Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Suddenly, A Movie Review (well, sort of)

Yesterday, after finally finishing a project that I'd been procrastinating on, I decided that as reward I would park myself in front of the television and watch the first Filipino movie I would see in two years. Five shirts and a pair of pants have been waiting crumpled in the clean laundry pile forever, so I decided to attack those too. So there I was at six p.m., watching Milan, ironing clothes, crying during Claudine Barretto's breakdown scene, feeling absolutely OFW!

P.S. If he reads this, Raymond Lee might well give me a boink on the head while saying, "Ano ba, Apol, Milan is so old. I'm in my Maximo Olivares era na, ano!" But I do have a quibble with the script: Why is it that, a quarter of the time, the Pinoy characters speak Italian to each other?

Whenever I find myself in the company of Filipinos, I immediately switch to Tagalog, and as pure as I can manage it while still being conversational. The long periods of not being able to speak my mother tongue and the hunger to express myself in it whenever the opportunity arrives have even reduced my tendency to speak Taglish. I can't imagine myself conversing in French with Makis and Hazel, except maybe to joke around or when we're with French people, so when the Milan characters start going, "Amore" and "Pronto" to each other, it strikes me as very odd. This is terribly corny, but as a Filipino living somewhere far from home, I find incredible comfort, and sometimes even strength, in speaking the language of my heart.

15 comments:

Gina said...

Oh, how I would love to "speak in the language of my heart" (I like the way you put it Apol)! The language of my heart would be Waray. I have a fellow Pinay friend that I work with, I find it easier to speak with her in English. You see, her dialect is Bisaya (as in Cebuano or Zamboangeno Visaya as opposed to my Waray Visaya),and eventhough I understand it very well, I speak it with a lot of effort. And it would feel weird if we both talk in Tagalog =) Kaya eto, pa-ingles-ingles nalang...

apol said...

Hi, GINA! Yeah, we have seven complete languages in our archipelago yata, plus all the dialects of those seven, so I had to think about it when I was finishing the post. "Language of my heart," seemed apt, since, as you point out, not every Filipino would consider speaking Tagalog the most natural thing. Oh, and I figure that English would be the language of my brain... but that calls for a completely different post :)

Len (Tita Maldita) said...

Apol, aking irog, ako man po ay talagang naghahanap ng makakausap sa 'language of my heart' dine sa aking sulok ng daigdig...hehehe. Seriously, Apol, you are so right. A friend of mine from Chile even said she gets a headache sometimes not being able to speak in her native language. It's always such a bliss to be with our kababayans speaking in our 'language of the heart.' Nice entry, Apol :-) Also read your old entries and I liked that one with the title 'Ranting and Raving.'

Makis said...

So true on Gina's comment. Did I tell you that we're now a total of 4 pinays here in my little barrio (upcoming post on that :) ??? And the new one automatically speaks french to us. I found it a bit weird & awkward but I thought since she comes from Pangasinan (ilocano speaking?), she's probably more comfortable with her french than tagalog. Sarap kaya mag tagalog!

Naku, na-imagine kita nag plancha at umiiyak sa Milan!

katrina said...

Apol you made me laugh with the image of you ironing and crying while watching a typically melodramatic Filipino movie! It's just so un-you! ;-)

I don't know anyone who worked on "Milan" (so I'm not defending them), but the language thing makes sense to me. First off, the characters didn't miss speaking Tagalog like you do, because they live and socialize with other Pinoys, as many OFWs do when they're abroad. So there mightn't be the same hunger you feel to speak what you so beautifully call "the language of your heart." Also, maybe it's their way of assimilating -- by using their adopted language even when they're amongst themselves. And especially with common words like "amore" or "pronto," sometimes you get so used to using them that they become a natural part of your speech (like Taglish is to us). Finally, I can't help but think that colonial mentality is a factor. For many Filipinos, other languages are more "sosyal" to speak than their own. Kaya nga kahit baluktot, pinipilit nilang mag-Ingles, kahit sa kapwa Pilipino, para lang mapakitang marunong sila. I've seen this again and again.

apol said...

Hi, LEN! I also used to get headaches before, like when I'd be at a party and it would be one French conversation after another. Now, I can have marathon chikafests in their language, but NEVER in the morning! We slept over with some friends recently, and nakatingin lang talaga ako sa kanila during breakfast. "Café, café! Café, s'il te plaît!" Yan lang ang kaya ng brain cells ko before 10 a.m.

Yeah, awkward is the word, MAKIS! Even with my anglophone friends, I don't feel super at ease speaking French. I just think, since we're both more comfortable conversing in another language, use this other language na lang, di ba? And if you ever start insisting we speak French together, babatukan kita :)

KATRINA, I know! I think nadala ako nung intense drama at general kaingayan nung pelikula, na matagal ko nang hindi nakikita dahil karamihan ng pelikula dito, quiet intensity ang attack.

May point ka. I only know four Pinoys here, and never see two of them. The other two I do get to see, I see every two or three months lang. But even so. The characters in Milan would have screaming sessions in Italian! I just think, no matter how well you speak another language, in moments of heightened emotion, you naturally revert to your mother tongue, the language not just of your heart, but also of your gut. Colonial mentality, puwede siguro. One Pinay I briefly met proudly asked me, "Do I sound like a Frenchwoman na ba?" Ngek! Miss honesty-is-the-best-policy that I am, I had to reply, "Uhm, uhm, you know, NOT REALLY!"

decorator said...

... language of my heart...

oh my... that would be hiniray-a.


anyway, HINDI AKO MAKAPANIWALA NA INIYAKAN MO ANG MILAN!!! AT HABANG NAMAMALANTSA! naku sana may camera ka sa bahay mo. feeling ko, dadaigin mo si claudine...

Katrina said...

I'd forgotten about the fights in Italian. Now, *that* is unnatural. I am MUCH more comfortable in English than Tagalog, but I remember when I was with my ex (who was American), it was only during emotional outbursts that I wished I could at least use some Tagalog words with him. Now that I'm with Felipe, I like that I can express myself in whichever language suits the situation best.

apol said...

KATRINA, it is just so US to be having these long exchanges in a blog's comments box when most other people would be content with a "Hi! Hello! Just dropping by!"

apol said...

GWYN, close-up sa akin, tapos pan out to show me talking to the plantsahin, "Anong karapatan ninyong saktan ako?" Close-up again, this time on my Rowenta Vapor Flat Iron. Pan out to show na yung plantsa na ang kausap ko: "Anong karapatan MONG saktan ako?" Then hagulgol na ako habang naglulupasay sa floor.... Yes, memorized ko ang lines ni Claudine...

Anonymous said...

Favorite ko si Attorney! :-)

Kala

haze said...

Naku pinaiyak ako nyang Milan na yan ! Sa tagal ba namang di ako nakapanood ng tagalog movie as in heavy drama! Syempre ako tagalog pero kasambot man ko ng ilonggo gamay gyud! Naku dito pag nasa Filipino community ako pure tagalog, except for those children who were born here minsan french minsan english ! Natuturete na nga ako eh !

apol said...

Ako, KALA, may soft spot since forever for Ilonah Jean.

Hey, HAZE, you introduced me once to those kids, right? I met some half-Swiss, half-Pinoy kids recently, and it was delightful to hear them speaking fluent Tagalog. Ako pa yung tinanong kung marunong daw ako mag-Filipino!

Leah said...

Ngii..ngayon mo pa lang napanood ang Milan? True, marami din akong ibinuhos na luha dyan.

I love talking in Tagalog, I even change my accent and sound loud when talking, Its like sharing secrets coz others cant get wat you're saying. I try to talk to my daughter in Tagalog but its hard when my hubby only understands English. I try though.

Avon Luna said...

Watch NEW PINOY MOVIE and LIVE TV here in HD CLICK HERE

download NEW PINOY HD MOVIE application for ANDROID CLICK HERE

download NEW PINOY HD MOVIE application for IOS apple device CLICK HERE

LIKE US ON NEW FB PINOY HD MOVIE UPDATE