tuos

First things first: Spoiler alert! Don't read if you plan to watch the movie :) The last thing I want is for someone to read this and ruin the experience for them. Or change someone's mind about watching, dahil na-spoil ko na lahat. Also, if you're looking for a real movie review, try somewhere else. Balak ko lang talagang magkwento kasi nag-enjoy ako sa panonood.

In short, basahin mo lang ito kung wala ka talagang balak manood LOL.

Ano ang ibig sabihin ng tuos? I think it's one of those words that change meaning depende sa paggamit:

In contemplating stuff, like "Kung tutuusin, tunay ngang tumaas ang presyo ng pechay sa world market nitong nakaraang 2nd Quarter of 2016, right Jennifer?".

Or in measuring stuff, like "Kiliting-kiliti si Edwin nang sipatin at tuusin ni Shaniqua ang kanyang shiznit".

Or in confrontation and stuff, like "Yo, Malou, magtutuos tayo later, I will cut you".


Ngunit sa Cinemalaya 2016 entry na Tuos, na pinagbibidahan ni Nora Aunor at Barbie Forteza at directed by Roderick Cabrido, ang ibig sabihin ng tuos ay "pact" as in agreement o usapan.

Nanood ako ng Tuos hindi bilang tae-taeng movie critic, not even a blogger, kundi bilang isang fan ng Philippine folklore. At pumunta ako sa sinehan na clueless sa pelikula, yung trailer lang ang napanood ko at wala naman details much, except si Nora Aunor na nakahandusay sa batuhan habang naglalaba ng wig.



So bilang clueless, ikukwento ko lang kung paano ko nainterpret ang pelikula gaya ng laging ginagawa ko sa aking mga pretentious movie reviews. Tulad nung opening scene, kung saan nagpapractice si Barbie Forteza ng kanyang violin skills. Whaaat, you ask. Violin, wtf? you say. Yung violin nya, yari sa bamboo(?) I think this scene means she knows something we don't know. Basta yun na yun.

Nakatira si Barbie sa isang maliit at simpleng bahay sa isang pamayanan sa liblib na bundok. So many places to take a selfie, not a single camera in sight. Kasama niya ang kanyang tiya, pinsang babae, at ang kanyang Lola, na si Nora Aunor with the wig thing going on. We find out early on that Nora is a MAJOR BIG DEAL sa kanilang tribo. Siya lang naman ang Binukot Princess. Whaaat, you ask. Binukot Who? Princess of What? you ask. Hindi ko pa alam ang kasagutan at this point.

But it's easy to see that Nora Aunor is some kind of a royalty, or probably a divine being:

1) Hindi siya lumalabas ng bahay much.
2) Meron siyang handmaidens. Tagaabot ng suklay, tagaayos ng kanyang outfits.
3) Meron pa siyang taga-wash ng vagina
4) No man can touch her. Whaaat, you ask. No boyfriend since birth wtf? you say. Yes. Matanda man sa inyong paningin, isa naman syang tunay na virgin. I see how this concept is so foreign to some of us, lalo na sa mga pakantot sa ating lipunan.
5) Not even mosquitoes can touch her.


Barbie's interactions with Nora are like a balancing act between "I respect you so much" and "I'm a teenager, I have needs". Pinaghihigpitan ni Nora si Barbie dahil siya ang susunod na Binukot Princess. Siya ang napili. Siya ang nakatakda. So, alam na. Virgin rin si Barbie.

Nora as the Binukot Princess is quiet, reserved, wise. Like she knows a truth that others don't. Like she possesses a knowledge na hindi nila kayang tuusin. Like she knows her place, and she doesn't need to talk about it. She's not just a character, she's a presence. Sa sobrang tahimik nya, siguro one-half crosswise lang ang script nya. Speaking of script, ang dialekto na ginamit ay "Karay-a" (medyo malapit sa Bisaya) with English subtitles. So try ko ilagay lang dito yung mga English subtitles OK?

It's time for Nora's bath sa ilog. "I forgot my comb go fetch." sabi nya dun sa taga-wash nya ng vagina. "And don't give me that attitude, I own you, remember? Who's the Princess again? Oh, that's right, ME."

Barbie was like "Have someone else get it for you Grandmother."

"Only one person is allowed to touch my things. Do I have to explain myself all the time? By all means, move at a glacial pace, you know how that thrills me." Meanwhile:


The early scenes basically show Barbie going through her Binukot Princess training reluctantly, trying to escape from it once in a while. Ipa-memorize ba naman sayo ang buong epiko kasi ikaw na ang susunod na magpeperform. Ganong level ng cramming ang kailangan nyang gawin.

Nahuli ni Nora na nagbabasa si Barbie ng magazine. Mahigpit itong ipinagbabawal. Because we don't know why. Basta! But Barbie is being adamant. "This is just a magazine, calm your tits Grandma."

But no. A Binukot Princess has better stuff to do. She has roles in the society. She is a revered being.  Hindi siya dapat nagbabasa ng Cosmo "10 Ways to get your best orgasm ever" nonsense.

As the story progresses, we get a visual treat: cuts to animated sequences sa saliw ng awitin ni Bayang Barrios na nagsasalaysay tungkol sa alamat ng isang lalaki, si Buyong Paiburong at isang spirit, si Buyong Makabagting. This song is FUCKING SCARY when you take it to heart. Gustong gusto ko naman yung mga ganitong themes kaya ramdam ko yung dread sa istorya. Na-capture nito yung mga bagay na kinatatakutan ko noong bata pa ako. Sorry kung mababaw para sa inyo, ngunit bilang batang laki sa probinsya, this is magical for me:

Nagsimula ang awit sa pagmamasid-masid ni Buyong Paiburong sa paligid hanggang sa makakita siya ng isang misteryosong kawayan. And like any self-respecting man who sees challenge in everything, tinagpas nya ang kawayan just like that. At may laman itong ginto...

Meanwhile Barbie is slowly coming to terms with her unique position, the next Binukot Princess. Pilit nyang tinatanggap na kailangan nyang matutunan ang mga awit, tula, at memes. Siya ang magtutuloy ng kasaysayan, kultura, tradisyon. Mapalad siya, pero hindi niya ramdam. Kaya nga kapag nag-eembroidery siya, hindi masyadong intense. Kapag nagmememorize siya ng epics, di nya masyadong feel yung hugot, at kapag nagpapractice sya ng violins, makikita mong di nya ito masyadong bet. Para bang mas nais nyang magtwerk.


Mostly dahil naiinggit siya sa kanyang bestfriend si Maritess. Whaaat, you ask. Maritess with doube s? Yes, double s.

Ikakasal na kasi si Maritess, and unti-unti nakakadama si Barbie ng pressure, a sense of being trapped, at marami pang feelings, lalo pa at aaligid-aligd sa kanya yung kapatid ni Coco Martin, si Ron Martin. Sure it's a small community at wala masyadong choice, pero parang may force of attraction sa pagitan nilang dalawa, at kahit ideny pa nang ideny ni Barbie, alam nating lalabas ang kanyang kiri moments, at ilalabas nya ito soon.

"You can't afford my dowry boie," panunukso ni Barbie, "you probably can't even buy me Eskinol, not that I need it," sabay alis, leaving Ron Martin with blue balls.

"You are the most beautiful," sabi ni Nora Aunor kay Barbie, much like how mothers tell their daughters "Anak, ikaw ang pinakamaganda sa Purok 4." But in this case, totoo naman. In my interpretation, she said it with both pride and fear.

"I don't want to be beautiful, I want to be happy," and as much as I hate to abuse the word hugot, eto yun. Hugot ito ng mga taong akala nila, ang kagandahan ang sagot sa lahat. Akala nila, pag maganda sila, tama na yun because everything follows.

Barbie and Nora are looking at their reflection on two mirrors, but they might as well be looking at each other as their reflection. Nora used to be Barbie, a younger Princess, next in line, who had no choice. And Barbie sees her future in Nora. Mamamatay na virgin. Yun ang hindi nya matanggap.

Cut to wedding night ni Maritess, and you can almost hear Barbie's thoughts:

Hindi maganda si Bes, pero mauuna siyang ikasal sa akin.

Sa sariling kasal ni Maritess, hindi siya masyadong napansin, dahil the moment na nagsimulang tumugtog ang musika, Nora Aunor is like "Oooh gurl this my jam" takes the stage to perform a traditional hawk dance. All eyes on her. Ang interpretation ko dito is, Maritess was upstaged at her own wedding. LOLjk.

Tingin ko parte talaga ito ng isang tradisyunal na kasal sa kanilang tribo, na magbigay ng performance ang Binukot Princess. Her dance was so captivating, her colors vibrant in the golden light, while Timbaland's music played. Joke lang uli. Pero walang halong biro, napakaganda ng musika at hidi ako magtataka kung sa ganitong klaseng music kumuha si Timbaland ng inspiration for "Promiscuous Girl".

See what I did there? Foreshadowing? Explain ko later.

Sa pagpapatuloy ng animation, matapos tagpasin ni Buyong Paiburong ang kawayan, lumitaw ang spirit ni Buyong Makabagting, na parang halong engkanto, tikbalang or what. "Oh no you di-in't. You so picked the wrong bamboo brad, and what's done is done. Tell you what. I will let you live, but from now on, you'll sacrifice your virgin daughters to me. And don't try to cheat me on this bro, I would know if they're really your duaghters, and I would know if they're really virgins *wink*wink*. Don't me."

Bakit si Barbie pa ang hinirang? Bakit hindi na lang yung pinsan nyang magaling sa embroidery? Or yung taga-wash ng vagina. Bakit hindi si Maritess, na sa gabing ito, malamang nakapugiit na sa kanilang kubo. Bakit si Barbie pa? She had no say in this.

"I had no say in this," sambit ni Barbie sabay puslit palabas ng bahay sa dis-oras ng gabi to go where, you ask? Sa gubat, sa tagpuan. Magtutuos sila ni Ron Martin. Sa damuhan, may I add.

#relationshipgoals

Seriously, who's been there, done that? I'm not talking about being next in line for a royal title. I'm talking about having sex sa damuhan.

I think I know Barbie's thought process in all this.

Hindi ko pinili na ako ang hiranging susunod na Binukot Princess. Hindi man lang nila ako tinanong kung gusto ko ba. Ako nga ang pinakamaganda, hindi ko naman ito magamit. At itong tuksong Ron Martin na aaligid-aligid, hindi ko naman ito magamit.

But no. Tingin ko, mababago ko pa ang kapalaran ko. Hindi naman totoo yang mga kwento-kwento nyo eh. Yang pact? Weh. Luma na yan. Hindi naman nila malalaman kung may gawin ako. So ngayon, pupunta ako sa gubat, and I'm so "not gonna honor the pact" with Ron Martin. And we're "not gonna honor the pact" all night long.

"I want to experience this with you," bulong ni Barbie kay Ron Martin, which translates to "Ipasok mo na, curfew ko 8:00."

Wala nang pact-pact! Pact ganern! Umaga na nang hinugot.

Cue music: Promiscuous Girl

And you know what happened next? As expected when crazy shit is brewing, shit hits the fan. Nagkasakit si Nora Aunor. Just like that. Hindi na sya makabangon. Hindi yung "hindi makabangon" dahil nalasing siya sa wedding reception. This is serious. It's like, spirits are haunting her or something. It's like something went wrong in the spirit world and she's being punished for it. It's like, she didn't keep her end of the bargain and ngayon sinisingil na siya.

Na-confirm ng manggagamot ang diagnosis: May hindi tumupad sa usapan. Someone broke the pact!

Sino pa ba kundi si Barbie. Alangan namang si Maritess. They have low expectations for Maritess, she can't possibly disappoint them if she tried.

At first Barbie was like Baka may kabag lang si Lola. Or Chikungunya. Yap. Chikungunya yan. But deep inside alam nya. Serious pala yung pact. Pactshet.

One morning habang winawash ang vagina ni Lola nakita ni Barbie na marami syang sugat sa singit. If you ever had doubts sa acting skills ni Miss Barbie Forteza, let this scene drown all doubt. Yung paghahalo ng gulat, guilt, at awa sa expression niya, intense.

Pero bakit siya may sugat sa singit??? Tell you later.

Barbie had an idea: Let's take Grandma to the hospital.
Manggagamot: Nope.
Nora: Nope.
Manggagamot: She won't make the trip.
Nora: Word.

Ang layo kaya ng bayan. Alam mo yung expression na "mga tatlong tumbling lang andun ka na?" Dito, literal na tatumbling ka pababa sa slope ng bundok. Malayo ang lalakarin nila. Kung tutuusin, it's around 3-4 business days kung leisurely walk lang. But Nora Aunor, given her Binukot Princess status and her frail condition, takes the trip in style.


"You call yourself a diva, you basic wannabe? You're no diva until people carry you in a basket because your feet don't touch the ground. And yes, by all means, move at a glacial pace."

So Ron Martin and some other guys and the whole posse carry Nora Aunor down the mountain, across rivers, through forests and fields and finally through streets. Alam mong malapit na sila sa bayan nung may nakita nang BDO tarpaulin. Everyone is determined to make this trip, pero nahuhulaan ko ang iniisip nilang lahat.

Kasalanan mo 'to Barbie hindot ka and everyone knows.

Guilt eats Barbie up. She cracks. Over and over again.

"Granda, it was I who broke the pact."
"Yap."
"I should be the one punished, not you."
"Yap. I know."

She's a woman of few words, but the looks she gave, no words can deliver. The closest we can get is,

Kingina ka pahamak ka kasi. Pakantot. Akala mo optional yung pact? Gaga neto.

Pero seriously, tama ka, apo. Kami lang ang nagdesisyon para sa iyo. Hindi ka nakapili para sa iyong sarili. Baka doon kami nagkamali. Baka ako nga dapat ang parusahan.

Still doesn't change the fact, isa kang babaeng pakantot sa damuhan!

I get where Nora Aunor is coming from. Kung bakit hindi nya makuhang usigin si Barbie. Kung bakit tahimik lamang siya. Malakas ang tukso. Siya nga eh mamamatay na virgin. Maybe she needs to break the pact too?

And then may revelation, noong gabing pumuslit si Barbie:


Nakita lahat ito ni Nora Aunor. But instead of stopping it, she accepts her fate, knowing what comes next.

Wala pa syang three tumblings paalis nang masalubong nya ang spirit in the form of engkanto/tikbalang and right then and there, hinalay si Nora Aunor. Hala pinakita pa yung titi ng engkanto. Whaaat, you ask. Titi wtf? you say. Yup may titi for real, and it's about to enter/reenter Nora Aunor.

The audience was liked UH-OH YOU'RE FUUUCKED.

In my analysis, kaya may mga sugat si Nora Aunor sa bikini area ay dahil hinahalay sya ng malignong si Buyong Makabigting on a regular basis, bilang kapalit sa kanilang ninunong si Buyong Paiburong na pumutol sa ginintuang kawayan. Suffering for the mistakes of others. Silently struggling. But not a moment of weakness. Iba yung strength ng acting ni Nora Aunor dito. No need for words. Deserving naman siya na maitabi sa nag-iisang Barbie Forteza LOL.

Athough the obviously minor characters had very little acting to do, like yung taga-wash ng vagina, the acting was superb. Aba, hindi madaling maghugas ng vagina ng iba. It takes skill na hindi basta-basta mapepeke on screen.

To comment on Nora Aunor's acting is not my thing, I'm not gonna be taken seriously anyway because hello, pussy jokes. And besides, I'm no expert. But I enjoyed her acting on this film, at ang mga kasama nya rin. Yung character ni Barbie, interesting. Siya yung character na magkaiba ang iniisip, salita at kilos nya. Si Ron Martin yung tipikal na masugid na manliligaw na patago, at si Barbie yung kunwaring inis, tapos yun pala pamigay, pero inis ulit. Barbie's rebellion was met with Nora's stern qualities, but Barbie's downfall was matched only with Nora's sincere tenderness. In the end, with roles to play and rules to follow, they're just women trapped in their traditions.

What I'm most thankful to this movie for is, ngayon, nalaman ko na somewhere in the Philippines there exists a tradition-rich tribe, with a Binukot Princess who gives her whole life to preserve their majestic culture and identity. The world is sick and its disease is forgetfulness. The Princess makes sure they remember.

Sa pagwawakas ng pelikula, napatay ni Nora Aunor ang spirit na humalay sa kanya. Or did she? Was it a hallucination? A symbolism?

Bumangon sya at bago umuwi sa bundok, naligo siya sa dagat. Did she triumph and break free, or did she wholeheartedly accept her destiny and was delivered?

Or walang meaning, talagang gusto nya lang magbeach? Beach-ready na kaya yung bikini area nya? Madaming iniwang tanong ang pelikulang Tuos.

I love this movie. It's like being transported back to the pages of my favorite childhood folklore books.

Screengrabs are from the trailer.

5 comments. Post your comment here.:

iamgertrude said...

The best ka talaga. Papanoorin ko pa din coz I love Ate Guy

erna sanluis said...

The more I read, the more I want to watch the movie. hahaha! #pak #english

khantotantra said...

grabe....

kasalanan talaga ng pakantot girl ang lahat..

pero siguro baka nagustuhan din ni nora ang junjun ng engkanto/maligno lols

Basta said...

hahaha feel na feel ko every words sa movie review mo. Btw, yung place sa movie is Bucari Leon Iloilo. I'm from Leon.

Akona Nga said...

Hahaha.ansaya naman basahin ng moview review mo.

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