screw the status quo. we need change and we need it now. we need not a leader who plays with words and public funds. we need not a leader whose years of service fall under the 'fiction' category. we definitely need not a leader who knows nothing. we require a leader who has conviction, who has the guts to change the seemingly unchangeable. we need... to prepare for 2007. Now.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Our Official Stand: The Filomeno Code

Let me start this essay by saying the same thing Dr. Jose Rizal said when he was accused of attacking the Catholic faith. I am a catholic, I was raised a Catholic, and I intend to die being a Catholic.

Let me also begin by saying that I am against the proliferation of pornograhy, most specifically in Philippine Cinema. The reason for this has got little to do with the assumption that pornography poisons the mind of an audience (not that it can't), but because I am against the idea of selling lust and exploiting women to make big bucks out of movie tickets.

But let me make it clear that this does not make my mind narrow about the issue of pornography. There are media such as art work, movies, television, radio, and printed materials, that although deal with the paradigms of sex and violence, do not necessarily qualify to be labeled as obscene and more so pornographic. As for me, something becomes pornographic when an author of a certain media intentionally capitalizes and uses sex, but most importantly, lust to sell his work.

However, sometimes, even cause-oriented groups such as the Philippine Alliance of Pornography (PAAP), can go overboard. In a very controversial move to ban the movie "The Da Vinci Code", a lot of curious minds havebeen tickled and now the viewing public is placed on this dilemma. So allow me to scrutinize some arguments presented by the PAAP spokesman (Aldo Filomeno) in a Manila Bulletin and Malaya article.

1.) The Movie adaptation of "The Da Vinci Code" is the most pornographic and blasphemous film in history.

First of all, what qualifies him to judge a movie that he hasn't seen yet? And even if he did, what makes him say that this is the most pornographic film in history? Has he seen every pornographic movie in history? If he has, then I wonder what is he doing being a leader of an anti-pornography group. Surely, Tom Hanks is no porno star, and I will bet my one month salary that we won't even see him ass-naked in this movie (although someone else did, but it didn't look pornographic to me!). On the other hand, Academy award winning director Ron Howard, is surely not a pornographer. We recognized some ofhis early works in "A Beautiful Mind" and "Cinderella Man". Both films were critically acclaimed and award winning.

How many blasphemous articles has he read? Even Dan Brown himself admitted that most elements of his books were in fact based on pure fiction. Maybe some of his beliefs go against the dogma of the Catholic Church, but doesn't ours also go against the dogmas of Judaism? Or the dogmas of other religion for that matter? As a matter of fact, there are some religions that do not acknowledge the divinity of Christ, much more his existence. It is, of course, blasphemous for a Catholic point of view. But in a country that constitutionaly protects freedom of religion, such arguments are biased and often absurd.

2.) This movie aims to destroy Filipino Values, and the foundation of the Catholic faith.

Definitely an out of line argument here. If MTRCB is to ban this movie for that basis, then I will have to ask why have they allowed other lame-brained Filipino movies to be shown in theaters, that in fact never fails to manage to insult the intelligence of the Filipino audience. Why do they air game shows, reality shows and talk shows, that as a matter of fact, have promoted a lot of false values? So I see no reason why everybody is making so much of a fuss over a Hollywood movie?

Lets face it, most who will watch this movie are those people who have read the book and are familiar with Dan Brown's work. Sandara Park fans will stay away from this movie.

Most of all, if the foundation of ones faith is strong, then there is absolutely no work of fiction that can destroy it. Besides, Dan Brown's book often times has been subjected to many rebuttals. There are also many claims, way before Dan Brown's, that have challenged the dogmas of the Catholic church. But for hundreds of years it still remained the most dominant religion in this planet.

4.) Dan Brown is as evil as Adolf Hitler, and wants us to worship his evil empire. All copies of his book must be burned, and the master copy of the movie must be destroyed.

I don't think Dan Brown ever promoted a sect. Even if he did, it would have been a cult. As of today many cults exists, but again have they managed to destroy the most dominant religion on this planet?

I do not know what common denominator Brown and Hitler has. But this I will say, dictating mature people on what they should and should not read, not respecting the right of people to choose what they want to believe and what they don't want to, and prejudism due to ones religious or political beliefs is pretty much Nazism to me. Come to think of it, didn't the Nazis burn printed materials and other media so they can brainwash the citizens of the places they occupied?

Besides if the PAAP decides to burn copies of the book or the movie itself, wouldn't they be breaking the law themselves? There is such a thing called property rights, which unfortunately for them, the constitution protects.

5.) We should boycott PG-13, R-13 and R-18 movies in major theaters in this country to discourage them to show films that depict sex and violence.

Now I'm wondering if Mr. Filomeno understands why or how something gets to be merited as PG or R for that matter. In fact there are some movies that do not contain a single scene of violence or sex, but still merritt for a PG rating. Take for instance the movie adaptation of some of Shakespear's work, they get a PG rating not because of the sex and violence, but because of the complexity of some dialogs that children may have difficulty in understanding.

Second, it is just stupid for a person who takes a 3-minute scene of nudity as the whole point of the entire 2 hour movie. Take for instance Spielberg's Amistad. The director tackled many paradigms in that movie, slavery, freedom, humanity, friendship, and love. It is one of those movies that engages you to be philosophical, but if all you could remember was the scene showing a completely naked slave, then I think you might want to seek therapy for that.

Brokeback Mountain, Hostel, and V for Vendetta. All of them are critically acclaimed and even award winning movies that they also wanted to ban. I have failed to see the previous two, but I enjoyed V for Vendetta. Mr. Filomeno labeled it as violent and it encouraged "satanism". And I was like... "huh?!" I have seen the movie twice, and not an instance in the movie was the word "satan" was used. Although, the film tackled about church hypocrisy, homosexuality, but most of the attempt to rob people of their common sense by controlling what they see on television, what they hear on the radio, and what they read on the newspaper. I think this is the genuine reason why PAAP is pissed off. If I will sum up all the time length of the fight scenes, it wouldn't even sum up to an hour.
I gained a lot of important insights about this movie (my next essay was inspired by that), one of which was that the most powerful weapons that we have are ideas.

6.) That Mr. Aldo Filomeno is the great grandson of Jose P. Rizal, and Jose P. Laurel, and that he is doing the job of his ancestors, protecting the Christian faith.

I think he shot himself in the foot with this one. I mean what kind of a person in a normal intellectual capacity would write to a respected Malaya columnist, and begin his letter with the claim that he is the great grandson of Jose Rizal and Josephine Bracken? Assuming that this is true, does this fact make him infallible about his previous claims?

Has he not read the novels of his great granddaddy? In so many instances Rizal used friars and officials of the Catholic church as antagonists in his novels. They were depicted as corrupt, perverted, and even as sociopaths. For crying out loud maybe he should review history and learn that this was partly the reason why he was accused of a crime worthy of a firing squad in Bagumbayan. But ten bucks and a pizza says that Mr. Filomeno will not allow himself to be shot in Luneta, if it meant banning Ron Howard's movie, and in the process protecting the Catholic faith.

A friend of mine asked me as I was reading that article in Malaya. "Paano kaya nagswiswiming si Boy Blue Filomeno?" "Baka naka-longsleeves jogging pants at medyas." Hey, I wouldn't be surprised.

But one thing I'm surprised is how MTRCB was threatened by a man who introduces as the great grandson of Dr. Jose Rizal..... Then that makes Mariang Makiling his great grandma?

As for me, I've seen the The DaVinci Code for its entertainment value, not for whatever subtle message it has. At the end of the movie, I am confident that nothing about my faith have changed. I believe in Jesus Christ my God, and my Savior. Just as Robert Langdon said- in the end, it still depends on what you believe.


Blogger AKILEZ said...

Speaking about the Da Vinci Code.

Trying reading the other book Holy Blood, Holy Grail...

The Catholic church has a lot of explaining to do about the real history of Our religion.

for examples

Why did the bible skip the life of Jesus Christ? it started when he was born and his life jumped when he was 33 yrs old. the age that he will be crucified. What happened from age 1 to 32? There were a lot of books written by the Apostles of Christ and two of them were written by Mary Magdalene and Judas. Saint Peter wrote a book... the Book of Apocolypse were is it?!!

The dead Sea Scrolls that was found are still being decipher until to this day. But expert found out that Judas was asked by Jesus to betray him with a kiss.

Who is Mary Magdalene the wife of Jesus or just a prostitute?

Did Jesus Christ committed sin when he was a kid by pushing a young boy from a roof.

Her Portrait "La Gioconda rose to fame. Although we know her by another name.

What is the more common name for "La Giaconda"?

6:58 AM

Anonymous Ahmad said...

There will always be debates about the interpretation of the gospels, of Jesus Christ and of God Himself.

The muslims recognize Jesus Christ as merely a prophet but not the son of God. There were some cults that claimed, that Jesus was not supposed to be nailed to the cross, but he was supposed to bear a child with marry magdalene. The buddhist do not acknowledge him at all, and perhaps even existense.

The only thing we can do about the claims of Dan Brown is to make it so controversial, more and more people will buy his books and watch the movie.

The most fundamental question about God, is that does he even exist in the first place? But even that very basic question can't be completely settled by theists and atheist as both of the lack the tangible evidences to support thier claim. And as for those who believe that he exists? They have different interpretations on his physical manifestations.

For thousands of years people have engaged in an attempt to come up with the perfect interpretation of God himself. And what is the end result? Sometimes religious descrimination and bloody feuds. Then we already forget what religion teaches us in the first place.... Love, peace and selflesness.

Just as Robert Langdon said, it will all depend on what you really believe in. But let me also add something from St. Thomas Aquinas. There are two paths to god. The path of reason and senses, and the path of belief and christianic revelation. The two need not have a conflict. While it is good that we can acknowledge the existence of god based of evidences gathered by our senses, we all know that our senses have limitations. So what our senses could not answer, we have to consult the bible and our very belief to settle disputes

5:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And this is exactly why the Philippines will not improve for the next century... Debating over stupid movies when they should be thinking of other things.

Filipinos are too concerned with the trivial and ignoring the issues that matter.


7:44 AM

Blogger amurorei said...

It's so sad... on your first words... are you saying you are willing to die for The Great "Bitch"? a member of this bitch?
Revelations 17:5
"And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration."
This bitch is drunk with the blood of millions of Pilipinos including Jose Rizal who was one of these "martyrs of Jesus". He is right what can bolos and guns do against this whore. For 500 years this bitch is "shepherding" Pilipinos not to greener pastures but to the valley of death! Wake up!

3:43 PM


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