From Nuffnang

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Bataan in the Movies During the Second World War

Today, we commemorate the Day of Valor, officially known as Araw ng Kagitingan. In this national observance in the Philippines, we honor the Filipino and American soldiers who bravely fought in the Battle of Bataan. The holiday also provides an opportunity to a watch a couple of American films about the said battle: Bataan and Back to Bataan. Both films have titles that include the name of the historic province.

Image Credit: Provincial Government of Bataan

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Movies That Mark 30th Year in March 2024

The Filipino movie industry was much more prolific in 1994. At least nine movies were released  in March of that year. Many of these movies can be viewed on YouTube, while others are occasionally aired on free television.


Relaks Ka Lang, Sagot Kita
Comfort Women: A Cry for Justice
Walang Kasukat Sa Tapang
Sobra Talaga … Overrr!
Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin
Tony Bagyo: Daig Pa ang Asong Ulol
Brat Pack: Pambayad Atraso
Secret Love
Oplan: Mindanao

Details of each mentioned title follow.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

ABS-CBN's "It's Showtime" to Air on GMA

In the years to come, March 20, 2024, will be remembered as a historic date in the chronicles of Philippine television. On that Wednesday afternoon, GMA Network Inc. executives played host to their counterparts from ABS-CBN Corp. to hold a contract signing ceremony. In this much-anticipated media event, a partnership to extend the simulcast of the noontime variety show It's Showtime to GMA Channel 7 was announced.

Image Credit: YouTube / ABS-CBN News

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

A Poem and Songs for Ben Tumbling

Benjamin Garcia, better known as Ben Tumbling, was one of the Philippines' Most Wanted personalities in the early 1980s. Prior to reaching a state of notoriety, Ben was a movie stuntman. However, police brutality allegedly pushed him to a life of crime. He was fatally shot during an encounter with police officers in Manila on March 13, 1981. Although law enforcers considered him as a hardened criminal, people from the poor communities of Malabon looked up to him as a beneficent Robin Hood figure. The widespread grief apparently inspired a poem that is inscribed on the marker of his grave at the Malabon Cemetery. A transcript of the poem and its English translation follows.


Image Credit: Video48


Thursday, March 7, 2024

Some Notes on "Mamang Sorbetero"

The onset of the hot weather in the Philippines is slowly but surely felt by everyone. The thoughts of stifling air pushed me to ponder on the things that can help me beat the heat. One of those things is ice cream. I am not referring to the branded sort we buy in groceries by the tub. What I mean is "dirty ice cream," or sorbetes, the kind being sold by ambulant vendors who push a cart and ring a handheld bell. The thoughts of sorbetes remind me of a film and a song, both titled Mamang Sorbetero.

Mamang Sorbetero (Tagalog: Mr. Ice Cream Vendor) is a 1979 Philippine romantic comedy-action film directed by Augusto Buenaventura from a screenplay he co-wrote with Diego Cagahastian. As J.E. Productions' entry to the Metro Manila Festival in that year, Mamang Sorbetero has a stellar cast led by producer Joseph Estrada, Celeste Legaspi, Rod Navarro, Dencio Padilla, Subas Herrero, Vic Sotto and Herbert Bautista. Other members of the cast include Quiel Segovia, Veronica Palileo, Sammy Padilla and Ford Elorde.


Image Courtesy of IMDB

The film opens with Kanor (portrayed by Joseph Estrada) alighting from a bus in a transport terminal. Being a newcomer to the urban jungle, a gang of children chose Kanor as a target. Some gang members acted as beggars who approached Kanor with the pretext of asking for alms. While being distracted Kanor lost focus of his wallet, which was snatched by the gang members. (A young Herbert Bautista plays the role of Kupal, one of the juvenile lookouts). 

At the same terminal, Badong (portrayed by Dencio Padilla) is a bystander who also happens to be a sorbetero. He witnessed the events from a distance and accosted one of the thieves to help Kanor recover the wallet. The chance encounter provided Kanor the opportunity to ask Badong regarding the whereabouts of his Tiyo Miguel (portrayed by Francisco Cruz). The film's universe is so conveniently small; Tiyo Miguel is Badong's housemate. However, the old man turned out to be already sick for a few days and is confined in a hospital.

Back in the province, Tiyo Miguel had promised Kanor to help him find a job in the city. Due to his condition and what he considers as unhealthy elements in the city, Tiyo Miguel stated that he intends to go back to the province for good. With the promised job out of the question, Badong promptly suggested for Kanor to become a sorbetero like him. The film then cuts to the opening credits with vignettes of the sorbetero selling the frozen delight to customers seeking refreshment. 

A series of events leads to the hero's meeting with his love interest, Cielo Monzon (portrayed by singer Cielito Legaspi). Her father, the debt-ridden Federico (portrayed by Subas Herrero), intends to marry her off to a rich man as a way to ease his financial woes. The rich man is Ariston Dela Serna (portrayed by Vic Sotto). Cielo is not interested in a mama's boy for a life partner. Even on mundane decisions, Ariston is very dependent on his mother.

At this point in the movie, Cielo is steadily dating Tony Imperial (portrayed by Rod Navarro). Unlike Ariston, Tony has the image of a real man who has a "backbone." It was a ruse; he turned out to be a car salesman who pretends to be rich, hoping to snag wealthy women. Tony's cover was eventually unraveled when Jimmy Imperial (portrayed by Dave Brodett), a genuine member of the Imperial clan from Negros, confronted him in a golf-club cafeteria. Cielo witnessed the confrontation and promptly decided to stop seeing Tony. 

Tony is desperate to marry Cielo for her money because a criminal syndicate pressures him to  pay off his debts. He hatched a plan to kidnap her as her car was approaching the gate of their house. Kanor happened to take a break from selling ice cream and rested on the lawn. He then stopped the kidnapping attempt. After introducing himself as Nick, our sorbetero undoubtedly became a hero in the eyes of Cielo. Moreover, Nick appears to have amassed more pogi points by taking the delinquent children under his fold and guiding them toward a normal life away from crime. Swept off her feet, Cielo consistently pursued Nick and their roller-coaster love story started.


TROPES AND THEMES

Although not meant to be an arthouse movie, Mamang Sorbetero deals with some real-life topics. For instance, the change in the nickname as someone goes from the province in the city. Our hero is named Kanor in the province; he is Nick in the city. 

Nick seems to harbor feelings of inferiority complex because of his social status. Meanwhile, Cielo envies his freedom. During a date with Nick in the zoo, she compared herself to a caged animal - bound by rules and norms imposed by society. 

There is also self-poking humor. There is a scene in which policemen questioned Kanor for "parking" his cart in front of a public building. Kanor told the policemen that he knows the mayor and will report them to the city official. Joseph Estrada was mayor of San Juan at that time.

In one scene, Badong says that he has only 75 pesos in his possession. According to the Philippine Inflation Calculator, the goods that can be bought in 1979 for 75 pesos would roughly cost 2,039 pesos and 62 centavos at the end of 2022.





MUSIC:

The theme song is one of Celeste Legaspi's hit songs. Its melody is derived from composer Jose Mari Chan's "Mr. Songwriter," while the Tagalog lyrics was written by Gryk Ortaleza. Seemingly in accompaniment with the lyrics of the song, the opening credits feature ice cream vendors ringing their bells to alert the customers who try to beat the hot weather. 

(Fun Fact: Two famous Joses in Philippine entertainment, Joseph Estrada and Jose Mari Chan, share a connection with each other in this film. Estrada's birth name is Jose Marcelo Ejercito Sr., while Chan's birth name is Jose Mari Lim Chan). 




LYRICS

Mamang sorbetero, anong ngalan mo
Tinda mong ice cream gustong-gusto ko
Init ng buhay pinapawi mo
Sama ng loob nalilimutan ko

Mamang sorbetero tayo'y sumayaw
Kalembang mong hawak muling ikaway
Batang munti sayo'y naghihintay
Bigyang ligaya ngayong tag-araw

Masdan ang ulap sa himpapawid
Korteng sorbetes sa pisngi ng langit
Mata ng dalaga'y nananaginip
Mayro'ng sikretong nasasaisip

Mamang sorbetero tayo'y sumayaw
Kalembang mong hawak muling ikaway
Batang munti sayo'y naghihintay
Bigyang ligaya ngayong tag-araw

Mainit na labi nagbabagang mata
Sunog na pag-ibig parang-awa mo na

Mamang sorbetero o nasaan ka
Init ng buhay pawiin mo na
Mamang sorbetero tayo'y sumayaw
Kalembang mong hawak muling ikaway
Batang munti sayo'y naghihintay
Bigyang ligaya ngayong tag-araw

La la la la

Mamang sorbetero tayo'y sumayaw
Kalembang mong hawak muling ikaway
Batang munti sayo'y naghihintay
Bigyang ligaya ngayong tag-araw

La la la la


ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Mr. Ice Cream Vendor, what is your name?
The ice cream you sell, I love it very much
You quench the heat of life
Making me forget my ill feelings

Mr. Ice Cream Vendor, let's dance
The bell you are holding, sway it again
A little child is waiting for you
Give us happiness this summer

Look at the clouds in the sky
Shaped like ice cream on the cheek of heaven
The girl's eyes are dreaming
There is a secret in mind

Mr. Ice Cream Vendor, let's dance
The bell you are holding, sway it again
A little child is waiting for you
Give us happiness this summer

Hot lips, burning eyes
Burning love,  take pity on us

Mr. Ice Cream Vendor, where are you?
Put out that heat of life
Mr. Ice Cream Vendor, let's dance
The bell you are holding, sway it again
A little child is waiting for you
Give us happiness this summer

La la la la

Mr. Ice Cream Vendor, let's dance
The bell you are holding, sway it again
A little child is waiting for you
Give us happiness this summer

La la la la

Monday, March 4, 2024

Jaclyn Jose, 60

Multi-awarded actress Mary Jane Santa Ana Guck, better known as Jaclyn Jose, passed away on March 2, 2024, at the age of 60. Among her numerous accolades, the most notable is the 2016 Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress. 


Image Courtesy of PEP.ph

For her role in the film Ma' Rosa, she became the first Filipino and Southeast Asian to win the globally prestigious award. In honor of her memory, following is a summary of the major achievements of hers that were recognized by Philippine film-oriented institutions:

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Robert Grace Hit "A Dream" in TVJ's Shoot That Ball

In the 1980s, one of the foreign songs that became popular in the Philippines is A Dream (Dumio) by Robert Grace. Played constantly by the leading radio stations of that era, the song was a hit among the regular attendees of the occasional Saturday night disco parties in many barangays all over the country. There is little information on the Internet about this dance hit. Fortunately a YouTube channel called RAGElite offers some details. According to the channel, A Dream (Dumio) was an underground hit in Melbourne, Australia circa 1986-1987. In those years, Grace was possibly the only Australian representative of the Italo-disco movement.

A Dream (Dumio) was so well-liked all over the Philippines that the comedic trio of Tito, Vic and Joey parodied the Robert Grace hit in Shoot That Ball, a movie produced by Regal Films in 1987. During those times, it seemed to be common practice in the local movie industry to imitate or cover chart-topping tracks from abroad with exaggerated humor. Intellectual property law was less strictly enforced than nowadays.


Image Courtesy of Video48


Going back to the scene, the parody of A Dream (Dumio) can be viewed from the 46:00 to 50:00 minute window of the video below. In that scene, Pidiong, Manong and Tinggoy (respectively portrayed by Tito, Vic and Joey are students at the Agricultural School of the Orient (ASO). ASO is the rival institution of the Philippine University of Sciences & Arts (PUSA). This rivalry and other details, will be covered in future posts on this blog. 

Mrs. Mercedes Kasusuan (portrayed by Florence Carvajal) is their teacher in Animal Husbandry. Her students cannot afford to buy the Hong Kong goods she sells in the classroom. In order for the trio to pass her class, Mrs. Kasusuan tasked them to fill a pail with cow's milk in 10 minutes The song-and-dance sequence ensues.







LYRICS

Hay! Ang buhay sa farm ay ang galing! Walang kasinsarap
If you're a nature lover, Darling ikaw tiyak na mangangarap
Hayop ang ang view, nakakaloko, oh nakupo Diyos ko!
Maraming bundok, paikot-ikot, oks talaga dito!
So green ang paligid all the time
Naku! Nakakagigil! (Ayayayay!)
Sariwang hangin ang lalanghapin, ang bango ng amoy dito!
Sariwang bogchi ang lalapangin, ay parang five-star din (Ayayayay!)
Hay! Napakahirap magpalabas sa baka ng gatas
Baka iba ang mahimas, madisgrasya iba ang lumabas
Milking! Milking! Milking! Ay mabuting exercise
Milking! Milking! Milking! Ay mahusay na tunay
Gatas ng baka sa umaga ay good sa wankata natin 'to
Gatas na pula, mag-iingat ka at malamang namang baboy 'to

Hayop ang ang view, nakakaloko, oh nakupo Diyos ko!
Maraming bundok, paikot-ikot, oks talaga dito!
Milking! Milking! Milking! Ay mabuting exercise
Milking! Milking! Milking! Ay mahusay na tunay
Gatas ng baka sa umaga ay good sa wankata natin 'to
Gatas na pula, mag-iingat ka at malamang namang baboy 'to


It was nice that Regal Entertainment provided the closed captions in English.

Oh! Life in a farm is awesome! 
Nothing compares to it!
If you're a nature lover, darling you'll surely dream!
The view is unbelievable! Oh my God!
There are many mountains around, it's really cool in here!
The surrounding is green all the time.
Oh my! It's really irresistable!
You will smell fresh air, it smells so good in here.
The food to eat is fresh, just like a five-star!
It's so hard to get milk out of a cow.
You might squeeze something else, and something else comes out.
Milking! Milking! Milking! It's a good exercise!
Milking! Milking! Milking! It's really awesome
Cow's milk in the morning is good for out body.
Be careful with red milk because most probably, it's a pig!

What a view! Unbelievable! Oh my God!
There are many mountains around, it's really cool in here!
There are many mountains around, it's really cool in here!
Milking! Milking! Milking! It's a good exercise!
Milking! Milking! Milking! It's really awesome
Cow's milk in the morning is good for out body.
Be careful with red milk because most probably, it's a pig!