|Bayan O Sarili: A digital cutout work made by yours truly|
"Negosyo o Kalayaan, Bayan o Sarili, Mamili Ka!" shouted Heneral Luna (as masterfully played by John Arcilla) in the 2015 film named after the movie's main protagonist, the great late General Antonio Luna. The film tackled a vital part of history, while striking a chord in the hearts of the people as they start to mull over the future of the country in the upcoming election.
Delightful enough, the movie managed to gather a large audience, despite being a historical film. As mentioned before in the movie, Jose Rizal, making a historical film is almost akin to financial suicide because who in God's name would even watch such a "boring" film? Tarog managed to challenge that notion. Taking liberties, he mixed touches of the old Filipino humor to tickle the Filipino funny bone and at the same time added dabs of drama and action that directly pointed a spotlight at the painful pangs of the nation's birth in 1899; a nation still struggling who or what it is, and the men and women who served in the Filipino-American War.
The film also opens to the people the certain intrigues and controversies that hound our history books (which has always been dripping red) and that our history teachers sometimes keep quiet about. We people rarely discuss what transpired during those fateful years, as if we did have amnesia, forcefully trying to erase a part of us, a cover up so as to not ever put America liable for what they have done (like, for example, killing all boys above the age of ten, hmmm?) and the massacre that they committed in our soils. But to form a real image of us, a complete one, we must look at our history with our own naked eyes and not through pink colored shades.
History Repeats Itself
We have tons of people like Paterno and Buencamino and the other members of the elite legislature which formed the Malolos Republic who put their own interests above themselves, It has happened before and it always happens. When will we ever learn? The only business of the politician is the welfare of the people, nothing more and nothing less. But instead of voting the right people we insist on voting the famous clowns and puppets who entertain us. Do everyone a favor. Vote. The future of the nation is in your hands.
And before you vote based on who gave you the largest sum, let Luna ask you:
Bayan... o Sarili?