Tuesday, April 25th.
I heard three people laughing beyond the thick walls of my tiny apartment. I must say I heard their entire conversation pretty well that I knew how their lives have been before they found this used-to- be quiet building. They’ve been chattering loudly for three weeks now and I just decided to keep it cool, ignore the noise, calm myself before I lose my temper. Maybe they’ll stop or get tired of talking all night every day of their lives. Instead of ruining my day, I opened my laptop, indulge myself into playing Sims and I ended up writing. The new neighborhood crisis sent me back to this review which has been a draft sitting and stuck for months now.
I’ll initially jump into the beat of the film’s CBB score which sums up my entire viewing experience. I’m deeply sunken in awe. It’s way 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten; overrated pun of a phrase, I know, but it justifies the feeling of the film’s audience.
Khalil Ramos was able to live it off and portray the very core of Felix Salonga, a junior high school student who’s currently in the process of puberty finding himself stuck within a loophole of a society of egotism and lust for attention. But unlike the rebellious coming- of- age setting, he’s convinced himself to get the best of what’s left of him after a tragic experience of a calamity when Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991.
The film narrates Felix’ daily life through a diary which their teacher required to complete before the end of the school year. Defending to the students that this journal could be their way to express themselves through the English language. In a Filipino public school during the 90’s, speaking in full English within the school parameters was one of the requirements. Not doing so would mean a pinch on the earlobe or a 5 peso- per- word fine.
Felix finds himself lost around his classmates and teachers who got no clue at all about his existence. He feels the same way about them until Magnus (played by Ethan Salvador) and Maxim Snyder (Jameson Blake) came in the picture.
The Snyders, sons of a noted whore, Demetria (Ana Capri), who gave in to the green pastures of Uncle Sam that went vanished together with the lost American Military bases in Pampanga after a huge volcanic eruption. Magnus is in the same class as Felix, but unlike him, Magnus’ performance in class is far off from passing which lead him to ask for assistance from Felix. This went on and as their friendship strengthens, Felix’ curiosity about the Snyder’s father created an untoward incident.
Magnus lost interest with his studies as he unintentionally knew straight from Demetria that their father will never get back together with them. This is where the dark side of the story starts. I underestimated Maxim’s desperation to seek for their father’s rescue from the hell hole they thought they’re in. But Felix was more concerned about Magnus than he is with Maxim’s death trap for Demetria.
It was a looming phase for the Snyders and Felix always had his way of rescuing Magnus from the edge of the cliff he’s been trying to admit himself into. Their moments together reminded me of the innocence and random longing I felt when I was that age. But at the same time I had to admit, that there was a slight shiver in my system that says intimacy belongs to these two people, Felix and Magnus, both consciousness’ wandering. The fleeting quiver crawls down my spine as Felix threw all his attention to Magnus, but it was too premature for him to accept the longing of Felix and his growing sense of attraction towards him.
It could be a sad story or a dark longing for someone waiting all his life looking for a reason to live. But for me it had a relieving end that at least Felix found a way to express his fondness for Magnus, got an answer out of it and felt pain, one that he’ll never regret getting.