Women as Peacemakers in Philippine Film

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” 
― Nora Ephron


It has always been an issue that women are powerless beings. They are often called the “submissive” while men are the “dominant” In the book Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, Anastasia Steele changed Christian Grey’s perception on women as his submissive and that women are objects for pleasure. Anastasia was successful in breaking the taboo that women are just mere followers of men.

In the early Philippine Cinema, women were portrayed to be powerless individuals too. In the film, Tinimbang Ngunit Kulang (Weighed But Found Wanting) by Lino Brocka on the year 1974, Kuala (Lolita Rodriguez) went insane because Cesar (Eddie Garcia) forced to abort their child. On the scene when Kuala was undergoing the process of abortion with the folk healer, you will see that Cesar covers her mouth to prevent her from shouting, he also hold a tight grip on Kuala’s hands that hinders her from escaping the process. With the non-verbal cues presented, it was a clear portrayal that a woman is a powerless and weak individual on the film.




After the abortion, Kuala went insane. It is a symbol that women are emotionally weak because Kuala was not able to handle the loss of her child. Kuala then met Betong Ketong (Mario O’Hara) who then became the father of their child.

According to Genderlect Theory of Conmunication, there is a difference between the two genders. Women seek connection, men seek status. This may be the reason why we can’t find women as abusing, arrogant and as superior as men on films. Women on Philippine films are often the peacemaker. If you happen to see a film that has a scene of gang war, there is always a woman beside the antagonist male character who will speak sweetly and convince him to keep calm and chill.



Darna, who is a heroine in the Pinoy comics of Mars Ravelo lived during the 1940s is a perfect example how the image of women changed – from being powerless to superheroine. Darna’s mission is to fight and keep the peace in the community. She fought criminals and other villains.

Though women attracts male audiences because of the so called “woman’s body power” Darna’s birth gave the Filipino movie goers a new side of women when she had her first action flight in 1951  in Fernando Poe Senior’s Royal films production- “DARNA” 


The Matrix (1999) A Film Review

We are all residual images living inside the matrix.


The Matrix is a 1999 movie by the Wachowski brothers that falls under the science fiction film genre. The theme of the movie can be a metaphor of many situations happening in the present. It can be a metaphor for technologically entangled individuals, for man’s superiority, for a psychological state that might be happening inside a human’s brain and it can also be man’s attitude towards the government.

The movie detached us from the real world in order for us to see the other side of the world. I perceived the story as a heroic story. I found a hero in Neo’s character. Neo was destined to save Morpheus and the rest of the team. Like a butterfly, he underwent metamorphosis to discover himself. It took him time to discover his capabilities and his potentials. When the hardest test inside the Matrix world came, he realized that he is the one – the one destined to create change.


The Matrix is a computer generated real world that best represents our dreams. We are living in a Matrix, a world that is being governed by our dreams. We are all residual images that keep on imagining who we want to be. That sometimes, we are being satisfied with the pleasure that we get from dreaming. Neo can be a metaphor of our hidden side. A side that we still haven’t discovered yet. There is a hero inside each of us that is being hindered by our fears and our doubts. Like what Neo did, we have to overcome those fears and let courage live above us. We have our mission for existence. In the film, Neo’s mission is to save his team and to find his successor. In reality, our mission is to get out of the imaginary world and actuate our dreams.

For me, The Matrix movie has only one message – to accept and start change.

In artistic aspects, the movie is formalist-inspired. It has psychological implications and it depicts a virtual world. The movie changed the dimension of the viewers in a way that they made use of a computer system to indicate the setting of the film. It is superficial and the characters’ life inside the Matrix is being supported by the system. Over all, the Matrix movie is another benchmark film in the genre of SciFi movies.


(C) JAPascua2012