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Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo, The Movie


My husband and I watched the sequel to the hit movie Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo called Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo which stars Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo. It is also the official entry of Star Cinema for [tag]Metro Manila Film Festival[/tag] (2007). I wanted to watch it for the simple pleasure of having a good laugh. I particularly enjoyed the character played by Gina Pareño, mother of Angie (Judy Ann). Gina is just so adorable and funny whenever she spews out her no-nonsense philosophy of life and other wisecracks.

Butch and I had to move to the Eastwood Cinema as the first two cinemas near our home was “standing room” only. It looks like this movie is a blockbuster. The thing is the movie brought a bit of controversy on its second day.

Today, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino ““Nene” Q. Pimentel, Jr in Visayans Unite! (Or Why They Should Boycott ‘Sakal Sakali Saklolo’) expressed concern over a wrong message to Filipinos by denigrating the use of the Visayan language, which is most widely spoken in the Visayas and large parts of Mindanao.

The portion of the film in which a grandmother (played by Gloria Diaz) was telling a nanny (yaya) in Tagalog: ““Bakit pinapalaki ninyong Bisaya ang apo ko?” (Why are you rearing my grandchild as a Bisaya?)

The mother butted in by telling the yaya: ““Speak to the kid in Tagalog. Parang Pinoy. (So that he grows up like a Pinoy).”

Being a Cebuano myself, I am already used to these ethnic slurs and was not offended with the above conversation. Why? I don’t know about Senator Pimentel, but I am confident of myself. Imagine, I can speak Visayan, Tagalog and English? Can most Tagalogs speak Visayan? So get over it, Senator Pimentel. True, Filipino humor is cruel. It has been that way even during Dolphy comedy days. Maids are stereotyped to be Visayans speaking in long “e” vowel sounds. I wouldn’t burst an artery over this but it would help to educate the public that Visayans are just as smart as Tagalogs. What I find disturbing is how they obviously poked fun to the “Bronson” character (brother of Angie), emphasizing his enormous crooked teeth and perfect English grammar and diction. Poking fun of the Visayan accent is funny (in the movies’ plot) because Tagalog and Visayans say it differently but making fun of physical appearance is not a comedy act to me at all. It is just wrong.

Despite some flaws in the movies like that PLDT phone directory lying on the bedside table of their Barcelona Hotel, the movie has all the elements of commercial success. First, it stars Judy Ann who enjoys a huge fan base. Second, the Judy Ann/Ryan team evokes great chemistry. Third, the theme offers the elements of Filipino romantic comedy like mother-in-laws and the son.

Strong mother-in-laws are often the butt of jokes in our Filipino shows that it is definitely a sure-fire way to bring comic relief. In real life, not all mother-in-laws come out strong and authoritative. They can be quiet and manipulative to their sons. My husband is so lucky that he never had a mother-in-law (mom died before I got married) or an interfering father-in-law (Dad had a stroke then). Unfortunately, I had a few issues in the past with my in-laws that’s not even funny at all or fit to be in a movie scene. Haha but that’s all water under the bridge when boundaries were set. The thing we all have to remember in marriage is that the husband and wife belong to each other and not to their family of origin. It took a long time for Butch to realize that. I knew that from the start of our marraige that my first responsibility is my husband. Thank goodness, my dad is very understanding and knew that. I must say Butch is very lucky to have married me. One day, when I will be a mother-in-law, my son-in-law is going to be proud of me and love me just as much as his own mom. Ahem.

If you want a light comedy, feel-good movie and relax for the rest of the evening, Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo is a movie to watch. I can smell a sequel for 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival.

24 thoughts on “Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo, The Movie”

  1. I am about to watch this movie this weekend! Sigh, being a pure Bulakenyo and knowing only Tagalog, sometimes i get envious of my friends who are kapampangan, bisaya, chabacano, and others who know other dialects!

    You’re right, Filipino humour is cruel, esp. about the visayan language. If you’re a cebuano and you’re not offended, I don’t think Sen. Pimentel should be.

    Cheers! Happy new year to you and your family!
    I added u to my blogroll! I love your blog!

  2. hmmmm

    never in my entire life na naging insecure ako dahil ilonggo ako. if ever ill watch this movie. I, too, wont get offended by the jokes on the movie. i can speak tagalog english hiligaynon and cebuano confidently.

    although many think that a Manang is a maid and a Manong is a security guard, i always educate my friends manang and manong are terms we use in the visayas as a form or respect to somebody older than us. and not a term to be used exclusively for the househelp or the guards.

  3. I am a probinsiyana myself and though not a Visayan, Iim a proud one and confident too.

    What a shame, those slurs against accents or physical appearance. You’d think we’re a largely uneducated race.

    btw, the in-laws (four of them) are spending the holidays with us and hubby has left for his assignment. Go figure. Maybe I’ll burst an artery before New Year’s Eve.haha.

  4. For people to say that Visayans should not be offended because one should get used to such derogatory remark, then perhaps the ENTIRE Filipino naiton should not have made a big fuss about the statement on Desperate Housewives about diplomas-for-sale in the Philipiines, nor should the OFWs and their families make a big fuss about Malu Fernandez’ condescending write up.

    The Real DANGER of Bigotry and Hatred is when the subject has become desensitized that one simply resigns to the abject mentality and just goes along for the ride.

  5. @Proud Ilonggo- where did I say in my entry that you SHOULD NOT be offended. I speak only for myself. Others too speak for themselves. You speak for yourself and others, perhaps. So why not join Pimentel’s boycott. Just because I was not offended doesn’t mean I am not against the slur.

  6. An open letter to all Filipinos:

    Now see, even WE, Filipinos make fun of ourserlves and even DEGRADING ourselves!!! Is the word “Domestic Racist” fitting to the said issue?

    I am a PROUD CEBUANO! And I don’t mind of you make fun of our accent as stereotyped in movies. The advantage of being one, I can understand tagalog but you can’t understand Cebuano! Gets nyo? It depends on how you enunciate and pronounce the words! I can say, I speak fluent English, not because I work in a call center. Hey, English speaking agents are not just in Manila, lots are here in CEBU!!!

    BTW, I can speak Tagalog, Cebuano or Bisaya, English, and a bit of Chinese! Now, do you speak more than 2 languages aside from English and Tagalog? Think ’bout it! I’m thankful to be born as a bisaya and not a “tagalog”.

    Again, there are more advantages of being a Cebuano, at least we can speak your language! And you Tagalogs are starting to use our own dialect terms.

    So, FILIPINOS, stop to be racists to your own fellow pinoys! We always complain if other race make fun of us! The truth hurts! We are worst, making fun of our own fellow pinoys. Now, think!!!


  7. The movie was really good. I watched it last Thursday. It’s funny. I recommend it to those bored people. But the movie has still lots of flaws. It’s never been perfect. Anyway, you jave the option to watch or not to .

    Again, FILIPINOS, be sensitive but not too much.

  8. You are not offended with the film because you are already confident (and you’re more a Manilenya-Visayan, I suppose). But don’t be selfish. Imagine a Visayan kid still in the prime years of developing his self-identity, then he gets exposed to films and other TV shows (they’re a lot I tell you) that always portray Visayans as dumb yayas – have you taken studies on the effects of this to children, and how it contributes NOTHING to cultural development, both to Philippine and Visayan?

    Expand your consciousness. Go out of yourself. The effects will not be felt now, but sooner or later, they will.

    Those who find nothing wrong with the remark do not understand the bigger picture. It’s not about one film. It’s about the general portrayal of non-Tagalogs by Tagalogs as inferior citizens, as seen in film.

    Again, it is best to be scholar about it than to be smart asses.

  9. @Jason- I guess you did not read my entry properly. I took no offense to the movie in my personal capacity but I did not assume others would. Those who took offense of the racial slur are entitled to their feeings.

    I also recommended that movie script writers educate the viewing public through their movies about how smart Visayans are.

    I lived 50 years and have expanded my consciousness oh so many times. There are times when one needs to be calm about issues like this. No need to burst an artery but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything about it.

  10. The Manila Times
    Tuesday, January 01, 2008

    Bigotry in Metro Manila Film Festival
    By Prof. Fred Cabuang
    Are the Bisayans, Kapampa­ngans, Pangasinense, Ilocanos, Bicolanos not Pinoys?
    I was told that scandals and brouhaha are inherent in the Metro Manila Film Festival like fireworks are in the New Year festivities. I’m not a movie critic nor an entertainment writer but a language advocate who fights for the protection and preservation of the endangered languages of the Philippines. The recent release of an entry in the 2007 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) brought indignation to many non-Tagalog speakers (and moviegoers) who reside in Metro Manila because of the disgraceful treatment of the Bisayan language in particular in one of the scenes.
    In the movie entitled Sakal, sakali, saklolo (Star Cinema), Judy Ann discouraged the Bisayan yaya to speak Cebuano to her child saying, “dapat Tagalog para Pinoy!” Meaning “You should speak to the child in Tagalog otherwise it’s not Filipino.”
    The statement is not only an act of language discrimination. It also demeans Filipinos whose first language is Bisaya, Ka­pampangan, Pangasinense, Ilokano, Bikolano, or any non-Tagalog language.
    When will we ever learn that being a Pinoy is not measured by one’s ability to speak the Tagalog language only? Are the Bisayans, Kapampangans, Pa­nga­sinense, Ilocanos, Bico­lanos not worthy of being called “Pinoys” too? Do our Bisayan athletic heroes who did well in the Southeast Asian Games in Thailand have to learn Tagalog well before they are considered “Pinoys?” What about the world re-known Manny Pacquiao, does he have to learn Tagalog well too, before he can be called a real “Pinoy” hero? And surely, nobody will question the pride of Pampanga, our beloved President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her father Diosdado Macapagal; did they become Pinoys only when they learned to speak Tagalog?
    I join honorable Senator Pimentel in calling on the public to boycott the movie. I am even calling on a boycott of all Star Cinema films if its executives do not make a public apology in all the Philippine regional languages.
    Republic Act 3060, Section 3 states that “The Board [of Censors] shall have the following duties and powers:
    (a) To screen, censor, examine and supervise the examination of, approve or disapprove or delete portions from, and/or prohibit the introduction and exhibition of all motion pictures, imported or produced in the Philippines for non-theatrical, theatrical and television distribution which in its judgment are immoral, indecent, contrary to law, and/or good customs or injurious to the prestige of the Republic of the Philippines or its people;
    (c)To screen, review, delete portion from, approve or disapprove and censor all publicity materials in connection with any motion picture including trailers, stills, and other advertising materials which in their judgment are immoral, indecent, contrary to law and/or good customs, or injurious to the prestige of the Republic of the Philippines or its people;
    The Board approved a movie that is “contrary to law, and/or good customs or injurious to the prestige of the Philippines or its people” (specially the Bisayan population.)
    The linguistic attack of the movie “Sakal, sakali, saklolo” allegedly is a violation of Republic Act 7356, Section 7, that states, “Preservation of the Filipino Heritage.—It is the duty of every citizen to preserve and conserve the Filipino historical and cultural heritage [Note: Regional Languages are part of Cultural Heritage] and resources.”
    Not many are aware that the discriminatory statement of the movie is contrary to the UN Declaration of Linguistic Rights, Article 38, that states, “The languages and cultures of all language communities must receive equitable and non-discriminatory treatment in the communications media throughout the world.” The movie is one of the best media of communication considering that the celebrities are the pop heroes and models of the general public.
    Perhaps it will take another generation for every Filipino to realize that speaking Tagalog is not synonymous to speaking the Filipino language. The language issue has been a heated topic of debate among congressmen, senators, academe, students and the public. It’s been made clear in print, television and radio that Filipino as a language is still under development. A speaker of any regional language and other indigenous languages is no less a Filipino than those who speak Tagalog.
    Some of our Philippine languages are dying and the people and their culture die with these languages. It is abhorrent to see that the movies, whose leading men and women are the idols of the masses, have become the portals and spreaders of bigotry among Filipinos.
    Sorry to say, but we, Bisayans, together with the Kapampangans, Ilocanos, Bicolanos, Pangasi­nense, et al must proclaim that Tagalog is not our native tongue but we are proudly Filipinos.

  11. I personally winced at the remark. I admit, it was irresponsible in many ways but I do share your sentiments Noemi. Let’s do our best in our capacity to try and prevent something like that from happening again but let’s not bust an artery doing so.

    On with the movie though. I felt it was a little flat compared to the first one. It seemed to me like they were trying too hard. It wasn’t a totally bad movie. It just wasn’t a very good one. I am hoping that there won’t be a sequel next year but I’m quite certain that I will be disappointed.

  12. Hi Noemi, I watched the first 20 minutes of this movie. I was alone bec. I just had a fight with hubby (and he doesn’t watch tagalog movies). Then hubby called, looking for me, so I just have to leave the theater. Too bad I didn’t see the whole movie. I am also having problems with my MIL. Gosh, I don’t know how to handle her. Good thing my hubby would always side with me in every issues MIL raises here at home.

  13. Aw c’mon, guys… it is just a movie!… it is not a PROPAGANDA to destroy or demean any language…. and besides, most of its crew came from diffrent provinces from PRODUCER, DIRECTOR, ACTORS, ACTRESSES to P.A. … and also, their big boss is a native of visaya…. Lopezes are ilongos…. just enjoy the film!

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