Thanks to The Tioseco-Bohinc Film Series, which "picks up where Alexis Tioseco left off with his Fully Booked Screenings," we are once again given the rare opportunity to see and experience independent movies that Alexis believed showcased the best of Filipino film-making. Thanks too (with waving flags and fireworks) to TBFS curators Dodo Dayao, Oggs Cruz and Richard Bolisay for carrying on with the program and all the (selfless) hard work that went and will go into it. The least we can do is to attend the FREE screenings every second Sunday of the month. A full theater means this will go on. Forever. Or until independent cinema is shown in theaters to a full house. Or, forever.
Ray Gibraltar's When Timawa Meets Delgado is unconventionally nosy and furiously questioning as it investigates the boom of the nursing or health care profession in the Philippines. We are all too familiar with the whys (to escape poverty, to earn dollars) but it's the roundabout way of Gibraltar's narrative that slowly reveals the heart, the funnies, the pain of having a dream.
Following the film is a bit of a challenge at first; there are too many things going on, the quality (of the film) and point of views jump with an impatient itch. The movie itself is a patchwork of audio-visual presentations, documentaries, random footage and performance art.
This is where you stand back and tell yourself to relax. And trust the filmmaker.
In the Q & A that followed last Sunday's screening, Gibraltar humbly admitted that he put the film together as if he were cooking, instinctively. But there is obviously order in his madness.
When Timawa Meets Delgado are fragments of confessions that by the film's end reflects our own curious and desperate nature, with a healthy pinch of humor. It is everything (political, experimental, slice of life) and one thing (Delgado and Timawa's journey). It is jumping in on an ongoing dialogue. It is oftentimes how we think in our noisy worlds. And it is the uncomfortable silence when the noise dies down and the question that we tried to drown out is demanding an answer. *****