Thursday, December 01, 2005


I was in a Star Cinema conference room, sitting across me is a writer, honestly, his name, I haven't heard before, in my left is Olivia Lamasan, a cup of coffee in one hand and a menthol cigarette on the other, one member of the creative team is also with us. I have been invited to be a subject for a story that is still being brewed.

Finally, the other writer that we were waiting for stepped in. She is carrying a huge shoulder bag, and a broad sheet. She apologized and immediately sat beside the other writer. She opened the news paper, looking for something . . . . . then she said, "It's here, we won!"

That was the first time I heard the name MAXIMO OLIVEROS.

Little did I know, that the writers who were there are one of those who are responsible for an indie film, which started small but later would be considered as one of the best films of the year.

From that day onwards, I have been lusting to see ANG PAGDADALAGA NI MAXIMO OLIVEROS but due to my entangled schedules, it was deemed near to impossible. My desperation intensified as accolades from left and right were thrown at the film and how it swept awards from international film festivals.

Yesterday, while still furious and mourning due to the loss of my beloved TAPPY (even though ancient, my IBM ThinkPad is my best buddy for the past years) I opened my email in the office, overflowing with emails of people looking for me and endless follow-ups. Suddenly I felt as if I just ressurected from the dead because it is not only TAPPY, which got lost (or stolen) but also SIXSIE, my 6600. They were together in one bag as we wait for our plane to Manila in Davao Aiport. Next thing I knew, it was no longer there where I left it.

Anyway, whining aside, one email stood out from my inbox with the subject "fan of baddinggerzie/favor to ask". I froze on my seat with delight and excitement . . . . "Shet! Heto na siya!!!!"

you are invited to the movie's premiere night tonight, tuesday, november 29,
7:00 p.m. at sm megamall cinema 2

And the movie that he is talking about is none other than, "ANG PAGDADALAGA NI MAXIMO OLIVEROS"

Unfortunately, I opened that email a day late and I wasn't able to go to the premiere night. But I immediately closed my computer, got my things and told Becky that I am going to see a movie that made me salivate like a mad dog with rabies for the past months. I won't let the day pass without seeing a "legend" in the making.

At around 9, I was in front of the ticket booth in Gateway Cineplex.

"PAGDADALAGA po," I told the ticket lady.

As the movie opened with an "estero", I prepared myself for total bliss, with college girls giggling on my left and stiff dykes on my right.

Until now, I'm speechless. I'm still carrying the same surreal feeling I have last night while incessantly applauding as the credits rolled out in the end.

Technically, it was not a "gay" film, and as Howie Severino puts it, "what I saw were characters who happened to be gay in a work of art that told the truth about our society."

The film cracked my hard shell, developed through time and experiences (mostly bad). It made me go back and feel the raw emotions of first love, of how pure and innocent it was. It ignites a different "kilig" feeling, not the same "kilig" feeling as you see Judy Ann Santos asking for extra rice as she daydreams of Piolo Pascual, it is not the same "kilig" feeling as you see Meg Ryan going through the barriers of time just to be with Hugh Jackman. Those are artifical "kilig" feelings brought about by goodlooking actors exchanging sugar coated lines. APMO extracts not these but the reality that we have long-forgotten. It is like looking at ourselves in the mirror, not that all of us were fond of "puki" shorts and hair clips when we were on our teens . . . . but looking through the eyes of Maxi, as he cooks dinner for his father and kuyas and as he peaks at the hunky police officer, Kuya Victor, while putting on his undies, makes you go "oowwwww ang sweet" and tili to the maximum level like a love-deprived bitch.

I was glued on my seat, my eyes are keen for every detail, my ears filtering every word spoken:

Maxi and Victor are seated side by side one afternoon. Maxi is helping Kuya Victor shine his shoes . . . . . without "keme" and with the super-pagirl smile Maxi asks:

"Kuya Victor, may syota ka na ba?"

Victor faces the twelve-year
old, "Baket? May nakikita ka bang babae na kasama ko? At saka istorbo lang yan
sa trabaho."

Maxi smiles and blurts, "Ano ba ang tipo mo sa babae?"

The kilig that Maxi felt and the expected embarrassment from Kuya Victor, while blushing was felt, detail by detail, by the audience controlling the urge to scream their hearts out.

"Ikaw? Kelan ka ba magkakaGIRLfriend?" Kuya Victor asks.

We laughed. As a gay man, I know, it would be best just to get a knife and stab yourself than to be asked that question.

So as Maxi, even at a very young age, is very aware of this.

"Kuya Victor naman, nakakasuka. Hindi kami talo noh! Ayaw ko na nga."

Maxi shoves the shoe, obviously offended by the question, stands and walks
towards the gate to leave.

"San ka pupunta?" Victor asks.

Maxi stopped, his back still against his knight in shining armor, sneering.

"Baket? Ayaw mo bang malaman ang tipo ko sa isang babae?"

Maxi turns around, forgets his "pag-iinarte", smiles and heads straight back to Victor, longing to hear . . . . .

"Ang tipo ko sa isang babae . . . . . ."

Maxi smiles, kilig to the bones, super pa-girl, tucks his not so long hair behind an ear . . .

"eh yung simple, mahinhin tsaka maasikaso."

Immediately, the audience, including me, could no longer suppress th scream . . . . then . . . . . everyone just exploded, screaming in delight, laughing and applauding.

Then, there was the first kiss, stolen by Maxi, while Victor was eating lunch cooked by the infatuated teen. Then, Victor said something out of surprise and flattery but I wasn't able to get it because the entire cinema was rowdy and there was an earsplitting noise. I've neither seen nor heard a crowd being so "kilig" before. And to think of that it was a mixed crowd, girls, boys, fathers, mothers etc.

After all the hearts being engulfed in pleasure, the resentment emanated in the cinema as Maxi began to stand between his family that loves him the most and the hunky policeman, investigating a murder. Maxi knew the killer, it was his eldest brother, KUYA BOY. The blood-stained shirt that he washed told it all.

There was the dilemma; will Maxi tell the love of his life that it is his Kuya Boy they're looking for or will he protect his family of crooks?

VICTOR: Maxi, 'nung isang gabi, nakita ko, meron kang sinusunog na damit. Kanino yon?

MAXI: Hindi ko alam! Hindi ko alam!!!


MAXI: Kuya, ano pong gagawin 'nyo kay Kuya Victor? wag nyo po siyang

A slap from Maxi's father landed on his

MANG PACO: Parati na lang yan si Victor. Simula nang dumating
yan dito parating siya na lang. Hindi mo na ba kami naiisip?

Or something like that.

I really have so much to tell about this movie and I will not be able to say it all in one sitting.

One more thing though, I have noted that the audience applauded like more than ten times in between scenes plus the earsplitting noises that I was talking about earlier. At the end, people were all standing, clapping, while credits are rolling out and did not leave until they were able to see the names of the people who brought this movie to life.

On my home, I said to myslef: SHET! PARANG GUSTO KONG MAGDALAGA ULET?!

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PS. Siguro super wonderbra ang mga beauty 'nyo kung baket bumubula ang bunganga kez ng INGLET ano? Oh well. Isa lang ang ma-ichichika ko - masyado na sigurong redundant kung babaklain ko pa itu and out of respect na ren to the movie itself . . . (shet! respect . . . meron pa pala ako non). Anyway, anik pa ang super waitsiva 'nyo . . . shoma na ang jinternet. Stop and cancel everything . . . attacksiva na sa nearest cinema . . . WATCH ANG PAGDADALAGA NI MAXIMO OLIVEROS or else . . . . . echoz! Mag-threat ba? You'll miss a part of your life pag witchelles nyez itez na-sighteousbelles ever!!!

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