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Communication II: Communication Skills II

Boots C. Liquigan Submitted to the Department of Arts and Communication College of Arts and Sciences University of the Philippines-Manila March 22, 2013


What is a Filipino? The definition of a Filipino is very much broad and intricate. Being born in the Philippines from Filipino parents is not enough to build the image of being a Filipino. Our culture is very diverse resulted by complicated series of domination by different races. Their influences interbred and developed a new set of culture which is now described as being Filipino. Western colonization brought up distinct identities. They implemented rules in which we have to follow. And these had shaped us to confusion. With the abrupt change of powers, this also led to urgent adaptation of the way of living. Under these years of colonization, we tasted the sweets of pacification and the pains of it. Ironically, we are slaves in our own land. We are foreigners in our own land. We do not have a national identity in those times. A Filipino according to Carlos Romulo is an inheritor of glorious past while being a hostage of uncertain future. We are inheritors of our past which conquerors led. We are but a small child then, dependent on the guidance of our mother. Our strength is useless. There is no other thing but to follow. Punishment will immediately applied if we did the other. We inherited things that we do not own. We are clothed in a way that we are not suited. We are jailed. We lost our identity. We live each day hostaged, being uncertain of future. For we do not clearly knew who we are in the past, it is hard to trace what will we become in the future. Today, we are living through the expense of our blood and sweat. Poverty is prevalent in our beloved country. This is what our glorius past continued today. Our growth had been stabilized in our past. And when the time came, we did not know what we will do.


Then, we are calling for change. Progress is what each of us is aiming. We wake up each day fighting for our dreams while at the same time, being unsure of our acts. We are looking up to the great achievements of different countries, far from what we already achieved. Change is what we are shouting. Progress is our Filipino dream. This is what Kidlat also wanted. In our childhood dream, we also wanted to be an astronaut. He also did want. In our teenage dream, we also gazed upon the beauty of the other countries and aspired to visit someday. Kidlat also aspired it. And when were already working, we liked to someday be a successful man. Kidlat liked it also. Building the image of simple and underdeveloped town of Balian, change is a foreign idea in this part of the country. All are used to the same lifestyle. Contentment was what the town inhabitants practiced. The old way is preferred. Traditions, beliefs and habits. The time past but not these three. This kind of town seemed to have no progress at all. Kidlat, being a jeepney driver, also wanted to somehow escape this type of living and taste the luxuries that his mother America could give. He wanted to get out of this kind of world. Poverty is very much prevalent in Balian. Children are asked to sell popsicle sticks, traditional circumcision is practiced. It seemed that advancement is almost impossible to achieve. One that made Kidlat live everyday is for his fulfillment of his American dream. He is an absolute American fanatic. He listens to Voices of America. He adores the western type of beauty. He is fond of western achievements such as Wernher von Brauns rocket ships. He dreams of this everyday even it is almost impossible to achieve. He never lost his hope.



This longing came to an end when he met an American soldier who offered him to go abroad. This dream was thought to be almost impossible and luckily, this came to reality. So, he grabbed the chance and flew abroad. When he was still in Balian, there is bridge built which became part of the town living. This bridge of life opened opportunities for the townspeople. This served as a way of life for each people in the community. Through this bridge, dreams would start or life would end. This bridge compared to bridges Kidlat saw was almost insignificant. Bridges were everywhere in Paris. Here, floors would walk for you and even doors would open for you. Clearly, advancement is marked to each side of this country. There was no image of poverty. Not even glimpse of underdevelopment. Progress was everywhere and evident. Here, he became a refiller man for the Americans chewing gum business. He goes to every part of the city to fill in empty chewing gum canisters. As he cross the streets, he gazed upon the western modernization present. He wished that his town someday be like this. He enjoyed his stay. He was happy. In Paris, he met Lola. Lola was one of the last merchants of Four Seasons. This group of merchants sell natural goods. On that time, the Four Seasons is threatened by the supermarket that would be built. This will become a loss in her part once the project was finished. A one week long vacation was given to Kidlat. He spent time to visit Wernher von Braunss hometown, the Germany. He witnessed rockets. He experienced flying. His pilgrimage made him witness modernization.



As we progress and modernize everything, traditional norms were gradually eradicated. One of those things is the handicraft industry. In a world of fast modernization, culture is at stake. Old things are replaced by new. Progress and steadfast development is a trend. When he came back to Paris, the supermarket was almost built two blocks. The merchants stores were not there anymore. This is how fast the pace of life is in the west. As they modernize everything, something is taken at risk. Meanwhile in Balian, the modernization Kidlat was dreaming all about came. This kind of modernization is bad on the other hand. Environment is at stake. Many were forced to move their homes and to find a new way of living. In order to create, we must first destroy. The effects of modernization is very much same or even worse in the west. As Kidlat traveled to Paris, Germany and America, he witnessed the same consequences progress had brought up. The environment, culture and ethics were neglected. All were into self-interest. All were into the intention of filling up their pockets with money. Corrupted hearts rule each businessman. Brotherhood became individualism, in which racial stratification is a big deal. The color of skin and the economical status are the bases of self image. Individualistic approaches was given prevalent. Vanity and insanity made up those in the ruling power. Kidlat, looking up to the westeners, was seen through the eyes of the foreigners as a powerless being. As he looked up upon those who rule, the ruling class look down on those people like Kidlat. Being powerless, senseless and useless. This is not Kidlat wanted to be. Instead of flowery dreams, it became perfumed nightmares. These were hidden behind that sweet aroma. That sweet poisonous aroma.



This film depicted our colonial fanaticism. We believed that progress is outside of this country. We were questioned about our national identity. Our aspirations on progress were shown. While being in a rough condition, we still manage to dream that one day all things that we do will be worth the price. Full of metaphors, this film requires a wide range of imagination and familiarity with Philippine history. I acknowledge Kidlats genius by using everyday scenes, interconnected, to depict a one whole linear story. Kidlats conceptualization is excellent, almost out of this world. It leaves an eerie feeling, being puzzled. The film aims the viewers to think deeply and use critical analysis. On the technicalities, it is evident that some scenes are not clear. Some scenes are wasted. It lacked enough framing to view the whole scene. The fluctuating audio levels may due to not enough equipments on proper film making process as this do not want to appeal to mainstream industry. The film left as questions to be answered. Is modernization is a rational way of uplifting the lives of every Filipino citizen? How modernization will change our national perspectives? When this progress will come to our land? When will it be? Everyday we are crossing our own bridges. We are trying to achieve and reach the end. We are still in search for a change. We want to somehow feel the luxuries life could give. We are thirsty of advancement. Social media teaches us to be someone we are not used to. We are blindfolded by the fact that these temporary sweets are just pallative attention to our longings. Our identity should be defined by ourselves and not by an external motivations. Some things are colorful on the outside but



fades inside. We must learn to think and do not just trust entirely on our judgements. Our steps should be each taken carefully as this will make us farther or nearer to danger. Use our senses.Be not deprived of making our senses work. The film left me a feeling of self realization and finding our national identity. We are still confused in finding our true worth. We are continuously running but with no definite direction followed. Could we just stop for the moment and see how we fool ourselves? Our thoughts of making our dreams to reality might become our worst nightmare. The way it should be done must be taken attention. We have the power to define ourselves, leaving dependence on others. We are still in search of our identity. This film, though not appealing to the mainstream productions, must be analyzed carefully by each of us. Its metaphors show that simple things make up big things. Perfumed nightmares tell that we must find ourselves in each of us. Skyscrapers, rocketships and supermarkets could not give answer to our confusion and discontentment. We must learn value simplicity. Simple things are the pillars of big foundations. It is small as how we see it but perspective will show how giant these things are. Do not be blinded by sparkling diamonds. We are already diamonds. Our worth is how we value ourselves. Our culture, consciousness and identity. Our search is not yet to end but still waiting to be unfolded. Go find our identity. Our unifying thread.