Saturday, December 23, 2006

PDI Forum by Noelani Torre

What's your best local movie of the year?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

IYM No.11

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

IYM No.10

Nay, mag-isa lang ba ginawa ni Louise ang pulseras?
Ako lang ang nagtali.

Ako, ako lang mag-isang gumawa n'yan.

Ang galing mo nga eh. Kahit ang bata mo pa,
kaya mo nang mag-isa.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

IYM No. 9

Nanay ko yan!
Oo, alam ko. Mamya pupunta kami sa ilog.
Sama ka?
Andyan nanay ko eh.
Wala ka pala.

Anong wala?
Eh ba't ayaw mo?
Eh ayoko ko.
Wala ka pala.
Ikaw ang wala.

Mga walang modo!

IYM No.8

Thanks to our creative Kasambahays- Nana & Tess for these wonderful Louise's Bunnica Bday cupcakes!

Friday, December 15, 2006

IYM No.7

…Nay, puwede akong sumama?
Sige na, po.

Ay! Huwag kang ganyan.
Hindi ako susuka.
Hindi naman yung pagsuka e. Anak, huwag mo akong pahirapan.
Alam mo naman hindi pwede.
Ruby, anong sinabi ko sa iyo kanina?
Bawal pong sumama.

Magtatampo si Ruby. Darating ang bus.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

IY Moment No.6

IY Moment No.5

IY Moment No.4

What should I call her?
Kamukha siya ni Ruby. Magkakulay. Yung batang
'yon babad kasi sa araw. Lagalag.
Lag-a-lag? What's that?
Lagalag...Ano ba iyon, palaboy. Pirmeng wala sa bahay. Laging nasa labas.

She's allowed?
Allowed? Anong allowed?
She's allowed to go out of the house? By herself?
Ah oo! Iba kasi doon.

'Ya, what if I call her Ruby?
Talaga? Kung malaman 'yan ni Ruby, kikiligin 'yon...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

IY Moment No.3

...huwag na huwag mong pababayaan si Ruby.

Ano naman akala n'yo sa akin?

Malay ko, baka unahin mo pa ang anak ng iba kaysa anak mo.

Ayan na naman kayo, paulit-ulit na lang.

Naawa lang ako. Wala na ngang tatay...

Oo na, wala pang nanay...Pero anong magagawa ko?

IY Moment No.2

...ang kapal namboboso!

Ano? Sino?!

Si Junathan.

Sino naman si Junathan?

Yung anak ni Ruben. Sumugod nga dito...

IY Moment No.1

Ruby at Junathan sa manggahan.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

‘Inang Yaya’ commands attention, respect and involvement

By Nestor Torre

MARICEL SORIANO’S CURRENT STARRER, “Inang Yaya,” is one of her best thespic showcases ever. For this perceptive and finely crafted production (directed by first-timers Pablo Biglang-Awa and Veronica Velasco for Unitel), Maricel drops most of her signature acting ties, in favor of a simply but deeply felt portrayal that is luminous, affecting and inspiring to behold.

In the family drama, Maricel plays the “Mommy Yaya” of spoiled, English-speaking Louise (Erika Oreta), the daughter of yuppies portrayed by Sunshine Cruz and Zoren Legaspi.

They’re often busy with work and social obligations, so Maricel has been their daughter’s surrogate mom. Louise may be a hoity-toity brat, but she loves her yaya to bits.

Trouble is, Maricel has a daughter of her own in the province—Ruby (Tala Santos), who’s being cared for by her grandmother (Marita Zobel), and aches for her mother’s presence.

That’s the film’s central irony: Maricel is forced to earn money for her daughter by taking care of—and loving—somebody else’s child, while her own daughter grows up without a mother.

Yes, her basic needs are paid for, but there’s a hole in her heart that nothing and nobody can fill—aside from her hardworking mother, who perforce is unable to.

It’s a hurt as old as the movie hills, but “Inang Yaya” makes it especially painful by not going whole hog in the melodrama and tearjerker departments.

All of the movie’s hurting characters wear their pain on their sleeves, but they don’t beat themselves—and the film audience—black and blue and bathetic with it. Such restraint is admirable and exceedingly rare to see on the local screen.

In any case, the emotionally untenable situation changes when Maricel is forced to bring her daughter to live with her in her employers’ home.

Alas, the change is not necessarily for the better, as the two girls from both sides of the social divide bicker and fight for Maricel’s love.

Other problems intrude and obtrude, until one “inang yaya” doesn’t know how else to divide himself up to please all of the people who demand her attention and affection.

Yes, she makes the “right” decision in the end, but only after so much struggle and strife. And the viewer suffers and learns along with her.

This is Maricel’s movie, but interestingly enough, Sunshine Cruz also comes on strong in this production. And the two new child actresses who play Louise and Ruby turn in absolutely pitch-perfect performances.

This early, we bet that, come film awards time, they’ll win a slew of trophies as an ensemble act—together!

Beyond excellent performance, however, “Inang Yaya” commands attention respect and involvement as one of the better films of 2006.

Do yourself a favor and catch it soonest—among other beneficial effects, it will help restore your admiration for Filipino films.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Inang Yaya going strong on its 2nd week

excerpt from Star Circuit by Ricky Calderon
Freeman Entertainment 12.08.06

Mr. Tony Gloria, the big boss of Unitel Pictures, is very pleased with the box-office results of "Inang Yaya," which is still going strong on its second week. Aside from being a critical success, "Inang Yaya" also did very well at the box-office and is being talked about as a potential awards winner in next year''s awards derbies, with Maricel Soriano being touted as the actress to beat with her fine performance.

Kudos also to the two directors, Pablo Biglang-Awa and Veronica Velasco, with a special mention to Roni for her beautiful script.

The "Inang Yaya" team had a thanksgiving party where they were congratulated by Mr. Gloria for a job well done. Incidentally, "Inang Yaya" has already been subtitled and will be shown abroad. We''re not yet sure if it would be joining international film festivals (but we believe it should). Unico Pictures, the partner of Unitel Pictures, will handle the international screenings of "Inang Yaya" and the possibility of it being marketed and shown in film festivals.

To those who still haven''t seen "Inang Yaya," do see it and marvel at the beauty of this simple film that would definitely touch your hearts and make you cry.


Mama Nana / Inang Yaya

Carver's House

Carlo Vergara on Inang Yaya

Friday, December 01, 2006


Reymundo Salao Inang Yaya Review

The hand that rocks the cradle rules our hearts

Inang Yaya
Directed by Pablo Biglang-awa and Veronica Velasco

Vol. XX, No. 92
Friday-Saturday, December 1-2, 2006 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES


That we all measure our reality by the mirrors that reflect them is an indication of the power of film and its ability to show us what is hidden from our own selves. It is a lofty aspiration: to mirror the truth and lay it barefaced for all to see. Yet, more often than not, this influential medium is used to obfuscate and befuddle, much to the delight of commercial enterprises that seek no other reward than money.

In truth, local cinema has wallowed in a quagmire of B-movies over the last few years, in a peat of decomposing ideas unfit for the cultivation of creative thought. The Golden Age of Philippine Cinema awaits its rebirth, but, sadly, there are very few to answer such an imposing call.

There is, however, reason enough to smile these days, and it’s kept me in a better mood than I have been in of late. Call it the holiday spirit inevitably coloring the sentiments of a cynic like me. It may even be the inebriating spirit of a glass too many of eggnog too early in the season, but suffice to say that in a season of tiresome remakes, unimaginative exploitation of serials, and depressingly formulaic horror flicks, Unitel Pictures’ Inang Yaya rises from the lot like Aphrodite born in a sea of foam.

It’s a rarity in current Philippine cinema, given its deteriorating state. And it’s exactly the sort of feature film that makes you second-guess the future of the local motion picture industry. Hmmm. Maybe things aren’t so bad after all.

Maricel Soriano topbills as Norma, a.k.a. "Inang Yaya" or, literally translated, "mother nanny." A single mother, she is forced to leave behind her daughter Ruby (Tala Santos) in the care of her mother Tersing (Marita Zobel.) An all-around helper in the household of May and Noel (Sunshine Cruz and Zoren Legaspi), she earns this loving moniker from Louise (Erika Oreta), the seven-year-old child she has cared for since birth.

A crisis ensues, however, and Ruby moves in with her mother, thanks to Norma’s grateful employers who can’t seem to live without her. It’s happily ever after then, right? Think again. As in the case of real life, the transition is not as rosy as it seems. Norma, Ruby, and Louise all find themselves in a balancing act of love and loyalty, and of compassion and personal desires, walking a hair-thin line of economic divide.

It’s an ordinary life of servitude, common to many and identifiable to Filipino families all over the world. Whatever the arguments may be for or against the very notion of household help, they all fly in the face of our culture. Truth be told, we’ve probably all had the same experiences — or close to them — changed only by our different personal perspectives. Nannies, or more commonly known as our ubiquitous yayas, are a part of Filipino family life. Many of us grew up with them and, in turn, have assimilated them into our adult lives.

Yet, as seemingly "common" and "necessary" as they are to our lives, we often take them for granted. The poet William Ross Wallace once wrote, "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world," and, to children growing up in a nanny’s loving care, no words ring truer. Our nannies are our surrogate parents, there for us when our own flesh and blood is conspicuously absent. They lighten the load immensely for us; they are a ready helping hand to ease the burdens of everyday. They give us respite and rest from the troubles of the world.

And this where Inang Yaya succeeds in realizing the enormity of an otherwise "insignificant" sector of our society. By immersing us in a realistic family situation, we find our selves — our values and truths — mirrored in the depiction of the film. From the provincial household of Lola Tersing, to the more modern and decidedly sophisticated lifestyle of working parents May and Noel, directors Pablo Biglang-Awa and Veronica Velasco get the rhythm of life down pat. Their characters are fleshed out with real skin, bones, even grit, that it becomes almost instinctive for viewers to empathize with their plight.

Moreover, Ms. Velasco, as the film’s writer, has imbued her characters with lifelike representations of real-life people. Lola Toots, Louise’s abrasive and surly grandmother (played by the fascinating Liza Lorena), is not the tiresome caricature she seems to be. Scratching at the surface of her blossoming relationship with Ruby, our notions of contentiousness and indifference are tested. Beneath this ill-humored, stubborn old woman springs forth a wealth of emotions, some noble and some, well, just plain human, that reject ambivalence at any level.

Ms. Soriano does an excellent job portraying Norma, a woman torn between love for her daughter and the child she considers all but her own. There are no excessively sentimental or cloying scenes to keep the mood depressing; instead, Ms. Soriano deftly highlights the poignancy of Norma’s plight with restrained acting, albeit one that breaches through the artifice of howlers and snot-nosed tearjerkers.

Sunshine Cruz and Zoren Legaspi play supporting roles to the triumvirate of Norma, Louise, and Ruby, but, as brief as their appearances may be, they are convincingly consistent as busy working parents: loving, concerned, but with just a tad too little time in their hands. Perhaps it is well and good that they are now parents themselves. Rather than simply being cast as glamorous figureheads, they provide the film with more meat and soul.

Nonetheless, the real revelations of the movie are the child actresses hired from an audition of hundreds. (Log on to YouTube to see footage of the audition, and you’ll certainly agree with the choice of casting.) Erika Oreta’s Louise is a perfect foil to Tala Santos’ Ruby. Each representing half of Norma’s heart, they play off as yin and yang, the refined vis-Ö-vis the gruff, the child of her heart as opposed to the child of her womb. Both possess a natural charm for the camera, though it is the irrepressible Santos who deserves special mention as a gifted performer, one who can summon emotions simply with a pout or even just a downcast glance.

That being said, I must comment on a little product placement that seems out of sync in the overall scheme of things. On two separate occasions, a specific product was integrated into the scene, calling attention to itself rather than blending into the natural progression of the work. It’s a momentary lapse in judgment on the part of the film’s makers, I believe, and fortunately, despite its very obvious intentions of commercial promotion and recall, viewers who shared the screening room with me were more wont to smile about it and simply brush it off. I note, however, that this would not have worked in a lesser-caliber film.

Inang Yaya is definitely a first rate production. It absolutely deserves the grade-A rating it received from the Cinema Evaluation Board. Smooth, with a strong story line, solid execution, great production values, and even greater acting, Inang Yaya succeeds in transporting us from the realm of make-believe to real life. Best of all, Inang Yaya reminds us that love is never divided, just always multiplied.