Cinema Centenario commemorates EDSA People Power Revolution with ‘Pisay’ film

Jace Amodo
PUBLISHED February 13, 2018 12:01 pm
Photos by Shara Mae Balce/Inside Manila

(Inside Manila) More than just a month of love and the arts, February is close to the hearts of the Filipinos as it is the time of the year when we commemorate and celebrate the anniversary of EDSA People Power Revolution. For its part, Cinema Centenario on February 11 held a special screening of Auraeus Solito’s 2008 well-received and multi-awarded film, “Pisay”.

“Pisay” tells the story of different kids at the Philippine Science High School and how they cope with the struggles along their way. It is set in the 80s Philippines which, as we all know, is the country’s politically volatile years. It’s both funny and sad, and innocent and aware. The characters are lovable and relatable, but perhaps the best thing about it is that it is more relevant now than ever. And it helped that the director graced the stage to expound on certain scenes the audience seemed to be in a collective inquiry.

“When I did that in 2007, wala pa ‘yung nangyayari ngayon. It was in commemoration of what happened to our generation, and now it’s happening again,” Solito said. His eyes water every time he watches the film, he revealed. But watching it again at the microcinema for its 10th anniversary was even special sharing it with some of the cast members, namely Elijah Castillo (as Minggoy Lamazan), Annicka Dolonius (Wena Ledesma), EJ Jallorina (Euri Calo), and Rebecca Padilla (Rom’s mother).

(L-R) Annicka Dolonius, Elijah Castillo, Rebecca Padilla, Direk
Auraeus Solito, and EJ Jallorina

Interestingly—and quite shocking to Solito—the cast didn’t know what they were doing at the time. But having seen it now after all those years gave light to the bewilderment, and made them realize how vital their message was at the time, and at present too. One line that struck the audience was when EJ’s effeminate character explains to his teacher his passion in theater, which he cannot pursue due to the contract he signed when he entered Pisay, goes: “’Pag 12 or 13 years old ka ba, alam mo na kung anong gusto mo?” That and other conflicts in the film, with diversity that’s not too far from each other, shows how these kids decide in life. As Annicka puts it: “It’s not a complicated script but it’s a very smart movie.”

“Sa pagbalik-tanaw sa isang pelikula na napaka-personal para sa akin, naluluha pa rin ako kapag pinapanood ko. Masaya ako sa nagawa kong isang makabuluhang pelikula, na na-capture ko ang buhay nung high school namin. Sana mapalabas pa sa mga kabataan ngayon at makita nila na kailangan nating kumilos pag may nangyayaring hindi maganda,” Solito said in his closing remarks.

It is timely. It is a classic. And it is fitting to Cinema Centenario’s call this month: “Umibig. Lumikha. Lumaya. Welcome home to Cinema Centenario.”

Pisay won Best Director, Best Production Design, Audience Choice Awards at the 2008 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, and Audience Award and International Jury Prize at the 2008 Vesoul Asian Film Festival in France.

Cinema Centenario is at 95 Maginhawa Street, Quezon City. For more information, visit Cinema Centenario on Facebook.



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