The story is set in Guagua, Pampanga a decade after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo which ravaged the province with lahar. It follows the lives of Rodolfo "Mang Rudy" Manansala, a woodcarver, ... See full summary »



(screenplay) (as Boots S. Agbayani Pastor), (story) (as Boots S. Agbayani Pastor) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 42 nominations. See more awards »
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Credited cast:
Johnny Delgado ...
Mang Rudy
Juliana Palermo ...
Criselda Volks ...
Lauren Novero ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Miguel Faustmann
Rita Magdalena
Aaron Rivera
Gamaliel Viray ...
(as Gami Virray)


The story is set in Guagua, Pampanga a decade after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo which ravaged the province with lahar. It follows the lives of Rodolfo "Mang Rudy" Manansala, a woodcarver, and his three daughters and their relationships with the people close to them in the span of seven summers. Grace, the youngest daughter, marries the mama's boy Conrad, and has to face the reality of leaving the ancestral house, to which she is deeply rooted, to go and live with her in-laws. Much against her will, to the point of staging a escape, she yields to the dictates of tradition. Yet she manages to cope up with married life, and on the fourth year of her marriage gets pregnant with her second child. Lourdes, the middle daughter and married to the weakling Andy Pineda with whom she has a daughter, goes into an illicit affair with a bank manager, for which reason Mang Rudy succumbs to a heart attack and becomes bedridden. For a while numbed by the infidelity of his wife, Andy later realizes ... Written by Viva

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11 March 2008 (USA)  »

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Summer Heat  »

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Submitted to Metro Manila Film Festival 2005, but was rejected. See more »


Bukas muli
Performed by Romy Guinoo
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Accurate objective view of an aspect of Filipino family life.
7 June 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The movie depicts the lives of three grown daughters of a bitterly angry, physically punitive widowed father, screaming at and slapping any daughter who displeases him. It opens with the youngest daughter Grace on the way to her wedding. The car travels through a countryside with browning vegetation. Mendoza should have been more visually explicit about this barren countryside as the devastated result of the 1991 volcano eruption which he later implies as the catastrophe behind the daughters' father's sense of failure and bitterness. We see the rush-rush scenes before Grace's wedding, an authentic amusing depiction of the common chaos which takes place before any ceremony in the Philippines. Well-staged in showing almost everyone as too excited, excitable and euphoric to ever get anything organized. After the wedding Mendoza divides the movie into 3 segments. First is Angin (Wind) depicting the stressful early years of Grace's and Conrad's marriage, with Conrad's wealthy family's condescending view of Grace and her family,class conflict being a staple of Philippine movies. The Wind probably refers to the ill winds early in their marriage or to the blustery winds of Conrad's unpleasant mother's mouth. Segment 2 is called Api (Fire) starting with a woman in bed in a motel with someone not her husband. This is about the marriage of Lourdes, the middle sister, showing the choices Lourdes has to make. The Fire here I suppose is the emotional conflagration which erupted in Lourdes' marriage. Segment 3 is Danum (Water), about Jesusa, the oldest and most nurturing sister and the more sharply etched character in the whole movie. She's significantly noticeable even in the initial scenes getting our attention through Cherry Pie Picache's honest, unaffected performance revealing an insightful understanding of her character. Jesusa is a lesbian who is the object of her father's outright hostility despite her being the stabilizing figure in the family. What I admire -- the well-observed recreation of Filipino ceremonies (the wedding, the flagellants), the scenes of someone always decorating something, the looks of the insides of the houses revealing of the people's characters, Mendoza's insight on the frictions of marriage, the immaturity of people, the class consciousness, the cultural insensitivities, all well-depicted in a straightforward matter-of-fact way without cynicism or any demeaning or derogatory intentions, just pure presentation of what has been observed as common characteristics. I also appreciate Mendoza not attaching anything irrelevant (shoot-outs knifings, exploitative sex scenes) to please the typical audience. On Picache's performance: gratifying enough that she did not make Jesusa a caricature but she also created a respectable, humane, emotionally coherent solid character. Shortly into the movie we are convinced that she provides this family's moorings in her quiet uncomplaining way. What I don't like -- Mendoza's self-conscious stylishness, shots of wind-swept grass, rain falling on parched earth, conflagrations as though his characters emotions are not enough they have to be explicitly illustrated. In certain places, he errs on the side of becoming too vague sometimes not clear early on which character is which. I also needed a little idea on how Conrad and Grace resolved their conflict. Johnny Delgado's Father was a one-note character,never getting the chance to show anything but anger. Unfortunate, Delgado being such an accomplished actor. A movie worth seeing because of its authenticity in presenting these Filipino characters with this kind of Filipino cultural behavior. Reflects accurately the times, the places and the people it's depicting. Tito Alquizola ##

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