A Letter to Jerrold Tarog and the Team behind #HeneralLuna

By September 21, 2015Uncategorized
Heneral Luna

To Whom It May Concern;

This is an apology.

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for being predictably Filipino and late to catch your film on the first weekend. I’m sorry I didn’t have enough time to spread the word sooner to more people or at least to those immediately around me. I’m sorry you only have two weeks to show this accomplishment of a Film. I’m sorry there aren’t enough screens, cinemas, weeks and supporters for this work.

I’m sorry you did the brave and noble thing of showing it to the Filipino audiences first before trying to shop it out to foreign film festivals as many other independent films do. I’m sure this didn’t pay off…not monetarily at least. You see, we modern Filipinos are still very much like Felipe Buencamino, Pedro Paterno and Emilio Aguinaldo… spreading our legs for what we ignorantly believe is the most powerful nation in the world. I’m sorry we still think and believe that anything or anyone white, English speaking and with a fancy accent can save us from the misery we’ve created. I’m sorry you didn’t take the easy route.

I’m sorry the influential, established producers and studios think the Filipino is too simple-minded, uneducated and ignorant to appreciate good well-researched work like yours. Im sorry they think that the Filipino “Masa” only needs to be spoon-fed with cheap punchlines, bad acting, a simple (or lazy) script, a big named celebrity and mediocre (not to mention rushed) filmmaking.

Im sorry they believe we can’t handle anything “mataas”. I’m sorry they still think we are “mababa”. I’m sorry you trusted the audience enough to watch your film not only for the amazing performances, excellent quality and tasteful control…but for the attempt to stir, shake and break notions.

I’m sorry for giving up on the local Film industry. I’m sorry for throwing in the towel. 

 

I’m sorry for the missed target. While I joined the hundred something warm bodies of a packed Cinema (and thousands on Social Media) in applauding the work… while I earnestly prayed you retrieved your investment with every sold out theater that runs this extended run…while I celebrate the accomplishment the countless names in the credits have created… I’m sorry but I think you missed your real target audience. All of us in the periphery are just enjoying the collateral damage of your attempt.

Like a true marksman you aimed clearly but missed the kill-
Malacanang, Congress, Senate, the Supreme Court.

I’m sorry they were likely in the middle of a circle jerk and too cowardly to watch a film that mirrored their treason too starkly, too blatantly. They must be remotely related to that Captain from Cavite, or General Mascardo from Pampanga, who were too pedantic and egotistical to care for anyone else, much less the country.

I’m sorry that none of whom I’m even considering for President in 2016 has watched, endorsed or shared an opinion about your film. I‘m sorry they’re too caught up in continuing someone else’s “legacy”, finishing what someone else “started”, spewing out motherhood statements, or writing their own delusional SONA.

 

I’m sorry not nearly enough Filipinos will be able to see your work. After the buzz dies down, after Pastillas Girl or some other shallow TV Network war or sex scandal kills the well-deserved hype of your film the way they brutally killed and murdered Luna, everything will be back to the disturbingly normal.

I’m sorry the Filipino is too entrenched in his own affairs, businesses, agendas, vanities to really care or understand what Sovereignty truly means. I’m sorry I no longer know what it is to be “Filipino.”

I’m sorry for enjoying the benefits of this Freedom, but being too pussy to fight for it. 

I’m sorry I didn’t know enough about Antonio Luna. I’m sorry we killed him, and I’m sorry that we continue to burn the flag for every second we choose not to look and for every second we choose not to see.

I’m sorry nothing has changed. 

If you can find it in your souls to forgive, and in giving us that indulgence will fuel you to make more films like these then let my penance be to pray for your continued work. But if our sins are too many and too deep, then let its wage be Death. Let me and the rest of my countrymen pay for it with blood, if there aren’t enough of us dying already.

Count me in your revolution… I have a good amount of blood to spill too. 

The Truth, after all, is just like blood- no matter how much you try to wash it up…it always leaves a stain.

Thank you for this blood stain. 

Integrity
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JPV

Author JPV

JPV is a professional TV commercial director, an independent filmmaker, an entrepreneur and a jerky maker. As sophisticated as he thinks he is, his wife thinks otherwise. He has a hard time fitting into RTW pants, and prefers to drink a peaty Islay scotch or a Bombay Tonic.

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