Every year during the Christmas season, the Philippines has its own version of the Oscars called the Metro Manila Film Festival. Similar enough, the MMFF also has an awards night wherein the criteria are ever-changing, and most awards are given with no basis. The MMFF season is that one time of the year when all the cinemas in the country show these MMFF official entries. The MTRCB and other actors and actresses say that this is a way of supporting Philippine cinema as it is currently dying and losing out to Hollywood films. The intention is good, but if you would see these films, you would definitely rush to Divisoria, buy a pirated DVD-copy of a Hollywood film and watch it at home. All the movies in the MMFF remind you why the Philippine film industry is dying, and why people would much prefer watching Hollywood movies.
What can you expect from a typical MMFF season? An Enteng Kabisote movie in another spinoff, a sequel to a previous box-office success albeit with a disconnecting storyline (e.g. Mano Po), a Bong Revilla movie because he wants more fame as an actor to gain an even more “popular” status in politics despite doing a horrible job with the latter, a remake of a classic, a ripoff of an international movie, and that one movie which had potential concept-wise but suffered due to bad directing, screenplay and writing. Clearly, all the support Philippines’ own movies claim done by MTRCB and actors and actresses is all an act. MMFF is obviously about making a million pesos out of fickle-minded Filipinos. Just give the Filipinos some awful, same-as-always slapstick comedy and they will laugh about it because they just want to be “happy.” All the Christmas bonuses the Filipinos get go to the pockets of these mediocre and money-hungry sharks. Please, we already know the Philippine film industry is dying and clearly cannot compete with Hollywood films when shown side-by-side in theaters, but this crap is just unbearable.
Cinemalaya entries produce better outputs and it is no wonder these films are being acclaimed internationally – nominated and having won international awards. To name such movies, Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros, Ang Babae sa Septic Tank, Zombadings, etc. These movies diverge from the typical slapstick comedy that MMFF constantly feeds us. Sad to say, they do not get that much hype and publicity from everyone because most Filipinos are already longing for the horrible films that MMFF produces.
MMFF are not films that can be considered world-class. In fact, these MMFF entries will not even be considered to international acclaims. Unlike Cinemalaya films, these are films that people should be ashamed why they patronize them. These films promote mediocrity and stupidity. Obviously, these films indirectly influence their watchers and give them some make-believe stuff about happiness and love. Also, haven’t we seen and observed the same plot over and over again? In all the genres – may it be horror, drama, comedy and etc., everything is just as predictable. Seeing these films gross a million pesos is disappointing. Supporting the MMFF films is tolerating their lack of creativity, continuance of mediocre outputs, and greed. Gawin mong sulit ang pera mo.
Bimby: “What’s sulit, mommy?”
Kris: “It’s getting more for what you pay for.”
Are watching MMFF films sulit? Definitely not.