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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Dec 5, 2020



DIRECTOR JOEL LAMANGAN was congratulated by everyone after the press preview of his Metro-Manila filmfest entry, “Isa Pang Bahaghari”. 

Most writers agree it works as tearjerker that will surely melt the hearts of viewers with its moving story of family, love, forgiveness and acceptance that’s perfect viewing for the coming Christmas season. The acting of the entire ensemble cast cannot be faulted. 

But how does Direk Joel feel that it’s going to be shown just streaming online and not in actual theaters?

“Siempre, I feel sad about it,” he admits. “E, itong ‘Isa Pang Bahaghari’, inapi nila ito, e. Noong nakaraang 2019 filmfest, they rejected it. And now, those who’ve seen it say mas maganda pa ito kaysa ‘Rainbow’s Sunset’ na siyang big winner sa 2918 filmfest. 

"Tapos, ipinasok nila ito sa Summer filmfest daw, na dapat sana, showing noong April, pero hindi naman natuloy dahil nga nagka-pandermic. O, ngayon, tinanggap nila at ibinalik sa December filmfest, pero on streaming naman.”

He prays viewers will still watch it even if it’s not going to be shown in actual theaters. 

“Pero iba pa rin siempre ang experience noong nanonood ka sa loob ng madilim na sinehan at sa malaking screen. Kung ako nga mismo, hindi ako marunong kung paano manood diyan sa streaming. 

"Kailangan daw magbayad ka by Gcash. E, ni wala nga ako niyang Gcash na yan. Siguro sa Metro-Manila, maraming manonood, but sa provinces, I doubt it, kasi ni baka walang wifi ang marami sa tagaroon.”

He has a very valid point here and we think the first thing that the people running the filmfest should do is to educate the general populace on how to access the entries by streaming. 

It’s already been validly observed that Pinoy viewers don’t really want to pay to watch online, since there are many content and shows available now on youtube for free. 

Even Netflix, the most successful streaming platform, doesn’t have that much of a following in our country. We have the lowest Netflix viewership compared to other Asian countries as majority of Pinoys are not really keen on paying to watch something online. 

Even the other local streaming networks also have low subscription. 

Star Cinema tried releasing their horror flick starring Kim Chiu, “U Turn”, online as a special Halloween presentation and it didn’t click with the viewing public who is still not generally used to this kind of setup.

But still, let’s hope for the best, for the sake of the ten entries that are official entries to the Metro filmfest. 

Again, we want to emphasize that the MMFF bosses, as well as the producers of all the entries, should be more active in the educating the public on how they will be able to watch the entries online while within the safety and comfort of their own homes.