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Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon is a film that effectively depicts the struggle of Philippine independence, and the life of an ordinary boy trying to explore and discover more of the country. The death of his mother and his acquaintance with Padre Gil, a Spanish friar, became a reason for a young man named Kulas Ocampo to traverse and set foot more in a country with lost identity. With so much perseverance and courage, Kulas found Padre Gil’s son, Bindoy and at the same time, met a young gorgeous woman named Diding, an actress who has so much passion and great desirein achieving her dreams and one who immediately caught Kulas’ heart.
Being unfamiliar to the place, Kulas took the opportunity to ask help from a Chinese merchant named Lim, whom they met along the way, to guide and bring them to Padre Gil’s residence since he has to bring Bindoy back to his father. Upon reaching Padre Gil’s residence, Kulas was then arrested and imprisoned with the rebels. It did not take long to set Kulas free out of jail since Don Tibor, an able lawyer of Padre Gil, bailed him out in conformance with Padre Gil’s request. Kulas was also left with a lifetime fortune, and a responsibility to take care of Bindoy by Padre Gil as he had flew back to Spain. His life changed since then; however, it was not enough since he wanted to have Diding as his lifetime partner. Unfortunately, Diding was an ambitious woman who had inhumanity within her when it comes to the process of achieving her dreams which then resulted to breaking Kulas’ heart. With Don Tibor, who has soon found as a greedy and prideful elite, and Diding’s unfaithfulness, Kulas was dismayed and filled with anger against the both of them. Later that time, Kulas was questioned by the Spaniards about the rebels. Remained unconvinced, the Spaniards placed Kulas into prison for the second time and Kulas was then able to escape with Kidlat. During such time, the American freed the Filipinos from the Spanish colonizers. And at the same time, Kulas had trouble with his house since Lim’s mother tried to claim the said property. Don Tibor offered help to Kulas in reclaiming his property and was obviously able to provide statements that proved his ownership; however, at that time, Lim was found dead and Don Tibor met an accident which had him paralyzed for the rest of his life. After an enormous event, it was then found out that Don Tibor was a married man to a woman from IloIlo. Diding overheard the news and later on, asked Kulas to have their marriage. After some time, Diding told the truth about what she felt for Don Tibor. After what Kulas heard, he finally got into senses and made the right decision to leave Diding.
Kulas made sure that Bindoy goes to school and that he is well taken care of before he officially left and went back to his province. The film shows the transition of administration from Spaniards to Americans. It consistently contains and portrays lives of the Filipinos under the ruling of their colonizers. It has evidently shown the inferiority of the Filipinos in their own country which then made the concept of national identity of the Filipinos to be obscured and vague. The question who is the Filipino that Kulas usually asked, became an eye-opener for us Filipinos, especially now that more and more economical advancements are occurring and as a known third world country, we tend to be left behind resulting to Filipinos appreciating more the advancements of other country than their very own. The film also contains war which may portray current real-life feuds that is present in our country. These feuds may involve interpersonal or intrapersonal conflicts. It also strikes the differences between provincial and city lifestyle, social status and affection or love in general.
As for the technicalities, the light and musical scoring is highly in conformity with the Spanish colonization setting which then, provides its viewers an experience in its setting. The whole film relayed so much moral lessons though at times, it gave us a dragging feeling.
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