Thursday, October 10, 2013

MAGNIFICO -- one of the best top Filipino movies by: Uel Ceballos

Movie poster from Wikipedia
One of the best top Filipino films, Magnifico is truly a masterpiece that brought its viewers to excessive tears. However, this acclaimed tear-jerker movie didn’t overdo the sentimentality just for the drama’s sake but it let the whole story and the emotions build itself naturally until to such moment that you just couldn’t resist the effect any longer.

Director Maryo J.Delos Reyes and writer Michiko Yamamoto created the film with naturalistic approach. Demonstrating the harsh realities of life and the way a young boy like Ikoy viewed and interpreted it. Magnifico not only showed the life conditions of Ikoy’s family but the entire film also painted the bigger picture of the impoverished lives that were common in the major areas of the country, including the town where Ikoy’s family lived, a town that lived in average and simplicity.

The film told the story of a family with a son who losses his scholarships, a daughter with cerebral palsy and a son, name Ikoy who may not have a good scholastic record like his elder brother but blessed with a good heart that made almost all the people drawn towards him. The story went on how Ikoy, being still a child, already bothered himself about helping to ease his parents’ burdens.  With Ikoy seeing his sick Lola and hearing his mother ranted about the costly burial for the old woman’s expected death, he sought ways to resolve the problem. Together with his bestfriend, Carlo, they worked their ways to the preparations of all things that would be needed for his Lola’s anticipated goodbye.

photo clips from the movie "Magnifico"
Magnifico is amiable on its natural flow and effortless humor, but it became much more remarkable due to its unpredictability. The sudden gush of emotions that the viewers haven’t surely expected is one of the film’s best surprises. Ikoy didn’t just enliven the hopeless town with his positive spirit but he cheered the viewers as well on whatever it is that they may be going through. Through the good hearted character of Magnifico, the film leaves us the lessons that we can deal with any of the life’s hardships as long as we stop looking at things in too much complicated ways.  

For this magnificent multi-awarded Filipino film, let’s drink to it with 8 shots of espresso!!!

TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE ... the final class with Morrie Schwartz by: Uel Ceballos

Photo taken from Wikipedia
It was back to the second year of my college life, on that one lazy afternoon when Yogi Bear, the name we teased to our Intro to Broadcasting professor, entered the classroom with his bearish dimples greeting us. He proceeded to the usual light-hearted discussion, cracking jokes at every half seconds interval and that never fail to uproar the laughter in the class. Ten minutes before the dismissal he announced the book-reading analysis he would require us to submit. The book Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom didn’t sound appealing to me. I wondered if that had something to do with our subject or Yogi Bear was just leaving us something to do while he was commissioned to some far away island for his Press job things; he was a full-time media practitioner and a part-time professor to the poorman’s University. I didn’t get excited about the whole Tuesdays with Morrie project as that seemed to be so dull and boring…well, not after I’ve gone through the first words of Mitch Albom in this must-read masterpiece of him: 

“The last class of my old professor’s life took place once a week in his house, by a window in the study where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed its pink leaves. The class met on Tuesdays. It began after breakfast. The subject was the meaning of Life. It was taught from the experience.” –Mitch Albom

Tuesdays with Morrie was the story of a young man (Mitch) reunited with his old professor (Morrie) after long years of separation and lost contact. So intent was the dying old man to prove that the word “dying” was not synonymous with “useless”, that he made this final project with Mitch, narrating the trip as he crossed the bridge from life to death. On their reunion, the professor and the student came up with this final thesis about life’s greatest lesson. The impact didn’t affect Mitch alone but all the readers who got to know Morrie Schwartz through this beautifully written novel. The book inspired many souls especially those who have walked around for the purpose only of existing; spending their life in meaningless, light-speed pace. Indeed, to sit in Morrie Schwartz’s final class was a life-changing experience.

“Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hang on too long.” –Morrie Schwartz

When I read the chapter of Morries’ final goodbye, I was deeply moved. Suddenly I felt sad about the final class of the old professor going to an end. His life was never wasted anyway; he had lived life to the fullest and had given us profound wisdom and insight. The book is an incomparable treasure that leaves you forever warmed by its heartfelt message.  

“Be compassionate, and take responsibility for each other. If we only learned those lessons, the world would be so much better a place.”

Morrie’s wisdom continuously echoes on me and I would let it echo in my heart and soul for the rest of my life. I was very grateful to Yogi Bear for requiring us to read Tuesdays with Morrie -- this book is what I considered to be the most important lesson that he had imparted to us.

I know that it is still a long journey ahead of me, but I’m starting now to cross the bridge from “existing in life” to “living the life”.  The final lecture with Professor Morrie Schwartz was very memorable and life-inspiring.  I suggest you also take the same class.