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>> Monday, December 10, 2007

Batanes is known to be the lone islands in the far north of Luzon. It's location is at the south of Taiwan and is very prone to raging storms and hurricanes. You may think that it's the last place you'll be because of the number of calamities that hit the area. However, just like the line from the movie "Batanes," Batanes is paradise.

The movie by GMA Films not only showcases the talents of the actors and the production team, but also the beauty of the place. Almost every scene has a shot of the water. Blue, white and green water splashing on the sand. Clear waters. Ever-changing mood of the weather. The main focus is the sea, as the sea is portrayed as a god, the dictator of life on Batanes. The love story only comes secondary.

Corruption is not in the vocabulary of the residents. They have this honesty system, that no province can match. Stores are unmanned. A buyer would only have to drop their payment in a cash box whenever they will take goods from the store. The air is clean -- people ride bikes to get from one place to another. The fishermen respect the sea -- they only fish for their immediate needs.

It's not your typical love story, where the leading lady will end up with the leading man. The problems that go with the story are typical, yet they approached it in a way where people will not be able to predict the ending. They face it with reality and not with a fairy tale plot that everything is a "happily ever after" conclusion. They started with the sea, and ended with the sea.

I congratulate the directors, writers and the production team. It was a flawlessly fluid plot line, without any questionable cuts. I congratulate the actors for taking time to understand the culture and even learn the language. I congratulate the sea, for taking part of the movie, as she showed her strengths.

Watch Batanes. Some may think it's a dragging movie. Rico (Pam's husband in the movie) said that in order to get a good catch, one must wait. Patience is the virtue. The long pauses and scenes have a purpose. You can't dictate a movie, just like how you can't dictate the sea.


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