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At first I wanted to watch all the Cinemalaya entries this year, but having read the entries' synopsis, I found that not all have sparked interest in me. So I succumbed to watching just three from this year's list; I would have watched more, but busy schedule and picky budget prevented me so. 

So here's the quite limited three Cinemalaya 2012 films I got to watch:

THE ANIMALS: Set in an affluent, upper middle class village in the suburbs, “The Animals” chronicles a day in the life of Jake, Trina, and Alex, who go through the musings that every kid in high school has to deal with. All Jake wants to do is have a good time, Alex just wants to fit in, and Trina simply wants more. A very vivid picture is painted of life in high school after the final bell rings, as well as a different side of the Philippines, and what is happening to its privileged children.

The fact that the filmmaker had recently graduated from film school showed impatience on driving the point home. Everything's there that we expect in a youth-oriented film for the rich kids: drugs, sex, alcohol and betrayal. With plusses on different pictures of the current society. With that, the film's message is accurate although a little overbearing. For me, the film showed a lot of elements that it failed to summarize the message wholly to give it more impact.

I particularly liked Dawn Balagot's portrayal as Trina, she looks natural and charming.
The final scene was nice, it lingered.

Probably i would have traded this film in order to watch Mylene Dizon's Aparisyon if my schedule permitted.

INTOY SYOKOY: Intoy has had the hots for Doray since they were kids in Kalye Marino, Cavite City, formerly the American Naval Base in Sangley Point.  Both marginalized as the long-lasting effect of American abandonment of the said base, Intoy has become Kalye Marino’s best “tahong” caretaker-with-no-angst-about-poverty, while Doray a cheap prostitute-with-no-guilt, tending to her siblings’ needs.  Intoy strives to have his own cages of “tahong” so he can have Doray, not for just a night of quickie sex, but forever.

I was really sorry I missed the first thirty minutes. 

I found the love story of a tahong driver (JM de Guzman) and a cheap prostitute (LJ Reyes) portrayed very sweet and endearing. It was innocent, and lovely and the two lead actors really played it well. 

I didn't liked the last scene, and the decisions that came with it. But Lem Lorca, the director did the last scene beautifully that the love was seen more as innocent and true than it is stupid. (But I still don't buy the ending, though it was portrayed really well.)

Just so I will see the film's entirety, I won't hesitate to watch it again if I have the chance.

ANG NAWAWALA: Gibson Bonifacio stopped speaking when he was a child. Now twenty years old, he returns home to Manila from his studies abroad, his first visit in three years. He finds his family trying to keep it together, his mother still hurting from a tragic loss in the past. Against the backdrop of the vibrant local music scene, his childhood best friend tries to reconnect with him, while he unexpectedly finds a chance at a first, real romantic relationship. Amidst the holidays, Gibson reconsiders and redefines his relationships with his family, his friends, and with himself.

It's a coming-of-age story for a boy who decided not to talk since he saw the tragic death of his twin. The movie was good in a lot of ways, with really awesome music. There are a lot of scenes that could just effectively be captured in music videos. It's as if you could lie in the clouds and feel like flying. That's what the music of Ang Nawawala offers. And opens doors to a music genre that is least appreciated nowadays.

But I think it's overly long. I wished they had cut a lot of scenes, not all parts were needed and sometimes it's just repetitive. 

Images and synopsis from cinemalaya.org