Tears was the instinctive response I had for Floy Quintos’ latest radical remake of “Isang Panaginip na Fili.” The director could justify his wearing of shades that afternoon if it was for that vision only he could see beyond its tint. :P He projected it into reality with this year’s powerful cast, and Ceejay Manuel Javier’s original compositions. It strengthened my affection towards the works of Rizal as it interprets it in a narrative analysis that is moving and direct-to-the-point. A mere standing ovation is an under appreciation.

Official Image of DUP's Isang Panaginip na Fili, directed by Floy Quintos

“Para sa akin, ito’y katulad lamang ng mga nobelang romansa ni Victor Hugo, ngunit si Victor Hugo man, ay hindi nakapag-alay nang kasing dakila at kasing busilak nang ginawa ni Pepe.”

Its narration was in the perspective of the novel’s author, which was contextualized in Paris, in a dialogue motivated by his roommate Tunying Ibañez, also the role player for Simoun. The instigating curiosity was impelled by Tunying’s observed perturbations of Pepe.

“Ikwento mo ang iyong panaginip, Pepe.”

“Ikwento mo ang iyong pagkabagabag.”

“Sino ka ba, Pepe?”

And then the plot builds up from the climactic events of El Filibusterismo until its grand finale ends in an optimistic rhetoric, which moved me.

“Hindi kaya sinulat niya ito para sa akin?”

Why.

I asked myself, and I remembered being in the immigration department of NAIA’s arrival area. “Bakit ka nandito?”, the lady behind the desk asked as she pointed at my Canadian visa, indicating my permanent residence in Vancouver, and my pending grant for a foreign citizenship. More than feeling like a nomad, I was scratched off my identity. My last cling to it is probably my remaining years in the University of the Philippines.

“Kabataan.”

“Pag-asa ng Bayan.”

“Malapit na ang Minimithing Bayan.”

It was a choice I didn’t make. It was an opportunity we needed. It was a peculiar road I will take to give back. I wouldn’t be writing a classic. I wouldn’t probably die with a gun shot. But I will remain thankful. I will remember and I will never forget.

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