Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    It was 22 years ago when I arrived in Canada and chose Calgary, Alberta to be my home.  Leaving my family and friends behind, it was a new adventure for me to be in a new country without knowing anyone.  That was the time I looked for a Filipino community paper and never found any, [...]

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Page added on September 29, 2012

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Famous Lines from Filipino Movies

by Ida Beltran-Lucila

If  you  are a movie  fan,  it would be easy  to  identify  the  origins of  these  phrases:   Go ahead,  make my day  [Clint Eastwood, Sudden  Impact];  Iʼm also  just a girl, standing  in  front of  a boy,  asking him  to  love her  [Julia Roberts, Notting Hill]; Houston, we have a  problem  [Tom  Hanks,  Apollo  13];  Iʼll  be  back  [Arnold  Schwarzenegger,  The  Terminator];  I  see  dead  people  [Sixth  Sense]; and  the  list goes on and on.   But what about  lines from  the Filipino movies?   Here are  some  of  the most  popular  ones  (note:  apologies  for  not  having  an English  translation.    The  emotions and wittiness are sometimes lost in the translation):

Walang himala!   Ang himala ay nasa puso ng tao!  Nasa puso nating lahat!     [Nora Auno Himala].   The film centers around a young visionary who has caused a stir in an isolated village challenging peopleʼs attitude  towards their  religious faith.  Directed by Ishmael Bernal with stor by  Ricardo  Lee based on a  true  story, Himala  is considered as one of  the  best acting  feats o Nora Aunor.     Premiered  in 1982,  it went on to win numerous film  awards,  i.e. CNN Asia Pacifi Screen Awards, Bronze Hugo prize at the 1983 Chicago  International Film Festival. It was  als exhibited in international film  festivals, i.e. Berlin International Film Festival  (the first Filipino film to be included in the Competition Section)

Youʼre  nothing  but  a  second-rate,  trying  hard  copycat.  [Cherie  Gil,  Bituing  Walang  Ningning].   This is the story  of a die hard fan rising to fame and becoming  the most formidable  rival  of  the  star  singer.   Released  in  1985  and  directed  by Emmanuel  H.  Borlaza,  it  starred  Sharon  Cuneta, Christopher  de  Leon,  Jay Ilagan, Cherie Gil,  Tommy  Abuel, Chanda Robero  and  Joel Torre.    It was a blockbuster  hit and  this quoted  line uttered by  Cherie Gil as the  star  Lavinia Arguelles, to Sharon Cuneta as the  fan Dorina Pineda, was the ultimate catfight scene,  splattered wine and all.

Ding… ang bato!  [Darna].  Who doesnʼt know about the Filipino comics superheroine by writer  Mars Ravelo and artist Nestor Redondo?   Created  in 1947, Narda, a young girl transforms into  Darna, and vice versa by shouting out their respective names,  and by swallowing a white stone,  from  the  planet Marte. This superheroine  has been portrayed  in  both  tv and  the movies since  1951 with  the  following  actresses and  even actors: Rosa  del Rosario  (1951-52), Liza Moreno  (1963), Eva Montes (1965), Gina Pareno  (1969), Vilma Santos (1973), Chiquito (1974), Lorna  Tolentino (1977), Dolphy (1979), Rio Locsin  (1979), Nanette Medved  (1991), Anjanette Abayari  (1994), Angel Locsin (2005), Marian Rivera (2009)

Trabaho lang ito, walang personalan.    [Rudy Fernandez, Markang Bungo].   This 1991 movie  was based on the  life story of Baguio City police officer Bobby Ortega.   This line is still widely  used – from Manny Pacquiao, to the current President of the Philippines.

Kakabakaba Ka Ba?   This movie with  the same  title was a 1980 movie by Mike de  Leon.   A  comedy  of misadventures, and  of gangsters smuggling an audiocassette  tape of  opium  in  the  Philippines,  it starred Christopher  de Leon, Charo Santos, Sandy Andolong and Jay  Ilagan.    It  was significant in  the sense  that  it managed to be a political satire, escaping censorship during  a Martial Law regime.

Isang bala ka lang.   [Fernando Poe Jr., Isang Bala Ka Lang].   A classic action movie starred in  and directed by  Fernando Poe Jr., the story  is of a good cop, convicted and jailed  for avenging  his wifeʼs death, turns vigilante in the light of injustices to innocent victims.   Released in 1983, it  also stars Maggie dela Riva, Marianne de la Riva, Julie Vega, and Paquito Diaz

Ginto na  ang nasa harap mo, basura  pa ang  pinili mo.    [Vilma Santos, Sinasamba  Kita].   Directed  by  Eddie  Garcia  in  1982  with  actors  Vilma  Santos,  Christopher  de  Leon,  Phillip  Salvador  and  Lorna  Tolentino,  the movie  is  about  half  sisters, with  the  younger  one  as  the  fatherʼs illegitimate daughter.   Maltreated  and  oppressed,  the  younger  sibling  leaves but  fate  brings  them  together  for a  final  reckoning.   The  theme song of  this movie, with  the  same  title  and composed by  George Canseco, was a popular hit too.   It won film  awards for Best Director,  Best Original  Song and became  a  tv  movie  in  2007 with  Joel  Lamangan as director, starring  Sheryl Cruz and Valerie Concepcion.

Mahal  mo  ba  ako,  dahil  kailangan mo  ako  o  kailangan  mo  ako  kaya  mahal mo  ako?   [Claudine Barretto, Milan].    A 2004 romance film  starring Claudine Barretto and Piolo Pascual, it  is a  story  of  two people who are strangely banded  together  by  their  own  personal quests,  fall  deeply  in love and later called on to make personal sacrifices.  Aside from  the beautiful locations  in  Italy,  it garnered  acting awards and nominations for  the 2  lead actors.    It also  featured  the  singing voice of Piolo Pascual for its theme song, The Gift

These  are  just  a  few  of  the  many  highly  dramatic,  comedic  and  memorable  dialogues  in  Philippine cinema.  What are your favorites?


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