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Rant and Rave: MMFF 2020 welcomes the old and new—Part One

For 46 years, the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) has been a fixture of Filipino Christmastime. Starting December 25 each year, families would flock to cinemas like clockwork for a lighthearted Christmas spectacle—you have the Vic Sotto ensemble film with the banal jokes and the revolving door of fresh-faced loveteams, the gaudy self-deprecating Vice Ganda…

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Eat, drink, and be merry: Deconstructing the Noche Buena

Eminent historian Fr. Horacio Dela Costa once argued that the two jewels of Philippine culture are our faith and our music. This is most evident in the distinctly Filipino celebration of Christmas. Cacophonies of Christmas carols touching upon the birth and virtues of Jesus Christ and the many holiday festivities permeate the Filipino Christmas scene—even…

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Rant and Rave: Flashbacks on Four Sisters Before the Wedding

The 2013 film Four Sisters and a Wedding wasn’t a smash hit because of its star-studded cast nor the memes it has spawned years after it premiered. By tackling themes of love, life, and family, the heartwarming tale was relatable for every Filipino who wanted to be reminded of home. With fans dying to know…

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Blurring the big picture: Reviewing MTRCB censorship

Many Filipinos are kept within the confines of their homes because of the ongoing pandemic. Gone are the days when one can go out and engage in their favorite pastimes, like dining in their favorite restaurants or catching a flick in the movie house. Now, people find entertainment through online streaming sites, boosting viewership in…

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Rant and Rave: Hayop Ka!

Growing up, one would often have fond memories of waking up to the sight of cartoon characters and their wacky antics. However, after some years, the magic of cartoons might fizzle out into mild annoyance—cartoons are for kids and you are now an adult. But not with this film; move over Mickey Mouse, there’s a…

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Scary stories to tell in La Salle

Key of f-ed, Bea They had warned us never to touch the grand piano sitting backstage in the William Shaw Little Theatre. The place was dimly lit; my flashlight illuminating the dusty instrument.  The wooden floor creaks upon my every step. I take a deep breath. The afternoon bus rides I devoted to reading Philippine…

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Into the spotlight: The reprise of Philippine opera

Boisterous belting followed by a broken champagne glass—this is just one of the many perceptions people have about opera. Also familiar are the declarations of love, joy, or remorse accompanied by harmonious sounds of the orchestra that amaze audiences, especially when performers take the opportunity onstage to showcase their impressive vocal range. And though the…

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Unmute: Enduring inescapable realities

DLSU Harlequin Theatre Guild (HTG) presented its first online film production, Unmute, last September 23 to 25 on AnimoSpace, and on September 27 in a closed Facebook group.  The show presented a collection of four plays that offered glimpses of life during the pandemic, interweaving relevant social issues into each narrative. The virtual curtains opened…

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Mike Navallo: Principles over fear

“Truth is our defense.” With these words, Mike Navallo reaffirmed the importance of accurate reporting and encapsulated the essence of credible journalism—presenting stories backed by evidence. Prior to becoming a reporter for ABS-CBN, Navallo worked as a lawyer and a researcher for Amnesty International. However, he has always had an interest in news reporting, and…

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Without contempt: Finding a home within queer spaces

Strobing lights and colorful personalities conquer places where the LGBTQ+ community can be most uninhibited by societal norms. Queer spaces offer a carefree atmosphere for anyone who steps inside—enveloping them with love and acceptance. Beyond being a place to escape from society’s prejudiced gazes, much more can be discovered within the halls of these spaces.…