Angelica Ellaiza O.




August 02, 2011


A multi-awarded movie directed by Mark Meily, Baler is a movie of a great and enduring love in time of war. Feliza (Anne Curtis) is a Filipino woman who falls in love with Celso (Jericho Rosales), a half Filipino half-Spanish soldier who serves the Spaniards. This was during the time when the Filipino revolutionaries were struggling to regain their lost freedom from the Spanish empire. Celso was part of the group of Spanish soldiers trapped by the revolutionaries in an old church for more than three hundred days. During also this time, Feliza was discovered pregnant. Being a member of the rebel movement, Feliza’s father, Nanding (Philip Salvador), does not approve of their relationship and even despised his grandson. A tragedy occurred that would make him realize that even in death, nothing can separate two people who have great love for each other. Patriotism and loyalty are the biggest message of this film. We, Filipinos, have been fighting for our liberation from Spanish rule for over three hundred years. Books have shown us how we were unfairly beaten by the Spaniards because we were poorly armed but this movie gives us a new and fresh angle in that battle. Instead, in the movie, the Spaniards were the one who were cornered by the Filipino revolutionaries. Adding to the pride of our country is the panoramic view of Baler which was enhanced by the excellent shots. The movie definitely deserves to win the Best Cinematography Award in the 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival. Honestly, I was not expecting a stirring plot twist in the movie since this is a Filipino movie. Filipino movies have that common trait of keeping things explicit. We don’t like the viewers getting all confused over the story. Thankfully, I was proved wrong because the movie has its unexpected story development. There weren’t many symbolisms present in the movie but I would like to point out those that struck me the most. The death of Capt. De las Morenas (Baron Geisler) shows the hopelessness of the soldiers trapped inside the church. Some of them became frustrated and ended up surrendering to the rebels. With the death of the good leader came the loss of their hope. Feliza, for me, is also a symbol of an empowered Filipina. Although she lived during a time of despair, she never gave up hope that her love would come back. She also did not give in the fear of being harmed when she volunteered to take the tobacco to the Spaniards’ camp. I am so proud of this movie. The quality of the film can make waves even in the international scene. I recommend the movie to those who are losing faith and love for our country. This movie will surely awaken the hidden patriotism in every Filipino’s heart. Sources:

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