Themes: Love and Friendship, Wealth and Knowledge, Respect and Recognition
For about four century of being a colonized island, the Philippines’ nationality, up until this day, is hardly defined. Our culture, traditions, and even our language are greatly influenced by our invaders. But I do believe that by understanding our roots we can understand more about who we really are. Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? is a 1976 film written and directed by Eddie Romero, the National Artist for Film and Broadcasting Arts, starring Christopher De Leon and former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz. This is How We are Before, How Are You Now, the English translation of the film title, is not the only question that this film tries to answer. Through the adventures of a peasant, Nicholas “Kulas” Ocampo, the audience also come to know “What it is like to be a true Filipino?” In this paper is the enumerated definitions of the word Filipino and its significance that the characters in the film stated, and my reflective elaboration of those. Dir. Eddie Romero is successful in creating a masterpiece that narrates the history of the Filipino, the history of who we are. However, in the film. the word “Filipino” had different definitions.
The movie is set at the time of Spanish colonization nearing its end. There was a faithful portrayal of the Filipinos were in – the guardia sibil, the unexpected exchange of gunshots, the restless fear in Filipinos where ever they are to stay and the evident abusive superiority of Spanish race over Filipinos. Since it was the end of Spanish colonization, it was the time that small group of rebels comes forth. Spain is known to be a patriarchal country and they bring that kind of system here in the Philippines. It is presented in the film because there were no children in the streets and women were always inside the house.
Ganito Kami Noon Paano Kayo Ngayon follows a naive peasant through his leap of faith to become a member of an imagined community. An innocent "probinsyano", namely Kulas, turned into an epitome of wealth after helping a phony priest in saving his son and then in the end turning back to who he was at the beginning. The story uplifts and honors the label "Filipino" which shows who Filipinos really were and who we should be yesterday and today: dignified, innately benevolent and does good acts without asking for anything in return. In this film, I saw three main values: what happens when you do good unexceptionally, the honor of being a Filipino and the uncertainty of life's course.