Happy new year! Classes will begin again in two days so I had to check the remaining long test the whole afternoon. It’s new year but nothing has changed: many students failed the exams. How do I discuss the result to them on Wednesday and still not spoil our first meeting for this year?

Anyway, I finally saw Mano Po III: My Love and Sigaw yesterday, and until now I’m wondering why the former got the best picture award, with its very sloppy script filled with characters without character. So despite the predictability of Sigaw’s first half (the "subtlety" concerning rooms 6 & 9, especially), I definitely like it better than Joel Lamangan’s. Okay, I’ll have to say I’m quite biased for suspense films, but without Vilma Santos (I must admit, she deserved the award) and Eddie Garcia (not Christopher de Leon), Mano Po would have been the filmfest disaster of the year. The shallow characters of Judith, Stephen, and especially Bernadette were equaled by the horrific performances of Karylle (it’s good she can sing), Patrick Garcia (what happened to his Batang PX potential?), and Sheryl Cruz (she doesn’t seem to age, even her acting). I give Mano Po III a C+ (2.50) and Yam Laranas’ a B- (2.75).

My personal ranking of the filmfest entries:

  1. Aishite Masu: Mahal Kita, 1941 (disclaimer: best in the entries, not necessarily an excellent one; it would have been better if Lee got rid of the older Inya as the present-day narrator, I think)
  2. Panaghoy sa Suba
  3. Sigaw
  4. Mano Po III: My Love
  5. So... Happy Together
  6. Spirit of the Glass
  7. Mars Ravelo’s Lastikman
  8. Enteng Kabisote: Okay ka, Fairy Ko... The Legend
Unfortunately for what I think are the better films in this year’s festival, box-office turnout seems to be inversely proportional with my personal taste.