By Sanriel Chris Ajero

For the final installment of the October ‘Manila’ series of Cinematon! Cinematon!, I give you  one of the best Filipino films of all time, Lino Brocka’s Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag.

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It started with a dream

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A dream of a new life

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A good life

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Where a singer can take the stage

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Where a musician can orchestrate his passion

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Where a man can stand up for his responsibilities

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A blurry dreamworld

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A crossroad

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In black and white

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Turned colored, red mostly.

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A curious face

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But you never question

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You never look

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You pretend you can’t hear

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You play in the dark

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You compromise.

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A hopeful face

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Turned cynical

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With sudden loss of days

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and dreams of the night.

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A doubtful face

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It started with a goal

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To find what’s lost

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To look for what we lost

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To reunite

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A treasured face

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So you never question

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You never look

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You pretend you can’t hear

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You play in the dark

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You wait.

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An expecting face

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Waiting

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Looking

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Waiting

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Glancing

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Glancing back

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Hoping for a glance back

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A smile.

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Reminiscent of what used to

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Running free

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Running wild

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Running empty

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A defeatist face

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Caught in darkness

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A confused face

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It all started here

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Land of our fondest dreams

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Land of the hostile realities

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A land shaped by its people

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People that started it all

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People that fought for it

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People that lost for it

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People that ended it all

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It all ended here.

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A face

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Faces.

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Ending where it all began.

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III

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Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag
1975
Dir. Lino Brocka
4.5/5

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* Submission to Cinematon! Cinematon! October series, “MANILA”