The Pig Finds Its Way in Ray Gibraltar’s When Timawa Meets Delgado (2007) January 12, 2008Posted by Richard Bolisay in Asian Films, Indie Sine, Mogwai, Noypi.
Written and Directed by Ray Gibraltar
Poetry by J. I. E. Teodoro
Cast: Kristoffer Grabato, Sofie Garrucho, Rhenomar Soqueño
Gandhi’s words still resonate up to this day: Poverty is the worst form of violence. Indeed if it takes a huge sum of money to send someone to nursing school, then how come we have thousands of licensed nurses every year? A puzzling follow-up question would have to be, Are we really poor? How does the idea of poverty in relation to the drastic increase of nursing students in the last ten years strike you? Of course there are countless stories and countless reasons – – long enough to fill Smokey Mountain and Payatas – – and after all, no one gets the blame for it except the government, not that there’s always a need to pass the blame, but this economic and national condition we have with regard to overseas employment – – homesick maladies and the never-ending quest for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – – has gone a little absurd, which perfectly describes the times we have today.
It is ruffling. Details are layered unmindfully — but I don’t mind because they very well represent the course of things — that perhaps we are all hamsters in a cage running tirelessly backwards, for years, for decades, for centuries. The feel of a music video prevails all throughout, but not the type that blows your optic nerves up to the point of satiation — the type that kills silently and leaves a bad taste in your mouth — no, not that sort. It almost ends when Timawa finally meets Delgado, for no apparent reason except that both of them want to serve humanity, and humanity is not even asking for their service! Clips of their lives roll — atheistic scriptures, lost souls, hi-jacked romance, recurring social anomalies — but the thing that sticks like a leech stuck on one’s leg, sucking its blood till it resorts to laughing, bursting, laughing — is The Pig. Discerning, disconcerting, and delusional – – whimsical, that’s the word; in fact it’s so brilliant it makes a lot of sense the less you understand the poem itself. Timawa’s deity and the use of folk music, plus the metaphor and the alternation of language, signify a troubled nation slaughtered by pigs, piglets, and piggies, every one of them, and the greatest thing? – – we laugh. Even its title speaks of a universe of conflicting things, representations of history in present society, and it is just safe to laugh them off. Gibraltar adds talking heads of nurses and prospective nurses, not to mention degree holders and second-course students who shifted to nursing – – more and more it doubles the strangeness of meeting these people – – we know them but we don’t really know them – – the vane of alienation spins savagely and has no idea where to point at. Their experiences are real, but what’s more real is the plurality of things; that even though we come from different places, with different language and different beliefs, we all come to a point of intersection – – we are not parallel lines after all – – and the harsh realities that we share as a nation, no matter how stark or subtle, are the ropes that keep us together. These are the virtual hands of our bleak nation, the virtual hands that will keep us sane. Straight from the heart, Ray Gibraltar’s When Timawa Meets Delgado is an absolution. Go and see it. * * * *