Human Rights.

Let’s all do whatever we want and let’s call it “human right”. Let us go out to the streets naked, have sex right then and there, because it is our “human right”. I dare you to do all these for the sake of what we now call “human right”.

This is the realization that stared back at me, a minute after watching Anne Curtis’ portrayal in an indie film “Nang Tumambad ang Hubad na Katotohanan.” Here, Dimpy (Anne) wanted to be a bold star, but she was constrained by her “conservative/narrow-minded (these two words are one and the same, according to Dimpy) parents. Her father is the typical “haligi ng tahanan”, so to speak. Her mom is the typical timid, submissive, conservative wife. Let me try to put in little Broadcasting skills that I learned from school (or what’s left of it).

Put the whole story in trash. What caught my attention was the ending. Mom and poor Dimpy were talking in the living room. Mom told Dimpy, “Anak, bakit naman kailangan mo pang ibahin ang pangalan mo? Para mo namang ikinahihiya ang pangalan natin niyan, eh.” Dad was on the background, drinking water in the kitchen, but all along listening to the conversation. That’s when he got mad. “Kunsintidor ka kasi! Hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit nangyayari sa atin ito! Hindi naman ako naghuhubad dito sa bahay, kapag natutulog ako, naka-mahabang pajama. Kahit nasa beach ako, naka-pantalon ako! Hindi ako naglalakad dito sa bahay ng walang t-shirt!” Then he went on blaming the mother for the “kalaswaan” she had taught her daughter and brought to the house. “Ito, itong mga ito (pertaining to the cherubs hanging on the wall), kay babata pa, nakahubad na!” He threw the little angels on the floor. Notice how religious items almost always were the first things to get broken in movies (War of the Worlds reference here, when the war started with the dome church being swallowed by the ground). He went on breaking figurines, saying “Ito, nakatuwad na nga, wala pang salawal!” then broke a piece of art saying “Ito, wala na ngang kamay, wala pang damit! Sino ba ang naglagay ng mga kalaswaang ito sa bahay? Hindi ba ikaw?” He was about to break more statues on the altar, but Mom blocked his way, saying “Mga santo ko iyan! Bakit, ako lang ba ang may kasalanan? Akala mo ba hindi ko alam ang pinag-gagagawa mo sa computer tuwing gabi? Tutok na tutok ang mga mata mo sa boobsies.com, babes.com, at kung anu-ano pa! Akala mo ba hindi yan nakikita ng anak mo? ‘Yung bakasyon natin sa Lucena, nakahalo ang litrato natin sa litrato ng nakahubad na babae! Malaswa ka! Demonyo itong computer na ito!” then she threw the computer on the floor.

After exerting all of their energy throwing away religion, home accessory, art and technology, they both sat down on their chairs dramatically. Dad first, saying “Ako ang ulo ng tahanan. Kung ano ang sabihin ko, ‘yun ang masusunod. Kapag sinabi kong hindi ka maghuhubad, hindi ka maghuhubad! Kapag sinabi kong Dimpy Shay Macaraig ang pangalan mo, Dimpy Shay Macaraig ang pangalan mo! Hangga’t nandito kayong dalawa sa puder ng pamamahay ko, susundin niyo lahat ng sinasabi ko!” Clearly depicting patriarchy common among Filipino families. Mom sat down beside him, also crying, but I forgot her precious dialogue.  Then, out of a snap, Dimpy got mad. She was standing in front of her parents, while they were both sitting down.  Camera was on her – full-body shot, while parents’ backs were facing the camera – notice the authority of Dimpy over her parents on this shot. She was wearing a blue shirt, orange tank top over it, purple pants, two clips on her hair and dangling earings – her overall look spelling innocent and conservative. She said, “Hanggang kailan ‘to, Pa, Ma. Hanggang kailan ako magtitiis sa tanikil ng bahay na ito?” Of course, this was the moment of it all, the “monologue” in every movie, so let’s just cut her trashy lines and focus on what I understood from it. “Naka-6 boyfriend na nga ako eh, pero hindi ko ipinapaalam sa inyo, kasi makitid ang utak niyo!” “Conservative lang,” the mother timidly said. “Makitid ang utak, conservative, iisa lang ‘yun eh! Kung gusto kong maghubad, bakit hindi? Kung gusto kong ibuyayang ang katawan ko na walang saplot, gagawin ko! Katawan ko ito eh, karapatan kong gawin ang lahat ng gusto kong gawin dito! Nakakahiya man ako o hindi, wala akong pakialam, choice ko ito eh! Gusto kong maghubad!” she screams. “Maganda naman ang bayad ah? Ano bang masama doon? Hindi naman ako tanga na maghuhubad ng hindi ito pinag-iisipan. Pinag-isipan ko ito ng matagal. Imbis na sumbatan niyo ako, dapat suportahan niyo ako sa gusto ko. Hindi naman ako ang makikinabang sa kikitain ko eh. Ma, sino ba ang nakinabang sa P 3, 000 noong nanalo akong Ms. Pasig? Di ba ikaw? Wala naman akong nahawakang pera eh. Pa, asan na ang P 500 na ibinibigay sakin ng ninong ko taun-taon simula kinder? Diba sabi mo, itatabi natin ‘yon para may pera ako? Asan na ngayon?” Already sitting down on an arm rest of the chair across her parents (on eye level, but still depicting authority), she points a finger at her parents saying, “Ngayon, kung hindi ninyo masikmura ang gagawin ko, aalis na lang ako sa bahay na ito. Kalimutan niyo na ako. Pero ito ang tandaan niyo, sa oras na sumikat ako, maaalala niyo na minsan, nagkaroon kayo ng anak na nagngagnalang Dimpy.” The scene was cut from there.

Next scene, they were all eating at the round table. Father was in the middle, signifying he’s still man of the house, but.. Mom was on his right, and Dimpy was on his left. Round table signifying equality among all of them, but then.. Mom said, “O, ipatingin natin iyang peklat mo sa binti kay Carlo Bading. Nakakahiya naman kung makunan ng camera ang binti mo tapos may peklat ka.” “Ay, kaya na po iyan ng make-up, pero sige,” Dimpy said. “Pa, iyong kwarto ko nga pala, ang sikip na tsaka may tumutulo kapag umuulan.” “O sige, kapag nagka-pera ka na, ibibigay na namin ng mama mo ang kwarto namin sayo.” “Oo nga naman, aanhin naman natin ang napaka-laking kwarto, diba?” “Ma, pag pumapasok sa school, ang dami kong dala. Pano ‘yan? Wala pa kasi akong PA.” “O, eh anong ginagawa namin ng Papa mo? Huwag kang kumain ng madami. Gulay lang ang kainin mo. Gusto namin, sexy ka.” Notice the change of atmosphere, and their exchange of dialogues? Dear Dimpy now had her parents wrapped around their fingers, only because she started talking about money and the benefits she could bring to the house. They were sunod-sunuran, in a matter of an hour. Clearly a sign of manipulation. The camera panned to the left side of the screen, showing the broken computer on the floor, or the things that they gave up and weren’t ready to deal with/fix, just for the sake of pursuing their daughter’s choice. Already, they gave up everything else, even their own choices. And this movie was supposed to be about freedom of choice. I didn’t know it was about freedom of choice of only one person in the family – the minority, and, compared to the parents, the one with least knowledge about better judgement.

I fear for the children, the youth. How many youth out there have watched this film – youth without supervision, youth without clear judgement, confused teens. How many of them seriously thought they could manipulate their parents that way, losing respect during the process? How many Dimpys out there are ready to throw their values and principles out the window, just for the sake of selfishness, greediness, and pursuing their wants?

Friends, I was from a radical school. We were taught to question institutions and authorities. We were trained to think outside of the box and bend the norms if necessary, but I refuse to strip myself off of the values and principles I have acquired/learned. We all have rights to our make our own choices, but not to the extent of being immoral just so you can pursue these choices. Go ahead and “ibuyangyang ang sarili na walang saplot,” because it is your choice, you’re right. But by doing so, what difference do you have from a dog who just urinates wherever s/he wants to? I thought we’re supposed to be the “highest form of animals, because we have brains to think”.

My former Broadcasting professor told us, “It is in your hands now. Being in the media industry has a lot of responsibilities. I pray that you will become responsible broadcasters.” My former Social Science professor told us, “We all have human rights. But where does it end?” We were all silent. “It ends where your neighbor’s human right begins.”

These are my opinions and beliefs – an alternative idea, even, if you are confused with the mixed messages that the media are saying. You are entitled to your own.

PS: I have a pretty good memory when it comes to dialogues, don’t I? Also, I used to idolize Ann Curtis a lot. I’m now willing to sacrifice that.

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