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Tonyo or Lea

Netnet Camomot

“Nagugutom ako kapag nakarinig ako ng bell. Naaalala ko ang recess,” says Tonyo (Empoy Marquez) in the movie, “Kita Kita.”

For President Rody Duterte, though, his line could be, Naaalala ko ang Philippine-American War and Balangiga kapag nakarinig ako ng bell.

There are Pinoys whose thought bubble now is, Why focus on the return of the Balangiga Bells? How about the West Philippine Sea? Hmmm. It’s called priorities. Or whatever makes the president’s heart shout for joy, like the curses he loves to throw around.

Well, if Pinas were a relationship, its most apt description would be, It’s complicated. With the country having a collection of extremists, terrorists, communist rebels, add to that the illegal drug industry—yup, complicated.

Presidente Duterte said in his State of the Nation Address (Sona) last Monday, “The red insurgency has been with us for decades; the Muslim issue, for centuries. So much time has lapsed, so many lives have been lost and so much destruction has been wrought but peace eludes us still.”

“Sometimes I am almost tempted to conclude that peace might not be able to come during our lifetime. But believe me, it will not be for want of trying. And I will persist in our goal of attaining peace (up) to the last day of this administration and maybe even beyond although in a different capacity,” he added.

That kind of commitment to peace must be familiar to Tonyo whose love for Lea is what President Duterte may describe as unremitting and unrelenting.

But when the president says, “maybe even beyond although in a different capacity,” could that mean, as father of the newly elected president by then? There were rumors once upon a time that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte could be the country’s next president. With his daughter at the helm, Pinoys can expect for the smoking ban and the war on drugs to continue.

Last Monday was probably the first time for a Philippine president to talk with protesters right after delivering his Sona. Well, define talk. More like reprimanding them?

Protesters have become a usual part of the Sona. It must be a commitment for them, too, to have a rally outside of the Sona’s venue, and let their voices be heard.

The latest Sona was peppered with the president’s usual curses, the words he couldn’t live without. I don’t know if anyone monitored the number of applauses the speech received, but surely there’s at least one who cared to tabulate his curses and the number of times he uttered each one of them. They’re still bad words, though—the kind that you may blurt out while trying to keep up with a busy sked, provided they’re for your ears only, and not for anyone who may happen to listen to your soliloquy.

“Sugar, spice and everything nice” is still the preferred way to deliver a message. You know, best served cold. Er, oops! Wrong quote.

Nice is best served warm, with the warmest smile, the warmest heart, warmest love—warm, warm, warm. We’re not talking about “the early bird catches the worm.” No, not worm. Warm.

And that’s what “Kita Kita” has—warmth.

Tonyo cooked sinigang na baboy for Lea (Alessandra de Rossi). So, we had sinigang na baboy at Kuya J for dinner right after watching the film. Yum!

This is the movie where you’ll laugh and cry and leave the cinema with a longing for a simpler life, and where dreams can come true by making a thousand cranes.

A friend made paper cranes as table décor for an induction last year. I asked her if her wish came true, and she said yes.

I don’t remember making a wish then. After all, I wasn’t the one who made the thousand cranes. But with more time to read and write now, yes, wish fulfilled.

Pinas may have to wish for more time to read and write, too. It’s when there’s silence that a country can listen to its own heartbeat. But there’s much noise now, and to think the Balangiga Bells are still somewhere out there, waiting to be brought back to Pinas.

Any sound always means something. It can be that of a bell, a bomb, a bullet. And then, there’s the sound of silence. But if I go back to Tonyo’s story to make you understand the sound of silence, that will be a spoiler alert. So, go watch the movie already.


About Netnet Camomot

Netnet Camomot once edited a society page and covered society stories for another newspaper. She has long been writing about the lighter side of anything under the sun, including pressing issues of the day, with a touch of humor.

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