the first place, the major studios do not help distribute so-called independent films. If there are indeed good films out there that do not get the right exposure, then something needs to be done.

          You guys cannot keep praising our culture while blaming the blatant disregard by studio execs for what you consider to be better films. You have to accept that there is something wrong with a society that is happy with the “pwede na yan” films.

          Just look at this commenter, Alem. He keeps insisting that SRR 13 is good. Give me a break.

          Anyway, I have to sleep. I’ll just check your comments when in the morning.

        6. ito lang naman ang gusto kong gawin mo: bago manghusga na pangit ang mga pelikulang ito, PANOORIN mo muna. huwag husgahan dahl hindi nga pare-pareho ang lahat.

          di ko ipinipilit na maganda ang mga pelikula ng Cinemalaya at Cinema One Originals. ang sinasabi ko, manood ka muna bago mo sabihing pangit sila. iba kasi kung napanood mo sila saka sabihing pangit sila. tapos, iginigiit kong maganda sila. iba ‘yun. ang point ko ay panoorin mo muna, bago mo ipagduldulang pangit sila. magkaiba ang sinasabi natin. ang point ko: manood muna bago maghusga. gets?!

          btw, have you seen ANY ONE version of Shake, Rattle and Roll? may napanood ka ba? kahit anong version? 13 na sila ha. may napanood ka ba? di ko sinasabing maganda lahat sila. ang tinatanong ko lang ay may napanood ka ba sa isa man lang sa kanila?

          ‘yun ang point ko. manood ka muna. bago ka manghusga. di sapat na sabihing alam mong pangit kaya di ka nanonood. it’s like saying walang pag-asa ang Pilipinas dahil Pilipinas ito. pero di naman inaalam kung ano talaga ang mga nangyayari.

          so ‘yun lang. manood ka muna. panoorin mo ang alinman sa mga Cinemalaya o Cinema One Originals na may DVD available sa record bar. kung mahal mo talaga ang Philippine Movie Industry, MANOOD KA!!!

          yes, i am wasting my time, telling you TO WATCH!!! watch any. just watch one. i’m telling you and wasting my time telling you this, because i am very passionate about what i am doing and what i am saying. and because it is important for me to enlighten people who have dismissed the movie industry as all bad. because it’s not. but don’t believe me. believe in the films. SO WATCH. okay? WATCH!!!

        7. @Ilda,

          this would also be my last shot since I have class in the morning.

          If using the same argument over and over is a sin, then I am a sinner. But then, according to some, generalization is a sin also. What does that make you?

          Sorry for that offensive question up there. Point is, we seem to repeat the same arguments BECAUSE every debater has a main topic of discussion that is emphasized by using supporting arguments. Surely every person who has participated in a debate knows this.

          We know that there is something wrong with a society that is happy with the “pwede na yan” films. Of course we do; we are the ones in the losing side, after all. Ang masakit lang kasi, Miss Ilda, ay yung condescending tone ninyo na “kung walang market para diyan, pangit yan”. Para na rin kasi kayong nag-condone sa idea na maganda nga ang mainstream trash. Para na rin kayong nag-condone na hanggang ganito na nga lang ang kaya ng ating pelikulang pambansa. And it hurts because you are in a position to help us, by being a writer in this site, and yet it seems that rather REALLY help our cause by helping spread better film appreciation and better film knowledge among your readers, you instead condemn all Filipino films as stupid, and throw us into the mix.

        8. mr. j has a point. it’s not like we aren’t aware of the situation. the fact remains that bigger mechanisms play a larger role in the film industry so where does that put us small-time filmmakers with our films that don’t support the “pwede na ‘yan” insight you say filipinos share

          “Just look at this commenter, Alem. He keeps insisting that SRR 13 is good. Give me a break.” <– smug hipster comment, unnecessary. talk about taking pride in attitude rather than substance. no one's insisting that SRR is good, they're just saying that you should watch it before you make an assessment. you can bash it afterwards. you can't call it a waste of time because you haven't spent a second watching it. diba. a point badly missed.

          what makes a good film for you anyway?

          i think a lot of filipino films suck because the plot is predictable, the effects are shit, the plagiarism is obvious. but i don't go to the extent that all of them are bad. that's not what a critical thinker does. critical thinkers assess the sinews of situations, or maybe you don't have time for that so you just jump to conclusions.

          thus, why not watch some Filipino film that interests you? what interests you in a Filipino film? then don't waste making commentary on something you aren't even interested in.

          supporters don't make you right–they just show that you share common beliefs. the majority can be wrong, and you should know that quite well 🙂

        9. @sky

          no one’s insisting that SRR is good

          Please review the comment thread. Mr Alem has been insisting that our of all the SRR, the 13th was the best.

          I don’t really care if it’s a Hollywood film or a Filipino film as long as it has substance. And you already know what I means by “substance”.

          I don’t jump to conclusions. A lot of people say I’m spot on.

        10. @J Macharilla

          Actually, Ms Ilda is right. Given this is her blog/post, she can comment on it repeatedly to react. However, someone who keeps on insisting the same repeatedly without understanding what someone else is saying is technically a “time waster”.

          I got Ms Ilda post of what “paid” meant. Meaning she has other stuff to do which includes her work, but if her work was being a film critic, then she could happily oblige everyone’s request to watch every movie, indie or mainstream. But sadly, she is not and doesn’t have the time and as such, she is limited to watching films she wants to watch. Emphasis of course on films she WANTS to watch, not what is being TOLD to watch. Cheers!

        11. @Sphynx

          OMG!!! You got what I meant. Some people here took what I said about “not being paid to watch” out of context. They thought I was soliciting money or something. Geesus! And I always thought that filmmakers were smarter than the average schmoe. I seem to be mistaken.

          You are a breath of fresh air. Good to know there are some more sensible people out there aside from the regular commenters here. 🙂

        12. @ Ilda

          I love going to GRP, I actually only found this site 2-3 months ago. I just didn’t want it to be a “flame fest” here and it was really getting irritating.

          I just think, they put too much in your words and it ended up stacking up more and more which caused mayhem to break lose.

          Seriously, I just wish they take in what is being said. If they don’t agree, that’s okay, but don’t add more to what wasn’t said.

          For me, they could have just said that, “I agree with what you said, but I would like emphasize that there are gems in the Philippine scene that I wish more would learn to appreciate.”

          Then we could get into discussion of how they could promote themselves, and it becomes something constructive and helpful for everyone, not bickering and name calling.

          I still wouldn’t go see Indie Film though of whatever origin, unless I was really enticed/interested to find out the whole story or pulled by a family member/friend to go with them. So it goes to show, they need to reach my type of consumer some way if they want me paying to see their film. The question is then how?

        13. @Sphynx

          I really don’t understand why some seem to be offended by the article because most people agree (including them) that the films that get exposure are of low quality.

          They don’t even appreciate an outsider’s perspective and any recommendation on how to increase their audience. It seems like some are letting their emotions get the better of them. I think some people need to work on their ego before we can have a proper dialogue.

  33. “Once in a while we have point missers who visit this site. They let their emotions get in the way of objectivity.”

    Don’t forget the ad hominem trolls. They’re starting to roll in as I type…

    Sad that people don’t realize this article isn’t so much an attack on the movie industry as it is a criticism of the Filipino consumer.

    1. “Sad that people don’t realize this article isn’t so much an attack on the movie industry as it is a criticism of the Filipino consumer.”

      I didn’t see a single instance of THAT point being raised by the author in the whole article… except maybe in one or two replies in the comments section, upon realizing that her article was a pointless exercise and not wanting to outright admit it.

        1. I gnash my teeth whenever people resort to low blows during an argument. You’re not helping the intellectual discussion, mate. You want to defend your side (assuming you’re not just a random troll)? Please do so in a way we’ll all understand.

          Paraphrasing the author, do not let your emotions get in the way of objectivity.”

        2. oh, but i have. check my longer posts way above.

          as for my other one-liners, take what you dish out.

        3. @J Mascharilla

          Actually, the main gripe is the consumer of the mainstream media. And it shows. Just as how it is demonstrated with supply and demand.

          There is a demand for mediocre/bad mainstream films, then the studios will produce it. As such, it reflects on how/what the society is.

          I actually watch some local mainstream media (big/small screen) and it really rattles my brain that I just want to scream. Sometimes for the fun of it, I try to make the story more irrational that it already is to make it fun for the “audience” (me and my sister).

          Sample? Well, apparently getting hit by lighting can cure a hard blow to head that caused you to be mentally retarded. And removal of said “retardation” allows you to keep up with your actual age and not your present mental age. =)

          I think there was also an article by Mr. John Lapuz (I’m not 100% sure if it was him and I can’t find the article), but it basically points to how writers keep on rehashing storylines and how the “masses just eat it all up.

        1. You’re not the only readers of your articles so expect all sorts of opinions coming your way.

          Not to mention that your supposed tirade on the Filipino consumer exhibits how embedded the Western influences are because things that are seen as “Filipino” are taken out of their national context.

        2. Despite the first line and the last paragraph?

          “You’re not the only readers of your articles so expect all sorts of opinions coming your way.”

          Thanks for stating the obvious. Opinions are welcome (clearly).

          “Not to mention that your supposed tirade on the Filipino consumer exhibits how embedded the Western influences are because things that are seen as “Filipino” are taken out of their national context.”

          Western influences?

          Shallow Filipinos patronize shallow movies. I don’t see what’s difficult to understand about that.

    2. Which is why people here are attacking it. And rightly so.
      Simply because it is unjust. It stigmatizes those who support Filipino filmmaking, while its author is being a ****** scoundrel.

      Also, this article is an attack on Filipinos. That is apparent from the very beginning. Is it because Gloria is in jail ?

      1. oh come on “name withheld.” for someone so feeling-righteous (and missing the point obviously) you’re just not equipped with the maturity to handle the core message of this article.

        leave it to your nephew to read and comprehend this for you first, okay? pa-gloria gloria ka pa dyan.

      2. Your argument has gone haywire. We are only talking about Filipino films and you seem to be blaming it again on GMA. Gees…get a grip.

      3. “Which is why people here are attacking it. And rightly so.
        Simply because it is unjust. It stigmatizes those who support Filipino filmmaking, while its author is being a ****** scoundrel.”


        “Also, this article is an attack on Filipinos.”

        Indeed it is.

        Now whatcha gonna do about it?

        “Is it because Gloria is in jail ?”

        Seriously, WTF?!

  34. So true, WTF ang Manila Film Fest. Films that makes it in the mainstream all lacks substance, if not, most probably it’s another story copied from other countries or a plot repeated from time to time. Indie films on the other hand tend to look like porn films, most of them are about sex, homosexuality, prostitution (some have substance, some don’t) films shown sa cinemalaya are the best filipino films. it’s such a shame ln tlga na mas tinatankilik ng masa ang Manila Film Fest. Wala na un magagandang clasics like Magnifico, Anak, Manila by Night, Temptation Island (better un luma, although almost the same ln sila ng remake) etc. Pero somehow I think filmakers are sort of bound to create those type of films. kasi nonsense rip of fantasies, meaningless comedy, sex; are exactly what most filipinos want specially those who belong in the class C and Bellow which makes these type of films marketable.

  35. The way you wrote your article is like writing a thesis paper with as the only source. YOU CANNOT MAKE GENERALIZATIONS ABOUT PHILIPPINE CINEMA WITH ONLY MMFF AS YOUR BASIS.


    1. Lemme quote what auiga said:

      “Sad that people don’t realize this article isn’t so much an attack on the movie industry as it is a criticism of the Filipino consumer.”

      1. Then why is the title “Filipino Films: They Don’t Make Us Think”?

        Is it some sort of deep,ironic,paradoxical article that only those who do not support Philippine cinema can understand?

        1. It talks about mainstream, which qualifies for the majority/most.

          And as some have also pointed out, it also hits the right notes with SOME indie films as well, but again NOT ALL.


        2. Since the author is only talking about the mainstream industry, then “Filipino films: they don’t make us think” should NOT have been the title of this article. This is what caused people to react negatively about this article, fueled by other baseless arguments from the author. And I say baseless because what is an argument without evidence gathered through valid research? And in this case, one form of research will take the form of actually watching the film, and making comments based on what she had gathered by watching that film.

        3. So tell us then. What do you think may be written differently about these movies if for example the writer had actually watched them? Sige nga, tell us what you propose should be written if, for argument’s sake, the writer wrote the article after watching these films.

          I’m betting that it won’t be any different from what is already written in this blog.

        4. @Bulaklak

          fueled by other baseless arguments from the author

          What “baseless arguments?” Please be specific or follow what you preach, kung baga. 😉

    2. and the indiscriminate use of capital letters clearly tells us you’re really not as mentally stable as you think you are.

        1. Funnily enough the only post I saw you make is this:

          “congratulations! the way you butthurt point-missing crybabies are reacting to this post easily illustrates the characteristics of the exact audience da pinoy really is and why da pinoy is fed crap for entertainment.” Essentially, you did the same thing.

          Espousing critical thinking, indeed…

        2. @j. mascharilla: if you’re going to act blind may i suggest you don’t waste people’s time. there’s a longer one. but then again, no use expecting intelligence from someone acting like a blind stump, eh?

          @PhilippineCinemaISGREAT: what do capital letters mean? chest beating? sorry i can’t hear you. speak nicely and you’ll be spoken to nicely.


          Does that make your ego happy?

          Congratulations! In order to respond to you in a way you’ll understand I had to sink to your level. I am ashamed of myself.

        4. could you repeat that i was just sipping a warm cup of tea and i couldn’t hear the sound of your whimpering.

        5. you’re obviously upset. here, have a nice cup of tea.

          (btw, “my level” vs “your level”? that made my day.)

          take what you dish out mister j.
          or miss j.

          (bonus: use your eyes.)

        6. @J Mascharilla: kulang ka raw sa iodized salt. ang talino mag-comment noh? bumabaling sa personalan. huwag mo nang patulan siya. sayang lang ang oras mo.

        7. @Alem It was not time wasted. Thanks to Parallax here I am finally convinced of the infallibility of this article… because its argument about Filipino stupidity pertains to people like him (or her).

        8. @J. Mascharilla: you’re not above the behaviour you so detest. enjoy life in denial.

          @Alem: happy new year, buddy.

  36. I agree with this article. I think it’s about time that mainstream movies focus more on substance rather than special effects. Originality and innovation rather than half-baked rehashes and formulaic plots. I do not have a vast and thorough knowledge of the Philippine cinema industry compared to the other comment posters here, and I am aware that there are lots of brilliant Pinoy films made this year. But the point I would like to put across is that the Pinoy industry should make most of the average Filipino moviegoers appreciate more substantial movies rather than these ones being repetitively seen by everyone. Manila Kingpin is one example of a movie which I think is good. But did a good number of people see it? I don’t think so. The average Filipino moviegoer should be able to see a really good Filipino mainstream movie that was created through art and with resolute passion, and appreciate it with praise that it deserves. How the Philippine cinema industry will do it come hell or high water I do not know.

  37. very true. however, this is a very difficult battle to win from. nagkalat na ang kabobohan sa buong Pilipinas… it will take the unity of the real intelligentsia in order to solve all the problems that we are facing (including what this article says), all of which, is a result of the prevalence of idiocy in this country. nagiging pera-pera na ang labanan. daming bobo talaga. lalo na sa media.

    1. As I wrote further in my book

      Of course it can be argued that the Philippine entertainment industry produces according to public demand (and, itself, is a reflection of the character of our society). But it can also be argued that the Philippine public get what they deserve, as Cruz himself points out. There is only one nugget of insight that can be drawn from this – Filipinos deserve their entertainment industry and the Philippine entertainment industry deserves the Filipino people. Just as there is a sector in Philippine society that is frustrated or even disgusted with the quality of the products of the industry, there are artists within the industry that have given up on producing quality as well.

      However, the fact remains that between the Filipino masses and the captains of the entertainment industry, it is the latter – the producers, studio owners, and artists – who are in a position to be agents of change. This is a bit of an idealistic expectation and a stretch given that we have just about entrusted cultural leadership to private enterprise.

      1. what you cited here is indeed one good way of capturing the state of the film and entertainment industry of this country. i guess i was just being too brash.

        1. it’s not about being harsh in your criticism of philippine cinema. it really boils down to having an enlightened one as opposed to one that makes sweeping generalizations without backing them up with either evidences or better yet, experiences. kung di ka naman nanonood ng pelikulang Pilipino, kahit gaano ka-chaka pa ito, wala kang karapatang tuligsain ito dahil di mo alam kung ano ang pinag-uusapan mo.

        2. @ Alem

          The question is, doesn’t the generalization fall true for mainstream media? Yes or no?

          Your only defense is it is not true for the “indie” films that also abhor the way mainstream approach it.

          So doesn’t that in fact show that the mainstream media does not in fact make us think fall true?

          What I am saying is that, you are all bickering with Ms. Ilda and others of GRP because you believe she hit on everyone when her statement/post hit on MOST not ALL.

          See the difference? And also, you are agreeing inside when it comes to mainstream but because you are hurt that it may have included the “indie” category, you want to deny the whole of the article so you bash its whole credibility, eventhough you yourself tend to agree that mainstream sucks, correct?

          So what then are we arguing about?

    1. Most Filipinos are shallow because they cannot accept criticism. They think they are already great or perfect, which is why they fail to see that there is still a lot of room for improvement in their personality or work.

      Filipinos become emotional when they get criticised. They get very defensive and lose their objectivity.

        1. As long as the critics can back up their criticism intelligently, that is fine. Judging by the way some spew out ad hominem here, it seems that some have a problem rebutting the point of the article.

          When people resort to attacking the writer instead of the message, you just know that they have lost their objectivity.

      1. the article could be longer to be honest and could do less with the general comments on the MMFA servings, on telling us things most people on the internet would already know (or personally, comments and statements I’m already aware of). And I definitely would benefit on research based on why film companies insist on limiting the viewing choices of the viewership and their own perception on their tastes. or rather answering the question, ” do these companies actually know the mental capacity of filipinos to appreciate film (or any other medium)or do they simply stick to what they ‘think’ the filipino audience is capable of.

        the article has a lot of potential, just a bit more focus and less ranting to become very informative.

      2. PREACH. You are exactly right. While Filipinos seem to have an unlimited amount of tongue power when it comes to criticizing someone else’s work, we (and I use “we,” since I also am guilty of this) tend to have the least amount of patience, and as you put it well, get overly emotional and defensive when criticized, be it the biased or the constructive kind. Really pisses me off when I try to give constructive criticism on YouTube towards Filipino-made home videos and I get attacked by the person who uploaded it and the videos’ hordes of defensive Filipino fans–one, they’re putting the video on YouTube for other reasons than sharing; the commenting system is another form of free speech. It just drives me nuts when they get butt-hurt from all the criticism when they should realize that it is a package deal to these social network/sharing sites.

    2. Hahaha i was about to suggest that: to read F. Sionil Jose’s article. My son and i are film addicts. We spend most vacations together watching (sorry) foreign films and american tv series (on dvd). We really enjoy watching them, because we learn something from each film or episode, in the case of a tv series. But if we want to really relax without much effort, meaning pahinga pati brain, we watch Enreng movies hahaha!!!

      1. hi ma’am! if i may suggest, please catch any films in this year’s Cinemalaya from July 20-29, 2012 at the CCP. there may also be a Greenbelt and a QC theater screening. i believe you and your son will not only enjoy the films but will also have much to talk about. lines may be long and some shows may be sold out so i suggest attending the festival earlier in the week. i guarantee you that most, if not all, the films in the festival will be of equal value or even better than the foreign ones you’ve seen. thanks and i hope to see you in CCP.

  38. Sana tayong mga edukado at mas nakakaalam sa katotohanang nangyayari sa bansa ang gumawa ng paraan para mabago ito.

    Let’s all be part of the soultion.

    Arrticles (and websites) like these are not helping at all.

    Hindi na uso ang cynicism sa panahong ito.

    1. But these articles ARE enlightening for Filipinos. The only reason you said that it’s not is because you’re living up with emotion.

      1. Kaya nga patuloy na hindi gumagawa ang Philippine entertainment industry ng mga tila ba hindi pinag-isipang pelikula ay dahil sa kawalan ng “cynicism” eh. Hahahaha

        I would rather call this as a constructive criticism more than cynicism. One must need to hear it in order to outgrew immaturity and stupidity, and believe me… they need it.

        1. In order to give constructive criticism one must first know the constructs involved to know what can be fixed.

          It may be just me, but basing the local film industry solely on the released film is the worst thing to do when criticizing the level of intellect involved.

          So since that’s the only thing apparent, it’s pretty much a good excuse, right?

        2. ok lang talaga ang constructive criticism. pero Chris A, ni hindi nga nila napanood ang current Shake at di nila alam ang mga indie movement sa PInas, paano naman masasabing credible sila? kagabi pa namin silang sinasabihang manood sila ng isa man lang sa mga indie film. isa lang. pero ayaw talaga e. so, ano laban namin? so paano naging constructive iyon?

    2. You agree that the Philippines is unintellectual yet you want to censor out those who say so. That’s quite ironic isn’t it? We have every right to criticize per our freedom of speech, even without helping (we did not sign any contract binding us to be held accountable for these crappy films).

      If we must follow what you said, then an engineering firm, which is being criticized for substandard dams and poor working conditions, may simply shrug it off and say “Your argument is invalid. Go make your own dam. Oh wait you can’t. Fuck off.”

    3. This website is exceptionally helpful to many Filipinos who have the same viewpoint and understanding of what genuine talent and artistry is. I do not believe in calling it cynicism based on the harshness of the criticism used, especially on merits of originality (the COTT Kraken is feeling very offended) and ingenuity (Sotto and delas Alas are delivering old lines from previous moneymaker movies AS VERBATIM).

      To the point: A lot of people who read this may not immediately stand up and do something about it, but there are people who will persist in reclaiming the true quality of Filipino art.

      Kailangan natin mayanig mula sa ating kinauupuan kung nais natin umusad at umunlad.

      1. Kailangan natin mayanig mula sa ating kinauupuan kung nais natin umusad at umunlad.

        EXACTLY! Some people in the industry are so used to getting nods from their peers that they get defensive when they receive criticism.

        1. Brace yourself Ilda…. But some really needs to be shaken… Some should realize that “Hindi sila magaling, mahina lang ang nakakararami”. Best of mediocrity.

          I may not be a film critic but I’ve seen some Cinemalaya films during their earlier years. Still quite far from their CineEuropa counterpart… Strive harder Filipinos…

        2. @Coxy

          Thanks for your comment. No amount of foot stomping by some people can change the fact that their so-called “good” films are not sharing the limelight with the other really good foreign films or even locally made rehashed one. And that says a lot about their work and our culture.

        3. see coxy, we don’t mind being told our films are bad by people who’ve seen it. like for example, you say that the films in the earlier years of cinemalaya are far from cine europe. definitely. and because YOU HAVE SEEN THEM, we would now like to hear what made you say that. which films have you seen that made you say that. in this way, we will grow. and we will learn. and that’s constructive criticism. and i’m really serious about this. what made you say that the films are still inferior that their european counterparts?

          and don’t worry, we will not bite your head for saying negative things about what YOU HAVE SEEN. and not what you have surmised. promise ‘yan.

        4. It will be a dig in hole if we continue to dispute on which films have we watched and this may not be the right site to discuss specific criticism about the film. But for your own dose, I’ve watched “Halaw” last year during my short visit in Mla. I cannot remember the others aside from Kubrador as they were not really remarkable. Most of the plot were good but the quality tends to give Indie film makers an excuse that it is a low budget film. With technology, this shouldn’t be an excuse anymore.

          We should focus on the bigger picture that this blog is trying to discuss. This is to challenge the mainstream film makers to educate the masses by producing better films. And for Indie film makers,I know you guys are striving hard but keep going… We’re still far from making good films like Il Postino, Y tu mama tambien, Elsa Y Fred,Chocolat, Life is Beautiful and the likes…

        5. you’re right coxy. marami pang bigas na kakainin para marating natin ang level ng il postino at e tu mama tambien. kaso, kung kung di tatangkilikin ang mga taong nagsisikat na iangat ang industriya, walang mangyayari. that’s why when we were proposing to the author to watch any of the indie films, and she quickly dismissed our points, that made me thing twice about her sincerity in her blog. she even went to criticize my taste for liking SRR 13, even if she hasn’t seen it. and she went to say so many nega things about the indie films which she does not know anything about. so, that for a lot of us, is problematic. iba kasi ‘yung kagaya mo na nagsabing napanood ko and i didn’t like it. but to blankly say na pangit ang mga ito at di ko kailangang panoorin ang mga ito para sabihing pangit is very ignorant and bratty, if you think about it. that’s really the beef i have with this blogger. i actually agree with what she said. unfortunately, she killed her credibility in how loosely she answered a lot of the questions people from the indie world are throwing at her.

          in effect, she herself cannot accept criticism. and would probably enjoy the likes made by people like her. and outrightly question everyone who questions her writing.

      2. the reason why this article is being branded as plain cynicism is because 1) the blogger has not seen any of the films she his lambasting. (btw, i’m not saying her comments are wrong. i’m just saying she’s not credible in her comments because as i’ve repeated said, she hasn’t seen any of the films.) 2) she refused to accept that there is a sliver, an ounce, a minuscule percentage of good Filipino movies out there. she even went on to call some of these films malaswa even if she has not heard of them or seen them. that’s why she is being branded a cynic. and when she is asked to watch any of these, she goes on to say that it’s either a waste of her time or that she knows naman that these films are ugly. that’s why she is being branded a cynic.

        1. As I mentioned earlier, rather than whine why not provide a persuasive pitch to convince people to see these supposedly great movies. So far all I see is whining about how “unfairly” the indie folk are being treated by the mainstream. Make a pitch. Highlight a value proposition. Otherwise move on to the next project and TRY AGAIN. 😀

        2. dude, simple lang pitch ko. manood ka. manood ka ng kahit isa lang. may listahan akong ibinigay sa iyong post. panoorin mo ang isa kanila. let our work speak for ourselves.

          btw, the whole post/blog is just plain and simple whining. why? kasi she can’t even substantiate her points. kami, alam namin ang faults ng industriya kaya may ginagawa kami about it. kayo, bukod sa pag-whine sa inyong blogs, may ginagawa ka ba?

        3. i think the pitch of most commenters is very clear: they like the movies. these are recommendations from strangers who watch and love movies. i’m baffled by this unshakable wall of indifference from ilda, benign0, and their colleagues, to be honest.

  39. This comment is intended for PARALLAX.

    Parallax, you’re not helping the discussion.

    Why is it when people like “name withheld” post replies that seem to be off-topic, you and everyone else on your side of the argument gang up on him (or her) because according to you, what he posts are irrelevant to the discussion. But why is it when people from our side post meaningful commentaries, you just dismiss our arguments as empty-headed trash?

    I don’t take arguments personally. As you can see I refrain from insulting people based on their side of the argument – when I can. Sadly, you broke my limit, and me take this particular argument personally, as you can now see. Congratulations. I hope you’re now happy.

    1. @J. Mascharilla:

      (1) i’ve been in the discussion, and you found where it is, haven’t you? nobody could rebutt (well, “sky” tried, but unraveled a supporting argument for me), and neither does anyone acknowledge. time to troll trolls then.

      (2) we don’t gang up. we just happen to be aligned.

      (2.1) by the way, i’ve never told anyone his/her post is irrelevant. check it again. use the eyes.

      (3) i don’t dismiss your arguments as empty-headed trash if they ARE meaningful. check my posts again. you’ll even see that i was nice to sky when he/she replied with some emotional restraint (though failed at the end, but then i practiced my restraint because he/she managed to raise an important point).

      (4) pardon me if i broke your limit. take what you dish out. if i pissed you off, maybe you weren’t being entirely proper somewhere in the thread. this isn’t my blog, but i get it. so if i itroll trolls, too bad if it’s you. otherwise we can co-exist. limit or not, i don’t care what any of you do.

      so better read AND UNDERSTAND FIRST before going emo all over the place. (and this i say to everyone of you.)

      1. Funnily enough, when my arguments ARE meaningful, you don’t participate in them. You only participate when I seem to be all berserky, and the only reason for that is because during those cases, you reply like a moron. So if I am guilty for not acknowledging your “longer”, argument-worthy post, then you are also guilty for not reading mine.

        You might not have said directly that our arguments were irrelevant, but your snide comments and provocative insults provide the necessary semiotic clues.

        The fact that an argument is not being acknowledged is not a reason for its author to be a jackass. If you also take time to understand this, there would be no need for people to “go all emo”.

        Please. All I want to do in this thread is to sustain a very intelligent argument, which as I read before is the mission of this very site. If this be denied me, I would leave this site with the impression that all of its members are dicks. All for generalization.

        1. “Funnily enough, when my arguments ARE meaningful, you don’t participate in them. You only participate when I seem to be all berserky, and the only reason for that is because during those cases, you reply like a moron. So if I am guilty for not acknowledging your “longer”, argument-worthy post, then you are also guilty for not reading mine.”

          hey, if you’ve made sense, why should i object? i leave the good points alone. but then, to be honest i was looking for the bad stuff you bring to the table. if you were doing alright i wouldn’t step in and mess it up. like i said, if i find anything you were being a dick about, i will set you straight. and i have. you’re just a glutton for punishment. (and honestly, for my oh-so-very-moronic replies i seem to have put your panties in a twist.)

          “You might not have said directly that our arguments were irrelevant, but your snide comments and provocative insults provide the necessary semiotic clues.”

          well, like i’ve told you (which applies to everybody else), take what you dish out. no use whining about it.

          “The fact that an argument is not being acknowledged is not a reason for its author to be a jackass. If you also take time to understand this, there would be no need for people to “go all emo”.”

          the author wasn’t being a jackass. read the entire thread again and see which people initiated being a jackass. emo ka kasi eh. take what you dish out.

          “Please. All I want to do in this thread is to sustain a very intelligent argument, which as I read before is the mission of this very site. If this be denied me, I would leave this site with the impression that all of its members are dicks. All for generalization.”

          there are all sorts of butthurt dicks who’ve been trolling this site (this article especially), and i don’t see you telling them off or asking them to pipe down and behave. i see you as no different for tolerating them. so tell me again this “all i want to do” thing when you’ve cleaned up your act.


        2. “the author wasn’t being a jackass. read the entire thread again and see which people initiated being a jackass. emo ka kasi eh. take what you dish out.”

          I wasn’t referring about ILDA THE AUTHOR, I was referring to YOU and ME and EVERYBODY WHO CAN WRITE. I believe the word “author” is not restricted to article writers, am I correct? And please don’t misinterpret “WRITE” for the ability to write letters. I was taught that in this site, people who misunderstand are “time wasters”.

          “like i said, if i find anything you were being a dick about, i will set you straight.”

          Setting me straight by using sophomoric and insulting snide comments? You’re just as bad as the producers of MMFF films. Like you, they also don’t give a shit to the people who labor upon their films.

          “there are all sorts of butthurt dicks who’ve been trolling this site (this article especially), and i don’t see you telling them off or asking them to pipe down and behave.”

          Heh, we have different ideas about who’s trolling, then. I am led to think that you believe some of my decent posts are disguised trolling. I wouldn’t be spending eternity arguing with you about our subjective differences, since going by what you did to my attempt to stop our digital battle of wits, you won’t go down without a fight… even if it means attacking my apology.

        3. (1) oh, so sorry. i meant to be a jackass to you. so, no defense there. (hope that saves you time.)

          (2) setting you straight “by using sophomoric and insulting snide comments”? heavens, no. just some tough love, if that means anything.

          (3) “You’re just as bad as the producers of MMFF films. Like you, they also don’t give a shit to the people who labor upon their films.” do the letters E, M, and O mean anything to you? and does it look like you’re doing a good job about making me care about your supposed plight? gooood job.

          (4) “I am led to think that you believe some of my decent posts are disguised trolling. I wouldn’t be spending eternity arguing with you about our subjective differences, since going by what you did to my attempt to stop our digital battle of wits, you won’t go down without a fight… even if it means attacking my apology.” i don’t care what you’re led to think. and you did a poor job at “stopping our digital battle of wits” because you’re wrong at so many levels it cannot be left as the last word (though feel free to reply again, please). regarding attacking your apology, if you’re planning one, let’s see if i do attack it. (you just love to speculate. you need some tea.)

  40. I love to watch Pinoy movies because it is sentimental to me ,but honestly, I think they are shallow and stupid, too much slapstick! But then again, I watch them over and over again!

    I’ve watched independent Filipino films and I think they have more substance than the movies for the “masang Filipino”.

    I hate the fact that Bong Revilla can shoot movies as a Senator while too much shit is going down in our country. How the hell can you shoot movies when the country is in deep sh*t? We’re spending our taxes for him to help run our country while he’s also being paid to act in a movie.. hay mga pinoy talaga, learn to vote wisely..madalas porket sikat and kilala nananalo.

    Don’t judge my grammar. I’m no expert, but i’m sure you get my message. To those hurt from the article, I think you just have to respect the writers’ opinion. If you can’t and think that she’s just being stupid on this article, don’t waste your time debating.

    BTW, I watched most of the MMFF movies, only movie I loved watching was Manila Kingpin. Others were pretty stupid. Just understand too that on the money-making side, shempre most film makers will get the appeal of the masses. Just my 2 cents..yung debate going on here is too much flame. The guy is right, they’re also just commenting as a viewer. I hope we can make better movies that can really compete internationaly..

  41. The critics are missing the point. The point of the article is to provide a general observation of Filipino society. Science does this all the time; observing general characteristics of a group of samples.

    The point of the article is to show that the Filipino society is GENERALLY shallow in terms of the stuff they watch. It so happens that the variable used to come up with this conclusion is mainstream media, which happens to be more or less the face of the Filipino film industry.

    Don’t argue based on emotion. It’s up to you if you want to be offended. If you think indie films are good, why make a fuss over an article that talks about mainstream cinema?

    1. “If you think indie films are good, why make a fuss over an article that talks about mainstream cinema?”

      It’s because in a reply to a post, the author dismissed independent cinema to be just as bad as the mainstream trash screening on Philippine theaters, simply because “no studio takes them; therefore they’re bad”. And that’s the problem. In a film industry where bad films make money, then of course, in the eyes of the public, good films would suck!

      1. And that, I believe, is the point of the article. The bad films make money. People watch bad films. The article simply made a general observation which states that Filipinos, based on mainstream media (which is more or less the face of the Filipino film industry), are generally shallow.

        As I’ve said before, Say’s law states that supply creates its own demand. Thus, what the film industry offers in general is, in general, the reflection of the Filipino taste. I hope you get my point.

        Oh by the way, nice name. Where is your brother, CHRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSS

        1. Hello Albert. :))

          I got your point. I got the point of the article. The only thing I disagree with it is that she’s ranting about the state of Philippine Cinema, while doing nothing about it except complain… when there are many other alternatives to mainstream cinema, indie films for example. Also she dismisses indie as not good simply because the mainstream market does not believe in independent films.

          Your use of Say’s Law is completely free of any other intent than expressing the reason why the market for Philippine films is stupid. When Ilda uses Say’s Law as an argument, she adds that therefore, indies suck for the sole reason that Say’s Law says it is so.

        2. You misunderstand the tenets of Say’s law, Chris. The Say’s law does not describe the QUALITY of the variables. It merely shows the relationship.

          In the case of indie films, the obscurity of indie films reflect the TASTE of the general Filipino populace. It does not say that indie films suck. It says the Filipinos think they suck.

          This corroborates the view of the article that the typical Filipino is shallow. I hope you see my point.

          Oh, and don’t associate Ms. Ilda with my argument. I’ve only validated her article’s logic in my own way.

          By the way, “not being able to do about something” does not nullify your right to complain against it. She simply recognizes the mental bankruptcy of the Philippine majority for buying into the crap that is mainstream media.


        3. THAT’S THE PROBLEM, ALBERT! Yung akala mong argument ko regarding Say’s Law? Yan ang exact argument ni Miss Ilda.

          Sabi niya sa isang previous post: “…if those indie films were really good, it would have an underground following and would eventually catch the attention of the ‘gaya-gaya.'”

          Another one: “You guys can’t insist that something is good when it hasn’t even gone viral. You let the market be the judge of how good a film is.”

          In essence, sinasabi niya na pangit ang mga indie films simply because walang kumukuha sa kanila na mainstream producers. Flawed ang statement na yan dahil hindi pa ripe ang market natin for indie aesthetics (kaya ako agree sa usage mo ng Say’s Law). Sistema ang may kulang, tapos sisisihin ba naman yung marginalized?

          I only repeated what she said. Yan siguro ang namisinterpret mong statement ko about Say’s Law and the QUALITY of the variables.

        4. I see where you’re coming from, actually (although there seemed to be quite a confusion a while ago, so sorry about that). However, your statement now proceeded to the topic about your direct sentiments to the author; something beyond my reach, as I’m not entitled to speak on her behalf.

          Do not think that this is an excuse, because I really am NOT entitled to speak on her behalf. That is all.

        5. I know you’re not entitled to speak on your behalf. I’m just educating you as to the context of the argument, in repayment for you educating me on the point of this article.

          And of course the author is aware of where we’re coming from. All we did last night was to make her aware through our arguments. Sadly she does not take too kindly to being told off…

      2. In other words, I am not in the position to interpret her statements beyond the article. However, within the confines of the article itself, I have held my ground quite sturdily.

    2. “Science does this all the time; observing general characteristics of a group of samples.”

      Mali ata yung intindi mo ng Science. If or when you take up Statistics courses, you’ll understand na not every “sample” is valid to make conclusions and generalizations. At sa science, may logic yung pag-gegeneralize. Yun lang.

      Tama naman na may mga movies sa MMFF na talagang hindi kagandahan. Medyo si Ate Writer kasi, jumping into conclusion si Ate kung mag-generalize tungkol sa Filipino films. And if you’re argument is may right sya na magbigay ng opinyon bilang viewer, pwede mo ring sabihin na may right din ang mga readers to comment against or not against her views dito sa article nya — which is public naman.

      Siguro ang challenge ay: panoorin nya muna yung iba’t ibang uri ng movies para maging valid yung arguments nya. Panoorin nya yung Manila Kingpin or mga Cinemalaya films tulad ng Kinatay, Ang Babae sa Septic Tank. Ganon. Pag mas okay na yung sample nya, saka nya balikan yung topic na ito.

      1. Mainstream cinema and indie films are both films, and can be collectively referred to as such. Since mainstream cinema comprise the majority of the Philippine film industry, the conclusion of the article is sound and legitimate.

        I mean, seriously. You can’t expect people to pinpoint every single exception in their conclusions just to satisfy your ego. The article concludes that Filipinos are GENERALLY shallow. It does not follow that ALL Filipinos suck, or that ALL Filipino films suck. You’re jumping to conclusions.

        I never attempted to revoke your rights to speak, by the way.

        1. I wasn’t jumping to conclusions. Ni-reiterate ko lang yung sinabi nung writer. At bilang dinifend mo yung right ng writer na magsulat ng whatever na gusto nya, dinidifend ko naman yung right ng mga nagko-comment kung bakit hindi sila naga-agree sa kanya.

          As for sa pagdescribe mo ng film, I was not stating just one or two na exception lamang. I am talking about a set of films na may quality talaga gaya na lang ng Lino Brocka at Brillante Mendoza films. Hindi sila exception to the rule ngunit isang grupo ng mga tao na gumagawa ng magagandang film.

          At yung pag-gegeneralize ni Ate, kung gagamitin mo yung science nga na sinasabi mo, it’s a crappy job. You don’t make a conclusion mula sa isang nafeel mo lang na sample.

        2. “At bilang dinifend mo yung right ng writer na magsulat ng whatever na gusto nya, dinidifend ko naman yung right ng mga nagko-comment kung bakit hindi sila naga-agree sa kanya.”

          Uh, yeah. I can clearly see that. Since when did I say I have problems with your right to defend the article’s critics?

          It’s not crappy job, by the way. It’s normal. If you’re faced with 99 samples of which you can extract a solid conclusion, and there’s a single sample that deviates from the rest, what do you conclude?

          You keep on insisting your arguments about the underrated beauty of indie films, but the fact is that the Filipino film industry is:

          G.E.N.E.R.A.L.L.Y bad, as shown by mainstream cinema which comprise the majority of Filipino films.

          You can note about the existence of a deviation from your data, but statistics will tell you that your conclusion will still remain the same; the Filipino film industry is G.E.N.E.R.A.L.L.Y bad.

          When you say that a basket G.E.N.E.R.A.L.L.Y has apples, it doesn’t imply that there are no other fruits there. There’s a possibility that there are a few oranges, bananas, etc.

          Do you see where I’m coming from? You must grasp the essence of generalization and deviation. Generalization does not negate the existence of a deviation.

          Please keep that in mind.

    3. I guess one of the points is…why make it about Filipinos when there are shallow audiences everywhere else in the world. The fact that quality foreign films make money here just goes to show that the Filipino public is not as shallow as you think. When it comes to the producers…it’s also like any other group of producers in the world. there are those who aim to offer social relevance and there are those who merely aim to make money.

      If Enteng had the same kind of effects as Avatar’s, would you still see it as crappy? I think you can figure it out why we can’t have that kind of quality. It’s too expensive.

      1. What makes you think I liked Avatar?

        You don’t need special effects to make quality films. Why limit yourself to films using special effects in the first place? A good storyline and superb dialogue won’t need special effects.

        1. Imagine The Curious Case of Benjamin Button without special effects. Or Inception. Or Harry Potter, even.

          They had amazing storylines and superb dialogue but the special effects made it real.

          Avatar was a good film because of its special effects. It’s pretty shallow if your basis of a good film is solely on storyline and dialogue. When analyzing a film, you have to take note of all the aspects. It was said in an article from the Guardian (UK newspaper) that Avatar was such a milestone in film, it can be put on the same historical page as Citizen Kane, or the Great Train Robbery.

          Also, I’m sorry if the Filipino people are not as smart as you and still enjoy these MMFF films and look forward to them every year. Probably if they had the same level of education as you, maybe they wouldn’t be as shallow. If you want to fix that, help out, instead of ranting. Make your posts substantial and educational, and just maybe we can fix mainstream cinema.

        2. @Just saying

          I just watched the film Blue Valentine last night and it was really good despite not having any special effects.

          Since most people spend a lot of time watching films in the Philippines, Filipino filmmakers can use their films as a tool for educating Filipinos. They can actually influence the behaviour of the people.

        3. You don’t say. Blue Valentine didn’t require special effects in the first place.

          Exactly, good you understand how we filmmakers see our medium. Now, who’s to say filmmakers don’t try to do that? CinemaOne Best Picture Ka Oryang was a way for the director to tell us about Martial Law and re-educate the youth on our country’s history, AND it was done in a feminist perspective. Cinemalaya’s Patikul educated us about the current situation in Patikul, Sulu. So many people were inspired by this film, saying it humanized the situations in Mindanao, it inspired teachers in Manila to really strive because they’re well-off compared to the teachers portayed in the film.

          So I don’t understand how you could say, “They are not even making people think; they are not even stirring emotions or provoking people into doing something with their lives; they are not even inspiring young people to aspire for greatness”

        4. Ok, what else? Just one? Obviously it didn’t make a big enough impact due to the problem in Mindanao still persisting and the new generation still not enlightened.

        5. And obviously, you haven’t been down there to research on its recent situation. Okay, basic thing here: Nothing can be change overnight.

          Also, I gave you two examples, not one.

          Might as well give you another one. That makes 3. Have you heard of Halaw? 2010 Cinemalaya. It’s about human trafficking. It was screened in numerous places in Tawi-Tawi, it received full support government because it raises timely issues in that are relevent to their area. It’s also being contacted by various anti-trafficking NGOs to be screened to help raise awareness on human trafficking.

          Here’s a quick 4, 5 and 6. Bahay Bata was a commentary on the hospitals and lack of government intervention in the Philippines – a good commentary on the RH Bill. Cuchera, a film about drug mules and recruiters going on today. Happyland is about the young kids of Tondo who play soccer – the futkaleros. Very inspiring and eye-opening films.

          Again, how could you have generalized Filipino filmmakers saying that we don’t try to inspire young people, or make emotionally stirring films? I’m a young filmmaker, I’m part of this new generation, now was it right for you to say that I’m not pumped to help our society? Or to say I’m not doing anything to deepen the understanding and appreciation of the Filipino masses? I’m sure there are many more like me. Just because you aren’t inspired by Philippine cinema (which I am very optimistic about), doesn’t give you the authority to go ranting about how you remain jaded and cold towards the developments Filipino filmmakers are trying to make because you refuse to open your eyes to the changes some people are so kind to try and do to our country.

          Help the country out, not rub in its face with your, dare I say, shallow rants. You are a writer, or blogger, whatever you prefer, and you have a powerful medium. Why don’t you also use this as a tool for educating the Filipino people and influence the behaviour of the Filipino people – for the better.

      2. “I guess one of the points is…why make it about Filipinos when there are shallow audiences everywhere else in the world.”

        Oh, it’s the monkey-see-monkey-do argument.

        “The fact that quality foreign films make money here just goes to show that the Filipino public is not as shallow as you think.”

        The fact remains that local mainstream movie producers make shallow movies and said shallow movies earn big bucks. Why?

      3. The fact that quality foreign films make money here just goes to show that the Filipino public is not as shallow as you think

        You are basically saying that there is a demand out there for quality films but the filmmakers would rather make crappy ones. That still says a lot about our culture: we celebrate mediocrity or “pwede na yan” workmanship.

        1. “Open your close mind. Close your open mouth.”
          I wish you a Happy New Year and I hope you can consider the suggestions and comments of the film makers and film enthusiasts who commented on your blog and not just relying on your own beliefs. Its practically a right vs. right situation but you need not say things about what you haven’t watched or got enough information about. Research babe. It’ll not do you wrong. I kid you not.

    1. Sorry, makasabat lang. Natuwa ako sa mga comments dito hehe! Actually, mas may entertainment value pa nga ito kesa panuorin si Kris Aquino making her tired monotonous scary-gulat faces sa Segunda Mano (one of the MMFF entries).

      Tapos parang Kris aquino lang tong si Manay blogger Ilda. As in, parang Kris Aquino lang, basta lang may masabi ng ‘di pinag-iisipan, para lang pag-usapan. 🙂

      Naku ‘teh, sorry wag na wag mong makanti-kanti si Alem (producer ng Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa) at si Jerrold Tarog (loved him since his Carpool short film days), hanggang hindi pa naipapalabas yang sinasabi mong action film na gusto mong gawin, at habang hindi mo nililista yung top 10 films mo this 2011, wala kang K mag-generalize tungkol sa Philippine Cinema. Che!

      But i still love you for the entertainment value, ‘te! keep it up 🙂 para may sense ang susunod na article mo, manood ka naman ng Pinoy films. malay mo, pag nanood ka, e tubuan ng sense ang pinoy cinema (i know it does not follow, pero ewan ko, nahawa lang siguro ako sa’yo? hehe)

      Gonna wait for your action film ha! Will comment after, pramis, AFTER. hindi before. 🙂

  42. I think that a distinction between Indie and Mainstream films should be noted here. The whole of the Filipino Film industry is not too bad. Note Brillante Mendoza, Auraeus Solito, Lino Brocka and so many other brilliant filmmakers in the past and present.

  43. The comments posted by the “blogger” in response to the people who questioned her blog post’s substance (or lack thereof, based on other comments posted above) has just proven why she should not be writing in the first place.

    I won’t comment on how the text was written or how it was or was not researched before it was posted. I’ll save my piece for the “blogger” who posted this text.

    Ilda, notice that I referred to your material as mere “post” or “text” and to you as a “blogger”. I can’t bring myself to call what you created as an article or a reading material at the very least. I also cannot bring myself to call you a writer, because I think you chose the wrong field. A lot of writers are misunderstood, but the true ones never attack the intelligence of their critics (at least not publicly). What separated you from Benigno (who’s also defending your text) is class. At least Benigno’s responses to comments are based on what other people said and not on assumptions of who they are.

    One piece of advice: since you can freely post whatever text you want online without judgment, please extend the same courtesy to those who would like to say their piece. If you can’t give us that opportunity, then maybe start thinking of something else to do that won’t generate opinions from others. Try being a hermit.

      1. call it whatever you want. just give the people here the opportunity to say what they want to say without questioning whether or not what they’re saying has consequence to your “text’s” point.

        1. @Marked man

          Do you have a point at all? It seems you are just good at attacking the writer and not the message.

          BTW, a blogger is someone who “writes” entries on blogsites. So I have no problem with you calling me a blogger. It does not change the fact that you cannot address the point of the article.

      2. So does Parallax’s, and by extension my comments, now that you come to think about it.

        Person gives you advice on how to write, you dismiss said person as irrelevant. Okay good luck with accepting constructive criticism.

      3. “How do these filmmakers sleep at night knowing that they are not really creating a work of art but just copies of some other people’s work? They are not even making people think; they are not even stirring emotions or provoking people into doing something with their lives; they are not even inspiring young people to aspire for greatness”
        Ouch. Well, this is pretty personal.

  44. You can ask if she has watched it, but her answer will in no way discredit or strengthen the arguments encapsulated in the article. The question, while harmless, is a red herring.

    My friend, Say’s Law states that “supply creates its own demand.” It’s a legitimate economic principle. This simply means that the products more or less reflect the demands of the consumer, and vice-versa.

    From this principle, we can formulate a general observation of Filipino society. Mind you, general. As I’ve said before, science always does this; stereotyping and generalizing.

    The evidence in the article’s assertion lies in that very principle. The Philippine market reflects the Filipino taste. More or less.

    So far you guys have been emotionally driven in an unhealthy. You have been eager in bashing and ranting, when your points hardly clash. The article talks about mainstream cinema; you guys talk more about indie films. I hope you see my point.

    It’s not good to see your peers swearing, by the way. Whether you like it or not, it ruins your collective credibility.

    1. *unhealthy way

      This comment seems misplaced (must be an internet bug), so I’ll just let this comment address all the critics.

    2. The article talks about Philippine cinema IN GENERAL. The funny thing is that the author seems not to have thought about independent cinema, perhaps even dismissed it as not being part of the whole Philippine cinema, as she was writing this piece. That’s what makes this article a magnet for your so-called “emotionally-driven”, “bashing” and “ranting” representatives of the indie scene.

      1. The article describes modern Philippine cinema in general using the general “face” of the Philippine film industry; the mainstream cinema. The problem is that you tend to associate indie films with mainstream cinema as though they are one, when the article didn’t allude to indie films in the first place. This conjures the illusion that the article bashes the good Filipino indie films, when it’s just making a general assumption of the Filipino society based on what the typical Filipino watches; mainstream media.

        As I keep on telling you guys, it’s up to you if you’ll take this article as offensive material.

        1. This misinterpretation of the article by the critics brought forth their emotionally-driven rants.

          You see, the indie-film-centric arguments of the critics hardly clash with the article’s, because they tackle different subjects.

          The article formulates a general observation of the Filipino society using a tool which more or less encompasses the typical Filipino’s taste; the mainstream media. This methodology is validated by Say’s law, since supply creates its own demand. In other words, what we have in our market is more or less the reflection of what people want.

          From this point, it is valid to conclude that the Filipino taste is generally shallow within the context of mainstream media, which happens to be the de facto “face” of the Filipino film industry.

          The article then proceeded to criticize this “face” our industry donned, because it degrades the quality of the Filipino culture.

        2. I’ll just reiterate:

          People are offended not because nalito sila kung tungkol ba to sa mainstream o sa indie. It is because indie films were not taken into account when this article was written – therefore, nadamay sila sa generalization na naganap. Even Ilda and benignO said as much.

        3. Which brings us back to my earlier point; it’s up to you if you want to take it as offensive material.

        4. Careful, Albert: baka mabansagan ka nilang “time waster” kapag paulit-ulit mong sinasabi mga argumento mo.

        5. I’m not exhausting my arguments. It’s just that the situation calls for me to reiterate one of my points. Re-emphasizing an argument is not scrapping the bottom of the barrel, as long as the deed is justified rationally.


    3. dear mr albert wesker:

      since you seen to be more rational in your comments, i want to show you why my posts are less emotional but more logical.

      “Are you actually saying that Shake, Rattle and Roll was good? If you are, then that says a lot about your taste. And since I don’t share your preference in films, what makes you think I will like the other films that you’d recommend?”

      so my question to her kasi was napanood ba niya. how can she judge my taste as bad if she hasn’t seen this year’s version.

      “Besides, if those indie films were really good, it would have an underground following and would eventually catch the attention of the “gaya-gaya”.”

      again, she’s making generalizations na mali. i wanted to prove that so i posted on my FB wall and on an FB group her article. and look at the comments from these people. see, she’s making assumptions and generalizations na mali. she’s claiming na walang following ang indie at ang mga indie film fests.

      “If something is good, the news about it will travel fast and more people will demand to see it. Even the “greedy” producers will be willing to spend money on promoting it. If there are indeed “good” films as you claim, then what happened? The answer is simple, they weren’t good enough.”

      so her assumption is that these films are not good enough to be distributed. that’s why i keep insisting has she seen them? and as you can see, this is already about indie films and not just mainstream.

      “If your so-called Indie film is not included in the Manila Film Festival, our version of the “Oscars”, then that says a lot about your film – it’s probably not good enough and there’s something wrong with people who run the Philippine film industry. And more importantly, there is something wrong with the audience.”

      see here’s the problem, in proving her point, she also disparages other groups. in the first place, she claims that getting into the Metro Manila Film Festival is the be all and end all of good Philippine cinema. it’s NOT!!!. but she goes on in insinuating that indie films are not good enough because they’re not accepted in the MMFF. that’s the problem.

      see, ok lang naman to assert what you think she’s asserting. but does she have to insult everyone along the way? that’s probably what irked a lot of people and rubbed them in a wrong way.

      again, i want to insist on this: MANOOD KAYO!!! lalo na kung alam n’yong maganda ang isang pelikula. kayo ang may disposable income to change the system. so WATCH!!! support what is good. that’s all i want to say. and please, before making judgment and generalizations, manood muna kayo. bakit, may scientist bang gumagawa ng generalizations without conducting an experiment first? so kung di kayo manood, then people can question your credibility in making generalizations.

      1. Your sentiments go directly against the author rather than the article. My reason for being here is to dispel the apparent misunderstanding between the emotionally-driven critics and the message the article wants to impart.

        I am not in the position to answer that post of yours. Only Ms. Ilda can fully respond to your questions.

        1. that’s the problem. you seem to know what the author’s intentions are. but based on her comments (on negative reactions of readers), it reveals her faults as well. so, inasmuch as you accuse us as being emotional, may point din naman ang mga nagpo-post ng negative reactions dito. hindi porke’t di kami naniniwala sa post n’yo e sasabihan n’yo na kaming nagiging personal, mapagmura at emotional. kasi, may gumagawa rin naman niyan sa mga sumasang-ayon sa inyo.

          so, again, maganda sana ang punto niya, kung ang mga napili niyang sample ng pelikula ay ‘yung mga karapat-dapat na laitin. kahit sinong scientist na gagawa ng assertion o generalization, di ba’t maganda ring tanungin sa kanila kung ano ang basis nila? and from there, we judge their generalization as credible or not. in this case, nawala ang credibility niya sa hindi niya panonood ng mga Pinoy film. ‘yan lang naman ang hinihingi ng iba rito e. magbigay kayo ng pelikulang napanood niya an pangit. at hindi ayon lang sa mga sabi-sabi ang paghirang na pangit ang mga ito. (marami sila ha so hindi ito trick question. hinahanap ko lang ang kredibilidad ng blogger na ito sa kanyang mga generalization).

      2. I have been arguing solely on the contents of the article, and I’ve defended its logic quite well.

        Now, since your issues concern the author specifically, I am no longer legitimate to address your questions. I invoke my right not to speak.

        I didn’t say you’re emotional because you don’t agree with the article. I said so because most of you misinterpreted the article and went swearing and stuff like that.

        Once again, I reiterate my position; my arguments are limited to the article alone. I am not in the position to outright justify Ms. Ilda’s statements.

        1. nawala post ko. or di ko lang mahanap. uulitin ko. eniways, here goes…

          ayon sa artikulo mismo:

          Take the 13th instalment of Shake, Rattle and Roll, and ask: What else can people expect to get out of it? Not much, obviously. People are probably watching it for the eye candy. Every year the film features starlets parading and pouting for the camera hoping to look cute enough to win an award. That’s right. Talent in acting is not really a criterion for winning an acting award in the Philippines.

          how can she judge SRR13 as such if she hasn’t seen it. see, that’s my point, really. inasmuch as her assertions are correct, the points she raised to prove her assertions have been baseless. why? dahil di naman pala niya napanood ang Shake tapos kung anu-anong generalization na ginagawa niya. so, ganito ba ang pagiging “scientific” sa pagbuo ng generalization.

        2. Dude, I’m not the right person for you to tell all of that. My purpose is restricted to clarifying the message of the article. Tell those stuff personally to Ms. Ilda. :/

        3. i already did, but she just called me as someone wasting her time kasi paulit-ulit lang ako. unfortunately, she’s not answering my questions and keeps making these assertions. simple lang ang tanong ko. napanood ba niya ang Shake. oo o hindi. pero kung anu-ano na ang sinasabi niya.

          ngayon, tinatanong na KITA MISMO. IKAW? ano ang iyong palagay. tama ba na gumawa ng assertion tapos ang ginamit na halimbawa ay hindi pala substantiated. so bale, tama ba ang paggamit niya sa mga pelikulang binanggit niya bilang walang katuturan nang di naman pala niya pinapanood. scientific pa ba ito? tinatanong kita as a defender of this article.

        4. What kind of impression will twelve mediocre SSR films give you?

          What kind of pattern can you discern from films which are amalgams of prior mediocre films?

          The article discerns a pattern; it formulates a prediction based on the films’ trailers, marketing and history. And discerning patterns as well as drawing inferences from them is a scientific process.

          Empiricism is not the only source of knowledge, you know. After all, you don’t determine the properties of a black hole by going in it.

          My point is, just because you haven’t watched the film, doesn’t mean you’re completely incapable of producing a sound judgment.

          Ilda’s assertion is quite substantiated enough to make an inference.

        5. “Empiricism is not the only source of knowledge, you know. After all, you don’t determine the properties of a black hole by going in it.

          My point is, just because you haven’t watched the film, doesn’t mean you’re completely incapable of producing a sound judgment.”

          nobody could have said it better. thank you, albert.

        6. 12 mediocre SRR? see, that’s your problem e. may napanood ka ba ng kahit 1 SRR? kasi maraming SRR episodes na maganda. lalo na ‘yung first.

        7. My point is, just because you haven’t watched the film, doesn’t mean you’re completely incapable of producing a sound judgment.

          this would be true if the author said “the trailers are bad, and the marketing is bad, and I’m not interested in watching the films.” but she said “the films are bad.” (i’m paraphrasing, of course.) or “the films don’t make us think.” there’s a big difference. one is sound reasoning, the other is jumping to conclusions.

        8. @Alem: I won’t question your personal tastes.

          @thebaklareview: If you’ll read the contents of the article, you’ll see that it’s actually of a speculative nature. The author EXPECTS that the movie will be bad, based on the unsatisfactory history of MMFF. I’ve explained earlier that such inference is sound. Now, if you’ll raise quotes from the author in the comments section, then don’t bother, as I’m not supposed to interpret them without her consent.

          The title is meant to be provocative and eye-catching. Proof? All of you (no offense).

        9. You’re very gallant to be an avid defender, Mr. Wesker. Congratulations, then, to you and Ilda for an article that’s speculative and offense-seeking.

          (By the way, I’m not offended. If not for the topical discussion, I rather thought the article itself was empty and ineffectual.)

        10. Another red herring. And you expect me to take you seriously?

          Stick to rebutting the points of the article.

        11. The fact that you are sad means you are taking all this too personally. Chill. Read the article again and you might feel better. 😉

    4. By the way, Economists do not see people as individuals rather than just mere numbers. I suggest for you to read Anthropology (lalo na Economic Anthropology) — there’s a whole argument in that field na hindi tayo pwedeng basta-bastang mag-generalize tungkol sa human behaviour lalo na pag nag-iisa lamang ang sample natin.

      1. Which is why it’s explicitly stated that the conclusion in the article is based on the tastes of the majority of Filipinos when it comes to movies.

        Haven’t you noticed that we’ve been arguing WITHIN the context of the article’s central point, which is the G.E.N.E.R.A.L mediocrity of the Filipino film industry?

        The methodology employed by the article is like evaluating a portion of human behavior based on his eating habits. A man eating mostly vegetables can be considered to be disciplined, since he manages to abstain from eating meat. You get the point.

        In this case, the mediocre nature of the majority of mainstream films and how most Filipinos buy into such films tell us one idea: that most of the Filipinos must have somewhat mediocre taste in films.

        It is true that you can’t fully characterize a population’s true behavior if you have few bases, but are we doing such thing here? The article merely pointed out a prevailing nature in the Filipino society (mediocrity in taste), but does it encompass the entirety of the Filipino personality?

        In determining the entirety of Filipino behavior, we must consider the socio-political background of the Filipino society, the market structure, the literacy rate, unemployment, hunger and crime rates, prevailing cultural trends, and a whole bunch of factors; is this what you actually want? You want a dissertation?

        Besides, pursuing this line of reasoning will defeat your purpose, since you will start to argue beyond the context of this debate, so abandon that path as soon as possible. Friendly advice. ^^

      2. The point of the article is to give us a glimpse into the Filipino behavior within the bounds of the film industry, and it has served the purpose well.

  45. @Ilda: You should watch Jerrold Tarog’s Mangatyanan. It’s really good. And Tulad ng Dati by Michael Sandejas. I’m sure there are other good indie films in the Philippines, which I really want to watch but I don’t know where to find them as I wasn’t able to catch them in the cinema. Hope they would release DVDs.

    Oh btw, I’ll treat you to one movie in the next Cinemalaya (sorry, that’s all I can afford). 🙂

    1. PS.Maganda rin daw pala yung Sayaw ng Dalawang Paa (sabi ng friend kong nagtuturo ng literature) kaso didn’t have the chance to see it. 🙁

      Saka nga pala, seryoso akong ililibre kita ng isang movie sa Cinemalaya. Para lang ma-experience mo.

      Peace out.

      1. hi kert! i’m actually offering to give her a festival pass for the whole festival e. kaso, mukhang matigas talaga ang ulo. kung ano lang ang gusto niyang isipin, ‘yun lang ang kanyang paniniwalaan. pero salamat sa special mention. hehe!

        1. @Alem: No worries. Yung friend kong nagtuturo sa Ateneo lagi nyang minimention sa conversations namin yung film na ‘yon. Sadly, didn’t have the chance to see it. Hindi maganda ang class schedule ko last sem. 🙁

          As for author na ito, siguro talaga kung seryoso sya sa mga sinusulat nya ay manonood sya ng kahit isa man lang na film sa Cinemalaya (free pass na nga sya sa buong festival eh. Swerte).

          @Ilde: Ano bang tipo ng tao yung pinapaniwalaan mo? Yung nanonood ng Oscar’s? Halos napanood ko na rin po iyon. French films? Sorry, but I prefer the depth of Japanese films. Karapat-dapat na ba akong magsabi sa iyo na manood ka ng Cinemalaya? Actually, ang swerte mo nga eh. Bibigyan ka na ng free pass.

          Sige po, I shall move on with my life.

  46. maganda pa ung mga pelikula nina tito vic and joey at ung mga ginawa ni dolphy.. tae mga artista ngyn puro papogi nlng wala na ung mga natural..

    1. naku xyrus! mukhang walang napanood na TVJ o Dolphy film ang mga nagsusulat dito. kasi para sa kanila, pangit lahat ng mainstream films. case closed. napanood man nila ang mga ito o hindi.

  47. Ilda, salamat sa iyong pagsubok na gamitin ang iyong posisiyon bilang manunulat upang ipamulat sa madla ang kasalukuyang estado ng industriya ng pelikula sa Pilipinas. Salamat, ngunit alam na ng karamihan ng “cultural elite” iyon, alam na ng mga intelehente at edukadong minorya sa bansa.

    Matagal na tayong tapos sa ganyang moda, ang tanong ngayon, kung hindi ka mapalagay sa nakakalungkot na estado ng MMFF at mainstream na mga palabas, paano mo gagamitin ang kapangyarihan mo bilang manunulat upang MABAGO ang estadong ito? May responsibilidad ka bilang kasapi ng media dahil sa readership ng getrealphilippines blog niyo; kung maglalabas ka ng artikulong nagra-rant lamang, hindi ba katulad ka rin ng mga pelikula ng MMFF? Ang sinusulat mo ay “rip-ff,” “copy of other people’s work,” tulad ng sinabi mo tungkol sa mga palabas sa MMFF; mga nabasa na ng iba mula sa ibang manunulat. Kung seryoso ka sa responsibilidad mo bilang blogger, ano ang bagong masasabi mo tungkol sa estado ng mga pelikulang mainstream ngayon?

    Alam na naming lahat na kaawa-awa na ang mga pelikulang isinusubo sa masa. Ang tanong, ano ang gagawin mo para mabago ang sitwasiyon?

    Hindi ba, kung inuulit mo lang ang alam na ng karamihan, ang komento mo ay katulad rin ng mga “rip-off” na “stuff that you can discard after one use?”

  48. Ilda, sana sagutin mo ang mga puntong nabanggit nina j magsaysay at alem. Di ko na siguro kailangang icopy and paste pa sila dahil nasa taas naman. I am very curious to see what your response will be kasi they raised valid points.

    Magcocomment lang ako sa sinabi mo sa isang nagcomment suggesting you watch indie films. Nasabi mo na hindi ka naman manonood ng mga ito kasi they don’t interst you or meron ka ring nasabi na hindi ka naman binayaran para panoorin sila. Una, sayang naman, kasi they (meaning the commenters) had the good intention of showing you quality Pinoy films. Pangalawa, bakit kailangan bayaran ka? Pangatlo, nakita mo na ba yung trailer ng mga nasuggest sayo na films para masabi mo na they don’t interest you? hindi kita inaaway dito. I’m just hoping na you’d think again and maybe take the suggestion of the commenters.

    Para sa mga nagkukumento na emo ang mga bumabatikos sa artikulo, nagkumento ang mga taong ito dahil may nais silang iparating sa gumawa ng artikulo, and they were passionate enough to type what they were thinking na sana binasa talaga ng may akda at hindi lang dinisregard just because they don’t agree with her.

    Kung sasabihin niyo na this comment of mine is missing the article’s point, no need. Ang kumento ko ay patungkol sa ibang isinulat ng may akda at iba pang commenters sa comments pages. Hopefully pwede naman yon.

  49. bakit kahit anong anyaya namin sa inyo na manood ng Cinemalaya, Cinema One o Cinemanila, wala sa inyong, pro-Get Real Philippines supporters ang gusto kaming patulan sa aming offer? bakit takot na takot kayong mapatunayang meron din namang magagandang indie film? bakit may allergy kayo sa mga taong nag-iisip ng matitinong paraan para mabago ang sistema. (kahit matinong gay film na hindi n’yo pandidirihan, meron din ‘yan. dahil hindi naman poke’t may kabaklaan, kasuklam-suklam at kasuka-suka na siya e. promise!)

    bakit din, bilang mga intellectual elites na may disposable money, bakit wala kayong ginagawa para tulungan ang industriya? di n’yo man lang alam kung ano ang Cinemalaya? (sa CCP pala siya ginaganap tuwing July.) na may mga pelikulang gawang Pinoy na pinararangalan abroad pero di naipapalabas sa Pinas. at nilalangaw pag pinapalabas sa sinehan. kung may concern talaga kayo sa Philippine cinema beyond ranting and criticizing about them, sana may gawin kayo concretely. and one thing you guys can do is to help promote quality Filipino films and support them. there are a lot of us out there trying to change the system. and we don’t need nega people like you to mock ALL of us. and call our films malaswa. evan if you’ve never seen any of them.

    kanina ko naisip na tigilan ang pagpost dito. pero 4am na e. at andito pa rin ako. siguro, nanaig ang pagiging guro ko. at sana, sa dinami-dami ng mga ni-raise kong puntos dito, may ma-convince man lang akong isang nagbabasa ng blog na ito na manood ng isang Cinemalaya film ngayong Hulyo, i’ll be a happy camper. pero hangga’t di ninyo inaamin na sinulat ninyo ang artikulong ito na may kaunting pagkukulang sa inyo part to help the industry, di ko kayo tatantanan. unless siguro kung i-ban n’yo na ako.

    1. Di rin ako makaalis dito Sir Alem. haha. Benta kasi di rin ako nakatulog.

      Okay lang din saking i-ban niyo ako, wag niyo lang burahin posts ko. Mas dadali buhay ng mga kapanig ko by not having to repost everything I said. 🙂

      1. di ko talaga ma-gets ang allergy ng blogger sa panonood ng indie film. tuloy, nagmumukha siyang isang petulant brat na ayaw makinig sa mga sinasabi ng iba. although ako ‘yung na-brang as time waster. e gusto ko lang naman malaman ang sagot sa unang 2 tanong ko. sa dinami-dami ng nilakbay niya, di pa rin niya sinasagot ang aking 2 tanong. though nainsulto na ang ating komunidad nang katakot-takot. ganoon ba talaga maging REAL? get real don!

    2. Well, I got a simple answer, and it reflects on myself as well.

      Even if I’m invited, even for free, if I don’t feel like watching it, I won’t.

      I’m not drawn to it and therefore, why should I spend my time sitting through something I did not like to begin with.

      This applies not only to local movies, but also to foreign films as well.

      For Mr. Alem and Mr. J, I do not watch indie films really as they do not draw me in to watch me, be it local or foreign. And no, just because it is foreign, doesn’t mean I will watch it. Also, no, effects are not a draw to me.

      For the record, I also did not like Transformers DOTM. I only liked the first one. I liked the first Matrix and not the rest. See my point?

      I watch what I want to watch, simple as that. As it is my time and no one else’s and I will choose how I spend it not because some one tells me to, unless of course it is work related (ordered by boss).

      So I think, you have to respect Ms. Ilda’s wishes if she doesn’t want to go see the films, unless you give her a reason to.

      One is, do you have trailers she could skim through and see whether or not a movie may interest her? That goes the same for everyone else here, do you have trailers for the next indie film festival that maybe people here can look at prior to the film festival as part of your exposure campaign?

        1. Ay ganon po pala? Sana po kung hindi nyo naman po pala talaga trip yung mga Indie films ng Pilipinas sana po hindi na lang kayo nagblog tungkol sa Philippine Cinema.

          Hindi ko po maimagine ang sarili kong magbibigay ng isang article against, kunwari, snuff films ng Japan na hindi ko naman talaga alam kung anong laman ng mga movie bilang ayoko syang panoorin. And therefore, hindi ako makakapagbigay ng generalization tungkol sa Japanese film dahil hindi ko marerepresent ang bawat aspect nito.

      1. hi sphynx!

        ang problem ko lang naman sa kanya ay hindi niya alam ang mga sinasabi niya. may mga magagandang pelikula, mainstream or indie. halimbawa, last year, ang ganda-ganda ng RPG: Metanoia. it’s one of the best animation i’ve seen in years, foreign or local. i even dare say that it’s the Philippine animation i’ve seen. it was “mainstream” film dahil kasali siya sa MMFF. pero kung sa tingin nina Ilda at ibang tao rito na porket Pinoy film ay pangit, di na nila ito panonoorin, e wala talagang mangyayari. so ang sinasabi lang ng ilan sa mga indie community ay simple lang. bigyan sana ng pagkakataon manood, kahit isa lang sa mga pelikulang ito at huwag sanang sabihin agad na waste of time siya kahit wala ka naman na kaalam-alam tungkol dito. in short, paano mo nasabing pangit ang last Transformers kung di mo naman ito napanood? di ba, kung gagawa ng opinyon, make sure na enough knowledge ka about it.

        ngayon, ito ang mga trailer na hinihingi mo. i’m sure di nila ito panonoorin dahil pangit ang mga pinoy for them. but for your sake, i wish to check them out. tinitiyak kong marami pa rito e.

        trailer ng RPG Metanoia: ang favorite scene ko sa pelikula ay ‘yung paglalaro ng iba’t ibang larong pinoy like patintero, tumbang preso, etc.

        ito ‘yung nanalo sa Busan this year: Nino. it’s a black comedy on the state of Philippine middle class families. as you can see, it features the countries top cinematic and theatrical actors.

        ito ‘yung Babae sa Septic Tank: it’s already spoofing the indie film industry. in other words, meron nang ka-ispoof-ispoof about it dahil marami nang developments about it. hindi siya fly-by-night.

        Dinig Sana Kita: love story ito between a deaf guy and a rocker chick who’s losing her hearing.

        6 Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay: it’s a mockumentary about an “extra” in horror films.

        2 of my own films:
        Ang Panggagahasa kay FE: it’s co-produced with the Women’s Crisis Center that deals with violence against women but we infused Philippine folk lore and a little horror into the story.

        Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa: we used feminist poetry to discuss issues about third world artists and homosexuality.

        ito by Jerrold Tarod, director of episode 2 of SRR13: Confessional. mockumentary rin tungkol sa isang interview ng isang pulitiko.

        marami pa akong pwedeng ipakita sa iyo. if you’re interested let me know. pero ang point lang kasi, huwag lahatin until you’ve done your research and actually know what you’re talking about. make generalizations if you know enough.

      2. Right. I don’t watch something that doesn’t interest me either. But see, you and I didn’t write this article. Ilda did. I believe there are requests for her to watch films because we want to read articles by writers who are less ignorant.

      3. @ Alem

        It peaked my interest a bit. I have also heard of RPG Metanoia. But I was saddened by the framerate/”lag”. I want to think that it is possibly due to compression of the video but I think it is less than 30fps, maybe even lower than 24 fps.

        Second, I am turned off by voice actors who “dub” rather than act it out. I know, it’s still relatively a fledgling industry here compared to other countries, but I am after quality in that as well.

        My example is simple. Take DragonBall Z. compare Japanese voice acted against the american dubbed garbage. You clearly see the difference in how the voice actors “portrayed” their characters. There are also low quality dubbed American media so I don’t care to watch it as well. It ruins the experience for me, you are supposed to ingest both audio and video at the same time. If one is not in unison with the other than it is ruined for me.

        I have gripes about these CG stuff because I have seen quite a lot, some resort to “Silent short films” because they know they can’t do it with the proper voice acting, but you can clearly see the message. This is of course, not limited to the digital shorts of Pixar and/or Dreamworks, but independent animators from all over the world. You can actually see their works as their thesis from Film Schools posting it on youtube and they are great. Some aren’t as good, but good nonetheless. A sample is VancouverFilmSchool, you may also want to consider looking at the CG short/movie Sintel that was done for free using the free 3d software Blender. I compare the shorts/trailers against these works by students or independent endeavors by groups or individuals and I feel the local ones still fall short, even with funding from big studios. So I’m sorry, but I still feel we lag in that regard. There was even an issue with the Hoodwinked movie that I came across. I have read quite a few gripes about it, and this was supposedly done and animated locally as well for international release.

        I watched the movie and it was ok. So you can at least know RPG Metanoia wasn’t the only full feature film that was done in 3d.

        I do have some gripes about it’s animation quality as some have said that Toy Story 1 is even more “fluid” than it (which I noticed) but it didn’t bug me as much.

  50. Well-written, Ilda! And I wholeheartedly agree with you. This is sad but true; Ignorance pervades the nation, and art of films is broken into a doggerel garbage. I’m probably going to write an article in response to this on . Add me on FB, man- facebook/hyperviper . Keep writing the truth. Good job

  51. LOL… Parang Mainstream VS Indie ang diskusyon dito ah! hanep!

    Ms Ilda, I got your point, pero hwag naman i-generalized lahat. Alam mo ba na kaming mga taga Mindanao may Indie-Film na rin.

  52. It’s annoying that these trolling flips are like Uwe Boll who wants to summon the critics for a boxing match only because of the massive criticism of his movies when in fact they do suck.

  53. Was asiong salonga really good? Baka naman naimpress lang kayo sa black and white look nung movie?

    Pag labelled “indie” ba automatically good? I find a lot them quite pretentious.

    1. I agree with you. A lot of “indie” films get a lot of excuses kasi “indie” sila. Awkward camera angle, INDIE. Bad lighting INDIE. Fuck that. I’m sure there are exceptions (i’ve seen a few) but maaaan.

      As for Asiong Salonga movie, sure it was a break through technically. Black and White, Slo mo scenes, awesome sets (as far as MMFF movies go), and really good lighting.

      But the story? Very very jumpy. No build up. The movie felt rushed, at dinaan nalang sa “cool gangster scenes”

      Hay. But then it’s a step taken naman. I hope they make better ones this year.


    2. That’s another explanation why some people here are being defensive. They think that they are the “creme de la creme” of the Philippine film industry just because they get the approval of their peers.

      1. Hindi naman po. Hindi po kasi din sufficient yung mga arguments nyo. Saka po pinapagtanggol lang naman po namin ang mga taong hindi nyo marinig dahil ayaw nyong pakinggan. Ganoon na po ba talaga ang journalism ngayon — kung matatawag man itong journalism.

        Sige. Tama na po. Bahala na lang po kayo sa buhay nyo — if you want to stay in your ivory tower. Then so be it.

  54. I totally agree. It’s just sad the way things are going & these actors & film makers still have the guts to complain that less & less people are watching local movies. People says that media serves them crap. Media says crap is what the mass wants. Hopefully everyone in the industry will read this.

  55. I see this as a challenge more on the audiences than the producers. The biggest hit of 2011 is Praybeyt Benjamin and this will most likely be challenged by Enteng ng Ina Mo. This means that millions of people contributed to the almost 500M combined gross of both films. The sad part is movies like Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa played to almost empty theaters that prompted cinemas to pull them out after just a few days. In an industry such as ours, producers will cater to what is being watched so as to sustain their business. We can keep complaining that producers are coming up with the same type of films every year but until the audiences start supporting the few quality movies being produced, then we can expect more Enteng and SRR films in the next few years.

    1. And that highlights the challenge. Kung baga sa Mission Impossible, “your mission if you choose to accept it” is to become visible in a field that is rigged against your favour. The character played by Tom Cruise is a “hero” because he does — and succeeds — precisely in that kind of endeavour.

      Based on the sort of comments I’ve seen so far, it seems the people who lament the marginalised place “indie” films hold in the Philippines are better at whining than stepping up to said challenges.

      The reality is that the entire content dissemination infrastructure of the Philippines is held by private enterprise who are accountable to shareholders who expect financial returns from their investment. And even more unfortunate is that the majority of the audience who are willing to cough up hard-earned dough to consume said content are quite happy being fed crap.

      That’s the mission. It is “impossible” only because we lack the sort of innovation that makes billionaires out of nerds and outcasts like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

      It’s called “the Philippines”.

  56. “The type of films Filipino filmmakers make reflect the type of people most Filipinos are – people lacking in substance. Just looking at the list of entries for this year’s Manila Film Festival, you can already tell that not a lot of thinking was involved in the process of making them. Even the titles leave nothing to the imagination of the audience. Most of the actors playing the lead roles are the same ones we’ve seen since we were kids or some hot young flavor-of-the-month of one producer or another.”

    Indie film enthusiasts, calm down… The article reflects the mainstream media and the keyword is “most”. It will not be indie film if most ppl watched it… And this is all about our society and not just merely about film industry… Dig dipper people…
    Like Cinemalaya, GRP is an indie blog and this is not a mainstream blog that has to please the general public.

  57. By the way, just a reminder to those who plan to misbehave here, check out the brilliant Terms of Service of our awesome site.

    You will get flagged as spam, and doing so is entirely within the discretion of the administrators of this site. Believe me, you don’t want to end up in a spam data base as said database is also used by other blog sites and will, in many cases, also affect your ability to post comments in other blog sites.

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  58. How can you judge a movie just by looking at the titles and who’s starring? Unfortunately I haven’t seen any of the MMFF entries yet but according to friends and relatives they enjoyed the films. Some are even surprised that Enteng ng Ina Mo is really funny and entertaining from beginning to end. And despite the obvious likeness to the Kraken, Panday 2 is an achievement in terms of sfx judging from the trailer.. My Househusband is a film by Joey Reyes so I’m sure may sense ito.. YTT reminds me of the glamor movies of the 80s. The list goes on but until I have seen them tsaka ko masasabi kung basura nga ba o may kabuluhan. But I won’t write an irresponsible article about these films without seeing them first. Miss Blogger, tanong lang po.. ano na po ba ang napanood nyo sa mga entries?

    1. @Oliver

      As far as I’m concerned, I’m not being irresponsible because I am actually making people think. 😉

      Think outside the box. The filmmakers you say that make good films obviously haven’t done enough to gain more exposure. As far as the public is concerned, they don’t exist. If they can’t rely on the people running the show, then they have to take it to another level.

      1. The public knows they exist. That’s the problem. The public is aware of them, but there’s no competition with mainstream flicks because, as Albert Wesker said above, his friend Say’s Law says so.

        Our goal is spreading awareness. So far, so good – this year’s Cinemalaya showed more audience turnout than the past years’. STILL, like I believe you do, most people wouldn’t bother to watch indies because of their preconceived notions of it being too intellectual, too radically different, too pornographic for their tastes, and so on. The only difference between you and them is that YOU realize that the quality of mainstream films are not very good.

        Which is why we are asking you to help place the alternative cinema where it should be, by using your blog as a tool for dissemination. Instead we get told that our films also suck because the market dictates our films are unwatchable, and other such things that we can’t really control as of the moment.

        The system is at fault. Not us. We’ve been trying to change the system ever since mainstream films turned loco. Of course, our reaches could only go as far as the system allows. This is why we are pissed when you say we aren’t trying hard enough.

        1. J. mukhang kahit anong sabihin natin, ayaw talaga nilang panoorin man lang ang anumang pelikulang indie. may nag-offer na sa kanyang ilibre siya sa isang pelikula sa Cinemalaya. ako, gusto ko siyang bigyan ng festival pass. pero matigas talaga ang ulo e. ayaw talaga.

          mukhang masaya na sila sa kanilang mga paninindigang wala namang basis.

          btw, who are you. imessage mo naman ako sa FB. curious lang kasi ako kung sino ka. hehe!

        2. @J. Marscharilla

          This is why we are pissed when you say we aren’t trying hard enough.

          I appreciate your efforts but you can only say you’ve tried hard enough once you’ve succeeded. Until then, you aren’t really trying hard enough.

          The public knows they exist. That’s the problem. The public is aware of them, but there’s no competition with mainstream flicks

          Well then, you should agree that the audience is lacking in substance.

          BTW, a film doesn’t have to have nudity to be considered artsy. I personally don’t like films that show too much flesh.

  59. The films you mentioned were made for kids, of course they lack substance and twists (I know what you’re after, movies like Nolan’s, Kubrick’s and Lynch’s).

    Sadly, most producers don’t want to invest in these “intellectual” type of movies because only few would watch them. They’re afraid Pinoys couldn’t handle a simple brain exercise so as a result, we have Panday 2 and Enteng ng Ina Mo.

    But fear not, we do have creative talents in the current movie industry. Zombadings and Ang Babae sa Septic Tank are examples. The Road, although I’ve never seen it, heard was good.

  60. Clash of the Titans is also based on a Greek novel, and it was also a movie remake, yet you’re looking up to it as an original? What a stupid post! Kung Amerikano maglalagay ng monsters ok lang? Pero pag Pinoy na gagawa sa pelikula gaya gaya na? Really stupid. Your post does not reflect the bad state of Philippine movies but your colonnial mentality.

    1. It’s not so much as including monsters in movies but the very evident computer manipulation OF the very same monster from that foreign film ONTO ours, I’m an art student studying graphic arts, I know what I’m talking about

      1. There may be some similarities with the looks of the monsters in both movies. But it was NOT the same frame that was altered. Our moviemakers are NOT THAT stupid to infringe on copyrights. The Panday monster may be based on that movie. But the Kraken is a Greek mythological creature. Even your beloved American movie created that computer animation by basing it from someone else’s illustration. Just look over the internet! Nobody owns The Kraken! Don’t take it against your fellow Pinoys for using that kind of monster in its film because those Americans used an entire Greek Mythological story.

        1. Wow, that means I can actually copy-paste writings from the Internet and claim them as my own! Nobody owns ideas! They are just based on past ideas anyway!

          Thanks so much for justifying plagiarism! Now I don’t have to quote or acknowledge sources in my research, since nobody owns them! They’re just as good as mine!

          Never mind if I sacrifice creativity or even my imagination; what’s important is that I can randomly copy someone else’s work without any consequence!

    2. I just couldn’t stop myself from commenting on this post.

      The monster, from the trailer alone and the very first time I saw it was a complete and blatant rip off of the COTT Kraken (latest). It is the model/concept of the monster itself that was copied and I could clearly see it from the trailer.

      It was not to say that putting monsters into a movie/story is a rip-off but rather the actual “monster” to begin with.

      I think YOU need to think more clearly first before labeling the statement as colonial mentality.

      1. The Kraken is a mythological creature from the Greek culture. Nobody owns it. I have no doubt in my mind that the author is just a colonnial minded fool who thinks everything foreign is better.

        1. Looked like a rip-off to me (I accidentally saw the trailer). This land full of freaky native monster tales, and some bozo had to ctrl-v one from another show.

        2. They could have created something more original. They could have used magnificent Filipino monsters, such as the Berkakan in the Biag ni Lam-Ang, for example. It should not have looked like the Kraken from the Clash of the Titans. Funnily enough, we’re on 9gag because of this.

        3. Well the kraken is a mythological creature from Greek Culture, and I agree.

          But see, here is where you can clearly see a line. Pirates of the Caribbean also has the Kraken, shown in CG first before the latest COTT Kraken. But you couldn’t see any resemblance can you? Why is that? Because COTT didn’t copy the monster look.

          COTT or PoC could’ve called it Godzilla/Kong and they still wouldn’t have been a complete copy/rip-off in design concept to another mainstream monster right?

          See, what is lost with your thinking is you say that is automatically labelled as a copy just because your movie has a monster. That is and was never the case to begin with which is why I can not help but try to enlighten you on the matter.

          It was a blatant copy of the monster with quite possibly a local name for Panday. I don’t need to know the name, I just needed to see the trailer to see that it was a copy. Simple reasoning right?

  61. Check out the latest brilliant article from Yours Truly where the major points of contention expressed by commentors here are ultimately resolved.


    Based on the sort of comments I’ve seen so far posted in that article, it seems the people who lament the marginalised place “indie” films hold in the Philippines are better at whining than stepping up to said challenges. The reality is that the entire content dissemination infrastructure of the Philippines is held by private enterprise who are accountable to shareholders who expect financial returns from their investment. And even more unfortunate is that the majority of the audience who are willing to cough up hard-earned dough to consume said content are quite happy being fed crap.

    (Click here to read the full article).

  62. I completely agree with you and I can’t be more disappointed with the line of movies in our Metro Manila Film Festival. They don’t practice the art of film-making but rather they do it for the sake of ‘milking’ money, so to speak. This is really one of those rare shameful work of Filipinos.

  63. I’ve always felt the same way, Not only are the ‘story lines’ if you could call it that, way overused,they have no artistic value at all whatsoever, as an art student, I appreciate movies as one of the highest forms of art, given that they do not only appeal visually but audio sensory as well. However, I must say, it’s been a while since I’ve found a filipino movie that lives up to this artistic standard, None of our ‘acclaimed’ directors have even utilized the most basic camera angels and movements, none have attempted to write something without violence, hysterical crying, and cliche romance, the characters are all very 2 dimensional and the story lines flat flat flat as a board, Thank you for having the courage to finally post a real critique!

  64. Honestly, sa Filipino movie, pag di ka napaiyak, don’t expect to receive any notice. The talented are rarely ever recognized. Maganda nga pero parang asong umaalulong kumanta. Our movie industry is nothing but a big joke. We need creativity on the side of the makers, and an open mind on the side of the Filipino viewers. Makes me so sad.

  65. filipino cinema is dross for the masses.
    it serves a purpose but is hardly art, creative or memorable.
    escapism, and nothing wrong with that, just a pity there is not some talent around, and that is both borne out by and influenced by the sad state of tv programming.
    let the peasants enjoy it but dont try to elevate it into a discourse on art or the theatre.

  66. “Ilda on January 2, 2012 at 1:30 am
    Once in a while we have point missers who visit this site. They let their emotions get in the way of objectivity.”

    WOW! Hanep! Coming from someone who ranted about movies she herself didnt bother watching. Magsara na kayo ng tindahan!

  67. Back up your arguments with logic, theory and use the proper language of film when making a critique. Know first what you are talking about before trying to sound smart. Be academic in your discourse and please avoid logical fallacies.

    Ilda, Your article is immature and your arguments on the comments part are hypocritical and self-depreciating. You are not making Filipinos any more critical with hate speech like this.If anything, you are showing the world how some Filipino (self-proclaimed) intellectuals love the sound of their own voices, nevermind the content.