DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / August 07) — maid in Malacanang It is definitely an entertaining movie. This, plus the current context of a ‘restoration of Marcos’ through the massive victory of PBBM (President BongBong Marcos) in the last elections, multiplied Filipino curiosity about what drove the Marcos out of the Philippines. And that, ladies and gentlemen, it is the very false expectation about the film.
Movies are for entertainment. Audiences get a bonus if they ever communicate any important moral lesson or insight from psychology or human history; but, fundamentally, movies have to entertain. If a movie is going to appeal to the public, it must excite the senses: fear, anger, hate, loathing, sadness, sympathy, love. Everything else, new information and knowledge for example, are bonuses; because this is not what movies are designed for, unless you claim that it is a documentary.
Direk Yap did not hide the real truth behind MIM. In fact, she is transparent in declaring in a recent interview that “This is a family film in crisis…” and is seen from the perspective of the maids, mainly the three Yayas – Biday (Beverly Salviejo), Lucy (Elizabeth Oropesa), and Santa (Karla Estrada). He also did not hide the fact that the Marcos family had a direct involvement in the making of the film, admitting in the same interview that Senator Imee Marcos removed some parts of the original script, added some of her own, and approved the final script. Senator Imee Marcos is also the Executive Producer. It is in this sense that those behind MIM are honest and transparent about the film’s intentions.
I watched maid in Malacanang yesterday, August 6, 2022, at a cinema in Davao City. There were very few free seats inside the theater. I sat between a middle-aged couple to my left and a boatload of seven to my right who must be in their early 20s. I could hear them laughing during the comedy scenes and their soft sobs during the tear scenes. I also enjoyed the comedies between the three Yayas, and got carried away with emotion in some of Direk Yap’s dramatic scenes.
However, I was only able to smile at one of the dramatic moments. It is when Irene (Ella Cruz) tells her father, FM (Ferdinand Marcos) Sr. (Cesar Montano) that he “did what he thought was right for the people”, adding: “No government is perfect”, to the try to convince Apo Lakay that it was time to leave Malacañang. Well, that blanket statement that governments are imperfect is true, but hey, Marcos declared Martial Law and ruled as a dictator non-stop for nearly fourteen years! I will never be able to be convinced that what motivated FM Sr. to prolong his rule, unfettered by any kind of checks and balances, was in the best interest of the people. And all the “imperfections” that his government had were his work, being the Dictator.
But then I reminded myself that this is their history.
I have to see katips, too, and I hope it’s still showing tomorrow, because yesterday I barely saw a queue (if you can call it that with only two people) outside the other cinema.
[MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Joel I. Rodriguez is a retired rural banker and NGO development worker. A movie aficionado, his Tatay began bringing him to movie theaters as soon as he was able to hold up his back while sitting on a chair. Raised and grew up in Lucena City in Quezon Province, he has been a resident of Davao City since 2013. He can be contacted via [email protected]]
 “Maid in Malacanang Stars Hit Red Carpet for Premiere,” Philstar Global, August 4, 2022.