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Pagbalik: A film for Filipino Families

“A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of the people.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

Filipinos are known to be family oriented and the love and respect for each other signifies our true Filipino value.

This is shown in how we deal and care for our elderly, our family relationship and challenges to improve our lot in life. The Visayan Film Industry is given a boost in this year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP), with the film Pagbalik, a movie that everyone should watch.

This story appeared on Page 1 of the September 15, 2019 issue of Mindanao Times. To download a copy, visit www.bit.ly/MindanaoTimes

Pagbalik received the highest rating from the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB). The film is in Cebuano language with English subtitles and was filtered with black and white to focus more on the storyline and the characters’ emotions.

“Pagbalik is a drama film which everyone, people of all ages can relate to … the story is very simple but will surely touch everyone’s heart, including the millennials kasi minsan they are left with unimaginable responsibilities that is beyond their control. So I hope a lot of people get to watch the film because it is the story of our lives,” Maria Ranillo, also known as Suzzette Ranillo, said.

The story centers around the mutual relationship of the three family members, Choleng (played by Gloria Sevilla) is an ailing grandmother who seems to be insensible to the quiet agony of her daughter and her grandchild, Rica (played by Suzette Ranillo, the director herself) is a striving OFW mother who is willing to sacrifice for the family, and Vince (played by Vincent Ranillo) is a responsible and devoted son who is yearning for his mother’s affection and who is also having a hard time taking care of his grandmother.

Same as any other film, the crew and casts have also encountered challenges while making the movie. Suzette revealed that they had to research on the nuances of different Visayan dialects to be more authentic. To do this, they had to go through the fine print of the script.

“It’s not easy to direct your own mother,” Suzette said, with a wide grin. “When I’ll tell her ‘Sige ma dito ka, dapat ganito, ganon’ tapos she’s like ‘Alam ko ang ginagawa ko bat mo ako tinuturuan’ sometimes she forgets that this is work pero eventually she listens naman,” Suzette added.

The movie has been shown on different schools and areas in the Visayas and here in Mindanao, and has made positive impressions to viewers, most of them fully relating to the characters of the mother, daughter and grandson. Even with the simple plot, the story telling draws viewers to the transformation of the characters all throughout the film.

Pagbalik, according to Suzette, tells the story of how relationships in the family are nurtured and how the challenges and sacrifices are appreciated by family members. The scenes are incredibly moving, and tears at the heart of the viewers without the usual hysterics and hair-pulling.

“The film is about our culture, it is our story,” she said.

The movie is now showing in cinemas in the city from September 13-19, 2019.

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