Wednesday, August 23, 2017

BATUBATO SA LANGIT: SEQUENCE TREATMENT

BATUBATO SA LANGIT
Sequence treatment at mga awit
para sa isang sarsuwelang pampelikula
SECOND DRAFT

Book by Jose F. Lacaba
Music by Ding Achacoso 
  

1.         INT. MOVIE SET. DAY.
Story conference. The director explains to the creative staff and the cast:
DIREK
We're doing a zarzuela of sorts, set in the Japanese occupation. We'll shoot it on 16-mm black-and-white film.
As you can see, we're trying to do something different here. We're trying to beat the System. Or, if that sounds pretentious, we're trying to go around the System.
The System requires that a movie intended for a theatrical commercial release should be shot on 35-mm color film, preferably with superstars in the cast, usually with formula stories, stereotyped characters, and harmless themes. In this way, or so the System believes, you are assured of box- office results, and you don't get in trouble with the censors or the powers that be.
DIREK (cont.)
We've tried to beat the System at its own game. Working within the System, we've tried to do serious films with one eye on the box-office. Sometimes we succeeded, sometimes we didn't, but usually we've found ourselves banging smack against the country's antiquated censorship rules.
This time around let's try to ignore the System. We might have to come to terms with it later, after we have a finished product that we want to show; but for now let's just pretend that the film industry is not motivated purely by profit; that the censors are not composed of little old Victorian ladies and suspicious intelligence agents; that the authorities are not too touchy.
In other words, let's take some risks that are worth taking.
Why? Perhaps out of love for the art of filmaking. Or out of respect for the potentials of the medium. Or out of vanity, or anger, or plain and simple frustration. Or all of the above.
Whatever it is, we will be guided by one cardinal rule: to be good and true and beautiful.
The above spiel could be replaced by the following sung overture:
PAMBUNGAD
Direktor, Manunulat, Koro. Isingit ang Composer somewhere; he sings along with and conducts the Koro.
DIREKTOR
Ang hirap lumikha sa kasalukuyan
Kung ang likhang-sining ay tinatanuran.
Ang hirap kumanta ng kantang mainam
Kung titik at himig ay binabakuran.

KORO
Kung minsan, kung minsan
Ay pinuputulan,
Aruy, aruy, aruy, pinuputulan
O tuluyan pa ngang ipinagbabawal.

DIREKTOR
O tuluyan pa ngang ipinagbabawal.

KORO
Kung iyan ang suliranin
Ano ba ang dapat gawin?

MANUNULAT
Kung ako ang tatanungin
Ito ang aking sasabihin:
Kumanta ng lumang kanta
Tungkol sa dragon at prinsesa
O prayle't Katipunero
O Kano at insurekto
O Hapon at gerilyero--
Kahit luma, may tugmang totoo.

KORO
O Hapon at gerilyero--
Kahit luma, may tugmang totoo.

DIREKTOR (pasalita)
Madaling sabihin, mahirap gawin.

SCRIPT GIRL (pasalita)
Bakit naman, Direk?

DIRECTOR (pasalita)
Kasi...
(aawit)
Ang hirap kumanta ng lumang kanta,
Ang hirap huminga kung nakamaskara.
Kapag tinakpan na ang libog at dusa,
Di na madarama, di makikilala.

KORO
Gano'n ba? Gano'n ba?
Ang libog at dusa,
Naku, naku, naku, ang libog at dusa,
Kung may maskara, di makikilala?

DIREKTOR
Kung may maskara, di makikilala.

KORO
Kung iyan ang suliranin
Ano ba ang dapat gawin?

DIREKTOR
Kung ako ang tatanungin
Ito ang aking sasabihin:
'Buti pa'y umawit na lang
Ng mga harana't kundiman,
Ng kantang lipos ng luha
At matamis na gunita,
Uyaying panghele sa bata
O awiting lilibang sa madla.

KORO
Uyaying panghele sa bata
O awiting lilibang sa madla.

MANUNULAT
Hindi! Huwag!

DIREKTOR
At ano ang gusto mo?
Tumahimik na lamang tayo?

MANUNULAT (patula)
Kahit may maskara
Puwede namang kumanta,
At puwedeng ipanlibang sa madla
Ang mga kantang ang tugma
Ay totoo.
(aawit)
Awitin mo ang totoo,
Sagad-buto, tagos-apdo.
Ang totoo ay mabuti
Kahit mapanganib sa iyo.
Ang totoo ay maganda
Kahit pangit sa reyna.

DIREKTOR (pasalita)
Mahirap gawin, mahirap gawin. Pero subukan natin! Lights... camera...
2.         CREDITS.
Stills of Japanese Occupation, particularly of atrocities, juxtaposed with stills from prewar movies, particularly the Rogelio de la Rosa-Carmen Rosales zarzuelas.
(NGAYONG WALA NANG MARTIAL LAW, PUWEDE RING PANAHON NG MARTIAL LAW SA HALIP NA PANAHON NG HAPON.)
3.         EXT. SOMEWHERE NEAR THE TOWN OF SANGANDAAN. SUNSET.
A Japanese patrol is seen silhouetted against the sunset. The rays of the setting sun strike the oversized Japanese flag carried by the marching columns.
Closer view. The Japanese shouldn't look Japanese at all; nor should they be bowlegged. They're dressed in World War II Japanese uniforms, but there is a kind of Lost Command or CHDF look about them: anting-anting hanging from their necks, tubao or Stars-and-Stripes bandannas wrapped around their heads. They should by accompanied at this point by a Makapili whose head is covered by a colorful bayong with holes for eyes.
4.         INTERLUDE. MOVIE SET.
The director and the actress who will play Pilar sing a folk song and a variation on it:
DIREKTOR
Doon po sa amin, bayan ng San Roque,
May nagkatuwaang apat na pulubi.
Sumayaw ang pilay, kumanta ang pipi
Nanood ang bulag, nakinig ang bingi.
PILAR
Doon po sa amin, bayan ng Sangandaan,
May isang lalaking Pepe ang pangalan.
Pagkat ayaw niya ng madugong digmaan,
Nagtanim na lang siya ng kamote't petsay.
(Perhaps these interludes should be sung by Director, Writer, and Composer in shifting combinations.)
5.         EXT. SANGANDAAN. DAY.
Pepe lives in a modest house with his wife Pilar. He was a novelist and scriptwriter before the war; she was a movie star. He now tends a vegetable garden, raises pigs; she still occasionally appears in stage plays. They are, you might say, content. The war seems far away.
Every now and then Pepe tries to write. He pulls out a notebook from his hiding place, writes a bit. Invariably he tears out what he has written and burns it.
Every now and then a streak of the old Pepe--rebellious, eager to shock--surfaces. One day during Holy Week, his peasant neighbors prevail upon him to take part in the ritual chanting of the pasyon. Instead of reading from the book on the passion and death of Christ, he sings, to the tune of the traditional pasyon, "Pasyong Mahal ni San Jose" (The Sacred Passion of St. Joseph), which tells of a poor carpenter griping because his girl's been raped by God.
PEPE
Pait, katam at martilyo,
ibubulong ko sa inyo
ang masaklap kong sikreto:
hindi ko pa inaano
ay buntis na ang nobya ko.

Ang sabi ng anghel, wala
akong dapat ikahiya,
walang dahilang lumuha;
dapat pa nga raw matuwa
pagkat Diyos ang gumahasa.

Martilyo, katam at pait,
makukuha bang magalit
ng karpintero?  Magtiis.
Ang mahina at maliit,
wala raw laban sa langit.

During Pepe's singing, the sound of distant gunfire is heard. He takes no notice of it.
6.         INT. PEPE'S HOUSE. NIGHT.
Pepe is writing some poems in his journal. Pilar is worried: the poems could land them in trouble. Pepe assures her he just wants to get the poems out of his system, then he will burn them.
As Pepe tears off pages from his journal and burns them in the kitchen stove, the couple have an unexpected visitor: Sid, once a novelist-scriptwriter too, now an anti-Japanese guerrilla. He has a bullet wound in one leg. He requests temporary shelter, medical aid. Then he passes out.
Sid is in a US Army field jacket several sizes too big for him.
Pepe is hesitant, afraid. He is worried about the dangers of helping a man wanted by the authorities. He doesn't want to get involved in the war in any way.
Pilar has more definite opinions. She doesn't want trouble, doesn't want Sid in the house. However, she's just a woman and wife; her opinions don't count.
Pepe decides that a friend in need should be helped, if only for old times' sake. He assures Pilar he will ask Sid to leave as soon as possible.
7.         EXT. BARRIO ROAD. NIGHT.
Pilar and a doctor in a calesa. They pass by pasyon singers.
The Director, seated among the pasyon singers, sings a folk song, and Pilar follows with a variation:
PILAR (sa himig ng ANG SABI NG IBA)
Ang sabi ng iba
Madaling magpasiya,
Ang sabi ko naman
Kumporme sa pasiya.
May pasiyang biglaan,
May pinag-iisipan,
Ang pasiyang madali:
Tumawa pag kiniliti.
Ay, si Pepeng maawain,
Tumalon na sa bangin.
Ang akala'y may sasalo
Pagdating niya sa dulo.
8.         INT. PEPE'S HOUSE. NIGHT.
The doctor treats Sid's wound.
The doctor was once in the guerrilla movement with Sid. He was captured, tortured, detained for a year. He was finally released on the intercession of Estong, once also a novelist and screenwriter, now a collaborator who writes propaganda plays and songs for the Japanese in the town of Sangandaan.
The doctor now works in a military hospital. Most of his patients are Japanese soldiers.
Sid invites the doctor to rejoin the guerrilla movement. But the doctor has gotten used to the easy life. He does not want to go back to prison or the mountains. However, he promises to help the movement by donating medicine and, if absolutely necessary, his services.
The doctor says goodbye to Pepe: "Sid will be all right. All he needs is to rest his leg for a few days. I never saw you, you never saw me, and I hope we don't see each other under similar circumstances."
9.         INT. PEPE'S HOUSE. DAY.
Discussion between Sid and Pepe. We learn the reason for the decision each man made at the outbreak of war.
Pepe does not want to get involved. He simply wants to survive, to preserve himself so that he can practice his art again in the future. In the meantime he is gathering stories about the war--storing them in his head, to be pulled out when the times will allow him to go back to writing.
Pepe sings AWIT NG AYAW MAKISANGKOT:
PEPE
Hindi ako mangingisda,
Hindi ako mandirigma.
Ako ay makata,
Isang makata lamang,
At ang gawaing aking alam:
Mamingwit ng salita,
Makipaglaban sa tugma.

Hindi ako magsasaka
O trabahador sa pabrika.
Ako ay kuwentista,
Isang kuwentista lamang,
At ang gawaing aking alam:
Damdamin ay ipunla,
Magpaandar ng gunita.
Bawat nilalang daw, bawat buhay,
May kanya-kanyang lugar, may kanya-kanyang hukay:
Isda sa tubig, ibon sa langit, ahas sa damo.
Ako'y alagad ng sining, alagad ng sining ako,
Alam ko kung ako'y ano, at sino, at para kanino.
Hindi, hindi, hindi ko isusugal ang aking anino!

Sa akin ay huwag isumbat
Na ang isang manunulat
Ay mamamayan,
Mamamayan din naman,
At may tungkulin sa lipunan.
Linangin ang sining ko--
Iyan ang tungkulin ko!

Sid has turned his back on writing for the moment. Life to him must always take precedence before art. The struggle for freedom is now more important; otherwise, there might be no future to write in. He sings AWIT NG NAKIKISANGKOT.
SID
Sa harap natin
Ay bingit ng bangin,
Sa likod ay lindol, daluyong, apoy.
Ano'ng dapat gawin
Ng alagad ng sining
Sa gabing malagim ng ating panahon?
Ang iyong pluma, gawing gasera--
Iyan ang tungkulin mo.

Huwag mong sabihing
Ayaw mong tumingin
Habang ang mundo'y niyayanig ng gulo,
Huwag mong ilibing
Sa madugong buhangin
Ang tulog na diwa ng ulong tuliro.
Ang iyong pluma, gawing konsensiya--
Iyan ang tungkulin mo.

Ang nakahalukipkip
Sa panahon ng ligalig,
Para na ring nasa panig
Ng mapang-api't nanggigipit.

Ang hindi dudulog
Sa bayang nalugmok
Ay para na ring berdugo't salarin.
Huwag kang matakot
Sa kidlat at kulog,
Kapit-bisig tayong lumaban sa hangin.
Ang iyong pluma, gawing sandata--
Iyan ang tungkulin mo.

The talk shifts to Estong the collaborator. Before the war Pepe, Sid and Estong were the closest of friends. At one time they all courted Pilar. Of the three friends, Estong was the most nationalistic. Before the war, when the country was still under the Americans, Estong advocated immediate independence.
Pepe reveals that he and Pilar still see Estong every now and then. In fact, Pilar has just come back from rehearsals for a stage play written and directed by Estong.
Sid is upset and wants to leave right away. Pepe assures him that Estong never comes to Pepe's house. He also advises Sid to suspend judgement on Estong. Estong is a patriot at heart, trying to be true to his ideals within the limitations imposed by Japanese rule. In the play Estong is now rehearsing, he is reviving a patriotic kundiman he wrote before the war.
Pepe and Pilar sing the song ALING PAG-IBIG PA?:
PEPE, PILAR (DUET)
Aling pag-ibig pa
Ang hihigit kaya
Sa pag-ibig ko sa iyo,
Bayan ko?
Sa hirap at ginhawa,
Sa ligaya't dalita,
Ako'y kasa-kasama mo.

Kung ang gintong palay
Ay kumakaway,
Katabi mo ako sa bukid,
Bayan ko.
Kung tigang ang lupa
At di ka makaluha,
Ako ang magdidilig.

Kung ang bulaklak
Ay humahalimuyak,
Igagawa kita ng kuwintas,
Bayan ko.
Kung namiminsala
Ang bagyo't baha,
Ako'y may kubong ligtas.

May pag-ibig pa bang
Higit na dakila
Sa pag-ibig ko sa iyo,
Bayan ko?
Wala na nga , wala.

Later Pilar chides Pepe for stopping Sid when Sid himself was volunteering to go.
Meanwhile, Sid's mind seems preoccupied as he massages his leg.
10.       INTERLUDE. MOVIE SET.
The Director and Pilar sing a folk song and a variation:
PILAR (sa himig ng LERON, LERON, SINTA)
Ang mamang si Pepe, ayaw makilahok
sa sagupaan ng limbas kontra manok.
Hindi na bale raw masabing siya'y takot,
basta't buhay pa siya at di nabubulok.

11.       INT. PEPE'S HOUSE. DAY.
The following day Sid, instead of leaving, requests Pepe to help him reestablish contact with his guerrilla unit.
Once again Pepe is fearful and hesitant. He is willing to help Sid, who is a friend, but he doesn't want to get involved with people he doesn't know personally.
Sid persuades Pepe by appealing to his utang na loob. It was through Sid's help that Pepe got his first novel accepted and serialized in a popular weekly magazine.
With Pepe gone, uneasy silence between Sid and Pilar. When they begin to talk, it is about love and death and betrayal.
Pilar sings HABANG-BUHAY, HANGGANG LIBING:
PILAR
Ang sabi mo, "Giliw ko,
Ito ay itaga mo sa bato,
Habang-buhay kitang mamahalin,
Habang-buhay, hanggang libing."

Sabi mo pa, "O irog,
Habang ang mundo'y bilog,
Ako ay iyo, ikaw ay akin,
Habang-buhay, hanggang libing."

Naagnas na ba ang bato?
Nayupi na ba ang mundo?
Totoo pala ang bali-balita,
Wala kang isang salita.
Sino na ang kapiling mo?

Ang dami mong sinabi
Na isinaisantabi.
Sinungaling pala, sinungaling
Ang "Habang-buhay, hanggang libing."

We learn that Sid was Pilar's first love. He loved her too, but, he says, "It isn't enough to love each other: we must love the same things." Sid says he could see that Pilar dreamed of security, comfort, establishing roots. On the other hand, he wanted adventure, danger, the nomad's life.
War has made Pilar's security shaky and her comfort minimal, but she believes that she can still achieve a measure of tranquility, if Sid will only leave Pepe and her alone.
Pilar asks if Sid isn't afraid of death. No, says Sid: what he is afraid of is a useless death.
12.       LIBERATED BARRIO. GUERRILLA TERRITORY. NIGHT.
Pepe finds Sid's comrades in a rice granary in another barrio of Sangandaan: Roman, an ex-priest, and Anita, a former beauty queen. They are obviously lovers.
Ever the curious writer, Pepe asks why the two have joined the armed resistance.
Roman says he cannot serve God in the abstract, only in the concrete--that is, by serving the least of Christ's brethren, in this case a people oppressed by foreign aggressors.
Anita says that from childhood she had always been shielded from the harsness of life. She had been a carnival queen, and life was a perpetual carnival for her. The war brought her face to face with a brutality and ugliness and turned her into a guerrilla.
Pepe asks about Roman's and Anita's relationship. They explain that guerrillas, after all, are human beings, not angels or disembodied spirits.
13.       INTERLUDE. MOVIE SET.
The director and Pilar sing:
DIRECTOR
Bahay kubo,
Kahit munti,
Ang halaman doon
Ay sarisari:
Singkamas at talong,
Sigarilyas at mani,
Sitaw, bataw,
Patani.

PILAR
Duwag, bakla,
Kahit tuta--
Sila'y humahanga
Sa mandirigma.
Si Pepeng mabait
Sa kaibigan ay galit
Dahil hindi
Bayani.

14.       INT. PEPE'S HOUSE. DAY.
Sid, Roman, and Anita have a closed-door meeting in Pepe's house.
In the living room, Pepe and Pilar play sungka and talk of gardening, Estong's play, the return of MacArthur, pretending that everything is normal. Pilar can't stand the pretense and brings up the case of Sid's companions staying in the house. Moreover, it is an abuse of hospitality.
Pepe says he feels the same way and will inform Sid of their decision as soon as the meeting is over.
At this point the guerrillas emerge. Sid says Roman and Anita are leaving, but he himself, Sid, is staying behind for a while.
After Roman and Anita leave, Sid asks Pepe to arrange a meeting between him and the collaborator Estong. Sid says he is tired of fighting, of moving from place to place, always on the run; in his wounded condition he wants only to lead a normal life. However, he hopes he can simply surface without having to surrender formally. Perhaps Estong can help him arrange this.
Pepe cannot hide his contempt for Sid. Sid asks why he is being condemned for simply following Pepe's example. Pepe says their cases are not comparable: "I made a decision not to be involved, and I have stuck by that decision. I am not a chameleon or a turncoat."
Sid reminds Pepe of another debt of gratitude: when he, Sid, broke up with Pilar, the first person he informed was Pepe, not Estong. Pepe was thus in a position to take advantage of Pilar's broken heart.
Pepe asks Pilar's opinion. She flares up: he has never consulted her before; why does he do so now? "Make your own decision! You always do."
Pepe is not convinced of the wisdom of Sid's decision but agrees to talk to Estong the following day.
15.       EXT. SECLUDED BAMBOO GROVE. NIGHT.
Roman and Anita are cleaning their guns. They sing KUNG AKO'Y MAMATAY:
ROMAN, ANITA (DUET)
Kung ako'y mamamatay,
Kasama,
Huwag akong iyakan.
Palitan ang luha
Ng ibayong tapang.

Iyang kamatayan,
Kasama,
Karaniwan lamang,
Subalit dakila
Kung dahil sa bayan.

Kung ako'y mamamatay,
Kasama,
Ang hiling ko lamang,
Sandata ko'y kunin,
Ituon sa kaaway.

Ang pakikilaban,
Kasama,
Huwag mong tigilan
Hanggang pang-aapi'y
Mawalang tuluyan.

16.       INT. AUDITORIUM. DAY.
Estong is directing a dress rehearsal. Pilar and chorus sing ALING PAG-IBIG PA?--but each time the phrase "bayan ko" appears, they substitute "mahal ko." Members of the chorus are dressed up like Amorsolo peasants. Japanese flags in the background.
Afterwards the chorus faces the flags and sings AWIT NG KOLABORASYON.
ESTONG, KORO
Sumisikat na
Ang araw sa ating bayan.
Dating dilim ay pinapawi
Ng among dayuhan.

Ang ating buhay
Ay pauunlarin
Ng Kristiyanismo, Manifest Destiny
At Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Nagbabangon ang dangal
Ng layuning banal
Na dala ng banyaga sa mangmang at hangal.
Sa bagong daigdig
Ay ihahasik
Ang maraming biyayang kakambal ay ligalig.

Sumisikat na
Ang araw ng kaunlaran.
Bayan, luhod at sumamba
Sa among dayuhan.

Estong leaves them while they're singing and goes to Pepe backstage. They speak in whispers. Estong is nervous, keeps glancing around, keeps changing the topic whenever somebody comes in.
Estong isn't sure he wants to arrange Sid's surrender; this might only arouse the Japanese Kempeitai's suspicion and cause trouble for him. For old times' sake he agrees to meet Sid secretly--but not at Pepe's place. Pepe's barrio is too close to guerrilla territory.
17.       EXT. BARRIO ROAD. NIGHT.
Sid, in Pepe's clothes and with a buri hat on his head, is helped into a clean calesa. Pepe goes with him; Pilar stays behind. The rig driver looks suspicious.
Along the road the calesa passes by tall grass or sugar cane in which Roman and Anita are hiding. The couple are suprised to see Sid in the calesa.
18.       INTERLUDE. MOVIE SET.
Director and Anita sing:
DIRECTOR
Ale, aleng namamangka,
Isakay mo yaring bata.
Pagdating mo sa Maynila,
Ipagpalit ng manika.

ANITA
Ale, aleng namamanglaw,
Si Pepe ay kaawaan:
Tumulong sa kaibigan,
Nagpahamak ng kaibigan.

19.       INT. ESTONG'S HOUSE. NIGHT.
Estong's house reveals his current affluence. Decor includes Japanese knick-knacks and perhaps No masks. Estong himself could be wearing a Japanese-style bathrobe.
Sid, Pepe, Estong drink and reminisce. Pepe keeps bringing up the surrender question; Estong keeps evading the issue. They remember their down-and-out city days, their days of wine and roses. They recall their exploits with women.
They sing AWIT NG PAGKAKAIBIGAN.
PEPE, SID, ESTONG
Ang ating buhay
Sa mundo ay utang
Sa ating mahal na mga magulang.
Pero sa away
Sino ang dadamay?
Ang kabarkada, ang kaibigan.
Ang kaibigan ay kaibigan
Sa init at ulan.

Ang kasintahan
Masarap halikan
At kung kasiping ay walang kapantay.
Pero sa sugal
Kapag naubusan,
Ang kaibigan ang mauutangan.
Ang kaibigan ay kaibigan
Sa init at ulan.

Sa dusa at ligaya
Kanino pa aasa?
Sa liwanag at dilim
Kaibigan ang magaling!

Halik sa kamay
Ang maaasahan
Sa mga anak na di laki sa layaw.
Pero sa tagay
Sa mga inuman
Ang kaibigan, makikipaglamay.
Ang kaibigan ay kaibigan
Sa init at ulan.

Sa bayanihan,
Pati sa digmaan,
Makikiisa ang mga kabayan.
Pero kung ikaw
Ay nasa kulungan,
Kaibigan ang magpapadala ng ulam.
Ang kaibigan ay kaibigan
Sa init at ulan.

Sa dusa at ligaya
Kanino pa aasa?
Sa liwanag at dilim
Kaibigan ang magaling.

Ang kaibigan ay kaibigan
Sa init at ulan.

20.       EXT. BARRIO ROAD. NIGHT.
Roman and Anita are walking in the direction of the town proper. They spot a Japanese patrol; take cover. A tense moment. Jap patrol moves on.
21.       INT. ESTONG'S HOUSE. NIGHT.
Sid, Pepe, Estong continue to drink and reminisce. They recall their political activities before the war. As writers they were all ardent independistas--Estong most of all. As students they had led a walkout against an American teacher who called Filipinos monkeys with no tails.
They sing: "O the monkeys have no tails in Zamboanga... No te vayas, no te vayas a Zamboanga..." Afterwards they sing another stanza of the song about friendship.
22.       INT. CHURCH. NIGHT.
Roman and Anita slip into the church sacristy in town and ask for help from the parish priest, a former classmate of Roman's. The priest, who is taking off church vestments after the Maundy Thursday rites with the help of a sacristan, does not want to help. He sings ANG TUNGKULIN NG SIMBAHAN to the tune of the "Pange Lingua" hymn:
PARISH PRIEST
Ang tungkulin ng Simbahan
Ay tumulong sa tanan:
Ke mahirap, ke mayaman,
Ating bibindisyunan,
Basta't huwag kalilimutan
Ang abuloy na banal.

Kung me pera, mas mabuti:
Bendita'y primera klase.
Kabanalan ay di libre,
Langit ay binibili.
Pinagpala ba ang pulubi?
Tsismis lang, sabi-sabi.

ROMAN (pabigkas)
"Sumaakin ang Espiritu ng Panginoon, sapagkat hinirang niya akong ipangaral ang Mabuting Balita sa mga dukha." Lucas, Kapitulo Kuwatro, Bersikulo Disisiyete.
PARISH PRIEST (pabigkas)
"Ang mga maysakit ang nangangailangan ng manggagamot, hindi ang mga walang sakit.... Sapagkat naparito ako upang tawagin ang mga makasalanan, hindi ang mga banal." Mateo, Kapitulo Nuwebe, Bersikulo Dose at Trese.
ROMAN (pabigkas)
"Ang aking bahay ay tatawaging bahay-dalanginan sa lahat ng bansa; ngunit ginawa ninyong pugad ng magnanakaw." Marcos, Kapitulo Onse, Bersikulo Disisiyete.
PARISH PRIEST (pabigkas)
"Sapagkat ang mayroon ay bibigyan pa, at mananagana; ngunit ang wala, kahit ang kakaunting nasa kanya ay kukunin pa." Mateo, Kapitulo Bente-Singko, Bersikulo Bente-Nuwebe.
ROMAN
Pero may hirap na dulot
Ang pagpapasan ng krus,
Sakripisyong di matapos
Ang paglilingkod sa Diyos.
"Makibaka, huwag matakot"
Ay isang banal na utos.

PARISH PRIEST
Kung gusto mong lumaban
Di ka namin pipigilan.
Tao kang may isipan,
Iyan ang iyong karapatan.
Pero ang mismong Simbahan,
Gusto'y kapayapaan.

ROMAN (pabigkas)
"Huwag ninyong isipin na naparito ako upang magdala ng kapayapaan sa lupa; naparito ako upang magdala ng tabak, hindi kapayapaan." Mateo, Kapitulo Diyes, Bersikulo Trenta'y Kuwatro.
PARISH PRIEST (pabigkas)
"Ngunit sinasabi ko sa inyo: Ibigin ninyo ang inyong mga kaaway, idalangin ninyo ang mga umaapi sa inyo. Kapag sinampal ka sa isang pisngi, iharap mo rin ang kabilang pisngi." Lucas, Kapitulo Sais, Bersikulo Bente-Siyete hanggang Bente-Nuwebe.
ROMAN (pasalita)
Kabisado ng diyablo ang Banal na Kasulatan.
PARISH PRIEST (pasalita)
Naubusan ang santo ng banal na argumento.
(muling aawit)
Ang kay Cesar ay kay Cesar,
Matira'y sa Simbahan.
Kelangan ang kumpisalan
Ng mga mangangamkam,
Kaya huwag tayong makialam
Sa makapangyarihan.

ROMAN (pabigkas)
"Humingi kayo at kayo'y bibigyan; kumatok kayo at ang pinto'y bubuksan para sa inyo.... Bibigyan ba ninyo ng bato ang inyong anak kung humihingi ito ng tinapay? Bibigyan ba ninyo siya ng ahas kung humihingi ng isda?" Mateo, Kapitulo Siyete, Bersikulo Siyete hanggang Diyes.
When Roman pokes a gun into the parish priest's ribs, the parish priest hastily asks: "How long are you going to be in town?"
Roman: "A couple of hours at the most."
Parish priest: "Better tie us up and gag us, so that we won't be able to run out and shout for help."
23.       INT. ESTONG'S HOUSE. NIGHT.
Sid, Pepe, Estong continue to drink and reminisce. Now they finish the song about friendship. Now their past conflicts begin to emerge. Perhaps they recall the time when they were all rivals courting Pilar.
24.       EXT./INT. ESTONG'S HOUSE. NIGHT.
Roman and Anita dressed as priest and sacristan arrive in the calesa that took Sid to Estong's place. The rig driver, it turns out, is a member of the underground movement.
Roman and Anita walk to Estong's place, carrying bayongs which contain their guns.
Estong quickly sizes up the situation; reaches for his own gun. But Sid just as quickly disarms and overpowers Estong. Sid uses his wounded leg to kick away Estong's gun, which naturally causes Sid pain.
It is clear now that Sid's surrender bid was merely a ruse to capture Estong. He will be taken to the liberated barrio to be tried as a collaborator and a traitor.
Pepe is outraged: "You can't do this. I was seen coming into this house. You're putting me into trouble. Is this what I get for being helpful?"
Pepe is ignored.
Estong to Sid: "Hudas!"
Sid to Estong: "Look who's talking. You're the one consorting with the enemy! You're the one selling the country down the river!"
Pepe: "What happened to the friendship that transcends everything?"
25.       INTERLUDE. MOVIE SET.
Director and Anita sing:
DIRECTOR
Enero Pebrero
Marso Abril Mayo
Hunyo Hulyo Agosto
Setyembre Oktubre
Nobyembre Disyembre
Lubi-lubi!

ANITA
Nalaman ni Pepe,
Buhay ay salbahe:
Ang ayaw sumakay,
Sinasagasaan!
Di puwedeng tumabi.
Pobreng Pepe!

26.       EXT./INT. LIBERATED AREA. GRANARY. DAY.
Tree outside the rice granary. A young boy is seated on a limb, eating a guava, scanning the horizon.
Another tree, another child keeping watch.
Inside the granary, the trial of Estong begins. Also present: Sid, Roman, Anita, Pepe, peasants, workers, children.
Sid: This man on trial was once a writer with known progressive anticolonial views. Now he's a collaborator, an enemy of the people.
Estong: I can't expect a fair trial here. I've got no defense counsel. My accusers are also my judges and perhaps even executioners.
Sid: When I was caught by the enemy, I wasn't even tried. But I got one year in prison. And tortured, naturally. You're lucky you're getting a trial at all. Pepe here has spoken up for you on more than one occasion. He'll be your defense counsel.
Pepe reluctantly agrees. But Estong constantly speaks up for himself--and often contradicts Pepe.
Estong: But why me? I've never killed or tortured anyone.
Sid: By writing propaganda for the enemy, you have covered up for and condoned the tortured and killings. By helping the enemy, you prolong his stay in power.
27.       EXT./INT. PEPE'S HOUSE. DAY.
Japanese patrol passes by Pepe's house. They enter; demand to be fed and entertained. Pilar sings KAPARIS NG KAWAYAN, KAPARIS NG KALABAW, a song about survival: the Filipino is pliant as the bamboo; he leans wherever the wind blows; but the unbending acacia is toppled by the storm.
PILAR
Ang Pilipino'y kaparis ng kawayan,
Nakikisayaw sa hangin, nakikisayaw:
Kung saan ang ihip
Doon ang hilig,
Kaya hindi siya nabubuwal, hindi nabubuwal.
Di tulad ng punong niyog,
Ayaw yumuko, ayaw lumuhod,
Kaya siya nabubuwal, nabubuwal.

Iyan ang sabi-sabi,
Ewan lang kung totoo.
Pero kung totoo ang sabi-sabi,
Lagot tayo!

Ang Pilipino'y kaparis ng kalabaw,
Napakahaba ng pasensiya, napakahaba:
Kung hinahagupit
Walang imik,
Kaya hindi siya pinapatay, hindi pinapatay.
Di tulad ng baboy-damo,
Ayaw sumuko, ayaw patalo,
Kaya siya pinapatay, pinapatay.

Iyan ang sabi-sabi,
Ewan lang kung totoo.
Pero kung totoo ang sabi-sabi,
Lagot tayo!

28.       INT. GRANARY. DAY.
Trial continues.
Estong: I'm not as bad as you make me out to be. I help you people.
Sid: Did you help me when I was in prison?
Estong: I sent you magazines to read.
Sid: Enemy propaganda. You were trying to brainwash me!
Roman is prosecuting attorney, Anita is judge. Sid is a witness. The doctor who treated Sid is called upon to testify; also the rig driver; also the parish priest, arms still bound.
Doctor: He worked for my release from prison. He got me a job after my release.
Roman: A job in a military hospital, ministering to the enemy!
Rig driver: He gave big tips.
Priest: He gave generous contributions to the Church.
Roman: The people's money! Insurance! Etc.
Estong: At least I help my fellow Filipinos. Sure, I help myself, but I also mitigate the sufferings of my countrymen. If not for my help, the enemy occupation would be more brutal. The people you should try are people like Pepe, who withdraw from society completely. Pepe doesn't work for the enemy, but he doesn't actively help the resistance either. He just wants to survive. And after the war the survivor will make himself out to be a hero by the mere fact of surviving. He will boast that he did not collaborate, did not soil his hands. Yet he allows his wife to appear in propaganda plays so that he can live in relative comfort.
29.       INT./EXT. PEPE'S HOUSE. DAY.
One of the Japanese soldiers accidentally finds Sid's US army field jacket and Pepe's empty notebook. The empty notebook is what angers them most of all: why is it empty, why isn't it filled with haikus in praise of the authorities? Pilar is interrogated, threatened with torture and rape if she doesn't talk. She decides to talk.
They rape her just the same, in the backyard, among the white shirts and linen hung out to dry.
30.       INT. GRANARY. DAY.
The audience of peasants and workers are giving their verdict one by one: Death to the traitor.
31.       INTERLUDE. MOVIE SET.
Director and Pilar and Anita sing:
DIRECTOR
Sitsiritsit alibangbang,
Salaginto, salagubang.
Ang babae sa lansangan,
Kung gumiri parang tandang.

PILAR
Ang digmaan ay impiyerno,
'Yan ang sabi ng demonyo.

ANITA
At ang ayaw na masangkot,
Tulad ni Pepe, nasusunog.

32.       EXT. CEMETERY. LATE AFTERNOON.
Sid, Roman, Anita, Pepe, Estong. Estong is given a shovel and told to dig his grave. Pepe is trying to appeal the sentence.
Estong: You've condemned me to death anyway. Why should I tire myself digging my own grave? I won't even live to enjoy the fruits of my labor.
Sid: Who knows? While you're digging, we may change our minds.
Roman: Who knows? While you're digging we may be struck by lightning. I don't know whether that would be an act of God or of the devil.
Anita: Who knows? While you're digging, the enemy cavalry may arrive in the nick of time to save you.
Estong mulls that over, then starts digging.
Sid sings BAHAGHARI.
SID
Huwag kang masindak
Sa kulog at kidlat
O sa alulong ng hangin sa dagat.
May bahaghari, may bahaghari
Pagkatapos ng unos.

Huwag kang lumuha
Kung mataas ang baha,
Wala pang bahang hindi humuhupa.
May bahaghari, may bahaghari
Pagkatapos ng unos.

Sa likod ng ulap
May aaraw na sumisikat,
Sa dulo ng dilim
May liwanag na kay ningning!

Huwag mong itaghoy
Ang lagas na dahon.
May bagong dahon na muling sisibol.
May bahaghari, may bahaghari
Pagkatapos ng unos.

33.       EXT. LIBERATED BARRIO. LATE AFTERNOON.
Jap patrol, now with reinforcements, enter the liberated barrio and terrorize the people, shooting bottles in a sarisari store, beating people up, stealing chickens, disrupting a ritual singing of the pasyon.
34.       EXT. BARRIO ROAD. LATE AFTERNOON.
Pilar wandering around like Sisa, deranged, singing snatches of ALING PAG-IBIG PA?
35.       EXT. CEMETERY. NIGHT.
The grave has been dug. A child courier comes running to report that an enemy patrol is on the way.
Sid: If we flee, we lose our credibility. People will say we can't defend our own people.
Anita: But if we don't, we'll be decimated. It will be a setback to the guerrilla movement.
Roman: We'll have to retreat. He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day. The people will understand.
But it's too late to flee. The cemetery is surrounded.
Estong and Pepe (separately): What about me?
Sid: I guess we'll have to carry out the sentence.
Estong: Look, if you kill me, you're as good as dead yourselves. Why don't you just all surrender like good boys, and I can guarantee you that the enemy won't torture or kill you and that you will get light sentences. After you're released, I can give you jobs, if you like that. If you don't, you can always go back to the hills, for all I care. By then, the war may be over.
After a brief exchange of views, with Pepe strongly arguing in favor of Estong's proposal, the guerrillas agree to surrender.
Estong identifies himself to the enemy; arranges the surrender. As soon as the guerrillas lay down their arms, Estong orders them shot on the spot. The child courier, too, is killed. Only Pepe is spared. He stares in horror at the body of the child courier.
Estong walks off into the sunset.
36.       EXT. CEMETERY. DAY.
Story conference. Director doesn't like this ending: too depressing.
Writer: What's the matter? That's a realistic ending.
Director: It offends my sense of justice. Crime shouldn't pay. The bad shouldn't be allowed to go unpunished. We need an upbeat ending.
Writer: In real life, the bad go unpunished. The good get their reward in heaven, but the bad get theirs right here on earth. They become rich and powerful, they get to rule nations and empires. Art's function is to tell it like it is, to be a mirror of reality.
Director: Art should go beyond surface reality, because reality can be changed. Art's function should be to indicate the direction in which reality can be changed. Not just to show what is, but what should be, or what's possible.
Writer: That's what escapist entertainment does--offer false hopes.
Director: Then we must offer true hopes. Let's try another ending.
37.       EXT. CEMETERY. NIGHT.
Repeat scene where guerrillas realize it's too late to flee.
Estong: What about me?
Sid: You? I'm afraid I can't give you time to time to say your prayers. (Shoots Estong.)
The enemy troops attack and kill everybody in the cemetery, including Pepe and the child courier. They gather the guns and leave.
After the enemy troops have left, the child stirs. He has only been wounded (in the leg, naturally, just like Sid) and has been playing dead. He looks around him, then picks up a gun that the enemy troops have overlooked.
The boy limps off into the sunset.
38.       EXT. CEMETERY. DAY.
The Director has called another story conference.
Director: It's still too depressing. One bad guy gets killed, but so do the good guys and gal, not to mention the fence-sitter.
Writer: But now we're offering some hope to the audience. The boy survives. And we suggest that he will continue the struggle.
Director: On the other hand, he might grow up to be another fence-sitter. People who get burned and survive never want to come close to the fire again. Often. Look at the doctor in our story. No, we need another kind of ending.
Actor who plays Pepe: Why don't we just have the guerrillas shoot their way out and kill all the Japs?
Director: That's what happens in all war movies.
Actor: Well, this is a movie, isn't it? This isn't real life. Why can't we just do what all other movies do?
Director: Don't try to be funny. No, what we need is an ending that will bring the focus back to Pepe. After all, this is basically the story of Pepe--the fence-sitter, the guy who doesn't want to get involved.
Writer: And don't forget Pilar. We can't leave her just wandering around like Sisa aiming for an acting award. Pilar’s story has to have an ending somehow.
Director (to Actor): Okay, let's bring the story back to Pepe. What do you think? What should happen now? What should Pepe do?
Actor: Don't ask me. I'm just an actor here. Ask the writer. Or, you're the auteur--you decide. Decide what you want and I'll execute it for you. To the best of my ability. As far as I'm concerned, that's what art is. To do something well. Whatever you do, do it well.
Writer: If you collaborate with the enemy, collaborate well. Don't get caught.
Actor: Exactly.
39.       EXT. CEMETERY. NIGHT.
Repeat scene where it's just too late to flee and Estong makes his proposal. Just when the guerrillas agree to surrender, Pilar wanders into the scene, her clothes all tattered and torn.
Pilar curses the enemy: I prostitute my art for the sake of your war, and for my peace of mind--and this is what you do to me!
A Jap sniper kills Pilar with one shot. She falls into Pepe's arms. Wild with grief, he grabs Sid's gun and aims it at Estong's head.
Estong: Why me? I didn't do anything. Kill the Japs!
Pepe: Don't worry. I'll do just that. But right now... (Shoots Estong. Then yells at the enemy:) Come and get us! We're waiting for you! Come on! (Etc. Hysterical shouts.)
40.       INT. PROJECTION ROOM. DAY.
Another story conference.
Writer: That's it?
Director: I guess that's it.
Writer: Doesn't solve anything. You just left the ending hanging. In real life, they'd all still get killed.
Director: Doesn't matter. This was the story of a fence-sitter.
Writer: That's not an original concept.
Director: Let's just say it's a variation on a theme. Anyway I don't think we'll ever run out of possible endings. But it's possible to run out of film.
Writer: Can we possibly put this in somewhere? It's the ending of a poem. I don't know, but I feel it belongs in the story somewhere.
DIREKTOR (reads; Tagalog translation):
For we knew only too well:
Even the hatred of squalor
Makes the brow grow stern.
Even anger against injustice
Makes the voice grow harsh. Alas, we
Who wished to lay the foundations of kindness
Could not ourselves be kind.

(At alam na alam namin:
Pati ang galit sa kaapihan
Ay nakakasira ng mukha.
Pati ang ngitngit sa pambubusabos
Ay nagpapagaspang ng boses. Ay, kami
Na nagmithing magpunla ng pakikipagkaibigan
Ay hindi naging mapagkaibigan.)

Director: Did you write this?
Writer: No. Bertolt Brecht.
Brecht's lines flashed on screen, before end credits.
41.       EXT. MOVIE SET. DAY.
FINALE
Direktor, Manunulat, atbp.
MANUNULAT
Ang hirap ng buhay ng manlilikha
Kung di mo mapili ang iyong paksa.
Kung papaksain mo'y samyo ng bulaklak,
Para bang ayaw mong pumansin ng sugat.
DIREKTOR (recitative)
Ang sinabi mong 'yan,
Magandang pakinggan.
MANUNULAT (recitative)
Hindi orihinal.
Hinango ko lamang
Sa isang makatang dayuhan,
Bertolt Brecht ang pangalan.
DIREKTOR (aawit)
Kung papaksain mo'y samyo ng bulaklak,
Para bang ayaw mong pumansin ng sugat.
KORO
Ayaw ba, ayaw bang
Pumansin ng sugat?
Aba, naku, parang gustong umiwas
Sa mabibigat na responsibilidad.
DIREKTOR
Parang gustong umiwas
Sa mabibigat na responsibilidad.

KORO
Kung iyan ang suliranin
Ano ba ang dapat gawin?

MANUNULAT
Kung ako ang tatanungin...

PEPE (sasabad, pasalita)
Kung ako ang tatanungin...
(sa himig ng AWIT NG HINDI NAKIKISANGKOT)
Hindi ako mangingisda,
Hindi ako mandirigma.
Ako ay makata,
Isang makata lamang,
Ang tungkulin ko sa lipunan
Ay linangin ko ang sining ko--
Iyan ang tungkulin ko.

SID (sa himig ng AWIT NG NAKIKISANGKOT)
Sa harap natin
Ay bingit ng bangin
Sa likod ay lindol, daluyong, apoy.
Ano'ng dapat gawin
Ng bawat nilalang
Kung nasa panganib ang mundo't panahon?
Pakikibaka, pakikibaka--
Iyan ang tungkulin mo.

ESTONG
Bakit dadagdagan
Ang sugat ng bayang
Binayo ng lindol, daluyong, apoy?
Ang dapat gawin
Sa gan'tong sitwasyon,
Sugat ay gamutin, bayan ay aluin
At ang kaaway, kaibiganin--
Iyan po ang tungkulin.

KORO
Kung ganyan ang suliranin,
Ano ba ang dapat gawin?

DIREKTOR (recitative)
Narinig natin ang tatlong opinyon,
Nakita natin ang tatlong posisyon.
Sino ba ang tama, sino ba ang wasto?
Pepe, Sid, Estong? O mali ang tatlo?

PEPE, SID, ESTONG
O silang lahat ay may punto?

MANUNULAT (pasalita)
May punto ang bawat isa
Batay sa kanyang sariling punto de bista.
Bakit hindi natin hayaang sila--
Ang mga nanonood sa palabas nating ito--
Ang magpasiya?
Huwag nating subuan ang may sariling huwisyo.
Kayo, mga binibini, ginang at ginoo,
Ang magpasiya.

DIREKTOR
Ikaw, pare, ang tinatanong ko.
Huwag kang umiwas dito.
Ano ba talaga ang posisyon mo?

MANUNULAT
Kung ako ang tatanungin
Ito ang aking sasabihin:
(aawit)
Awitin ang totoo,
Sagad-buto, tagos apdo.
Ang totoo ay mabuti
Kahit mapanganib sa iyo.
Ang totoo ay maganda
Kahit pangit sa reyna.

DIREKTOR
Madaling sabihin, mahirap gawin.

MANUNULAT
Mahirap man, kung dapat gawin...
Gawin!

DIREKTOR
Awitin ang totoo,
Sagad-buto, tagos apdo.

LAHAT (paulit-ulit, hanggat kailangan)
Awitin ang totoo,
Sagad-buto, tagos apdo.
Ang totoo ay mabuti
Kahit mapanganib sa iyo.
Ang totoo ay maganda
Kahit pangit sa reyna.

SAYAWAN.
While the dancing goes on around them, Director and Writer continue their discussion. They could be discussing their characters. If they had lived, what would they be doing now? The Composer strums a guitar, half-listening to the discussion, looking bored.
FADE OUT

1992.09.10
First Draft: 1991.06.12

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