Friday, November 7, 2008

Paupahan (2008)

Paupahan 2008

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Three unrelated but interwining stories of characters-all seemingly ‘living dead’-unfold in this anthology of lives of have-nots who have become commodities that are either for sale or for hire,in a most unlikely milieu:a public cemetery just a stone’s throw from a squatter’s area( Kalye Sangandaan) in the city near the lake.

Gloria ( GLORIA ROMERO),a 73 year-old caretaker of a rich family’s mausoleum,has a simple wish:to be buried beside the tomb of her husband Donato who has long been dead.But the same mistress,ETANG ( LUI MANANZALA),with whom Gloria shared her infidel husband,continues making life miserable for Gloria.
DADENG ( GERMAN MORENO),Gloria’s 65 year-old gay neighbor who sells flowers for the dead in funeral parlor,is burdened by the child ( of a dead love-of-his-life) now a teen gay Byuti ( KIRBY DE JESUS ),an incurable romantic who is head-over-heels in love with Topher ( JOSEPH BITANGCOL) ,a 19-year old “user-friendly” bum,later revealed to be a closet “gay”.

Estrella Kerubin or Star ( KRISTA RANILLO ),21,is a trying-hard bit-player who has not stopped dreaming,believing and surviving in a dying showbiz. She’d do anything for her ambition,even use her body to please the powers-that-be,including a caterer/caretaker( MON CONFIADO) who claims connections with the production staff. Star has a ‘silent war’ with mother Lucinda ( SNOOKY SERNA),48,whom Star blames for the death of her father/stuntman).One common thing,though in this feuding mother-daughter tandem is their compulsion to work and earn.Lucinda brokers for neighbors who sell their kidneys and other vital parts for a fee.Ironically,she’s a chain-smoker who tries to survive despite her cancer-stricken lungs. While ,Tonio Torres ( ALLEN DIZON ),29,is a male starlet-member of an all-male group called “Wild Boys”.He has seen better days as a bold starlet-now-a pimp to new aspirants. Star calls him a showbiz “kuya”.Despite his misgivings, TONIO’S a resourceful breadwinner who uses his income for expanding his humble abode by building adjoining rooms he rents out for added income. He is also fighting for the custody of his daughter.

Roberto San Pedro ( JAY MANALO ),32,an ex-convict,gets paroled by a powerful armed group who uses him as an assassin.A man of few words whose eyes reveal personal tragedies and utter bitterness,he’s a reluctant hitman married to a nervous wreck,Angela San Pedro ( ANGELU DE LEON),29,a good former public school teacher who has lost job after cracking due to extreme pressure.

Almost all of the above stories are resolved.Others are open-ended ‘coz that’s reality.Being treated as a commodity is a hurting truth we have to live by.