Friday, March 21, 2008

kailangan kita, bicol

last night, kailangan kita was aired in channel 2 as part of their holy week presentation.

this film is one of my favorite philippine movie next to richard gomez and dawn zulueta's hihintayin na lang kita sa langit, which drained my tear ducts at such early age. but this is, if we are talking about main stream movies of course.
what i like about the movie was it was indeed carefully studied and if i find out that the creator of the film was not really from bicol i would be really impressed. eventhough i haven't read any reviews or watch any interviews from the writers or director, i know it was. simply because i could feel it as a bicolano.

i grew up in manila. but we have migrated in bicol when i was in high school because dad joined the politics. i was born with an ilocana mother from tarlac and a chinese bicolano father from sorsogon. although we were raised with a very diversed custom, food ang language, we can, or atleast for me, say that we were more acquainted with our bicolano lineage. not only because we have lived there but also because we have a patriarchal family. my father is most of the time, decides for the family.

watching the film is like watching my own family, literally. the old house, the number and type of food serve, the custom, the gestures and even familial issues we everyday encounter. can you even guess which character could i be related with in the film? claudine barretto of course? hahaha. just kidding.

basically, the film made me miss my family and the province life more. especially knowing that most of my friends are going home with their families this holy week.

i remember our old house that belonged to my grand parents. when we moved in from manila, the house was a lonely construction literally sitting in the middle of the capitol. we don't have any neighbors and being new to the place made us more difficult to have friends.

the house was surrounded with the municipal hall in front, the health center on the left, the multi purpose hall, the seminary, the orphanage, the park, the church, tennis cuourt, police station, the elementary school, the fire house and the basket ball court. the next residence will be around 30 meters away. the house has already been renovated for a number of times. until, the family decided to turn it into a cemented home because of the numbers of storms that frequently visits our province.

in the family, one thing that we have learned from our father is always prioritize food. no wonder, i am not fond of shopping. he would always tell my mom to have atleast three dishes on the table and as much as possible avoid repeating the same dish in the next meal. my mom is an excellent cook not because she is my mom. but simply because she is.

i love spicy food but i am not a seafood person nor fond of coconut milk cured dishes, especially laing, like my siblings do. there are just some specific seafood i eat, particularly those that would not require too much effort in eating like tuna and squid. my parents would either prepare me a different dish whenever we are having crabs, shrimps or seafood if they are in a good mood: or call me lazy because of my stubborness in peeling shells.

the character of johhny delgado reminded me of my father so much. the typical bicolano head of the family that is very silent, dominant, full of pride, full of rage whenever he is mad and very conscious of the family's name and reputation. i was laughing out loud to this specific scene where johnny delgado was on the verge of getting what he have ordered to his wife when she paused in getting a can of sardines after the daughter have served the dishes she have cooked. i was laughing on the thought that it was also a common but distinct gesture of my fatherl, whenever he orders something and we have second thoughts of doing it. he would get up of his chair and warned us he would do it by himself: that would be our cue that we or someone needs to do it or else. although i never had the guts to discover what is the else would actually mean. we just knew that it is something really really grave.

my mother on the otherhand, is the subtle and submissive one. you would either see her inside the kitchen together with our helpers, perpetually cooking almost anything she could think of. probably one thing, this is one thing that i don't like about going home: the temptation of eating and gaining weights beyond i could ever imagine. nonetheless, i would never exchange my mother's dishes to anything else. probably one thing i feel for my mother was the fact that she have sacrificed her career for her family. one thing that i have observed among my bicolano friends especially on our place.

regarding the people, i can say that bicolanos happen to have a certain distinction from the rest of the filipinos aside from the love of spicy food. for me, with the various places i have been to and people i have met, i have developed this talent that i could tell whether or not someone is a bicolano or has bicolano descent based from his features and gestures.

typically, bicolanos are popularly known as being uragons. although the local word encompasses a wide array of positive and negative meanings depending on how the speaker is using it, most still used it to connote someone who is strong and excel into things he does. most of the people i know, putting the derogatory meaning aside, find most bicolanos to have maintained the moreno type beauty that other people find exotic not to mention their naiveness that most people find it cute and adorable. no wonder i can't still forget my first love which happens to be from the same region. thus, be warned.

but at the end of all of these, basically i just wish i could go to bicol this weekend. despite the large possibility that i cannot.

there goes a sigh.


mrs.j said...

ilan beses akong nagkachance na mapanood ito pero i don't feel like watching it, i dont know why pero thats what i feel...


i love the first movie bago ito...


ewan ko kung ikaw u remmber ur famee ako..may mommy! hehehe..

uy hows the movies na nabili mo?

rock haven?

Marocharim said...


Like you, I have a particular fondness for laing. =) I think - and I hope I'm right with this impression - that Bicolanos are some of the best cooks in the country.

Bicol express is the least of my favorites. I have a Bicolano neighbor who makes "pasalubong" of a treat called "biti," puffy dried fish intestines and deep-fried to a luscious golden brown. If it weren't so expensive, it's the best pulutan out there.

I remember ginataang alimango. =)


♥nova-san said...

Chinese bicolano father? My heart raced just a bit faster as I read about your family background. My father is also chinese bicolano, from Juban, Sorsogon. The way that you described the typical bicol personality, well, I can honestly say you have just described my father in detail. Perhaps, we may be related in some way. How strange that would be, but in a good way. My family name is Alindogan.

Jericho said...

nostalgic. hehe. oragon (tama ba?) ka pala

penggay said...

parehas tayo, gusto ko rin yung pelikulang yun. :)

wanderingcommuter said...

penggay: hahaha! the movie should keep on creating movie susch as this, that highlights the wonders of our country. hindi yung puro love at mushyness lang.

novasan: are you kidding me? our fathers maybe trained on the same home. hahaha... i am telling you now, we are indeed related and i can say that we are even closely related. i am now checking my family tree for your name. hehehe.
marocharim: is this sarcasm again, marx? hahaha. biti? hmmm... i can say this is indeed expensive because i don't even know it. hahaha. how's manila life? if you'll see me eating ginataang alimango, take a picture of it because it would be the rarest event you'll see in your life. hahaha
mrs. j: we have our own preferences, mrs. j. hehehe. well madrasta is a nice film probably one of the most high lighted philippine film the country ever had. but what i don't like about it, was it sensationalized too many familial problems that could be quite impossible to happen for a particular case. but what was terrific about it was its inevitability from putting yourself on each of the characters' shoes and think what will you feel and do if you were put on each scene..i hope i did make sense.
i'll post a review about the film, mrs. j. and you'll be the first one that i'll inform about it.

theTripper said...

di ako mahilig sa dramang pilipino. pero gusto ko talaga pumunta ng bikol. ito iyung lugar na di ko pa talaga napupuntahan. hehehe

wanderingcommuter said...

tripper: it could be way hotter pag pumunta ka dun tripper. baka pumutok pa ang mayon at bulusan paglabas mo palang ng quezon. hehehe! peace out!


I dont think I've seen this film...

♥nova-san said...

Ummm... so we are related? My family name is familiar/similar to yours? I'm so curious!!!

mrs.j said...

can't wait. hehehe

wanderingcommuter said...

kj: i think this is a 2002 or 2003 film by aga muhlach ang claudine barreto.

novasan: just to spill the beans, we do have the same family name. hehehe.

mrs.j: hehehe. :-)

♥nova-san said...

Are you serious??? I mean really, what are the chances of that? I was browsing through Blogger one day and came upon your site. I found a certain draw to it, a certain attraction. It turns out, magkamaganak pala!!! Kaya pala! That is just amazing. I am speechless and amazed. Now I can hardly contain myself to compare notes with you on our lineage. There's a book floating around somewhere with our family history. I am not too knowledgeable about it, although I can tell you that I am from the Donato line, if that means anything to you.

Send me an email at, and I can write you more about my lineage, and maybe we can figure out where we are related. =)